President’s Report

Jerry Natal, ALAO President Elect/Interim President

As I type this, I gaze out my office window and see the dormant grass peeking out through the melting blanket of snow, and am reminded of the promise of spring, and all the activity that comes with the warmer weather. For ALAO, this means planning workshops and programs, elections of officers, and conference planning and selecting proposals, among other things—watch for upcoming events. I urge everyone to get involved: run for office! Vote! Mentor! Volunteer! Keep ALAO strong as we transition to a post-pandemic season.    

ALAO February 18, 2022 Board Meeting:

Here are the main topics from the board meeting.

Fiscal Agent update:

As of this writing the transition of ALAO’s fiscal agent from SWON to OhioNET is complete (many thanks to ALAO Treasurer Don Appleby). Accounts are transferred and online payment service through PayPal is now available.

Event Registration:

This is a limitation with Wild Apricot (the platform used by ALAO for event registration) in the number of persons that can be stored in its registry, which is a cost issue. The ALAO web team is exploring alternatives for event registration, including the use of Zoom integrated with PayPal and online payments through Wild Apricot.

COVID-19 Relief Membership

By most reports, cases of COVID-19 are on the wane. However, in the event that there may be members who are still affected financially as a result of circumstances due to the virus, the special COVID-19 Relief Membership has been extended until the end of the fiscal year (June 30th).

Conference Planning:

The conference planning committee goes full steam ahead in preparation for the fall in-person conference [see the Vice President/President Elect Report for details]. I proposed to the board that thought needs to be given to how the organization might proceed for future conferences, considering alternative approaches and how best to serve the ALAO membership. This will be a topic for future board meetings.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

A task force spearheaded by Mandi Goodsett and comprised of Frank Bove, Shannon Simpson, and myself has been hard at work drafting an antiracist/DEI statement. Conceptually, this will be more than just a statement—more like a call to action. The draft was presented to the board for comment and will be presented for a vote at the March board meeting. [Special thanks to Drew Balduff for his work prior to his leaving due to a shift in his career trajectory.]

Support for SOA Statement:

ALAO is showing support for The Society of Ohio Archivist’s statement regarding HB327 which prohibits “teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts which prohibit school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and state agencies from teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts.” A statement of support was drafted (many thanks to Mandi Goodsett) and presented to the board for comment and approval.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio endorses and echoes the Society of Ohio Archivist’s Council Statement on HB327 and Legislation that Restricts History Education. We join our colleagues in condemning the close-minded and anti-intellectual objectives of Ohio HB327. Measures to “whitewash” our shared history wrongly silence the voices of marginalized groups and discourage the critical thinking, discussion, and learning that historical inquiry endeavors to foster.

The statement was sent to the fifteen representatives on the House State and Local Government Committee deciding HB327, and will be posted to social media and the ALAO web site.

For SOA’s full statement see https://ohioarchivists.org/statement-on-hb327/

Provocation Series:

ALAO was contacted to ask if the organization would be interested in participating in a Virtual Chat with one of the Project Information Literacy “Provocation Series” authors. These are essays on a variety of stimulating topics; recent speakers have included Barbara Fister, Mike Caulfield, and Nicole Cooke. PIL asked if ALAO might participate in joint sponsorship of a future chat. While ALAO is not prepared to participate at this time, it is an opportunity to revisit in the future. For more information about the essay series see https://projectinfolit.org/pubs/provocation-series/index.html.

April Board Meeting

The next board meeting is scheduled for April 15, 2022.

ALAO Newsletter Vice President/President Elect Report March 2021

Annual Conference:

As the pandemic numbers continue to fall, my enthusiasm for an in-person conferences has grown. The 2022 Conference Planning Committee has selected as the theme for the ALAO’s 49th conference “The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.” This year’s theme reflects changes made necessary by an unrelenting pandemic and racial tensions that inspired academic libraries to challenge tradition and question our neutral stance. The dates for the in-person preconference and conference are Thursday, November 3rd and Friday, November 4th and will be held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. Alexia Hudson-Ward, formerly an award-winning entertainment editor, public radio promotions coordinator, Coca-Cola Company marketing manager and now Associate Director for Research and Learning at MIT, has agreed to be keynote speaker. She edits a weekly blog launched by Choice—Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE)—that explores issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion affecting the library community [See http://www.choice360.org/toward-inclusive-excellence/]. Ms. Hudson-Ward has an Ohio connection—she was previously the Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries at Oberlin College. The preconference program is under development and will also feature Ms. Hudson-Ward. There will be an informal “Welcome Back” themed social time Thursday evening with hors d’ouevres and beverages to allow attendees to connect/reconnect. An RSVP will be asked from anyone planning to attend. I am grateful for the efforts of the conference planning committee thus far as we continue transitioning back to the in-person event.

Before I move on, I would like to thank Kristin Cole for her work on the conference planning committee, and congratulate her on accepting a position at Cengage. I would like to also give a big thank you to Katy Tucker for volunteering to take Kristin’s place on the team working with conference exhibitors. That’s the spirit!

Call for ALAO 2022 Conference Proposals

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 49th Annual Conference, “The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.” We encourage thoughtful, timely proposals from all areas of library work. Adherence to the conference theme is encouraged but not required. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

▪ Barriers to accessing information ▪ Censorship ▪ Crisis management ▪ DEI in Information Literacy Instruction ▪ Emerging technology solutions ▪ Inclusive cataloging and collections ▪ Libraries as space/third space ▪ Misinformation ▪ Service changes/transitions

Proposal Elements

One proposal form is used for all presentation types:

▪ Presentation (50-minute session with time for Q&A) ▪ Poster Session ▪ Lightning Talk (live talk up to 7 minutes, with Q&A after talks. Time limits will be strictly enforced.)

Submission deadline is April 15, 2022.

For more information visit https://www.alaoweb.org/conferences/2022/proposals

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ALAO 2022 Election Slate of Candidates

Mandi Goodsett, ALAO Past President

The 2022 ALAO Board Election will take place March 21 – April 8, 2022. You must be a member to vote, so it’s the perfect time to consider joining or renewing your membership! More information on joining and renewing can be found on the ALAO website. I’m also pleased to say that if you were delayed in renewing your membership because of our recent need to pause our PayPal account, you should be able to proceed with your renewal now.

This year we are voting on Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary, Membership Chair, and three Board Member at Large positions. You can learn more about the responsibilities of these offices in the Procedures Manual and Bylaws.

Voting will take place online. Emails will be sent on March 21 containing access to candidate biographical information and an online ballot form.

Thank you in advance for casting your vote! And special thanks to our wonderful candidates:

Vice President/President-Elect

  • Mark Eddy, Research Services Librarian, Case Western Reserve University

Secretary

  • Jill Crane, Coordinator of Cataloging and Metadata, University of Dayton
  • Jaclyn Spraetz, Information Literacy Librarian, Miami University

Membership Chair

  • Laura Birkenhauer, Student Success Librarian for Campus Engagement, Miami University
  • Elizabeth Sullivan, Assessment and User Experience Librarian, Oberlin College

Board Member at Large

  • Jessica Byers, Curator and Reference Librarian, Ashland University
  • Cara Calabrese, Acquisitions & Access Librarian, Miami University
  • Michael Hawkins, Data Librarian and Head of Map Library, Kent State University
  • Melissa Hill, Serials & Electronic Resources Manager, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Kristine Kinzer, Library Coordinator, Delaware Campus of Columbus State Community College
  • Derek Wilmott, Acquisitions & Collection Management Librarian, University of Toledo
  • Rich Wisneski, Electronic Resources Librarian, Miami University 

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2022 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 48thAnnual Conference, The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.

As libraries challenge long-standing traditions and question our neutral stance, small changes or incidents often result in greater consequences. Share with your colleagues your programs, stories, and examples of defining, transformational moments in your libraries. Conference Date: November 3-4, 2022 Conference Location: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, Ohio Submission Deadline:  April 15, 2022 Call for Proposals: https://www.alaoweb.org/conferences/2022/proposals  Submission Form: https://tinyurl.com/alao2022submissions 
 
We encourage thoughtful, timely proposals from all areas of library work. Adherence to the conference theme is encouraged but not required. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Barriers to accessing information
  • Censorship Crisis management
  • DEI in Information Literacy Instruction
  • Emerging technology solutions
  • Inclusive cataloging and collections
  • Libraries as space/third space
  • Misinformation
  • Service changes/transitions
One proposal form will be used for all presentation types:
  • Presentation (or other 50-minute session)
  • Poster Session
  • Lightning talk (brief live session)
If you have a unique format idea, not listed above, please submit it under the presentation option (Panel discussions, etc… ) We invite you to contribute your ideas to make 2022 the best ALAO conference yet. 
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Call for Applicants for the ALAO Diversity Scholarship

ALAO would like to help develop talented folks who are underrepresented in our profession with a $1500 tuition scholarship. Apply by March 15, 2022 for consideration. The award winner will be notified by April 15, and will be presented with a certificate at the ALAO Annual Conference Nov. 2022 (registration included with scholarship award). Full consideration details are available at https://www.alaoweb.org/Diversity-Scholarship-Award

Apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KDQD7TK

For more information visit: Academic Library of Ohio Association

–Edith Scarletto, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University
Gwen Short, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, The Ohio State University

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ACRL Chapters Council Report

The ACRL Chapters Council met on January 12, 2022. Emily Knox, Associate Professor at the iSchool@Illinois gave a presentation on “Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Core Values of Librarianship.”  Brief messages were shared by the candidates for ACRL Vice President/President-Elect, Dr. Beth McNeil and Dr. José Aguiñaga. Additional reminders and updates included:

  • Registration for the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., opens in February. Currently, the event is scheduled to take place in person, from June 23 to 28.
  • ACRL recently granted few one-year memberships to 50 BIPOC individuals as part of a renewed focus on DEI initiatives.
  • The ALA Public Policy & Advocacy Office is working on its agenda for 2022 and will complete it by early spring.

In addition, the most recent Chapter Topics newsletter was published in January. An update on the 2021 ALAO Annual Conference was featured in the Professional Development section and ALAO’s presentation “Developing a Responsible Event Code of Conduct and Reporting Workflow,” by Edith Scarletto and Mandi Goodsett, was featured in the Best Practices section.

Jane Hammons, Liaison to ACRL, The Ohio State University

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Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 264*** members consisting of 239 regular members, 4 retiree members, and 21 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between December 1, 2021 and March 1, 2022.

***Our current membership numbers are inaccurate due to the temporary inability to accept online payments caused by ALAO’s transition to a new fiscal agent. We fully expect to have accurate numbers before the next newsletter.

Margaret Breidenbaugh, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College

Jill Crane, University of Dayton

Kristie Kinzer, Columbus State Community College

Margaret Hoogland, University of Toledo

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Interest Groups News

ALAO Interest Group Events

ALAO’s interest groups are gearing up to finish the academic year with lots of great events! ALAO has 12 active special interest groups that have formed to discuss concerns, issues, and new trends related to academic librarianship in Ohio. Keep an eye on the ALAO events page for spring and summer events brought to you by our interest groups!

Joining an interest group is a great way to participate in leadership events and network with fellow librarians and library staff. For more information visit the ALAO website https://www.alaoweb.org/igs/index.html

-Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator, Stark State College

Interest Groups Seek Co-Chairs

Two of our Interest Groups are seeking co-chairs for two-year terms starting July 2022 through June 2024. You are encouraged to reach out to either co-chair regarding IG activities and the opportunities they offer. They can meet with you remotely with any questions you have.

Assessment Interest Group (AIG)

The purpose of the ALAO Assessment Interest Group is to provide a vehicle to discuss and share issues and developments pertinent to assessment in Ohio academic libraries. Topics of interest would include assessment of library impact and value, organizational performance, collections, student learning outcomes, rubrics, user attitudes and behaviors, as well as effective research methodologies, techniques for data analysis, and data visualization. Interests potentially overlapping those of other ALAO interest groups, e.g. information literacy or collection assessment, will be pursued in collaboration with those groups. Please contact Jeanna Purses at jpurses@lec.edu with your questions.

Scholarly Communication Interest Group (SCIG)

Members of this group will work to identify, address, and promote scholarly communications issues that impact libraries and higher education including copyright, licensing, Open Educational Resources, Open Access, digital scholarship, and more. Please contact Cindy Kristof at ckristof@kent.edu with your questions.  Cindy would like to extend her gratitude to previous co-chair Drew Balduff for his dedicated service.

-Cindy Kristof, Scholarly Communications Interest Group Co-Chair, Kent State University

Collection Management Interest Group (CMIG) News

CMIG will have a virtual meeting (probably 90 minutes – 2 hours) in late spring or summer. The focus will be on introducing the topic of “read & publish journal deals” to those that are not familiar with this fairly new model or those that want to learn more. Generally, the publication costs transition from traditional journal subscriptions (read) to publishing costs (OA authoring of articles). In this session, we would include a discussion of the logistics and effects on institutions that do not publish much content but still need access to read the content. Do these deals work for all institutions? If publishers transition to this model as the only option, what does it mean for “read-only” institutions?


Send any suggestions of comments to Brian Gray and Kevin Messner.

–Brian C. Gray, CMIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University
–Kevin Messner, CMIG Co-Chair, Miami University

Community & Two-Year College Libraries Interest Group (C2YCLIG) News

Join us for an end of the semester sound off!

Friday, April 29th @ 10:00 AM via Webex

Email c2yclig-chairs@alaoweb.org for more information. 

–Megan Mamolen, C2YCLIG Co-Chair, Lakeland Community College
–Ragan Snead, C2YCLIG Co-Chair, Northeast Ohio Regional Library System

Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAig) News

The Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAig) is currently in the process of planning its spring workshop, tentatively scheduled for May 2022. Miriam Intrator of Ohio University and Rachel Makarowski of Miami University have joined the co-chairs on the planning committee, who would like to thank them for their time and assistance!

In November 2021, SCAig issued a survey to its members on workshop format and topic preferences. Based on the results of that survey, the workshop will be virtual, and revolve around the theme of diversity, equity and inclusion, and digital preservation. The planning committee will be reaching out to potential speakers soon!

-Henry Handley, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, University of Dayton
–Josh Zeller, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, Mount St. Joseph University

Sustainability Interest Group (SUSIG) News

SUSig Craft Party

The Sustainability Interest Group has held two events so far this year. In January, we partnered with TEDSIG for a discussion event in which we used design thinking to explore how libraries can respond to climate change.

In February, we held a Craft Party in which we promoted recycling by learning how to make woven art pieces with old CDs (see the picture below!).

Looking forward, for our Earth Day event at the end of April we’ll be hearing a presentation from Ginny Boehme, Science Librarian at Miami University, who will talk about some of the sustainability and environment-related projects she has worked on with faculty and students.

–Kim Hoffman, SUSig Co-Chair, Miami University
–Bethany Spieth, SUSig Co-Chair, Ohio Northern University

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Notes from the Trenches

A New Program to Support RCR Training

Since fall semester 2018, the University of Toledo (UToledo) has regularly organized in-person training workshops for graduate students on the responsible conduct of research (RCR). This workshop is designed to complement and reinforce the online CITI training already required of students.

The RCR Players

The initial creation of the RCR workshop program included participation by the university’s Office of Research & Sponsored Programs; the College of Graduate Studies; the university’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO); and various deans, professors, and graduate student volunteers representing the colleges of Natural Sciences & Mathematics; Pharmacy; Health & Human Services; Nursing; and Engineering; as well as the Psychology Department (College of Arts & Letters). Significantly, the University Libraries have also been involved in the planning, design, and delivery of the workshops since the inception of the program. Representing the University Libraries in these workshops are Professor Wade Lee-Smith (Research Engagement Librarian) and Professor Lucy Duhon (Scholarly Communications Librarian).

How we do it and what we cover

This half-day RCR training workshop is now held annually (on a Saturday in spring, mid-semester) and includes topics such as research integrity/good research practices; research misconduct and its consequences; the role of the university’s RIO; the relationships between mentors and their graduate student protégés; awareness of bias and conflict of interest; data management; and the importance of ethical authorship and responsible publication – this last segment is led by the University Libraries. A particular value of this in-person training is the opportunity for students to participate in break-out sessions on research dilemmas and to engage in and react to role-playing situations.

UToledo’s RCR workshops have been attended by up to 150 graduate students at a time. The COVID-19 pandemic suspended the workshop in 2020, but it resumed in spring 2021, when the program moved completely online, hosted on Blackboard’s Collaborate. Spring 2022’s workshop will once again be held in person.

Feedback from the graduate students continues to inform the design of the program. Post-training survey responses and in-session quick polls can indicate ‘fuzzy’ topics needing revision or areas for additional training.

Why we do it

RCR training is critical to the orientation of new researchers and scientists to “develop, foster, and maintain a culture of integrity in science and to discourage and prevent unethical conduct,” (https://oir.nih.gov/sourcebook/ethical-conduct/responsible-conduct-research-training) and because “the scientific enterprise is based on a foundation of trust.” (https://oig.nsf.gov/sites/default/files/reports/2021-04/RCR_MIR_Final_7-25-17%20%281%29.pdf

RCR training also gives students a firm grounding in the compliance requirements for conducting U.S. public-funded research, and is required of all researchers, including students, who conduct research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

– Lucy Duhon, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Wade Lee-Smith, Research Engagement Librarian, University of Toledo

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People & Library News

Bryant & Stratton College News

Joseph M. Dudley has been promoted to the role of System Librarian and will be providing reference and technical services for campuses in Ohio, western New York, and Wisconsin.

-Joseph M. Dudley, Bryant & Stratton College

Case Western Reserve University News

After a conference back in 2019, Andrew Mancuso (Preservation Officer, Scholarly Resources & Special Collections) was approached by a researcher at the Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and asked if the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) had any interest in participating as a test institution for a grant they were working on. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) indeed awarded their Research Grant proposal to build a low-cost, end-to-end multi-spectral imaging system; and so RIT built it, named it MISHA, and sent it on the road to its first field testing site (KSL). Since then, Naomi Langer (Digitization Technician Digital Learning & Scholarship) and Andrew have been imaging known palimpsests in KSL’s collections, processing the data, and writing feedback for RIT and the NEH about the system and software. Naomi and Andrew just wrapped up a whirlwind tour of collaborating with 8 different institutions across the state of Ohio, imaging collections objects, and providing them the raw data to process and make their own discoveries with.

Results from a test strip of effaced parchment and from a worn manuscript bound volume from visits to The Preservation Lab at the University of Cincinnati and a visit to the Thompson Library at OSU.

CWRU Personnel News

Kelvin Smith Library hired Olivia Hobbs as a Research Services Librarian to support various disciplines in the arts & humanities and the social sciences. Olivia is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee (Master of Science in Information Science). She recently worked in Delaware for the Dover Public Library and Kent County Public Library.

Ben Gorham (Kelvin Smith Library) was elected to the ILiADS (Institute for Liberal Arts and Digital Scholarship) Steering Committee in the position of Academic Partnerships Coordinator. This is a 2-year term position in which Ben will work with academic institutions and ILiADS to prepare for and run the annual, weeklong digital scholarship event and conference. The annual ILiADS summer institute draws participants from around the country to collaborate on and advance digital scholarship projects and is now in its sixth year of operation.

Learn more about Yolanda Cooper, new vice provost and Lindseth Family University Librarian, with this recent interview: https://thedaily.case.edu/5-questions-with-yolanda-cooper-new-vice-provost-and-lindseth-family-university-librarian

Josie Cotton was recently awarded a Library Education Scholarship from the FRIENDS of the Heights Libraries Scholarship Committee. She is currently pursuing a Library Science graduate degree at Kent State University.

Brian C. Gray, Case Western Reserve University

University of Toledo News

The Health Science Campus of The University of Toledo is celebrating its 17th year as host of the Artist Showcase. The show features a variety of creative works from faculty, staff, and students in the health sciences at the university. In the past, shows were physically displayed, and accompanied by an artists’ reception and a speaking event. The COVID-19 pandemic made a traditional show impossible, and so for 2021 the artwork was available to view digitally. This year the show is available to view both in person and online; a decision was made by the show’s committee to exclude the speaker and reception due to the continuing presence of the virus. The 2021 event and current show may be viewed here:  https://sites.google.com/view/hscart21/home. Video of two guest lecturers (The Marriage of Art and Science and Create Your Own World) can be viewed at https://libguides.utoledo.edu/hscart/about.

-Gerald Natal, ALAO President Elect/ Interim President, The University of Toledo

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President’s Report

Conference Summary

Jessica Crossfield McIntosh, ALAO President

A very successful 2021 conference is now complete. We had a total of 279 registrants, including 71 non-ALAO-members, and 31 students. We got some wonderful feedback from attendees:

“Kudos to the organizers, this was a great conference this year. There was a good variety of topics and many that I came away thinking what can I do to implement something like this at my library. I liked the format because if I could not watch something at the time allotted, I could go back and watch it later.”

“I did like the change this year in that you watched the prepared presentation together and then had plenty of time following for Q&A. It seemed more like an in-person presentation.”

“While I think this conference was awesome and I give *all* the kudos to everyone involved, I miss going in person!”

“I loved the AMA. It was great to hear from librarians from other types of libraries and learn about their job duties and collections. I would love to see this program offered next year with representatives from different library types.”

“Really appreciated having the presentations pre-recorded and available but also showing them at the designated time slot, so that everyone could “attend” in the matter that worked best for them. Also really appreciated breaks between each session. So many virtual conferences neglect to include adequate breaks.”

“I’m always interested in additional support staff and technical services topics, as so often the default presentation is reference and instruction. But I also thought this year was more equally balanced, and am hopeful/optimistic that trend will continue!”

The conference content is now open to all, and it will be available until next year. Please share with colleagues who may not have been able to attend.  http://2021.alaoweb.org/

ALAO Membership Meeting

Like last year, we held the membership meeting during the conference instead of a truncated board meeting. It was open to all ALAO members and lasted about 20 minutes. About forty people attended. Please feel free to send any feedback you have about this format for future conferences. 

ALAO Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2021 ALAO award winners! The ALAO Awards Ceremony was also open to all ALAO members and had 64 attendees. It was a lovely celebration but we hope to see everyone in person next year.

Award NameWinner
Research & Publications Committee Research GrantDr. Feng-Ru Sheu
Continuing Education GrantNathanael Davis, Cedarville University   Kristin Cole, Otterbein University   Mike Monaco, University of Akron
TEDDY AwardKen Irwin
Kathryn Venditti Mentoring AwardMark Eddy
Jay Ladd Distinguished Service AwardDerek Zoladz

Another huge thank you to the members of the 2021 Conference Planning Committee for their time, energy, commitment and teamwork. We had our post-conference session Wednesday and have built a great advice document for the 2022 CPC. If you have any additional feedback about the conference and didn’t have a chance to fill out the post-event survey, feel free to reach out to me.

Executive Board Meeting Report

The ALAO Executive Board has been making progress on projects related to two of our strategic priorities. One strategic priority is to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of ALAO as an organization, while also providing support to our members in this area. To accomplish this goal, the board is working on the following projects:

A DEI taskforce, in collaboration with the Diversity Committee, has been formed. The group has begun to plan and work on initiatives: a state DEI resource toolkit, and a programming roadshow. We look forward to sharing more as things progress, and thanks again to those who’ve volunteered for the taskforce.

Related, the diversity committee with Jerry Natal and Mandi Goodsett, have taken the lead on developing a DEI statement for ALAO as an organization. They’ve been pulling some examples and best practices for development of such a statement. The goal is to put forth an example for the board at the February 18th meeting.

The other strategic priority is increasing ALAO’s program offerings with external organizations and membership outreach. Planning is being done with the Membership and IG coordinators to determine next steps in these efforts. More information will be shared in the spring. This initiative is a continuation from an idea last year to further involve students in the state with ALAO. Membership Chair Maureen Barry is preparing a proposal that will be brought to the board in February as she reaches out to student supervisors over the coming months.

And finally, I’ve accepted a new position and must resign from participation on the board. Gerald Natal, president-elect, and Mandi Goodsett, past-president, will be taking the lead and standing in as interim President in the coming months. I will miss the wonderful professionals that make up this organization. Thank you all for your continued service.

ALAO member input and feedback is always welcome. If you have ideas for how ALAO could improve or would like to volunteer to help with a specific project, please feel free to reach out to a board member.

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