As we enter into a process for renewing our strategic directions this summer, I thought it might be helpful to share the Libraries’ progress in meeting its top ten, near-term strategic goals for 2015-16. These goals come from the present strategic plan and were shared with the Office of Academic Affairs as metrics of success for the current academic year. Thanks to everyone in the organization who contributed to a successful year in fulfilling our strategic intent. And thanks to all of you who provided information for this update.
To understand where we are heading, it is helpful to understand where we’ve been.
- Implement the Research Commons
The Research Commons (RC) construction project was completed in January 2016. The project design was led by BHDP Architects and construction by Robertson Construction. The Libraries and campus partners celebrated the grand opening reception on January 26, 2016.
From September 2014 through April 2016, the RC hosted 61 workshops, panel discussions, and showcase events, with over 1400 attendees. 25 of these events with more than 540 attendees occurred during the Spring semester, and five more events are scheduled for the Summer term. Attendance can range from less than 10 to more than 60 depending on the topic, with average attendance around 20-25.
Of the more than 1400 individuals who have attended RC events up to this point, the largest group is graduate students at 38%, with an additional 38% comprised of postdocs, staff, and faculty. This is good news since RC services are targeted to “advanced researchers.”
The RC team recently reviewed service activity for the semester and is drafting a document reflecting lessons learned, markers for success and assessment, and directions for future services for Executive Committee review.
- Enhance the Libraries Role as Partners in the Research Process
Important ground work was laid to ensure the success of the Research Commons (RC) prior to opening through extensive partnership and program development. Key partners include the Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE), Office of Research, Office of Responsible Research Practices, Writing Center, Undergraduate Research Office, Graduate School, Technology Commercialization Office, among others; and the partnership model has been successful on a number of fronts. For example, the Writing Center offers semester-long, interdisciplinary writing groups geared towards graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, covering topics such as thesis, dissertation, journal article, and grant writing. Numerous partners within and outside of the Libraries offer weekly consultation hours, with one partner, the Office of Responsible Research Practices (the IRB folks), planning to double their weekly office hours held in the space. Additional partners (the Libraries’ Publishing and Repository Services, Ohio Supercomputer Center, and ODEE) have all inquired about offering onsite consulting in the space in Fall 2016.
Partnership development occurs outside of the RC and from all across the organization (e.g., the Libraries is one of four partners supporting the Data Commons initiative in Pomerene Hall, along with the Office of the CIO, Ohio Supercomputing Center, and College of Medicine IT) and are actively engaged with the Translational Data Analytics (TDA) faculty advisory board. The Libraries continues to build support for research through the service and outreach programming of the Copyright Resource Center, Publishing and Repository Services, subject specialist and area studies librarians, and new functional expertise (e.g., Data Management Librarian, Digital Humanities Librarian, etc.). Next steps will include increasing support for further skill building for subject specialist librarians (“new roles for new times”) and defining future Libraries support and investment for more active research data management.
- Expand Copyright Services
The Copyright Resources Center (CRC) has successfully worked with the Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE) to create and enhance a range of resources that integrate copyright consultation and training into ODEE activities and service offerings. CRC has been deeply involved with supporting the creation of new and open online learning resources; promoting fair use of resources in teaching and learning; and supporting the shift of Carmen to the Canvas learning management platform.
CRC offers office hours in the Research Commons and has worked successfully with Publishing and Repository Services to develop a set of resources under the umbrella of “The Write Stuff,” a modular presentation/workshop delivered as needed to address issues around publishing research and increasing its impact and quality.
CRC increased consultations by 55% in 2015 over 2014 and answered 15% more questions over the same period.
- Renovate the Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES) Library
The FAES Library and Student Success Center renovation was completed in early 2015 as expected and relaunched formally with a grand re-opening on February 20, 2015. Acock Associates was the architect of record and construction was completed by Robertson Construction. The project is viewed as very successful by both the Libraries and the College (faculty and staff speak regularly about the facilities improvements and the value the renovation brings to the College and the student experience). User visits have increased precipitously as expected (2013 = 34.5K vs. 2015 = 67K). The group study rooms are heavily used by students and by the College; and the FAES Librarian is working closely with researchers, faculty, and students to improve support for their research, teaching, and learning.
- Align Exhibitions with Campus Wide Initiatives or Celebrations
The quality of Libraries exhibits has improved dramatically. Improvements include enhanced visual appeal, interactivity, clarity of message, diversity of perspective, and creativity of presentation.
Additionally, alignment with campus-wide initiatives has increased dramatically. Since October 2014, the Libraries have mounted the following exhibits and related programming, which have advanced donor relations and connected with strategic campus initiatives:
|Aug 16, 2014 – Nov 30, 2014||The Long March: Civil Rights in Cartoons and Comics||Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, Diversity and Inclusion|
|Sept 15 – Jan 4, 2015||Remembering the March: Archival Reflections on the 1964 Civil Rights Act||Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, Diversity and Inclusion|
|Dec 13, 2014 – Mar 15, 2015||King of the Comics: William Randolph Hearst and 100 Years of King Features||Donor relations, sponsored exhibit|
|Jan 14 – May 10, 2015||Rough Edges: Women in the Collegiate Press Tradition||Women’s History Month, Diversity and Inclusion|
|Mar 28, 2015 – July 5, 2015||World of Shojo Manga! Mirrors of Girls’ Desires and Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women||Women’s History Month, Diversity and Inclusion|
|May 20 – Sept 20, 2015||On the Edge with William T. Vollmann||Donor relations, Diversity and Inclusion|
|Oct 5, 2015 – Jan 3, 2016||Mysteries in Ice||Energy and the Environment|
|July 20 – Jan 24, 2016||What Fools These Mortals Be! The Story of Puck||Donor relations|
|Jan 13 – April 24, 2016||Dancing in the Streets: Carnival from Britain, Brazil, and Beyond||Diversity and Inclusion, Health and Wellness|
|May 4 – Sept 4, 2016||Fun with a Purpose: Highlights and its Contribution to Early Childhood Education||Donor relations, partnership with Education for CHLA|
|June 4 – Oct 23, 2016||Good Grief! Children and Comics and Dream a Little Dream: Little Nemo||Partnership with Education for CHLA|
During this same period, the Exhibits Program and curators have increased outreach and engagement with faculty to embed exhibits into classroom assignments and discussions. One example, The Long March, resulted in integration of Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum programming into regular offerings of eight sections of “Visual Culture: Investigating Diversity and Social Justice” each semester since October 2014.
In another example, the Exhibits Program and partner librarians assisted faculty with a rich, hands-on experience for Second Year Writing 2367. Students developed a display for library exhibit cases on people with disabilities, experienced the research process in an engaging, fun way, and learned about theoretical and practical approaches to presenting information. This is a powerful example of how the Libraries can enhance students’ coursework through exhibit creation and design.
- Advance Digitization Projects
The increasing scale and scope of creating digital collections continues through participation in the Google Scanning Partnership. The Libraries has scanned nearly 120,000 volumes to date with most now available through the HathiTrust Partnership, as well as through Google Books.
The OSU Theses digitization project is now largely complete. With the funds available, 25,000 print theses from 1960-2008 were digitally scanned, and the originals rehoused in a secure storage facility.
Several reformatting projects creating digital images from special collections have also advanced. Materials covered range from medieval manuscript leaves to several sheet music collections, rare Ottoman Turkish materials, Czech scenography materials, theater scrapbooks, and publications documenting the founding of OSU’s Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, among many others.
- Build Out an Improved Digital Asset Management Environment
All Libraries digital files were moved to Libraries-owned and managed storage by July 2014. Libraries IT continues to work with the Digital Resources Archivist and curators to de-duplicate, provide version control, and move files into the new Master Objects Repository (MOR). Workflow for ingest and management of files has been developed by the Digital Content Management Workflow Working Group that curators can access in preparation for final ingest into the Fedora repository system for management and preservation. Discovery of and access to the image files is currently being provided through the new Image Collections system, based on Hydra/Blacklight (https://library.osu.edu/ims). Implementation of the Avalon system for A/V files is currently being re-evaluated. Archivists’ Toolkit has been implemented for input and management of archival collections metadata. Discovery is currently provided through the general website site search; access is provided through a locally developed Finding Aids interface.
The Digital Preservation Task Force has completed work on an environmental scan of digital preservation services and made recommendations for next steps in long-term preservation of Libraries’ digital assets.
Next steps include continued cleanup and ingest of digital files into the MOR; identification and ingest of other digital files on portable media; continued development and improvement of our digital asset management systems; and further improvements to the overall discovery environment for digital collections.
- Investigate a Third Module at the Library Book Depository
A feasibility study was conducted by SHP Leading Design (architects) and the finalized documents presented to the Libraries on April 1, 2015. The study included three possible design scenarios and project costing that took into account inflationary measures based on probable lead times for potential implementation. Costs were consistent with our internal estimates at approximately $11M.
A copy of the study was shared with colleagues from OhioLINK for inclusion in a capital budget request. The Ohio Department of Higher Education did not support inclusion of the funds with the OhioLINK capital request for FY17/18. The next opportunity to seek external funding will be in FY19/20. The Libraries is weighing next steps on moving this much needed project forward.
- Advance Shared Print Projects
The Libraries continues to actively engage shared print projects through three strategic partnerships. The CIC Shared Print Program is wrapping up its first phase of building shared journal collections and is planning for a second five-year phase beginning in 2017.
OhioLINK is continuing to develop a new shared print strategy. The Libraries is participating in the newly launched Shared Collections Task Force, which will significantly affect strategy around securing unique collections, rationalizing the housing of print collections across the consortium, and developing a sustainable funding model.
The Libraries is represented in the program management of the newly launched HathiTrust Shared Monograph Archiving program. The project will secure print copies of the millions of digital monographs available through the HathiTrust program.
- Continue Fundraising
The Libraries has had a very successful fundraising year, exceeding its 2015-16 fiscal year goal and raising more than $4M. The But For Ohio State campaign goal of $25M was exceeded, and the Libraries current campaign total is $37.6M. During the campaign, 22 endowments were created, many gifts to collections and current endowments were received, and a stronger focus on annual gifts was developed. The current campaign ends in September 2016 and planning is now beginning to set priorities for the next campus-wide campaign.
A truly successful year. Clear evidence that we are indeed building on strength…
Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries