The Project READY curriculum is the culmination of three years of work by a team of educators, library staff, and youth. On this About Us page we introduce the full-time Project READY staff, our project advisory board and project partners, the expert reviewers, and the many people who contributed their stories and voices to the modules.
Project READY Staff
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Ph.D.
Dr. Hughes-Hassell is a Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science and a Past President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Her research and teaching focus on equity and inclusion in youth services librarianship. With Dr. Rawson and Dr. Pauletta Bracy, she edited the book Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth. Prior to becoming a faculty member, she worked in school reform in the School District of Philadelphia.
Casey H. Rawson, Ph.D.
Dr. Rawson is a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2016 and MSLS in 2011. Before coming to SILS, Dr. Rawson was a middle school science teacher in two high-poverty urban schools. Dr. Rawson has published research related to diversity and equity in youth library services, library science education, instruction in public libraries, and school library support for STEM instruction.
Kimberly Hirsh is a Ph.D. student in UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, research assistant for Project READY, and a former high school Latin teacher, middle school librarian, and managing editor of LEARN NC. Her research interests include connected learning in libraries and the professional development of school librarians.
Project Ready Staff Positionality Statement
The Project READY curriculum was primarily developed by three white women who have worked in K-12 schools and libraries in a number of communities. We acknowledge that as white women now working in academia at a predominantly white university, we have had, and continue to have, access to privileges that have shaped not only our ability to receive the funding that allowed us to develop this curriculum, but also our approach to it. We are highly indebted to the many scholars of color and Indigenous scholars who have thought and written about issues related to institutional and individual racism, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Their thinking has profoundly shaped our understanding of these issues and our work. We are grateful to our colleagues of color who served on the project advisory board, who joined us as project partners, who participated in the original face-to-face training in Wake County, and who served as expert reviewers for their critical and candid feedback throughout the process. Finally, we are especially appreciative of the willingness of educators, library staff, and Black, Indigenous, and Youth of Color (BIYOC) to contribute to the curriculum by sharing images of practice, and in one case developing a whole module. Our intention in creating this curriculum is not to center our voices or experiences as white women, but to be part of the ongoing conversation among library staff and educators about how to create more equitable and inclusive library programs and services for youth of color and Indigenous youth. We believe that it is not solely the responsibility or burden of communities of color or Indigenous communities to call attention to the issues of systemic racism, oppression, and inequity and to do the work of addressing them. We hope this curriculum will contribute to the growing body of social justice-oriented thought and practice in the fields of library science and education. But most importantly, we hope it will help library staff develop responsive and equitable library programs with youth of color and Indigenous youth.
Project READY Advisory Board
Sarah Park Dahlen, Ph.D.
Sarah Park Dahlen is an Associate Professor of Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She teaches courses on children’s and young adult materials, children’s and young adult library services, storytelling, social justice, and library and information science. She is also a co-founder of the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature.
Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Ph.D.
Dr. Naidoo is the Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor at The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies and the 2018-2019 President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). His research interests include library services to diverse populations and diversity in children’s and YA media (print and digital). He teaches courses in public librarianship, storytelling, and materials and services to youth, families, and diverse populations.
Kafi Kumasi, Ph.D.
Kafi D. Kumasi is an associate professor of library and information science (LIS) at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, where she teaches in the areas of school library media, urban librarianship, multicultural services, and resources and research methods. Her research interests revolve around issues of literacy, equity, and diversity, particularly in urban educational environments spanning K12 and graduate school contexts.
Pam Berger is the former Director of Information for the SW BOCES School Library System. She has been a school librarian, administrator, national/international consultant, and presenter for over 30 years. Her latest books are Teaching Inquiry: Engaging the Learner Within. (Neal Schuman Publishers, 2012) and Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World. (Libraries Unlimited, 2010).
Mega Subramaniam, Ph.D.
Dr. Subramaniam is an Associate Professor and the Co-Director of the Youth eXperience (YX) Lab at the iSchool – College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. Her research interests center on the use of school and public libraries as effective learning environments to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest among underserved, underrepresented, and disadvantaged young adults.
Project READY Partners
Pauletta Brown Bracy, Ph.D.
Dr. Bracy is a Professor of Library Science and Director of the Office of University Accreditation at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In 2019, Dr. Bracy was awarded the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement by the American Library Association for her work as an advocate for high-quality African American literature for young people and her leadership within the field.
Kendra Allen is the Lead Librarian for Secondary Schools in the Wake County Public School System, where she previously worked for six years as a library media coordinator. Her research and special focus is on library service to students with disabilities, with an article published in School Library Monthly, co-authored with Sandra Hughes-Hassell, titled “The School Library Media Program and Special Education Programs.”
Teresa Bunner is the Director for Student Engagement in the Office of Equity Affairs for the Wake County Public School System. She co-facilitated with 20 high school students on the Student Six project, a professional development series on creating culturally responsive classrooms. She has been a classroom teacher and reading specialist at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Marlo Gaddis is the Chief Technology Officer for the Wake County Public School System, where she has previously served as the Senior Director of Instructional Technology and Media Services. She has teaching and administrative experience across multiple school districts and all grade levels.
Claudia Gollop, Ph.D.
Dr. Claudia Gollop is an Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. Dr. Gollop is a leader in SILS’ diversity initiatives and teaches in the areas of reference services, health information resources and services, and information issues related to diverse user groups.
Brian Sturm, Ph.D.
Dr. Brian Sturm is an Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. He leads the public library youth services program at SILS and teaches in the areas of children’s literature, storytelling, and developing library programs and services for youth. Additionally, he has many years of curriculum design experience in higher education.
Project READY Content Contributors
Project READY External Reviewers
Nicole A. Cooke
Dr. Nicole A. Cooke is an Associate Professor and the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair at the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. In this role she focuses on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in the profession. Her other areas of interest include human information behavior and critical cultural information studies. Her latest books are Information Services to Diverse Populations (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era (ALA Editions, 2018).
Sujei Lugo, a former elementary school librarian in Puerto Rico, is a children’s librarian at the Boston Public Library. She holds an MLIS from the University of Puerto Rico and is currently a doctoral candidate in LIS at Simmons University, focusing on race and children’s librarianship. She is an active member of REFORMA, ALA, and ALSC and is a member of the We Are Kid Lit Collective.
As a youth and family services library manager, Josie Watanabe is dedicated to working with library staff, community, and schools to close the opportunity gap for students in Seattle. She is strongly committed to issues of race, equity, and social justice, and works with staff to put these big ideas into practice.
Project READY Funding
Project READY has been funded by a three-year Continuing Education Project grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (grant number RE-40-16-0012-16).