Gant, Guerrero named University Libraries diversity resident librarians

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries will welcome Alia Gant and Jose Guerrero as diversity resident librarians this August for the second cohort of the University Libraries Diversity Residency Program. This post-graduate appointment was developed to attract recent library and information sciences graduates for a three-year program of research and service in academic librarianship, providing them with transferable professional early work experiences and career development in preparation for future leadership roles in the field.

“The University Libraries’ commitment to attracting and developing talented faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds is a critical component of our strategic plan,” said Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications. “From that plan to our actions, our goal is to create an environment of opportunity and enrichment for every person the Libraries serves. We are pleased Alia and Jose will be contributing their knowledge and experiences as we continue to explore new efforts to reach and engage everyone in our communities and add to our collections.”

“Our goal is to create an environment of opportunity and enrichment for every person the Libraries serves.”

– Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications

Dewey noted with the announcement of the first cohort in 2013 that increasing diversity among Penn State’s Libraries faculty and the profession were part of the initiative to enhance the University’s reputation as a leader in promoting and cultivating diversity in all areas.

Gant, a 2015-16 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar and recipient of the Mary E. Cleveland Centennial Endowed Scholarship, earned her undergraduate degree from American University with a bachelor of arts in international studies in 2011 and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Her master of science degree in information studies included a focus on academic librarianship. Gant served as co-director of the American Library Association/Texas Library Association student chapter and was a contributor to the University of Texas Libraries Social Justice Tumblr content sharing site.

Previously a staff assistant at the main library at the University of Iowa and volunteer at the Iowa City Public Library, Gant served as a graduate research assistant in the University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castañeda Library. Her experience also includes internships for Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette and former Canadian Parliament Member Marlene Jennings, as well as for a legislation and corporate advocacy organization.

Guerrero, a Project IDoL (Increasing Diversity of Librarians) fellow at Wayne State University, will graduate with his master of library and information science (MLIS) degree this summer. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and received a Humanities Undergraduate Research Award for developing an original, promising research proposal.

A member of the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, and Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, Guerrero will attend the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He also completed the descriptive bibliography course at the California Rare Book School in addition to participating in the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar.

During their residency, Guerrero and Gant will work under the guidance of senior faculty during assignments and co-develop responsibilities, expectations and projects for each rotation assignment. They will participate actively in University and Libraries committees, councils and task forces and will become involved in relevant national, regional and state professional organizations.

First launched in 2013, the goal of the University Libraries’ Diversity Residency Program is to help recent graduates identify areas of interest and help prepare them for leadership positions in the field of librarianship. The program includes rotating assignments in strategically central areas of the Libraries to provide experience, career development, and opportunities for exploration and service. In the second and third years of the program, each resident will develop, complete and report on a research project in their area of interest and create a high quality portfolio outcome, suitable for publishing or presentation in national venues.

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Last Updated July 25, 2016