President’s Report

Annual Conference Report

Mandi Goodsett, ALAO President

The 2020 ALAO Conference took place virtually from October 28-30th, and by all accounts it was a success! There were 278 registrants, including 74 non-ALAO-members, and 37 students. We got wonderful feedback from attendees:

“I thought the CPC did a fabulous job, and I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of timely sessions. and the relevance of the theme. The conference is a winner!”

“The CPC did an amazing job with this event. The website and technology were flawless. I feel like the recorded sessions are revolutionary! I got to watch what I wanted, when I wanted, and when I attended the Q&A it was more like a flipped classroom – a stellar way to learn.”

“Thanks for all of your hard work on this conference.  It was extraordinarily successful, and a great testament to both the diligence of the planning team and the wonderful community of academic librarians in Ohio!”

The conference content is now open to all, and it will be available until next year’s conference. I especially recommend watching our two excellent keynote presentations.

ALAO Membership Meeting

This year, we elected to offer a membership meeting during the conference instead of a short board meeting. The meeting was open to all ALAO members and lasted about 20 minutes.

We hope to continue offering an annual membership meeting at the ALAO annual conference (rather than a shortened board meeting) because it provides an important opportunity for members to engage with ALAO’s strategic goals, while allowing the board to have a longer meeting separate from the conference for discussion and decision-making.

ALAO Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2020 ALAO award winners! The ALAO Awards Ceremony was also open to all ALAO members and had 89 attendees. It was wonderful to see so many people cheering on the winners in the chat!

Award Name Winner
Diversity Scholarship Award Rachel Littleton
Research & Publications Committee Research Grant Kayla Harris & Heidi Gauder
Continuing Education Grant Corazon Britton, The Ohio State University

Tressa Graves, The Ohio State University

Danielle Bernert, Columbus College of Art & Design

Support Staff Conference Grant Bethany Spencer

Saad Arshad

TEDDY Award Derek Zoladz
Special Presidential Commendation Derek Zoladz
Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award Tammy J. Eschedor Voelker
Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award Katy Kelly

I would also like to especially thank the members of the 2020 Conference Planning Committee for their dedication, skill, perseverance, and wonderful comradery. They did a wonderful job — if you know any of them, tell them thank you!

If you have any additional feedback about the conference and didn’t have a chance to fill out our post-event survey, please feel free to reach out to the Conference Planning Committee at

Executive Board Meeting Report

The ALAO Executive Board has been hard at work on several projects related to two of our strategic priorities. One strategic priority is to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of ALAO as an organization, while also providing support to our members in this area. To accomplish this goal, the board is working on the following projects:

  • A small sub-group, in collaboration with the Diversity Committee, is preparing a DEI survey to send out to library workers in Ohio. The survey will gather data about what DEI initiatives are already in place in Ohio academic libraries and what resources may be especially useful to share with ALAO members. We hope to use the data to plan some practical, hands-on programming for Ohio librarians.
  • We are also working with the group We Here to support the important work they do — stay tuned for more details soon.
  • Revising ALAO’s Code of Conduct and reporting workflow is a project that we’ve been working on for about a year, but we are nearly finished. In addition to being able to report a violation of the Code, ALAO members will be able to suggest inclusive practices unrelated to a specific event or incident. We hope to have this work completed in the spring.
  • Finally, we are so pleased to be hosting two anti-racism caucuses facilitated by Ione Damasco in early December. We hope you were able to join us!

Our other strategic priority is increasing the diversity of programming offerings for our members. To do this, a task force has been formed to explore the resources and activities that ALAO Interest Groups could offer beyond in-person workshops, as well as what resources would be needed to support them. More information about this project will be shared in the spring.

The Executive Board is also working on several projects to support ALAO members as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • We offered an open forum event in September, and 30-40 ALAO members attended to share ideas and perspectives with one another. We will be offering additional forum events, but going forward they will be facilitated by ALAO Interest Groups and focus on the intersection of specific subjects (i.e. technical services, distance learning, etc.) and COVID-19.
  • In October, we sent out a COVID-19 survey to ALAO members. The results of that survey are being analyzed and will be shared with members in the spring.
  • Finally, a small task force has formed to explore how ALAO can provide financial assistance to members who have been impacted by the pandemic. We hope to share our ideas in the next newsletter.

We always welcome ALAO member input and feedback. If you have ideas for how ALAO could improve or would like to volunteer to help with a specific project, please feel free to reach out!

This entry was posted in Vol. 38 no. 4 (Dec 2020) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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