From the Director

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

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

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.


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


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.


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