Associate Dean of Library Services
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, North Carolina
"Prior to her arrival, I never thought of the library as a space that would lead in diversity and inclusion efforts. She is cultivating faculty pedagogical capacity while simultaneously ensuring our collection is inclusive."
Shamella has centered equity, diversity and inclusion in her programming and service efforts at Western Carolina University, notably in her development and implementation of the library’s Faculty Fellows program. Designed using a competitive application process, the program coaches faculty members in employing inclusive pedagogy in their courses through continuous learning and revision to their approach to teaching and rewards successful applicants with a stipend for their work and funding for inclusive classroom materials. As one of her nominators noted, “Prior to her arrival, I never thought of the library as a space that would lead in diversity and inclusion efforts. She is cultivating faculty pedagogical capacity while simultaneously ensuring our collection is inclusive.”
Colleagues praise Cromartie’s dedication to supporting the research and scholarship efforts of her campus community. In one story from her nomination letter, a professor researching a Black principal and superintendent of the Negro schools in her hometown from the 1920s-1950s sought the principal’s master's thesis, of which only one copy exists. After the professor hit repeated dead ends in trying to work with other librarians to access the thesis, Cromartie “went the extra mile” to work with the holding institution and contextualized the professor’s need and research focus. As the professor wrote, “A month or so later, she walk[ed] in my office with the bound thesis – as I read the pages, I cried.”
Shamella was honored during the 2022 I Love My Librarian virtual award ceremony. Listen to her remarks below!