President’s Report

A Special Message Regarding COVID-19

Katy Mathuews

Katy Mathuews, President


Like you, the ALAO Board has been diligently monitoring and adapting our plans and workflows in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic. As we look toward spring workshops and Executive Board meetings, organizers are assessing online options and other ramifications of modifying in-person meetings. Please note that currently-published event information may be subject to change. As plans become solidified, event organizers will communicate new information via email and social media. If you have any questions about specific events, please contact the event organizers. I hope you are all well. I wish you the best as you navigate these unique challenges at your institutions.


Board Meeting Report

The Executive Board met on February 21, 2020 at Ohionet in Columbus, OH. Major topics discussed included:

Code of Conduct

A draft Code of Conduct was presented and discussed. Revisions will be incorporated and further discussion will take place at the April board meeting. In related efforts, the ALAO website and written materials will be revised to reflect inclusive language.

Sponsorship Policy

The new sponsorship policy and procedure are posted on the website here:

Strategic Plan Initiatives

In an effort to address the strategic plan objective to be an efficient and purposeful organization, the Board embarked on an organizational review that included an environmental scan of peer ACRL chapters and a survey of ALAO Board members. Results of these efforts were discussed at the February meeting with plans to continue discussion at the April meeting.

The Board also initiated projects to consider the logistics surrounding (1) the mechanism through which members can volunteer for ALAO committees, Board positions, projects, and related initiatives; and (2) the logistics of hosting Board minutes openly online.

April Board Meeting

The next Executive Board meeting will be held on April 24, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ohionet.

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Past President’s Report

ALAO 2020 Elections


Eric Resnis, Past President

Nominate yourself for the ALAO Board! Submit this online nomination form by Friday, April 10, 2020, to be considered as a candidate. Elections will take place in April 15 to May 1, and elected officers will begin their terms at the Board retreat in July.

What is my role as an ALAO Board member?

  1. Perform the duties described for your elected position (see theALAO Procedures Manual for the specific duties and responsibilities of each position).
  2. Attend the annual Board retreat (July 31, 2020 at OhioNET)
  3. Attend four Board meetings per year.

In 2020, we will be electing the following officers:

  • Vice President/President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Membership Chair
  • Board Member At Large (3 positions)

Remember that you must be an ALAO member in order to run for office, so this is a perfect time to join or renew. Additionally, no member of the Executive Board, elected or appointed, may serve in more than one position simultaneously without formal approval from the board.

Contact Eric Resnis ( if you have questions.

2020 Nominating Committee

Carrie Girton
Edith Scarletto
Jennifer Starkey
Eric Resnis (chair)

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Vice President’s Report

2020 Annual Conference Planning Update

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett, Vice President/President Elect

On behalf of the Conference Planning Committee, I’m excited to announce the theme for our 2020 conference: “Resilience: Sustainable & Thriving Academic Libraries for the Future.” The conference will take place October 29-30 at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. We will have two preconference options on Thursday, October 29th, as well as concurrent sessions and a conference social in the evening. On Friday, October 30th, our keynote speaker will be Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System, who will talk about the role of libraries in establishing resilient, sustainable communities. Rebekkah has years of experience as a leader in sustainability in libraries, and she recently authored the book Resilience, published by ALA.

Call for Proposals

We have now opened our call for proposals. All members of our library community are encouraged to submit proposals by the April 10th deadline! See our proposal website for more information and the proposal form here:

–Mandi Goodsett, ALAO Vice President/President Elect, Cleveland State University

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Call for Proposals: ALAO Annual Conference 2020

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 46th Annual Conference, Resilience: Sustainable & Thriving Academic Libraries for the Future, which encourages us to consider the challenges that face academic libraries and the forward-thinking, innovative responses that we can make. 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:

  • Change management
  • Sustainability
  • Mentoring next generation
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion
  • Open education & other trends
  • Mindfulness
  • Preservation

One proposal form will be used for all presentation types:

  • 45-minute presentation or panel session
  • Roundtable
  • Poster Session

For additional details and submission form, please visit

–Heather Crozier, Scholarly Communications Interest Group Co-Chair, Ohio Northern University

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Apply for the ALAO Diversity Scholarship

The 2020 ALAO Diversity Scholarship is now accepting applications through March 21, 2020.

ALAO values diversity in its membership, in the profession, and in future library professionals. For that reason, we offer a $1,500 scholarship to a promising student enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLS program who exemplifies the qualities needed to ensure a diverse library workforce. The scholarship funds will be sent to the recipient after institutional enrollment is confirmed by the Diversity Committee chair or designee.

Candidates must be a full time or part time student enrolled in or recently accepted to an ALA-accredited MLS program, either on campus or via distance education, for the fall term following the call for scholarship applications AND currently live in Ohio.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate potential in the field of library and/or information science; demonstrate leadership ability; demonstrate diversity in one or more ways, including, but not limited to: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, life experience, physical ability and demonstrate commitment to diversity issues.

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

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Mentoring News

Short Term or Project-Based Mentoring Opportunities

Would you like to bounce an idea off of a peer? Are you working on a project? We have two mentors who are available for short-term or project-based conversations. One of them has experience with Career/Recruitment and Hiring, Collection Development, Instruction and Reference and the other specializes in Cataloging. If you would like to connect with them please contact Heidi or Melissa.

Professional Burnout Prevention Strategies

One of our recent mentoring discussions turned to the topic of avoiding burnout both generally and when you have an additional workload due to things like covering for colleagues or vacant positions, tenure etc. We’d like to share out some of the strategies we discussed. Maybe there’s something here that speaks to other ALAO members.

  • Clearly define responsibilities and temporary task divisions among colleagues and check in with each other regularly to see how things are working.
  • Group similar tasks together and do them in batches instead of moving in and out of many diverse tasks and platforms constantly.
  • Set aside specific times during the day to check email and respond, so you aren’t constantly diverted from projects and critical tasks.
  • Allow yourself time “offline” to work on projects where you aren’t as readily accessible – mark yourself “unavailable” on your calendar, close the door (whatever is doable within the culture of your organization). Communicate with staff and colleagues to normalize this as part of your day/week.
  • Step back and consider the time commitment and resources you have available before saying “yes” to any more committees, boards, professional organizations.
  • Explore time management tools such as Outlook Insight for email or the Pomodoro technique for productivity. Tools like Trello can also be used to help you track/organize projects and keep track of your professional development.
  • How can the current situation/position be renewed or reframed? Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work by Catherine Hakala-Ausperk can guide you into some valuable insights.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Things that have come up in your conversations? Are there any topics you’d like to explore further in a webinar?

–Heidi Beke-Harrigan, Mentoring Co-Chair, OhioNET
–Melissa Bauer, Mentoring Co-Chair, Kent State University-Stark Campus

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Membership Report

Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 345 members consisting of 311   regular members, 4 retiree members, and 30 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between August 29, 2019 and December 31, 2019:

  • Kristen Adams, Miami University
  • Miriam Centeno, Ohio State University
  • Joyce Douglas, Ohio University
  • Jacqueline Lagunzad, Cleveland Institute of Art
  • Monica Mason, Owens Community College
  • Lisa Morrison, Denison University
  • Sharon Richter, Columbus State Community College
  • Chris Robinson-Nkongola, Bowling Green State University

 –Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

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