OHIO Libraries: The Heart of the University

About thirty-five years ago, Tim Vickers was attending Ohio University as an undergraduate student. His gratifying experiences with Ohio University Libraries influenced his decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University and to return later to serve as both a faculty member and as a member of the administrative staff. Having a background in philosophy and linguistics, libraries are integral parts of Vickers’ life.

Director of The Center for Teaching and Learning, Tim Vickers. (courtesy of Tim Vickers)
Director of The Center for Teaching and Learning, Tim Vickers. (courtesy of Tim Vickers, photo by Bryan Thomas/Ohio University Libraries)

“Alden Library has a very special place for me,” Vickers said. “And the fact that some of my own work is part of the libraries as a graduate student, it’s always been a magical place for me.”

As the director of The Center for Teaching and Learning, part of Vickers’ mission is to assist faculty in helping their students learn. Having a mission so closely linked to that of the libraries, which is to connect learners to information for discovery, intellectual growth and advancement of knowledge, blends well with Vickers’ job, lending him the opportunity to learn from the library staff who are involved in the instructional design and professional development.

“The library [staff] is engaged in scholarly work. They manage, and they monitor, and they measure interactions, and they’re bringing back from their conferences, from their collaborations and from their colleagues,” Vickers said.

Located on the third floor of Alden Library, the Center for Teaching and Learning holds programs for faculty and graduate teaching assistants. For Vickers, holding these events within one of the Libraries’ buildings not only brings credence and authority to his work, but also contributes to the longevity and the impact that he can have in his position.

“To me, the library is the heart of the University. And you can’t live without a heart,” Vickers said.

The Ohio University Libraries represents the university’s dedication to research, teaching and learning, and the placement of the Center inside the Libraries exposes external staff to the inner workings of the Library, something Vickers cherishes.

“I learn from the librarians, and the best way to have that happening is often times not workshops or directly through classes and things like that, it’s just talking and being around it,” Vickers said. “Part of it is just being here through osmosis, [and] the co-location, but it’s also the collaboration.”