16 Feb Dean’s Message, February 2021
Recognizing a Community Hero in Celebration of Black History Month
Since I first started as dean at the Marriott Library, I have been quite impressed with the variety of art work displayed throughout the building. During my first year at the U, I was speaking with a faculty member who mentioned Alberta Henry. I was immediately intrigued, and not just because we share the same, somewhat uncommon, first name. As I learned about this remarkable woman, a Utah civil rights activist who worked tirelessly for equality, I learned that the library’s art collection included a portrait of her. I asked that her portrait be moved to a more prominent location; it now hangs outside the administration suite on the fifth floor to serve as a visual reminder to both library staff and visitors of the important work that she did and her call to action that still resonates today.
I urge you to learn more about this remarkable trailblazer through the Alberta Henry papers in Special Collections, which are freely available to use. Additionally, the University of Utah Press has published an excellent biography of Alberta Henry by Colleen Whitley, Feed My Sheep: the Life of Alberta Henry . I also invite you to explore the UU Libraries’ Statement and to explore a list of anti-racism resources at U of U Libraries’ Statement and Anti-Racism Task Force.
Dean of Libraries