From the Dean

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

Category: Public (page 1 of 6)

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.


Enabling organizational capacities

As we work our way toward defining the Libraries’ future strategic intent, the need to expand capacities in a number of areas has become clear. Developing these capacities will underlay and enable our success as we reorient the organization toward a new set of strategic directions and implement a new agile operating framework. Growing these capabilities will involve investment, sometimes of new resources generated from partnerships and fundraising and sometimes from the reallocation of current effort and funding.

While other areas of need may arise, the following have emerged from our ongoing planning processes:


All stakeholder groups, internal and external, have surfaced a need for the Libraries to communicate our stories and the value we create better and differently. Doing so will enhance our efforts to describe organizational impact and attract additional resources. In response to this need, we are in the process of engaging an external consultant to help us understand our evolving communications environment and how we should structure and resource our communications and marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness. This consultation will proceed this semester with broad input from Libraries’ faculty, staff and key external stakeholders, including donor leadership.

Resource Development/Fundraising

The Libraries has been successful in raising funds for high-profile capital projects. As we prepare for the next university campaign, we will need to restructure and reorient our resource development efforts toward a changing, broader set of needs and approaches. We are currently developing a new Director’s advisory group that will provide guidance, not only in preparing for the new campaign, but also for how we organize, resource and prioritize our annual, ongoing fundraising efforts. This group will begin its work this semester with engagement from across the Libraries and our campus partners, including the Office of Advancement.


Libraries’ outreach and engagement efforts are currently scattered and under-resourced. And as we continue to broaden our conception of organizational engagement, we need to restructure and better coordinate support for a growing set of activities that align with the university’s educational, research and land grant missions. This will be an important focus through which the Libraries can help the university affirm its ongoing value to the broader community and the State of Ohio. And if we play our cards right, broader engagement will create narratives of impact that can be used to promote the Libraries’ value to the university community and to current and potential donors/funders. As a first step in filling this need, I have asked Quanetta Batts to transition from her current role as Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost & Director to a new role as Program Director for Outreach and Engagement. In this new role, she will provide leadership and coordination for activities that enrich relationship building with various internal and external constituencies, with special attention to broadening outreach to and engagement with partners and initiatives at the campus, community, state and national levels. The position will report to the Vice Provost & Director.

Organizational Development

As we implement a new agile operating framework, Libraries’ administrators, managers, faculty and staff will need to work with each other differently. We will no doubt implement structural and procedural changes designed to improve business processes and outcomes, but there is also a need for a different type of investment in our people and the skills necessary for individuals across the organization to operate successfully at the levels of autonomy, creativity and accountability appropriate to their roles. As a start, our newly instituted Management Committee is collectively developing a broad learning curriculum, designed to identify gaps in organizational effectiveness and corresponding approaches to filling those gaps. Trainings and other learning opportunities will begin rolling out to the organization during the current semester. Be on the look out and participate!

Expect more information on our progress in all of these capacity-building efforts at upcoming faculty and general staff meetings. Bring your questions and suggestions. We need your input as we build out the capabilities that will enable us to successfully implement our soon-to-be-defined strategic intent.

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries


Moving through our strategic directions process

We’ve received a number of requests to provide an update on the University Libraries’ strategic directions process, both from colleagues inside and outside of Ohio State.

So, here it is…

We recently conducted a series of focus groups with internal and external stakeholders to gather input from diverse voices as we review and redefine our strategic intent. Faculty, students, academic and administrative leaders, donors, and Libraries faculty and staff participated in a series of facilitated discussions designed to gather perspectives on current activities and elicit suggestions for future directions. Libraries faculty and staff also participated in sessions designed to create a better understanding of our shared organizational values and vision.

The results from these activities are in, and we are learning a lot from what stakeholders are telling us. Our facilitators reported out the following high-level themes for planning, gleaned from more detailed input.* Our stakeholders are asking us to focus on:

Visibility and positioning of the Libraries

Being more visible in and across the campus community and beyond; more engaged in partnerships, research, teaching, etc.

Specialized skill development in the Libraries and collaborative initiatives

Examples include translational data analytics, data visualization, specific language skills, project management and more

Scalable and ongoing methods for working with librarians

In instruction, interdisciplinary projects and programs, research practices, technology applications, metadata

Content and access

Digital and print resources and access tools as well as physical facilities

Communication and marketing

Telling the Libraries’ story and strengthening support

Culture shift in higher education

Higher education is changing and OSU’s culture is changing, toward greater collaboration and interdependence across the organization

Libraries’ organizational culture

Speed and transparency of decision making, empowerment of staff at all levels, ongoing needs for learning and growth, and opportunity to align all libraries and faculty/staff under one umbrella

From these high-level planning themes, our Strategic Planning Group extracted the following topic areas for deeper exploration/environmental scanning by breakout groups, drawn from our newly-formed Management Committee:

Innovative models for supporting/leveraging

  • Teaching & Learning (1)
  • Research (2)
  • Land Grant/Outreach & Engagement (3)

New/Specialized Skill Development (4)

Scaling Services and Service Relationships (5)

Improving Discovery, Access and Usability of Content and Expertise (6)

Culture Shifts in Higher Education

  • Affordability/Access (7)
  • Interdependency/Partnership/Leadership roles (8)

Building an Empowering Organizational Culture (9)

In the December/January timeframe, reports covering these nine broad topic areas will be reviewed by both the full Management Committee and the Strategic Planning Group and used, along with stakeholder feedback, to draft a set of strategic directions to be shared with all Libraries faculty and staff and external stakeholders for feedback and iterative improvement. Also in this timeframe, the Strategic Planning Group will summarize and refine the results of the values and vision sessions, also to be shared broadly for additional input.

In the February/March timeframe, the Strategic Planning Group will incorporate values and vision statements into the draft strategic directions document, craft a communications/dissemination strategy for both internal and external constituents, solicit and incorporate another round of feedback, and massage the document into its final form.

The plan is to finalize our new Strategic Directions by the end of March, and then launch departmental goal setting activities, aligned with this strategic intent.

And then we’ll iterate our way into the future within our new agile management framework. But, more on that in a future post…

Wish us luck!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

* A reminder to OSUL faculty and staff that strategic directions information, including reports from stakeholder sessions, timelines, draft documents, etc. is available for your review here in Buckeye Box.

Libraries’ Strategic Planning activities continue…

The University Libraries’ strategic planning process is off to an exceptional start. Last month our facilitators, DeEtta Jones and Raynna Bowlby, led engaging, productive conversations with various stakeholder groups, including students, our University Senate advisory group (Co-DELIT), university administrators, campus partners, donors, community partners, Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) and Staff Advisory Council (SAC), to gain their insights on current successes and future opportunities. In addition, over 120 Libraries’ faculty and staff members participated in world café sessions designed to identify our shared organizational values and vision. A special thanks to all who took time out of busy schedules to participate in and add their voice to the process.

Our facilitators will be back on campus October 25-26 to host three additional world café sessions at which they will share what they learned from last month’s sessions and gather additional input from Libraries’ faculty and staff – this time focused on strategic directions and opportunities.

Please sign up to participate in one of the world cafe sessions at: by October 19.

DeEtta and Raynna will also work with Executive Committee and the FAC and SAC chairs to continue the build out of our new agile planning framework and various related processes. We will also launch a strategic planning group, charged with reviewing stakeholder input and environmental scans and pulling together an initial draft of our new plan for broader organizational review. This group will include five representative voices from across the organization, Executive Committee and the FAC and SAC chairs. Members of our new Management Committee will also play a critical role in the process by conducting environment scans and providing iterative feedback on subsequent versions of planning documents [we’ll discuss Management Committee, its roles and activities at the Libraries General Meetings on October 19].

We’ve also created a folder in Buckeye Box that will be used for sharing documentation related to the strategic planning effort. There we’ll share reports from our stakeholder sessions, draft planning documents and any other information that will be useful for participation in the process.  All current Libraries’ faculty and staff will be given access to this folder in the next week or so. You will also see an announcement about a brief training session for those who need a crash course for using Buckeye Box.

Thanks again for your active participation in the process!

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries


Moving the Strategic Planning Process Forward

We’ve been relatively quiet about strategic planning over the summer, primarily due to the fact that so many of our faculty and staff were committed to planning and supporting the IFLA World Library and Information Congress, which concluded on Thursday, August 19. A hearty congratulations to all who participated as a planner, volunteer, or presenter! The event was a huge success by all accounts, and through your collective efforts – alongside those of our colleagues from the Columbus Metropolitan Library, OCLC, and from across the state – librarians from around the globe experienced the very best of the University Libraries, the City of Columbus, and the great State of Ohio.

With IFLA behind us, it is time to move our strategic planning activities forward. Building on our earlier discussions about constructing a more agile planning framework, we will convene a series of facilitated focus group sessions September 13-14 to gather information from key stakeholders:

  • Co-DELIT/Faculty (non-library)
  • Students (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Academic and administrative leaders (Deans/VPs)
  • Donors and other external stakeholders
  • OSUL Faculty Advisory Council (FAC)
  • OSUL Staff Advisory Council (SAC)
  • OSUL Faculty/Staff World Café Discussion (2 sessions)

Quanetta Batts is in the process of scheduling the stakeholder sessions and will circulate a solicitation for faculty and staff participation for the World Café Discussions shortly. These sessions are designed to be active, participatory activities, not passive listening sessions. So come prepared to engage, share and work. The sessions will be facilitated by DeEtta Jones and her colleague, Raynna Bowlby, who will compile what they learn into a report that will be used in drafting a new strategic directions document.

Preceding the focus groups, DeEtta Jones will also facilitate a day long session with Executive Committee and the chairs of FAC and SAC to develop a new planning/implementation framework for the University Libraries. The draft results of this activity will be shared with the broader organization for comment as we iterate our way to a finished product. Likewise, there will be additional opportunities for Libraries faculty and staff to provide input on draft strategic directions documentation as we move through the Fall semester.

Thank you in advance for your active participation. Together we will develop stronger processes and effect better outcomes by surfacing and integrating a diversity of insights and perspectives from across the organization.


Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

Expanding Our Capacities for Individual and Collective Wellness

Ohio State’s incredibly persuasive Dean of the College of Nursing and Chief Wellness Officer, Bernadette Melnyk, recently talked me into participating in a two-day program, Health Athlete, designed  “to refocus and reenergize one’s personal and professional life” by emphasizing “energy management through a comprehensive examination of goals and values in relation to one’s spiritual (purpose), mental, emotional and physical development.”

health athlete cohort and trainers

Health Athlete participants and program leaders

This holistic approach leverages a person’s personal narrative – “what individuals tell themselves about who they are and the reasons why their circumstances are what they are” – to enable desired behavioral change. After an assessment designed to help participants face the truth about the alignment of the mental, emotional, physical and purpose-driven aspects of their lives, they learn simple techniques to better manage their energy through exercise, nutrition and mindfulness.

As someone who exercises quite a bit and understands how my activity affects my available energy, I have to admit to some mild skepticism about how useful the program would be for me. I was dead wrong and found value in all three aspects of the program – energy management, movement and nutrition.

For example, I tend to leave long stretches of time between meals, which is, of course, a terrible strategy for keeping my energy up throughout the day and ravenous hunger at bay. It’s also a poor strategy to keep my metabolism, which is slowing with age, revving throughout the day and those extra pounds off. The program offers scientific explanations for why this and other bad nutritional strategies are destructive in easy-to-understand language, and achievable alternative strategies are suggested.

I was also reminded about the importance of adding some strength training to my cardio-heavy exercise regime to boost my metabolic performance and energy level. Program leaders provide and demonstrate simple but effective interval and resistance training workouts, appropriately gauged to participants’ fitness levels. These workouts don’t require machines or free weights and can be accomplished anywhere – at home, at the office or in a hotel room while traveling.

Most important for me though was the program’s emphasis on the alignment of various aspects of our lives (mental, emotional and physical). This alignment is crucial if we want to maintain the energy and focus necessary to further what we each see as our ultimate purpose. Program leaders walk participants through the steps of explicitly articulating one’s purpose and make a convincing case for altering behaviors that result in misalignment between our actions and fundamental intentions, all backed by evidence from the psychology, nutrition and exercise science literatures.

After completing the program, I’ve implemented a number of the suggested strategies to good effect and believe it would be beneficial to offer this or similar training to colleagues across the Libraries. To that end, we are reaching out to the Health Athlete program to investigate how we might work together to help maintain and grow our capacities for individual and collective wellness within the Libraries.

More on this in the coming months…

Damon E. Jaggars
Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries

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

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