President’s Report

Gerald Natal, ALAO President

Annual Conference Update:

This year’s planning committee has been going full steam as we shift gears from the online conferences of the past two years and return to an in-person event. As of this writing the CPC is hard at work attending to all the numerous necessary details, so that attendees can once again network face-to-face, select from several informative and inspiring sessions, and celebrate our colleagues with special awards. There are 27 presentations, 10 posters, and 5 lightning talks scheduled, with what I believe is a good balance of topics across subjects and interest group areas. Both the pre-conference program (“Beyond Being “Good Colleagues:” Implementing and Sustaining Active Allyship Practices Within Academic Libraries”) and conference keynote (“Active Allyship in Action”) [Note: titles have changed from the original working titles posted] will be presented by Alexia Hudson-Ward, Associate Director of Research and Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, and Editor-in-Chief of Choice’s Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE). The TIE blog features musings on equity, diversity, and inclusion of interest to the library community. Please note that the titles of these programs have been changed from the original working titles.

Revive and Reconnect at ALAO! There will be a casual social event after the pre-conference for everyone to gather and get caught up after two-plus years of the Sword of Damocles that is the pandemic. Light refreshments will be served.

For those who may have concerns about COVID as an uninvited guest at the conference, the CPC has thought of safety precautions such as table spacing, options for dining outside the ballroom area, masking, and contact identifiers on name tags.

Conference registration opened on August 15th; if you have not yet registered, there is still time to take advantage of the early bird rate—the deadline is Friday, September 24th. Registration will close on Wednesday, October 19th. If you will be presenting at the conference, please be aware that you are required to register by September 24th. Please visit the conference website for details on registration.

I continue to publicly express my gratitude to the CPC for their efforts towards putting on this event, and I hope to see you all there—long-time members, new members, and colleagues outside the organization alike!

Call for Nominations: Jay Ladd Distinguished Service and Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Awards:

The ALAO Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award and the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award.

The Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has:

  1. been an Academic Library Association of Ohio member for at least 5 years
  2. promoted academic libraries and librarianship on his or her own campus and within the state 
  3. provided sustained leadership in the promotion of Academic Library Association of Ohio, e.g., committee service, interest group chair, position on the Executive Board

Additional information about the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award is available at

Please submit nominations for the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award through the Jay Ladd Online Nomination Form

The Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award recognizes an individual who has: 

  1. demonstrated excellence as a mentor to a librarian, library worker, or library science student
  2. a sustained record of effective mentorship, as demonstrated by activities that may include but not be limited to advising, developing, coaching, sponsoring, advocating, guiding, and/or supporting librarians, library workers, or library students

Additional information about the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award is available at

Please submit nominations for the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award through the Kathryn Venditti Online Nomination Form

NOTE: You may nominate more than one person for each award! Your reasons for nominating your candidate(s) will be especially valuable to the Awards Committee so please be as detailed as possible.

Please submit your nominations by Friday, October 14, 2022.

**** If you nominated someone for either of these awards last year, please consider nominating them again this year. There were several excellent candidates, but unfortunately only one winner for each award—so here is another opportunity to celebrate those individuals who have made a difference to you personally and to the profession. ****

Questions? Please contact Gerald, ALAO President and Awards Committee Chair at

2022 Executive Board Retreat Report:

This year’s Executive Board retreat was held in person on Friday, July 15th. The Board had its last business meeting before new members transitioned on. The first order of business for the new version of the Board was to review the established goals and accomplishments over the past year to check for alignment with the 2019-2024 strategic plan. Goals that remained unaddressed were given new consideration. The current strategic plan is comprised of the following focus areas and objectives:

Focus 1: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Goal: ALAO will exemplify equity, diversity, and inclusion in daily practices, foster those practices in its membership, and position members to become effective advocates on important issues facing the profession.

Focus 2: Expanding our Horizons

Goal: ALAO will position itself as a regional leader for an array of professional development activities, expanding and innovating upon its well-revered suite of programming.

Focus 3: Efficient and Purposeful

Goal: ALAO will build upon partnerships, management best practices, and sound organizational strategy to refine practices that position ALAO as current, efficient, and valuable.

ALAO activities over the past year successfully addressed each of these focus areas. I am particularly proud of the work done by various committees, task forces, and interest groups towards the goal of exemplifying equity, diversity, and inclusion in our daily practices. Examples include the creation and adopting of a new DEIA/Antiracist Statement, finalizing the DEIA toolkit, and the numerous program offerings both at the 2021 conference and those which were offered throughout the year. Some of the ideas generated at the retreat to continue to build on these efforts included:

  • Doing a review of ALAO’s Bylaw’s and Procedures Manual to improve communication within organization and to look for exclusive language
  • Exploring strategic goals for interest groups and encouraging IG collaborations with the Diversity Committee
  • Investigating opportunities for collaboration with other organizations, possibly a future joint conference
  • Developing opportunities for LIS students within ALAO
  • In consideration of ALAO’s annual report to ACRL, looking at ways to better convey the value of libraries to higher education
  • Utilizing ALAO’s newsletter as a forum for issues of concern to Ohio librarians
  • Thoroughly investigating the possibility of hybrid events

Stay tuned to the ALAO Newsletter for progress as these ideas are developed.

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Vice President/President Elect Report

Mark Eddy
ALAO Vice President/President Elect

Greetings ALAO community!

The summer has flown by, and before you know it, we’ll be together again at this year’s ALAO Conference in November!  So excited to see everyone in person this year after our previous two online conferences.  

As the new ALAO Vice President and chair of the 2023 Conference Planning Committee, I’m happy to report that we are filling out the Committee roster and will soon meet to begin discussing possible ALAO 2023 Conference themes and considerations.  I’m very much looking forward to exploring ideas for next year’s conference and planning a great experience for our ALAO members.

All the best for a wonderful Fall season!

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ALAO Mentoring Program Call for Participation

The Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Professional Development Committee (ALAO PDC) is excited to announce a call for participation in the 20221-2023 Mentoring Program

Program Overview

The Academic Library Association of Ohio Professional Development Committee reviews registration information and matches mentoring pairs. The annual program typically runs from November 1 through October 31. 

The mentor application contains a few fields that will be posted on the ALAO web page as a prospective mentor bio. Mentees will select three potential mentors from the bios and the PDC will match participants and reach out to new mentor-mentee pairs. 

We invite people interested in being mentors to complete the application here.  Applications are due September 30, 2022

  1. Mentor bios will be posted to an ALAO web page.
  2. Prospective mentees review the list of available mentors and identify three mentors they would like to work with.
  3. Prospective mentees complete an online application listing their top three mentor choices.
  4. ALAO PDC will then work to create a match. When a match is confirmed, both parties will be notified.
  5. Prior to your first mentoring meeting, ALAO PDC will provide some guidelines and suggestions to help get the mentoring relationship off to a good start.
  6. Typically, most mentoring relationships meet for at least four sessions based on mentor/mentee availability and scheduling preferences.
  7. At the end of the mentoring relationship, a program evaluation will go out to both parties.

Who Can Be a Mentor?

We welcome mentors from all levels of professional experience in academic libraries. Mentoring offers a meaningful way to engage with a colleague, be a supportive listener, and help them identify and achieve their professional goals.

Questions? Please contact Melissa Bauer:, Melissa Hill, Chris Robinson-Nkongola 

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Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Hydy Cates from Columbus State Community College!

What is/are your role(s) in academic libraries?

I like being able to show students how to find the truth through all the noise. I also like working with my team to ensure that everyone has access to these resources no matter where they are in life or in our community.

What do you like most about academic library work?

I like being able to show students how to find the truth through all the noise. I also like working with my team to ensure that everyone has access to these resources no matter where they are in life or in our community.

What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?

I helped create CSCC’s award-winning Composition Reading Bank, an OER for composition and English courses. I subsequently worked on a whitepaper team to continue CSCC’s OER work into the future. I am currently working to bring CSCC’s first Digital Repository to fruition. As part of that effort, I was selected as one of the members of a pilot cohort for the Digital Curation Certification through Library Juice, supported by the State Library through LSTA funds.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I love to play, run, and watch Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games. Collaborative storytelling is amazingly fun!

What do you love about being an ALAO member?

I love ALAO because I enjoy all the educational resources and networking opportunities provided by our local organization.

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Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 290 members consisting of 259 regular members, 4 retiree members, and 27 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between June 1, 2022 and September 2, 2022.

Arpi Anderson, Xavier University

Jennifer Casteen, Columbus State Community College

Hydy Cates, Columbus State Community College

Jacy Cina, Student

Sarah Dennis , Ohio University

Sarah Fouts, Columbus State Community College

Aaron Greene, Lakeland Community College

Brittney Harmon, Student 

Clayton Hayes, Kenyon College

Emily  Henderson, Student

Wendy Knapp, State Library of Ohio

Nick Kneer, Miami University

Amy McCoy Glover, Columbus State Community College

Sevim McCutcheon, Kent State University Libraries

Brea McQueen, Miami University Regionals

Sonjia Muladore, Southern State Community College

Holly Pegan, Southern State Community College

Sharon Richter, Columbus State Community College Library

Morgan Rupp, Cedarville University Library

Sarah Sanchez, Student

Joseph Saultz, Student       

Mira Scarnecchia, Columbus State Community College

Hannah Smith, Cedarville University Library

Emily Wages , University of Cincinnati Clermont College Library

Lynn Warner, University of Cincinnati

Emily Warren          

Paul Weaver, Owens Community College

Michael Wells, Wilmington College

Tiffany Whitman, Student

–Laura Birkenhauer, Membership Chair, Miami University

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Funding Opportunities

Continuing Education Grant Program-Apply Now! 

Are you presenting a conference paper, attending a workshop, or looking to participate in other professional development opportunities in 2023? The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant can help you get there!

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, etc. which are related to the member’s current position, in pursuit of a professional library degree, or growth of DEI knowledge and leadership. Current ALAO members are eligible to apply for funds to defray the costs of attending any library-related educational opportunity occurring during the calendar year.


  • Applicant must be a current member of ALAO.
  • Applicant may not have received this grant in the previous three award cycles (2022, 2021, 2020).
  • Funded event must occur between January 1 and December 31, 2023.

Application Deadline: February 3, 2023 11:59 p.m.

For more information and to apply online go the ALAO website:

If you have any questions about the Continuing Education Grant, please contact the Professional Development Committee chair, Kristen Peters.

–Kristen Peters, Professional Development Committee Chair, Wittenberg University.

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Interest Group News

Message from the Interest Group Coordinator

ALAO has 12 active special interest groups that have formed to discuss concerns, issues and new trends related to academic librarianship in Ohio. Joining an interest group is a great way to participate in leadership events and network with fellow librarians and library staff. Many of ALAO’s interest groups are participating in the annual conference this November. Keep an eye on the ALAO events page for specific events or join us at the annual conference to learn how you can get involved with an interest group!

For more information visit the ALAO website or contact Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator at

–Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator, Stark State College

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

In order to better serve our members, the Community & Two Year College Libraries Interest Group (C2YCLIG) would like all C2YCLIG members to fill out a membership survey.  This survey will help us to determine the best times to meet, how often to meet, and where your interests lie.  Please reach out to if you have any questions.

C2YCLIG membership survey

–Meagan Fowler, Community & Two Year College Libraries IG Co-Chair, Cuyahoga Community College
–Zoe Orcutt, Community & Two Year College Libraries IG Co-Chair, OverDrive

Distance Learning Interest Group (DLIG)

DLIG: Looking for a leadership opportunity? Interested in how academic librarians support distance learners? ALAO’s Distance Learning Interest Group seeks a new co-chair and committee members to plan a spring workshop, explore additional programming opportunities, and contribute to the DLIG blog. Contact Co-Chair Dana Knott ( for more information.

–Dana Knott, Distance Learning IG Co-Chair, Columbus State Community College

Instruction Interest Group (IIG) News

The Instruction Interest Group (IIG) is pleased to welcome Jaclyn Spraetz, Information Literacy Librarian at Miami University as the new Co-Chair for the 2022-2024 term. She will serve with Stefanie Hilles, Arts and Humanities Librarian, also at Miami University, whose term will end in July 2023. 

In July, we hosted a webinar, “Best Practices to Refresh Your Research Guides,” led by Mandi Goodset, Performing Arts & Humanities Librarian, Cleveland State University, Marsha Miles, Assistant Director for Collections and Resource Management, Cleveland State University, and Theresa M. Nawalaniec, Sciences & Engineering Librarian, Cleveland State University. We always welcome ideas for sessions from our members! Please reach out if you have ideas about webinars you would like to see or lead. 

We always welcome new members to our group. If you have questions about IIG, webinar topic proposals, or you are interested in joining our workshop planning committee, please contact

–Stefanie Hilles, Instruction IG Co-Chair, Miami University
–Jaclyn Spraetz, Instruction IG Co-Chair, Miami University

Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAig) News

The Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAig) is pleased to welcome Miriam Intrator as incoming co-chair for the 2022-2024 term. She currently works as Special Collections Librarian for Rare Books at Ohio University’s Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections, and is also Liaison Librarian to Honors Programs for Ohio University Libraries. Miriam will serve as co-chair of SCAig alongside Josh Zeller, Head of Access Services at Mount St. Joseph University’s Archbishop Alter Library, whose term will conclude at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

The SCAig co-chairs plan to attend this year’s ALAO annual conference on initiating change in academic libraries (November 3-4). We hope SCAig members can join us there in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be wonderful to touch base with you, and also to hear any ideas/suggestions you may have for future SCAig workshops and meetings!

For more information on SCAig, contact the co-chairs at

–-Josh Zeller, SCAig Co-Chair, Mount St. Joseph University
-–Miriam Intrator, SCAig Co-Chair, Ohio University

Sustainability Interest Group (SUSIG)

The Sustainability Interest Group is excited to announce our new incoming co-chair, Megan Jaskowiak! Megan is the current Health and Social Sciences Librarian at Miami University in Oxford. We’d like to thank our outgoing co-chair, Bethany Spieth, for her hard work over the last two years, and we look forward to an exciting fall semester.

If you have any great ideas you’d like to share with our group, such as for successful initiatives on your campus, please reach out to Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming programs.

–Kimberly Hill, Sustainability IG Co-Chair, Miami University
–Megan Jaskowiak, Sustainability IG Co-Chair, Miami University

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ACRL Chapters Council Report

ACRL Plan for Excellence:

The ALAO’s 2021-2022 Plan for Excellence Report was submitted to ACRL in July by the ACRL representative. The report highlighted the 2021 ALAO Conference and the work done by the chapter in support of DEI, including the development of a DEIA/Anti-Racist statement and a DEIA toolkit.

Chapters Council Update:

The most recent ACRL Chapters Council meeting was held June 24, 2022. Updates from this meeting included: Eric Edwards from the Illinois State Library has been elected Chapters Council Chair Elect. The ACRL Board of Directors has approved the 2022 Legislative Agenda, which can be accessed at The next Chapters Council will take place at LibLearnX in New Orleans.

–Jane Hammons, ACRL Liaison, The Ohio State University

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Learning Opportunities

Free Virtual Information Literacy Workshops

Are you looking for ideas for integrating information literacy concepts into a course or instruction session? The Ohio State University Libraries is hosting a series of free virtual workshops on information literacy topics this fall. Workshops are open to librarians, faculty, staff and graduate teaching assistants from any institution. Participants should leave the workshops with ideas and resources for teaching a range of information literacy concepts and skills.

Key topics include:

  • Evaluating Information: Teaching the Lateral Reading Strategy: In this workshop, participants will learn about alternatives to the CRAAP test that we can use to help students more effectively evaluate sources.
  • Teaching Scholarship as Conversation: Participants will learn about activities and resources to help students understand and engage with scholarly conversations.
  • Information Literacy and Digital Wellness: Participants will explore the idea of “digital wellness” and consider the intersections with information literacy.
  • Information Literacy and Data Literacy: In this workshop, participants will learn more about the intersections of information literacy and data literacy.
  • Wicked Information Literacy: This workshop will be based on ideas and strategies from Paul Hanstedt’s book, Creating Wicked Students: Designing Courses for a Complex World.

Workshops take place on Thursdays from noon-1:00 via Zoom. For a full list of upcoming workshops and registration links, go to: For questions, contact Jane Hammons, Teaching & Learning Engagement Librarian ( 

–Jane Hammons, ACRL Representative, The Ohio State University

Google Docs Hacks

Learn about 11 Google Docs features, shortcuts, and tips from Wonder Tools’ blog post “Try These Google Docs Tricks.”

–Dana Knott, Distance Learning Interest Group Chair, Columbus State Community College

Register for the Ohio Collection Analysis Initiative – a new, free professional development opportunity from the State Library of Ohio.

The Ohio Collection Analysis Initiative gives you the dedicated space, time, and resources to truly consider how diversity and representation are reflected in your collections of children’s and young adult titles. What kind of impact could this have on your community?

This initiative has been fully funded for statewide use by the State Library of Ohio. All Ohio educators and library staff have exclusive access! These tools are simple, easy to learn and use, and built for seamless implementation into your existing practices.

Register here for access to the Ohio Collection Analysis Initiative.

Through participating, you’ll also receive full use of TeachingBooks—a comprehensive collection of digital resources that personalize and enrich connections to children’s and young adult books. This means unlimited access for everyone in your community, at no cost to your library or school district! Register today.

Audience: Any educators and library staff working in Ohio who maintain collections of children’s & young adult books. These collections could be part of a school or classroom library, a featured display, a summer reading list—any set of books that are visible to young readers.

Notable highlights from this impactful initiative

  • Free for staff working in all types of Ohio schools and libraries!
  • There are no time constraints for completing this program. Set your own goals and progress at your own pace.  
  • Personalized support. You have access to a dedicated, full-time specialist for assistance at any time.
  • Unlimited access to a Collection Analysis Toolkit. This toolkit complements any collection development work you already have in place. 
  • Unlimited access to a vetted collection of materials about children’s & young adult books and authors.  
  • Identifiable action steps. You will receive a custom Implementation Plan that outlines your collection development decisions and next steps.

Register here for access to the Ohio Collection Analysis Initiative.

The Ohio Collection Analysis Initiative is a collaborative project of the State Library of Ohio and The project is funded in whole or in part with Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funds granted to the State Library of Ohio.  The opinions and content expressed do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of IMLS or the State Library of Ohio, and no official endorsement by either agency should be inferred.  This initiative is available for exclusive use by any Ohio library staff. Distributing the Handbook and/or links to any of its components outside of Ohio is prohibited. This material may be shared with colleagues within Ohio.

–Jake Stone, TeachingBooks and Book Connections

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People & Library News

Cleveland State University News

Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library recently hired Kathy Fisher as our Health Professions Librarian. Since 2008, she has served as the liaison librarian to Ursuline’s Breen School of Nursing and Health Professions and as Personal Librarian for the majority of undergraduate and graduate students at Ursuline College. We are excited to have her at CSU!

–Mandi Goodsett, Past President, Cleveland State University

University of Toledo News

  • The University of Toledo is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. The University Libraries and the Canaday Center for Special Collections will be presenting numerous historic exhibitions throughout the year to commemorate the sesquicentennial. Current and planned exhibitions include Carlson Then & Now (a poster exhibit about the history of the Carlson Library), The Art and Design of The Blockhouse (the evolving styles of the university yearbook), and Vision, Faith and Hard Work (exploring the main events that shaped The University of Toledo since its founding in 1872). For more information, see the Carlson Library social media (@utcarlsonlib)
  • Recent promotions: Margaret Hoogland and Jolene Miller were promoted to Associate Professor of Library Administration with Tenure;  Arjun Sabharwal was promoted to Professor of Library Administration.
  • Renovations at the Mulford Health Science Library have been completed: new additions include nearly 40 height-adjustable study carrels, new seminar and small group study rooms, and additional booths and study carrels.

–Jolene Miller, University of Toledo

Wittenberg University News

Thomas Library at Wittenberg University welcomed new director Dr. Amanda McLellan on August 1, 2022. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Illinois School of Information Science where she recently taught “Race, Gender, and Information Technology.” Dr. McLellan earned her BA from DePauw University, holds an MLIS from University of Illinois, and earned her EdD from East Carolina University. She most recently worked as Assistant Director for Discovery and Technology at East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina.

–Kristen Peters, Professional Development Committee Chair, Wittenberg University

Wright State University News

The University Libraries are pleased to introduce the newest member of our staff, Christina Heady. As head of instruction and research services, Christina will manage the delivery of library reference and instructional services for the campus and community including classes, workshops, the Information Desk and virtual reference services, the Patent and Trademark Resource Center, the Student Technology Assistance Center, and the Charles and Renate Frydman Educational Resource Center.

Christina holds a Master of Science in Information with specializations in Library Science and Archives and Records Management from University of Michigan School of Information and a Bachelor of Science with majors in Secondary Education and English Literacy from Florida State University.

–Mandy Shannon, Wright State University

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