From the Director

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

Using organizational feedback to learn and improve


As you are probably aware, the University Libraries’ executive team participated in a full-day retreat in mid-July, leveraging what we learned from the 360-degree and formative review processes conducted this past spring, with the goals of identifying obstacles to success and actions to be taken to learn and improve.

First, we’d like to thank all of you who participated in these review processes by filling out surveys or providing free-text input. Overall, the feedback provided to us, both individually and as a team, was candid, constructive and useful.

I’m pleased to report that the retreat was successful in meeting its aims, and we are excited about sharing its outcomes. The group engaged in substantive, sometimes difficult, conversations about where we are both as a leadership team and an organization, as well as where we would like to be. We spoke frankly about the state of our organizational culture – as evidenced by the feedback provided by many of you – and about how our behaviors as individuals and as a team enable and sometimes hinder organizational success. We identified areas for learning and improvement and committed to making some significant changes to enable future success, in alignment with our strategic directions and collective values.

You might remember that I shared four themes aggregated from this feedback at our general meetings in July (slides from my presentation available in Buckeye Box):

  • Accountability for action in line with values and strategic goals
  • Enabling people to grow and succeed in their roles
  • Visibility and opportunities for sharing vision and providing feedback
  • Changing our culture is still a work in progress

These themes provided the framing for our discussions, during which we identified three areas for learning and improvement for ourselves and the broader organization:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of what shared leadership means and how to do it successfully
  • Develop a deeper understanding of what participatory decision making is and how to successfully enable it
  • Improve organizational communication by implementing more defined process-oriented communications strategies

To develop a collective understanding of these concepts and supporting behaviors, we will need a shared vocabulary. So, we will begin the process of drafting definitions, along with tangible, relatable examples of what these and related concepts might look like in action. These definitions will be workshopped across the organization, so all will have the ability to ask questions and suggest improvements. From this, we’ll build out a glossary that will represent our common understanding of important organizational learning.

In addition, we anticipate creating some simple scaffolding to clarify processes around decision-making and communications, with the goal of providing some light structure to better support shared leadership and participatory decision making across the organization. Many of you provided feedback requesting a little more structure in these areas. As for the definitional work, these light weight tools will be shared across the organization and made available for all to use and hone.

So, expect to see communications about these efforts in the coming weeks and months, and look for opportunities to engage.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or suggestions. Your engagement is both welcome and critical to the realization of our aspirations.

On behalf the Libraries’ executive team,

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries


Discovery to Access (D2A) initiative

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the University Libraries’ Discovery to Access (D2A) initiative, an effort focused on the ongoing improvement of our users’ experiences as they move from discovery of licensed content to accessing it. The initiative’s central purpose is the removal of barriers that confront users while utilizing Libraries’ licensed content, regardless of where such barriers are encountered in the discovery to access process. This work strongly aligns with our strategic values and focus areas of “Seamless discovery, access, and delivery” and “Organizational efficiency and impact.”*

This initiative will exercise and leverage our developing practices of empowering leadership and contribution by stakeholders across the organization. Led by Anita Foster, Electronic Resources Officer, the initiative’s core group includes stakeholders from across the Libraries, with participation anticipated to evolve in line with project needs. Karla Strieb, Associate Director for Content and Access, and Jennifer Vinopal, Associate Director for Information Technology, serve as the initiative’s co-sponsors.

D2A will begin by taking a look at the current state of the authentication processes used to access licensed resources, with the goals of identifying opportunities to reduce complication and confusion and provide a more seamless connection to content wherever users discover it. To help facilitate this exploration, two members of the core team recently participated in a NISO Live Event where they learned more about the authentication options available to libraries and had opportunities to discuss the privacy and data use concerns surrounding various methods.

Additional areas of exploration for the initiative will involve investigating options for customizing licensed resources to better serve primary audiences, as well as expanding opportunities for the discovery and access of content wherever users find it – inside or outside of Libraries’ services and systems. The initiative will examine tools currently used for end-user discovery, such as the Find It service, and identify opportunities for improvement.

This is an exciting initiative, with the important objectives of eliminating barriers and enhancing the success of students, faculty, and other users of Libraries’ content and services.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

*See the University Libraries Strategic Directions website for more information our values, focus areas and current initiatives.

New Wellness Room open at 18th Avenue Library

I am pleased to announce that the University Libraries has opened a Wellness Room in the 18th Avenue Library.

The purpose of the Wellness Room is to provide space for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to engage in quiet contemplation, to de-stress, reflect, or participate in wellness activities, such as meditation, yoga, prayer, stretching, relaxation, breathing exercises or mindfulness practice. The Wellness Room will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The creation of this space represents an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to promote wellness for our students, faculty, and staff. Our Buckeye Wellness Innovators coordinate a variety of health and wellness activities aligned with the university’s wellness initiatives, including a weekly newsletter, a healthy cookbook project, a wellness workshop series, and yoga classes at the Library Tech Center.

The Wellness Room is on the ground level of the 18th Avenue Library, Room 040.  In the near future, and following some additional renovations of the space, the Wellness Room will also be available to reserve for organized wellness-related events. More on this in the coming months.

Please join me in thanking our colleagues who successfully led this project: Larry AllenLila Anderson, Quanetta Batts, Sandra EnimilAaron Heil, Brent LewisMeris Longmeier, Pam McClung, and Lisa Patton-Glinksi.

And a very special thanks to the many student leaders who served as vocal, effective advocates and partners throughout the planning and implentation processes.

Go Bucks!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

University Libraries exhibits at the Columbus Metropolitan Library

I’m excited to announce a new partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) devised to better expose University Libraries exhibits to the Columbus community.

Second Floor Gallery, CML, Main Library

Earlier this week, our exhibitions team (led by Ken Aschliman and Justin Luna) installed a “bite sized” version of the Cartoon Couture exhibit currently on display at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in a beautiful gallery space in CML’s Main Library in downtown Columbus.

If this first collaboration is successful, the Libraries will develop an annual exhibition schedule for the gallery space at CML. The initial plan is to install mini versions of exhibits recently displayed in Thompson Library and at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. We will also assist CML by providing facsimiles from our collections to support special programs they host throughout the year.

In addition to sharing our distinctive collections with the Columbus community, this initiative is intended to drive traffic to our on-campus galleries and digital collections. Many thanks to Ken, Justin, Lisa Carter, and Quanetta Batts for their work in moving this project forward. And a special thank you to our friends and colleagues at CML for inviting us into their space.

Make sure to check out the exhibit on the second floor of CML’s Main Library if you get the chance!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Share your ideas and feedback on User Response

Do you have an idea about a potential new service that might benefit our student, faculty, or community users? Or maybe you have an idea for a process change that might improve efficiency or effectiveness in some part of our organization. Or maybe you have a suggestion about how we might better live our collective values or work more productively as a learning organization.

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, I invite you to share your ideas by posting a topic on User Response, our new idea management platform. All University Libraries’ faculty, staff, and student employees can participate; and we encourage you to engage by submitting your work-related ideas or providing feedback on ideas shared by your colleagues. You can post new topics for discussion, provide comments and ask questions about topics posted by others, and even vote to support ideas you think the organization should prioritize for action.

Our first post suggesting that the Libraries develop a more sophisticated mobile app, submitted by Jessica Ware last week, has generated some interesting discussion about our broader mobile strategy. Log-in to view Jessica’s idea and add your comment or vote.

If you are interested in joining the conversation, follow these steps to activate your account:

  1. Go to the login page at:
  2. Click “forgot my password”.
  3. Enter your OSU email address.
  4. You will receive a system generated email within a few seconds with instructions about how to reset your password. The email will come from Please keep in mind that this password is unique and should not be the same as your OSU password.

Once you set your password, you’ll be able to join the discussion by adding new topics and commenting on others’ posts.

User Response is just one of the ways we hope to support two of our strategic directions: Model Excellence and Invest in People. Building an organization-wide culture of leadership, risk-taking, and accountability starts with all of us, no matter where we work in the Libraries, feeling empowered to share our ideas about how to improve our organization and trusting that our input is valued.

Come join the conversation!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries





Ohio State University Libraries New Strategic Directions

Colleagues and Friends,

I am pleased to share with you the strategic directions and focus areas for the Ohio State University Libraries: our collective purpose, aligned with the teaching, research, and engagement priorities set out in the university’s strategic plan — Time and Change — and designed to drive a new agile operating framework and participatory management structure.

After completing an inclusive strategic planning process that integrated broad input from faculty, students, university administrators, and external stakeholders, we have constructed a comprehensive set of strategic directions, emerging from an ambitious vision and a reaffirmation of the values underlying the university’s land grant mission. The result provides a strategic foundation for a dynamic operating environment, devised for flexibility and responsiveness to successfully leverage opportunities and achieve organizational objectives.

Flowing from its core values — excellence; diversity in people and of ideas; inclusion; access and affordability; innovation; collaboration and multidisciplinary endeavor; and integrity, transparency, and trust — The Ohio State University aspires to be a leading national flagship public research university by focusing on five areas of endeavor:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Access, Affordability and Excellence
  • Research and Creative Expression
  • Academic Health Care
  • Operational Excellence and Resource Stewardship

To support the university’s strategic intent, the University Libraries will promote innovative research and creative expression, advance effective teaching, curate and preserve information essential for scholarship and learning, and share knowledge and culture with the people of Ohio, the nation and the world. From this mission, we have identified a set of six directions of strategic focus for the coming years:

Equip Students for Lifelong Success: Promote equitable learning through transformative teaching, services, and employment

Empower Knowledge Creators: Advance innovative research and creative expression by fostering, preserving, and sharing knowledge and scholarship

Engage for Broader Impact: Pursue initiatives aligned with university priorities to promote a more engaged and better informed society

Enrich the User Experience: Center the user experience in services, planning, and decision making

Invest in People: Develop the full potential of faculty, staff, and student employees

Model Excellence: Increase effectiveness to achieve strategic and operational objectives

Echoing the pillars of the university’s strategic plan, we are committed to the academic success of our students; to advancing the teaching, research, and creative pursuits of our faculty; and to modeling operational excellence to increase our effectiveness and impact. As we translate this intention into action, we aspire to realize our vision to be the leading library advancing the educational, research, and engagement missions of a national flagship public university.

My thanks to all who contributed to the development of our new strategic directions and focus areas over the last several months. We had deep, meaningful engagement during the planning process from both internal and external stakeholders. A special thanks to the members of the Libraries’ Strategic Planning Group:  Alison ArmstrongQuanetta Batts, Sue Beck, Lisa CarterTamar Chute, Nick Felt, Tony Maniaci, Jarod Ogier, Tracey Overbey, Lisa Patton-GlinskiTerry Reese, Josh Sadvari, Pat Schell, Karla Strieb and Jennifer Vinopal. This group did the hard work that produced the road map that will guide our work in building our shared future.

Please join us in making this vision a reality. I encourage you to visit the University Libraries’ Strategic Directions website,, where, in the near future, we will provide information about current and emerging initiatives and projects aligned with our new strategic directions.


Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Note: All University Libraries faculty and staff will receive a print copy of the strategic directions document in the next few weeks.


Promoting our collective health and wellness in 2018

In support of the university’s goal of being the healthiest campus community in the world, University Libraries is taking the initiative in promoting health and wellness for our faculty and staff. Last October, 88 Libraries’ faculty and staff completed a health and wellness survey, providing candid feedback about the types of activities that many would like to see us support, as well as potential barriers to participation. Thanks to those who took the time to provide this feedback. You can see the full survey results at

Our Buckeye Wellness Innovators, Lila Andersen, Randall McKenzie, and Quanetta Batts, reviewed the survey results and have developed a six-month wellness plan for University Libraries based on your feedback. This plan includes the following:

  • Bi-weekly yoga classes at the Libraries Tech Center (3-month pilot)
  • Wellness Wednesday newsletters, which will highlight wellness topics and special events/activities happening across campus
  • A workshop series featuring a variety of health and wellness topics
  • A University Libraries healthy cookbook project
  • Wellness walks around campus

More information about these activities is coming soon. Please keep in mind that participation is voluntary. Faculty and staff should feel free to participate as their schedules allow. We also hope that you will continue to engage with the Your Plan for Health website:

Finally, we are providing an Ohio State University Libraries water bottle for each of you to help jumpstart your wellness journey in 2018.  All faculty and staff will receive a water bottle later this week. Why a water bottle? You can learn about the benefits of staying properly hydrated at

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2018!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

New Mary P. Key Diversity Residents: Clopton and Vasudev

I am pleased to announce two appointments to our Mary P. Key Diversity Residency Program:

Kapil Vasudev will serve as the MPK Resident for Cultural Diversity Inquiry, reporting to Nena Couch in Thompson Library Special Collections.

Kapil comes to us from Davidson College in North Carolina where, as a Library Collections Assistant, he facilitates the acquisition, description, and preservation of library collections, including the processing of oral histories of the African American community in North Mecklenburg County. Previously, he worked in various roles at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and was a teaching assistant for North Carolina State University’s Department of History. He earned his MLIS at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Kay Clopton will serve as the MPK Resident for Cultural Diversity Inquiry, reporting to Jenny Robb at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

Kay is a Ph.D. candidate in Ohio State’s Comparative Studies program and the Administrative Associate for the Human Rights in Transit program in the Department of Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Cultures. She was a Graduate Administrative Associate for the Discovery Grant Program in 2016-17. She taught Comparative Studies courses for six years as a graduate student, including second-year writing courses focused on popular culture, graphic arts, and American identity, as well as general education courses. Her graduate work focuses on sound effects in Japanese manga and North American comics and how they impact the reading experience. She earned her MLIS at Kent State University.

Both will be joining us on January 2, 2018.

While we initially intended to appoint one resident in this role, it became clear during the recruitment process that we had an exciting opportunity to appoint two talented residents to focus on cultural diversity inquiry. In these roles, Kapil and Kay will work with colleagues to connect our distinctive collections to curricular opportunities where special collections can enlighten, inspire, and deepen understandings of diversity. These appointments will enable the Libraries to more actively support the university’s commitments to diversity in people and ideas and our own efforts to advance diversity in our collections, services, and organizational development.

The Mary P. Key Diversity Residency Program is one of the oldest and most respected research library diversity enhancement residencies; and the Libraries and the broader profession have benefitted greatly from the talents of individuals who began their careers as MPK residents at Ohio State. Moving forward, we will increase our investments in the program by doubling the number of concurrent residents to four, with the goal of appointing two new residents each year. I have asked Quanetta Batts, Program Director for Outreach and Engagement, to work with the Libraries’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee, MPK Residency alumni, and others to refresh the program with a focus on its original charge: to assist new librarians in making a successful transition into academic research librarianship. This refresh will include a rethinking of our approach to recruiting and attracting applicants, a better organized and supported residency program, a renewed web presence, and a more intentional effort to create an inclusive experience for our residents.

Join me in welcoming Kapil and Kay! As our new colleagues join us for this intense, transformational experience, each of us have a role in welcoming them and surrounding them with the support, ideas, and collegiality that will enable their success both as residents and as professionals throughout their careers.

A special thanks to the search committee, José Díaz (chair), Lila Andersen, Leta Hendricks, Sarah Murphy, and Wendy Pflug for their strong work in identifying a robust pool of candidates for this recruitment and for providing a thoughtful evaluation of the opportunities we see ahead of us.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of 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 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

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