Betsy’s Bits

Betsy Blankenship, Ohio State University Marion

I am a fan of 70’s music and I heard on the radio the other day the song “Celebrate!” and thought that it was a perfect tune for this time of the year. There are many reasons for celebrating and the main one for me is that the semester is over and I can breathe again for a little while! Many people are celebrating graduations, weddings, going on vacation, welcoming home a child for a visit for the summer or for just a little while, etc. Maybe you are celebrating at work a project completed, a report done, a plan developed, an annual review finished, etc. I hope that if you are not, that you can look for a reason to celebrate – the beautiful weather, flowers blooming, longer hours of sunlight, saying thanks to your colleagues and staff for getting through another academic year! It will make your summer seem even better!

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment

President’s Report

Betsy Blankenship, Ohio State University Marion

The time has flown by – this is my last report as President of ALAO. I will turn the reins over to Eboni Johnson in July, and she will ably lead us during our 40th anniversary and celebration. I really appreciated getting to know new members and re-connect with our “seasoned” members and working with all the board members – many wonderful events and activities resulted this year. To all of you who willingly lent us your talents in the past year – I salute you, as you provided the opportunity for ALAO to have a conference, offer workshops, award scholarships and grants, recognize outstanding members, redesign a website, put out a newsletter, advocate for libraries and services and promote professional development opportunities by attending, serving, nominating, awarding and submitting at some point over the last year.

Several activities were completed over the past year – the website was redesigned and unveiled; I think it is much more user-friendly! We are utilizing our website management features to provide a better conference website this year. We migrated to a new member email listserv – thank you to the University of Akron for hosting it for so many years. We had a very successful election, with great candidates, making voting very difficult. Congratulations to all the winners:

Vice-President/ President-Elect – Brian Gray (Case Western Reserve University)
Membership Chair – Katy Mathuews (Shawnee State University)
Secretary – Sheryl Gannon (Brown-Mackie College-Findlay)
Board Members at Large –
Moriana Garcia (Denison University)
Heidi Gauder (University of Dayton)
Carissa Thatcher (Southern State Community College)

We awarded a Legislative Day Travel Day Grant to Missy Creed, and it sounds as though both she and Joe Straw had a very productive visit in Washington. Don Appleby won the Jay Ladd Award for Distinguished Service; I’ve had the pleasure of working with him in the past as well as on the board and he certainly fits the concept of distinguished service to ALAO! The Research and Publications Committee and Professional Development Committee awarded funds to several members; I am so glad we can provide such support to our members! We partnered with Kent State University to offer a Diversity scholarship and with Library Leadership Ohio (LLO), Ohio Library Support Staff Institute (OLSSI) and ACRL to provide financial support and professional development opportunities for our members. We have been exploring some new initiatives such as conference proceedings and a mentoring program so stay tuned for more on those. Most importantly, the board reviewed policies and procedures and made changes when appropriate and continued to operate ALAO with sound fiscal practices and lead ALAO through another successful year. The Annual Leadership Retreat will take place at Mohican Lodge July 14-15, where the board “passes the torch” to incoming board members, says goodbye to those who have completed their terms and where I officially pass the ALAO gavel to Eboni Johnson, incoming President. I then assume duties as Past-President, so you’ll be hearing from me in the future as I seek Jay Ladd Award nominations and members to run for offices! Thank you for allowing me to be your President during 2013-2014!

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment

Vice-President’s Report

Eboni Johnson, Oberlin

​Happy June, everyone!

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Conference Planning Committee invites you to submit proposals for the 40th Annual Conference, which will take place on November 13-14, 2014 at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Sandusky, OH.
The submission deadline for full-length sessions has been extended to June 9, 2014.

Proposals for poster sessions, lightning rounds, and round-table discussions will be accepted from ​​​​June 23rd to July 18th​​.​
​For more information or to submit your proposal, go to ​ ​
​Char Booth will present an exciting pre-conference workshop on November 13 called ​​​Who Gives? Advocacy and Outreach that Make Things Matter. ​ ​

Advocacy and outreach are essential and closely related tools for creating and sustaining successful libraries. Advocacy is a process of identifying and shaping messages that matter (and make sense) to your user communities, while outreach helps these messages effectively connect with stakeholders.

This workshop will engage participants in discussions and activities geared toward creating small and large-scale outreach and advocacy initiatives that are authentic, high impact, well designed, and empowering. Facilitator Char Booth will highlight how even small creative efforts can lead to significant gains in these areas, and you’ll come away with best practices and scalable project ideas to apply in your own context​.​

​The conference keynote address, Diversity, Professional Development & Participation: How Academic Libraries Empower Communities,​ will be presented by 2014-14 ALA President Courtney L. Young.

​Conference registration will open in August. We look forward to seeing you in November!

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment

Subscribe to the New ALAO Listserv

Keep up with news and events related to ALAO and Ohio academic libraries. The new ALAO Discussion List,, is hosted on Google.

To subscribe, send an email to No subject or message is required.

You will receive a confirmation email, which will ask you to reply to the confirmation email in order to activate your subscription.

If you were on the old listserv, you were automatically transferred over to the new list.

To post a message, send to

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment

ACRL Webinars on June 13 at OSU-Newark: Making the Leap to Library Leadership & Data Visualization Strategies for Library Assessment

For the second year, the ALAO Professional Development Committee will be hosting a spring event that will re-broadcast two ACRL webinars at a central location, OSU-Newark. Join us on Friday, June 13th, to watch these thought-provoking webinars and discuss as a group.

Space is limited to the first 100 registrants so please register early to save your spot.

“Making the Leap to Library Leadership” will play from 10:00 – 11:30 AM and “Data Visualization Strategies for Library Assessment” will play from 1:00 – 2:30 PM. Attendees are welcome to come to either or both sessions. Each session will be followed by a brief opportunity to converse with colleagues on these important topics. Re-broadcasts are only available in-person that day.

Registration for these webcast rebroadcasts is free for ALAO members and $30 for non-members (the cost of a one year membership to ALAO). Attendees can bring their lunch or visit one of the many convenient options close to campus during the break. Coffee, tea and water will be available through out the day. For those that attended last year, we are in a different room this time with comfortable seating.

Descriptions of each webinar are listed below courtesy of the ACRL website:

“Making the Leap to Library Leadership” 90 minutes
Leadership occurs at all levels of an organization and is not limited to those in managerial roles. Committee chairs, working group leaders and well trusted colleagues all hold important leadership roles in an organization. This webcast is designed both for people who have been called upon to serve a leadership role and those who wish to take on more leadership responsibility. The session will outline essential skills for twenty-first century library leaders and help participants to gain a deeper understanding of their own role, as well as that of their department and library, within the larger picture of their umbrella organization.

“Data Visualization Strategies for Library Assessment” 90 minutes
Assessment has become a ubiquitous activity in all areas of librarianship, and a key component of assessment projects is effectively communicating data and outcomes to library administrators and stakeholders. However, many practicing librarians have had little to no formal training in data analysis and presentation. This live, interactive webcast focuses on data visualization strategies and best practices that will ensure clear and accurate communication of quantitative assessment results. The targeted audience includes library professionals who would like to maximize their effectiveness in presenting their assessment findings to library and institutional administrators and stakeholders.

For more information, please contact Katie Blocksidge (Email: / Phone: 740-366-9308)

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment

ALAO Diversity Scholarship Reflection

Carissa Thatcher, MLIS, Kent State University
Recipient of the 2012-2013 ALAO Diversity Scholarship

I have just completed my course work at Kent State University for the Library and Information Science program, due in large part to the ALAO Diversity Scholarship. This award is not just a financial aid for your education, but a catalyst of self-confidence which provides the recipient with support and encouragement through the process of attaining your degree. After I was honored with this award, I found myself being approached by professionals with vast experience and knowledge in the field of LIS and was happily surprised by the advice and guidance they shared with me. I felt that I had found a cheering section that really and truly wanted to see me succeed in whatever I choose to do, which is very inspiring during a rough semester.

The ALAO conference has continually been a place where I have found excellent professional resources, networking opportunities and information on services offered to libraries directly from the vendors. I look forward to these events every year as a way to enhance the education I have, explore new ideas for my library, and confer with colleagues; and I hope to have the opportunity to attend many, many more.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me and my career, but I do know for certain that ALAO will be there reminding me that I can do anything I make up my mind to do and I will do it well; that there is a group of, not just professionals, but people who are supportive of one another and willing to help where they can.

My advice to future students in an LIS program would be to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you and to be fearless in your learning. Find a stable and strong support group and don’t be ashamed to use it. Learn from the experiences of others; really listen to what they have to say. Make sure that you belong to a professional organization where you have access to all of this and more.

Thank you so much to Diane Kolosionek and the ALAO Diversity Committee for the doors that have been opened to me through you and the continuous encouragement to become a viable professional in the field of Library and Information Science.

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment

National Library Legislative Day

Joseph Straw, Marietta College

As government Relations Liaison, I represented ALAO at National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) in Washington D.C. We we were fortunate this year to have Missy Creed the winner of the ALAO Legislative Day Travel Award attend the conference with the Ohio delegation. I would like to extend a thank you to ALAO for supporting our travel to this important event.

On May 5, myself and Missy attended a useful set of briefings organized by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office. We attended the briefings as part of the Ohio delegation which was made of nine people made up of academics, public librarians, and lobbyists from library affiliated groups. William Morris of the State Library of Ohio headed the state delegation and did an excellent job in distributing informational packets and arranging meetings with congressional staffers. The attendance of academic librarians was up from last year with close to 20 in attendance. Still, the overwhelming majority of the over 300 attendees came from public and school libraries.

The briefings included presentations by Barbara Stripling, president, ALA; Keith Michael Fields, executive director, ALA; Amanda Wilson, president, District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA); and Senator Angus King (I-ME). Many of the presentations focused on broad issues like access, e-books, telecommunications, net neutrality, and funding for library based literacy initiatives. Some of the specific legislative focus highlighted continued funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), open access to federally funded research as provided in the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), and the USA Freedom Act that amends some of the privacy and phone data collection practices of the Patriot Act. Summaries and talking points for all the issues covered at NLLD can be found at the ALA Washington Office website at: .

After the briefing sessions, a reception was held by ALA in the Hart Senate Office Building for Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5)honoring them for leadership, support, and legislative advocacy. Senator Leahy was present for the honor, while a staffer accepted the award for Representative Sensenbrenner. During the award presentation, particular emphasis was paid for their recent bi-partisan support for the USA Freedom Act.

May 6 was legislative day proper and was occupied by activities on Capitol Hill. The day began with the Ohio delegation meeting for a strategizing breakfast in the cafeteria of the Longworth House Office Building. During the day, I met with staffers for Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), and Bill Johnson (R-OH-6). The issues that were discussed included LSTA, FASTR, the USA Freedom Act, Net Neutrality, E-Rate, and funding for the Federal Depository Library Program. Later in the afternoon, myself and most of the delegation met with a senior staffer for Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)and talked on many of the same issues. Other advocates from the state went individually and together and hit a large portion of Ohio’s congressional delegation.

Certainly it felt good to join together with other librarians and advocates to make our voices heard through the forum of the NLLD event. I will continue to monitor these issues as they progress through the legislative process. Without question a major thanks needs to be extended to the ALA Washington Office for their great work on putting together the conference and in representing the interests of the library profession on a full-time basis.

Posted in Vol 32 no 2 (June 2014) | Leave a comment