URI library hires first Spectrum Scholar alumna
KINGSTON, R.I. -- November 3, 2000 -- The University of Rhode Island
has recently appointed North Kingstown resident, Barbara Kenney,
as an assistant research professor of the University's library.
"I went back to school because I love academia," said Kenney,
who turned 50 when she earned a master's degree in library and information
studies from the URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies
(GSLIS) last year. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at 47
from the URI College of Continuing Education, graduating just ahead of her
oldest daughter to become the first college graduate of her family.
A federal grant awarded this summer to the GSLIS from the Institute of
Museum and Library Services enabled the University to employ Kenney for
One of the first 50 Spectrum Scholars selected by the American Library
Association (ALA), Kenney was the first Spectrum recipient to graduate from
URI. The Spectrum Project is a major ALA initiative to increase ethnic
diversity of the library and information science profession. She also received
both the Spectrum Public Library Association and REFORMA Conference Travel
Grants (only 10 were awarded nationally). She was also one of five student
delegates selected nationwide to attend the ALA Congress on Professional
Kenney added that she was especially honored being the first GSLIS student
to receive a URI Foundation Fellowship Grant, which provided her with a
stipend and tuition coverage. "I was proud that my University chose
to assist me," said Kenney.
W. Michael Havener, director of URI's Graduate School of Library and
Information Studies, praises the addition of Kenney. "Kenney is an
exceptionally talented new faculty member who will help in making our faculty
complete," Havener said. "She is a skilled librarian who will
reach out to all populations."
A Hispanic American, Kenney increases the ethnic diversity of the library
faculty. More importantly, she believes her recent experience in the public
library system will benefit her as an instructor and informational resource
While in school, she worked at the North Kingstown Public Library.
Most recently, she was branch manager of the Washington Park Branch
of the Providence Public Library, which served a diverse community
She stresses the responsibility of a library to fulfill the informational
needs of its users. "The central function of a library is to provide
the material and service which reflect the needs of its patrons as well
as equal access to that information," said Kenney.
For Information: Jan Sawyer 401-874-5190, Keith Marshall