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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Nicole A. Cooke, Ph.D.

Title: Augusta Baker Endowed Chair
Department: School of Information Science
College of Information and Communications
Office: School of Information Science

Davis College, Room 101
1501 Greene Street

Columbia, SC 29208
Resources: Personal Website
Nicole Cooke


B.A., Communication, Rutgers University
MLS, Master of Library Services, Rutgers University
M.Ed., Adult Education, Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., Communication, Information, and Library Studies, Rutgers University


Dr. Nicole Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an associate professor at the School of Library and Information Science. She was a practicing librarian for 13 years before completing her Ph.D., She has experience in public, medical and academic libraries.


Cooke was the recipient of the 2024 Joseph W. Lippincott Award. This award is sponsored by Joseph W. Lippincott III and presented by the American Library Association (ALA) for distinguished service in the profession of librarianship.

Cooke was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in 2007. She was awarded the 2016 ALA Equality Award, and she was presented with the 2017 ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, presented by the Office for Diversity and Literacy Outreach Services.

She has also been honored as the Illinois Library Association’s 2019 Intellectual Freedom Award winner in recognition of her work in combating online hate and bullying in LIS, and she was selected as the Association for Library and Information Science Education's 2019 Excellence in Teaching award winner.

In 2021 she was presented with the Martin Luther King, Jr., Social Justice Award by the University of South Carolina.


Cooke’s research and teaching interests include human information behavior, fake news consumption and resistance, critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship.

Funded Research

2018 - American Library Association Carnegie Whitney Grant
2017 - American Library Association Diversity Research Grant
2016 - Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research, Kent State University


Whenever possible, learning should be relevant and accessible to learners. Content should be manageable and digestible, and hopefully, learners will be able to recognize the applicability of the course content to their lives and their work. To that end, Cooke believes that active, participatory, and hands-on interaction makes the learning environment more interesting, enjoyable and more relevant to the learner.

She also believes that content without reflection and consideration prevents the formation of knowledge. Learners should be prodded to really think about the content and why it's appropriate to their lives.

Teaching and learning are lifelong and collaborative processes.

Recent Publications

Now the founding editor of ALA Neal-Schuman's Critical Cultural Information Studies book series, Cooke has published numerous articles and book chapters. Her books include “Information Services to Diverse Populations” (Libraries Unlimited, 2016), “Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-truth Era" (ALA Editions, 2018), and “Foundations of Social Justice (ALA Editions, expected in 2023). 


Dr. Cooke is professionally active in ALA, the Association of Library and Information Science Educators (ALISE), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and several other professional library organizations and publications.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.