UMass Amherst Libraries is pleased to announce that Maria Rios has been appointed to the position of Humanities Research Services Librarian in Research Services.
Rios joined UMass Amherst Libraries in 2018 as the first resident of the new Diversity Residency program, cost-shared funded by the Provost’s Pathways program. The Pathways program aims to recruit and retain faculty and librarians “who will contribute to campus goals of greater equity and inclusion.” Departments are encouraged to hire program participants after a residency of up to three years, based on organizational needs, skills, and the resident’s career path. During her three-year residency, Rios proved to be an excellent and highly qualified successor to the position of Humanities Research Services Librarian, previously held by Jim Kelly. She will serve as a liaison with the departments of English, Comparative Literature, and Philosophy and their affiliated centers, programs, and certificates.
Rios received his MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2017; prior to that, she earned her Bachelor of Arts, Magna cum laude, with distinction, in Professional Communications in English from Armstrong State University (now the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University). Prior to joining UMass Amherst, Rios gained work experience in the libraries of Midlands Technical College, University of South Carolina, and Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus.
As the first library diversity resident, Rios provided a critical perspective and an enthusiastic and knowledgeable partnership in program development. The majority of her residency has been in the Research Services department, where she served as a liaison with the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a liaison with the Department of Art History and architecture while Annie Sollinger was on sabbatical. Rios also worked with the library information resource management department between liaison appointments, complementing his understanding of integrated library systems and services as a broader supporting ecosystem.
Rios has been an outstanding member of the Research Services team. She is an active member of numerous library committees as well as the American Library Association’s New Member Roundtable and Rainbow Roundtable. She recently co-authored two book chapters: “Vision, Voice, and Self-Care in Residence Halls” with co-author Melina Zavala in “Residencies Revisited: Reflections on Library Residency Programs from the Past and Present” and “Dewhitening Librarianship : A Policy Proposal for Libraries” with Isabel Espinal and April M. Hathcock in “Knowledge Justice: Disrupting Library and Information Studies through Critical Race Theory”. Most recently, she completed the Library Freedom Institute, a highly selective and competitive collaborative program focused on privacy between New York University and Library Freedom, funded by IMLS.