Athena N. Jackson

Staff portrait of Athena Jackson in Powell Library
Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian
  • Administration


Athena N. Jackson became the Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian in March 2024, marking her return to UCLA after previously serving as director of UCLA Library Special Collections.

Throughout her career Jackson has enabled transformative learning opportunities within academic communities by centering the needs of scholars and by promoting access to library resources through modern channels. She has strategized new practices to highlight diversity as integral to academic excellence, and she has consistently worked to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of library spaces through prioritizing equity in the workplace, creating an inclusive environment that fosters learning and excellence, and by adding significant collections from underrepresented communities.

As a library leader, she is sought out for her expertise on topics ranging from open and equitable leadership, radical empathy and its role in higher education, open scholarship, diversity and accessibility in libraries and archives, and topics related to special collections leadership and management.

Jackson has a history of service at the local and national levels. She is an active member of the Association of Research Libraries, where she served on the Research and Analytics task force, and she served as chair of the Association of College and Research Libraries Rare Books and Manuscripts Section executive committee. Given the geographic scope of her career, she has been or remains involved with various consortia, such as the Greater Western Library Alliance, the Council on Library and Information Resources, Hathi Trust, and the Digital Library Federation.

Jackson holds a B.A. in English from the University of Houston and an M.S. in library and information science from the University of North Texas. She completed the UCLA Library Senior Fellows program, designed to prepare library leaders to pursue advanced leadership roles in academic librarianship, in 2018.


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