Making it work at Ohio University
Chad F. Boeninger is the Head of User Services, Business & Economics Librarian at Ohio University in Athens, OH. He answers a few questions from SBR.net about the library and how he’s managing.
Q. Tell us about your background and how you arrived at your current position?
I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in history and then received my masters in Library Sciences. I came to Ohio U in 2002 originally hired for the American Studies Program because of my history background. I had a wonderful mentor who was the business librarian and was immediately taken with all the tools he had available and the high degree of interaction he had with students. For business, there is no one stop shop for data and information. You had to know where to go. When he retired, I became the business librarian and eventually the reference and technology coordinator, then head of reference and into my current role as Head of User Services where I oversee a department of eight.
Q. What are some of the unique aspects of the sports business programs at Ohio U?
We have a Sports Management program for undergraduates and a Sports Administration Masters Program. We also have an online Professional Master of Sports Administration program that runs over 21 months and has about 25 students each year. That work takes place online and the students meet on campus a couple of times a year. For undergrads, we have about 400 undergrads in the program. The work is a combination of formal and informal classes and one-on-one instruction. We have 100 students in our Sports Management Capstone Project. These students work in groups with a client developing real world skills. In the past, the Capstone students have worked on client projects for The Atlanta Falcons, the Ladies Professional Golf Association and Georgia Tech. Our premier experience is the MSA Program, which is the Number One ranked graduate program.
Q. How do your students use data?
Every year, we work on a project where students work in teams to create a mock bid to bring The Great Games to a particular city. The Great Games is an Olympic style competition so they need to look at hotel availability and occupancy, transportation, infrastructure and a host of other factors. Our Capstone students have done a number of projects where they’ve had to understand the demographics of National Football League Fans and others where they’ve had to analyze sports participation data for projects in outdoors, personal fitness and golf.
Q. What do you see in the Post Covid future for your students and yourself?
Before Covid hit, I had a pretty robust YouTube channel with business tutorials and online guides with hard-to-find information. So pre-Covid, we had this information online and it’s been more valuable than ever for our students. In addition, students and teachers have become much more comfortable using Zoom and Teams to meet virtually. They’ve all installed that software and figured out how to use it. Also using that software has some advantages. Every student signs in with their names, so I know who I’m talking to. In the past, I’d work with students and not know their names. That is no longer the case.
Personally, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the same normal 8-5 schedule that I did pre-Covid. The pandemic certainly has opened up options and opportunities to have a more flexible work schedule, which may allow me to better meet with students and faculty on evenings and weekends by appointment. Our major challenge will be to take what we’ve learned, adapt to change and improve how we work.
Boeninger uses the following resources for students, including a YouTube channel and tutorial series he has created himself.
See links below.