Diversity Award


The annual Library Diversity Award is given to a library staff member or group who promotes and embodies the ideas of the Library Diversity Program. Recipients for this award throughout the years are listed below.

2013 Diversity Award Winner, Martin Knott

Martin Knott, 2013 Diversity Award winnerOver the last twenty years of service to the library, Martin has been a dedicated advocate for diversity. 

As a staff member, Martin served for many years as the Chair of the Library MLK Day Committee and also a member of the campus UM MLK Symposium Planning Committee.  During his tenure, the library committee hosted annual events including a keynote speech from author Earl Ofari Hutchinson and a dramatic performance of the award winning play “Camp Logan”.

As a librarian, Martin continued to be active in diversity initiatives on a local and national level.  As a former ALA Spectrum Scholar, he continues to pay it forward.  He has served as an official liaison and has informally been engaged in activities to support recruitment efforts of under-represented groups into the profession.

Over the years, these activities include meeting with new Spectrum Scholars and serving as a panelist for a Spectrum Leadership Institute.  In recent years, Martin and a small group of UM librarians (including a few former MLibrary Diversity Award recipients) have hosted an annual fundraising dinner which has successfully raised over $2,500 as part of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative. The contributions allow ALA to continue to support master’s level Spectrum Scholarships and build the Spectrum Endowment.  The dinners have also helped to connect library diversity supporters within the community, and has been meaningful to the recent Spectrum Scholars in attendance.

Martin also served on the 2012 LIS Access Midwest Program (LAMP) Summer Institute Planning committee.  LAMP is a regional alliance of Ten Midwest Universities and their libraries. The program is designed to encourage undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups to enter the field of library and information science. The Summer Institute provided LAMP scholars with the opportunity to interact with and learn from UM library colleagues as well as information professionals from the Ann Arbor community. 

Martin has served as an official mentor to a 2011-2012 ARL Diversity Scholar and soon a 2013 ARL Career Enhancement Program Fellow.  He has also informally mentored MLibrary staff members who went on to pursue their library degrees while working.  This type of mentorship is important to new librarians entering the profession. These are a few examples of how he has worked towards recruiting the next generation.

Throughout his UM career, Martin has consistently supported diversity efforts within the library and the profession.

He was an active member of the Library Diversity Committee from 1995-1998 and 2007-2010.  During his first term of service, he was elected Chair.

2013 Special Recognition, Paul Courant

Paul Courant, special recognition

The Library Diversity Council wishes to show its’ appreciation by acknowledging the multi-year efforts of Paul N. Courant. During his tenure at the Library, Dean Courant supported the efforts of the Diversity Council and worked for equity in all Library areas.  Paul improved the quality of the Library, in ways both direct and subtle; a few examples include:

• Challenging the Library’s recruiting efforts, demanding broader and more inclusive searches

• Challenging Senior Managers to offer growth opportunities to all staff

• Strongly supporting the Library’s Martin Luther King Day efforts

• Providing appropriate funding for strategic staff and operational initiatives

• Proactively and systematically provided salary adjustments for low paid staff

• Obtaining funding for equity adjustments for all staff and Librarians

• Supporting local Diversity efforts, through the creation of the Library’s Diversity Librarian and the Detroit Center Librarian positions

• Supporting greater access to the Library’s information as evidenced by the digitization of the collection and the creation of the Hathi Trust

• Supporting enhanced services for users with special challenges by providing increased support for the Adaptive Technology Center

• Supporting the Association of Research Libraries’ Leadership and Development Program and the Career Enhancement Program as well as the LIS Access Midwest Program, known as LAMP, at the UM Library

• Supporting the Library’s active participation in the Detroit-based Michigan Diversity Council

• And by leading the Library’s efforts to be a more inclusive, equitable, challenging, and rewarding environment for all

For these efforts, as well as other activities and interactions not noted here, the Library Diversity Council, on behalf of the Library, would like to present this Certificate of Appreciation to Paul.

2012 Diversity Award winner, Shevon Desai;  Shevon receiving her award from Noah Meeks, 2011-12 LDC Chair



 The 2010 recipient of the Diversity Award is Fe Susan Go. Congratulations, Susan!



2009 Diversity Award winner, Helen Look;  Helen receiving her award from Annette Haines, 2008-09 LDC Chair


           Helen Look                                 Helen receiving her award from Annette Haines, 2008-09 LDC Chair



Lucy Cohen
Elaine Jordan


Ann Ridout


Deborah Heiden
Leif Backman
Joann Grantham


Barbara MacAdam
Carole N. Weber


Rosemary Whelan


Margaret Rowry


Hattie Summerhill


(LDC ex-officio members)
Margo Crist
Lucy Cohen
Karen Downing
Bill Gosling
Brenda Johnson
Charles Ransom
Maurice Wheeler


Barbara Kolekamp
Scott Dennis


Tim Retzloff


Kelly Webster


Nita Patterson


Karen Downing


Anna Schnitzer


Charles Ransom


Helen Look


Fe Susan Go


Barbara MacAdam


Shevon Desai


Page maintained by Ye Li
Last modified: 12/19/2013