President’s Report

Gerald Natal, ALAO President

Annual Conference Update:

This year’s planning committee has been going full steam as we shift gears from the online conferences of the past two years and return to an in-person event. As of this writing the CPC is hard at work attending to all the numerous necessary details, so that attendees can once again network face-to-face, select from several informative and inspiring sessions, and celebrate our colleagues with special awards. There are 27 presentations, 10 posters, and 5 lightning talks scheduled, with what I believe is a good balance of topics across subjects and interest group areas. Both the pre-conference program (“Beyond Being “Good Colleagues:” Implementing and Sustaining Active Allyship Practices Within Academic Libraries”) and conference keynote (“Active Allyship in Action”) [Note: titles have changed from the original working titles posted] will be presented by Alexia Hudson-Ward, Associate Director of Research and Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, and Editor-in-Chief of Choice’s Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE). The TIE blog features musings on equity, diversity, and inclusion of interest to the library community. Please note that the titles of these programs have been changed from the original working titles.

Revive and Reconnect at ALAO! There will be a casual social event after the pre-conference for everyone to gather and get caught up after two-plus years of the Sword of Damocles that is the pandemic. Light refreshments will be served.

For those who may have concerns about COVID as an uninvited guest at the conference, the CPC has thought of safety precautions such as table spacing, options for dining outside the ballroom area, masking, and contact identifiers on name tags.

Conference registration opened on August 15th; if you have not yet registered, there is still time to take advantage of the early bird rate—the deadline is Friday, September 24th. Registration will close on Wednesday, October 19th. If you will be presenting at the conference, please be aware that you are required to register by September 24th. Please visit the conference website for details on registration.

I continue to publicly express my gratitude to the CPC for their efforts towards putting on this event, and I hope to see you all there—long-time members, new members, and colleagues outside the organization alike!

Call for Nominations: Jay Ladd Distinguished Service and Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Awards:

The ALAO Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award and the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award.

The Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has:

  1. been an Academic Library Association of Ohio member for at least 5 years
  2. promoted academic libraries and librarianship on his or her own campus and within the state 
  3. provided sustained leadership in the promotion of Academic Library Association of Ohio, e.g., committee service, interest group chair, position on the Executive Board

Additional information about the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award is available at

Please submit nominations for the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award through the Jay Ladd Online Nomination Form

The Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award recognizes an individual who has: 

  1. demonstrated excellence as a mentor to a librarian, library worker, or library science student
  2. a sustained record of effective mentorship, as demonstrated by activities that may include but not be limited to advising, developing, coaching, sponsoring, advocating, guiding, and/or supporting librarians, library workers, or library students

Additional information about the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award is available at

Please submit nominations for the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award through the Kathryn Venditti Online Nomination Form

NOTE: You may nominate more than one person for each award! Your reasons for nominating your candidate(s) will be especially valuable to the Awards Committee so please be as detailed as possible.

Please submit your nominations by Friday, October 14, 2022.

**** If you nominated someone for either of these awards last year, please consider nominating them again this year. There were several excellent candidates, but unfortunately only one winner for each award—so here is another opportunity to celebrate those individuals who have made a difference to you personally and to the profession. ****

Questions? Please contact Gerald, ALAO President and Awards Committee Chair at

2022 Executive Board Retreat Report:

This year’s Executive Board retreat was held in person on Friday, July 15th. The Board had its last business meeting before new members transitioned on. The first order of business for the new version of the Board was to review the established goals and accomplishments over the past year to check for alignment with the 2019-2024 strategic plan. Goals that remained unaddressed were given new consideration. The current strategic plan is comprised of the following focus areas and objectives:

Focus 1: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Goal: ALAO will exemplify equity, diversity, and inclusion in daily practices, foster those practices in its membership, and position members to become effective advocates on important issues facing the profession.

Focus 2: Expanding our Horizons

Goal: ALAO will position itself as a regional leader for an array of professional development activities, expanding and innovating upon its well-revered suite of programming.

Focus 3: Efficient and Purposeful

Goal: ALAO will build upon partnerships, management best practices, and sound organizational strategy to refine practices that position ALAO as current, efficient, and valuable.

ALAO activities over the past year successfully addressed each of these focus areas. I am particularly proud of the work done by various committees, task forces, and interest groups towards the goal of exemplifying equity, diversity, and inclusion in our daily practices. Examples include the creation and adopting of a new DEIA/Antiracist Statement, finalizing the DEIA toolkit, and the numerous program offerings both at the 2021 conference and those which were offered throughout the year. Some of the ideas generated at the retreat to continue to build on these efforts included:

  • Doing a review of ALAO’s Bylaw’s and Procedures Manual to improve communication within organization and to look for exclusive language
  • Exploring strategic goals for interest groups and encouraging IG collaborations with the Diversity Committee
  • Investigating opportunities for collaboration with other organizations, possibly a future joint conference
  • Developing opportunities for LIS students within ALAO
  • In consideration of ALAO’s annual report to ACRL, looking at ways to better convey the value of libraries to higher education
  • Utilizing ALAO’s newsletter as a forum for issues of concern to Ohio librarians
  • Thoroughly investigating the possibility of hybrid events

Stay tuned to the ALAO Newsletter for progress as these ideas are developed.

This entry was posted in Vol. 40 no. 3 (Sept 2022) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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