Valeda Dent

Dean and University Librarian, St. John’s University Libraries Professor, Division of Library and Information Science
Ph.D. Information Science, Long Island University, Brookville, NYM.S.W. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIM.I.L.S. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIB.A. Film Studies, Hunter College, NY

Valeda Dent, Ph.D. is Dean, University Librarian, and Professor, University Libraries at St. John’s University in New York. She 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 primary research interests include the impact of chronic poverty on rural development; rural libraries in Africa and related literacy and reading habits; ethnographic approaches to understanding the user experience; and emerging technologies.

Dr. Dent has published a number of books, including Qualitative Research and the Modern Library (2011) and Rural Community Libraries in Africa: Challenges and Impacts (2014) with co-authors Dr. Geoff Goodman and Dr. Michael Kevane.

Dr. Dent is the Co-founder of the Rural Village Libraries Research Network and her work in Africa has been published in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals and presented internationally at conferences in South Africa, China, South Korea, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, Uganda, Netherlands, and Swaziland, to name just a few. Her work has also been cited extensively in the literature on libraries in the developing world.

Dr. Dent’s collaboration with Dr. Geoff Goodman, which began in 2009, explores the overlooked impact of rural village libraries on preschoolers’ learning and school readiness skills, and in 2014 Dr. Dent and Dr. Goodman were both awarded Fulbright Fellowships which allowed them to spend eight months working in two rural village libraries in Uganda establishing an intervention program to facilitate the development of school readiness skills in preschool children. This intervention continues to run in the village of Kabubbu, with positive outcomes for the participants.

Dr. Dent was selected as the Keynote Speaker for the prestigious 2018 Mortenson Lecture at the University of Illinois, and she was also named Alumna of the Year by the University of Michigan's iSchool in 2016.

In her spare time, Dr. Dent practices and teaches yoga. Dr. Dent and her husband live in New York with their 6 year old daughter Carlyn.

EDU 3264Teaching Literacy through Literature B-12, General and Inclusive Settings

Dent, Valeda, Goodman, Geoff, & Kevane, Michael (2014). “Rural Community Libraries in Africa: Challenges and Impacts.” Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Dent, Valeda (2011). “Qualitative Research and the Modern Library”. Oxford, U.K.: Chandos Publishing.

Dent, Valeda (2009). “Keeping the User in Mind: Instructional Design and the Modern Library”. Oxford, U.K.: Chandos Publishing.

Goodman, G., & Dent, V. F.  (2019).  Studying the effectiveness of the Storytelling/Story-Acting (STSA) play intervention on Ugandan preschoolers’ emergent literacy, oral language, and theory of mind in two rural Ugandan community libraries.  In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), “Early childhood development:  Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications” (Vol. 3, pp. 1174-1205).  Hershey, PA:  IGI Global.

Dent, V., Mullins, K., Tewell, E., & Tomlin, N. (2018). Do You See What I See? A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Student Library Use, Study Habits and Research Behaviors. In Britto, M., and Kinsley, K. (eds.), “Academic Libraries and the Academy: Strategies and Approaches to Demonstrate Your Value, Impact, and Return on Investment”. Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries.

Goodman, G. & Dent, V. (2017). Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Theory of Mind and Emergent Literacy in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries. In Steen, R.L. (eds.), “Emerging Research in Play Therapy, Child Counseling and Consultation”. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Dent, V. Rural Community Libraries in Uganda: Impact and Outcomes. In Lo, Peter & Boelens, Helen (Eds.), “Celebrating Diversity: Successful Literacy and Reading Programs Provided for Children and Young Adults by Libraries and Other Organisations Around the World”. DeGruyter Press.

Dent, V. & Dent, J. (2012). Exploring the Generational Transfer of Tacit and Explicit Librarianship Knowledge. In A. Nosakhere, J. Jefferson, & A. Jackson (Eds.), “The Black Librarian in America: Challenges of the 21st Century”. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Dent, V. (2006).  Development, Implementation and Assessment of a Virtual Information Literacy Tutorial on an Urban Campus.  In Connor, E. (Ed.), “An Introduction to Reference Services in Academic Libraries”.  Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Press.

Book Chapters in Progress:

Dent, V. Rural Community Libraries in Uganda: Impact and Outcomes. In Lo, Peter & Boelens, Helen (Eds.), “Celebrating Diversity: Successful Literacy and Reading Programs Provided for Children and Young Adults by Libraries and Other Organisations Around the World”. DeGruyter Press.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. (in press). “Representations of Attachment Security, Attachment Avoidance, and Gender Stereotypes in Young Ugandan Children.” Sex Roles.

Dent, V., Takeuchi, K., Turner, B., Ball, H., Jusino, A., & Fuchs, C. (2018). “Wayfinding Serendipity: The BKFNDr Mobile App,” Cod4Libraries Journal, 42, https://journal.code4lib.org/articles/13811.

Mullins, K., Tomlin, N., Tewell, E., & Dent, V.  (2018). “Voices from the Ground Up: Transfer of Learning within the Context of Research and Study Activities.” Journal of Library Administration, 58(3), 230 - 240.

Mullins, K., Tomlin, N., Tewell, E., & Dent, V. (2017). “In Their Own Voices: An Ethnographic Perspective on Student Use of Library Information Sources.” Journal of Library Administration, 57(6), 631 – 650.

Tewell, E., Mullins, K., Tomlin, N., & Dent, V.  (2017). “Learning about Student Research Practices through an Ethnographic Investigation: Insights into Contact with Librarians and Use of Library Space.” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 12(4), 78-101.

Dent, Valeda F. (2017). “Multiple Research Methods as a Way to Explore the Longitudinal Impact of the Rural Village Library in Africa.” Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, [S.l.], 17-28, July 2017.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. (2015). “The Rural Library's Role in Ugandan Secondary Students' Reading Habits.” IFLA Journal, 41(1), 53-62.

Dent, V. (2013). “A Qualitative Study of the Academic, Social, and Cultural Factors that Influence Students’ Library Use in a Rural Ugandan Village.” International Information & Library Review, 45 (1/2), 37–49.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. (2013). “The Beast Had to Marry Balinda: Using Story Examples to Explore Ugandan Caregivers’ Oral Stories.” Oral Tradition, 28, 55-76.

Dent, V. (2011). “Applying Ethnographic Research Methods in Library and Information Settings.” Libri International Journal of Libraries and Information Service, 61 (1): 1-11.

Dent, V. (2008). "Historical Development of the Rural African Village Library in Context: Snapshots from Burkina Faso and Ghana." New Library World, 109 (11/12): 512-532.

Dent, V. (2007). “Local Economic Development in Uganda and the Connection to Rural Community Libraries and Literacy.” New Library World, 108 (5/6): 203-217.

Dent, V. (2007). “Intelligent Agent Concepts in the Modern Library.” Library HiTech, 25 (1): 108-125.

Dent, V., Finder, L., & Lym, B. (2006). “How Presentation of Electronic Resource Gateway Pages Impact Student Research Behavior.” The Electronic Library, 24(6): 804-819.

Dent, V. (2006). “Observations of School Library Impact at Two Rural Ugandan Schools.” New Library World, 107 (9/10): 403-421.

Dent, V. (2006). “Modelling the Rural Community Library: Characteristics of the Kitengesa Library in Rural Uganda.” New Library World, 107(1/2): 16-30. 

Dent, V., Bonadie-Joseph, I., Ondrusek, A. & C. Williams (2005). “Longitudinal Study of the  Development and Evaluation of an Information Literacy Test.” Reference Services Review, 33(4): 388-417. 

Dent, V. & Yannotta, L. (2005). “A Rural Community Library in Uganda: A Study of its Use and Users.”  Libri International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, 55(1): 39-55.

Cobus, L., Dent, V. & A. Ondrusek (2005). “How 28 Users Helped Re-design an Academic Library Web site: A Usability Study.” Reference and User Services Quarterly, 44(3): 232-246.

Dent, V. (2003). “Innovation on a Shoestring: An All Virtual Model for Self-Paced Library Orientation on an Urban Campus.”  College & Undergraduate Libraries, 10(2): 29-43.

Dent, V., Hall, W., Martinez, K., Hey, J., & Harris, S. (2001).  “Agent Technology Concepts in a Heterogeneous Distributed Searching Environment.”  VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, 1: 55-63.

Dent, V. (2001).  “Technology & Innovative Reference Services at the University of Michigan.” Research Strategies, 17(2-3): 187-193.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. One Story at a Time: Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Emergent Literacy, Oral Language, and Theory of Mind in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries. Society for Psychotherapy Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2-8 2019.

Takeuchi, K., Turner, B., Ball, H., Fuchs, C., Jusino, A., Karnik, S., Dent, V. Showing the Way: Developing a Wayfinding App using Beacon Technology at an Academic Library. Conference on Instruction and Technology 2019, Purchase, NY, May 28-31, 2019.
 
Dent, V. The Rural Community Library as Place. Invited paper. Libraries as Places Symposium, NYU Institute for Public Knowledge. New York University, April 26, 2019.

Fuchs, C., Dent, V., Turner, B., Karnik, S., Jusino, A., Ball, H. Tap. Search. Discover: The University Libraries Go Mobile.  Association of College & Research Libraries National Conference, Cleveland, Ohio, April 11-14, 2019.

Lee, S., Tuman, D., Dent, V., & Goodman, G. An Exploration of Ugandan Children’s Drawings: Alternative representation relating Lowenfeld’s Artistic Development to School Readiness. 2019 NAEA National Convention in Boston, MA, March 14-16, 2019.

Goodman, G., & Dent, V. One Story, One Movement at a Time:  Using a Play-Based Intervention and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga to Promote School Readiness in Syrian Refugee Preschool Children. Congress on Trauma, Immigration and War, Istanbul, Turkey, December 7-9, 2018.

Lynford, J., Frawley, A., Brender, D., Dalis, F., Fanciullo, M., Irizarry, K., Rivera, A., Toure, A., Vidal, A., Kapani, S., Dent, V., & Goodman, G. Child Receptive Vocabulary as Predicted by Caregiver Depression and Mean Length Utterance in Rural Ugandan Dyads. Society for Psychotherapy Research, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, July 26, 2018.

Lynford, J., Frawley, A., Brender, D., Dalis, F., Fanciullo, M., Irizarry, K., Rivera, A., Toure, A., Vidal, A., Kapani, S., Dent, V., & Goodman, G. Child Receptive Vocabulary as Predicted by Caregiver Depression and Mean Length Utterance in Rural Ugandan Dyads (poster). American Psychoanalytic Association Annual Conference, New York, NY, February 16, 2018.

Goodman, G. & Dent, V.  Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Emergent Literacy in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries. 20th European Conference on Literacy, Madrid, Spain July 2-7, 2017.

Goodman, G. & Dent, V.  Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Emergent Literacy in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries. 9th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice conference, Drexel University, Philadelphia, June 18-21, 2017.

Dent, V. Complex Mental Representations of Attachment and Gender Stereotypes in Young Ugandan Children. Austen Riggs, Stockbridge MA, May 12, 2017.

Goodman, G. & Dent, V.  Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Theory of Mind and Emergent Literacy in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries.  Society for Psychotherapy Research, Jerusalem, Israel, June 20-24, 2016.

Dent, V., Taekuchi, K., & Mullins, K. Research Plus Information Literacy Mobile App. New York Higher Education Technology Conference, Adelphi University, June 3, 2016.

Dent, V. Impact of Four Reading and Library Factors on the Grade Average of Ugandan Secondary School Students: A Quantitative Study. 18th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, New York, NY, June 6-7, 2016.

Dent, V. An Ethnographic Study of Student Research Behaviors at Long Island University Libraries. 8th Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Libraries Conference, London, UK, May 24 – 27 2016.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Emergent Literacy in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries: Year Two Outcomes. 8th Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Libraries Conference, London, UK, May 24 – 27 2016.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Ugandan Preschoolers’ Emergent Literacy in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries. 7th Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Libraries Conference, Paris, France, May 26 – 29 2015.

Dent, V. Uganda Martyrs University. Introduction to Academic Writing for Librarians. Four day workshop. April 21, 2014.

Dent, V. Uganda Martyrs University. Introduction to Instructional Design Principles. One day workshop. April 26, 2014.

Goodman, G. & Dent, V. Uganda Martyrs University. Introduction to Quantitative Research Design. One day workshop. June 30, 2014.

Goodman, G. & Dent, V. F.  “Mzungu, how are you?”  Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-acting Activity on Preschool Children’s School Readiness Skills in Two Rural Ugandan Community Libraries (invited presentation). Quicken Trust, Kabubbu, Uganda, April 3, 2014.

Goodman, G., & Dent, V. Storytelling/story-acting (STSA) Protocol Workshop (invited address). Quicken Trust, Kabubbu, Uganda, February 18, 2014.

Fanciullo, M., Yellin, E., Blake, B., Chu, D., Schroeder, M., Fults, E., Gatto, R., Ross, M., Lo, T., Abdulkareem, A., Dent, V., & Goodman, G.  An Examination of Rural Ugandan Preschool Children’s Implicit Perceptions of Familial Social Roles. New York State Psychological Association, New York, June 2013.

Chu, D., Fernandez, S., Mosdell, C., Piesman, J., Yellin, E., Lo, T., Dent, V., & Goodman, G. Symbolic play:  The Link Between Maternal Health and Ugandan Preschool Children’s School Readiness Skills. American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL., August 2013.

De Falco, M., Sauro, D., Blake, B., Andersen, J., Lo, T., Dent, V., & Goodman, G. Theory of mind:  Linking Caregiver Depression and Symbolic Play in Ugandan Preschoolers. American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL., August 2012.

Dent, V. Doing as a Way of Learning: A Case Study from a Rural Ugandan Village Library. Long Island University Honors Program Conference, New York, November 2, 2012.

Dent, V. & Dent, J. Exploring the Generational Transfer of Tacit Knowledge in a Two-Generation Librarian Dyad. Queens Borough Public Library, New York, August 28, 2012.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. Studying the Effectiveness of a Storytelling/Story-Acting Activity on Preschool Children’s School Readiness Skills in a Rural Ugandan Community Library.  Long Island University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, Brookville, New York, February 29, 2012.

Dent, V. Future of the Academic Library Symposium (panel speaker). Temple University, Philadelphia. November 11, 2011.

Dent, V. Multiple Research Methods as a Way to Explore the Longitudinal Impact of the Rural Village Library in Africa. 3rd Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Libraries Conference, Athens, Greece, May 27 – 30, 2011.

Dent, V. The Undergraduate iPad Initiative at Long Island University. NERCOMP Annual Conference, Providence, RI, March 28-30, 2011.

Dent, V. Understanding the Complexity of the User Experience (keynote speaker). Tufts University Libraries UX Symposium, Somerville, MA, June 3, 2010.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. An Intergenerational Examination of the Impact of the Rural African Village Library in Uganda. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, April 14, 2010.

Dent, V. An Intergenerational Examination of the Impact of the Rural African Village Library in Uganda. 31st Annual Urban Ethnography in Education Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, February 26-27, 2010.

Dent, V. & Goodman, G. An Intergenerational Examination of the Impact of the Rural African Village Library in Uganda. Long Island University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, Brookville, New York, November 12, 2009.

Dent, V. If Fish Markets Can Do It So Can We: Designing Memorable Library Experiences for Students and Faculty (panel speaker). 14th National ACRL Conference. Seattle, Washington, March 12-15, 2009.

Dent, V. Keeping the User in Mind: Creating Great User Experiences. Blended Librarians Webcast. October 29, 2008.

Dent, V. Complementing Formal Education: Village libraries in Africa. Comparative and International Education Society 52nd Annual Conference, New York, March 17, 2008.

Dent, V. Agent Technology Concepts in the Modern Library. Library Association of the City University of New York Annual Institute & Conference, New York, May 18, 2007.

Dent, V. Peer Reviewed Library Publications: A Case Study. Library Association of the City University of New York Professional Development Conference on Academic Librarianship, New York, April 25, 2007.

Dent, V. & Yannotta, L. Outside the Web: The Kitengesa Community Library in Rural Uganda as a Community Learning Space (poster). 72rd IFLA General Conference and World Library and Information Congress, Seoul, South Korea, August 2006.
Dent, V., Yannotta, L. & Parry, K. Studies from a Rural Library in Africa. 4th Pan-African Conference on Reading, Swaziland, Africa, August 22-26, 2005.

Dent, V. A Self-Paced Virtual Library Tutorial: International Application of the VOILA! Project. China Society of Library Science Conference, Guilin, China, July 21-23, 2005.  

Dent, V. & Yannotta, L Studies from a Rural Library in Africa. 26th Annual Ethnography in Education Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, February 25, 2005.

Dent, V. Deep Web Basics. ACRL-NY Workshop, Hunter College, New York, June 22, 2004.  

Dent, V. An All Virtual Model for Library Instruction on an Urban Campus. Library Association of the City University of New York Institute, New York, May 16, 2003.

Dent, V. Outside the Box: Hybrid Reference Services. University of Southampton, Southampton U.K., January 9, 2001.

Dent, V. Chasing the Elusive User. Presentation at the British Library, London, March 27, 2001.

Dent, V. Virtually Hybrid: Models and Beyond. The University at Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, February 12, 2001.

Dent, V. Managing the Hybrid Library to Give Users What They Want. 24th International On-line Information Conference, London, December 6, 2000.

Dent, V. Managing Hybrid Libraries to Give Users What They Want. British Library eLib Hybrid Libraries Conference, London, November 14, 2000.

Invited Presenter, Research in the Real World Workshop, 85th IFLA Congress, Athens, Greece, August 22-23, 2019.

Invited Keynote Speaker, 28th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 2018.

Invited Keynote Speaker, Understanding the Complexity of the User Experience. Tufts University Libraries UX Symposium, Somerville, MA, June 2010.