News & Notes

By: Vincent Frieden on: August 15, 2018 3:56 pm | friedevt small twitter logo@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.

King Library hosts the annual New Faculty Orientation from 9-11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22, on the third floor. Registration will take place in King’s main, first-floor lobby and pre-registration is not required. The King Café entrance will not be open, so guests will need to arrive through the main entrance.

  • 9-9:30 a.m. – Breakfast/meet & greet
  • 9:30 -10:15 a.m. – General information session
  • 10:15-11 a.m. – Library information fair

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: Nick Kneer on: August 10, 2018 1:15 pm | 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.

From 1-4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24, King Library hosts the Explore King and Map My Classes event for all first-year students. This important orientation gives you a primer of all the great services the Libraries offer and all the crucial resources that are available for checkout – so much more than books! And, of course, we’ll reward your efforts with free food, prizes and directions to your first day of class.

After that, 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: Vincent Frieden on: August 10, 2018 1:38 pm | friedevt small twitter logo@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: Vincent Frieden on: August 10, 2018 1:38 pm | friedevt small twitter logo@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: Nick Kneer on: August 20, 2018 4:06 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 kicks 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 full schedule follows:

Apps for Academic Success
Wednesday, Aug. 29 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)
Learn about the best apps that support success for college students in this interactive workshop. Bring your mobile device!

3D Printing
Wednesday, Sept. 5 – 5-6 p.m.
B.E.S.T. Library (Laws 116)
Learn about the Libraries’ 3D printers in this popular workshop. This session will benefit you if you’re interested in designing and printing your own 3D project.

Can I Use That? Copyright and Fair Use Basics
Tuesday, Sept. 11 – 4-5 p.m.
King AIS (134)
Fair Use and copyright laws for images and sounds can be complicated. Have you ever wondered if you can use an image in your academic work? Or how much of a song you can use in a video you’re creating? Are you unsure of whether free videos on YouTube are copyrighted? Join us to hear about these issues and get answers to your own questions in this hour-long session.

Ace Assignments with Active Reading
Wednesday, Sept. 12 – 5-6 p.m.
King AIS (134)
Overwhelmed by the amount of reading required for your classes? In this workshop, we’ll identify your personal roadblocks to reading efficiency, learn strategies for improving reading speed and comprehension, and acquire information about active reading methods.

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: Nick Kneer on: August 20, 2018 12:27 pm | 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!

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, University Libraries


No, we are not physically moving the University Libraries -- no Book Brigades required.

On Thursday, Aug. 23, the Miami University Libraries join a campus and nationwide effort to MOVE Miami University forward through an exciting and difference-making day-of-giving fundraising campaign.

The overall #MoveInMiami goal is 2,022 donors in honor of the entering first-year class, and the Libraries are aiming to, once again, surpass goals for two important funds:

A row of textbooks line Library shelves in reserve. The Libraries Textbook Initiative provides funding for the purchase of textbooks that are made available for students to check out – free of charge – at multiple Libraries’ locations. Through the power of #MoveInMiami, which has generated more than $10,000 in funding for the program over the past two years, the Libraries are able to offer access to costly textbooks for many of Miami’s most enrolled classes. The first 25 donors of at least $50 get to customize a book plate that goes in a current Libraries textbook! 


The Glowforge laser engraver / cutterThe Libraries Technology Support Fund allows the Libraries to invest in the cutting-edge technologies that inspire student creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. This year, #MoveInMiami fundraising will go toward the purchase of a laser cutter/engraver that will enhance the Libraries 3D Printing Services and create new possibilities for students and faculty campus-wide. 


“While the funds raised through #MoveInMiami are essential to supporting programs that are crucial to our academic community, the greater impact is seen in the participation of our many alumni and friends,” Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley said.

“Our supporters recognize the power of a strong library system to reach across majors and enhance the success of students of all interests and from all backgrounds. #MoveInMiami has been a powerful platform from which to share our story with the entire Miami community.”

The University Libraries will be sharing that story leading up to and throughout #MoveInMiami via their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. For more great reasons to support the Libraries during #MoveInMiami, check out our "5 Reasons to Support "#MoveInMiami" video.

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

By: Vincent Frieden on: July 30, 2018 10:18 am | friedevt small twitter logo@ohiyote

So, you're a new grad studentAs the start of the fall semester nears, the Miami University Libraries are excited to play an integral role in the scholarly success of our new graduate students.

This commitment begins with the Libraries’ New Graduate Student Library and Research Orientation, hosted from 6-7:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 20, in King Library. Just show up – no registration required and no cost involved.

Both informal and invaluable, this session creates opportunities to meet your subject librarian, learn about how the Libraries can support and enhance your research, and discover the many helpful resources the University Libraries make available at no charge. All this and free pizza too!

For a complete primer on getting the most from the University Libraries during your time in graduate school, bookmark our comprehensive online LibGuide on graduate student resources.

To get you started, here are six ways the Libraries can make your grad school life easier:

  1. Your subject librarian: Need guidance on an advanced research project? We’ve got your expert. Each department features a subject librarian who knows your area of study and can assist you with everything from narrowing your research topic to finalizing your thesis. Have a quick general question between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.? We offer a variety of options to just ask us.
  2. Technology: From technology basics for checkout and pay-for print services to state-of-the-art 3D printing services in our B.E.S.T. Library, the University Libraries ensure you have the tech tools you need to do your best work. The Center for Digital Scholarship can help you get started on digital projects and the Center for Information Management computer lab offers the software and hardware to complete a variety of projects, including movie production and poster creation.
  3. 24/7: King Library is open 24/7 during the fall and spring semesters to accommodate your prime working hours. The Libraries’ website also creates access to more than 500 online databases, many accessible anytime from anywhere.
  4. We can get it: If an article or book you need is not in our collection, we can track it down statewide through the OhioLINK consortium or worldwide through our Interlibrary Loan program. It is free for you and faster than you might expect!
  5. Take your time: There is no need to balance all those due dates in your hard-working mind. As a graduate student, you get to check out books for an entire semester at a time.
  6. A space that suits you: In addition to our open study spaces, which range from semi-social coffee shop to absolute quiet, the Libraries offer a variety of study and meeting rooms that can be reserved. As a graduate student, you also have exclusive access to the Polk Graduate Reading Room (King 230), which offers a focused place to get work done and lockers to secure your research sources. Check with the King Library circulation desk for access.
By: Vincent Frieden on: July 20, 2018 8:39 am | friedevt small twitter logo@ohiyote

Graduation Day: (From left) Associate Vice President Ron Scott, Provost Phyllis Callahan, University Ambassador Renate Crawford,
President Greg Crawford, Janis Williams, Jerry Williams, Jr., Lisa Williams and Dean Michael Dantley with Jerry Williams’ long-overdue
Miami degree during spring commencement 2017.














How a scholar's research and an 80-year old letter righted a forgotten wrong

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, Miami University Libraries
Originally appeared in the February 2018 Illuminant & Annual Update

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.

It spoke of a time 25 years before the eloquently stated dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and it contained a now unthinkable wrong – long overdue for correction.

A story finds its storyteller

When Zeb Baker first visited Miami University’s campus in 2013 to interview for a job in the University Honors Program, he had a research project going on the side.

The son of a former Georgia Southern University athletic director, Baker was fascinated by the history of segregation in college football and was in the early stages of researching his upcoming book, “Playing the Game of Segregation: Race and College Football in the Postwar Midwest.”

As part of his visit, Baker stopped by the university archives. During the visit, then-university archivist Robert Schmidt offered a folder of materials about African-American students at Miami, hinting that Baker might find something of interest.

The folder included a pair of 1939 letters regarding an African-American student named Jerry Williams.

The exchange between Miami’s then-president Alfred H. Upham and an assistant superintendent of schools from Cleveland came at a time when Miami’s enrollment of 2,700 included only 15 African-Americans. In those days, African-American students did not receive housing in the residence halls, except for student-athletes who resided in the basement of Swing Hall.

It was also a time when student teaching in Oxford schools was not an option for an African-American.

The letter discussed Williams’ qualifications for certification as a teacher. President Upham spoke glowingly of the respect Williams had earned from his classmates and faculty while noting he had completed all required coursework. However, the university could not confer a degree because Williams had not completed his practice teaching – an opportunity unavailable to him because of his race.

By today’s standards, some of the language and inferences in the letter are offensive.

In his response, the clearly frustrated assistant superintendent openly questioned why a university would admit a student into a school of education without being obligated to provide practice teaching. He conceded, however; that without the required degree and teaching certificate, he could not permit Williams to teach.

“I was flabbergasted,” Baker said. “Having researched in some 190 different archives, I can authoritatively attest that I had never seen anything like the exchange between these two men.”

Uncovering a lost Miami legend

Jerry Williams carrying the ball for Miami's varsity football team.Baker, now senior associate director of Miami’s University Honors program, got the job and soon thereafter began pulling at the threads."

“I came to find that Jerry Williams was probably the most famous student at Miami during that period,” Baker said. “He was incredibly well admired by other students.”

Williams, considered Miami’s first African-American football standout, was a two-sport student-athlete, earning three letters each in football and track & field. A two-time All-Buckeye Conference back, he also was the place kicker for the 1936 Buckeye Conference football champions. On the track, he helped lead Miami to three conference titles.

Jacqueline Johnson, the current university archivist who succeeded Schmidt, became an ally in the effort to uncover Williams’ story.

From the original letter, they knew Williams had attempted to gain practice teaching by assisting in the instruction of an automobile course at Miami. Through another uncovered letter, they learned that Williams received National Youth Administration aid and worked in the Withrow Court athletics equipment room.

They already knew he had to be an excellent student to earn acceptance into college as an African-American during that time. Along the way, they discovered that Williams ran a leg of a state championship relay at Cleveland’s East Technical High School with the legendary Jesse Owens. The search also turned up Williams’ 1999 obituary.

“Historical research can be deeply personal work,” Johnson said. “It’s powerful and sometimes life-changing.”

“A great day”

There was never any hesitation about what needed to happen.

After verifying and re-verifying with the registrar that Williams had indeed completed all his required coursework, the conversation elevated to the president’s office, the provost’s office and to Michael Dantley, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Society.

In April 2017, Dantley placed a phone call to Janis Williams ’68, daughter of Jerry Williams. He explained the situation and informed her that her father would receive his Miami University degree, posthumously.

“I burst into tears right away,” Janis recalled.

Dantley presented the degree to the family during commencement activities on May 14, 2017. He introduced Williams’ story by announcing it was time to right a wrong.

“Jerry Williams’ story is a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to making our world a more just and equal place,” Dantley said.

Conversations with Williams’ family and a treasure trove of documents discovered in the family’s attic, since donated to Miami’s archival collections, revealed the story of a deeply humble man who never backed down.

After another attempt at gaining professional teaching experience failed, World War II arrived, and Williams enlisted. He served as a master sergeant mechanic with the 99th Pursuit Squadron of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Until an old Army buddy visited the house one day, his family never knew.

He left the military in 1947 and balanced two jobs for much of his life.

“He’d leave at 6:30 in the morning, teach all day, then work the 3-11 p.m. shift with the police department, Janis said. “I don’t know how he did it, but he always had time for us.”

While records and family recollections fail to tell the story of how Williams finally earned his teaching license, he eventually did and worked as a teacher at Central High School and Robert H. Jamison, Nathan Hale and Audubon junior high schools until his 1979 retirement. He also spent 25 years as an investigator with the Cleveland Police Department, working for a groundbreaking juvenile division.

“He was a dignified man, a good husband and a great father,” Janis said. “He was a man who never boasted about his accomplishments.”

A remarkable Miami man

In fall 2017, Williams received another honor when he took his place as a true pioneer in Miami University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Despite the wrong that Miami did not correct in his lifetime, Williams never voiced animosity toward Miami. Until Dean Dantley’s call, Williams’ children, Janis and Jerry Jr., never knew why their father did not graduate.

Now on display in the room where Williams used to sleep are a Miami University degree and a Miami flag, presented to the family by President Greg and University Ambassador Renate Crawford, which flew over Miami’s campus in Williams’ honor.

“I know how much Miami meant to dad. He loved this school, and he imparted that to us,” Janis said. “That’s why I was so emotional when Dean Dantley called. I thought, ‘You finally got it. And you deserved it.’ It was a great day.”

That is the story of Jerry Williams ’39 – a tale of redemption that might never have been if not for a nearly 80-year old letter that, in revealing a dark side of Miami’s past, opened the door to the shining example of a remarkable Miami man.  



By: Nick Kneer on: August 16, 2018 8:08 am | kneerna

Morgan announced as social sciences librarian

by Nick Kneer, communications specialist


The Miami University Libraries are pleased to welcome Abi Morgan to the Advise & Instruct Department, where she began as social sciences librarian on July 2.

Morgan provides library services including consultation, instruction and collection development for faculty and students in social sciences departments across the College of Education, Health, and Society; the Farmer School of Business; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We’re excited to be able to position the library to provide additional subject specialist capacity for the Farmer School of Business as well as the Department of Teacher Education,” said Kevin Messner, head of Advise & Instruct.

Morgan holds a bachelor’s in history and anthropology from Ohio University, a master’s in library and information science from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s in adolescent and young adult education from Ohio University. She most recently served as senior library technician at Miami’s Wertz Art & Architecture Library since July 2017.

Prior to joining Miami, Morgan worked as librarian and project manager with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and served as interim Upper School library assistant at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. She also taught World Studies and U.S. History as a long-term substitute at Miller High School.

“Abi has a terrific breadth of experience in the applied social sciences between her classroom experience in middle and high school teaching and her prior role as a federal government librarian. It is a bonus that she starts her new role already acquainted with Miami and the library system,” said Messner.

“This role is a wonderful opportunity to utilize all my previous work experiences and enhance my connections with the great library team at Miami. I’m excited to spend more time on instruction and to collaborate with students, faculty and staff on their research,” said Morgan.

Morgan works out of B.E.S.T. Library in 219E Laws Hall and can be reached at or 529-2789.

By: Nick Kneer on: June 29, 2018 1:52 pm | kneerna

We Were There

Miami in the Cold War

From the threat of nuclear war to Korea and Vietnam to unrest on campus, the Cold War years marked a notable and turbulent time in Miami University history.

A new exhibit in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives, located in King Library 321, explores the various chapters and sides of this era through photos, letters, memorabilia and even a children’s game.

In this three-minute video, Elizabeth Maurer, library technician in the Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives, introduces “We Were There: Miami in the Cold War” and talks about a few notable items and their place in Miami history.

“We Were There: Miami in the Cold War” is available for viewing – free of charge – in King Library room 321. The Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives are open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.