By: Diane Stirling

Renee Franklin Hill, Assistant Professor at the School of Information Studies, recently accepted an award naming an article she co-authored as one of four “best papers” at the 2011 Conference of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).

Dr. Franklin Hill accepted the award in Dallas on January 19, along with co-author Kafi Kumasi, Ph.D., assistant professor at Wayne State University. Their article, “Are We There Yet? Results of a Gap Analysis to Measure LIS Students’ Prior Knowledge and Actual Learning of Cultural Competence Concepts,” was published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of Education in Library and Information Science.  It analyzes survey results from Library Information Science students at two universities about the level to which their coursework prepared them to become culturally competent library practitioners. 

“Achieving recognition among peers for research on cultural competence is especially meaningful and significant,” Dr. Franklin Hill said. “The achievement illustrates their recognition that the topic has practical, legitimate and important educational impact.”

“Even in the recent past, cultural competence is a subject that many may easily have dismissed as a social issue rather than one that directly affects the quality of education and information delivery,” Franklin Hill continued.

She explained the perspective that led to the creation of the paper.  “Cultural competence is something we all need to have an understanding of, to be inclusive and to embrace all the different cultures that are out there.  LIS students must be taught how to effectively communicate information and help people from all backgrounds be able to find information,” she noted.

Dr. Franklin Hill has continued to research issues related to cultural competence. She and Dr. Kumasi have published another article titled, “Bridging the Gaps: Measuring Cultural Competence Among Future School Library and Youth Services Library Professionals.”

The paper can be reviewed at: