The Harrington School of Communication and Media is honored to recognize the retirement of Dr. Donna Gilton, Graduate School of Library Studies.
Dr. Donna Gilton graduated from Simmons College with a BA in Elementary Education and History. She then pursued her Master’s degree in Library Science at Simmons before attaining her PhD. at the University of Pittsburgh in Library Science. Prior to her tenure at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Gilton served as a Children’s Librarian and General Reference Librarian at the Boston Public Library, was the Head Librarian at the Belize Teachers’ College and a Business Reference Librarian at Western Kentucky University and Pennsylvania State University. In 1991, Dr. Gilton joined the University of Rhode Island where she specialized in information literacy, reference and information services in the humanities, social sciences, and business, and in multicultural and comparative aspects of library science.
Her greatest accomplishments working within the GSLIS program include creating three new courses, which were the first courses in the department to address information literacy, multiculturalism in libraries, and business information services. She also helped to mentor Project Prism Scholars from 2000 to 2009 and was one of the founders of Cornucopia of Rhode Island. Dr. Gilton has published two books; Multicultural and Ethnic Children’s Literature in the United States and Lifelong Learning in Public Libraries: Principles, Programs, and People.
For Dr. Gilton, librarianship is a wonderful field rooted in the humanities. “It is both a profession and an academic discipline,” she said, “This is one of the few fields that can attract and use people regardless of their talents and interests, whether one is in the field of youth services and school media or specializing in information brokering, music, art, science or business librarianship, or technical services. Public libraries were created to promote non-formal and informal education.”
“They are called poor people’s universities or the people’s universities, and they enable people to continue their education beyond high school and other formal education,” she adds, “The public library is one of the few institutions in our society that welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds and is one of the last places where very diverse people can meet. Academic and school libraries promote formal education.” With a passion for librarianship and learning, Dr. Gilton exemplifies what it means to love what you do and make a difference while doing it.
“I can honestly say that I have greatly enjoyed most of my experience at URI and GSLIS. I love books, library services, research, and especially teaching and working with the students,” said Dr. Gilton. “I hope that I made a significant contribution to our field and profession.”
Dr. Gilton, thank you for your invaluable commitment and contributions to the GSLIS program here in the Harrington School of Communication and Media. You have made a significant impact on the Harrington School community and we wish you well in your retirement!