President’s Report

President Eboni Johnson

President Eboni Johnson

Eboni A. Johnson, Oberlin College; President

It’s been a long time coming, but I have seen some telltale signs of spring:  a little more daylight in the evenings, warmer temperatures that have melted some of winter away, the sight and sounds of birds who are returning from their winter vacations.  Even the almost-spring air is a harbinger of the warmer, sunnier days to come.

For ALAO, spring also means officer elections! In the coming days, the ballot will be ready and I hope every member will cast a vote. Each vote matters!  We will be electing a Vice President/President Elect, Treasurer, Public Relations/Outreach Coordinator, and 3 Board members-at-large.  These positions fill important roles on the board, and help ALAO run smoothly.  Special thanks to all of the candidates who’ve agreed to stand for election. I wish you all the best of luck!

Interest groups and committees have been busy planning and promoting their spring workshops as well. Registration is already open for two of these workshops, and others will be opening soon. Keep an eye on the ALAO listserv and website ( for more information on each workshop and to register.  Don’t these sound great?

        • Escaping eBook Purgatory! : Libraries’ strategies for getting their ebook records under control
        • Communicating Library Value through Assessment
        • Classics and Comics in the Classroom (Registration is open)
        • INOV8! Elevating Engagement for Students Online (Registration is open)

Workshop registrations are reasonably priced, and are a great way to connect with colleagues across the state. Consider attending any or all of them — you’ll be glad you did.
In the meantime … think spring!

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2015 ALAO Conference Call for Programs has Opened

Brian Gray, Case Western Reserve University; Vice President/President Elect

2015 ALAO Conference Call for Programs has opened. Very soon we will have the Call for Vendors and announcement of the KeyNote.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Conference Planning Committee is pleased to announce our call for proposals for the 2015 ALAO conference, which will be held on Friday, November 20th at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio.  Our theme this year will be “Cultivating Leadership: Preparing Academic Libraries for the Future” and we welcome proposals from a wide variety of library practitioners.  For more information and submission guidelines, head over to the conference website.

If you already have a great idea for a break-out session or a poster, please CLICK HERE for the online submission form!

The deadline for submitting proposals for BOTH break-out session presentations and poster sessions is Friday, March 27th.

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2015 ALAO Continuing Education Award Winners Announced

Julia Chance Gustafson, The College of Wooster, Chair, Professional Development Committee

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant is awarded each year to support the cost of participating in professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, seminars, which are related to the member’s current position or in pursuit of a professional library degree. In early 2015 the ALAO Professional Development Committee conducted a blind review of seven strong applications and selected the following three ALAO members to receive the award:

Jen Waller, Interdisciplinary Librarian & Scholarly Communication Liaison at Miami University, Oxford, has been awarded the $2100 Continuing Education Award to attend the 2015 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference in Portland, Oregon, March 25-28, 2015. She will be a co-presenter of a 3-hour workshop at the conference called “Minding Your Ps and Qs: A Q-Methodology Workshop.” Jen states that “Librarians are continually turning to new metrics to evaluate services, impact, and priorities, and Q-methodology is a fantastic way to gauge a community of users.” In addition to that, she will be able to realize the full learning and networking benefits of the ACRL conference.

John Napp, Associate Professor and Engineering Librarian at the University of Toledo, has been awarded a $200 Continuing Education Honorable Mention Award to attend the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Seattle, Washington, June 14-17, 2015. The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education. John will be presenting a paper that will be published in the conference proceedings. In addition, the conference will provide him chance for network with engineering librarians from across the country.

Kelly Kobiela, Systems Librarian at Ohio Northern University, has been awarded a $200 Continuing Education Honorable Mention Award to attend the Innovative Interfaces User Group Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 14-16, 2015. She is early in her career as a systems librarian and this is the only conference where she can experience the kind of networking she needs to help improve her own system at her library, now that they are up with the new Sierra system. The timing of this conference coincides with her own need for professional development as well.

Congratulations to all winners. The 2015 PDC members are Jeff Franks (University of Akron), Suzanne Smailes (Wittenberg), Moriana Garcia (Denison University), Heidi Gauder (University of Dayton), Carissa Thatcher (Cincinnati Christian University), Elizabeth Mady (Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library), and Katie Blocksidge (OSU Newark). The committee is chaired by Julia Gustafson (The College of Wooster).

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ALAO Launches a Two-Year Pilot Mentoring Program

Julia Chance Gustafson, The College of Wooster, Professional Development Committee Chair

The ALAO Professional Development Committee launched ALAO a two-year pilot Mentoring Program at the ALAO Annual Conference on November 14, 2014. Since then, the committee marketed the program, accepted applications, appealed a second time for more mentors, and matched 26 mentor/mentee pairs, involving 52 librarians throughout the state. Each pair is required to set their own goals and submit those goals to the Chair of the Professional Development Committee. The contracts have been trickling in since the date the pairs were notified.

The committee itself has already begun to have email discussions about how to handle our second round of applications and pairing. They will ask all of the participants to fill out an assessment form to help inform that effort as well. The Committee is looking forward to hearing back from those who are benefiting from this exciting new program.

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Past President’s Report

Betsy Blankenship, The Ohio State University at Marion; Past President

The Spring election process is underway. Nominations have closed and the committee is reviewing and finalizing the slate. Elections are scheduled to open approximately March 15.  Stay tuned for more information!

Remember:  You must have a current membership in ALAO to be able to vote. Visit the ALAO website to renew your membership today.

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Encourage a Student to Join ALAO this Spring!

Katy Mathuews, Shawnee State University; Membership Chair

Spring is an exciting time at ALAO. As winter melts away, remember to ensure that your membership is up-to-date so you won’t miss any of the upcoming activities and events. We currently have 343 regular members, 4 retiree members, and 22 student members. We’d love to have more!

Membership affords you many benefits including a discounted annual conference fee and access to online materials.  You are also eligible to apply for research grants, continuing education grants, a diversity scholarship, and various other awards.  Your membership dues help fund these opportunities and help ALAO maintain its vibrant network of library colleagues and professional development. These benefits can be particularly valuable to those just embarking on library careers. We are currently offering free student memberships. If you know a full-time student enrolled in an MLIS/MLS program, please encourage them to join. You may contact Katy Mathuews, Membership Chair, at to learn more.

Also, Executive Board elections are coming up in March. We have several wonderful candidates in the running this year. In order to vote in this election, you must be a current ALAO member. Visit  to join or renew today!

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ACRL Chapter Council Report

Katie Blocksidge, The Ohio State University at Newark; Liaison to ACRL

I attended the ACRL Chapters Council at ALA Midwinter.  A few updates:

  • Elections for ALA/ACRL begin on March 24, 2015; everyone is encouraged to vote.
  • The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was accepted; discussion regarding the sunsetting of the Standards will be deferred until there has been greater opportunity to see the Framework in action.  More information is available in ACRL Insider.
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