News & Notes

By: friedevt on: February 23, 2018 7:12 am | friedevt @ohiyote

Tzoc and Johnson promoted to principal librarian

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator

The Miami University Libraries are pleased to recognize Jacqueline Johnson, university archivist, and Elias Tzoc, head of the Create + Innovate Department, who received promotion to principal librarian during the Feb. 16 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

“Our dedicated librarians and staff are at the heart of what we do as a University Libraries system, and Jacqueline Johnson and Elias Tzoc exemplify that commitment to service and dedication to advancing their professions,” Jerome Conley, dean and university librarian, said. “We are grateful to the Board of Trustees for recognizing their extensive contributions and their value to Miami’s academic community and the field of librarianship.”

Johnson arrived at Miami in 1991 as a minority resident librarian. She has dedicated most of her career to the university’s archival collections. From 2005-2015, she was archivist for the Western College Memorial Archives. In 2016, she became university archivist. Her responsibilities, which she describes as “an honor,” focus on developing, maintaining, supporting and promoting the use of the University Libraries’ archival collections, which includes collections from Miami University, Western College and Oxford College.

She has been invaluable in promoting the role of Western College for Women during Freedom Summer (1964). In addition to supporting faculty and student projects on the subject, she was integral in the development of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Digital Collection Metadata Project and website as well as in organizing a Freedom Summer oral history program. More recently, she helped secure a collection of items related to the late Jerry Williams ’39, one of Miami’s first African-American student-athletes.

Johnson is a member of the National Civil Rights Conference Planning Committee and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society’s Commission on the 400th Commemoration of the First Documented Africans in British North America. She has served on committees for the Society of Ohio Archivists and is a member of Miami’s Celebrating Global Sisterhood Committees.

Her scholarly contributions include 19 successful grant applications and more than 40 presentations. Most recently, she presented with Miami colleagues on “Lessons from 1964” at the National Diversity Symposium in Muncie, Indiana, and published in published in the Society of American Archivists’ Archival Outlook.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Limestone College and her master’s in library and information science from the University of South Carolina.

Tzoc arrived at Miami in 2007 as a digital initiatives librarian before, in 2015, being named digital scholarship librarian for the Center for Digital Scholarship.  In 10 years, he has worked and collaborated with a diverse group of colleagues, including faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, officers from funding agencies, university administrators, and librarians from Ohio, the U.S., and several nations.

Earlier this year, he was named head of the newly formed Create + Innovate Department, which is charged with the mission of enhancing scholarly work at Miami University by anticipating the resources, technologies, spaces and expertise that drive groundbreaking research, creative forms of expression, innovative tools for teaching, and new mediums for sharing the Miami community’s scholarly achievements.

A partner with Miami faculty and students on a variety of digital projects, Tzoc played an integral role collaborating with Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, associate professor of theatre, in creating the Freedom Summer App, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and the winner of a national ALL-IN Challenge Award. In all, he has contributed to 11 significant digital projects in collaboration with Miami faculty and students, ranging from websites and apps to ebooks and digital collections.

Active in the profession, Tzoc has contributed to nine successful grant applications totaling more than $130,000.  He also has contributed to 17 publications; developed a host of digital library tools since made available to the public; and given nearly 40 professional presentations, most focused on the field of digital scholarship.  He is currently a reviewer for two Latin American journals.  He is also an adjunct instructor for the AIMS program.

Principal librarians are promoted based on a record of continued excellence in job performance and leadership, demonstrated excellence in service to the profession and/or community, and a strong record of scholarship and creative activity.


By: friedevt on: February 22, 2018 10:00 am | friedevt @ohiyote

University Libraries recognize Fair Use Week, Feb. 26-March 2

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator

While today’s digital world offers unprecedented access to protected creative and scholarly works for students and faculty, there are a host of issues surrounding when the use of these works is acceptable.

Fair use encompasses essential limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. These flexible doctrines facilitate balance in copyright law, allow copyright to adapt to new technologies, and accommodate freedom of speech and expression.

Fair Use Week, an annual celebration, takes place Monday, Feb. 26 – Friday, March 2. It includes activities and programming designed to help members of the campus community and the public learn more about the fair use exception found in U.S. Copyright Law. Learn more about Fair Use Week, commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries, at the official Fair Use Week website.

The University Libraries, led by Carla Myers, assistant librarian and coordinator of scholarly communications, host two opportunities to learn about Fair Use during the upcoming week.

  • Fair Use Information Table (2-4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb 27, King Library lobby): Stop by to pick up information on fair use and ask questions about this legal exception.
  • Introduction to Fair Use (2:30-4 p.m., Friday March 2, King 320): This 90-minute workshop offers an overview of fair use basics and the different ways it can be harnessed to reuse others’ works for scholarly or personal purposes. Refreshments provided!


By: friedevt on: February 19, 2018 7:47 am | friedevt @ohiyote

On Saturday, Feb. 24, Amos Music Library (located in the Center for Performing Arts, south side) hosts the Miami University Libraries' first game night of the season.

Come by for free food and the opportunity to join others from the Miami University Community as we play strategy / tabletop, board, and card games. The library provides a number of games from its circulating game collection, including recent additions Splendor, Dominion, Mysterium, and Dimension. We offer many of the classics as well.

You are also invited to bring your own games. These informal events are great for both beginners and experienced players. Just pull up a chair and join in the fun. 

Students, faculty, staff and families welcome!

The first event will be held after normal library hours (from 6-10pm), which means the whole facility will be dedicated to the game event.

Below is the schedule for this semester's events, with Google map links to help you find your way. 

Don't miss out!
By: friedevt on: February 16, 2018 10:14 am | friedevt @ohiyote


By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator

With the beginning of 2018, Elias Tzoc began a new role as head of the Miami University Libraries Create + Innovate Department.

A digital initiatives/scholarship librarian in the University Libraries’ Center for Digital Scholarship since 2007, Tzoc leads one of six newly formed, forward-looking departments that emerged from a 2017 Libraries master planning process that examined services, organization and facilities.

The Create + Innovate Department is charged with the mission of enhancing scholarly work at Miami University by anticipating the resources, technologies, spaces and expertise that drive groundbreaking research, creative forms of expression, innovative tools for teaching, and new mediums for sharing the Miami community’s scholarly achievements.

Tzoc, a native of Guatemala who earned his bachelor’s degree from Galileo University and his M.S. in library science from the University of Texas at Austin, recently answered some questions about his role and the groundbreaking department.

Q: Talk about your interest in this position.

A: After 10 successful years at Miami, I was ready for a new chapter, a new challenge. The job description excited me. The position offers unique and excellent opportunities to lead a team that will proactively explore, prototype, innovate and implement innovative services and facilities at Miami. The spirit of creativity and innovation has been part of Miami’s DNA for a long time, and it’s exciting to play a role in advancing that under our new Libraries master plan.

Q: How do you see your role in the new position?

A: My role is to help and motivate my team to explore and implement creative spaces and services that align with President Crawford’s emphasis on transdisciplinary research involving students and faculty. We must remain in a constant state of evolution, and that’s how I’ve framed it with my team. We’re going to be developing and reinventing these spaces and services for years to come.

Q: Why are creation and innovation important concepts in today’s library?

A: Academic libraries offer a variety of spaces for students, from traditional quiet spaces, high-energy collaborative spaces, to spaces for ideation, exploration and experimentation. I recently read an article that referenced Bloom’s Taxonomy – a pyramid of six levels of learning that start with remembering and understanding, advance to applying and analyzing, and lead to evaluating and creating as ideal learning states. We want to provide spaces that give our community opportunities to apply, analyze, evaluate, and, if we do this right, create new knowledge.

Q: Sum up your vision for Create + Innovate

A: It’s a working vision. I offered one as a starting point, and my team is providing feedback. It’s simple: “Become an entrepreneurial library department supporting innovative spaces and transdisciplinary research and scholarship at Miami and for the world.”

Q: Talk about your priorities in the year ahead.

A: I’ve identified a list of seven priorities:

  1. Information gathering and listening tours. That’s internal but also through engaging our faculty and several of the 34 centers and institutes on Miami’s campus.
  2. Inventory of existing projects, services and clients. That’s looking at what we’ve done.
  3. Assessment of resources and facilities. What we have and what we could do.
  4. Determine the total cost of operation for the department. We want to do new and exciting things. How do we afford them?
  5. Funding opportunities. Who will invest and believe in our vision?
  6. Fostering a culture of innovation – empowering my team with a hunger and desire to learn and try new things.
  7. Strengthen our network on campus. Our success depends on our networks, allies, collaborators and partners on campus. That touches students, faculty, university leaders and virtually every corner of campus.

Q: Discuss a significant issue where Create + Innovate can play a leadership role on campus.

A: With the momentum around data in higher education, I believe teams like ours can and should help advocate for more data-driven initiatives.  From open access, data visualization and innovation labs, to open science.  We should support the foundational Miami plan “to educate our students in transdisciplinary approaches to problem solving.”  Part of our role with students will be to help/work/challenge them to think big – and to think about many entrepreneurial ideas and possibilities.

By: friedevt on: February 15, 2018 7:14 am | friedevt @ohiyote

Carl Westmoreland to present Freedom Stations lecture at King Library

Western College for Women to be officially designated a Freedom Station

Sponsored by the Western College Alumnae Association, Miami University Libraries, Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives.

Carl Westmoreland, senior historian at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, visits King Library Wednesday, Feb. 28, to present “Freedom Stations, the Educational, and Historical Foundations of American Liberty.”

As part of Westmoreland’s presentation, which begins at noon in King Library 320, Western College for Women will officially receive its designation as a Freedom Station.

The event also includes a dramatic presentation, depicting Freedom Summer events, by Miami University faculty and students. Durell Callier, Ph.D., assistant professor of critical youth studies and cultural studies for Miami’s College of Education, Health, and Society, will lead his EDL 333A class, “Youth, Media & Pop Culture,” in a dramatic presentation actualizing the events of Freedom Summer.

The Freedom Stations Program is a legacy national outreach program linking historic Underground Railroad sites, research centers, university library collections, and museums engaged in Underground Railroad and slavery era research and historic preservation through the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Western College has been selected a Freedom Station due to the critical role it played in the Civil Rights movement through the efforts of the 1964 Freedom Summer. The Miami University archival collections, hosted in King Library, are home to the Freedom Summer Digital Archive, which includes a text and photo archive and audio/visual collections.

Beginning with the neighborhood in which he lives, Mt. Auburn, in Cincinnati, Westmoreland has provided technical assistance to more than 90 communities across America that have restored historic properties for people of all incomes and races. In his work at the Freedom Center, he has been involved in researching the history of the internal slave trade and the historic role that class, gender, race and slavery have played on contemporary political, social and economic issues.

Westmoreland has lectured to a wide audience, including neighborhood groups, churches, leaders of U.S. and Mexican governments, and executives of major U.S. corporations. He has served as an editorial writer for a major newspaper, reviewed books for major publishers, and lectured at major American universities.

By: friedevt on: February 07, 2018 1:11 pm | friedevt @ohiyote

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?

Growing up in Buffalo, New York, I’ll forever be a Sabres and Bills fan, but I’ve also lived here in Butler County, southern Indiana and suburban Philadelphia. I finished my B.A. in English/journalism here at Miami University. After a decade in newspaper journalism, I discovered librarianship and earned a Master of Library Science from Indiana University.

How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?

Our team develops the University Libraries’ online services including developing a new library website. Stay tuned! Your input can help make it great!

What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?

For me, it’s all about service. As a journalist, I was serving my community, but oft-times you never find out if your work helps make change. While I found librarianship sheerly by chance, I quickly fell in love with how libraries can directly serve the specific needs of every person who walks in the door and truly help them improve their lives. Having experienced Miami firsthand, the opportunity to help more students thrive here was one I had to snag.

What's the best part of working in a library?

Learning something new every day. I’ve learned so much from the people I have helped. Everyone is researching something unique.

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?

This doesn’t apply just to libraries, I use it in every facet of life – ask questions. Ask lots of questions because the answers give you power to up your game and truly enjoy life. Sometimes asking can feel like a risk, but you’ll learn so much more about research, your coursework, and even fun stuff like places to eat amazing food.

What are you most excited about tackling in your new role?

Much of research today is conducted online, which makes the library website one of the most important experiences the University Libraries have to get right. One of the fascinating challenges of this will be making this experience accessible using any technology, from phones to screen reading software.

What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?

With too many to count, I’ll go with my favorite series as a kid – “Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators.” The middle school detectives solved the craziest mysteries through brains, research, and bravery. As a kid, I would have done anything to be the fourth detective on the team. I rediscovered the books as a librarian and was surprised with how well they hold up.

Any hobbies?

I’ve been drawing comics and studying comic history since I was a kid. I can’t say I was ever great at cartooning, but I still enjoy doodling when I get the chance. I also enjoy road tripping, design, architecture, history and leveraging technology to tell stories.

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?

The fact I’d do about anything to help in the library might not surprise, but here is what might. My first library where I worked was hosting a huge kids program. The librarian’s husband usually helped with these programs, but he fell ill. As a result, the next thing I knew, I was dressed up in a head-to-toe Cat in the Hat costume entertaining the kids. Other than a trio of boys who insisted on pulling my tail I actually had a blast. Over the next few years, they had me appearing as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and a few other characters whose names I’ve since forgotten. Yes, those costumes are freaking hot.


By: friedevt on: February 07, 2018 1:07 pm | friedevt @ohiyote

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?

I am from Columbus, Ohio. I lived most recently in the German Village neighborhood (strategically close to the Jeni's Ice Cream). I graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio (conveniently nearby to Whit's Frozen Custard) where I majored in Philosophy and Spanish. I completed my MLIS from Kent State with a concentration in Academic Libraries in 2014.

What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?

I am a Web Services Librarian so I develop the website for the University Libraries. My main responsibility is to make the website usable and accessible for students, faculty members, and librarians but I hope to make it beautiful too.

What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?

The most simple answer is that I just love books. The real reason, though, is my colleagues. Working with bright, collaborative, and creative people makes me happy to come to work every day and strive to be my best. I chose to come to Miami because the libraries have an aura of creativity and resoundingly support innovation in our field.

What's the best part of working in a library?

The best part of working in the library is the free books, of course. I love being constantly surrounded by the opportunity to learn new things.

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?

I wish students knew of all of the awesome citation managers that can facilitate research by keeping things organized. They are such a time saver.

What are you most excited about tackling in your new role?

I am very excited to create a new library website for everyone, but I think that I'm looking forward most to contributing to Project Blacklight, an open source discovery service.

What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?

That's probably the most difficult question anyone has ever asked me. Right now it is “The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. LeGuin, but my answer changes constantly. I'm a huge fan of anything written by J. K. Rowling or Jane Austen.

Any hobbies?

I spend most of my free time reading, exercising and sleeping, but I try to do a little bit of baking and rock climbing here and there as well. I also love eating good food, particularly ice cream and sushi.

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?

I have always been a baseball fan. I learned to keep score and sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" before I could read.

By: weavered on: February 15, 2018 6:30 pm | weavered

Congratulations to Ed Sheeran, winner of the 2018 album poll, and thank you to all who voted!


Amos Music Library invites the Miami community to vote for their favorite popular released in 2017. For the fifth year, the winning album will be added to the library's circulating CD collection. The poll is available here. The nominees were selected from among the best-reviewed and best-selling popular albums of 2017.

Our past winners:

This year's nominees (with links to those titles already owned by the library):

Vote here. The poll closes Wednesday, February 14th.

Not familiar with the nominees? Check out our Spotify playlist (including additional tracks from other recent artists of note). 

By: friedevt on: February 05, 2018 7:27 am | friedevt @ohiyote


By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator

The Miami University Libraries are excited to welcome Mark Dahlquist as a Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian. In his new role, Dahlquist serves as liaison to the departments of English and media, journalism and film.

“Mark brings an extensive background in higher education with a strong understanding of how to incorporate library resources into the classroom and student research projects,” said Kevin Messner, Head of the Advise & Instruct department. “We are excited to offer his experience and skills as a resource to our students and faculty.”

Dahlquist holds his bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He also earned a Ph.D. in English from Illinois.

From 2011-2016, Dahlquist worked as a visiting and assistant professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he specialized in Shakespeare and early modern literature. He returned to Illinois in 2016 to earn his master’s in library and information science.

“During my teaching career, one of the things I most enjoyed was giving students freedom to seek their own questions and answers,” Dahlquist said. “I particularly enjoyed leading class exercises in the library.”

As part of his graduate school experience at the University of Illinois, Dahlquist worked in the Funk Family Library and also worked with the University of Illinois Library Scholarly Communication and Publishing Unit. He has published articles on early modern literature, and, in 2016, he presented a paper entitled “Supporting Student Creativity through Serendipitous Discovery in Library Instruction.”

“I want students to learn how fun it can be to search for the best resources using the library, and how much more interesting they can make their writing by using these resources,” Dahlquist said.

Dahlquist works from King Library 205 and can be reached at 513-529-8494 or


By: friedevt on: February 02, 2018 9:59 am | friedevt @ohiyote

New for 2018: Libraries announce changes, additions, upgrades

Reconfigured B.E.S.T. ground level and new graduate reading room location among changes

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, Miami University Libraries

A new year has brought some exciting new changes, additions and upgrades to the Miami University Libraries.

  1. King Library has adopted a new one-stop service strategy at its main circulation desk. Patrons can now direct in-person inquiries to the same circulation desk where they make checkouts. Librarians remain on call to support the new service format, and, as always, are accessible via online chat, text, phone or email. The former information desk is now a self-service station for study room reservations and self-checkout
  2. The Polk Patterson Graduate Reading Room has moved from its previous location on King Library’s third floor to the former Hill Faculty Reading Room (King 230). The move and decision to transition to one faculty reading room, approved by the faculty senate, places the graduate reading room in a more private space amid the book stacks and quiet study area. The space is receiving a general modernization, including new furniture.
  3. The ground-level of B.E.S.T. Library, damaged by flooding in the fall, has undergone a minor renovation, including fresh paint, new carpeting and a reconfigured and relocated seating/study area.
  4. The Libraries digital collections have welcomed seven new online databases, creating 24/7 access for students and faculty to thousands of articles, videos,  periodicals and other documents and teaching tools. Learn more.

  5. Miami University’s One-Button, formerly the One-Button Studio, is new and improved, featuring a more user-friendly interface and better quality picture. The improvements were made using student and faculty feedback gained since the concept was initially piloted in 2016. It will be tweaked and tested throughout Spring Semester 2018, so keep the feedback coming!
  6. Wertz Art & Architecture Library has upped its drawing tablet game, adding six Wacom Intuos Pros and four iPad Pros with the powerful digital illustration app procreate. The Intuos Pros are available for three-hour or overnight checkout. The iPad Pros can be checked out for up to 24 hours at a time.
  7. King Library installed upgraded HD digital display technology in 11 study rooms.
  8. The Kamm Electronic Instruction Room (King 110) is piloting a new configuration during spring 2018 to improve viewing angles for instructional purposes.