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My Journey as the Librarian and Diversity Fellow at Upstate

Hello, my name is Jamia Williams. I was the Librarian and Diversity Fellow at the SUNY Upstate Medical University Health Sciences Library. I accepted a position as a Liaison Librarian at Edward G. Miner Library at the University of Rochester. As a result, my fellowship has come to an end at the Health Sciences Library. During my time, at Upstate I have completed many things, and most of all, I have learned a lot about academia as faculty. Below I will outline what I have accomplished since July 2018.

Rotation Achievements:

  • Best Practices for LibGuides presentation
  • Completed the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services Fundamentals of Acquisitions web course - 36 contact hours
  • Completed the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management - 16 Contact hours
  • PubMed for Librarians: 6 CE credits
  • Database & LibGuide Project
  • Staffed the Access Services Desk
  • Completed several reference shifts On Call Wednesday morning shift then Friday morning shifts was added in May

Library & University Committees:


  • Social Media Committee----> External Communication Committee
  • Assessment Committee
  • Book Club Planning Committee, co-organizer, and facilitator


  • President’s Award Committee 

Professional development is vital for a diversity fellow. Attending conferences is one way that professional development is achieved. Listed below is a list of conferences that I attended, my presentation information and the awards that I received so that I could attend several conferences.

National Conferences that I attended:

  • The ACRL Diversity Residency Institute- Hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • The American Library Association 2019 Mid-Winter Conference
  • The Association of College and Research Libraries 2019 Conference

Local/Regional Conferences that I attended:

  • Rochester Regional Library Council Inclusive 2018 Conference
  • Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter of the Medical Library Association 2018 Conference
  • New York Library Association 2018 Conference
  • Meeting of the Upstate New York Science Librarians 2018


  • Roundtable Discussion Co-facilitator: Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference 2019 National Conference, Recasting the Narrative on Library Residency Programs: Embracing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in Supporting Librarians of Color.
  • Panelist: University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, Residency Programs, Hosted by Dr. Jason Alston, April 11, 2019.
  • Presenter: Filling in the Spaces (FiTS) Conference, 2019, The Introvert Network: Tips on Networking as an Introvert in the Library Profession. Sponsored by Library and Information Science Student Assembly (LISSA), March 23, 2019.
  • Presenter: Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) Inclusive Libraries Conference, 2018, Diversity Fellowship & Hiring (creating and implementing a diversity fellowship). Sponsored by the RRLC, October 23, 2018.


  • ACRL 2019 Early Career Scholarship to attend 2019 ACRL National Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC) Professional Development Award to attend 2019 ACRL National Conference in Cleveland, Ohio

I have the honor to be featured in several professional pieces so please check them out when you can.

Below are the links to each of the articles:

As a librarian, it is so important to be involved. As a result, I endeavor to volunteer my time on committees that support my passions. I am proud that I am on some committees with other library professionals. In the coming months, I will be on more committees which is an honor for me to serve on them.

Current Committees:

  • American Library Association-Allied Professional Association
    • Salaries and Status of Library Workers Committee Member: 2018-2020
  • New York Library Association
    • Academic and Special Libraries Section Director: 2018-2019
  • Association of College and Research Libraries Residency Interest Group
    • Programs & Proposal Team Member
  • Assessment Team

Future Committees:

  • American Library Association
    • Committee on Diversity Committee Member: 2019-2021
  • Association of College & Research Libraries
    • Residency Interest Group Assessment Team Member
    • University Library Section Award Committee Member: 2019-2021
    • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member: 2019-2021
  • Medical Library Association
    • Membership Committee Student Member: 2019-2021
  • The Black Caucus of the American Library Association
    • History Committee Member
    • The National Conference of African American Librarians Evaluation Committee Member

I am grateful for my time at Upstate Medical University’s Health Sciences Library. My experience was a stepping stone to landing my current position. Hopefully, I will continue to collaborate with SUNY Upstate Medical University so that the community we serve continues to get the best care and the best health information available.