President’s Report

On April 27, the ALAO board met at OhioNET. At this meeting, board members discussed


Katy Kelly, President

the following items:

  • Meeting ALA Chapter Councilor Meg Delaney (Lucas County Public Library). Interest in a statewide ecosystem movement to share objectives across all libraries. Meg will be sharing ALA-related items to the ALAO listserv and newsletter.
  • Approving a new interest group (IG) proposed by ALAO members Matt Benzing (Miami University) and Ian McCullough (University of Akron). The STEM Interest Group will provide a statewide forum for discussing topics of interest to librarians and library staff who support the STEM field – science, technology, engineering, and medicine/mathematics. This interest group was approved, becoming ALAO’s 11th IG.
  • Appointing Kayla Harris (University of Dayton) to a term as procedures manual coordinator, effective in July.
  • Celebrating incoming elected board members: Katy Mathuews (Ohio University) – Vice President/President-Elect; Angel Mootispaw (Southern State Community College) – Secretary; Melissa Bauer (Kent State University at Stark), Heidi Beke-Harrigan (OhioNET), and Ann Marie Smeraldi (Cleveland State University) – Board Members at Large.
  • Reviewing a website task force report about improving the ALAO website and supporting the ongoing work required to sustain it. A motion to change the webmaster term from two years to three years was voted on and passed.
  • Selecting a board member to host an informational ALAO table at MiALA’s conference. Conversations continue about a joint conference with MiALA, Michigan’s academic library organization.
  • Limiting board roles to one per member in order to generate more involvement from the membership and avoid work overload. Verbiage was voted on and approved for the procedures manual.
  • Changing the Support Staff Presenter Grant to a Support Staff Conference Grant, opening up the grant to more applicants. An online vote took place, and the changes were approved.
  • Planning a free ALAO networking reception at ACRL 2019 in Cleveland for ALAO members. The reception will be 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Zocalo Tequileria and will feature appetizers, a taco bar, and desserts. An online vote for a budget took place, and this event was approved.
  • Approving funds to support scholarships for ACRL 2019 registration costs. ALAO will award up to five grants to ALAO members and up to two grants to ALAO student members. Grant applications will be accepted beginning in the fall and reviewed by the Professional Development Committee.
  • Hosting a joint professional development event with Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA).
  • Selecting Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center for the 2020 annual conference.

The next ALAO board meeting will take place at the board retreat on July 20, 2018, at OhioNET. At the board retreat, we transition from the 2017-18 board to the 2018-19 board.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

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Election Results

ALAO election results are in!  We welcome the following newly elected members to the Board:

Vice President/President-Elect
Katy MathuewsO15513 Kristy McDonald

Angel Mootispaw

Membership Chair
Maureen Barry

Board Member-at-Large
Melissa Bauer
Heidi Beke-Harrigan
Ann Marie Smeraldi

I want to take a moment to thank each of these ALAO members for their willingness to serve on the Executive Board, as our organization is strengthened by having new people step into leadership roles. 

I also extend my thanks to the other members of the Nominating Committee:

Katy Mathuews
Brianna Miller
Evan Meszaros

And many thanks go to Derek Zoladz and Ryan Scott from the ALAO Web Team for their excellent work managing the logistics of the election as well.

For members who missed running for elected office this year, but would still like to serve and engage with ALAO, there are many opportunities to get involved. Please take a look at some of these options:

ALAO volunteer form:

Interest Groups:


-Krista McDonald, Past President, Miami University Hamilton

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Annual Conference Update

Three updates from the Conference Planning Committee:

    • The committee thanks everyone for the great presentation and poster proposals that were submitted.  All proposers should have been notified of their status. If you have a question about your status, please e-mail
    • Registration for the pre-conference and conference will open on June 25. Rates are being finalized, but will be announced at that time.
    • We hope to have information on reserving hotel rooms available on the conference website by the end of the month.

-Eric Resnis, Vice President/President Elect, Miami University

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2018 Diversity Scholarship Recipient Malgorzata Rehfus

The Diversity Committee is pleased to announce that Malgorzata Rehfus has been Malgorzata Rehfus - 2018 Diversity Schoarlship Recipientselected as the 2018 Diversity Scholarship Recipient.

“I strongly believe that advocating for diversity and inclusion is the social responsibility of the LIS profession. It is our professional and moral obligation to advocate for human rights,” Ms. Rehfus states.

Recently, Ms. Rehfus has participated as an associate in IFLA’s New Professional Special Interests Group and has submitted proposals supporting LGBTQ rights in Malaysia, the site of this year’s IFLA World Congress, and has supported outreach in Liberia and an annual scholarship for a new professional to attend the World Congress.

Ms. Rehfus currently is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State University and has professional interests in organization of information and international librarianship, and plans to work to combine the two in a meaningful way. Ms. Rehfus indicates that as a library and information science professional, one of her goals is to reduce barriers to information, whether that means working with metadata, advocating for net neutrality, or locating a reliable source in a minority language. She plans to stay engaged locally and to contribute to the LIS profession at large, believing that continuous change is necessary in order to make a difference.

-Bree Miller, ALAO Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Columbus State Community College

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2018 Research Grant Recipient Mandy Shannon

The ALAO Research and Publications Committee is pleased to announce that Mandy 19212 Jim Hannah, Mandy Shannon in the Dunbar Library 7-18-17Shannon of Wright State University Libraries is the winner of the 2018 Research grant. This funding will support her proposed research project regarding how individual research assistance from a librarian affects overall student success.

Congratulations, Mandy!

-Heidi Gauder, Co-Chair, Research and Publications Committee, University of Dayton
-Eboni Johnson, Co-Chair, Research and Publications Committee, Oberlin College

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ALAO Member Spotlight: Karmen Beecroft

Karmen is the Digital Projects Librarian in the Preservation & Digital Initiatives Department at the Ohio University Libraries. Read on to learn more about her work and personal interests from sharing cultural heritage materials to exploring our solar system and beyond!

Member Spotlight Beecroft (1)What is your role(s) in academic libraries?

As a Digital Projects Librarian, I oversee the digitization of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials held by the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections. I then describe the resulting images using established metadata standards and upload to the Libraries’ digital content platform, CONTENTdm. Together, I and my colleague Janet Carleton supervise the work of 4-8 student workers producing tens of thousands of files a year.

What do you like most about academic library work?

I love that my job is to share cultural heritage materials with people who might not be able to visit the reading room in person. Part of my charge is doing outreach to promote our digital collections and I have lots of fun researching collections and designing activities and exhibits to encourage folks to come to their own conclusions about the content. The Subjective Stitch workshop was especially enjoyable to plan; I really wanted to take a historical collection and tease out enduring themes that still had relevance in the lives of participants, so we combined a pop-up exhibit with discussion sections where participants were invited to subjectively interpret the objects through the lens of their own experiences.

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

I’m currently working on a collection of materials relating to the Athens Asylum, later know as the Athens Mental Health Center. It has been very illuminating seeing the ephemeral traces of everyday life left by staff and patients over the past 150 years and gradually filling in the story of the institution through time.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I’m obsessed with the Voyager space probes, which are currently cruising through the liminal zone at the edge of the solar system on their way to interstellar space.

What do you love about being an ALAO member?

ALAO is just the right size—not so large as to be cold and intimidating but not so small that you feel like you’re in an echo chamber. I enjoy getting the perspectives of colleagues across Ohio who are perhaps dealing with similar issues as my own and staying up-to-date on their projects and accomplishments.

-Katy Mathuews, Membership Chair, Ohio University

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Membership Report

At the Executive Board Meeting on April 27, 2018 the Membership Chair reported the membership of ALAO includes a total of 377 members consisting of 331 regular members, 4 retiree members, and 42 student members. We are excited to welcome our newest members, including several MLIS students!

New Members since March 1, 2018:

  • Erika Noark, Kent State University
  • Malgorzata Rehfus, Kent State University iSchool
  • Lucinda Chandler, Kent State University iSchool
  • Kathryn Clements, Kent State University iSchool
  • Jennifer Ensman, Kent State University iSchool
  • Amber Gasper, Kent State University iSchool
  • Amy Gray, Kent State University iSchool
  • Jaqueline Kociubuk, Kent State University iSchool
  • Sara Massey, Kent State University iSchool
  • Rhonda Monroe, Kent State University iSchool
  • Linda Swanson, Kent State University iSchool
  • Katy Tribuzzo, Kent State University iSchool
  • Michele Schoen, Kent State University iSchool
  • Molly Thatcher, Kent State University iSchool
  • Taylor Wilcox, Trinity International University/Kent State University iSchool
  • Beth Owens, Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Drew Balduff, University of Findlay
  • Shelli Daniels, Kent State University iSchool
  • Heather Gohring, Kent State University iSchool
  • Amy High, Air Force Institute of Technology/D’Azzo Research Library
  • Megan Mamolen, Lakeland Community College
  • Melissa Cherry, Miami University
  • Rena Baker, Northern Seminary
  • Meg Delaney, Toledo Lucas County Public Library
  • Rachel Makarowski, Miami University
  • Seth Sisler, Ohio University
  • Jaclyn Spraetz, Heidelberg University

-Katy Mathuews, Membership Chair, Ohio University

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