From the Director

By Damon E. Jaggars, Vice-Provost & Director of The Ohio State University Libraries

Soft launch of new Libraries website

You will remember we launched a website redesign project in February. And since then, project lead Robyn Ness, along with project sponsors Jennifer Vinopal and Lisa Carter, Libraries IT, Communications, and many of you across the organization, has led us to a pivotal point in the project – the soft launch of the site!

This week, we will roll out an initial release of content, a first step in restructuring our web presence to better support users’ discovery, access and delivery needs. This first iteration will make the new About Us section available to the public on the new beta website at https://library.lib.ohio-state.edu. Subsequent releases will iteratively grow the new website with additional sections, including a newly designed home page, and make incremental improvements to content, design and functionality.

I encourage you to take time to review this initial release of the new website, as well as each subsequent release as we grow and improve our new web presence over the next several months. Please provide your feedback and participate in ongoing review and testing activities as they are announced.

As we continue to develop as a learning organization committed to user-centered design and incremental development and improvement, I am excited about where we are with the project and where we are headed. I am encouraged by what we have learned about iterative development and how the approaches and processes adopted for this and related projects can influence our work in other areas across the organization.

A special thanks to our colleagues leading this effort. And thanks to all of you who are updating and providing new content, participating in user testing, and providing valuable feedback. We will have a much improved, user-focused web presence because of your collective efforts.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

 

 

Libraries’ diversity efforts recognized with Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award

Each year, The Ohio State University recognizes individuals and groups who have demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing diversity at the university. Please join me in congratulating colleagues serving on the University Libraries’ Diversity & Inclusion Committee that received a 2017 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award at a ceremony hosted by President Michael V. Drake, Provost Bruce McPheron, and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Sharon Davies on April 18th.

The Libraries strives to provide welcoming, supportive environments for all to pursue and share knowledge. Our commitment to equity is demonstrated in the efforts of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which has worked with numerous campus and external partners to facilitate conversations that celebrate and honor diversity, inclusion, access, and social justice.

Current committee members include:

  • Sandra Enimil (Co-chair)

    University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee

    Diversity and Inclusion Committee

  • Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros
  • Leta Hendricks
  • Yuimi Hlasten
  • Justin Luna
  • Pam McClung
  • Sarah Murphy (Co-chair)
  • Pat Schell
  • Beth Snapp
  • Lisa Patton-Glinski (Administrative sponsor)

The committee was recognized for making a sustained contribution toward enhancing dialog on several topics that support diversity and inclusion and modeling best practices for engaging university and community partners. Since 2015, the committee, working with its partners, has sponsored regular Tuesdays@Thompson and Perspectives@Thompson events, bringing nearly 600 students, faculty, and community members together to talk, read, discuss, and share their experiences and perspectives. The committee has also worked to sustain these discussions and provide additional informal learning opportunities by curating compelling exhibits on related diversity and inclusion topics.

Curtis Austin, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Curriculum for the Department of African American and African Studies, said of the committee’s work, …they have taken care to choose people, places, ideas and contexts that inspire unity in spite of the surface differences one might find in the skin tone or ethnicity of their presenters.”

Etsuyo Yuasa, Director of the East Asian Studies Center, said that the committee “approaches diversity in a truly inclusive manner and works hard to broaden our perspectives and creates a community that welcomes and supports all of its members.”

In an era of public discourse that often emphasizes issues that separate us, the work of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee demonstrates our conviction that libraries can bring us together, existing to benefit everyone in journeys of exploration and discovery.

This award recognizes the University Libraries as a dynamic partner in providing campus-wide programming focused on promoting equity – a keystone activity for a public, land grant institution like Ohio State.

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on this recognition of their efforts to authentically live some our most cherished organizational values.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Launching web redesign and discovery projects

I’m excited to announce the launches of two potentially transformative projects for the University Libraries:

  • a redesign of our web presence; and
  • the development of a new information discovery system.

Website redesign project

The website redesign project, to be led by Robyn Ness, User Experience and Interface Design Specialist, seeks to redesign all publicly-facing web content, including all Libraries-controlled pages about locations, services, collections, events, and other information offered to our various user and stakeholder groups. The project’s goal is to restructure information about our libraries and access to services and resources in a way that is easy for users to navigate and conducive to efficient discovery, access, and delivery of the content and expertise needed for successful research, teaching, and learning. To complete the project, we will leverage the significant web development, information architecture, user experience, and graphic design skills within the Libraries, supplemented with external resources and capacity as needed. Lisa Carter, Associate Director for Special Collections and Area Studies, will serve as the project’s executive co-sponsor with Jennifer Vinopal, Associate Director for Information Technology.

Discovery project

The discovery system project, to be led by Terry Reese, Head of Digital Initiatives, seeks to rethink how we support the active and serendipitous discovery of information resources managed by the Libraries. The project’s goal will be to develop an interface that enables users to search, discover, and access content from vended resources, the library catalog, local content repositories (e.g., Knowledge Bank, Digital Collections), the Libraries’ website, and locally-created content available through other hosted systems such as LibGuides. Decisions about underlying technologies and the organization and design of search interfaces and results displays will be based on iterative and incremental development and driven by robust user testing. Karla Strieb, Associate Director for Content and Access, will serve as the project’s executive co-sponsor with Jennifer Vinopal.

Both of these projects offer opportunities for the organization to learn and practice new ways of working on high-impact projects and in our everyday work. They will provide chances for us to model how we’d prefer to work as an organization — to be driven by user-centered design and to practice iterative development, flexibility and responsiveness, with transparency in our communications and broad participation. These will not be “waterfall” development efforts with work completed behind the scenes followed by a “big reveal” at the end. Instead we will test early and often through rounds of feedback from users and Libraries’ faculty and staff to fuel rapid, iterative, incremental improvement.

We plan communications for these projects to be as transparent to stakeholders as possible and encourage active, vocal participation. Communication and engagement plans will include:

  • Project documentation hosted on CarmenWiki for all to review
  • Periodic updates via Libraries’ listservs and blogs by project sponsors and leads, detailing opportunities to provide feedback
  • Comment and suggestion forms for each project, which will provide fodder for FAQs; and
  • In-person project briefings and Q&A sessions at Management Committee, General Meetings, and other appropriate gatherings.

To be successful, we need broad engagement and participation from Libraries’ faculty and staff and our user communities. There will be opportunities for faculty and staff to participate on working groups supporting each of the projects, including user testing — to provide personal feedback and to help administer testing with students, faculty, and other users.

Given the iterative nature of these projects, we anticipate sharing initial efforts in the next couple of months and for work to continue over the coming year. Project leads will share more specific timelines with the organization in the next few weeks.

Onward,

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Note: Content for this post was provided by Robyn Ness, Terry Reese, and Jennifer Vinopal.

Open to All

Recent actions by the new administration in Washington have produced exceptional levels of uncertainty, as new executive orders begin shaping national policy. A resulting sense of disarray felt by many has moved numerous organizations to pause and reflect on their missions and roles in society.

I was moved by the recent messages to the Ohio State community from President Dr. Michael V. Drake , who said, in part:

“I want to affirm the university’s unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion and the value that members of the international community continue to bring to our pursuit and sharing of knowledge. We will honor our obligation to create an environment that inspires discovery and knowledge, values and celebrates diverse opinions and is welcoming to all — now and for generations to follow.

I want to make clear that we are steadfast in our commitment to academic freedom, the rights and well-being of all members of our university community and our resolute support of artistic expression and scientific exploration.

At our core, that is who we are and how we make a difference.”

See President Drake’s full statement here.

So what about libraries? And in particular, what about the Ohio State University Libraries?

Many of our professional organizations have worked to help frame the conversation. The American Library Association (ALA) reminded members that its “core values include access to information; confidentiality/privacy; democracy; equity, diversity and inclusion; intellectual freedom; and social responsibility.”

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) issued a statement this past week reiterating that,  “as social institutions, research libraries, archives, and university presses strive to be welcoming havens for all members of our communities and work hard to be inclusive in our hiring, collections, books and publications, services, and environments.”

A little closer to home, the words “Open to All” are engraved over the doors of the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, perhaps the clearest, best description of the ethos of library service.

We, at the Ohio State University Libraries, are deep into the process of shaping a new vision and articulation of our strategic intent that will guide the organization into the future. But just as important will be the reaffirmation and ongoing expression of our shared values — the bedrock supporting our work and how we treat others while doing it. Those values include commitments to advancing equity, diversity, inclusivity, and fairness in our collections, services, scholarship, and in how we treat people.

Our libraries are open to all and offer diverse collections that represent the full range of ideas, philosophies, and positions. Anyone entering our facilities should expect to use the Libraries without fear of disruption or confrontation. Our libraries are open to all.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Remember:

If you find yourself being made ill at ease by the actions of others — or see someone else in such a situation — please report it immediately to the Thompson Library West Security Desk, 614-292-3279. You can also contact the Libraries’ security staff directly (Brent Lewis, Security Manager, 614-292-5069, 614-271-0652, mobile, or David Holbrook, Building Resource Specialist, 614-292-1158), or call the Libraries’ Director’s office, 614-292-4241.

Also, don’t forget the many resources available to the university community through the Office of International Affairs, Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service and Student Advocacy Center.

 

Enabling organizational capacities

As we work our way toward defining the Libraries’ future strategic intent, the need to expand capacities in a number of areas has become clear. Developing these capacities will underlay and enable our success as we reorient the organization toward a new set of strategic directions and implement a new agile operating framework. Growing these capabilities will involve investment, sometimes of new resources generated from partnerships and fundraising and sometimes from the reallocation of current effort and funding.

While other areas of need may arise, the following have emerged from our ongoing planning processes:

Communications/Marketing

All stakeholder groups, internal and external, have surfaced a need for the Libraries to communicate our stories and the value we create better and differently. Doing so will enhance our efforts to describe organizational impact and attract additional resources. In response to this need, we are in the process of engaging an external consultant to help us understand our evolving communications environment and how we should structure and resource our communications and marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness. This consultation will proceed this semester with broad input from Libraries’ faculty, staff and key external stakeholders, including donor leadership.

Resource Development/Fundraising

The Libraries has been successful in raising funds for high-profile capital projects. As we prepare for the next university campaign, we will need to restructure and reorient our resource development efforts toward a changing, broader set of needs and approaches. We are currently developing a new Director’s advisory group that will provide guidance, not only in preparing for the new campaign, but also for how we organize, resource and prioritize our annual, ongoing fundraising efforts. This group will begin its work this semester with engagement from across the Libraries and our campus partners, including the Office of Advancement.

Outreach/Engagement

Libraries’ outreach and engagement efforts are currently scattered and under-resourced. And as we continue to broaden our conception of organizational engagement, we need to restructure and better coordinate support for a growing set of activities that align with the university’s educational, research and land grant missions. This will be an important focus through which the Libraries can help the university affirm its ongoing value to the broader community and the State of Ohio. And if we play our cards right, broader engagement will create narratives of impact that can be used to promote the Libraries’ value to the university community and to current and potential donors/funders. As a first step in filling this need, I have asked Quanetta Batts to transition from her current role as Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost & Director to a new role as Program Director for Outreach and Engagement. In this new role, she will provide leadership and coordination for activities that enrich relationship building with various internal and external constituencies, with special attention to broadening outreach to and engagement with partners and initiatives at the campus, community, state and national levels. The position will report to the Vice Provost & Director.

Organizational Development

As we implement a new agile operating framework, Libraries’ administrators, managers, faculty and staff will need to work with each other differently. We will no doubt implement structural and procedural changes designed to improve business processes and outcomes, but there is also a need for a different type of investment in our people and the skills necessary for individuals across the organization to operate successfully at the levels of autonomy, creativity and accountability appropriate to their roles. As a start, our newly instituted Management Committee is collectively developing a broad learning curriculum, designed to identify gaps in organizational effectiveness and corresponding approaches to filling those gaps. Trainings and other learning opportunities will begin rolling out to the organization during the current semester. Be on the look out and participate!

Expect more information on our progress in all of these capacity-building efforts at upcoming faculty and general staff meetings. Bring your questions and suggestions. We need your input as we build out the capabilities that will enable us to successfully implement our soon-to-be-defined strategic intent.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

 

Moving through our strategic directions process

We’ve received a number of requests to provide an update on the University Libraries’ strategic directions process, both from colleagues inside and outside of Ohio State.

So, here it is…

We recently conducted a series of focus groups with internal and external stakeholders to gather input from diverse voices as we review and redefine our strategic intent. Faculty, students, academic and administrative leaders, donors, and Libraries faculty and staff participated in a series of facilitated discussions designed to gather perspectives on current activities and elicit suggestions for future directions. Libraries faculty and staff also participated in sessions designed to create a better understanding of our shared organizational values and vision.

The results from these activities are in, and we are learning a lot from what stakeholders are telling us. Our facilitators reported out the following high-level themes for planning, gleaned from more detailed input.* Our stakeholders are asking us to focus on:

Visibility and positioning of the Libraries

Being more visible in and across the campus community and beyond; more engaged in partnerships, research, teaching, etc.

Specialized skill development in the Libraries and collaborative initiatives

Examples include translational data analytics, data visualization, specific language skills, project management and more

Scalable and ongoing methods for working with librarians

In instruction, interdisciplinary projects and programs, research practices, technology applications, metadata

Content and access

Digital and print resources and access tools as well as physical facilities

Communication and marketing

Telling the Libraries’ story and strengthening support

Culture shift in higher education

Higher education is changing and OSU’s culture is changing, toward greater collaboration and interdependence across the organization

Libraries’ organizational culture

Speed and transparency of decision making, empowerment of staff at all levels, ongoing needs for learning and growth, and opportunity to align all libraries and faculty/staff under one umbrella

From these high-level planning themes, our Strategic Planning Group extracted the following topic areas for deeper exploration/environmental scanning by breakout groups, drawn from our newly-formed Management Committee:

Innovative models for supporting/leveraging

  • Teaching & Learning (1)
  • Research (2)
  • Land Grant/Outreach & Engagement (3)

New/Specialized Skill Development (4)

Scaling Services and Service Relationships (5)

Improving Discovery, Access and Usability of Content and Expertise (6)

Culture Shifts in Higher Education

  • Affordability/Access (7)
  • Interdependency/Partnership/Leadership roles (8)

Building an Empowering Organizational Culture (9)

In the December/January timeframe, reports covering these nine broad topic areas will be reviewed by both the full Management Committee and the Strategic Planning Group and used, along with stakeholder feedback, to draft a set of strategic directions to be shared with all Libraries faculty and staff and external stakeholders for feedback and iterative improvement. Also in this timeframe, the Strategic Planning Group will summarize and refine the results of the values and vision sessions, also to be shared broadly for additional input.

In the February/March timeframe, the Strategic Planning Group will incorporate values and vision statements into the draft strategic directions document, craft a communications/dissemination strategy for both internal and external constituents, solicit and incorporate another round of feedback, and massage the document into its final form.

The plan is to finalize our new Strategic Directions by the end of March, and then launch departmental goal setting activities, aligned with this strategic intent.

And then we’ll iterate our way into the future within our new agile management framework. But, more on that in a future post…

Wish us luck!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

* A reminder to OSUL faculty and staff that strategic directions information, including reports from stakeholder sessions, timelines, draft documents, etc. is available for your review here in Buckeye Box.

Libraries’ Strategic Planning activities continue…

The University Libraries’ strategic planning process is off to an exceptional start. Last month our facilitators, DeEtta Jones and Raynna Bowlby, led engaging, productive conversations with various stakeholder groups, including students, our University Senate advisory group (Co-DELIT), university administrators, campus partners, donors, community partners, Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) and Staff Advisory Council (SAC), to gain their insights on current successes and future opportunities. In addition, over 120 Libraries’ faculty and staff members participated in world café sessions designed to identify our shared organizational values and vision. A special thanks to all who took time out of busy schedules to participate in and add their voice to the process.

Our facilitators will be back on campus October 25-26 to host three additional world café sessions at which they will share what they learned from last month’s sessions and gather additional input from Libraries’ faculty and staff – this time focused on strategic directions and opportunities.

Please sign up to participate in one of the world cafe sessions at: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_06gIuOUnoLkDFpr by October 19.

DeEtta and Raynna will also work with Executive Committee and the FAC and SAC chairs to continue the build out of our new agile planning framework and various related processes. We will also launch a strategic planning group, charged with reviewing stakeholder input and environmental scans and pulling together an initial draft of our new plan for broader organizational review. This group will include five representative voices from across the organization, Executive Committee and the FAC and SAC chairs. Members of our new Management Committee will also play a critical role in the process by conducting environment scans and providing iterative feedback on subsequent versions of planning documents [we’ll discuss Management Committee, its roles and activities at the Libraries General Meetings on October 19].

We’ve also created a folder in Buckeye Box that will be used for sharing documentation related to the strategic planning effort. There we’ll share reports from our stakeholder sessions, draft planning documents and any other information that will be useful for participation in the process.  All current Libraries’ faculty and staff will be given access to this folder in the next week or so. You will also see an announcement about a brief training session for those who need a crash course for using Buckeye Box.

Thanks again for your active participation in the process!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

 

IFLA World Library and Information Congress A Huge Success

115. That is the number of Ohio State University Libraries faculty, staff and retirees who participated in making the 2016 IFLA World Library and Information Congress the tremendous success that it was.  Director Emeritus Carol Pitts Diedrichs and Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) CEO Patrick Lozinski co-chaired the national committee and led the local planning team that included Quanetta Batts, Lisa Carter and Lisa Patton-Glinski from the Libraries and Gregg Dodd and Wendy Ramsey from CML. Dozens of others from the Libraries, CML and other libraries from across Ohio contributed their time as volunteers, volunteer supervisors and tour guides. Our own Wes Boomgaarden served as volunteer coordinator, deftly organizing hundreds of volunteers from across the region and the state.

We also recogIFLA-2016-Logonize the critical contributions from our partners at OCLC, who not only provided generous financial support but also hosted several workshops and events at their headquarters in Dublin and served on the national committee and as volunteers during the congress. Jim Neal, University Librarian Emeritus from Columbia University (and President-Elect of the American Library Association), led the effort to raise over $410,000 in travel grants that enabled nearly 200 international and domestic librarians to attend the congress. We should also acknowledge the efforts of the IFLA staff and K.I.T., the event management group that provided logistical support. And finally, we thank Donna Sheeder, IFLA President, and Gerald Leitner, IFLA Secretary General, for their ongoing trust and support.

But, back to the 115. That number represents an extraordinary level of commitment and effort from the University Libraries organization – from all of you. Thank you for your willingness to pitch in to put on a meaningful, memorable congress and to show Ohio State (and Columbus) in the best possible light.

Speaking of light, let’s shine a little on all of our colleagues who contributed to this important success…

Name Role
Larry Allen Logistics Team
Quanetta Batts Local Planning Team
Zaineb Bayahy Volunteer
Sue Beck Volunteer/Tour Guide
Beth Black Volunteer Supervisor
Wes Boomgaarden Volunteer Coordinator
Morag Boyd Volunteer
Corazon Britton Volunteer
Hilary Bussell Volunteer
Lisa Carter Local Planning Team
Amy Chalmers Tour Guide
Sherab Chen Volunteer Supervisor
Calvin Cleary Volunteer
Autumn Clipner Volunteer
Susan Collins Volunteer
Tschera Connell Volunteer
Nena Couch Tour Guide
Missy Creed Volunteer
Ann Marie Davis Volunteer
Rachel Deavers Volunteer/Tour Guide
John Dewees Volunteer
Jose Diaz Volunteer Supervisor
Carol Pitts Diedrichs National Committee Co-Chair
Florian Diekmann Volunteer Supervisor
Danny Dotson Volunteer
Magda El-Sherbini Volunteer Supervisor
Sandra Enimil Volunteer Supervisor
Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros Volunteer
Marcela Estevez Volunteer
Anne Fields Volunteer
Anita Foster Volunteer
Ashley Foster Volunteer
Tina Franks Volunteer Supervisor
Emily Glenn Volunteer
Karen Glenn Volunteer
Brenda Goodwin Volunteer
Kathleen Goodyear Volunteer
John Hager Volunteer
Susan Hatten Tour Guide
Jen Henman Volunteer
Julia Higgins Volunteer
Yuimi Hlasten Volunteer
David Holbrook Logistics Team
Amy Hwang Volunteer
Debra Jackson Volunteer
Gay Jackson Tour Guide
Pasha Johnson Volunteer/Tour Guide
Beth Kattelman Volunteer
Laura Kissel Volunteer
Reba Kocher Tour Guide
Vanessa Kraps Volunteer Supervisor
Tara Kreider Tour Guide
Jennifer Kuehn Volunteer
Natalie Kupferberg Volunteer
Bruce Leach Volunteer
Brian Leaf Volunteer
Jian Lee Volunteer
Ann Lennon Volunteer/Workshop Coordinator
Brent Lewis Logistics Team
Guoqing Li Volunteer/Tour Guide
Susan Liberator Workshop Coordinator
David Lincove Volunteer
Meris Mandernach Volunteer
Tony Maniaci Volunteer
Predrag Matejic Tour Guide
Jan Maxwell Volunteer
Kaelyn McAdams Tour Guide
Pam McClung Logistics Team
Caitlin McGurk Tour Guide/Workshop Coordinator
Darnelle Melvin Volunteer
Brian Miller Volunteer
Ashleigh Minor Volunteer
Christina Moore Volunteer
Mark Moziejko Logistics Team
Sarah Murphy Volunteer Supervisor
Shannon Niemeyer Volunteer
Dan Noonan Volunteer
Jarod Ogier Volunteer
Aaron Olivera Volunteer
Tracey Overbey Volunteer
Lisa Patton-Glinski Local Planning Team
Lauren Paulauskas Volunteer
Joe Payne Volunteer
Wendy Pflug Workshop Coordinator
Amy Pickenpaugh Volunteer
Ed Plunkett Volunteer
Cynthia Preston Volunteer
Cate Putirskis Volunteer
Terry Reese Volunteer
JR Rinehart Logistics Team
Amanda Rinehart Volunteer Supervisor
Jenny Robb Workshop Coordinator
Josh Sadvari Tour Guide
Jennier Schnabel Volunteer
Mary Scott Volunteer
Susan Scott Volunteer Supervisor
Marilyn Scott Workshop Coordinator
Sanghee Seo Volunteer
Ruth Sesco Volunteer Supervisor
Emily Sferra Volunteer
Emily Shaw Volunteer
Gene Springs Volunteer
Rocki Strader Volunteer
Karla Strieb Volunteer
Belle Teesdale Tour Guide
Camila Tessler Volunteer
Clint Tomlinson Volunteer
Kaylie Vermillion Volunteer
Patrick Visel Volunteer Supervisor/Tour Guide
Maureen Walsh Volunteer
Matthew Watson Volunteer
Marguerite Weibel Volunteer
Anne Wilcheck Volunteer
Chunli Yang Volunteer
Chris Younkin Tour Guide

Many thanks to all who participated,

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

[NOTE: We checked and double checked our list of contributors; but with such a long list, it is possible that we missed someone. If so, please let me know, so we can correct the omission and celebrate all who participated.]

Moving the Strategic Planning Process Forward

We’ve been relatively quiet about strategic planning over the summer, primarily due to the fact that so many of our faculty and staff were committed to planning and supporting the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, which concluded on Thursday, August 19. A hearty congratulations to all who participated as a planner, volunteer, or presenter! The event was a huge success by all accounts, and through your collective efforts – alongside those of our colleagues from the Columbus Metropolitan Library, OCLC, and from across the state – librarians from around the globe experienced the very best of the University Libraries, the City of Columbus, and the great State of Ohio.

With IFLA behind us, it is time to move our strategic planning activities forward. Building on our earlier discussions about constructing a more agile planning framework, we will convene a series of facilitated focus group sessions September 13-14 to gather information from key stakeholders:

  • Co-DELIT/Faculty (non-library)
  • Students (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Academic and administrative leaders (Deans/VPs)
  • Donors and other external stakeholders
  • OSUL Faculty Advisory Council (FAC)
  • OSUL Staff Advisory Council (SAC)
  • OSUL Faculty/Staff World Café Discussion (2 sessions)

Quanetta Batts is in the process of scheduling the stakeholder sessions and will circulate a solicitation for faculty and staff participation for the World Café Discussions shortly. These sessions are designed to be active, participatory activities, not passive listening sessions. So come prepared to engage, share and work. The sessions will be facilitated by DeEtta Jones and her colleague, Raynna Bowlby, who will compile what they learn into a report that will be used in drafting a new strategic directions document.

Preceding the focus groups, DeEtta Jones will also facilitate a day long session with Executive Committee and the chairs of FAC and SAC to develop a new planning/implementation framework for the University Libraries. The draft results of this activity will be shared with the broader organization for comment as we iterate our way to a finished product. Likewise, there will be additional opportunities for Libraries faculty and staff to provide input on draft strategic directions documentation as we move through the Fall semester.

Thank you in advance for your active participation. Together we will develop stronger processes and effect better outcomes by surfacing and integrating a diversity of insights and perspectives from across the organization.

Onward…

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Expanding Our Capacities for Individual and Collective Wellness

Ohio State’s incredibly persuasive Dean of the College of Nursing and Chief Wellness Officer, Bernadette Melnyk, recently talked me into participating in a two-day program, Health Athlete, designed  “to refocus and reenergize one’s personal and professional life” by emphasizing “energy management through a comprehensive examination of goals and values in relation to one’s spiritual (purpose), mental, emotional and physical development.”

health athlete cohort and trainers

Health Athlete participants and program leaders

This holistic approach leverages a person’s personal narrative – “what individuals tell themselves about who they are and the reasons why their circumstances are what they are” – to enable desired behavioral change. After an assessment designed to help participants face the truth about the alignment of the mental, emotional, physical and purpose-driven aspects of their lives, they learn simple techniques to better manage their energy through exercise, nutrition and mindfulness.

As someone who exercises quite a bit and understands how my activity affects my available energy, I have to admit to some mild skepticism about how useful the program would be for me. I was dead wrong and found value in all three aspects of the program – energy management, movement and nutrition.

For example, I tend to leave long stretches of time between meals, which is, of course, a terrible strategy for keeping my energy up throughout the day and ravenous hunger at bay. It’s also a poor strategy to keep my metabolism, which is slowing with age, revving throughout the day and those extra pounds off. The program offers scientific explanations for why this and other bad nutritional strategies are destructive in easy-to-understand language, and achievable alternative strategies are suggested.

I was also reminded about the importance of adding some strength training to my cardio-heavy exercise regime to boost my metabolic performance and energy level. Program leaders provide and demonstrate simple but effective interval and resistance training workouts, appropriately gauged to participants’ fitness levels. These workouts don’t require machines or free weights and can be accomplished anywhere – at home, at the office or in a hotel room while traveling.

Most important for me though was the program’s emphasis on the alignment of various aspects of our lives (mental, emotional and physical). This alignment is crucial if we want to maintain the energy and focus necessary to further what we each see as our ultimate purpose. Program leaders walk participants through the steps of explicitly articulating one’s purpose and make a convincing case for altering behaviors that result in misalignment between our actions and fundamental intentions, all backed by evidence from the psychology, nutrition and exercise science literatures.

After completing the program, I’ve implemented a number of the suggested strategies to good effect and believe it would be beneficial to offer this or similar training to colleagues across the Libraries. To that end, we are reaching out to the Health Athlete program to investigate how we might work together to help maintain and grow our capacities for individual and collective wellness within the Libraries.

More on this in the coming months…

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

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