Invited Speakers

Nicole A. Cooke: Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Centering Social Justice in LIS Practice
Library professionals are social justice advocates and libraries are proponents of equal access; this access is not solely relegated to books and information within the library. This talk will situate social justice within LIS and discuss ways for librarians to develop a socially just information practice.

Nicole A. Cooke is an assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, having graduated from Rutgers University with a PhD in communication, information, and library studies in 2012 (where she was an ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellow). Previously, she was an instruction librarian and tenured assistant professor at Montclair State University’s (NJ) Sprague Library.

Her research interests include human information behavior, particularly in an online context, eLearning, and diversity and social justice in librarianship.

Cooke is the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016), co-editor of the book, Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom (Litwin Books/Library Juice Press, 2017), and co-author of the book, Instructional Strategies and Techniques for Information Professionals (Chandos Press, 2012). She has published articles in journals including JASIST, The Library Quarterly, InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information, Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal, Library and Information Science Research, Information Research, and New Review of Academic Librarianship

She is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award and the 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award and the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. In 2007 she was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal. Cooke is professionally active in ALA, ALISE, ASIS&T, and several other professional library organizations. She holds an MLS degree from Rutgers University, and an M.Ed. in adult education from Penn State.


Toni Samek: Definition of Risk: A Situation Involving Exposure to Danger
IFLA acknowledged the precarious roles played by library and information workers in its 1983 adoption of the Resolution on Behalf of Librarians Who are Victims of Violation of Human Rights, which stresses: ?In the name of human rights, librarians must, as a profession, express their solidarity with those of their colleagues who are persecuted for their opinions, wherever they may be.? Years later, when IFLA introduced its 2012 Code of Ethics for Librarians and Other Information Workers, the Association offered specialized clauses on workplace speech and whistleblowing. Of course, they are needed. Actualization of any code of ethics in our field rests on multiple conditions, including: employment terms; labour law and related legislation; influence and consensus making within the library and information community and society more broadly; and, individual conflicting obligations to ourselves, to our profession, to our employer, to our community, and to the law. It is not easy to reconcile these matters. People have suffered personally and professionally in the process. This talk urges us to bring both attention and imagination to the people who choose compassion and conviction over complacency in their work.

Dr. Toni Samek is a Professor and Chair at the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada, where she has taught since 1994. Toni’s books include: Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship 1967 to 1974; Librarianship and Human Rights: A twenty-first century guide; She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West; and, Information Ethics, Globalization and Citizenship: Essays on Ideas to Praxis. Her scholarship has appeared in translation in such countries as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. Toni twice convened the Canadian Library Association’s Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom and served two consecutive terms on the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of Canada’s new Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University. Toni received the debut Library Journal Teaching Award in 2007, a Faculty of Education Graduate Teaching Award in 2009, and the 3M National Teaching Fellowship from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in 2012. In 2013, Toni was honoured with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) Distinguished Alumna Award. Toni is the recipient of the 2017 Library Association of Alberta President’s Award, which recognizes the efforts of an individual who has made a major impact on a province-wide basis in the library field in Alberta.