News & Notes

By: kneerna on: September 13, 2018 7:00 pm | kneerna

BUS 101 adopts free open educational resource in place of traditional textbook

Written by Vince Frieden, Coordinator of Strategic Communications, University Libraries
Video by Nick Kneer, Communications Specialist, University Libraries

Carla Myers still remembers that sinking feeling she experienced each fall as an undergraduate leaving her campus bookstore.Carla Myers, scholarly communications coordinator for Miami University Libraries, views the customized open educational resource textbook she helped Business 101 instructor Cindy Oakenfull adopt.

“I put myself through college, and I remember working all these jobs during the summer to have enough money,” Myers recalled. “I’d pay my tuition bill with a little money left over, and then I’d leave the bookstore in tears because I didn't have enough to cover all my textbooks. It was frustrating and disappointing for someone who really wanted to be a good student.”

Now the coordinator of scholarly communications within the Miami University Libraries, Myers finds herself part of a collaborative effort – involving faculty, the Provost’s Office and counterparts in the University Libraries – to minimize the financial impact of textbooks and course materials on Miami’s students.

These efforts come at a time when families are struggling with the rising costs of higher education and as rampant inflation in the textbook industry is outpacing that of even medical care.

“In order to offer an extraordinary educational experience, we need a diverse array of learners who come from all backgrounds, including varying family incomes,” Associate Provost Carolyn Haynes noted. “To gain that diversity, we are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the overall cost of a college education. That includes reducing textbook costs, which have risen by 1,000 percent over the past four decades.”

Exploring affordable alternatives

Central to this focus is the promotion and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs), educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of OERs means that anyone can legally copy, use, adapt and re-share them at no cost. 

To date, Miami’s textbook affordability efforts have included the formation of a faculty Open Educational Resource/Affordability Committee and the introduction of a series of grant-eligible OER faculty programs to inform, encourage and support faculty in exploring, implementing and even creating OER options.

Those efforts registered a signature achievement at the start of the fall semester when the BUS 101 Foundations of Business course – a First-Year Integrated Core course enrolling an estimated 600 students per semester – adopted an OER in place of a traditional textbook. Cindy Oakenfull, assistant lecturer within the Farmer School of Business and the faculty-lead for BUS 101, collaborated with Myers and business librarian Susan Hurst during the summer to identify and customize the OER.

Cindy Oakenfull

“In selecting the textbook for Business 101 and realizing that the cost of those materials was going to affect 1,000-plus students, we were really challenged to think about how we could reduce that financial impact,” Oakenfull said. “The OER options available were equal if not superior to the ones I reviewed from various publishers. When you combine the quality of the material with the ability to customize it specifically for our needs and the cost savings, it was really an easy choice.”

A customized version of the OER, featuring only the chapters needed for the course, is available for students to download via the university’s Canvas platform. Students can read the text online, download and print it, or even have a version professionally printed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional textbook.

Building momentum

The concept is catching on. According to Haynes, faculty are utilizing OERs and related alternatives to eliminate or dramatically reduce course material costs in more than 20 courses. OERs are not an option for every course, and the Libraries also support alternatives:King Library

  • Textbooks on Reserve: Textbooks for many of Miami’s most enrolled classes are available for checkout at University Libraries’ locations. This program is possible through a combination of faculty placing extra copies of their textbooks on reserve and #MoveInMiami donor support.
  • Course Pack Consultation Service: Supports faculty in replacing printed readings-based course packs with materials that are already freely accessible through Libraries' resources.
  • Alternate Textbook Program: Assists faculty in developing a reading list of resources freely available through the University Libraries’ purchased electronic collections, legal online resources and selections made in compliance with U.S. copyright law.

Regardless of the means, the outcome of an affordable, quality education matters to Miami students.

This past summer, the Associated Student Government co-presented the inaugural Affordable Education Leader Award to Andrew Paluch, assistant professor of chemical, paper and biomedical engineering, who created his own free, open resource textbook for a computational methods course. According to Paluch, the goal is about more than dollars and cents.

“My driving force in coming to Miami was the dedication to undergraduate education,” Paluch said. “My perspective is not necessarily that this is me saving students money. This is a resource or tool we can develop to improve the education of our students and ensure they have access to the resources they need ... I see Miami as a place where we can excel in this field and be national leaders. ”

To learn more about textbook and course material affordability options, contact Carla Myers, coordinator of scholarly communications, at or 513-529-3935.


By: kneerna on: September 07, 2018 11:28 am | kneerna

Active your free Wall Street Journal membershipFor the first time, the Miami University Libraries are pleased to offer complimentary electronic memberships to The Wall Street Journal for all current students, faculty and staff.

With access to the world’s latest news, business insight, and expert commentary, every reader has the power to fuel their ambition with The Wall Street Journal. Each activated account comes with access to, the WSJ mobile app, curated newsletters, and WSJ+, an exclusive experience with access to special events, discounts, and travel destinations.

Miami students, faculty and staff can activate their complimentary membership by visiting, logging into the school portal and creating an account on the registration page. 

Those who currently pay for membership may call 1-800-JOURNAL, and mention they are switching to their membership provided by Miami University of Ohio. Partial refunds will be dispersed.

The University Libraries reach beyond physical walls by creating 24/7 online access to more than 500 online databases, journals and more. Students, faculty and staff can also create free online accounts for the New York Times.

The world is truly at your fingertips.

By: kneerna on: September 18, 2018 3:03 pm | kneerna

Library Game Nights

4 reasons you should check out a Libraries Game Night

The University Libraries are opening up the games collection and supplying free food for five Library Game Nights this fall. Join in the fun with your fellow Miamians and choose from a large variety of board, tabletop, and card games from classic to contemporary. No experience is required, and all students, faculty, staff and families are welcome.

The schedule of remaining Game Nights follows:

Students play board games at tables in Wertz Art & Architecture Library in Alumni Hall

Saturday, Sept. 29 – 6-10 p.m.
Wertz Art & Architecture Library (7 Alumni Hall)

Friday, Oct. 19 – 6-10 p.m.
B.E.S.T. Library (Laws Hall)

Saturday, Nov. 10 – 4 p.m. - midnight
King Library

Saturday, Dec. 1 – 6-10 p.m.
B.E.S.T. Library (Laws Hall)

In case you need convincing, here are four reasons to check out a Library Game Night:

  1. Game Nights travel to each Miami University library
    Miami University is home to four library locations, all with their unique features and specialties. As you visit for a Game Night, you might end up finding your new favorite study spot.
  2. There’s great – and free – food
    Every proper game night features great food, and the Libraries’ Game Nights are no exception. To fuel your gaming session, we’re providing a variety of free food and snacks.
  3. Everyone’s welcome
    These laid-back events are great for both beginners and experienced players – just pull up a chair and join the fun. Libraries staff will be happy to help set up and explain games.
  4. You can continue the fun after the night is over
    If you find your new favorite game at a Game Night, chances are you can check it out from the Library. The Instructional Materials Center (IMC) in King Library maintains a collection of games available for checkout.
By: kneerna on: August 27, 2018 11:51 am | kneerna

#MoveInMiami: They unpack. We give back. August 23, 2018. 20 hours and 22 minutes. 2,022 donors. One amazing day of Love and Honor!

The Miami University Libraries posted another strong showing during the #MoveInMiami day-of-giving campaign, with preliminary numbers showing 70-plus donors contributing more than $9,000 to Libraries’ funding priorities.

Processing on the more than 4,400 gifts received during the overall #MoveInMiami effort continues, and the final Libraries total is expected to trend higher. Over the past four years, donors have contributed more than $30,000 to Libraries funds and initiatives during #MoveInMiami.

The bulk of this generosity has been dedicated to the Textbook Initiative, which purchases textbooks for high-enrollment courses and makes them available via checkout to students, and the Technology Support Fund, which enhances the technology resources the Libraries are able to make available to students.

“Each year I’m amazed at the contributions our donors are willing to step up and provide to the University Libraries,” said Jerome Conley, dean and university librarian. “We want to provide our students the opportunity to succeed in all their chosen fields of human endeavor, and thanks to your support, we are able to make those dreams come true.”

To learn more about #MoveInMiami and its university-wide impact, visit

By: friedevt on: August 22, 2018 9:15 am | friedevt @ohiyote

Partner in exceptional education

As buzz continues to build ahead of a new academic year, the Miami University Libraries invite faculty – both new friends and longtime friends – to connect with the University Libraries’ services and our subject liaison librarians.

All faculty members are encouraged to collaborate with the University Libraries throughout the year to enhance the educational experience they provide for their students and advance their own research. Following are four great places to start:

  • Explore our faculty resources: Our faculty lib guide offers an overview of all the services and resources available to faculty. Bookmark it today!
  • Get to know your subject librarian: Your subject librarian is your portal to everything libraries. We build collections in your subject areas, work with you to develop research and critical thinking skills in students, and connect you to the most appropriate resources. Check out our subject and course guide for your respective area to find your subject librarian.
  • Integrate research skills into your classes: We have a wealth of resources available to support your classes, including information literacy modules designed for Canvas, instructional videos, class-specific research guides, and guidance as you design research assignments.
  • Let us know what you’re working on: The Libraries actively support faculty in their research. From our own rich collections to those we can tap into throughout Ohio and across the globe, we can find the scholarly resources you need. We also offer digital and data support through our Center for Digital Scholarship.
By: kneerna on: August 27, 2018 10:59 am | kneerna

Welcome, class of 2022!

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, University Libraries

Congratulations to the Class of 2022 on your admission into Miami University and the start of what will be four tremendous years of learning, personal growth, and great friends and memories.

Of course, the transition to college and the intensity of college-level classes and coursework can be daunting at times. That’s why we are here – to serve you and ensure you have what you need to thrive academically and for the rest of your lives. We stand ready to meet you where you are and help guide you to where you want to be.

Start marking your calendars for the Libraries' fall workshop series. We're here to kick start your academic success with tips and resources on citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, spotting fake news and more.

In the meantime, prepare yourself with our first-year student LibGuide and these eight great ways the University Libraries can help you ace the next four years.

  1. Your new best friend. You don’t have to be a research ninja to step into our dojo. We’ve got a librarian specializing in just about any subject you can imagine, and our famously friendly staff lives to connect you with the guidance and resources you need. All you’ve got to do is ASK US.
  2. We offer a world of resources … literally. If we don’t have that book, article or other media you’re looking for within our catalog, we can track it down and get it to you. We’ve gone all the way to Australia to track down that hard-to-find article!
  3. Check the tech. From basics like phone chargers, laptops and iPads to cameras and tripods, the Libraries offer a range of technologies for checkout. Our in-house computers and labs also offer free access to many of the high-end, specialty software you need. We even offer 3D printing!
  4. Not just brick and mortar. Our University Libraries are at your fingertips, wherever and whenever you are. In addition to the ability to chat online with our librarians, our website offers access to more than 500 online databases to enhance your research.
  5. Before you buy that textbook … Textbooks for many of Miami’s most popular courses are available for in-library checkout. If buying that textbook is going to be a stretch financially, check with us first to see if we have it available.
  6. A space that’s just right. From the energetic buzz of King Café’ to the quiet study areas in each of our four branch locations, there is a library space made for you. Need to get together on a group project? Reserve one of our study rooms.
  7. Four great locations. King Library is, well … (you made it into Miami, so we’ll let you fill in the blank), but there are also three other great locations that offer our core library services and their own unique vibes and collections. King is there for you 24/7, but don’t let four years pass without checking out our other great locations.
  8. Follow us! Get great tips from our librarians and updates about upcoming events and workshops by following the University Libraries on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
By: friedevt on: August 10, 2018 1:38 pm | friedevt @ohiyote

Strategic Communications

- Welcome to the new Miami University Libraries Connections, staff eNewsletter. In addition to the new look, monthly event calendar and video staff spotlights, this Around the Libraries component will now feature short, need-to-know updates from around the division. This is still a work in progress, so let us know if you have suggestions or updates for future editions.

#MoveInMiami: The University’s annual day-of-giving campaign (separate from move-in day) – is Thursday, Aug. 23. This is a vital platform for telling the Libraries story to alumni and for building a long-term donor base. Vince is looking for volunteers to support the donor thank you effort – both thank you videos the day of and handwritten thank you notes in the week after. If you would like to participate with a gift (participation is far more important than the gift amounts) or want to learn more, check out

Access & Borrow

- Access & Borrow has four hiring searches underway at this time. Two (cataloging H-1 & Art/Arch G-2) are part way through the process and two (King G-1 and B.E.S.T. H-1) are still in the early stages.

- A&B summer activities including shifting collections for better access.

- On a behind-the-scenes level, Access & Borrow is starting a documentation initiative to ensure regular activities and important information are preserved in accessible places.

Create & Innovate

- The Create & Innovate Department is launching a Maker and Mobile (M&M) Lab, which will be taken out on campus to assist students and faculty in exploring, experimenting, building, deconstructing, analyzing, reverse engineering, and testing new ideas in safe, interdisciplinary environments. The M&M lab can be used to talk about and demonstrate concepts such as 3D, digital storytelling, multimedia production, virtual reality, coding for fun, and more. Stay tuned!

Steward & Sustain

- Steward & Sustain is excited to announce that Justin Bridges begins as the new Preservation Librarian on Sept. 3. He received his MLIS from Kent State with a focus on preservation and completed a 15-week preservation internship.

- The H1 position is posted and the search committee will begin reviewing applications next week.


By: friedevt on: August 10, 2018 1:38 pm | friedevt @ohiyote


A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” 

-Lao Tzu

Dean & University Librarian Jerome ConleyWithin the higher education cycle, the month of August always signals a time of new beginnings.

During the fast-approaching move-in week of Aug. 20, we will see the obvious new beginnings – the first-year students, new graduate students and beginning faculty we welcome to King Library for our annual series of orientation events.

Most beginnings are continuations or new chapters of longer journeys.

Our master planning journey began more than a year and a half ago. Since that time, we have completed a restructuring of our organization, created a vision for the future of King Library that is being shared with our university leadership, and made significant progress in building and strengthening our team through impressive new hires and exciting new positions.

While ongoing and requiring patience, all of that work represents progress and lends momentum to the forward-looking library system we wish to build.

Another important phase began last month, with the start of leadership training for our lead team and department heads. Over the next month-plus, we will come together with Tom Heuer, a faculty member in the Farmer School of Business and executive leadership consultant, for four sessions aimed at reflecting on our strengths, weaknesses and responsibilities as leaders.

It is not enough to implement a new organizational chart and to pay lip service to platitudes about the type of organization we want to build. We need to actively invest in the type of leadership that will unleash our true power – the collective smarts, energy and drive of the best library staff in the nation.

That began during our June team member training with Kristen Hadeed, which brought out both our strengths and our opportunities for growth. Those investments will continue with additional team-member training and the work your leadership is doing to create an environment where every individual can thrive and know they make a difference.

Ultimately, that’s what we must build before we can have the premier library system we envision.

Still another journey approaching its next phase is the university-wide Boldly Creative initiative that is critical to building tomorrow’s Miami University. This represents a new state of mind that must be pervasive as we consider how we add value to the university’s mission of advancing student success.

I hope you are all not only thinking about the ways we can strengthen the university around us but also discussing and advancing those ideas within your departments. This is where your leadership is critically important.

We will talk more about all of this during our fall All-Staff meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Until then, I wish you some final moments of respite and reflection amid your intensifying preparations for another new academic year.

Thank you for all you do.

Jerome Conley
Dean and University Librarian


By: kneerna on: September 18, 2018 2:30 pm | kneerna

Fall workshop series offers tips and tools for scholarly success

The Miami University Libraries have teamed up with the Rinella Learning Center and are here to support your scholarly pursuits with a series of nine workshops covering a wide range of topics from citing sources and navigating copyright law to mobile apps and 3D printing.

The series kicked off with “Apps for Academic Success” on Wednesday, Aug. 29 and runs through Oct. 10, when it concludes with “Present like a Pro.” Pre-registration is available through the Rinella Learning Center, but please feel free to drop by!

The schedule of remaining workshops follows:

Know your News
Wednesday, Sept. 19 – 4-5 p.m.
King AIS (134)
Are you unsure if the news you’re reading on social media is real or fake? Do you wonder where to turn for reliable reporting? If that sounds like you, please join us for the Libraries’ “Know Your News” workshop.

How Not to Cheat
Wednesday, Sept. 26 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)
Are you terrified of accidentally plagiarizing parts of your research paper? Do you wonder if you’re citing correctly or citing enough? Put your mind at ease with “How Not to Cheat,” where we’ll cover how to properly cite sources and avoid plagiarism.

Citing in APA Style
Monday, Oct. 1 – 5-6 p.m.
B.E.S.T. Library (Laws 116)
New to using the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style? We’ll take you step-by-step through this method of citing sources.

Citing in MLA Style
Wednesday, Oct. 3 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)
New to using the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style? We’ll take you step-by-step through this method of citing sources.

Present like a Pro
Wednesday, Oct. 10 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)
Does the thought of giving a presentation keep you up at night? What about speaking on behalf of your group in class, or taking a leadership role in your club or organization that requires speaking skills? If any of these scenarios give you nightmares, never fear! This workshop introduces strategies and resources for improving your communication and leadership skills. You’ll leave well on your way to presenting like a pro.

By: kneerna on: August 24, 2018 9:23 am | kneerna

#MoveInMiami: They unpack. We give back. August 23, 2018. 20 hours and 22 minutes. 2,022 donors. One amazing day of Love and Honor!

The big day is here! 

Regardless of the time and the tool, the heart of our University Libraries remains the same. We reach beyond majors (and the ability to pay) to empower our students with the resources and skills they need to thrive academically and for the rest of their lives.

We are excited to offer two great initiatives for your #MoveInMiami consideration:

Give to the Libraries Textbook Initiative: Save dozens of students hundreds of dollars each by contributing toward the acquisition of high-demand textbooks to be made available for checkout. Our goal is 50 donors. Learn about the Textbook Initiative!

Give to the Libraries Technology Support Fund/Laser-cutter/engraver: Yes, we're buying a laser. Enhance the cutting-edge technology our students can access by contributing to this exciting tool and its many possibilities, which benefit students from a variety of majors. See this amazing tool in action!

To learn more about #MoveInMiami and track the campaign’s overall success, visit