Mary P. Key Diversity Residents

Category: Diversity

Digital Research Services Librarian for the Sciences Mary P Key Diversity Resident Position

We are excited to announce that the Ohio State University Libraries is now recruiting for its next Mary P Key (MPK) Diversity Resident in the area of Digital Research Services Librarian for the Sciences.

This two-year residency program is designed to provide mentorship and support to an individual transitioning into a career in research librarianship and hands-on exposure to the operations in the University Libraries.

What is unique about this residency position is that the resident will engage with and connect the Libraries’ growing digital scholarship services to faculty and students, provide instruction that addresses scientific information literacy in the digital age, and partner with scientists to advance information management across the research life-cycle.

The formal job posting can be found here, but we thought we would share some additional insight about the Libraries and the MPK Diversity Residency from a few of us at OSU.

What was valuable to you during the Mary P Key Diversity Residency?

“I found the my residency as an Electronic Resources and Access Librarian to be an invaluable experience, but if I had to select only one thing that was most valuable it was the supportive colleagues who were truly interested in making the experience a development opportunity with the right mix of challenge and support.”

-Juleah Swanson, Acquisitions Librarian for Electronic Resources and former MPK Diversity Resident 2011-2012.

What is it exciting about OSU Libraries Research Services?

“In the Libraries we’re working with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to partner on projects throughout the research lifecycle. Since information is rapidly changing, particularly in the sciences, the Libraries are continually adjusting to meet evolving researcher needs.  One way we’re preparing revolves around supporting emerging research requests of data management and digital scholarship. Another exciting opportunity is that we’re developing a Research Commons, which will open in Summer 2015, and be focused around technology and expertise-enabled services focused on the research enterprise at Ohio State.”

-Meris Mandernach, Head of Research Services

We are thrilled about this new residency and hope you consider applying for this position or share with those who may be interested. The full job description can be found at the URL below. Preference will be given to applications received by July 11, 2014.

Mary P. Key Diversity Resident
Digital Research Services Librarian for the Sciences

Minnesota Institute Takeaways: Good Stress, Bad Stress. Eustress, Distress

Did you know there’s such thing as “good stress”? I didn’t either. Stress, apparently, comes in two forms: distress, what we most closely associate with the term “stress,” and eustress, or good stress.

At the Minnesota Institute, to help us understand eustress, we were asked to think about a time when we created something and then to consider the following questions:

  • Was it hard work?
  • Were you energized?

Creating something, whether it’s building a shed at your house or developing a new library program, is never easy. Work is work and deadlines must be met and things must get done. Yet, what makes the deadlines, the hard work, the hours of effort poured into creating something, not only tolerable, but even energizing? When one is in the process of creating, there is a compelling, desired end goal. The creator has a vision and all efforts are channeled toward that vision. Eustress is all that creative energy driving the creator along, in spite of the hard work.

Distress, on the other hand, is draining, emotionally and if sustained long enough, physically. And unlike eustress, which manifests when a person has a vision, distress is brought on in absence of a vision. If there is no compelling place to go, no vision of the future, then the absence of a vision breeds fear and distress.

As librarians, shouldn’t our work always be creating something, even if it’s conceptual? Creating better services, creating better systems, creating stronger libraries?

Work will require effort, it will be challenging, but if we are feeling emotionally and physically drained, symptoms of distress, then perhaps the answer isn’t necessarily to work “harder” or longer, but instead to step back, and refocus on the vision, the compelling, desired end goal in our work.


Live Work Create

This captures the intent of my post much more succinctly.

Minnesota Institute Takeaways: Emotional Intelligence Not just touchy-feely stuff

If you think about the qualities of a person whom you’ve interacted with and admire as a leader, does the person seem to have extra-sensory perceptions about everything? Do they know the right thing to say at the right moment? Do they seem to understand you when you bring forward a problem or issue? Do they inspire you to do better, to take on a challenge, because somehow, things are going to be a-okay no matter what happens?

It’s not that this person knows everything (no one does, not even us librarians), but instead it’s the result of a finely tuned capacity to recognize one’s own emotions and the emotions of others and to respond productively to these emotions, otherwise known as Emotional Intelligence.

The ability to work effectively with others through an understanding of emotions may sound like touchy-feely, Kumbaya type of stuff, but how we recognize, react and manage our own emotions is fundamentally rooted in brain science. In very, very rudimentary terms, when we’re in a situation where the part of the brain, the amygdala, triggers “fight-or-flight” cocktail of hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, blood rushes away from our brain leaving our capacity to think, process and essentially respond reasonably is severely limited.

Emotional Intelligence is, in part, the ability to pause, slow down, and restore blood flow to the brain. It’s something that, with practice, can be trained in all of us. It’s the cool as a cucumber mentality even in the hottest of moments.

Cool as a Cucumber
by Vera Kratochvil retrieved from

Though Emotional Intelligence stems from research on leaders and leadership, the components of Emotional Intelligence, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, are valuable to anyone who wants to be more effective in their professional and personal lives.

I think what’s great about Emotional Intelligence is that it’s something we can change, we can improve upon throughout our lives.

If you’re interested in learning more about Emotional Intelligence, I recommend starting with the following classic article:

Goleman, D. (1998). What Makes a Leader?. Harvard Business Review, 76(6), 93-102.

New Series: Takeaways from the Minnesota Institute

Washington Avenue Bridge at the University of Minnesota

Recently, I had the invaluable opportunity to participate in the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians from Traditionally Underrepresented Groups (Minnesota Institute). This program, hosted by the University of Minnesota every two years, provides participants the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in grant writing, academic research, and most notably leadership training.

During the week-long Institute, I came across many insights, “aha moments” and thought provoking ideas that I kept thinking colleagues back at Ohio State would also find fascinating.

Because there is too much to share in just one post, I am breaking up the takeaways in a series of posts.

Over the next few weeks I will cover the following topics from the Minnesota Institute that I found personally and professionally valuable:

-Emotional Intelligence

-Good Stress/Bad Stress, Eustress/Distress


-Value of a Personal Network

-Crafting a Personal Vision

I hope you too will find a takeaway that is personally or professionally meaningful. As always, feel free to share your own experiences, “aha moments,” or insights with these topics in the comments.

Happy reading!

Upcoming Event: February 21st Annual Diversity Lecture

The Ohio State University Libraries’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee has announced this year’s Annual Diversity Lecture:

“By Any Means Necessary:” Malcolm X in Life, Death, and Historical Memory


Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of African-American History

The Ohio State University History Department

 Tuesday, February 21, 2012

3:30PM Thompson Library, 11th Floor

Forty years after the death of Malcolm X, his influence is still motivating and influencing individuals all around the world in their struggles for respect and human rights. In this lecture, History Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries sheds some light on the life of Al-Hajj Malik Al-Shabbaz, better known as Malcolm X. His talk will include a discussion of the controversy generated by Professor Manning Marable’s book Malcolm X: A life of Reinvention and will feature audios of some of Malcolm’s most important speeches.

Check out the book here!

2012 Annual Diversity Lecture Flyer