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Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook to present Coleman Lecture at ALA 2010

USF SLIS Distinguished University Professor Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook has been selected to present the 2010 Dr. Jean E. Coleman Outreach Lecture for the American Library Association’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC.

The lecture honors Dr. Jean E. Coleman, who was the first director of OLOS, and who was instrumental in focusing attention on the under-served and under-represented in libraries. The mission of OLOS is to identify and promote library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in libraries.

With the theme of “Human Rights and Librarianship,” this year’s lecture will benefit from Dr. McCook’s knowledge in this aspect of librarianship. The publication of Dr. McCook’s A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building in 2000 acted as a catalyst that provoked the development of lines of communication and discussion related to the role of libraries as community builders and its relationship with advocacy and social justice. In July 2001, as a continuation of the discussion started by the book and the RUSQ Community Building columns (which ran from 2000-2006,) the mailing list ALAET [A Librarian at Every Table] was born. Soon, the list developed into “A Librarian at the Kitchen Table,” a blog directed to librarians who build community by advocating for social justice and human rights.

In 2009, in a “Librarian at the Kitchen Table” blog post commemorating Human Rights Day, Dr. McCook emphasized that the disintegration of the social safety net for millions of Americans is proof that the commitment of libraries to working for social justice and human rights is still as valid now as it was in the past. Her latest post addresses the topic of legal tools for economic justice.

Dr. McCook also teaches, among other courses, LIS 5937 Libraries Building Community at USF SLIS. Her blogs, Librarian, Union Librarian, and especially A Librarian at the Kitchen Table, serve as a continuing channel of communication and discussion of the topics surrounding the social responsibility of librarians.

The Dr. Jean E. Coleman Lecture will take place Monday, June 28th 2010, from 8 to 10 am, at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC.



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