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Nicole A. Cooke

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Library and information science (LIS) has a dual history; as a profession that is over 80% white and female, the LIS workforce has been plagued with segregation and a lack of representation. However, LIS also has many amazing stories, stories of people of color changing the profession and the lives of their patrons. It is imperative that these stories be unearthed, to celebrate our success stories, but to also learn from our mistakes.

This talk will discuss examples of segregation in LIS, specifically highlighting The Carnegie Scholars who were a group of 30 graduate students of who attended the University of Illinois after the Civil Rights Movement and the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Discussion will then turn to the difficulties of conducting this type of research and the challenges that come with trying to unearth both good and bad episodes of LIS history.