HomeOn CampusAmy Beth is New Director of Buley Library

Amy Beth is New Director of Buley Library

With a new director at the helm, Hilton C. Buley Library is poised to begin the next chapter in its many decades of service to the university community.

Dr. Amy Beth joined the university as director of library services in summer 2023, bringing extensive experience as chief librarian and digital resources and scholarship librarian at Guttman Community College, CUNY.  She also served as dean of libraries at Bergen Community College; dean of library services at Springfield Technical Community College; associate dean of libraries and academic resources at World Learning, SIT Graduate Institute; coordinator for access services at Queens College, CUNY; as well as the University of Vermont.   

Beth holds a Ph.D. in environmental psychology and an MA in philosophy from CUNY; an MLS from Indiana University, Bloomington; and a BA in women’s studies from Earlham College.

Having attended Earlham College, a Quaker institution, for her undergraduate education, Beth says she is “deeply influenced” by Quakerism. In her courses at Earlham, she says, students were allowed to “relax into learning,” and the college community was characterized by a spirit of mutual trust and equality, which included students calling professors by their first names.

Beth brings that spirit with her to her work. In describing her managerial style, she says she finds value in transparency, inclusion, and a collaborative work environment. “I open the door for everyone to be a participant in the conversation,” she says. “I work towards transparency and try to bring talent to the table.” Because she wants her staff to feel valued, she also feels a strong commitment to mentoring.

As an environmental psychologist, Beth is interested in the relationships of people to the spaces and places in their lives. Her office in Buley has large windows on one wall that looks out into the corridor, and she has chosen to keep them open, with no blinds, so that passersby can see in and observe the work of library colleagues. She wants to encourage curiosity, and she wants everyone to feel welcome in the library.

In her initial months at Southern, Beth’s first goal has been to learn about her colleagues and get to know them and their talents and strengths. Her second goal has been to be a better bridge, more deeply integrating the library’s information literacy resources into the institution’s academic goals. She also intends to bring forth two initiatives in this academic year. The first is to create an institutional repository at Buley, which can be used as a showcase for publications and for students’ dissertations, theses, and capstones. Google Scholar scrapes such repositories, Beth explains, expanding scholars’ work to a global reach. The second initiative she intends to undertake this year is to put open accessible digital resources into a place where they can be easily found, thus making them even more accessible.

In considering the position at Southern, Beth says she was attracted to the university for a few key reasons. Its status as a four-year public university with graduate programs appealed to her, as did the geographic location, along the New England/New York City corridor. She was also drawn to the university’s social justice mission, and, she says she is “learning where in the [institutional] landscape the social justice mission is strong.” No stranger to social justice work herself, Beth has served on nonprofit boards, and in her local community she helps to resettle refugee, asylee, and immigrant families.

In addition to her service in libraries, Beth has published extensively on digital scholarship, collaborative online teaching, sustainable urban environments, and lesbian history and experiences, and she has been a lead on numerous grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Shapiro Foundation and The UJA-Federation of New York, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Lily Endowment Educational Fund.


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