News & Notes

By: Nick Kneer on: April 02, 2018 1:57 pm | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

If you visit King Library today, you might notice some new, unusual-looking patrons.

Through a new 24-hour therapy animal loan program called "Pause for Paws", the Libraries seeks to help students reduce stress, particularly during the weeks leading up to final exams. The initiative adds to an already impressive array of free resources available for check out at the circulation desk.

"We provide a wide variety of items at circulation, from simple things like adapters and phone chargers to laptops, digital cameras, and tripods," said library technician and "Pause for Paws" program development lead April Jester. "With the animals, though, we're breaking new ground in offering a resource that has the ability to really improve the well-being of students." Research suggests animal companionship may provide psychological and physical benefits, and students missing their family pets may find comfort in an animal loan.

The libraries are taking a broad approach with "Pause for Paws", offering not only dogs and cats but also honey badgers, wombats, hawks, red pandas and more, creating additional opportunities for yet-unknown benefits.

Students interested in checking out a 24-hour animal loan should be aware they are responsible for cleaning up after their animal, and that today is April Fool's Day.

By: Nick Kneer on: April 06, 2018 7:35 am | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

Staff Spotlight: Alea Henle

Alea Henle joined the University Libraries in March as head of the newly-created Access & Borrow department.


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

Ohio-born & (mostly) raised. I'm what is sometimes called a "faculty" brat, as my father taught mathematics at Oberlin for decades. I have a BA from the College of Wooster, an MLS from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Connecticut.


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

I'm the head of the newly created Access & Borrow department. As such, I'm working to build cross-awareness within the department and libraries about the ways the department supports students, staff, and faculty access to the resources, materials, and spaces they need to conduct research. 


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

I've been a librarian for decades because working in libraries is a great way to spend most of one's life there, which I was doing even beforehand. As a child, I was a constant visitor and avid reader (some things don't change!) and started working in libraries in college (a traditional route). I accepted the position at Miami because the job description interested me and offered the kinds of challenges I was interested in, and the university has a solid reputation.

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

There is no one best part, rather there are so many it's impossible to choose -- the people! the resources! the air of inquiry!

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

I'm not good at picking one of most things. That said, I wish college students knew just how much we're here to help and just how much help we can offer. It's always bittersweet when students realize late in their studies that they could have had this assistance all along.

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

The variety of challenges before us.

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

I own somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5k books and you want me to pick one favorite? Nope, not happening. While I used to daydream myself into books, I don't do that much anymore. I'm more interested in writing them because then all the characters are mine (even the ones I'd rather weren't).

Any hobbies?

Reading (no surprise), walking my dog all around Miami and exploring the various parks and byways, and writing both fiction and non-fiction.

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

Hmm, also a hard question. How about how widely I've lived in the US -- I've gotten new state driver's licenses 10 times and only the tenth was a repeat (Ohio!).

By: Nick Kneer on: March 29, 2018 10:46 am | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

Alea Henle, new head of Access & Borrow, participates in a question and answer session.

by Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator

The Miami University Libraries welcome Alea Henle as head of the newly formed Access & Borrow department.

Access & Borrow serves to connect the Miami community to the materials and resources that support academic success and advance discovery. It encompasses a variety of integral areas, including access services, shelving, circulation and technical services.

Henle comes from Western New Mexico University, where she served as head of public services librarian since 2013. Her employment history includes Colorado State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and years in the private sector at a large international law firm. She has a lengthy history of published scholarship, presentations and service to professional library organizations.

Henle holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio), an M.S. in Library Science from Simmons College (Boston) and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Connecticut (Storrs, Connecticut).

She recently participated in a brief Q&A to discuss her passion for librarianship and her new role:

Q: What has drawn you to librarianship as a career?
A: I enjoy the rhythm of being a librarian. It gives me regular contact with students and faculty, and I love helping people. Even when I was not a librarian while working on my Ph.D., I couldn’t resist wanting to help people with instructions and directions. You can take the librarian out of the library but never the librarian out of the person.


Q: What excited you about this new role?
A: The mix of responsibilities intrigued me. I appreciated that this new department draws together some areas that historically have often been quite separate. It includes some staff more on the public side and some who make things work behind the scenes. They are all mission-critical groups who enable people to access materials, resources and spaces within the Libraries.


Q: What is your vision for your first 30 days? How about longer-term?
A:  My first 30 days will be a lot of meetings and opportunities to listen, ask questions, and see possibilities. Longer-term, we will work together to develop a department identity and foster cross-awareness among the various areas in our department.  This will create opportunities for brainstorming. One of the benefits of working with Miami’s well-established libraries and experienced staff are the opportunities to bring a lot of ideas together.


Q: As an experienced librarian, what challenges or opportunities do you see in librarianship today?
A: As a historian who has studied the history of books and libraries, I think there is an evolving definition of what is a library. Is it a place? Is it a collection of books and resources? Is it things? I recently read an article that stated libraries are one of the most trusted places to get information, and that’s a big and appropriate responsibility.

Change is ongoing in libraries, and that distinction between a place and a provider of resources is becoming more important. There are many people visiting the library today without ever setting foot outside their dorm room or office, and it is important to support both physical and virtual library spaces.

By: Melissa Cherry on: March 26, 2018 12:47 pm | cherrymk


From the Dean ...

Despite all the changes you see in libraries today, the heart remains the same. We serve those who hunger for knowledge. We create access to resources that not all can afford. We offer community that welcomes and includes.

As you will learn in the stories that follow, the University Libraries remain integral to our university’s future, and those who believe in the power of libraries have never been more important. We appreciate the opportunity to keep you informed. Read more ...

Jerome U. Conley
Dean & University Librarian

Envisioning the future ...

Master planning process offers a glimpse into King Library's future possibilities.

Take the tour ...

The story of Jerry Williams '39

Within a yellowed manila folder, filed among the endless rows of vertical files and tidy blue boxes containing Miami University's history, waited a heart-wrenching story in need of a voice.

Read the story ...

Mansfield's lifelong love of libraries inspires major gift

In the case of Judy Goacher Mansfield '68, mother really did know best.

Read the story ...

Are you a former Libraries student worker?

The University Libraries are partnering with the Miami University Alumni Association to identify and reconnect with our former student workers. Read the story ...

King Library home to groundbreaking eSports Arena ...

Libraries offer space to support student-inspired and nationally competitive program. Read the story ...

Some study dates last a lifetime ...

In December 2017, Sam Hornsby '16 brought his girlfriend Shelby Trejo '15 back to the King Library study room where they had their first date to ask her an important question. View the video ...

Libraries form inaugural alumni advisory board

Board brings together perspectives from media, corporate and library careers to offer guidance to the Dean & University Librarian. Read the story ...

An eye on our students ...

Get to know three senior Libraries student workers and their future plans. Read the story ...

Why I give: Dr. Daniel Dolan '12

A former Libraries student worker and current surgical resident, Dr. Daniel Dolan, shares why he contributed a matching gift to the 2018 #MoveInMiami day of giving campaign. Read the story ...

Q&A with 2017 LAURE winner Hannah Woods

In 2017, the University Libraries awarded the second round of Libraries Awards for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE). Psychology major Hannah Woods was the first-place winner. Read the story ...

2017 Libraries by the numbers ...

The University Libraries checked out more than 132,000 items in 2017, but perhaps the most impressive numbers are the resources students can access without stepping in the library. Check out the numbers ...

Miami University eSports team  Sam Hornsby '17 and Shelby Trejo '15  The Miami University Libraries Alumni Advisory Board 
By: Nick Kneer on: April 02, 2018 2:26 pm | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

Lindsay Miller, assistant head of Advise & Instruct, participates in a question and answer session.

by Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator

Lindsay Miller, a 12-year veteran of the Miami University Libraries, began a new role last month as assistant head of the Advise & Instruct Department.

The newly created position joins one of six new departments formed out of the University Libraries’ recent master planning process, which explored services, organization and facilities.

Advise & Instruct seeks to enhance Miami’s academic community through specialized guidance, instruction, and resource selection that encourages the use of the Libraries, inspires research and researchers, and fosters the growth of critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

Miller joined the Miami University Libraries as an academic resident librarian in 2006 and has served in a variety of roles and capacities – from communications coordinator to first-year experience librarian – during her time.  She was promoted to associate librarian in 2013, and the development, coordination and scheduling of instructional programming have been central to her responsibilities.

In her new role, Miller directly supervises a team of librarians who are primarily focused on instruction and engagement while also having liaison and collection management responsibilities.

Lindsay earned her B.A. from Miami and her master's in library and information science from the University of Kentucky.

She recently participated in a brief Q&A to discuss the evolving roles of University Libraries and the opportunities created by her new position.

Q: Talk about why this position was created.

A: The Advise & Instruct Department as a whole came out of the master planning process and looking forward to what type of library system we need to be in the future. That means a focus on student engagement and student success. It also takes a lifelong aim. My position, in particular, looks at how we integrate information literacy into the curriculum. These are all areas I’ve been working on as long as I’ve been here, and I’m excited to support an exceptional team of librarians in performing these important functions.

Q: Why is information literacy so important today?

A: There exists a misconception that, because of the Internet, everything is easier to access and all the information we need is now available at our fingertips. It’s actually more difficult to access good information today because there is so much to sift through. We have to equip students with the skills to evaluate information sources. It can be hard to tell the difference between what is even real or fake, let alone what is reliable and appropriate for the paper they’re writing.  That’s a key focus for libraries and very important to our students as they move through majors and careers. Information literacy is directly tied to critical thinking.

Q: What role are the University Libraries already playing in information literacy?

A:  We have had a lot of success integrating information literacy into first-year courses, like UNV 101 and ENG 111. We have also enjoyed success with our librarians working directly with faculty to promote information literacy through various classes or assignments. The hope is to structure and unify these various efforts behind an encompassing strategy that looks at the skills we’re developing in students as they progress throughout their Miami careers and lives.

Q: Talk about how the Advise & Instruct department is arranged and its early priorities.

A: Our guiding vision is a culture of sharing – using activities in the classroom as platforms to share and promote the repository of tools and resources the Libraries offer. Kevin Messner, head of Advise & Instruct, supervises the subject librarians. I support the librarians who focus on instructional initiatives and student engagement, which will soon include two new student success librarians, one focused on campus engagement and one focused on the experience of first-year and sophomore students. Campus engagement is foundational for student success, so we are excited about this new emphasis. We will also be building a team focused on creating digital learning tools and lesson plans that can be applied across subject specialists and adapted to specific classes and subjects.

By: Nick Kneer on: November 05, 2019 4:16 pm | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

Portrait of Valerie Edwards ElliotOn Wednesday, March 14, the Miami University Libraries welcome Valerie Edwards Elliott ’75, manager of the Smith Library of Regional History, for a Women’s History Month lecture on the history of the Oxford College for Women.

Elliott will present a visual overview of this local women’s college from its antecedents in the 1830s through its merger with Miami University in 1928.

Wednesday, March 14 ○ Noon ○ King 320
Free and open to the public

The lecture is free and open to the public, and is produced in partnership with the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, university archival collections and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies program.


The Oxford College for Women graduating class of 1907 pose for a formal portrait.
The Oxford College for Women graduating class of 1907 pose for a formal portrait.
By: Melissa Cherry on: March 20, 2019 10:13 am | cherrymk

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: Vincent Frieden on: March 26, 2018 9:38 am | friedevt small twitter logo@ohiyote

Undergraduate students who are conducting research using the Miami University Libraries are eligible for special recognition and a cash prize through the Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE).

A partnership between the University Libraries and the Dean of the Libraries Student Advisory Council, LAURE seeks to recognize undergraduate students who demonstrate excellence in library research. First place earns a $1,000 cash prize, with additional cash prizes awarded for second place ($500) and honorable mention ($100).

Submissions for the third Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE) are being accepted through March 16, 2018.

To learn more about the award, evaluation criteria and how to submit an entry, visit the University Libraries’ LAURE webpage.

By: Melissa Cherry on: April 19, 2018 10:49 am | cherrymk

On Saturday, May 5, King Library hosts the Miami University Libraries' final game night of the spring.

Come by between 6 p.m. - midnight  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!


students, faculty and staff playing games on games night
By: Melissa Cherry on: December 03, 2018 10:13 am | cherrymk

The Miami University Libraries are back in spring 2018 with a full series of 11 workshops focused on helping you achieve peak scholarly success.

The series, hosted in partnership with the Rinella Learning Center runs into April. Pre-registration is available through the Rinella Center (for select sessions as they come available) but please feel free to drop by!

The remaining schedule follows:

Citing in MLA Style
Co-sponsored by the Rinella Learning Center
Tuesday, March 13 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)

New to using the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style? This primer workshop will get you well on your way to citing like a pro.

Citing in APA Style
Co-sponsored by the Rinella Learning Center
Wednesday, March 14 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)

New to using the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style? This primer workshop will get you well on your way to citing like a pro.

Zotero Basics
Wednesday, Mar 28 – 4-5 p.m.
Laws 116

Learn the basics of this easy-to-use research tool for gathering, organizing and analyzing sources.

So, You Want to be a Librarian?
Tuesday, Apr 3 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)

Thinking about a career in libraries or information science? Learn about degree options and career paths in this informative panel presentation and Q&A session with Miami University librarians.

Poster Preparation
Co-sponsored by the Rinella Learning Center
Tuesday, Apr 10 – 4-5 p.m.
King AIS (134)

Presenting a poster at the Miami University Undergraduate Research Forum? This course covers the basics of research poster design and presentation.

Digital Archiving: Saving Your Pictures for the Future
Tuesday, April 17 - 4-5 p.m.
King 110 (Kamm Electronic Instruction Room)

How can you ensure that your digital “memories” remain accessible in in the future? This workshop teaches best practices, including file types and naming conventions, to preserve your digital memories.