UNCG Campus Weekly

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Gerald Holmes named Distinguished Alumnus at UNC-CH

Photo of Gerald Holmes

Gerald Holmes, associate professor and diversity coordinator of University Libraries, has received an honor at UNC Chapel Hill’s Commencement week.

He received the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNC Chapel HIll School of Information and Library Science. He received his master of science in library science degree there in 1985.

The award recognizes Holmes’ work both here at UNC Greensboro and UNC Chapel Hill, as well as with professional library organizations. Through this work he has strived to make the library profession more welcoming and diverse, and to open it up to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.

At UNCG, Holmes has spearheaded multiple diversity efforts and committees within University Libraries. He has served as chair of both the library’s diversity committee and the Faculty Senate Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Holmes has also served on the Chancellor’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee for multiple terms. He led the creation of the Library’s Post MLS Diversity Residency Program. His work in diversity has helped UNCG be the open and diverse community it is, with about half of its students from minority or international backgrounds.

Holmes also works heavily in mentoring other employees and community members. He has worked with important stakeholders at the University and in the community to build networks of diversity education.

Recently, he and the library dean were awarded Institute of Museum and Library Services funding to develop and deliver two institutes for incoming Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) diversity residents to improve their chances of successfully finding and keeping a job and encouraging professional networking.  They also created an ongoing open access publication titled “The Library Diversity and Residency Studies Journal,” along with an associated webinar series to disseminate research and practical guidance for institutions seeking information on diversity and residency programs in library settings.  The institute will orient new residents to best practices in getting the most out of their residency experience, as well as provide them a professional network of colleagues nationally.

Outside of UNCG, Holmes participated in the creation of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group and has chaired the ACRL African-American Librarians Section. He has served on the Executive Board of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the North Carolina Library Association, and he chaired the NCLA’s Round Table for Ethnic Minority Concerns.

Holmes’ service has been recognized by other organizations, including the UNCG African American and African Diaspora Studies Program, the American Library Association, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the North Carolina Library Association, and the UNC Chapel Hill General Alumni Association. He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Holmes holds a B.S. degree in criminal justice from UNC Charlotte and an M.S. degree in library science from UNC Chapel Hill.