President’s Report

Katy Mathuews

Katy Mathuews, President

I would like to extend a big thank you to all those who attended the 2019 Annual Conference and related events. The October 17 preconference events included an intergroup dialogue workshop and a free active allyship training. The free training served as our annual service project and was a tangible step toward addressing harassment and discrimination in our profession. On October 18 the conference day was packed with 28 breakout sessions, 19 posters, 17 roundtables, 1 amazing keynote speaker, and an abundance of snacks and networking!

Our general theme this year was Libraries Speak Up! Advocate. Collaborate. Educate. Char Booth’s keynote address highlighted this theme. Booth pointed out that libraries are one of the few public goods we have left. Booth challenged us to think about what is broken in our systems, services, and societies and consider what we can do to help address the challenges faced by our users. Booth provided inspiring context and practical examples to help library personnel speak up for our patrons.

Conference Quick Facts

30: Preconference Attendees

29: Allyship Training Attendees

227: Conference Attendees

21: Exhibitors

Award Winners

Jane Wildermuth: TEDSIG TEDDY Award Recipient

Heidi Gauder: Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring Award Recipient

Carrie Girton: Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award

September 27 Board Meeting

In an effort to address the “Efficient and Purposeful” focus of our Strategic Plan, the board kicked off discussions to complete an organizational review. The review will include a survey of board positions, committees, and practices with the goal of realizing efficiencies and revisions to existing practice. We look forward to sharing the results of our efforts and will be exploring a membership survey in 2020 to learn more about our needs and values. We will also be finalizing a new Code of Conduct for all ALAO events. We look forward to sharing the results of these activities in the coming year.

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Past President’s Report

Jay Ladd Award


Eric Resnis, Past President

The Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award 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.

Congratulations to this year’s award winner: Carrie Girton, Public Services Librarian at Miami University – Hamilton. Dedicated, reliable, and caring are pertinent words to describe Carrie. Her service to ALAO is long-reaching, including many years on the Conference Planning Committee, an interest group co-chair and as an executive board officer.

Carrie is described as a great listener who has genuine interest in the success of her ALAO colleagues. When you think interest groups, her name is one of the first that pops into your head.  In her role as Interest Group Coordinator, she has played a major role in bringing new and relevant interest groups to ALAO, helping manage our existing cadre of interest groups, and ensuring that interest group coordinators have the resources and support they require. She is one of the reasons that IG are so important to ALAO.

Kathryn Venditti Award

The Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring Award is given annually to an academic librarian who has demonstrated excellence as a mentor to a librarian, library worker, or library science student.

Congratulations to this year’s winner: Heidi Gauder, Coordinator of Research and Instruction at the University of Dayton.  Heidi is described by one of her nominees as “the type of mentor that every new librarian wishes they had.” She is deeply invested in helping her colleagues become better instructors, researchers, and scholars. Seeking tenure and promotion can be a daunting challenge for a new librarian, yet Heidi works diligently to demystify the process, providing guidance along the way, making connections with librarian colleagues, and providing a clear example of continual achievement and growth that occurs after promotion.

Another nominee notes “I’ve worked at various institutions and I genuinely have not met anyone else who so selflessly mentors others the way she does.” Indeed, many librarians at the University of Dayton have gained great knowledge and experience from her careful guidance.


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Vice President’s Report

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett, Vice President/President Elect

The 2020 ALAO Conference Planning Committee has already begun our work to put together a great conference for our members next year! As a reminder, the conference will take place on October 30th, 2020 at the Nationwide Convention Center. We have chosen the theme, “Resilience: Sustainable & Thriving Academic Libraries for the Future.” Stay tuned for more details and a call for presentation proposals early in 2020.

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ALAO Research Grant Now Open for Proposals

Do you have a great research idea but need funds to bring it to life? Last year, the ALAO Research Grant helped fund two different projects to investigate health science librarians’ reflective practice and public libraries’ role as community centers.

Submit your application by January 10, 2020 at You must be a current member of ALAO to be eligible for the award. If you have any questions, please contact Brittany Brannon or Ken Irwin.

Want to submit a proposal but don’t have a project ready? The Research and Publications Committee and the Assessment Interest Group are hosting a workshop for developing a research idea into a project plan on March 27th at OhioNET. Come get ideas for and feedback on your research project and develop it into something you can submit for next year’s grant cycle.

–Brittany Brannon, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair, OCLC
–Ken Irwin, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair, Wittenberg University

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Continuing Education Grant Program – Coming Soon!

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 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 calendar year.


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

 Additional details will be announced via email in mid-December. 

–Ann Marie Smeraldi, Professional Development Committee Chair, Cleveland State University


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Diversity Scholarship Award Recipient

Brenda Foster of Bexley, Ohio is the 2019 ALAO Diversity Scholarship Award winner. Brenda attends the University of Washington I-School. While there Brenda has been a board member for the UW Professional Continuing Education (PCE) Student Advisory Board and as a Diversity Officer for the Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS). Brenda worked as a Metadata Intern for Library of Congress (LOC), and plans to work more closely with data management. One of Brenda’s career goals for working in librarianship, “has to be compassion for the community, regardless of its cultural composition.”

–Edith Scarletto, Diversity Committee Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Corazon Britton from the Moritz Law Library at The Ohio State University!

Corazon BrittonWhat is your role(s) in academic libraries?
In my role as library circulation supervisor at the Moritz Law Library, I work with student employees, perform circulation tasks, and manage interlibrary loan lending. Interlibrary loan was a new responsibility for me, and it’s been incredible to see how connected libraries are and the type of service we provide to our users.

What do you like most about academic library work?
My favorite thing about working in libraries is how the library blends education, working with people, and connecting to communities. This is particularly true in academic libraries because library professionals are partners with students, staff, faculty, and community users in learning.

I also enjoy working directly with student employees. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I worked in the reference department of my university’s library. That college job turned into a love of working in libraries due in large part to the mentorship of librarians and library professionals who not only provided an incredible work experience but also allowed me to see a future for myself in the field. The kindness and support shown to me is something I try to replicate in my interactions with student employees. I appreciate when they trust me to seek advice, share their accomplishments, or ask for references.

What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?
I currently serving on the Steering Committee for the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute. It’s enlightening to be part of a conference planning process.

I am in library school right now and one of the projects I’m working on is developing a cataloging management wiki. While I have significant experience searching for items and using catalogs, the intricacies of cataloging have been intimidating. Luckily this class has eased my fears and I feel more confident in my abilities.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I have two cats named Tom and Jerry and a dog named Benji. Jerry actually has a connection to academic libraries! A colleague was fostering Jerry’s mom while she was pregnant, and I adopted Jerry as a kitten!

What do you love about being an ALAO member? 

I’m a new ALAO member but wanted to join ALAO because I had a positive experience at the annual conference years ago when I was a co-presenter as a student employee. I remember at that conference how everyone was friendly and encouraging. When I attended the ALAO conference in October I was met with the same sense of community as I was years ago. ALAO provides valuable professional development and connections.

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

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