University Libraries appoints diversity resident librarians

September 12, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries has welcomed Racine Amos and Danica White as new faculty for the third cohort of the University Libraries Diversity Residency Program. This three-year postgraduate appointment will provide Amos and White with transferable work experiences and career development in preparation for future leadership roles in the field.

As a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance, University Libraries demonstrates continued commitment to attract and develop early-career academic librarians from traditionally underrepresented groups within the field, said Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications.

“An essential objective of the Diversity Residency Program is to enhance community dialogue to advance inclusive and equitable services, thus invigorating the organization with residents’ ideas and skills," Dewey said. "The expertise and range of experiences that Amos and White bring to Penn State will benefit conversations around collections, research and student engagement. We will encourage and support them and connect them with leadership opportunities.”

During their residencies, Amos and White will work under the guidance of senior faculty during assignments and co-develop responsibilities, expectations and projects within Library Learning Services. They will participate actively in Penn State and University Libraries committees, councils and task forces and become involved in relevant national, regional and state professional organizations.

The Diversity Residency Program was launched in 2013 to help new professionals identify areas of interest and build knowledge in strategically central areas of the University Libraries to provide experience, career development, opportunities for research and publication and to help them prepare for leadership positions in the librarianship field.

Racine Amos, Diversity Resident Librarian

Racine Amos has been appointed to the third cohort of the University Libraries Diversity Residency Program.   

IMAGE: Penn State University Libraries

A second-career librarian, Amos arrives at Penn State with 12 years of experience in student affairs, having served as the survivor advocate at several private and public institutions nationwide and as a part-time, gender and women's studies faculty member at the University of Rhode Island. Amos graduated in 2019 from Simmons University School of Library and Information Science with a master of science degree in library and information science (LIS) with a concentration in archives management. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in social work, with a minor in legal and policy studies, from Fordham University, and a master of social work degree with a concentration in research from Fordham Graduate School of Social Service. Amos's research interests include "whole person librarianship,” the application of social work concepts to inform and enhance user experience, instruction and library practice. 

Amos is currently working on a chapter for Libraries Unlimited’s upcoming "Underserved Patrons in Academic Libraries: Assisting Students Facing Trauma, Abuse and Discrimination" (J. Skinner and M. Gross, eds.). Her chapter focuses on the LIS underpinnings of information seeking, customer service and social justice in combination with praxis from the field of campus-based advocacy to develop a basic framework of support for patrons impacted by interpersonal violence. With additional interest in genealogical research, Amos is in the process of completing family historical projects for her genealogy certification portfolio.

Danica White, Diversity Resident Librarian

Danica White has been appointed to the third cohort of the University Libraries Diversity Residency Program.

IMAGE: Penn State University Libraries

White, a 2019 graduate of Emporia State University with a master of library science degree, is interested in research involving leadership, advocacy, diverse populations and student engagement. She earned a bachelor of science degree in history with a minor in ethnic and gender studies from Emporia State. While obtaining her graduate degree there, White was president of the student chapter of the American Library Association and a graduate representative in the Associated Student Government and served as a research assistant in the School of Library and Information Management.

White has presented her research at the American Library Association, the Kansas Library Association, and the Mountain Plains Library Association. She also co-authored an article, “University Program Rankings in the United States: Failures in Assessing Important Factors for Library and Information Science Students,” in Education for Information, and is working on two more articles for publication this year. Her previous experience includes serving as a supervisor at the Emporia Public Library, curating an art exhibit for the Emporia State Special Collections and Archives, interning at Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore, and working as a student assistant to Emporia State’s dean of University Libraries and Archives.

The Diversity Residency Program was launched in 2013 to help new professionals identify areas of interest and build knowledge in strategically central areas of the University Libraries to provide experience, career development, opportunities for research and publication and to help them prepare for leadership positions in the librarianship field.

Last Updated September 13, 2019