Foundations of Social Justice

This title will be available Summer 2024. You may place an order and the item will be shipped when it becomes available. 

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Neal-Schuman
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • About the author

Cooke’s important text, suitable for both graduate and undergraduate courses as well as current practitioners, outlines and examines the components of social justice that are most compelling and relevant for the library and information professions.

Libraries serve all types of communities and diverse populations, and they are also part of the communities being served. As such, library staff need to be familiar with and capable of the social justice work that will allow them to advocate for, protect, and enhance their communities. Cooke, past winner of the ALA Equality Award and an acclaimed scholar, introduces this seminal concept to those new to the social justice lens, while also offering an authoritative and enlightening overview for those who are already familiar. Readers will

  • learn about the five main principles of social justice (access to resources, equity, participation, diversity, and human rights) and their historical context;
  • understand how these principles apply to the practice of librarianship, both as aspirational goals and in day-to-day work;
  • discover why common assumptions and misconceptions about social justice work can be toxic and are often counterproductive;
  • explore topics such as social justice consciousness raising, action and advocacy, cultural competence, and anti-racism;
  • get to know about relevant and related issues, including intersectionality, critical race theory, social justice storytelling, and critical pedagogies;
  • practice self-reflection through compelling exercises and activities included throughout the text; and
  • be introduced to a hand-picked selection of key literature and sources that will illuminate the concept and encourage further study.

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.