Betsy Blankenship, The Ohio State University Marion
Conference & Pre-Conference Wrap-up
Sixty people attended the pre-conference, held at Stark State College on October 24, 2013. They enjoyed a delicious lunch, an entertaining keynote by Laura Solomon and some hands on-learning opportunities with different tech tools and apps such as Flipboard, Evernote, Hoostsuite, Snapguide and Wunderlist. I learned about Quizlet and look forward to implementing it somehow into my instruction. My thanks to Kathryn Vendetti, Sara Klink, Melissa Bauer, and Judith Cerqua for coordinating registration and the program and to all the presenters who so generously gave their time to discuss and demonstrate the various tech tools and apps: Rob Snyder, Katherine Marshall, Eboni Johnson, Jessica Hageman, Katie Foran-Mulcahy, Katy Kelly, Kathleen Pickens, Diane Schrecker, Vera Lux, Melissa Butler and Brian Gray.
My thanks also to Rob Kairis and his library staff, for hosting a Thursday evening reception and tour at the Kent State Stark Library. I always enjoy visiting other libraries and usually end up taking away some great ideas for new services, programs and displays.
ALAO members enjoyed another successful annual conference, held at The University Center at Kent State University Stark on October 25, 2013. Over 250 people attended and 19 vendors were available to talk with attendees before and during the conference. Dr. Nancy Fried Foster provided insight to the participatory design process and how we can use that to transform libraries during her keynote address. Presentations were well-attended (some overflowed, I understand!). Various awards were given during lunch and I wish to congratulate 2013 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award recipient Don Appleby as well as all others who were recognized – all very deserving! After lunch, attendees visited poster sessions and had ample opportunities to network and catch up with colleagues around the state. Conference evaluation comments indicated a positive experience for most attendees. I thank all who attended and I especially thank the Conference Planning Committee, who worked long and hard to provide to our attendees and vendors a great experience: Don Appleby, Melissa Bauer, Judith Cerqua, Sara Klink, Alisa Mizikar, Jerry Natal, Peggy Rector, Diane Schrecker, Katheryn Vendetti and Rob Withers. We will be adding what presentations we received to the conference website as soon as we can. We will announce it when they are there. In the meantime, I am looking forward to our 2014 conference, which will be our 40th!
The board has been busy this year to ensure a smooth running operation and providing as many professional and developmental opportunities to members as possible.
A new member email listserv was announced at the conference; it should be implemented by the end of the year. In addition, the new ALAO website is up and running. We have added some new features, updated our volunteer form and are finishing up final page edits and revisions. Look for more prominent legislative advocacy information coming soon!
Calls for various awards and grants are currently out; be sure to apply or nominate someone worthy!
The board is also working to host an ACRL Scholarly Communications Roadshow sometime in 2014; we will let you know the details if our application is successful.
The Ohio Library Leadership program is coming in 2014 and applications are currently being accepted (see information about it elsewhere in this newsletter). ALAO provides financial support for this program and I especially encourage our members (and new librarians!) to apply – it is a great way to get involved with school and public librarians across the state. I can just imagine the networking and collaborative opportunities that could be developed!
We continue to review policies and update our Procedures Manual to reflect actual practice and additions.
We have been seeking new ALAO webmasters to replace those who will be leaving us this year and next. They are important positions and we are grateful to those who volunteer to lend us their talents and expertise to keep ALAO operations running smoothly. I wish to acknowledge and thank Brian Gray, who is stepping down at the end of December. Brian has been a strong presence behind the scenes of our web site. His insight and expertise have been invaluable in creating registration forms, setting up conference websites as well as our ALAO website; training many new board members and Interest Group Chairs on working in the system we use and providing information and recommendations. His knowledge will be missed.
Looking ahead to 2014, I know that our Interest Groups and Committees are busy planning for Spring/Summer workshops. I hope you plan to attend at least one of them; I find them great ways to get updated on new practices and trends, as well as an opportunity to learn something new!
As we near the end of 2013, I want to wish everyone a holiday season filled with joy and peace and I hope you find time for some personal rejuvenation and enjoyment. It is a joy to be part of this organization and to know and work with so many talented people. I often stand in awe of what you all know and do on a daily basis!
May your New Year resolutions be as special as each of you!