ACRL Chapters Council Report

During the 2020-2021 academic year, the ACRL Representative:

  • Forwarded to the ALAO Board list or the ALAO membership list information emailed from ACRL as appropriate.
  • Attended ALAO board meetings, and communicated questions to ACRL as necessary.
  • Compiled the Ohio Chapter Annual Report for ACRL

Updates from ACRL Chapters Council at ALA Annual

  • ALA
    • Forward Together – many resolutions are being drawn up; there is movement but it is taking a great deal of time.
    • Membership and the value of membership is top of mind for leadership.
  • ACRL
    • Awards program is on a one year pause while a taskforce determines if the awards are still relevant to members.
    • CR&L News will be online-only starting January 2022
    • Membership is under discussion – focusing on retention and engagement; identifying why people leave.
    • ACRL taskforce is looking at the budget as it relates to EDI work in ACRL, and if ACRL is living its values
  • LibLearnX
    • Replacing Midwinter, and will focus more on content and less on meetings.
    • Call for proposals forthcoming.

-Created by Katie Blocksidge, The Ohio State University at Newark.  Submitted by Jane Hammons, Liaison to ACRL, The Ohio State University

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 3 (Sept 2021) | Leave a comment

Funding Opportunities Column

ALAO Conference Support Staff Grant

Are you a staff member planning to attend or present at the 2021 ALAO Conference? Consider applying for the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Support Staff Conference Grant.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) seeks to encourage support staff development and participation in ALAO activities through the Support Staff Grant. To that end, the ALAO Executive Board may award up to $150 annually to assist and encourage support staff to attend the ALAO Annual Conference. All support staff currently employed in an Ohio academic library are eligible to apply. Priority is given to applicants with an accepted 2021 ALAO conference program proposal.


  • Support staff currently employed in an Ohio academic library 
  • ALAO membership is not required

Application Deadline: Thursday, September 23, 2021 11:59 p.m.

Awardees will be notified by October 01, 2021. 

For more information apply online. To learn more about the ALAO Support Staff Conference Grant visit the ALAO website.

If you have any questions about the Support Staff Grant, please contact Professional Development Committee chair, Elizabeth Sullivan.”

As far as the other grants go, we’re not soliciting applicants for the Continuing Education grant until November, and we don’t have the webpage or forms set up yet, but if you want to do a short blurb reminding people that it exists, we can say the following, 

ALAO Continuing Education Grant Coming Soon

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant is awarded each year to support the cost of participating in professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, seminars, which are related to the member’s current position or in pursuit of a professional library degree. Current ALAO members are eligible to apply for funds to defray the costs of attending any library-related educational opportunity occurring during the calendar year. Applications for 2022 will open in November 2021.

–Elizabeth Sullivan, Professional Development Committee Chair, Oberlin College

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 3 (Sept 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

People & Library News

Bluffton University News

As of September 1, 2021, Carrie Phillips will officially assume the role Library Director for Bluffton University’s Musselman Library.  She has been serving in that role in an interim capacity since August 1, 2020.

–Carrie Phillips, Bluffton University

Bryant & Stratton College Cleveland/Solon News

Joseph Dudley (Bryant & Stratton College – Cleveland/Solon) will present “Introduction to the BSC Libraries Intranet” at the BSC librarians’ annual meeting on August 27.

–Joseph Dudley, Bryant & Stratton College-Cleveland/Solon

Case Western Reserve University News

The Kelvin Smith Library is hiring an Archivist or the Scholarly Resources and Special Collections team. Click here for more details.

Amanda Koziura
co-authored an article published in In the Library with the Lead Pipe titled, “Service Ceiling: The High Cost of Professional Development for Academic Librarians.” The article discusses a national survey that reveals the inequitable landscape of professional development funding for academic librarians in the United States prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ben Gorham coauthored an article in the Journal of Map and Geography Libraries (JMGL) on the 2020 3C GIS Day Ben co-organized with librarians from OSU and the University of Cincinnati. In the article, they build on earlier research to reassess the landscape of Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member involvement in GIS Day programs and, in particular, how these events demonstrate the educational and collaborative aspects of geospatial information services in libraries.

Daniela Solomon presented a poster and lightning talk at the 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference titled “Engineering Literature Retractions: Applications to Scholarly Communications Training.

Implemented by Daniela Solomon, Mark Clemente, and R. Benjamin Gorham, the Kelvin Smith Library’s online Research Impact Challenge from 2020 is recognized as noteworthy for the 2021 inaugural annual Notable Works list of ACRL’s Academic Library Services for Graduate Students Interest Group.  More information, including the list of works being recognized, is available here.

Daniela Solomon, Mark Clemente, and Shelby Stuart jointly presented a lightning talk at the 2021 STEM Librarians Collaborative Conference titled “Licensing STEM resources for specialized sources and emerging research tools”.

Jena Styka recently gave a professional presentation at Springshare’s SpringyCamp 2021. Her presentation titled “Harnessing LibCal Seat Reservation Data to Improve Library Spaces” showed how she used data from Springshare’s LibSeat app during Covid-19 to make layout changes for the fall semester.

Liz Bober co-presented with Dr. Molly Watkins, Assistant Provost for International Affairs, at the 2021 QS Quacquarelli Symonds EduData Summit 2021 on June 9th as part of the Untapped Expertise track. They discussed Forging Connections Across Campus to Drive Research and Build Reputation where they focused on the university’s strategic initiative to improve international rankings and how collaborating with the library, and others across campus, has strengthened the institutional reputation.

Marie Vibbert‘s novella The Unlikely Heroines of Callisto Station was given the cover treatment by Analog: Science Fiction and Fact magazine in the July/August issue.

Stephanie Church gave a virtual presentation on June 3rd at the 2021 Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians (OVGTSL) conference titled “Tableau Your Stacks: Using Data Visualization to Analyze Collections.” Stephanie talked about how she set up Tableau to access data from Sierra’s SQL database and shared some of the strategies she has used to find useful data, analyze it, and create and share visualizations using Tableau. See Stephanie’s Public Tableau at:

KSL Special Collections is proud to announce a new acquisition, a “luxury facsimile of the Mechelen Choirbook.” The original was produced by the workshop of Petrus Alamire in the early 16th century and is still held in Mechelen, the city where it was made. Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections recently acquired one of five such facsimiles, created through the Alamire Foundation, and holds the only such copy in North America. The tooled leather binding, beautiful color illustrations within, and the size (over two feet tall) are all exact reproductions of the original. The facsimile will be used by the CWRU Music Department’s Musicology and Historical Performance Practice students. 

-Brian Gray, Case Western Reserve University

Photo by William Claspy

Cedarville University News

The Centennial Library at Cedarville University welcomed several new staff members this summer to fill open positions at the library.

Jess Elder was appointed as the library’s Health Sciences Librarian beginning on July 1.  Jess completed her MLIS in December 2020 at Kent State University while working in a staff capacity at the Centennial Library.  As Health Sciences Librarian, she contributes to the development and delivery of library instructional services, research and information services, and individual research assistance, with special focus on undergraduate and graduate health sciences students and faculty.

Holly Caldwell began work as the library’s Collection Management Assistant on June 28, 2021.  She is responsible for collection management and acquisitions tasks, with an emphasis on books and audiovisual materials.  She also assists with OhioLINK, course reserves, and staffing the library’s MediaPLEX.

Anna Jennings started as the library’s Public Services Assistant on July 26, 2021.  In this role, she assists with staffing the library’s Service Desk and providing Circulation services as well as staffing the MediaPLEX desk. 

Jess (2017), Holly (2019), and Anna (2020) each participated in the library’s internship program while they were students at Cedarville, earning academic credit while learning more about library operations and careers.

-Joshua B. Michael, Cedarville University

Mulford Health Science Library, the University of Toledo News

  • Gerald Natal and Jodi Jameson were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Congratulations!
  • The Mulford Health Science Library has started major renovations of its primary study space. In response to student requests, study rooms are being reconfigured to hold groups of 8-10, with whiteboards, new lighting, and improved soundproofing; adding study carrels with height-adjustable work surfaces; replacing chairs at study tables, and rebuilding restrooms for increased capacity and ADA accessibility.
  • In May, Jolene Miller presented the results of her research project, “Health Science Librarians’ Engagement in Work-Related Reflection: A Qualitative Exploration of Why They Invest in Reflective Practice,” at the 2021 Medical Library Association vConference. This project was supported by a research grant from the ALAO Research and Publications Committee.

–Jolene Miller, Mulford Health Science Library, University of Toledo

Oberlin College News

Valerie Hotchkiss joined Oberlin College in September as the Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries, following a national search during which Tracy Sutherland, Associate Director and Head of Public Services, served as the Interim Director.

For the past five years, Hotchkiss served as University Librarian at Vanderbilt University. Prior to that, she led Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University and the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois. In addition to leading the Vanderbilt Libraries, Hotchkiss served as professor of English at Vanderbilt. She earned a bachelor’s in classics at the University of Cincinnati (which awarded her a distinguished alumna award), a master’s in library science, and a Ph.D in medieval studies at Yale University. She is the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles on medieval cultural history, women’s studies, and topics on the history of books and printing.

Alison Ricker, Oberlin College

University of Dayton News

University of Dayton Libraries is proud to announce several new hires in the Collections Strategies & Services department:

  • Simon Robins will join as the Coordinator of Electronic Resources & Discovery and Assistant Professor on September 1.
  • Grace Huffman will join as the Special Collections Cataloging & Circulation Assistant on September 1.
  • Jill Crane will join as the Coordinator of Cataloging & Metadata and Associate Professor on October 1.

-Katy Kelly, University of Dayton

University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College News

Jeanette Albiez Davis Library at the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College is pleased to announce that Ms. Carrie Girton has joined its staff as Systems and Cataloging Specialist. Carrie’s primary responsibilities include administering and maintaining the integrated library system (ILS); performing original and copy cataloging of library materials in all formats; and overseeing the library’s technical services functions. She also serves as Davis Library’s Collection Development Liaison Librarian to the Holzer School of Nursing and Allied Health. Carrie comes to us from Miami University Hamilton, where she worked for nine years as a Public Services Librarian at the Rentschler Library. Originally from the Ohio Appalachian Region, she wanted to move back to the area to be closer to her hometown and family. Carrie also wanted to take her librarian skills to a new level by transitioning to technical services, where she can explore and implement various library access tools to improve information use and delivery. Carrie holds an M.L.S. degree from the University of Kentucky and the focus of her latest research is on how libraries can employ Empathy-Based Marketing strategies to enhance their outreach efforts.

-Amy R. Wilson, University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 3 (Sept 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

President’s Report

Mandi Goodsett, ALAO President

With the academic year winding to a close, the ALAO Board should be proud of what we have been able to accomplish this year, even during a pandemic. Here are some highlights and updates since the last newsletter. 

DEI Survey. ALAO’s DEI survey closed at the end of April. A small team of volunteers analyzed the survey and created a short report to share with ALAO members and guide our next steps. We will be giving a presentation about the survey at the OhioLINK Summit in July, and we’ll have more details about our plans after the ALAO Board Retreat on July 16th. For access to the full survey results, please reach out to me.

ALAO Code of Conduct. ALAO has officially completed the process of updating our Code of Conduct and ancillary documents! The Code of Conduct and reporting forms can be found on the ALAO website, and the internal reporting workflow document is in the process of being added to ALAO’s Procedures Manual. Edith Scarletto and I will be presenting about the process of adopting these important documents at the next ACRL Chapters Council meeting in July. 

We Here Scholarships. ALAO will continue to offer We Here scholarships to members, and management for these scholarships will be overseen by the Professional Development Committee. We didn’t have any applicants this year, so please be thinking about what We Here events you might like to attend for our next round of scholarships!

Transition to 2021 ALAO Board. Thank you to all of our ALAO Board members whose terms are ending this July, and congratulations and welcome to all of our newly appointed or elected Board members! Your service is very much appreciated!

ALAO 2021 Board Retreat. The ALAO Board Retreat will occur on July 16th and take place fully online. Besides taking care of succession activities, the retreat will be a chance to set organizational goals for the coming year. I’m excited to pass the gavel to Jess Crossfield McIntosh at the retreat!

Thank you to all of the ALAO Board members for a productive year, and for being such a pleasure to work with! It has been a privilege to lead such an innovative and dedicated group of colleagues.

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 1 (March 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

2021 ALAO Executive Board Election Results Announced

Katy Mathuews, Past President

I am happy to announce the candidates who will be joining the Executive Board for the 2021-2022 year. Please join me in congratulating:

Vice President/President Elect:  Gerald Natal
Treasurer:  Don Appleby
Public Relations (PR) Coordinator:  Melissa Cox Norris
Board Members-at-Large:  Melissa Bauer, Kristen Peters, Chris Robinson-Nkongola

Many thanks to all candidates who stepped up to run during such a challenging time.

Also, kudos to the following members for their support during this election cycle:
Maureen Barry, Nominating Committee
Heidi Gauder, Nominating Committee
Edith Scarletto, Nominating Committee
Seth Sisler, Web Manager

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 2 (June 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Conference Update

We are halfway through 2021 and getting closer every day to ALAO’s 47th Annual Conference: Building Bridges: Dialogue, Deliberation, and Connection in Academic Libraries. I am happy to share updates on behalf of the amazing Conference Planning Committee.

Jessica Crossfield McIntosh, Vice President/President Elect
  • Registration for the conference will open mid-June with registration fees remaining static from last year.
  • We are currently reviewing conference proposals and will have the program schedule in July. For those who submitted proposals, you should be contacted about the results by the end of June. Thank you for your submissions!
  • We will be adding lighting talk sessions to the conference this year, and a new pre-conference social event. Stay tuned for updates.

In addition to engaging sessions and posters presented by your colleagues, registrants will have access to the presentations of our workshop and keynote speakers, Fobazi Ettarh, Sofia Leung, and Nicole Cooke.

We look forward to seeing you at our online event this fall!

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 2 (June 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Research Grant Recipient Announced

Feng-Ru Sheu

The Research and Publications Committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Feng-Ru Sheu, Instructional Design Librarian at Kent State University, has been awarded 2021 ALAO Research Grant funds for her project “Flipped Classrooms for One-Shot Library Instruction in Remote Teaching (in the time of COVID)”. She will be exploring the use of the flipped classroom model for “one-shot” library instruction sessions in an online learning environment, focusing on student experiences and learning outcomes for this approach. We congratulate Dr. Sheu and look forward to hearing about the results of her research.

–Ken Irwin, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair, Miami University
–Katy Tucker, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair, Xavier University

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 2 (June 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 321 members consisting of 288 regular members, 5 retiree members, and 28 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between February 25, 2021 and May 28, 2021.

Zaineb Bayahy, Capital University

Jennifer Blasi, Xavier University

Nicole Conforto, Wayne State University

Donna Fuller, Columbus State Community College

Laura Maidens, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Katie Maxfield, Wittenberg University

Sam Mays, Kent State University

Karen McKillip, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Dawn Winans, Kettering University

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 2 (June 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Shannon Simpson from Kenyon College Libraries!

What is/are your role(s) in academic libraries?

My job title is Scholarly Instruction Librarian, but I think of my role, as a BIPOC Librarian in the Academic Librarian field, as one of constant education and learning and creating. Whether that be with fellow librarians working to learn and incorporate critical pedagogy and librarianship into our everyday work, or working with students and faculty to develop and engage a deeper understanding of the world of information and how that insight is essential to using and working and creating new information responsibly.

What do you like most about academic library work?

I adore working with college students. I am a creative person that relishes the challenge of taking difficult information literacy concepts, figuring out where and how they should be approached from a more critical and social justice standpoint, and then creating interactive classroom experiences that engage learners in ways that are new and a bit different than what they are expecting or have experienced. While great classroom experiences require quite a lot of planning, when it goes well, it feels like magic. I’m here for that. 

What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?

I am so over the moon to be working with an amazing team of enthusiastic librarians in the coming year on a CODEX funded project: Reframing the ACRL Framework: A Roadmap for Equitable Information Literacy Instruction. We’re working from a shared desire to create learning objects based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of inequity and racism through the lens of media and information literacy. This project has given a group of librarians from Denison, Wooster, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan (and Kenyon) the opportunity to start with a reflective process on teaching, social justice, and anti-racism, in order to move toward the development and implementation of unique learning tools that are long overdue in our field. I am so excited to see where we go with this! 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I have a running list of fictional band names and album titles that I randomly come up with. For instance, I am just waiting for a rap/metal act named Kombucha to come on the scene after dropping their single, “Trace Amounts” from their debut album, “The Mother.” There’s no doubt it will be a banger.

What do you love about being an ALAO member? (Or if you’re a newer member, you might prefer to answer Why did you join ALAO?)

I am a newer member, but I spent years in a couple of Maryland-wide groups. I’ve found that being able to learn and grow and collaborate with librarians across different campuses is always inspiring. I feel so lucky to work with a truly dynamic group of librarians at Kenyon, but it’s just as wonderful to hear from and learn and grow with the myriad talented librarians across Ohio. 

On a more serious note, however,  I think librarians are at a precipice. We need to decide whether or not we want to do the hard work of rooting out and tearing down library systems of oppression in order to build new structures that support all information seekers. It’s in no way easy work, but if ALAO is up to that challenge it will have lasting impacts for generations. I have hope that we can transform ourselves and our libraries from information gatekeepers into information gateways.

Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

Posted in Vol. 41 no. 2 (June 2021) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interest Group News

Message from the Interest Group Coordinator

ALAO’s interest groups don’t stop over summer! ALAO has 12 active special interest groups that have formed to discuss concerns and issues related to academic librarianship in Ohio. Keep an eye on the ALAO events page for summer and fall events brought to you by our interest groups! Joining an interest group is a great way to participate in leadership events and network with fellow librarians and library staff. For more information visit the ALAO website

–Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator, Stark State College

Collection Management Interest Group (CMIG)

Partners in Success: Libraries and Vendors

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Collection Management Interest Group (CMIG) is offering a virtual meeting that will focus on library and vendor partnerships. There will be 3 presentations of about 15-minutes each followed by Q&A, open discussion, and group brainstorming on these topics. The presentations would look at various concepts embedded in close collaborations as demonstrated through real-world examples, best practices, and/or successful results. Zoom will be used for the meeting on July 14, 2021, at 2pm-3:30pm. Registration will be required, but the meeting will be free.

Registration at:

As a group, we will explore:

  • The benefit to vendors on collaboration and why they want to see partnerships.
  • How librarians and staff can directly influence and direct the resources, tools, and platforms offered by vendors.
  • How librarians and staff can push for change in how vendors interact with libraries and users, including communication, assessment, fiscal terms, behind-the-scenes processes, automation, etc.

Stephanie Church (Acquisitions Librarian, Kelvin Smith Library, CWRU)

Stephanie will discuss why librarian/vendor relationships should be viewed as symbiotic and how taking time to nurture these relationships is one of the most effective ways to advocate for yourself, your library, and the profession.

Stephanie Church is an Acquisitions Librarian at Case Western Reserve University’s Kelvin Smith Library. Her primary responsibilities include monograph purchases in any format, managing and implementing user-driven initiatives, collection assessment, and vendor relations.

Sharice Collins (VP of Marketing and Market Engagement, IOP Publishing, Inc.)

Title: Partners in Scholarly Communication

There are many opportunities for vendors and librarians to work together to achieve mutual benefit.  Sharice will discuss how to identify,  develop, and evolve those partnerships and will share some examples of success.

Sharice Collins is Vice President of Marketing and Market Engagement for IOP Publishing.  Based in the Philadelphia Headquarters, Sharice is a member of the company’s Senior Management Team, overseeing all marketing, promotion, and exhibit activities for the Americas.

Michelle Kraft, MLS, AHIP, FMLA (Director, Cleveland Clinic Health System Libraries)

Negotiating with library vendors is not a full-contact sport and viewing it as such will leave you and the rep mentally bruised, battered, and most likely no closer to an equitable solution. Listening, strategic sharing, and understanding, qualities found more in diplomacy, tend to be more productive, less stressful, and often lead to future positive experiences.

Michelle Kraft is the Library Director of the Cleveland Clinic Health System. As the Director, Michelle oversees library resources and services for multiple hospitals in Ohio and across the United States. As a result, she works with vendors on the best methods for providing access to online resources to a diverse group of medical professionals with very unique needs.

Any questions, please contact the CMIG Co-Chairs:

–Sean Kennedy, CMIG Co-Chair, University of Akron
-Brian C. Gray, CMIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University

STEM Interest Group News

STEMIG continues to hold open discussions for members (or anyone interested!) to drop in, connect with colleagues, and discuss whatever is on their minds. These virtual discussions take place at 11:00am on the second Friday of each month at this Zoom link. We will next be meeting on June 11th.

In association with the Scholarly Communication IG and the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA), STEMIG is sponsoring the workshop “An Antiracist Framework for Scholarly Communications.” We will be welcoming presenters Niccole Coggins (Editorial, Design, and Production Coordinator & Assistant Project Editor at UVA Press) and Jocelyn Dawson (Journals Marketing Manager at Duke University Press). Librarians and interested faculty can register here:

 A recording will be available following the workshop.

We are also electing our next co-chair! Information about the candidates and a ballot are available at Voting will close on June 11th and the results will be announced on June 18th.

–Zach Sharrow, STEMIG Co-Chair, College of Wooster
–Daniela Solomon, STEMIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University

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