Remembrance and Celebration of the Life of Joseph Branin

Please join inJoseph-Branin-200x300 a remembrance and celebration of the life of Joseph J. Branin, former Director of Libraries, on Tuesday, May 28, from 4-7 p.m. in the Campus Reading Room of the Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue.  The formal program will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Joe was Director of Libraries from 2000 until 2009, and led the renovation of the Thompson Library.  Before his illness, the Branins had been living in Saudi Arabia, where Joe was director of the library at KAUST, a new Saudi university of science and technology.

Joe’s wife Anita and their daughters will be at the celebration.  The family has asked that memorial gifts go to Fund #308498 for the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library.

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Take a Study Break and “Pause 4 Paws” at the Libraries


Toys and games and dogs will help break the routine during Finals Week at University Libraries.

The Libraries and the Student Wellness Center are providing a variety of toys and games for groups or single players during Finals Week, April 22-29, at the Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue, the 18th Avenue Library, 175 West 18th Avenue, and the Geology Library, 155 S. Oval Mall.  Games include Legos, playing cards, jigsaw puzzles and more.  The games are free to use.

Students are also encouraged to stop by the Thompson Library and the 18th Avenue Library and enjoy time with some special dogs.  The dogs will be at the ground floor/Neil Avenue side of the Thompson Library, and the first floor of the 18th Avenue Library at the following days and times:

Thompson Library

  • Tuesday, April 22 (Reading Day):  1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 23:  10-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 24:  10-11 a.m.; 1-4 p.m.; 6-9 p.m.
  • Friday, April 25:  10-11 a.m.; 1-4 p.m.; 6-8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 27: 4-6 p.m.

18th Avenue Library

  • Thursday, April 24:  2-5 p.m.
  • Friday, April 25: 2-5 p.m.

Twitter & Instagram:  #StudyBreakSpot

Sponsored by University Libraries and the Office of Student Life.


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Science and Engineering Library to become the “18th Avenue Library”

The former Science and Engineering Library has a new name beginning March 18.

Director of Libraries Carol Diedrichs announced that the facility would now be officially known as the 18th Avenue Library.  The name change was approved by the university’s Board of Trustees late last year.

Library staff have changed the system’s electronic records to reflect the name change.  Customers using the Libraries catalog will now see “18th Ave” in the location information if an item is located at the 18th Avenue Library.

The library, at 175 West 18th Avenue, serves a multitude of roles for the university community.  In addition to science materials, the library is also home to the system’s music and dance collection and provides the services of the Terra Byte Café.  The 18th Avenue Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The 18th Avenue name represents the first time a central campus library has been labeled based on its physical location,” Diedrichs said. “This will make the library easier to find for new students and researchers visiting the campus.”

The Libraries’ director said the 18th Avenue name removes the limitations that come from basing a name on the collections a library contains.

“The evolution of electronic publishing and other service enhancements will continue to change the nature of our collections,” Diedrichs said. “The location-based name will help move us away from the notion that an individual library’s resources are limited to those covered by the name of the facility.”

The library received a facelift earlier this year, with new tables and chairs to accommodate more than 1,000 people.  The new furniture also provides more convenient access to power to accommodate mobile devices, and includes group work stations in the lower level of the building.

Future enhancements to the building include a potential renovation of the first floor as well as the building’s restrooms.

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Understanding Black History through Black Music: From Protests to Celebration, February 26

February 26, 3:30-5 p.m.
Thompson Library, 11th floor

Dr. William T. McDaniel, Professor of African American Music and Area Head of Jazz Studies, The Ohio State University. Music will be interspersed throughout the lecture.

Sponsored by the University Libraries Diversity & Inclusion Committee

United Black World Month–2013

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Poet Laureate Program February 19

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University and current state poet laureate of Mississippi, will read from her work at 8 p.m.,Tuesday, February 19 in the Thompson Library on the 11th floor.

Trethewey is the author of “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Native Guard,” for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. Her recent book, “Thrall: Poems,” was published in 2012.

This event is free and open to the public.

Read more:

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Artists’ Books Open House February 20

Wednesday, February 20
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH  43210
Room 150

Come see work by Marina Abramovic and Ulay, John Baldessari, Johanna Drucker, Fluxus, General Idea, The Guerrilla Girls, Hans Haacke, Nancy Holt, Douglas Huebler, Barbara Kruger, Sol LeWitt, George Maciunas, Ed Ruscha, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Tuttle, Lawrence Weiner, Xu Bing, and many more.

The open house will also include a selection from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum’s Dylan Williams Collection of small press and self-published mini-comics, which showcase unique formats and binding techniques from underground cartoonists to contemporary self-publishers. If you are interested in homemade comics and the art of the book, this is a unique opportunity to examine these objects up close and understand how they’re made. The Cartoon Library’s Caitlin McGurk will also be available during the open house to discuss the materials and their construction.

Gloves will be provided so visitors can study the works. Because of the sensitive nature of the materials (such as their designs, paper qualities, and fragility), we ask that no backpacks or portfolios, food, drink, or wet media be brought into the room with them.  Pencils and paper are best!

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Libraries Mark Woody Hayes’ 100th Birthday

University Libraries is joining Ohio State’s celebration of Woody Hayes birth with both physical and digital exhibitions of the famed coach’s life.

A display of memorabilia belonging to Coach Hayes and his wife Anne is on display through February 28 in the Special Collections area on the first floor of the Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue.

The exhibit uses photographs, documents, books, and artifacts from the Wayne W. “Woody” Hayes Papers and other archival collections to tell the story of Hayes’ successful football coaching career at Ohio State as well as other less well known aspects of his life and career, such as his interest in military history and politics.

Some of the highlights include one of Hayes’ playbooks, family photos, letters from US Presidents Ford and Nixon, a piece of a goal post from the 1955 Rose Bowl, and the couch from Hayes’ office.

A second digital display, “Woody Hayes:  100 Years On and Off the Field,” recalls Hayes time at Ohio State, his education and military service, politics and philanthropy, and his family and friends.



Posted in Exhibits and Displays |

Libraries Running LibQUAL Survey

The OSU Libraries will be administering LibQUAL, a survey developed by the Association of Research Libraries to measure library service quality and identify best practices in February 2013.  You may receive an email requesting your participation.  The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete; you will be asked to rate your “desired” and “perceived” level of service from the University Libraries.

If you choose to participate, you can enter a drawing for one of two $100 Visa Prepaid gift cards, or gift cards from Campus Dining, Kroger, Panera Bread, iTunes, or Wired Out.

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Former OSU Libraries Director Joseph Branin Passes Away

Joseph A. Branin, former director of The Ohio State University Libraries and a visionary leader who led the transforming renovation of the Thompson Library, died December 30, 2012 after a brave battle with cancer.

Joseph BraninBranin served as director of OSUL from 2000-2009, and, among his many accomplishments, spearheaded the renovation of the Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue.

“Quite simply, our landmark library is a testament to Joseph Branin’s leadership and vision,” said E. Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University. “He will be greatly missed,  but his contributions to the intellectual heart of our University will endure for generations.”

Current Director of Libraries Carol Diedrichs recalled Branin fondly, both professionally and personally.

“During his tenure at OSU, Joe will be remembered for many successes including the Knowledge Bank and the continued growth and development of OhioLINK,” Diedrichs said. “But undoubtedly he will be remembered for the decade he would spend at OSU managing, planning, and overseeing the magnificent renovation of the Thompson Library.

“Joe was a wonderful colleague, boss and friend,” Diedrichs said.

Branin was a member of the Board of the Association of Research Libraries, a trustee on the Board of the Columbus Museum of Art, and chair of the CIC Library Directors Group. Branin also served as the editor of one of the foremost journals in the field of librarianship, College & Research Libraries.

Branin left Ohio State and the U.S. in 2009 to become the first director of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Library in Saudi Arabia. He helped oversee construction of the facility and oversaw its operations from the first day it opened.

KAUST’s Stefan Catsicas, Provost, and Nadhmi Al Nasr, Executive Vice President, in a joint statement released just after his passing, praised Branin’s work.

“As the founding Director of the University Library, Joe’s vital contributions to KAUST will long be remembered. His effective leadership established the library as a key element of KAUST’s world-class infrastructure and an important part of research and education at KAUST.”

Diedrichs said Branin was excited about the professional opportunity that KAUST represented.

“Joe was very enthusiastic about addressing the challenges that would come in conceiving, planning and implementing a new library for a new university,” Diedrichs said.

Jay Jordan, president and chief executive officer of OCLC, said Branin always respected the special connection between The Ohio State University and OCLC which goes back to the 1960’s, when Founder Fredrick Kilgour ran OCLC from a small office in the rare books room of the Thompson Library.

“I will  think of Joe as a leader who always sought ways to work with OCLC Research to advance the science of librarianship,” Jordan said.  “His dedication to his profession makes him an exemplar  of a librarian and he will be sorely missed both in the USA and around the globe.”

William Crowe, former member of the OCLC Board of Trustees and Librarian Emeritus of the University of Kansas, recalled Branin’s professional commitment and easygoing nature.

“Joe had a keen wit and sharp intellect that, with his capacity for hard work and ability to understand other people, made him both a strong leader and exceptional company,” Crowe said. “Joe demonstrated a great sensitivity to others through his kindness and his ready smile.  He was always there to encourage and help.”

Branin was cremated and his remains are to be scattered in one of his favorite places. The Libraries is working with Branin’s wife Anita regarding a memorial gathering in Columbus later this spring.

Donations in Branin’s memory can be made to the Friends of the Libraries’ Designated Library Fund,  fund #308498, for the Rare Books collection, either by mail, to The Ohio State University Foundation, 1480 West Lane Ave., Columbus, OH 43221, or online at:


Posted in News |

Passing of Joe Branin

From Director of Libraries Carol Diedrichs:

It is with sadness and a sense of loss that I share the news of the death of Joe Branin, former director of University Libraries, last evening, December 30, after a battle with cancer.

Joe served as director of OSUL from 2000-2009, and, among his many accomplishments, spearheaded the renovation of the Thompson Library. During his time at OSU, Joe was a member of the Board of the Association of Research Libraries, a trustee on the Board of the Columbus Museum of Art, and chair of the CIC Library Directors Group. He also served as the editor of one of the foremost journals in the field of librarianshio, College & Research Libraries.

Joe left Ohio State and the U.S. in 2009 to become the first director of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Library in Saudi Arabia. Joe helped oversee construction of the facility and oversaw its operations from the first day it opened. Joe’s wife Anita worked with him at KAUST as the user and education instruction librarian.

In keeping with his wishes, Joe will be cremated and his remains scattered in one of his favorite places.

In the weeks ahead, we will determine an appropriate means of remembering Joe’s contributions to the Libraries and the university. For now, we will keep Anita and Joe’s family in our thoughts.


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