Valeda Dent, Vice Provost, Emory University Libraries & Museum

Valeda F. Dent

Vice Provost of Libraries and Museum

Professional Profile


  • Advisory Board Member, University of Michigan School of Information
  • Board of Trustees, Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education
  • Board Member, Global Village Project
  • Board Member, Friends of Village Libraries
  • Founder, Rural Village Libraries Research Network


Valeda Dent, Ph.D. is currently Vice Provost, Libraries and Museum at Emory University. She was previously Acting Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President, Student Success & Learning Innovation at Hunter College in New York City. Prior to that, she served as University Librarian, Dean, and full professor 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. in Information Science from the Palmer School at Long Island University.

A lifelong researcher with over 30 peer-reviewed articles, books, and book chapters, 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 pervasive technologies. Dr. Dent has published a number of books, including one of the most comprehensive books on rural African libraries - Rural Community Libraries in Africa: Challenges and Impacts - with co-authors Dr. Geoff Goodman and Dr. Michael Kevane. Dr. Dent is the co-founder of the non-profit Rural Village Libraries Research Network and her work in Africa has been published in a wide variety of academic journals and presented internationally at conferences in South Africa, Burkina Faso, China, South Korea, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, Uganda, the Netherlands, and Swaziland, to name just a few. Dr. Dent’s ongoing collaboration with Dr. Goodman explores the overlooked impact of early childhood learning interventions on rural preschoolers’ learning and school readiness skills, and Dr. Dent and her husband Dr. Goodman were both previously awarded Fulbright Fellowships which allowed them to spend eight months working in two rural villages in Uganda and teaching at Uganda Martyrs University. Dr. Dent (whose mother is a first cousin to Coretta Scott King) and Dr. Goodman also dedicate personal and professional time to advancing racial equity and social justice.

Professionally, Dr. Dent has had the privilege of serving as an administrator and a faculty member at a number of institutions, including Rutgers University, King’s College London, and Oxford University. Her information management and library experience includes scholarly communications, large-scale facility improvement, data-supported decision-making, promotion and tenure actions, design thinking, and fiscal planning.

A former marathoner, Dr. Dent now practices and teaches yoga in her spare time. Dr. Dent and Dr. Goodman (who has also joined the Emory family as faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, EUPI, and Candler) currently live in Druid Hills with their 9 year old daughter Carlyn. 


Woodruff Library
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States