30 Mar Diversity Resident Librarian Leads the Way
One of the University of Utah’s core values, as expressed in The University of Utah Strategic Overview, is to “[celebrate] the rich diversity of people as well as creative and intellectual traditions by being inclusive in every respect.”
In support of the U’s commitment to providing an equitable and inclusive environment, the J. Willard Marriott Library designed its own Diversity Residency Program. The Diversity Residency Program is intended to increase faculty diversity at the Marriott Library and to encourage people from traditionally underrepresented groups to choose the University of Utah as a place to launch their careers in academic librarianship.
In July 2015, the library welcomed Twanna Hodge as the first Diversity Resident Librarian. A native of the Virgin Islands, Twanna received her M.L.I.S. from the University of Washington in 2015. During her two-year appointment at the Marriott Library, Twanna is working on projects in each of the library’s major departments, as well as serving on campus committees. Twanna is committed to finding ways to support students, faculty, and staff of diverse backgrounds. This includes those who are part of the LGBTQ community and/or are from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, and also those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those who may have accessibility needs. Why is it important that the library is engaged in this sort of diversity work? When asked this question, Twanna replies:
“To show that libraries (the Marriott Library in particular), are dedicated to equity and inclusion on campus and in the community. It informs others that the library offers a safe space for people to challenge themselves and others without the fear of judgement. Not only do we believe in an inclusive society, but we take an active role in building community and conducting outreach. This illustrates how critical social justice and inclusion are to the betterment of our society.”
Here’s a look at some of the diversity-focused work of our Diversity Resident Librarian, Twanna Hodge:
Black Advisory Council Member
Native American Traditional Healing Bibliography
First Year Diversity Scholars Welcome
Martin Luther King Jr. Week Planning Committee
Women Enrollment Initiative – Mentor
Medical Immersion Experience to Inspire Medical Innovators & Black Doctors
Presentation Title "Resources on Campus"
Black Student Union High School Conference: Designing Your Future Presenter