Annual Conference Report

Brian C. Gray, Case Western Reserve University, President

Brian Gray, President

Brian Gray, President

I hope everyone enjoyed the 2015 Annual Conference and/or the Preconference. I would like to thank our keynote speaker Cindy Foley and workshop presenter Trevor Dawes. Both sessions were well received. On behalf the conference planning committee, I would also like to thank all the presenters and attendees.  Without your support and participation, this conference cannot happen. The vendors and sponsors give ALAO the fiscal abilities to continue to offer top notch programming. To my planning committee, I owe more thanks that can be imagined!
The 2015 Annual Conference included 29 breakout sessions, 21 posters, and 31 vendor exhibitors/sponsors. We had several colleagues from outside Ohio join us to present and/or attend, including people from California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and others.    In addition, 50 attendees participated in the preconference workshop on “Are You Ready For Leadership?” provided by Trevor Dawes.
Congratulations to the ALAO award winners presented at the conference:

  •  Student Presenter Grant – Kari Jones, Southern State Community College
  • Support Staff Presenter Grant – Jennifer Rice, Kent State University
  • ALAO Diversity Scholarship – Kristen Zajac, Kent State University
  • DLIG Visionary Award – John Burke, Miami University Middletown and Beth Tumbleson, Miami University Middletown
  • TEDDY Award – Karen Plummer, University of Akron
  • ALAO Continuing Education Grant – Jen Waller, Miami University and John Napp, University of Toledo; Kelly Kobelia, Ohio Northern University — Honorable Mention
  • ALAO Research Grant – Jane Wu, Otterbein University
  • ALAO National Library Legislative Day Travel Award – Sylvia Halladay, Clark State Community College
  • Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award – Karen Plummer, University of Akron

The last few years, the ALAO Board has tried to bring more content to the users from conferences and workshops.  When you log into the website, there is a members-only area. Currently, the 2013 conference presentations and the 2015 presentations/posters (in progress as submissions continue) are available. 2014 content is being reloaded.

In 2015/16, the ALAO Board will have several initiatives that are being work on. We will closely be reviewing the data of the membership survey to set directions and efforts for the future. Also, in 2016, we will be announcing a new professional development webinar series in partnership with our fiscal agent SWON Libraries. Watch for these details soon.

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Elections-Call for Nominations

Eboni A. Johnson, Oberlin College, Past President


Eboni Johnson, Past President

Are you looking for a leadership opportunity?  Would you like to get involved in professional service for an ACRL chapter?  Or, perhaps you have a colleague who would be a perfect match for ALAO.  If so, please consider nominating yourself or someone else for the ALAO Board (the nomination form will be available soon).  Elections will take place in the spring,  and successful candidates will take office at the ALAO Leadership Retreat in the summer of 2016.
Part of my role as Past President is to chair the Nominating Committee, which is responsible for presenting a slate of candidates for the upcoming elections. We will be electing:
•    Vice President/ President-Elect
•    Secretary
•    Three (3) first-year board members-at-large
•    Membership chair
I’d like to recruit a person or two to serve on the Nominating Committee. This is a short-term commitment that ends once election results are reported to the president. Please contact me directly if you are interested in this opportunity.

Thanks so much for everything you do in support of ALAO. Best wishes for a happy holiday season, and a prosperous 2016!

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Jay Ladd Award Recipient

Karen Plummer Jay LaddCongratulations to Karen A. Plummer, who was awarded the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award at the 2015 annual conference last month.  This award, which is ALAO’s highest honor, recognizes an individual who has been an ALAO member for at least 5 years, and who has promoted academic libraries and librarianship not only on his or her own campus, but also within the state. The award also recognizes someone who has provided leadership in the promotion of ALAO through service such as committee membership, executive board office, or interest group office.

Karen was recognized partly for the challenging work she did to design and develop ALAO’s early web presence and bring us into the digital age.  Her work resulted in ALAO being able to share activities in new and better ways.  Karen’s knowledge, interest, and skill enabled us to use the new website to better inform, educate, and connect with ALAO members. In addition, she’s presented at several ALAO conferences, has served for many years on the executive board and various committees, and has represented our profession at the legislative level. Karen has served her campus and community while also constantly attending to her own professional development and knowledge, in order to better serve.  We recognize Karen for the critical contributions she made to the early success of ALAO’s web presence, her outstanding advocacy of librarianship through service to her university, campus and community, and also for sharing her knowledge and expertise with other librarians through presentations and publishing through ALAO and other venues.

Way to go, Karen.  We appreciate all you do for ALAO!

Eboni A. Johnson, Oberlin College, Past President
Photo Provided by: Karen Plummer

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Vice President’s Report

Krista McDonald, Miami University Hamilton, Vice President

O15513 Kristy McDonald

Krista McDonald

Mark your calendars for the 2016 ALAO Annual Conference! The conference will be held at The Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio with a pre-conference workshop on Thursday, October 27th and conference sessions on Friday, October 28th. The planning committee has selected User Experience: Exceeding Expectations by Design as the theme. Our keynote speaker and pre-conference workshop leader will be Aaron Schmidt. Schmidt, a principal library design consultant with Influx Library User Experience Consulting, was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” in 2005. His publications include LJ’s column, “The User Experience,” and the books Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to your Library and User Experience (UX) Design for Libraries, both coauthored with his consulting partner Amanda Etches. You can learn more about Schmidt and his work by visiting his blog Walking Paper here:

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Research Grant Announcement

Apply Now:  2016 Research Grant

The Research & Publications Committee will be accepting proposals for research grants beginning Monday, November 23.  If you have a research project or are thinking about a research project that could use some funding, we can help!  ALAO members can apply for up to $2000 in research funding to cover the costs for current or upcoming research projects.

Apply for grant funding via the ALAO website.  A full description of the application and criteria may be found on the online (

Application criteria:
1.    Application form
2.    Grant proposal essay
3.    Budget worksheet
4.    Current curriculum vitae

Submit the application form (item 1), the research proposal (item 2), and a budget sheet (item 3) online at the ALAO website:  Be sure to log in as an ALAO member first and then click “Register”.

Send a current curriculum vitae  (item 4) for each applicant to Heidi Gauder, Chair of the Research & Publications Committee, at as an email attachment.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:
Does the applicant demonstrate knowledge of the published research in the area of study, and how the proposed research will add to the field?
Does the proposed research make a unique and significant contribution to library science and knowledge of academic libraries?
Is the methodology for research clearly outlined? Does the methodology support the research process and outcomes?
Is the proposed budget sufficiently detailed and clear?
Does the proposed budget refer to financial support provided by the applicant’s home institution? If so, is the proposed amount justified in comparison to institutional support?
Is the proposal clear and complete, conforming to all required information as stipulated in the grant application instructions?

Heidi Gauder, University of Dayton, Research & Publications Committee Chair

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Research Grant Recipient Update

We reached out to the 2014 RPC award winners for an update about their research projects and how they used the award funds.  All three winners made great use of the funding.  Here is an update from the second of three award winners.

Shannon Marie Robinson
Denison University Libraries
When I initially applied for the grant, I thought I would survey faculty. However, after many conversations with other dance librarians and further research, it seemed best to conduct interviews that would provide exploratory, qualitative data about these scholars’ research experiences. From May 2014 through February 2015 I held in-person interviews with 12 dance faculty from three institutions. The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has the largest undergraduate dance program in the nation. The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio is a founding member of the National Association of Schools of Dance and one of the first schools to award undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees in dance. The dance department at Denison University in Granville, Ohio is representative of those at other small, independent liberal arts colleges. The interviews provided insight into the variation of research happening in dance, faculty use of library resources and format preferences, and research organization practices.

All of the interviews have been transcribed and I am currently writing my research findings as an article for a peer-review journal. While I am still analyzing the results, I learned that there is a tremendous amount of non-dance research occurring in the field; history, neuroscience, gender theories, cutting edge technology, and digital humanities are extremely important and oft-consulted disciplines. I am investigating the possibility that librarians can better support dance faculty (both text-based and performance-based scholars) if we consider them interdisciplinary scholars.

RPC Chair note:  Shannon Marie Robinson received $505 (full funding) for this research project.

Shannon Robinson, Denison University
Heidi Gauder, University of Dayton, Research & Publications Committee Chair

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Continuing Education Grant & Application

Receive up to $2,600 to attend a continuing education event in 2016
The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant Program encourages library personnel to improve their skills and to develop new ones.  The grant is awarded once a year to support the cost of participating in continuing education opportunities, such as, conferences, workshops, and / or seminars which are related to the member’s current position or in pursuit of a professional library degree.  Current ALAO members are eligible to apply for funds to defray the costs of attending any library-related educational opportunity occurring during the 2016 calendar year.

Applicant must be a current member of ALAO.
Applicant much not have received this grant in the previous three award cycles.

Application Deadline: February 5, 2016 @ 5:00 pm.
Notification & Payment: The ALAO Professional Development Committee will notify grant recipients by February 26, 2016 and will arrange payment through SWON, the ALAO fiscal agent.

For more information go to If you have any question, please contact the ALAO Professional Development Committee Chair, Carissa Thatcher

Carissa Thatcher, Cincinnati Christian University, Professional Development Committee Chair.

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