The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst Libraries Appoint Maria Rios as Humanities Research Services Librarian

Maria Rios

The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce that Maria Rios has been appointed to the Humanities Research Services Librarian position in Research Services.

Rios joined the UMass Amherst Libraries in 2018 as the first resident in the newly-created Diversity Residency program, funded as a cost share by the Provost’s Pathways Program. The Pathways Program is intended to recruit and retain faculty and librarians “who will contribute to the campus goals of greater equity and inclusion.”  Departments are encouraged to hire program participants following a residency of up to three years, based on organization need and the resident’s skills and professional trajectory. During her three-year residency, Rios has proven to be an excellent and well-qualified successor for the Humanities Research Services Librarian position in Research Services, previously held by Jim Kelly. She will serve as the liaison to the English, comparative literature, and philosophy departments and their affiliated centers, programs, and certificates.

Rios earned her MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2017; prior to that, she received her Bachelors of Arts, Magna cum laude,​ honors, in ​English Professional Communications​ from Armstrong State University (now the Armstrong campus at Georgia Southern University). Before joining UMass Amherst, Rios gained experience working in the libraries of Midlands Technical College, University of South Carolina, and Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus.   

As the Libraries’ first Diversity Resident, Rios has provided critical perspective and enthusiastic, knowledgeable partnership in program development. The majority of her residency has been in the Research Services department, where she served as the liaison to the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies department and as the liaison to the History of Art and Architecture Department while Annie Sollinger was on sabbatical. Rios also worked with the Libraries’ Information Resource Management Department between liaison appointments, filling out her understanding of the Libraries integrated systems and services as a broader ecosystem of support. 

Rios has been an outstanding member of the Research Services team. She is an active member of many committees in the Libraries as well as the American Library Association’s New Member Roundtable and Rainbow Roundtable. She recently co-authored two book chapters: “Vision, voices, and self-care in academic residencies” 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 privacy-focused collaborative program between New York University and IMLS funded Library Freedom.