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Valeda Dent, Ph.D.

Valeda Dent, Ph.D., is currently Dean, St. John’s University Libraries.

Valeda Dent, Ph.D., is currently Dean, St. John’s University Libraries. Prior to joining the team at St. John’s, Dr. Dent served as Dean and Chief Operating Officer for the Libraries at Long Island University, and as the Interim Director of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, also at Long Island University. Dr. Dent has also held administrative positions at Rutgers University and the Joint Information Systems Committee in London, England.

Dr. Dent holds an M.S.W. and M.I.L.S. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the Palmer School at Long Island University. Her research interests include the impact of chronic poverty on development; rural libraries in Africa and related literacy and reading habits; ethnographic approaches to understanding the user experience; and information and techno-literacy. She has published several books, including Qualitative Research and the Modern Library (2011) and Rural Community Libraries in Africa: Challenges and Impacts (2014) with coauthors Geoff Goodman, Ph.D. and Michael Kevane, Ph.D.

Dr. Dent’s longitudinal research on rural village libraries in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa has spanned 12 years. Her work has been published in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals and presented internationally at conferences in South Africa, Uganda, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Swaziland. In 2013, Dr. Dent and her husband, Dr. Goodman, were both awarded the J. William Fulbright Foreign Award and Scholarship and spent eight months in two rural Ugandan village libraries establishing an intervention program to facilitate the development of school readiness skills in preschool children. Dr. Dent is the Founder of the Rural Village Libraries Research Network, a not-for-profit organization that conducts, promotes, and disseminates research related to the development and evaluation of rural libraries and information centers.

Dr. Dent and her husband live in New York with their three-year-old daughter, Carlyn.