Alia Jones joins the staff of the Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library

Welcome to Alia Jones, who has joined the staff of UC Libraries as the temporary library services assistant at the Geology-Mathematics-Physics (GMP) Library. Alia started on Monday, Nov. 1, and has been orienting herself with library processes, the collections and learning about the service needs at the GMP Library.

Alia will work primarily at the GMP Library, but will also assist operations when needed at the other Science & Engineering Libraries’ (SEL) locations.

Alia has a wide-ranging background in literature, research and libraries. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Cornell University, majoring in Cultural Anthropology with minors in American Indian Studies and East Asian Studies. Her work experience as a library services assistant and later as a senior library services assistant with the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County (PLCH) gives her great insight in assisting patrons and performing front line activities.

Along with her work at PLCH, Alia has worked with book retailers, was an English teacher in South Korea and spent time as a research assistant at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. She has worked as a freelance writer doing book reviews, conducted numerous presentations and speaking engagements, as well as serving on several library related programs/activities.

Welcome, Alia!

Dean Xuemao Wang elected to HathiTrust’s Board of Governors

xuemao wangThe members of HathiTrust have elected four new members to its Board of Governors, including UC’s Xuemao Wang, dean and university librarian and vice provost for digital scholarship, who will serve a three-year term (2022-2024). Other new board members include Theresa Byrd, University of San Diego, Anne Houston, Lafayette College, and Beth Namachchivaya, University of Waterloo.

Holly Mercer of the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Chair of the HathiTrust Board of Governors, said, “the energy and vision promised by these new board members is invigorating as we look forward to HathiTrust’s future.  We’ll benefit greatly from their leadership in their own organizations and in our member community. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and can’t wait to get started.”

Dean Wang supports the HathiTrust Board’s primary goal to “sharply focus on ‘strategic’ roles for the organization’s continuing evolving future.” He advocates for finding ways “to broaden multidisciplinary scholar engagement from disciplines beyond humanities and social sciences.” Dean Wang’s 35+ year-career spans multi-library sectors from the academic, public, consortium and international library worlds. He has served on several professional organizations’ governing boards, standing and advisory committees, task-forces and working groups, including the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and OhioLINK. His roles leading UC Libraries and working to achieve the university’s digital scholarship agenda will provide him with valuable insights to contribute to the goals of HathiTrust.

Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items. The University of Cincinnati Libraries joined as members in 2018. The HathiTrust Board of Governors has ultimate responsibility for HathiTrust’s activities, strategy, finances and operations. It includes six at-large members elected by the membership and six members appointed by the founding institutions, which include Indiana University, the University of California, the University of Michigan, and members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The current members of the Board can be found on the HathiTrust website.

Welcome New UC Clermont Staff, Brea McQueen

UC Clermont Library has made some exciting changes to its staffing. Emily Wages transitioned to a new role and is now UC Clermont’s Collection Manager. Emily will now work with new acquisitions, course reserves, donations, and weeding projects.

To fill Emily’s previous role as Operations Manager, UC Clermont is excited to welcome Brea McQueen to the team. Brea will handle technology lending, library spaces & events, library accounts, and student employment.

Continue reading

UC Libraries Mark Chalmers named Drexel University LEADING Fellow

mark chalmersMark Chalmers, science and engineering librarian, has been accepted into Drexel University’s highly selective Library Information Science (LIS) Education and Data Science Integrated Network Group (LEADING) program as a 2021 LEADING Fellow.

The LEADING program is a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives project, supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and hosted at Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI). The LEADING program scales-up the highly successful LEADS-4-NDP initiative and will prepare a diverse, nation-wide cohort of 50 LIS doctoral students and early to mid-career librarians for data science endeavors.

LEADING Fellows will complete the following:

  • self-paced online preparatory curriculum,
  • an online data science bootcamp with Drexel and other LEADING fellows,
  • six-month virtual data science internship at a LEADING hub or node,
  • development of a communication plan to connect with mentor/s on a regular basis, and
  • development of research output (e.g., a paper, poster, presentation, published data, etc.).

Mark’s LEADING Fellow research project will focus on “Assessing Overlap and Aggregation Potential of Open-Source Software Platforms and Their Data.” LYRASIS, a consortium that provides access to the world’s shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage, currently offers six hosted services on open-source software. Five of the six of which involve academic libraries and their cultural heritage assets. As a result, LYRASIS seeks expertise in cultural heritage metadata and data science to assist in assessing this overlap between platforms. In addition, they seek recommendations on how machine learning models can be leveraged to connect data in different platforms and to assess how researchers can be served by access to data across the different platforms.

“I am eager to work with Drexel and LYRASIS to grow my competencies in the domains of data science, data integration, large scale machine learning and exploratory feasibility projects,” said Mark upon learning of his acceptance into the LEADING program.

“The experience and skills Mark will gain as a LEADING Fellow will not only contribute to the completion of the LYRASIS research project, but he will bring new knowledge back to his role in the Science and Engineering Libraries while at the same time contributing to the university’s digital future and open access agenda,” said Xuemao Wang, vice provost of digital scholarship and dean and university librarian.

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

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

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!