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Interim Director’s Desk – Winter 2023

I am always surprised at how quickly time seems to pass during the last three months of the year. As the holidays quickly approach, I want to share some highlights and updates with you.

Search Firm Hired for next OhioNet Executive Director & CEO
The OhioNet Board has engaged Summit Search Solutions to manage the search and hiring process for the next OhioNet Executive Director/CEO. The position will be posted, and candidate recruitment will start in earnest in January. We will keep the membership updated on the search process progress with periodic blog posts over the next few months.

Library Worker Wellbeing
We are in the process of implementing a broader library worker wellbeing program that will touch many facets of the work we already do in support of our members and the communities you serve. We launched the Ohio Library Worker Wellbeing Survey during the OLC Convention & Expo at the end of September and closed the survey at the end of the Academic Library Association of Ohio Conference in November. Some of you may have attended the survey debrief webinar on November 17. If not, I encourage you to watch the recording and join us for one of the remaining PERMAH Exploration Sessions. This interactive discussions are meant to generate ideas and explore how OhioNet can greater support workplace wellbeing in Ohio’s libraries.

If you are curious about bringing workplace wellbeing in your library, please contact us using the Request Information and Price Quote form on the Consulting Services webpage. You can license the survey to be taken by your staff, who will receive their own individual results. Additionally, we can help debrief your overall set of results as well as individual results. You will see more information about additional library worker wellbeing training and more over the coming months.

Diversity Assessment
The consultants hired by the OhioNet Board to lead our diversity assessment officially launched this project in October. A cohort of librarians interested in this topic was created with the task of identifying underrepresented librarians who are currently working in Ohio libraries or who have left the library profession. This group is also working on the set of interview questions they will use to collect data.

In addition to one-on-one interviews, an in-person and virtual summit will be held in April and May where participants will share their own experiences and help to identify promising practices that libraries can adopt to recruit and retain librarians of color in Ohio. Additional information about the summit, including a call for those interested in attending and sharing their experience, will be shared widely in January. We believe that many of the actions identified from this work will ultimately transition into training, programing, and services embedded in our library worker wellbeing program.

Staff Transitions
Finally, I want to share that Michelle Bradley, Director of Consulting, will be leaving OhioNet at the end of December. Michelle has done an amazing amount of work since joining the OhioNet team in 2021. She led the development of the EXPLORE model for opportunity exploration and strategic planning. She also introduced several evidenced-based and strengths-based models, tools, and actions to our team and delivered programs to improve workplace connections and wellbeing. On behalf of the OhioNet Board and staff, I want to thank Michelle for the time and energy she invested in building a strong foundation for OhioNet’s human-centered consulting services. We wish Michelle the best as she starts her new leadership role in January.

In closing, I hope you can take some time off in the coming weeks to connect with family and friends over the holidays. The OhioNet team will take a short break from work on December 25-26 and again on January 1. We have a lot of exciting work coming in the New Year including assisting the OPAL libraries in their migration to Alma, identifying new groups to work with to collectively license electronic resources, expanding our training with topical themes affecting all types of libraries, and continuing to deliver high quality, human-centered consulting services.

Thank you again to our member libraries and their teams – we greatly appreciate the work you do for the communities you serve.

Andrew Whitis, Interim Executive Director

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