President’s Report

Jerry Natal, ALAO President Elect/Interim President

As I type this, I gaze out my office window and see the dormant grass peeking out through the melting blanket of snow, and am reminded of the promise of spring, and all the activity that comes with the warmer weather. For ALAO, this means planning workshops and programs, elections of officers, and conference planning and selecting proposals, among other things—watch for upcoming events. I urge everyone to get involved: run for office! Vote! Mentor! Volunteer! Keep ALAO strong as we transition to a post-pandemic season.    

ALAO February 18, 2022 Board Meeting:

Here are the main topics from the board meeting.

Fiscal Agent update:

As of this writing the transition of ALAO’s fiscal agent from SWON to OhioNET is complete (many thanks to ALAO Treasurer Don Appleby). Accounts are transferred and online payment service through PayPal is now available.

Event Registration:

This is a limitation with Wild Apricot (the platform used by ALAO for event registration) in the number of persons that can be stored in its registry, which is a cost issue. The ALAO web team is exploring alternatives for event registration, including the use of Zoom integrated with PayPal and online payments through Wild Apricot.

COVID-19 Relief Membership

By most reports, cases of COVID-19 are on the wane. However, in the event that there may be members who are still affected financially as a result of circumstances due to the virus, the special COVID-19 Relief Membership has been extended until the end of the fiscal year (June 30th).

Conference Planning:

The conference planning committee goes full steam ahead in preparation for the fall in-person conference [see the Vice President/President Elect Report for details]. I proposed to the board that thought needs to be given to how the organization might proceed for future conferences, considering alternative approaches and how best to serve the ALAO membership. This will be a topic for future board meetings.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

A task force spearheaded by Mandi Goodsett and comprised of Frank Bove, Shannon Simpson, and myself has been hard at work drafting an antiracist/DEI statement. Conceptually, this will be more than just a statement—more like a call to action. The draft was presented to the board for comment and will be presented for a vote at the March board meeting. [Special thanks to Drew Balduff for his work prior to his leaving due to a shift in his career trajectory.]

Support for SOA Statement:

ALAO is showing support for The Society of Ohio Archivist’s statement regarding HB327 which prohibits “teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts which prohibit school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and state agencies from teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts.” A statement of support was drafted (many thanks to Mandi Goodsett) and presented to the board for comment and approval.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio endorses and echoes the Society of Ohio Archivist’s Council Statement on HB327 and Legislation that Restricts History Education. We join our colleagues in condemning the close-minded and anti-intellectual objectives of Ohio HB327. Measures to “whitewash” our shared history wrongly silence the voices of marginalized groups and discourage the critical thinking, discussion, and learning that historical inquiry endeavors to foster.

The statement was sent to the fifteen representatives on the House State and Local Government Committee deciding HB327, and will be posted to social media and the ALAO web site.

For SOA’s full statement see

Provocation Series:

ALAO was contacted to ask if the organization would be interested in participating in a Virtual Chat with one of the Project Information Literacy “Provocation Series” authors. These are essays on a variety of stimulating topics; recent speakers have included Barbara Fister, Mike Caulfield, and Nicole Cooke. PIL asked if ALAO might participate in joint sponsorship of a future chat. While ALAO is not prepared to participate at this time, it is an opportunity to revisit in the future. For more information about the essay series see

April Board Meeting

The next board meeting is scheduled for April 15, 2022.

ALAO Newsletter Vice President/President Elect Report March 2021

Annual Conference:

As the pandemic numbers continue to fall, my enthusiasm for an in-person conferences has grown. The 2022 Conference Planning Committee has selected as the theme for the ALAO’s 49th conference “The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.” This year’s theme reflects changes made necessary by an unrelenting pandemic and racial tensions that inspired academic libraries to challenge tradition and question our neutral stance. The dates for the in-person preconference and conference are Thursday, November 3rd and Friday, November 4th and will be held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. Alexia Hudson-Ward, formerly an award-winning entertainment editor, public radio promotions coordinator, Coca-Cola Company marketing manager and now Associate Director for Research and Learning at MIT, has agreed to be keynote speaker. She edits a weekly blog launched by Choice—Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE)—that explores issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion affecting the library community [See]. Ms. Hudson-Ward has an Ohio connection—she was previously the Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries at Oberlin College. The preconference program is under development and will also feature Ms. Hudson-Ward. There will be an informal “Welcome Back” themed social time Thursday evening with hors d’ouevres and beverages to allow attendees to connect/reconnect. An RSVP will be asked from anyone planning to attend. I am grateful for the efforts of the conference planning committee thus far as we continue transitioning back to the in-person event.

Before I move on, I would like to thank Kristin Cole for her work on the conference planning committee, and congratulate her on accepting a position at Cengage. I would like to also give a big thank you to Katy Tucker for volunteering to take Kristin’s place on the team working with conference exhibitors. That’s the spirit!

Call for ALAO 2022 Conference Proposals

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 49th Annual Conference, “The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.” 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:

▪ Barriers to accessing information ▪ Censorship ▪ Crisis management ▪ DEI in Information Literacy Instruction ▪ Emerging technology solutions ▪ Inclusive cataloging and collections ▪ Libraries as space/third space ▪ Misinformation ▪ Service changes/transitions

Proposal Elements

One proposal form is used for all presentation types:

▪ Presentation (50-minute session with time for Q&A) ▪ Poster Session ▪ Lightning Talk (live talk up to 7 minutes, with Q&A after talks. Time limits will be strictly enforced.)

Submission deadline is April 15, 2022.

For more information visit

This entry was posted in Vol. 40 no. 1 (March 2022) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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