Dianne McAfee Hopkins was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
Hopkins, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has influenced the practice of librarianship, especially school librarianship, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally. Following positions in Houston, Texas, and in Michigan, Hopkins began her contributions to Wisconsin libraries when she became the director of the Bureau for Instructional Media and Technology at the Department of Public Instruction in 1977, a position she held until she joined the faculty of SLIS in 1987 as its first African-American faculty member. While at SLIS she taught chiefly in the areas of school library media administration and intellectual freedom, influencing large numbers of librarians in Wisconsin and across the United States.
Her highly cited research focuses on challenges to materials in school library media centers, including factors that influence the outcomes of those challenges. Regarded as an expert on intellectual freedom, she garnered a number of grants and awards for her research, was invited to present at many prestigious venues and served on numerous committees. Notable among those were ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and the President-elect’s advisory committee. She assisted in the revision of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual. For the American Association of School Librarians her service was both broad and deep: She served on the Vision Committee for School Library Media Standards; chaired the Educators of School Library Media Specialists Section; and chaired the AASL White House Conference on Library and Information Services Implementation Committee, to name just a few. She was a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation and a member of the executive committee of its board of directors. Prof. Hopkins has also been a member of WLA’s School Libraries Division; Children and Young Adult Services and Education Sections; and its Intellectual Freedom Round Table.
In addition to her teaching and mentoring of masters and doctoral students, Prof. Hopkins had many service responsibilities. From 1989 until her retirement, she represented the SLIS faculty on the board of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Among her other contributions, the most notable are those that promoted the diversity of the library profession. She was a member of the SLIS Diversity Task Force, the University Library System Diversity Committee, the faculty minority liaison to the College of Letters and Science, and SLIS’s Access and Accommodation coordinator. After her retirement in 2002 the School honored Prof. Hopkins for her exceptional leadership by establishing the Dianne McAfee Hopkins Diversity Award. This award is intended to recognize a student whose SLIS and extra-curricular activities carry on Prof. Hopkins commitment to a more diverse profession.
Both Professor Hopkins’s work in school library media services—in which she had played a major role in setting standards and evaluating impact—and in intellectual freedom—in which she has provided effective methods for handling challenges and served as an expert consultant for the ACLU in such cases as the Olathe, KS, Annie on My Mind case—has had a major influence on the practice not only of school librarianship, on the ability of librarians in many situations to uphold their intellectual freedom values. Her articles remain important sources for students in LIS programs across the U.S.
Hopkins was born in Houston, Texas on December 30, 1944. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Fisk University, Nashville, in 1966; her M.S.L.S. in Library Service from Atlanta University in 1967; an Ed. S. in Librarianship at Western Michigan University in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison in 1981.
Louise Robbins was the compiler of this Hall of Fame entry.