Zhiyan Chen Awarded Diversity Scholarship

ALAO Diversity Scholarship Poster Email LargeOn behalf of the ALAO Diversity Committee, co-chairs Yuimi Hlasten and Bree Miller are pleased to announce that the 2017 ALAO Diversity Scholarship recipient is Zhiyan Chen of Kent State University. Ms. Hlasten presented the scholarship certificate to Ms. Chen during the 2017 Annual Conference.diversity scholarship winner

Ms. Chen is completing her Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State this semester and has been admitted to a Ph.D. program in Library Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

While at Kent State, Ms. Chen worked as a Student Assistant Supervisor, where she enjoyed helping patrons with both technical and non-technical questions. She previously attended Cleveland State University and worked as a metadata assistant at the Michael Schwartz Library, assisting with data clean-up, researching software and databases, and handling archive materials.

Applicant information for next year’s annual Diversity Scholarship, which will be awarded to a student attending courses in a graduate program in library science in the Autumn Semester of 2018, will be shared in January.

-Yuimi Hlasten, The Ohio State University, Diversity Committee Co-Chair-Bree Miller, Columbus State Community College, Diversity Committee Co-Chair

Posted in Vol. 36 no. 4 (Dec. 2017) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Notes from the Trenches

Teaching UNV 101 at Miami University

I recently had the pleasure of teaching a one credit Introduction to university resources course to incoming first year and transfer students, called UNV 101 at Miami University. The course introduced students to resources available to help them succeed in college and beyond including academic advising, tutoring, library tools, and more. We also discussed potentially uncomfortable or divisive topics such as diversity and inclusion throughout the course. Teaching this course afforded me the opportunity to not only teach students about campus resources such as the library, but also gave me the chance to build meaningful connections with incoming students–both of which contribute to student retention and success.

Teaching UNV 101 gave me an opportunity to do more than is typically possible during the one-shot library instruction session. Thomas Atwood spoke on the importance of librarians actively engaging to assist transfer students acclimation to their new environment. We can actively participate in campus wide efforts aimed at student retention and success through engagement efforts (2017). I strongly agree and suggest librarians consider focusing more engagement efforts on teaching full semester courses such as the UNV 101 course.

In the past, I enjoyed connecting with students in the classroom environment as an adjunct psychology professor. It was a pleasure to see my students’ eyes light up when they developed new insight into complex issues or concepts. My goal was simple: help students develop an intrinsic interest in learning so they would intentionally choose to evaluate information to make responsible decisions.

Teaching the UNV 101 course was an invaluable opportunity to build meaningful connections with the students. Courses in which librarians can interact with students on a weekly basis are integral to building real connections with the student body. Further, librarians specialize in assessing information for quality, accuracy and bias. When we step outside of the role of providing information on library resources only and lead safe, balanced discussions on issues that students are deeply concerned about, we increase our opportunity to develop student–librarian rapport.

I am grateful to Lindsay Miller, the coordinator of Miami University Libraries’ involvement in the UNV 101 course for having made my participation in in UNV 101 possible. My belief is that the connections I formed with students during this course will in turn increase the likelihood that students will feel comfortable approaching librarians in the future. A librarian teaching a course such as this helps the students develop an appreciation for the librarian as a resource in and of herself. Students will be confident that not only will librarians provide them with help in accessing information, but also that they will be treated with respect and understanding.


Atwood, T. (2017, October) From Invisible to Just Within Our Sights: Constructing Pedagogical Supports for Transfer Students in Academic Libraries. Paper presented at Academic Library Association of Ohio. Columbus, Ohio.

-Anna Liss Jacobsen, Miami University

10 Tips for Successful Systematic Reviews with Students

Fall, in my library world, has become synonymous with systematic reviews (SR). It’s been quite a journey figuring out how to distill the skills needed for a successful SR into something that’s manageable for graduate students, who may have robust or very little pervious literature searching training. Despite the time intensiveness of this type of learning initiative, student feedback continues to affirm that SR can be a very effective way to deepen expertise, learn critical analysis and apply holistic perspectives. The level of engagement required opens the door to important “aha” moments for students. Discussion about the importance of good research questions, search strategy and identifying bias and spin come alive to students within the context of practicing good, evidence-based medicine or crafting evidence-based policy. It’s important to note that Systematic Reviews are not just for the health sciences. The Campbell Collaboration, the sister initiative of Cochrane, provides access to the wealth of work also being done in the social sciences, including education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.  Systematic reviews require a team and I’m grateful to be working with the faculty and students in the Physical Therapy Department at Walsh University who have been innovative and curious, so that we can now share 10 things we’ve learned.

  • Good research questions are foundational.
    Deriving meaning from data depends on someone’s ability to mine what’s there and make real connections to people’s lives.
  • Encourage students to stay open to the process.
    Sometimes, what they don’t find is the significant discovery.
  • Effective groups organize according to skills and strengths.
    Who is great at asking the right questions; has literature searching experience; knows how to organize data; can provide analysis; is a strong writer?
  • Don’t skip the scoping searches!
    Students seem to want to skip this step, but it’s critical for identifying effective subject headings and terms, selecting resources to search, and understanding how individual databases function.
  • Subject headings may be a new concept

In a world of keyword searching, students may need help understanding how subject headings work, how they can be mined through scoping searches and how they are combined with key/textword in databases.

  • Translation between databases is challenging
    The fact that no two databases search the same way, can present a steep and unexpected learning curve for students. Consider providing resources that help students distinguish between features and field codes.
  • Relearning searching

Students may struggle with how to apply their previous research experience to the unique blend of sensitivity and specificity a SR requires. Plan on individualized research consultations and have students submit a preliminary search strategy and terms in advance.

  • Gray literature sources may not be obvious.

Explain what gray literature is, why it is important and provide examples.

  • Expect questions about exporting citations.

Each database has its own quirks. Providing tutorials for tools and resources that help with citations, exporting data, or using Excel for SR are welcome.

  • Don’t assume graduate students have literature searching experience.

Students come to graduate school with a diversity of undergraduate exposure to literature searching and may need preparation workshops or tutorials.

Recommended book: Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide by Angela Boland, Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson. ISBN:  978-1446269688

An effective systematic review process with students requires setting up a very structured framework. Providing an intensive combination of resources, tutorials and personalized consultation with the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of student skillsets is essential. Librarians can facilitate the lengthy SR process by keeping lines of communication open between course faculty, faculty mentors, librarians and student team leaders. Students are energized when their hard work culminates in publication, but even when it doesn’t, remind them of the value of the process. Insights are gained and new questions for exploration emerge.

-Heidi Beke-Harrigan, Member Services Coordinator, OhioNET and Adjunct Faculty, Physical Therapy Program, Walsh University


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Membership Update

During the business meeting at the 2017 ALAO Annual Conference on October 27, 2017, the Membership Chair reported that ALAO boasts 339 regular members, 6 retiree members, and 29 student members. We extend a special welcome to our newest members (joined since September 1, 2017):

  • Ginny Boehme, Miami University
  • Zach Walton, Ohio State University-Lima
  • Sarah Schaff, Denison University
  • Karmen Beecroft, Ohio University
  • Julie McDaniel, Sinclair Community College
  • Nainsi Houston, Muskingum University
  • Mackenna Swing, Ohio State University/Kent State iSchool
  • Prashant Shrivastava, Vmou Kota University
  • Steven Pfeiffer, University of Kentucky

-Katy Mathuews, Membership Chair, Ohio University

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Interest Group Reports

Instruction Interest Group – Report

SAVE THE DATE – 2018 ALAO IIG/DLIG Co-Hosted Spring Workshop

Mark your calendars and please join us this coming May 4th, 2018 at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus for a co-hosted IIG and DLIG Spring Workshop!  This year’s program will again be dedicated to exploring practical applications of the ACRL Framework, specifically with regard to the“Authority is Constructed and Contextual” Frame.  We are planning a hands-on workshop where participants will explore and create guidelines for online and in-person tutorials using reflective instruction and critical thinking pedagogy.  More information coming soon about workshop registration and program details.

IIG at ALAO Conference 2017

Two of our IIG planning committee members presented at the annual ALAO Conference this past October, with sessions providing valuable insights on how librarians around the state are addressing this issue of Fake News in their user services programming.  IIG Co-Chair, Mandi Goodsett (Cleveland State University), presented a session entitled, Critical Thinking and the ACRL Framework: Combating Fake News and Fallacies, and Hanna Schmillen (Ohio University) served as a panelist for a session entitled, #Fake News: Ohio Libraries Take Action on Misinformation.  Both sessions were well attended and included lively audience participation and discussion.  The IIG also hosted an open roundtable and had several conversations with conference attendees about our interest group’s recent programs and activities.

Blog for us!

Have a great teaching experience or instruction strategy to share?  Post it on our IIG Blog!  Contact either of the IIG Co-chairs if you’ve got a story or reflection you’d like to share on our blog, or if you are just interested in finding out more about the IIG!

-Mark Eddy, Case Western Reserve University, IIG Co-Chair
-Mandi Goodsett, Cleveland State University, IIG Co-Chair

Support Staff Interest Group News

The Staff Support Interest Group has been working on the Spring 2018 Workshop for March 12, 2018 held at the Clermont College in Batavia, Ohio. The workshop will be from 10:00 am-3:00 pm with pre-registration beginning at 9:30 am.

The cost is $30 for ALAO members and $35 for non-members.

This is a great networking opportunity with other library support-staff colleagues.  There will be learning sessions including tips & tricks for using Innovative Interface’s Sierra library system and employing student workers. The keynote session is, “No One is Untouched” on the opioid epidemic and how libraries are impacted.

Moe’s Southwest Grill will be catering the event with a Fajita Bar and their famous Queso.

Feel free to share this invitation with colleagues who may benefit from attending. Additional details including registration information will be forthcoming!

SSIG Co-Chairs

-Jennine Vlach, Case Western Reserve University, SSIG Co-Chair
-Natalie Winland, University of Cincinnati-Clermont College, SSIG Co-Chair

Posted in Vol. 36 no. 4 (Dec. 2017) | Tagged | Leave a comment

People & Library News

Ashland University News

Ashland University Library has hired a new Technical Services Librarian, Chloe Bragg, who is a recent graduate of the Kent State University iSchool.  Welcome to AU Chloe!

-Anita Slack, Ashland University, Communications Editor

Case Western Reserve University News

3rd National Personal Librarian & First Year Experience Conference | March 21-22, 2018

We here at Kelvin Smith Library are proud to host this important gathering for academic leaders from across the United States and Canada. The conference is the first and only of its kind in the country that focuses on all aspects of the first year student experience and the personalization of outreach and services for incoming students. Additionally, the conference is centered around creating sustainable library initiatives, assessing service and resource outcomes, and building collaborative relationships between the library and across the academic enterprise.

Register today:


Kelvin Smith Library Introduces Two New University Library Workshop Series

In the Fall of 2017, Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University launched two new workshop series to 1) support faculty as they prepare for the promotion and tenure process and 2) show graduate students how to best demonstrate one’s value in a research field. The workshops will help faculty and students navigate the evolving publishing landscape from copyright law, marketing research, online presence, to negotiating publishing contracts.
Increasing your Scholarly Impact for Faculty: Navigating Promotion & Tenure
Increasing your Scholarly Impact for Graduate Students: Getting Publications Recognized

Kelvin Smith Library Announces Launch of Freedman Student Fellowship in Digital Scholarship

This new scholarship is one of the first in the nation funded by private donations which provides direct grants and employment to students in the digital scholarship field. The first two recipients of the scholarship are Case Western Reserve University students: Vishnu Akella, a third-year undergraduate student, and Wen Min, a third-year medical student.

This year’s theme, “Urban planning in Modern America,” focuses on KSL’s Ernst J. Bohn collection. Using these resources, the Freedman Student Fellow projects look at policy and how they impact equity and sustainability in Cleveland communities:

  • Vishnu Akella’s project, “Dream Neighborhoods: Examining Cleveland’s Refugee Housing Communities,” looks at alternative modern solutions to refugee housing, such as Cleveland’s International Village.
  • Wen Min project, “Public Housing and Cleveland’s Health: Impacts Over Half a Decade Later,” explores the correlation between health trends and public housing. For example, despite the moratorium on the use of lead paint for almost 40 years, Min has found that 14.2% of children in Cleveland still test positive for lead poisoning.

For more information:


Walter Freedman and Karen Harrison have committed $250,000 to initiate a major new endowment for this fellowship with a challenge to secure the matching funds in the next 3-5 years.

If you are interested in contributing to the matching funds, please contact Christine Klecic, Director of Library Development, by phone at (216) 368-3510 or by email at Christine.Klecic@case.edu

-Corina Chang, Case Western Reserve University

Help Start a Two-year and Community College ALAO Interest Group

Do you work in a two-year, community, junior or technical college?  Would you be interested in an ALAO Interest group focused on the work being done in two-year or community colleges?  So are we! Contact Sara Klink, Assistant Director of Library Services at Stark State College, sklink@starkstate.edu or Julie McDaniel, Student Success Librarian at Sinclair Community College, julie.mcdaniel@sinclair.edu, to let us know you are interested and to sign the application for Interest Group status within ALAO.  We hope to have everything put together in time to present it to the ALAO Board at the February meeting.

We are also seeking suggestions for a name for the proposed interest group.  “Two-Year, Community, Junior & Technical College Libraries Interest Group” just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.  Send us your recommendation for a name for the group.

-Sara Klink, Stark State College
-Julie McDaniel, Sinclair Community College

Hiram College News

After 33 years, Jeff Wanser is retiring from his position as Government Documents & Collection Development Librarian at Hiram College. Jeff began working there in 1984, after receiving his M.L.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has held a variety of titles over the decades, including Head of Reference, Interim Director, and Interim Cataloger, as well as being an Adjunct faculty member in the Dept. of Sociology and the M.A.I.S. Program.

-Jeff Wanser, Hiram College

Oberlin College News

Oberlin College is seeking an Associate Director of Libraries, following the retirement of Alan Boyd last year.  The job posting is in the final stages of approval.  Look for it here: Jobs at Oberlin, in the Professional Staff category.

-Alison Ricker, Oberlin College, Procedures Manual Coordinator

Posted in Vol. 36 no. 4 (Dec. 2017) | Tagged | Leave a comment

ALAO Conference Update


Katy Kelly, President

Registration is open for the ALAO Annual Conference Libraries Act, Respond, Transform: The A.R.T. of Empowerment on Friday, October 27, 2017, with a pre-“UNconference” on October 26 at Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Columbus. Early-bird registration ends Sept. 15.

The conference’s 28 programs, keynote address by NYU’s April Hathcock, additional poster sessions and roundtable discussions will explore how academic libraries and librarians provide resources and initiate programs, partnerships and policies that empower patrons, staff and stakeholders while advancing equity and social justice.

Don’t miss the Thursday evening social! Make sure you also RSVP at registration for the OhioLINK 25th anniversary celebration.

I also want to highlight the preconference, “Powered by the People.” Attendees will participate in engaging conversations on current topics at this workshop on Thursday, October 26. Gary Daniels from the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will kick off the day with a presentation on students’ rights including speech, religion and privacy. The latter portion of the day will follow an unconference format — a participant-driven exchange of ideas. Attendees will receive an invitation to submit conversation ideas approximately two weeks prior to the event to allow for timely conversations on what matters most to them.

Special thanks to the 2017 program committee for working on this exciting program. Planning this annual conference is volunteer-driven, and the committee’s careful consideration of each detail for the event will surely show. Some highlights are below.

Community Agreements: The conference planners seek to create a space for respectful dialogue and debate about critical issues. Upon registration, attendees will be asked to review and accept a list of community agreements. Conference planners will strive to create spaces in which multiple perspectives can be heard and no one voice dominates. We welcome any suggestions that will make this a safe and productive space for all.

Sustainability: The committee will be selective about what it chooses to print. As such, attendees should stay tuned for details about electronic conference programs, evaluations and more. We encourage attendees to carpool to and from the conference to reduce pollution. We also encourage attendees to bring their own refillable water bottles and coffee mugs to the conference to reduce waste.

I look forward to convening our association for multiple days of important conversation and energizing networking.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

Posted in Vol. 36 no. 3 (Sept 2017) | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Resolution: Honoring and Praising the State Library of Ohio on the Occasion of its 200th Anniversary

On August 4, 2017 at the State Library of Ohio’s 200th Anniversary Celebration, Katy Kelly, President of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, on behalf of the Board and membership of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, presented a resolution and plaque to State Librarian Beverly Cain. Below is the full text of the resolution.

A Resolution

From the Academic Library Association of Ohio

honoring and praising the State Library of Ohio

on the occasion of its 200th anniversary

Whereas, the State Library of Ohio, originally named the Ohio State Library, was established in Columbus, Ohio, on January 28, 1817, as one of the earliest state agencies created;

Whereas, the State Library’s history and current services intersect with the people, cultural heritage, governing structures, education, and libraries of Ohio;

Whereas, the State Library serves the state government and all types of libraries and residents;

Whereas, the vision of the State Library is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests;

Whereas, the State Library is committed to its mission and vision through outreach, programs, services, sharing networks, digitized resources, and collections;

Whereas, the State Library has supported libraries in the critical areas of funding and grants, resource sharing, consortia support, statewide delivery, statistics and reporting, continuing education, and use of facilities; and

Whereas, on August 4, 2017, the State Library of Ohio under the leadership of Beverly Cain celebrates its 200th anniversary,

I, Katy Kelly, President of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, therefore resolve that the Board and membership of the Academic Library Association of Ohio:

  • celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the State Library of Ohio; and
  • honor and praise the State Library of Ohio for its abiding work to ensure every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests.

The residents of Ohio have benefited immeasurably through the efficacy of the State Library of Ohio.  We express our gratitude on behalf of all members of the Academic Library Association of Ohio.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

*Presentation Photo by Christiana Congelio

Posted in Vol. 36 no. 3 (Sept 2017) | Leave a comment