Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals, Second Edition

This title will be available Spring 2025. You may place an order and the item will be shipped when it becomes available. 

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  • Description
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Providing a clear and comprehensive survey of the landscape of diversity in librarianship as a profession and service, this updated text is an important orientation tool for LIS students and current library workers alike.

The development of cultural competency skills and social awareness benefits LIS students, their future employers, and the library profession at large―not to mention library customers and society as a whole. The inaugural book in ALA Neal-Schuman's Critical Cultural Information Studies series, Cooke's freshly updated text introduces readers to the contexts and situations that promote the development of empathy and build cultural competence. It marshals cutting edge research and relevant best practices to give readers a strong grasp of the political, social, economic, and technological divides among library patrons. It also covers outreach and library services to diverse populations, how to evaluate such services, and many other key topics. Complete with an updated syllabus, lesson plans, and exercises ready-made for course use, Cooke’s text

  • demonstrates why social responsibility is a foundational value of librarianship;
  • considers library services to members of marginalized racial or ethnic groups, older adults, people with mental health or physical disabilities, neurodiverse library users, refugees and immigrants, people experiencing homelessness or hunger, those growing up in or experiencing poverty, members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, and people who are incarcerated; 
  • features a myriad of testimonials drawn from a wide variety of settings that highlight the experiences of library and museum practitioners who are working with diverse populations;
  • introduces a new model of cultural competence and cultural humility;
  • authoritatively covers such essential concepts as intersectionality, privilege, marginalization, cultural competence, cultural humility, and counter-storytelling along with discussions of how they interplay in the communities that libraries serve;
  • explores the impact of overwhelming whiteness of the library profession and what can be done to recruit, welcome, mentor, and retain racially and ethnically diverse library workers; and
  • identifies potential employment and networking opportunities related to diversity and social justice in librarianship.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use. An e-book edition of the text will be available shortly after the print edition is published.

Nicole A. Cooke

Nicole A. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior (particularly in an online context), critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship (with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy). She was named a “Mover & Shaker” by Library Journal in 2007 and was the 2016 recipient of ALA's Equality Award and the 2017 Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award presented by ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach. She has edited and authored several books, including Information Services to Diverse Populations. Dr. Nicole A. Cooke was honored with the 2024 Joseph W. Lippincott Award for distinguished service in the profession of librarianship.

Praise for the first edition

"This extremely relevant and topical guide only starts the conversation about diversity and gives the reader motivation to continue. It is a much-needed resource for both the student and professional."

"Although geared toward library science students and public librarians, school librarians will also find the content valuable ... Librarians who seek to better understand diversity and the library will benefit from this work."
— School Library Connection

"Although written for LIS students, this work is also essential for all information professionals and will be particularly valuable to library managers looking to recruit a more inclusive workforce."
— School Library Journal

"In Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals, Nicole A. Cooke has written a book that is clearly needed in this emerging area of library services ... For librarians, library staff and library instructors who are involved, or need to become involved, in the work of cultural competencies, diversity, and inclusion, Information Services to Diverse Populations is a vitally useful book ... Its existence should be welcomed by anyone who is interested in this area of librarianship."
— Technical Services Quarterly

"Information Services to Diverse Populations provides a clear and comprehensive description of the landscape of diversity in librarianship as a profession and service. This book is particularly appropriate for library and information science graduate students and can function as a foundational text even for those students who do not have a background in critical theory."
— College & Research Libraries