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