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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Oct 15 / Christine Illichmann

SIS professor Kafi Kumasi makes an impact on the LIS world

SIS professor Kafi Kumasi is highly involved in the library and information field. The lessons she teaches in her courses are built on her professional experiences and projects, providing real-world insights. Her writing, mentoring, and volunteer work reflect her mission to make the library and information field more diverse and inclusive.  

A snapshot of Dr. Kumasi’s summer and fall activities provides a peek at her involvement in many areas of LIS education: 

In August 2017, Dr. Kumasi presented with some of her mentees at the National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL). Dr. Kumasi served as mentor for the Wayne State SIS Project IDoL cohort (Increasing Diversity of Librarians), a three-year project focusing on “recruiting, mentoring, and providing an online Master of Library and Information Science degree to 10 students from historically underrepresented groups in order to achieve greater diversity among practicing library professionals.”  

Dr. Kumasi and Project IDoL participants at NCAAL.

Her mentorship work continued throughout the summer as she participated in the Lilead Project 2017-2018 Cohort Summer Institute – a weeklong professional development program for school library district supervisors held at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Dr. Kumasi mentored four school librarians on their projects, which are each aimed at transform school libraries into future ready programs  

 Dr. Kumasi’s work is frequently published, and the summer of 2017 is a prime example of this. She published a journal article in the May 2017 issue of School Library Connection entitled “Let the Dodo Bird Speak: A Rejoinder on Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature”. She also co-authored a book chapter on Libraries and Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature for Dr. Violet Harris, Professor Emeritus at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. 

In August, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the selection of Dr. Kumasi’s paper entitled “Doin’ the Knowledge: Using Hip Hop as Framework to Study Youth New Media Practices.” She will present the paper at YALSA’s Trends Impacting YA Services session at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting. 

In addition to articles and scholarly publications, she is currently working on a book entitled, “Hip Hop Librarianship: A Handbook for School and Public Librarians”, which will be published through ALA Editions.  

Dr. Kumasi has also served on multiple executive and advisory boards, including Project READY and the Executive Board of YALSA at the 2017 ALA Annual meeting in Chicago. 

With a busy summer behind her, Dr. Kumasi has no plans to slow down. Her impactful work continues and is an asset to the School of Information Sciences and the LIS world. To learn more about Dr. Kafi Kumasi and her work, visit her faculty profile on the SIS website: http://sis.wayne.edu/faculty/bio.php?id=43369