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Notable News from University Libraries Part 1

As the OHIO community returns to campus, Ohio University Libraries is pleased to announce the promotions of staff members Dr. Katy Mathuews, senior director of Administration; Miriam Nelson, director of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Preservation & Digital Initiatives; and Hanna Schmillen, head of Subject Liaison Services. 

Katy Mathuews

Katy Mathuews

“I am very excited to welcome Dr. Katy Mathuews onto the Libraries’ executive team as senior director of Administration. Katy’s unique blend of career experiences in areas such as grants accounting, institutional effectiveness, and librarianship will serve her and the Libraries very well in her new role,” said Neil Romanosky, dean of University Libraries. “I look forward to Katy’s leadership during this period of pivotal change for the Libraries and the University.”

Mathuews started at Ohio University Libraries in 2015 as the collections assessment and stacks management librarian, and she has since served as the head of Collections Assessment and Access, interim coordinating director of specialized collections, and interim head of regional library managers. She has worked on many meaningful initiatives, including co-chairing the Libraries’ recent Strategic Plan initiative, where she co-organized the staff-led process to help guide the Libraries’ strategy, mission and vision from 2021-2023 and to reaffirm the role of the Libraries as the heart of the University. 

“I have a background in academic libraries, accounting, institutional effectiveness, and higher education. I saw this new role as a perfect opportunity to combine all the things I enjoy,” Mathuews said. “Also, as I’ve progressed through my career, I’ve realized I enjoy more strategic and/or leadership roles. This new role will help me move forward with those interests.”

In the past, Mathuews has worked closely with subject librarians and collections, but will now pivot to be more strategic- and leadership-oriented. She is looking forward to continuing to collaborate with her colleagues during this pivotal time of change for the Libraries and the University. 

Miriam Nelson

Miriam Nelson Staff Photo 2021

“Miriam is contemplative and careful, while also being willing to assume risk with worthwhile initiatives.  She cares deeply about her colleagues as co-workers and as people...  [and] has the ability to interrogate a problem in a way that gives her insight and the ability to comprehend why a colleague holds a point of view,” said Janet Hulm, assistant dean for collections and digitization strategies.  “As the director, I have no doubt she will work with the staff to develop exciting initiatives and encourage progressive thinking around how to bring researchers closer to our significant collections and the archivists.”

Nelson started at University Libraries as the head of Preservation and the manager for the Southeast Ohio Regional Library Depository in the Annex, where she demonstrated her unique combination of skills and leadership qualities as she became immersed in new projects and collaborations with Digital Initiatives and the Libraries’ special collections. In 2017 under Nelson’s leadership, digital initiatives merged with preservation to form a new unit called Preservation and Digital Initiatives that enabled the Libraries to develop a digital imaging position resulting in the growth of digital collections and enhancing the preservation programs through the use of surrogates, which increases access to the Mahn Center’s special collections through the digital representations.  

“[Later], when the need for an interim supervisor for the Mahn Center arose, Miriam was an obvious candidate. In that role she continued to bring these departments together in ways that strengthened our ability to connect with researchers and learners,” said Hulm.  

According to Nelson, collaborating with her colleagues on interesting and rewarding projects is one of her favorite parts of working at University Libraries — and in her new role as director, she plans to continue to embrace “… good stewardship of the Libraries’ collections and support activities that make archives and special collections more accessible and relevant to our community, regardless of their affiliation with Ohio University.”

Hanna Schmillen

Hanna Schmillen Staff Photo

“Hanna has always been an enthusiastic contributor of the work of the Libraries, and someone who takes initiative when something needs to be accomplished that makes OHIO researchers more efficient or effective, or improves our students’ information and critical thinking skills,” said Dr. Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services. 

Schmillen, who began in 2015 as the health sciences subject librarian, has made many valuable contributions to the Libraries. Early in her career as OHIO’s health sciences librarian, Schmillen created a plagiarism tutorial that is now used around 20,000 times per year. She also built a systematic review service for health sciences and medicine, leveraging her expertise in support of new modes of faculty research. In 2019, Schmillen became interim co-head of the new Subject Liaison Services department with colleague Sherri Saines, before assuming the full interim position in 2020. During this time, she also co-chaired the stakeholders subcommittee for the Libraries Strategic Plan and is the team lead on the Libraries Guarantee+ program integration— both of which “…are significant and important activities for the success of the Libraries and both are demonstrations of her leadership ability,” said Broughton.

 “Since my graduate degree, I have had aspirations to be in a leadership position within an academic library,” Schmillen said. “I think because of that… I feel passionate about that kind of work.” 

Schmillen would like to thank Broughton and Saines for encouraging her career and personal growth. She is looking forward to the future evolution of the department of Subject Liaison Services and the continuing growth in her career. 

Congratulations to Katy Mathuews, Miriam Nelson and Hanna Schmillen.