June Taylor-Slaughter awarded the university’s 2021 Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award for staff

june taylor slaughterJune Taylor-Slaughter, public services and student supervisor in the Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library, has been selected to receive the university’s prestigious 2021 Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award for staff.

In the thoughtful words of her numerous nominators:

“June Taylor-Slaughter has dedicated her time and skills to promoting awareness of racial equity and diversity issues throughout her 25+ years at UC. Through formal programs and committees as well as informal personal interactions, she diligently and patiently works to educate her students and coworkers about the racial disparities faced by BIPOC staff in the workplace so we can all work together to improve conditions. She ensures that everyone is well informed and supported by her in their learning.

With the recent heightened awareness of systemic racism, she was part of a team that initiated a survey to address racial equity and systemic racism. This survey resulted in a new committee providing resources and support for racial equity programming in UC Libraries. June is a co-chair of this committee’s first year and is working tremendously hard to ensure its success. 

June ran for the chair of the Libraries’ Staff Advisory Council with a goal to put people of color’s voice at the table and in the senior management’s decision-making process. She’s not shy about sharing her personal experiences of racial disparity. She serves on the newly formed Racial Equity Programming Committee of the Libraries, of which she was instrumental in creating. June is passionate about educating students, staff and faculty with her knowledge and experience.

June’s work touches many people who have never even met her. She has been the organizing energy behind many of the Libraries’ previous events and activities that celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of my favorite examples of June’s quite visible work is currently on display in the Langsam Library lobby, where she curated an exhibit, “Women of the Movement: Leaders for Civil Rights and Voting Rights” featuring the contributions of Black women movement leaders. It is a vibrant exhibit that pulls in anyone who walks by to learn about this important part of our country’s history.”

Named for the celebrated civil rights activist, the Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award showcases current campus-affiliated individuals and groups whose efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion have had a positive impact on the university. Nominated by their colleagues, the recipients promote awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion; exhibit sensitivity to people of various cultures; facilitate growth among colleagues and peers; prepare students, faculty, and staff to thrive in a diverse and global workforce; and collaborate with colleagues to create and implement initiatives and policies that build an equitable and inclusive environment.

Congratulations, June!

UC Faculty Awards 2021: Arlene Johnson

arlene johnson in langsam library

Senior librarian honored with Faculty Senate Exemplary Service to the University Award

By Jac Kern

Through her many roles in her 20 years at the University of Cincinnati, Arlene Johnson has served students, faculty and staff in the pursuit of knowledge — fitting for the recipient of the Faculty Senate Exemplary Service to the University Award. She continues her diverse service to UC today as secretary of the Faculty Senate, senior librarian, head of Collection Development Services and Engagement, and liaison librarian to the Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures Department in the College of Arts & Sciences. Johnson is the first UC librarian to be honored with this award.

In addition to contributing thoughtfully to the Faculty Senate and many committees, Johnson was a primary impetus in activating an interdisciplinary digital humanities/scholarship group at UC. In this capacity, she took on the forward-looking work of introducing digital humanities approaches and tools to UC faculty.

“This highly significant service to the university helped UC to keep in sight of peer institutions, as digital scholarship took hold and developed as a significant research growth area during the 2010s,” says Jenny Doctor, CCM professor of musicology and head of the Albino Gorno Memorial (CCM) Library.

While her work is centered in UC Libraries, Johnson’s award nomination came from outside the unit, from Marla Hall, associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. The two have worked together on the Faculty Senate.

“I’ve learned to always pay attention to the quiet one, because they often have very valuable input,” Hall says. “And that is Arlene. When she gives input, it’s so well thought out and helpful. Her opinions are based on facts and historical information — she’s a great researcher.”

Hall says that while some people talk about what they do more than they actually do, Johnson does more than she talks about, while carrying a quiet strength.

“She’s very strong with saying what she thinks. She’s not going to back down, but she does it in a very polite way.

“She is from Canada,” she says with a smile. Johnson earned her Master of Library Science from the University of Alberta.

While serving on the Faculty Senate Cabinet with the university’s president and provost, Johnson has participated and advised in the transition throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Next Lives Here presidential initiative, the Academic Master Plan, UC2019 Strategic Planning Process and Faculty Senate Resolution and Commitment to Eradicate Racism.

“My university service is a continuous learning experience,” Johnson says. “I have served with eight past and current Faculty Senate Chairs, and with many faculty colleagues from across colleges and departments on committees. I have learned so much from all of these excellent faculty colleagues, and am reminded of a quotation from Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’: ‘I am a part of all that I have met.’”

“Once an English literature major, always an English literature major,” she muses.

Librarians Ted Baldwin and Eira Tansey receive honors at UC Faculty Awards Ceremony

In a ceremony held April 2 during Research and Innovation Week, librarians Ted Baldwin and Eira Tansey were recognized for their contributions to colleagues and to their fields. The Office of the Provost and the Office of Research jointly sponsor the awards to honor faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and/or service. Continue reading Librarians Ted Baldwin and Eira Tansey receive honors at UC Faculty Awards Ceremony

Peter Poulos taking on new role as technology lead and information technology manager

peter poulosPeter Poulos has taken on a new role in UC Libraries as technology lead and information technology manager for the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, effective April 1.  Peter has worked for the Health Sciences Library for over 25 years providing information technology services. During this time he has worked closely with teaching faculty, staff and students in the College of Medicine in support and administration of online computer-based testing and managing digital learning spaces and the library IT help desk. In his new broader role, Peter will also manage three library IT staff as well as a number of IT student workers.

Congratulations, Peter!

Liz Scarpelli awarded a UC Staff Excellence Award

liz scarpelliAt a virtual ceremony held Wednesday, Dec. 15, Liz Scarpelli, director of the University of Cincinnati Press, was awarded a Staff Excellence Award for her work starting the Press and also for her commitment to the university and to the Next Lives Here philosophy.

Her nominator noted her work on the development of the Toward Open Access Monograph Ecosystem (TOME) review committee and the creation of the first-ever regional university press/publisher information technology Development Tech Exchange. Moreover, she is committed to improving the academic mission of UC by directly recruiting, consulting and supporting faculty authors on all three of its campuses. “In just a few short years, UC Press has already published three TOME funded books, placing UC in the top 20% of all participating publishers. But that’s not all. During this short time, under Liz’s direction, the University of Cincinnati Press has already cranked out scholarly books, a textbook and journals!”

“My work in Cincinnati over the last three years has been rewarding. To be acknowledged from individuals outside the publishing world, specifically by my own university, is indeed an honor. This acknowledgement signals to me that a university press is not only of value to the institution, but is also able to move university initiatives forward while maintaining integrity and rigorous peer review within the American University Presses core values, service-oriented Library Publishing and the innovative University of Cincinnati model.  I am excited that our unique model has created 12 published books, a pipeline of 50 projects and six academic journals authored by scholars from both within and outside of the university. While this award is being presented to me, I am grateful for the support of everyone on the Press’s board for their continued support and advice, the authors who believe in us, my colleagues in UC Libraries, our dean Xuemao Wang and my staff at the Press, Mark Konecny, Sarah Muncy and Sean Crowe, who work tirelessly to make these books–open access and otherwise–come to fruition,” said Liz of the honor.

The Staff Excellence Awards ceremony was emceed by Chris Collins, chair of the Staff Senate, and Heidi Pettyjohn, incoming chair of Staff Senate, with remarks from President Neville Pinto, Provost Kristi Nelson and Bob Ambach, senior vice president for administration and finance. In addition to Liz, five other UC Libraries’ staff members received nominations: Michael Alfieri, Dean Bachelder, Ben Kline, Yu Mao and Rebecca Olson.

Congratulations, Liz!

The University of Cincinnati Libraries Annual Progress Report, 2019-2020: A Year Like No Other

annual progress report graphicWhat a year it’s been.

The University of Cincinnati Libraries Annual Progress Report, this year completely online, covers July 2019 through June 2020, an academic year that started off normally, but in the spring would be disrupted in ways never thought possible because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fall semester was business as usual with students, faculty, researchers and staff accessing our facilities and resources for research and study, or simply to grab a cup of coffee between classes. Librarians and staff provided instruction on how to find the best research materials, offered reference assistance, collected and made our collections available and collaborated with faculty and researchers to translate information and data into knowledge. The usual activities in the library would come to a sudden halt spring semester.

This year’s report reviews how we responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it also celebrates our numerous accomplishments, highlights new special collections and library exhibits, spotlights the achievements of our faculty and staff and provides usage stats and financial information.

As the semester and 2020 come to a close, we wish you warm wishes for the holiday season. May the new year bring you health, harmony and joy.

Sidney Gao takes on new role as digital collections manager

sidney gaoSidney Gao, formerly the digital imaging coordinator in Preservation Services, has transitioned to a new role of digital collections manager in the Digital Collections unit of UC Libraries’ Content Services Team (CST). In her time at UC Libraries, Sidney has been deeply involved in the provision and planning of digital content services, far beyond digitization and production, and has worked extensively as a member of the Digital Collections team, including with James Van Mil, digital projects and preservation librarian. Bringing Sidney officially into the Digital Collections team in CST will provide greater synergy for digital content management and allow her to utilize her knowledge and skill set to its fullest.

In her new role Sidney will: manage digitization projects; oversee quality control workflows for in-house and outsourced digitization; report on digitization growth; assess collections status regarding digital preservation, accessibility and sustainability; analyze best practices for accessibility; assist stakeholders in grant writing; collaborate with digitization vendors; create submission information packages for aggregators; train and supervise student staff in digitization production; coordinate with the Preservation Lab to maintain and improve the digitization lab facility and to preserve and protect special collections materials during the digitization workflow; collaborate with colleagues in UC Libraries and other units on campus on digital projects including digital exhibits and outreach.

Please join us in congratulating Sidney on her new position and responsibilities.

Lori E. Harris named assistant dean and director of the Health Sciences Library and Winkler Center

lori harrisXuemao Wang, vice provost for digital scholarship and dean and university librarian, is pleased to announce that Lori E. Harris has been appointed UC Libraries assistant dean and director of the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library and the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions.

In her new role, Harris will plan, direct and assess the services and resources of the Health Sciences Library and Winkler Center within the context of UC Libraries’ mission and strategic plan. She will develop and implement library procedures, collect and analyze library data and oversee the implementation of the Health Sciences Library and Winkler Center strategic directions. She will provide leadership and coordination of the daily operations of the Health Sciences Library and Winkler Center.

Harris joined UC in 2016 as the assistant director of the Health Sciences Library after completing the second year of her National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellowship Program at UC Libraries. She received her MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a B.A. in American Studies from Smith College.

During her tenure at UC Libraries, Lori has lead and collaborated in numerous initiatives and projects including acquiring and managing the traveling Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness exhibition to the Health Sciences Library, serving as interim director of the Health Sciences Library since January 2019 and co-leading the Libraries Return to Campus Task Force, which is managing how the libraries are providing access to research, services and facilities during the pandemic.

“My time at UC Libraries has been a rewarding one, and it’s just beginning,” said Harris. “I look forward to working with my library colleagues in this new capacity to continue to provide access to the Health Sciences Library’s and Winkler Center’s excellent research collections and services that help to advance the university’s research, teaching, learning and clinical practice initiatives.”

To learn more, read an interview with Lori Harris that appeared in Source in September 2015 when she first came to UC Libraries as an NIH/NLM associate fellow. Congratulations, Lori!

Read Source, the online newsletter, to learn about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries

Read Source, the online newsletter, to learn about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.

In this issue of Source, Dean Xuemao Wang reflects on his eight years at UC and asks questions about the future. We announce a new collaboration to manage UC’s Art Collection, as well as share the news that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the University of Cincinnati a $700K renewal grant to advance and expand the Digital Scholarship Center’s (DSC) “catalyst” model.

Ted Baldwin and Rebecca Olson tell of a partnership with the UC Venture Lab to boost innovation and Melissa Cox Norris writes about the New Way(s) of Work.

Remote events are featured in this issue of Source, including the recent Life of the Mind lecture with links to the video and bibliography of submitted UC faculty and staff creative and scholarly works, as well as upcoming events announced such as UC DATA Day and the Cecil Striker Webinar Series.

Read these articles, as well as past issues, on the web at http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/source/ and via e-mail. To receive Source via e-mail, contact melissa.norris@uc.edu to be added to the mailing list.

Dorcas Washington takes on new role of data analytics specialist on the Research and Data Services Team

dorcas washingtonDorcas Washington, formerly content analyst on the Content Services Team, has transitioned to the new role of data analytics specialist on the Research and Data Services (RDS) Team.

In her new role, Dorcas will provide leadership and expertise in the areas of quantitative and qualitative data analysis, as well as play a leading role in developing and executing a research reproducibility support program across disciplines. Dorcas holds a BA in mathematics, an MS in applied statistics with a concentration in bio-statistics and has recently been accepted into UC’s PhD program for environmental health: bio-statistics. In her new role, she will be able to utilize her knowledge and skill set to its fullest and to build upon her experiences gained as a member of the Content Services Team.

As data analytics specialist, Dorcas will be responsible for:

  • Leading library services related to the evaluation, manipulation and visualization of data and the use of statistical tools
  • Developing and delivering scalable research and data-related services and resources in collaboration with RDS, with the Digital Scholarship Center, and others as appropriate
  • Leading the development and implementation of consultation and instruction services for statistical and analytical methods
  • Promoting best practices for ethical and reproducible data production, analysis and dissemination
  • Developing and coding executable programs to automate processes to perform computational inquiries
  • Co-managing Informatics Lab operations within the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library.

“I look forward to getting back to my roots of mathematics and statistics by utilizing those skills to help people further research at UC,” said Dorcas. “This position interested me because it’s doing work I enjoy with a diverse group of people (students, faculty, staff and more).”

Those interested in services, should contact RDS via e-mail askdata@uc.edu.