Member of the Week: Nicole A. Cooke

Nicole A. Cooke

Nicole A. CookeNicole A. Cooke is Assistant Professor at the School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, IL. Nicole has been an ACRL member since 2000 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 26, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Advocate, curious, innovative.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently on a podcast kick—right now I’m working my way through Black Girl Nerds, Serial, Undisclosed, and two series by comedian W. Kamau Bell.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Foundational, necessary, community.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL was my primary source of professional development and community during my 13 years in the field. And even now, as a LIS faculty member, the ACRL conference remains one of my favorite events because of its focus, dedication, and relevance to the field. When I teach my graduate classes, I routinely promote ACRL and talk about my positive experiences in the Immersion program (program and intentional teaching tracks) and refer students to ACRL documents and resources. ACRL is an invaluable resource for academic librarians and it’s an organization that grows with them as they progress throughout their careers.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I’m in a fortunate position to be a faculty member (and still an academic librarian!) who gets to work with students, and who gets to promote librarians and the university library to my colleagues in other disciplines and departments.

Because I interact with faculty in many settings outside of the actual library, I’m able to network and promote on another level, and I’m able to closely connect with them about their research and teaching in new and different ways.

Recently, I’ve helped colleagues with copyright questions, and inquiries about microaggressions and accessible services for students. I was able to field the questions and then redirect them to our library’s subject experts for additional resources and information.

6. In your own words: Academic/ research librarianship has been my first and only career, one that has enabled me to teach (full-time and part-time), do research, publish articles and books, advance my education, meet wonderful people, travel around the world, and improve and empower my communities through the provision of information. Where else could I have done that?

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.