Brian Hickam, Benedictine University
My time as President of the Academic Library Association of Ohio is coming to an end this summer. At the executive board’s annual retreat I’ll welcome Sue Polanka as our new President and transition into Past-president, a position which entails work on various committees, including chairing the Nominating Committee. More on that below. I have met many of you over the years and others at November’s Annual Conference in Toledo. Thank you for helping to make ALAO a very viable and enjoyable association. As you know, ALAO has been in the process of applying for recognition as a not-for-profit since the dissolution of the Ohio College Association. The Internal Revenue Service confirmed the receipt of ALAO’s application on March 16th. Since their estimated response time is ninety days, we should receive news in June.
The LOEX conference that took place May 3-5 in Columbus was an impressive event. Betsy Blankenship (who is President-elect of ALAO) did a fantastic job as a member of the LOEX Planning Committee. Thanks to her invitation, the ALAO Board voted to sponsor the conference in the amount of $500. This allowed ALAO to include a promotional flyer in each attendee’s packet. It was in color and looked great. An ALAO brochure was available at the registration table and was picked up by many. Katie Gibson and Peggy Rector deserve a big pat on the back for a job well done. Brad Sietz, Director, LOEX Clearinghouse, mentioned ALAO’s sponsorship during the “First-time attendees” session, which was attended by approximately 130 people. 425 people from 42 states and two Canadian provinces attended LOEX’s 40th national conference. The 2013 event will take place May 2-4 in Nashville. The next national conference to hit Columbus will be the 2012 LITA National Forum on October 3-7. The theme is: “New World of Data: Discover. Connect. Remix.”
ALAO supported two representatives, Alison Ricker and Stephanie Bange, at the National Library Legislative Day. According to American Libraries magazine, “More than 350 librarians and library supporters from across the country converged on Washington, D.C., from April 23–24, to meet with members of Congress to discuss key library issues during ALA’s 38th annual National Library Legislative Day. The event focused on supporting federal funding for the nation’s libraries.” National Library Legislative Day 2013 will be held May 6 & 7 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C.: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/nlld
I had a nice phone conversation with Michael Bradshaw, OLSSI Chair Emeritus and OLSSI Vice-Chair of Programming, on Friday, April 6th. They are very supportive of establishing a liaison relationship with ALAO. Kathryn Venditti, Interest Group Coordinator, will continue the negotiations. This relationship will assist ALAO in addressing the needs and interests of support staff while our Support Staff Interest Group is on hiatus. Melanie Blau-McDonald, Director of SWON (which acts as Fiscal Agent for ALAO), is working with the Schwartz Manes Ruby & Slovin law firm to compose a new contract between ALAO and SWON. Board Members will be given opportunities to review it and offer comments and suggestions. Ideally, a final version will be voted on at the retreat. The Task Force to Investigate Organizational Web Content, Policies and Workflow will continue its work this summer and present recommendations at the July 16-17 Board Retreat at Deer Creek State Park Lodge & Conference Center.
In recent years ALAO has been successful at bringing several new voices into our executive board. I would like for this trend to continue. Please consider running for a position as Board member-At-Large, Membership Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, President-elect, Public Relations Coordinator, or an Interest Group Chair. Some of these positions will become available this year; others next year. Please also give thought to an appointment as Webmaster, Communications Editor, or member of the ALAO Government Relations Team. If you have any questions or comments before the invitations go out later this year, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I had a wonderful experience learning how to help plan a large regional conference. One result of my service to ALAO has been an invitation to serve on the planning committee for the 2013 LITA National Forum. ALAO is a great association to work with and can lead to career-building opportunities.