When Program Director of Outreach and Engagement Quanetta Batts went to her University Libraries supervisor with a desire to do more community outreach three years ago, she opened the door to her passion of helping others and is leaving a lasting impact in the community.
No day is the same for Quanetta, as her responsibilities at the libraries range from running the outreach and engagement efforts to managing large scale events and internal programming. Her true passion is making connections with people and helping in whatever way she can.
One of the major programs Quanetta coordinates is the Expanding Visions Foundation (EVF) community partnership which brings high school students to Ohio State for a summer internship. Prior to starting the internship, students must complete EVF’s Career Institute. The goals of the program are to give students hands-on work experience, provide visibility to academic libraries and college life, and identify strategies and opportunities to succeed.
“We want them to be successful in anything they do, whether it’s at Ohio State or not,” Quanetta said. “I know that we’ve had a positive impact with our interns, and we want to keep making a difference, even if it’s one student at a time. The students have also had a positive impact on me and my colleagues who participate as supervisors and mentors for the program.”
To better the relationship the library system has with other local nonprofits and make service more accessible to her colleagues, Quanetta created a system that encourages library employees to visit organizations like the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Big Brothers Big Sisters as representatives of Ohio State libraries.
“I love being able to bring more people into supporting the community,” Quanetta said. “I had been volunteering for a while, but now I have the opportunity to encourage others to also make a strong and lasting impact in the community.”
Quanetta also contributes her time and expertise to mentoring administrative professionals on campus. Serving as president of the Ohio State Administrative Professional Group, she inspires her colleagues by bringing in speakers, coordinating professional development opportunities and helping them look for ways to be more effective and efficient.
“Specifically, I love mentoring the women in this group because I would not be where I am today without the strong women I had mentoring me,” Quanetta said.
Quanetta and other University Library employees volunteering at the Mid-Ohio
Quanetta welcoming over 650 library employees to the 2019 IDEAL conference.
As she continually innovates and creates new ways to run programs and engage with the community, Quanetta is encouraged by the “fail forward” philosophy and a culture of accountability that is reinforced by leadership.
“It’s never a failure, always a learning experience, and this encourages me to think outside the box and find new ways to do my job,” Quanetta said. “No matter what we try or get involved in, you will always see the leaders participating with the rest of the staff.”
This kind of leadership support within University Libraries and across Ohio State has been an attribute Quanetta has recognized and valued throughout her time at the university.
“When I came here eight years ago, I was instantly welcomed into the Buckeye family,” Quanetta said. “The network of experience at this university is second to none, and no matter who I call, someone is always willing to help.”
Being a part of that Buckeye family and experience is a point of pride with Quanetta and inspires her to serve the university and protect the legacy it has established.
“I see myself as a part of the legacy and the tradition that is educating future world leaders and inspiring future generations,” Quanetta said. “I am proud to have the ability to strengthen that legacy.”
For her dedication and incredible work for the university, Quanetta was recognized with a 2019 Distinguished Staff Award.