ALAO Conference Update


Katy Kelly, President

Registration is open for the ALAO Annual Conference Libraries Act, Respond, Transform: The A.R.T. of Empowerment on Friday, October 27, 2017, with a pre-“UNconference” on October 26 at Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Columbus. Early-bird registration ends Sept. 15.

The conference’s 28 programs, keynote address by NYU’s April Hathcock, additional poster sessions and roundtable discussions will explore how academic libraries and librarians provide resources and initiate programs, partnerships and policies that empower patrons, staff and stakeholders while advancing equity and social justice.

Don’t miss the Thursday evening social! Make sure you also RSVP at registration for the OhioLINK 25th anniversary celebration.

I also want to highlight the preconference, “Powered by the People.” Attendees will participate in engaging conversations on current topics at this workshop on Thursday, October 26. Gary Daniels from the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will kick off the day with a presentation on students’ rights including speech, religion and privacy. The latter portion of the day will follow an unconference format — a participant-driven exchange of ideas. Attendees will receive an invitation to submit conversation ideas approximately two weeks prior to the event to allow for timely conversations on what matters most to them.

Special thanks to the 2017 program committee for working on this exciting program. Planning this annual conference is volunteer-driven, and the committee’s careful consideration of each detail for the event will surely show. Some highlights are below.

Community Agreements: The conference planners seek to create a space for respectful dialogue and debate about critical issues. Upon registration, attendees will be asked to review and accept a list of community agreements. Conference planners will strive to create spaces in which multiple perspectives can be heard and no one voice dominates. We welcome any suggestions that will make this a safe and productive space for all.

Sustainability: The committee will be selective about what it chooses to print. As such, attendees should stay tuned for details about electronic conference programs, evaluations and more. We encourage attendees to carpool to and from the conference to reduce pollution. We also encourage attendees to bring their own refillable water bottles and coffee mugs to the conference to reduce waste.

I look forward to convening our association for multiple days of important conversation and energizing networking.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

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A Resolution: Honoring and Praising the State Library of Ohio on the Occasion of its 200th Anniversary

On August 4, 2017 at the State Library of Ohio’s 200th Anniversary Celebration, Katy Kelly, President of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, on behalf of the Board and membership of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, presented a resolution and plaque to State Librarian Beverly Cain. Below is the full text of the resolution.

A Resolution

From the Academic Library Association of Ohio

honoring and praising the State Library of Ohio

on the occasion of its 200th anniversary

Whereas, the State Library of Ohio, originally named the Ohio State Library, was established in Columbus, Ohio, on January 28, 1817, as one of the earliest state agencies created;

Whereas, the State Library’s history and current services intersect with the people, cultural heritage, governing structures, education, and libraries of Ohio;

Whereas, the State Library serves the state government and all types of libraries and residents;

Whereas, the vision of the State Library is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests;

Whereas, the State Library is committed to its mission and vision through outreach, programs, services, sharing networks, digitized resources, and collections;

Whereas, the State Library has supported libraries in the critical areas of funding and grants, resource sharing, consortia support, statewide delivery, statistics and reporting, continuing education, and use of facilities; and

Whereas, on August 4, 2017, the State Library of Ohio under the leadership of Beverly Cain celebrates its 200th anniversary,

I, Katy Kelly, President of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, therefore resolve that the Board and membership of the Academic Library Association of Ohio:

  • celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the State Library of Ohio; and
  • honor and praise the State Library of Ohio for its abiding work to ensure every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests.

The residents of Ohio have benefited immeasurably through the efficacy of the State Library of Ohio.  We express our gratitude on behalf of all members of the Academic Library Association of Ohio.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

*Presentation Photo by Christiana Congelio

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Leadership Retreat Report

On July 10–11, the ALAO board met for the annual leadership retreat at Deer Creek Lodge and State Park. The retreat was a productive meeting where board members handed off roles through training and mentoring. Our two days together provided board members time to get to know one another and think strategically about our upcoming year.

During my first day of president, I led a brainstorming session called “Divy the Dollar.” In case you were wondering, the ALAO currency in this activity honorably featured Treasurer Don Appleby.alaodivy-the-dollar

“Divy the Dollar” challenged board members to consider initiatives they would be interested in organizing with ALAO financial support. The ALAO Strategic Plan and the ACRL Plan for Excellence provided the framework. Your elected board members were creative and savvy, discussing, budgeting and researching timely initiatives that will benefit the membership. Board members narrowed their list to their top five, each of which will become a special project proposal. Stay tuned to the newsletter or email event announcements, as these proposals will be presented throughout this year and next.

Thank you to those who served on the ALAO Board and cycled off at July’s retreat. We appreciate your years of service toward our membership.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

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Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award: Call for Nominations

O15513 Kristy McDonald

Krista McDonald, Past President

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 Mentoring Award online nomination form.

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

Please submit your nominations by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017.

Questions? Please contact Krista McDonald, ALAO Past President ( Thank you!

-Krista McDonald, Past President, Miami University-Hamilton

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Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award: Call for Nominations

The ALAO Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service 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 Distinguished Service Award online nomination form.

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

-Krista McDonald, Past President, Miami University-Hamilton

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Notes from the Trenches

Conventional word processing software can’t do everything: Teaching LaTeX to faculty, students, and staff.

In 2010, my advisor and I submitted an article for publication. The journal provided a LaTeX template, so I tried LaTeX, which is a typesetting system based of the TeX typesetting language. Calling it a mark-up language wouldn’t be correct, but most learning LaTeX draw connections between LaTeX and HTML. Essentially, a LaTeX document is a structured text file, where the markup directs the typesetting engine in formatting the document. Usually, users generate a PDF file. There are advantages to using LaTeX, such as superior equation rendering, creating advanced document structures more easily, and costing no money.

Often, I learn software by experimentation and reading. After creating the article in 2010, I spoke to an expert user and attended an all day workshop. I found that I was performing functions “the hard way.”

I aimed to create a series of LaTeX workshops to get users started with the system. In fall 2010, I surveyed the university community and 200 people were interested in LaTeX training. Since most don’t have time to take a full day workshop, I elected to provide multiple 90 minute workshops. The series in entirely taught students to create a LaTeX document from start to finish.

I broke the process into logical functional areas and the first two workshops ran spring 2011. As of 2017, the series has transformed. All changes were based on attendee feedback or observed systematic problems. To date, there are eight modules and an online version in our course management system. Materials for the workshop sessions can be found on the LaTeX Workshop LibGuide

LaTeX training addresses an important student need that is within the realm of librarianship. It speaks to the frame, Information Creation as a Process. It involves writing, citing, and publishing. Many publishers offer a LaTeX template and some publishers, particularly mathematics, require a LaTeX submission. All can learn LaTeX regardless of experience; however, you learn faster when you have coding experience. LaTeX users are passionate about LaTeX, so finding guest speakers is likely. I’ve had three guest speakers including a previous workshop attendee that had graduated.

Although I’ve been a LaTeX user for seven years, I found the best example of the power of LaTeX recently. During creating a Microsoft Word template for theses and dissertations, the difference between a word processor and a typesetting system became clear. In Microsoft Word, I placed codes in the fields and supplied two pages of instructions for students using the template. It’s easier to use a dissertation class in LaTeX. I’m investigating PDF tags creation with LaTeX for accessibility, but it’s a topic for another Notes from the Trenches.

-Tammy Stitz, University of Akron

Removing the Reference Desk at Oberlin’s Science Library

Photos from Oberlin College science library, where the reference desk was removed and OberlinRefDesk2OberlinRefDeskthe reference desk collection was transformed into the popular science reading area. The reference and research help function was moved to one section of the circulation/reserve desk, now known as the service and help desk. The help desk is staffed by student assistants, beginning at 3:30 pm on weekdays and all the hours the library is open on weekends. Alison Ricker, head of the science library, is often at the help desk as well and her office is just a few steps away. The new arrangement

has already encouraged more interaction with students seeking help,and the popular reading collection has attracted attention.

-Alison Ricker, Procedures Manual Coordinator, Oberlin College

An Instructional Revelation at Columbus State Community College

I began teaching Information Literacy sessions in 2005. I was usually in a dedicated library classroom for these sessions, but sometimes my job took me to different classrooms. During these field trips to other locations, the instruction environments I encountered varied significantly. In some situations, there was a reliable projector with a screen close to the presentation computer. Other times the screen was across the room from the presentation computer. In one particularly memorable location there was no screen, only an old CRT-TV mounted on the top of a storage cabinet approximately 9 feet in the air. It was somehow connected to the presentation computer and was probably close to 35 inches in size. So again, there was significant variation.

I learned a lot about instruction during the first few years doing almost strictly one-shot sessions. It was mostly lecture and demonstration and I found myself constantly showing students where different icons, buttons, and search fields were located on database, catalog, and website interfaces. To achieve this, I used various pointers. I started by pointing with my hand. In the location I used most, I tried wooden and metal sticks that were available to power on/off the overhead projector. In some of the less ideal locations though, I was really challenged. Eventually, a very seasoned instructor visiting with one of his classes simply looked at me and said: “Just get a laser pointer.” It was a Eureka moment for me. It made so much sense. It was so obvious in hindsight. I was immensely grateful and embarrassed.

In the years since that revelation, I’ve ensured that I always have access to a laser pointer when presenting. There is one stored permanently in our library classroom and another available for use at the other locations I visit. Of course, nowadays there are also many software-based laser pointers available. While those can be useful, they are not always readily available. Whether it’s updates, new installs, insufficient permissions, or a change in location, there are many variables affecting the availability of software-based laser pointers that don’t affect hardware-based laser pointers. So, I continue to use this simple tool and remain forever thankful to the longtime instructor that shocked my brain awake and made me realize how to simplify and improve my instruction repertoire.

-Ryan Scott, Columbus State Community College


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Interest Group News

Instruction Interest Group News

The Instruction Interest Group (IIG) is pleased to announce that Mandi Goodsett (Cleveland State University) is the IIG’s new co-chair.  Lindsay Miller (Miami University) and Hanna Schmillen (Ohio University) also have agreed to continue this year as members of the IIG planning committee.

The IIG will shortly begin planning our annual Spring Workshop and will share details at ALAO’s upcoming Annual Conference.  Our group will also host a round table at the Conference and highlight our recent workshops on the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.

-Mark Eddy, IIG Co-Chair, Csae Western Reserve University

Special Collections and Archives Interest Group News

Annual Workshop Report

SCAig’s annual workshop, “Preserving Scrapbooks in the Archives,” with Jennifer Hain Teper (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), a well-known expert on scrapbooks, was held Friday, June 9, on the campus of the University of Dayton. It was a 4-hour workshop with both hands-on activity and lecture. The rest of the day included tours of UD’s special collections, along with lunch and networking time.

The venue was a university library conference room, with the room across the hall utilized for lunch, and the hallway outside the rooms for registration and morning refreshments (Panera). Teper as an instructor was amazing—she maintained her energy throughout the day and really knew her scrapbooks!

We partnered with the Midwest Archives Conference’s speakers bureau program to bring Teper to Ohio—they supported the instructor’s travel expenses and honorarium. Beyond the wonderful collaboration with MAC, we are especially grateful to the University of Dayton who hosted us at no cost, helped manage the room, and provided interesting tours of their special collections. Thanks also to the Ohio Preservation Council who provided the necessary cutting mats. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with other groups to bring an excellent workshop to our IG. More at See the Storify from the event –it has photos and links to the handouts and slides!

Annual Meeting

SCAig is planning a conference round table session at the Annual Meeting in October. It will include an overview of SCAig and its activities, as well as open discussion concerning digitization and metadata practices and workflows for special collections and archival materials. All conference attendees are welcome to join the session, and are also encouraged to share their ideas for potential future events and programming that SCAig could pursue.

If you are interested in helping plan for next year’s event, please contact us at

-Janet Carleton, SCAIG Co-Chair, Ohio University
-Nick Pavlik, SCAIG  Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University

Support Staff Interest Group News

Welcome Aboard!

I want to extend a hearty welcome to Jennine Vlach as the new co-chair for the ALAO Support Staff Interest Group. Jennine is from the Case Western Reserve University-Kelvin Smith Library.

2018 Spring Support Staff Workshop

SSIG is excited to be presenting the 2018 ALAO Support Staff Workshop at the University of Cincinnati-Clermont College on Monday, March 12, 2018 from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Libraries and the Opioid Epidemic so the keynote session will be “No One is Untouched.” Dr. Jill Gomez, UC Clermont professor for Humanities and Social Sciences is helping to design the session and provide information for connecting people with the resources they need. Guest speakers will talk about what library staff can expect from those suffering with addictions. There will be an open discussion at the end for libraries to share their experiences.

There will be a session on Tips & Tricks for using Innovative Interface’s Sierra library system. Participants will have a chance to ask the experts about Sierra functions.

Moe’s Southwest Grill will be catering the event.

More information to follow soon concerning the 2018 Spring Support Staff Workshop!

-Jennine Vlach, SSIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University
-Natalie Winland, SSIG Co-Chair, Clermont College

Technical Electronic Digital Services Interest Group Call for a Co-Chair

ALAO’s Technical Electronic Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG) is looking for a Co-chair. The term will last untill July 2019. If you are interested or would like more information about the co-chair’s duties or TEDSIG, please email the Current Co-chair Cara Mia Calabrese ( All are welcome, you don’t need to be a current ALAO member to apply for Co-chair, but must be willing to join if selected.

-Cara Mia Calabrese, TEDSIG Co-Chair, Miami University

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