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Latanya N. Jenkins, Temple University librarian who traveled the world, dies at 45

Ms. Jenkins was a reference librarian at the Charles Library at Temple University. She died Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at Samaritan Hospice in Voorhees from cancer.

Latanya N. Jenkins
Latanya N. JenkinsRead moreCourtesy the Jenkins family

Latanya N. Jenkins, 45, of Sicklerville, a reference librarian at Temple University’s Charles Library, died of cancer Tuesday, April 13, at Samaritan Hospice in Voorhees.

At the Charles Library, Ms. Jenkins’ areas of responsibility included Africology and African American Studies and government documents.

“She was a very kind and dedicated person, an excellent librarian who was involved in the profession, and she will be missed,” said Diane Turner, curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple.

Ms. Jenkins had worked at the Temple library since 2013 and was an award-winning coauthor of the book, Government Information Essentials. The Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association awarded her the Margaret T. Lane & Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award in 2019.

She was also an International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions fellow for the World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, and a past Association of Research Libraries diversity scholar and mentor, her family said.

“Latanya Jenkins was a friendly and supportive colleague who touched many lives,” said Olivia Given Castello, head of the Temple library’s business, social sciences & education department, where Ms. Jenkins worked.

“She supported researchers, taught students how to perform college-level research, and mentored them as well,” Given Castello said. “She was devoted to the Temple community and was loved and admired by the library patrons with whom she worked.”

Before joining Temple, Ms. Jenkins worked as a librarian at Bowie State University and Morgan State University, both in Maryland.

Latanya N. Jenkins was born on Jan. 9, 1976, in Philadelphia to Marva Weal and Marvin Jenkins.

Her mother moved to Camden with Ms. Jenkins and her younger brother when the children were about 6 and 4 years old, her brother Adama Jenkins said.

Not long after, the family moved to Pennsauken, where the brother and sister spent most of their formative years.

When they were growing up, her brother said Ms. Jenkins had been a wonderful big sister.

“No matter what, she was always there to support me and I always considered her to be my hero,” he said.

Ms. Jenkins graduated from Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, in 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and English from Franklin and Marshall College in 1998.

Later, in 2006, she graduated from Drexel University with a master’s degree in library and information science. She also earned a certificate in Adult Organizational Development from Temple University in 2017.

Her brother said she enjoyed traveling and had visited South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, England, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

“A lot of those places, she was going to give lectures,” he said.

Given Castello said Ms. Jenkins was a prolific conference presenter. Most recently, in 2019, she was the featured speaker at the 8th Rizal Library International Conference in Quezon City, Philippines.

“In 2017, she was a panelist at the 9th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries in Limerick, Ireland.” Given Castello said. “She was eager to travel, to share her expertise, and to meet fellow librarians.”

In addition to her parents and brother, Ms. Jenkins is survived by a host of other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date.