From the Director

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

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Progress on Top Ten Strategic Goals

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 ( 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

Impact through Outreach – The Margo Jones Award

Last week was a busy one for me, starting in Vancouver for the Association of Research Libraries membership meeting, my first representing The Ohio State University, and ending in Miami for the presentation of the Margo Jones Award, which annually honors “that citizen-of-the-theatre who has demonstrated a significant impact, understanding and affirmation of the craft of playwriting, with a lifetime commitment to the encouragement of the living theatre everywhere.”

We, in the Libraries, administer the award through the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute, in partnership with our colleagues in the Department of Theatre; and Beth Kattelman, Curator of Theatre, Nena Couch, Head of Thompson Library Special Collections, Mary Tarantino, Professor of Theatre and Director of the Theatre Research Institute, and I had the collective honor of presenting the award for 2016 to Ricky J. Martinez, Artistic Director for the New Theatre, in Miami.

Martinez is an accomplished actor, dancer, choreographer, director, and playwright, as well as “a Miami-born Cuban-American proudly residing and working in South Florida.” The ceremony was a joyous, sometimes raucous, celebration of Ricky J. and his accomplishments. But maybe more importantly, it was a moving testament to how a genuinely committed individual can profoundly affect their local community. Ricky J. shows up for his community through his dedication and work, and his community showed up for him. In a big way.

Along with his family, former teachers, high school classmates, and a large portion of the South Florida theatre community laughed and cried through a poignant ceremony, capped by Ricky J. eloquently explaining the genesis of his work as the need to prove those who posit the death of theatre wrong. So very wrong.

For me, the experience provided a powerful example of the Libraries’ ability to generate real impact through community outreach, in alignment with University vision and values (Community Engagement and Diversity and Inclusion, in this case). We recognized Ricky J. Martinez as an accomplished individual, but we also celebrated a vibrant arts community, steadfastly committed to enabling and elevating diverse voices through a living theatre. This recognition was deeply meaningful to that community, and they let us know how they felt. And among those in attendance who expressed their thanks were several Buckeyes, one of whom who told us “I’m proud of Ohio State today.”

It was also a treat to spend time with Deborah Robison, niece of Jerome Lawrence, Jonathan Lee, Robert E. Lee’s son (along with his wife Neila and daughter Jenny), as well as Judy Jones and Roy Hill, Margo Jones’ niece and nephew. As part of the ceremony, Deborah and Jonathan discussed Lawrence and Lee’s writing process and explained how Margo Jones championed a “living theatre” that took risks, broadened access to art, and enabled voices that others bypassed.

I would argue that Margo Jones’ charge is our own. We, in the Libraries, have both the power and responsibility through our land grant/public education/social mobility missions to enable diverse voices and broaden access to culture and learning through our collecting, service programming, and community outreach. Margo Jones enabled a “living theatre.” We are building a living library.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

An Agile Planning Framework

As we head into renewing the Libraries’ strategic plan, I’ve been thinking a lot about the planning processes I’ve led in the past – what worked well and what didn’t. And while we put together some relatively strong plans during my time at Columbia, I think, in hindsight, that they suffered from an unfortunate conflation of the strategic with the operational. We confused statements about our strategic intent (what we aspire to be) with our implementation plans (how we will get there), which led to somewhat unfocused, overstuffed inventories of all the good things we should do, muddying our attempts to provide a clear, concise articulation of where we would actually place our strategic effort, supported by real financial and human resources. I also worry about how these processes tend to consume our organizations in extended, overly burdensome planning activities, which often result in static 3 to 5-year plans that push us into psychologies of task list completion.

Instead of traveling this well-worn path, I propose that the Libraries implement a more agile planning framework, designed to facilitate an ongoing organizational conversation about our strategic intent and how we plan to make that intent a reality. Such a framework would entail a lighter-weight, open-ended process, hopefully allowing for more flexibility and openness to unforeseen opportunities. It would, if implemented well, ensure the continuing integration of faculty, staff, and external stakeholder voices in our planning discussions, because the process itself is conceived as an ongoing conversation with and between these groups.

The initial result (our strategic directions document) would be a concise, clear statement of who we are, what we value, our view of the future, and our focused, strategic intent flowing from this context. The time horizon for our ongoing planning efforts would be 18-36 months, and we would review and revise (or iterate) our strategic intent, and the investments we are making in support of it, on an annual or semi-annual basis. That review is the ongoing conversation, which we would need to keep relatively light-weight by utilizing many of the organizational structures and discussion forums already in place, where we would discuss changing user needs, new opportunities, and other evolving environmental factors. Of course, we would also need to create more detailed implementation plans at the divisional and/or unit levels that are clearly mapped to our stated strategic intent. These would be revised iteratively as well.

The motivating idea, following from the philosophy under pending agile development, is to construct an architecture for strategic thinking and action for the organization that would obviate the need to drop everything every five years or so to build out a new, static strategic plan (rinse and repeat…). If we are successful in creating an effective agile planning framework, our strategic intent, and the operational work we do to support it, should evolve in a more organic fashion through meaningful, ongoing dialog about organizational priorities, informed by engaged interaction with users, important external stakeholders, and university-level planning efforts.

I should mention that conversations with many of you over the past few weeks have helped clarify my thinking about how we might design and implement a more agile planning framework like I’ve sketched out above. Special thanks to our colleagues, Tina Franks, Joseph Galron, Craig Gibson, Alan Green, Lynda Hartel, Jessica Page, and members of Executive Committee, for providing a constructively critical sounding board for some of these ideas in conversations this week and last.

I’d also like to point your attention to a powerful example – from our colleagues at the Columbus Metropolitan Library – of how a library can communicate its strategic intent clearly and concisely. It is an impressive example of how to effectively communicate the connections between values, vision, strategic focus, and expected outcomes. Thanks to Quanetta Batts for bringing the CML example to my attention.

I look forward to discussing these ideas with you at upcoming coffees and meetings.


Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Closing the Expanding Diversity Gap

At a recent Office of Academic Affairs Leadership meeting, Sharon Davies, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, shared a 25-year projection of the State of Ohio’s growing diversity. She described a projected increase in the proportion of people of color in the state from roughly 20% today to 22% in 2020 to 30% in 2040. Digging a little deeper into this impending demographic shift, it is probable that we will see the number of non-White “youth age” Ohioans (ages 14-24) surpass their White counterparts around 2025. Like the nation as a whole, Ohio is becoming more diverse very quickly, and the primary population from which Ohio State’s undergraduate student body is drawn will be composed by a majority of people of color within the next decade. Vice Provost Davies’ presentation, and the discussion that followed, provided a clear reminder of why President Drake includes Diversity and Inclusion as one of the three pillars of his 2020 Vision, along with Access, Affordability and Excellence and Community Engagement.

We, in the Libraries, aspire to build an organization in which students can see themselves and their experiences reflected. Our objective is to grow a library faculty and staff that look more like a changing Ohio. In reviewing our progress to date, it is clear that we still have a lot of work to do. Currently, underrepresented groups comprise roughly 13% of our library faculty and 16% of staff. The goal posts are moving, and we, like the rest of the university and the community of academic research libraries, are already behind.

So, what are we doing to try to close this expanding gap? To better understand what we might do going forward, I thought it would be helpful to review what we in the Libraries are currently doing to meet our diversity and inclusion objectives…

We sponsor the National Diversity in Libraries Conference and ODI’s National Conference on Diversity, Race & Learning. We are strengthening our efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce by implementing a number of more inclusive HR practices, including implicit bias training for search committee participants; by supporting ARL’s Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce and Leadership & Career Development Program; and through the Mary P. Key Diversity Residency Program, which includes support for related professional development, such as the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarian from Traditionally Underrepresented Groups. Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of dedicated faculty and staff who develop engaging programming to advance a culture of diversity and inclusion in the Libraries, including hosting speakers and creating exhibits that highlight a variety of backgrounds and experiences. And our broader exhibition and programming efforts are increasingly and purposefully including a diversity of perspectives on the topics presented.

So, it looks to me like we are making progress in living our organizational values through these investments in both funding and effort. But, given the rapidly changing demographics described above, we will need to do more if we are to have any chance of meeting our goals. I look forward to hearing from you about how we might invest further to not only create a culture of diversity and inclusion but an organization that is truly representative of the students we support and the state we live in.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Stepping up…

This was an exciting weekend at Thompson Library. Along side the CNN-sponsored town hall held in Mershon Auditorium for both Democratic Presidential candidates, MSNBC approached the university about holding another town hall with candidate Bernie Sanders in the Buckeye Reading Room the following Monday. And of course this request came to the university and the Libraries on Friday afternoon, just as the campus was relaxing into spring break. And let’s just say that the television news industry operates with a different sense of timing and urgency than we normally do in higher education…

If any of you have ever been involved with managing logistics for a large event, not to mention a major media event with high-level security concerns (i.e., the Secret Service), then you know something of the Herculean effort that went into transforming the Buckeye Reading Room into a secure television set in two days. Much of this effort coming from OSU Libraries colleagues, who, with flexibility and grace, worked through the weekend to show The Ohio State University at its best to the nation and the world.

Due in no small part to these efforts, the event was by all accounts a success (if you didn’t watch the telecast, you can view the video here). And given all their work, I thought it would be appropriate to shine some light on the people who made it happen, who they are and what they did.

Brent Lewis – acted as project manager and the primary liaison to the MSNBC crew, the Secret Service, as well as affected OSU departments. He worked double shifts all weekend and came in on Monday at 2:30AM!

David Holbrook – acted as assistant project manager, assisting Brent in supporting MSNBC production and technical crews, security personnel, and OSU departments. He coordinated deliveries through the dock and managed student support throughout the weekend.

Mark Moziejko – provided facilities support for both the external production crews and OSU facilities departments. He played a pivotal role in coordinating HVAC changes for the production team and worked as a communication liaison to inform stakeholders about interrupted workflows and services throughout the weekend.

Shannon Niemeyer – acted as events coordinator, working with MSNBC production managers throughout the weekend on space coordination, catering, and room setup, as well as assisting on the space rental agreement with Business Advancement.

Larry Allen – acted as primary communications liaison throughout the weekend, responsible for keeping all of us informed as details became available. He supported communications with Business Advancement, University Communications and Government Relations, and handled signage.

In addition, Aaron Heil came in on Sunday night to relieve Brent for all facilities matters with the MSNBC production crew; Lauren Paulauskas and Ashley Foster assisted on the rental agreement and other logistics; Quanetta Batts ensured that our colleagues from OCIO who work in Thompson Library were up-to-date on the situation as it developed and had alternate meeting space for a displaced event; and Wendy Pflug, at extremely short notice, provided an after-hours tour of BICLM for Jake Tapper, a CNN reporter and host of the Democratic candidate town halls hosted by the university on Sunday evening. Mr. Tapper is also a cartoonist and was thrilled by the tour, tweeting extensively about it to his 460,000 followers the following day.

Lastly, a number of student employees helped move A LOT of furniture and supported Brent and David as needed throughout the weekend:

Kelly Jackson, Steven Pesa, Allegra Roland, Miranda Beatty, Tyler Treese, Emily Bishop, Braden Coles, and Sangeetha Ramachandran.

Through their efforts these folks collectively provided a wonderful illustration of extended engagement – something that many of you have heard me talk about over the last several weeks. Though providing a venue for a televised political event might not in itself seem directly relevant to an academic research library’s mission, I find it a compelling example of how we might push the boundaries of how the Libraries can provide value and demonstrate impact to the broader university and beyond, in this case as an active platform for considering issues important to the campus community, the State of Ohio, and our democratic process. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that “The Ohio State University” was mentioned multiple times during, and in connection with, an international television broadcast. Not too mention that 460,000 people from across the country and the world might now know a little more about some of the treasures we hold at BICLM.

So, join me in thanking our colleagues for stepping up on such short notice to such rousing success. If you see any of them this week, let them know that you value their exceptional work.

Damon Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Drinking from the Fire Hose

Drinking from the fire hose. That is what I’ve been doing for the past month, my first here at The Ohio State University. It has been whirlwind of meetings, receptions, and other opportunities to meet new colleagues inside and outside of the Libraries – a process organized to help me assemble an understanding of how Ohio State is structured, how decisions are made, and to foster the relationships important to our collective future success.

Over the past four weeks, I’ve met with 14 university administrators, the Office of Academic Affairs Leadership team, the Council of Deans, the Council on Distance Education, Libraries, and Information Technology (DELIT), Faculty Advisory Council, Staff Advisory Council, the Director of the Center for Library Initiatives at the CIC, and multiple current and prospective donors, among others. And last Friday, I began my internal listening tour with a morning of meetings with colleagues at the Library Tech Center. The calendar for March is just as crowded, if not more so.

Notable during my meetings with stakeholders from outside of the Libraries, I’ve been asked several times for my views “on the future of the Libraries at OSU” or something thereabouts. I’m sure many of you have been confronted with similar questions from time to time, but I thought it might be useful to share the outlines of how I’m answering such questions as I interact with our colleagues across campus and beyond.

I usually begin by offering what I consider to be the three broad missions of an academic research library as context: (1) to support faculty teaching, student learning, and community outreach; (2) to support research and the creation of new knowledge; and (3) to selectively collect and preserve our cultural heritage. Obviously, there is interplay among the activities that support these increasingly overlapping missions, but I’ve found framing the work of academic research libraries in this way to be helpful as a foundation for conversations with folks from outside the profession.

Next, I admit that I don’t know enough yet to offer much prescriptive detail but can say that:

  • to be vital to the academic enterprise, the Libraries must position itself as an active, engaged participant in solving university-level problems (Looking outside ourselves);
  • to maintain its vitality, the Libraries as an organization must continually renew its expertise, facilities, service programming, and business practices (Change never ends);
  • the Libraries must become more sophisticated in how it identifies and presents its stories of success and impact to external stakeholders (Success enables success).

Lastly, I posit that a successful academic research library is ever sensitive to where the university and its component parts are heading. You want to find the future of the Libraries at OSU? Look to where teaching and research within the academic disciplines and cultural acquisition are moving, and you will see the Libraries skating to the same puck, sometimes as partner, sometimes as leader, always engaged.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about our collective future as we interact in the coming weeks. This is going to be a lot of fun…

Damon Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

From the Director – March 3, 2015 – Leadership Transition

Dear Library Faculty and Staff

It is with very mixed emotions that I have informed Provost Steinmetz of my intention to step down as Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries on January 31, 2016.

It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve as your Director for the last 5 years and as your colleague for 21 years. In January 2010, I returned to The Ohio State University Libraries to my dream job. When I first came to OSU as a 29-year-old, I could never have imagined that I would someday lead OSU Libraries. In fact, I thought I would spend a few brief years in Ohio advancing my career, and then return to a next job back in the south (at least that is what I told my family who couldn’t imagine me living among the “Yankees”). But I fell in love with Ohio and Ohio State and I also fell in love with a Cincinnati native, my husband, Frank. Having known from a very early age that I wanted to be a librarian, I have had a much accelerated career. My administrative career now spans 33 years. As a result, I would like to begin another phase of my professional life.

Once I retire at the end of January, I will have the usual separation period and then return to complete work as the co-chair of the IFLA 2016 National Committee. Following that Congress in Columbus in August 2016, I will conclude my time at OSU but continue my professional involvement in libraries in other ways. Those changes will also afford me the opportunity after 20 years of marriage to finally live with my husband full-time in our home in Scottsdale, AZ.

There will be time over the coming months to talk about how much my time at OSU has meant to me and how I feel about the work we have done together. Together we have created a library system that is the pride of the University. Each of you, and your predecessors, have defined and built a library with an abiding culture of service, unequalled professionalism, and an unrelenting quest for excellence. During this period, I, and I hope each of you, will continue to move full speed ahead on achieving the goals we have set. With your support, the next Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries will lead the Libraries to even greater success.

The Provost will soon be appointing a search committee to begin the process of recruitment. My announcement now is intended to provide ample time for a good transition.



From the Director – October 13, 2014 – Open Access Week

Guest posting by Maureen Walsh and Melanie Schlosser

The week of October 20th is the eighth International Open Access Week, an annual educational event organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). This year University Libraries is using the week as an opportunity not only to raise awareness about open access (OA) on campus, but also to announce a new pilot project: the Open Access Fund for OSU Authors. (See Vice Provost and Director of Libraries’ Carol Diedrichs’ announcement at the conclusion of this post.)

First, some background on OA. The precise definition of open access is still a topic of debate, but it usually incorporates unrestricted access to and unrestricted use of scholarly literature. Put more simply, it means research made available online without paywalls, licensed for reuse.

In the 1990s, OA was envisioned as the self-archiving of research papers by their authors in open access repositories (“green” OA). The movement quickly grew to include completely OA journals (“gold” OA). Both methods are spontaneous, in that they are the result of a decision by the author at the time of publication to publish in an OA journal, or in a subscription journal that allows author self-archiving.

The last seven years have seen a more coordinated movement towards OA through faculty OA resolutions (including the OSU Libraries’ faculty OA resolution) and funder mandates. The past few years have seen even more momentum, as governments around the world began mandating public access to the results of publicly-funded research. Most public access mandates are still in the development stage, so their full impact can’t yet be determined, but the movement towards unrestricted public access to research continues to gain steam.

A common OA-related question we receive is in relation to campus-level support for OA publishing fees. Some — although by no means all — open access journals pay for the work of publication through Article Processing Charges (APCs) levied on authors. These are most common in fields where authors tend to have grant funding for their research, and many grantors allow applicants to include publishing funds in their grant budget.

Authors without grant support for APCs often turn to their home institution for help. While academic libraries are not in a position to completely fund OA publishing activity at the campus level, many have taken on the administration of such funds as a service to the university community and as part of their support for open access programs.

University Libraries is joining with Ohio State’s Health Sciences Library to launch a new pilot project supporting authors in this arena.

Maureen Walsh and Melanie Schlosser


University Libraries and the Health Sciences Library are collaborating on a pilot project addressing the issue Maureen and Melanie discussed—open access publishing fees.

The “Open Access Fund for OSU Authors” subsidizes processing fees of peer-reviewed articles authored or co-authored by OSU researchers published in eligible open access journals. Current Ohio State faculty, staff and enrolled students can apply.

Funding for publications that comply with the eligibility criteria will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The funds can be used to cover article publication charges (APCs) or open access fees for previously unpublished peer-reviewed articles, in fully open access journals where articles are made available immediately with no embargo period.

Awards are limited to a maximum of $1,000. Our two organizations have allocated a total of $20,000 toward the pilot, which will run until the fund has been exhausted. We will then evaluate the project and its impact.

I encourage authors who meet the criteria described to consider applying to the fund through the project website: Applications will be accepted beginning October 20.

–Carol Diedrichs

From the Director – September 15, 2014 – Research Commons Progress Report

Just about a year ago, I wrote a blog posting about our Research Commons Task Force report.   Here are a few of the next steps that were included in that September 23, 2013 posting:

Next Steps

  • Completion of recruitment and hiring of the public services cohort
  • Initiation of a feasibility study of the space on the 3rd Floor of the 18th Avenue Library
  • Appointment of a Research Commons Implementation Team
  • Establish an Advisory Board for the Research Commons

So what progress has been made to date?


Not only have we hired most of that public services cohort, but they have arrived and are already making significant contributions to our services and our plans for the Research Commons. These individuals include:

  • Amanda Rinehart –Data Management Services Librarian
  • Josh Sadvari — Research Commons manager (including GIS expertise)

Feasibility Study

The feasibility study has been completed. Based on that study we have just proposed the budget for the project and requested approval to proceed. That approval was given by the Board of Trustees at their late August meeting. Our next steps are the process for hiring the architects who will actually design the space and see it through to implementation. We are still hopeful for an opening of the physical space in January 2016.

Implementation Team and Advisory Board

The Research Commons Implementation Task Force and the Research Commons Partnership Advisory Committee have been established.  You can find their charges and membership here .  In addition to our original partners we have added the Technology Commercialization Office and The Writing Center.

Additional Progress

Beyond what we initially expected a year ago, substantial work has begun to stand up the services of the Research Commons before the actual physical space is available. The virtual Research Commons website can be found here

The hiring of Amanda and Josh as well as the work of others has enabled us to begin offering new services in GIS and data management. Beginning this October and extending through the spring semester, you will see a full plate of workshops being offered under the Research Commons umbrella (and in collaboration with our partners).

1)    Habits of Highly-Effective PIs: Succeeding in Research at Ohio State

Data Management Services and Office of Research

Thursday, October 2, 12:30 – 2:30pm (Thompson Library, Room 165)

2)    Keys to Research Success: Keeping Your Data Organized

Data Management Services and Undergraduate Research Office

Friday, October 17, 11:00am – 12:00pm (Thompson Library, Room 150A/B)

3)    Fair Use and You: Copyright Considerations for Writing Theses and Dissertations

Copyright Resources Center and Writing Center

Tuesday, October 21, 3:00 – 4:30pm (Thompson Library, Room 165)

4)    Opening Access to your Research: Strategies for Digital Scholarship

Digital Content Services and ODEE

Friday, October 24, 10:00am – 12:00pm (18th Avenue Library, Room 070/090)

5)    Protecting and Promoting your Research: From Copyright to Commercialization

Copyright Resources Center and Technology Commercialization Office

Wednesday, October 29, 2:00 – 4:00pm (Thompson Library, Room 165)

6)    Getting Grants: Finding Funding and Planning for Data Management

Data Management Services and Office of Research

Tuesday, November 4, 1:00 – 3:00pm (Thompson Library, Room 165)

7)    Undisciplined Research: Planning and Publishing Across Disciplinary Boundaries

Digital Content Services and ODEE

Friday, November 14, 10:00am – 12:00pm (18th Avenue Library, Room 070/090)

8)    Research Writing 101: Best Practices for Citation Management

Research Services and Writing Center

Thursday, November 20, 11:00am – 12:30pm (Thompson Library, Room 150A/B)

9)    Human Subjects Research: Assistance with IRB Forms and Data Management

Data Management Services and Office of Responsible Research Practices

Tuesday, December 2, 10:00am – 12:00pm (Thompson Library, Room 150A/B)

The implementation task force has made great progress and the planning for the physical space is well underway. Congratulations on this great progress to date!

From the Director – September 23, 2013 – Research Commons Task Force Report

Our Research Commons Task Force has done a marvelous job.  Their report [] is available here including an executive summary, recommendations and findings, as well as variety of appendices with additional information.

The task force was chaired by Meris Mandernach, and included Beth Black, Tschera Connell, Danny Dotson, Todd Efkeman, Bruce Leach, and Terry Reese.  The TF was advised by a group of stakeholders and potential partners including:  Jeff Agnoli (Office of Research); Ola Ahlqvist (Geography); Mike Hofherr (Distance Education and e-Learning); David Staley (History); Allison Snow (Undergraduate Research Office); and Sandra Enimil (Libraries’ Copyright).

The report recommended that the Research Commons (to be housed on the 3rd floor of the 18th Avenue Library)  be based and formed around services rather than merely providing a space.  Focusing on services provides the most useful support to researchers.  A four-pronged services model was recommended focused on consultations, education/training, referrals, and showcasing research.

  • Consultations
    • Campus partners will offer office hours at specific times throughout the week in the Commons space.  Partners include the Copyright Resources Center, Office of Responsible Research, Office of Research (grant support), Digital Content Services (institutional repository and publishing), subject librarians, Undergraduate Research Office, and Statistics.
    • Higher-end computing infrastructure such as data management, GIS and digital humanities support will be provided by new librarians with this expertise. In particular we have noted a growing interest in GIS, mapping and data services across disciplines and the growing need for support services in these areas.


  • Education and Training
    • Existing training and workshops provided by campus partners will be provided in the space.
    • Existing library training and workshops specific to the research lifecycle will be provided.
    • New training and workshops will be developed as needs emerge


  • Referrals
    • One of the glaring gaps identified by the task force was a basic lack of information or understanding around the types of research services currently available to the campus community.
    • Many services have been developed to serve particular departmental or college constituents but with little effort to build connections between these groups.
    • The Research Commons will serve as a triage service point to foster referrals to appropriate research services on campus.


  • Showcasing Research Output
    • Research output will be showcased in the physical space as well as through programming such as colloquia.  These showcases will be physical, virtual and experiential.

I had the opportunity to discuss the report with the Vice Provost/Vice Presidents group at our regular Monday morning meeting.  There was much interest in the concept but also many questions and suggestions.

Next Steps

Our next steps include:

  • The creation of a PowerPoint presentation about the proposed research commons to be used in next level discussions including:
    • The Graduate Council
    • Council of Graduate Students
    • Inter-professional Council (official student government of the 6 Professional Colleges of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine)
    • The Council on Library and Information Technology
  • Completion of recruitment and hiring of the public services cohort
  • Initiation of a feasibility study of the space on the 3rd Floor of the 18th Avenue Library
  • Appointment of a Research Commons Implementation Team (charge being drafted)
  • Establish an Advisory Board for the Research Commons (charge being drafted)

Strategic Plan

The Research Commons is a key tactic  in our strategic plan:  increase engagement of librarians in the research process and investigate options for a research commons focused on a suite of advanced research services such as GIS, data, copyright and digital scholarship.  This initiative is part of Strategic Focus Area #3 – offer enhanced and innovative research services to faculty and graduate students.  We’re offer to a great start.

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