People and Library News

Bryant & Stratton College, Cleveland and Solon News

Joseph Dudley (Bryant & Stratton College, Cleveland and Solon) presented “Creating eBook Collections at Bryant & Stratton College” at the Teaching, Colleges, and Community (TCC) Online Conference, April 14, 2020.

–Joseph Dudley, Bryant & Stratton College, Cleveland and Solon

Case Western Reserve University News

The Kelvin Smith Library was selected for the ALA IRRT-ICC 2020 Best Practices from World Libraries Photo Gallery.  The “Best Practices from World Libraries” photo gallery presents a selection of photographs from around the world, which feature library projects and programs that best demonstrate this year’s ALA theme: the Value of Libraries in Promoting Social Justice and Inclusion. This collection of photographs has been curated by the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) International Connections Committee. See the full photo gallery at See the Kelvin Smith Library’s “Voices A Century Apart” entry at The project at Kelvin Smith Library represents the century separating (and uniting) two men fighting for civil and human rights as outlined in both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. This modernized conversation between Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., portrayed by actors, serves to deliver historical impact through their speeches examining the city’s racial issues.

From the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship:

  • Stephanie Becker presented “Using an Assessment Rubric to Evaluate & Set Digitization Priorities” on March 10 at the Ohio Digitization Interest Group meeting.
  • Ben Gorham presented a paper at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) in Boston in (March 2020). The paper titled Ph{D}H: Digital humanities as escape hatch, goal, or compromise?, was co-authored with Charlie Harper.
  • Ben Gorham and Charlie Harper are participating in CWRU COVID-19 Working Groups, which involves collaborating with others around campus to identify risk and impact factors of COVID-19.
  • Charlie Harper oversaw the 2020 Freedman Fellow Faculty application process, which closed on 5/15.  A faculty committee will review the applications and make decisions about new fellowships before the end of May.
  • Amanda Koziura co-facilitated an ACRL Digital Scholarship Section Professional Development webinar focused on Digital Scholarship Pedagogy models on April 15th.
  • Ben Gorham and Charlie Harper were included on an NSF/DoD grant submission, Derogation of Human Rights and Covid, initiated by Brian Gran, Sociology.
  • Jared Bendis gave a talk on April 17th for the Office of Admissions titled “Bridging the New and Old: High Tech Scholarship for the Next Generation”
  • Stephanie Becker and Amanda Koziura worked with 2019 Freedman Fellow Heather Hurwitz (Sociology) on the Occupy Archive Scalar Digital Exhibit:
  • Naomi Langer presented on April 29th, Image Analysis for Cultural Heritage Digitization, during the #PresTC2020 Twitter conference:

–Brian Gray, Case Western Reserve University

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 2 (June 2020) | Tagged | Leave a comment

President’s Report

A Special Message Regarding COVID-19

Katy Mathuews

Katy Mathuews, President


Like you, the ALAO Board has been diligently monitoring and adapting our plans and workflows in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic. As we look toward spring workshops and Executive Board meetings, organizers are assessing online options and other ramifications of modifying in-person meetings. Please note that currently-published event information may be subject to change. As plans become solidified, event organizers will communicate new information via email and social media. If you have any questions about specific events, please contact the event organizers. I hope you are all well. I wish you the best as you navigate these unique challenges at your institutions.


Board Meeting Report

The Executive Board met on February 21, 2020 at Ohionet in Columbus, OH. Major topics discussed included:

Code of Conduct

A draft Code of Conduct was presented and discussed. Revisions will be incorporated and further discussion will take place at the April board meeting. In related efforts, the ALAO website and written materials will be revised to reflect inclusive language.

Sponsorship Policy

The new sponsorship policy and procedure are posted on the website here:

Strategic Plan Initiatives

In an effort to address the strategic plan objective to be an efficient and purposeful organization, the Board embarked on an organizational review that included an environmental scan of peer ACRL chapters and a survey of ALAO Board members. Results of these efforts were discussed at the February meeting with plans to continue discussion at the April meeting.

The Board also initiated projects to consider the logistics surrounding (1) the mechanism through which members can volunteer for ALAO committees, Board positions, projects, and related initiatives; and (2) the logistics of hosting Board minutes openly online.

April Board Meeting

The next Executive Board meeting will be held on April 24, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ohionet.

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 1 (March 2020) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Past President’s Report

ALAO 2020 Elections


Eric Resnis, Past President

Nominate yourself for the ALAO Board! Submit this online nomination form by Friday, April 10, 2020, to be considered as a candidate. Elections will take place in April 15 to May 1, and elected officers will begin their terms at the Board retreat in July.

What is my role as an ALAO Board member?

  1. Perform the duties described for your elected position (see theALAO Procedures Manual for the specific duties and responsibilities of each position).
  2. Attend the annual Board retreat (July 31, 2020 at OhioNET)
  3. Attend four Board meetings per year.

In 2020, we will be electing the following officers:

  • Vice President/President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Membership Chair
  • Board Member At Large (3 positions)

Remember that you must be an ALAO member in order to run for office, so this is a perfect time to join or renew. Additionally, no member of the Executive Board, elected or appointed, may serve in more than one position simultaneously without formal approval from the board.

Contact Eric Resnis ( if you have questions.

2020 Nominating Committee

Carrie Girton
Edith Scarletto
Jennifer Starkey
Eric Resnis (chair)

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Vice President’s Report

2020 Annual Conference Planning Update

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett, Vice President/President Elect

On behalf of the Conference Planning Committee, I’m excited to announce the theme for our 2020 conference: “Resilience: Sustainable & Thriving Academic Libraries for the Future.” The conference will take place October 29-30 at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. We will have two preconference options on Thursday, October 29th, as well as concurrent sessions and a conference social in the evening. On Friday, October 30th, our keynote speaker will be Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System, who will talk about the role of libraries in establishing resilient, sustainable communities. Rebekkah has years of experience as a leader in sustainability in libraries, and she recently authored the book Resilience, published by ALA.

Call for Proposals

We have now opened our call for proposals. All members of our library community are encouraged to submit proposals by the April 10th deadline! See our proposal website for more information and the proposal form here:

–Mandi Goodsett, ALAO Vice President/President Elect, Cleveland State University

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Call for Proposals: ALAO Annual Conference 2020

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 46th Annual Conference, Resilience: Sustainable & Thriving Academic Libraries for the Future, which encourages us to consider the challenges that face academic libraries and the forward-thinking, innovative responses that we can make. 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:

  • Change management
  • Sustainability
  • Mentoring next generation
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion
  • Open education & other trends
  • Mindfulness
  • Preservation

One proposal form will be used for all presentation types:

  • 45-minute presentation or panel session
  • Roundtable
  • Poster Session

For additional details and submission form, please visit

–Heather Crozier, Scholarly Communications Interest Group Co-Chair, Ohio Northern University

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 1 (March 2020) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Apply for the ALAO Diversity Scholarship

The 2020 ALAO Diversity Scholarship is now accepting applications through March 21, 2020.

ALAO values diversity in its membership, in the profession, and in future library professionals. For that reason, we offer a $1,500 scholarship to a promising student enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLS program who exemplifies the qualities needed to ensure a diverse library workforce. The scholarship funds will be sent to the recipient after institutional enrollment is confirmed by the Diversity Committee chair or designee.

Candidates must be a full time or part time student enrolled in or recently accepted to an ALA-accredited MLS program, either on campus or via distance education, for the fall term following the call for scholarship applications AND currently live in Ohio.  Applicants will be expected to demonstrate potential in the field of library and/or information science; demonstrate leadership ability; demonstrate diversity in one or more ways, including, but not limited to: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, life experience, physical ability and demonstrate commitment to diversity issues.

–Edith Scarletto, Diversity Committee Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Mentoring News

Short Term or Project-Based Mentoring Opportunities

Would you like to bounce an idea off of a peer? Are you working on a project? We have two mentors who are available for short-term or project-based conversations. One of them has experience with Career/Recruitment and Hiring, Collection Development, Instruction and Reference and the other specializes in Cataloging. If you would like to connect with them please contact Heidi or Melissa.

Professional Burnout Prevention Strategies

One of our recent mentoring discussions turned to the topic of avoiding burnout both generally and when you have an additional workload due to things like covering for colleagues or vacant positions, tenure etc. We’d like to share out some of the strategies we discussed. Maybe there’s something here that speaks to other ALAO members.

  • Clearly define responsibilities and temporary task divisions among colleagues and check in with each other regularly to see how things are working.
  • Group similar tasks together and do them in batches instead of moving in and out of many diverse tasks and platforms constantly.
  • Set aside specific times during the day to check email and respond, so you aren’t constantly diverted from projects and critical tasks.
  • Allow yourself time “offline” to work on projects where you aren’t as readily accessible – mark yourself “unavailable” on your calendar, close the door (whatever is doable within the culture of your organization). Communicate with staff and colleagues to normalize this as part of your day/week.
  • Step back and consider the time commitment and resources you have available before saying “yes” to any more committees, boards, professional organizations.
  • Explore time management tools such as Outlook Insight for email or the Pomodoro technique for productivity. Tools like Trello can also be used to help you track/organize projects and keep track of your professional development.
  • How can the current situation/position be renewed or reframed? Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work by Catherine Hakala-Ausperk can guide you into some valuable insights.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Things that have come up in your conversations? Are there any topics you’d like to explore further in a webinar?

–Heidi Beke-Harrigan, Mentoring Co-Chair, OhioNET
–Melissa Bauer, Mentoring Co-Chair, Kent State University-Stark Campus

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Membership Report

Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 345 members consisting of 311   regular members, 4 retiree members, and 30 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between August 29, 2019 and December 31, 2019:

  • Kristen Adams, Miami University
  • Miriam Centeno, Ohio State University
  • Joyce Douglas, Ohio University
  • Jacqueline Lagunzad, Cleveland Institute of Art
  • Monica Mason, Owens Community College
  • Lisa Morrison, Denison University
  • Sharon Richter, Columbus State Community College
  • Chris Robinson-Nkongola, Bowling Green State University

 –Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Chris Robinson-Nkongola from Bowling Green State University Libraries. Welcome to Ohio and ALAO, Chris!

What is your role(s) in academic libraries?pic of meMy role is to teach students how to find credible information. I am a reference and instruction librarian at Bowling Green State University.

What do you like most about academic library work?

I like to conduct research. I enjoy learning about new or unknown information.

What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?
I submitted an article to ABC-Clio. The article highlighted the achievements of the National Association of Colored Women Clubs (NACWC). NACWC is a civic organization founded in 1896 that made significant contributions to American history through its club work.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I am teaching myself to knit and I like to watch movies with subtitles. 

Why did you join ALAO? What are you looking forward to doing as an ALAO member?
I moved to Ohio in September. I believe ALAO will help me learn about the state as well as learn from and collaborate with other academic librarians.

 –Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 1 (March 2020) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interest Groups News

Instruction Interest Group and Distance Learning Interest Group News

Have you been working on ways to make your instruction more accessible? Do you have class activities that you have found to be successful for all students? Have you utilized accessible tools online that you want to share? If so, the Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Instruction Interest Group (IIG) and Distance Learning Interest Group (DLIG) invites you to share your activities and experiences at our joint workshop on Friday, June 5th at Miami University’s Voice of America Learning Center.

IIG and DLIG are looking for presenters who have designed and taught library assignments or activities that are accessible for all. Do you have fresh ideas you’d like to present? Now’s your chance!

The deadline for proposals is March 13th, 2020. To submit your idea, please click on the following link and fill out the form: Session proposals will be reviewed by the IIG and DLIG workshop planning committee.

Please e-mail any questions to our Co-Chairs:

–Lindsay Miller, IIG Co-Chair, Miami University
–Stacey McKenna, IIG Co-Chair, The Ohio State University at Newark/Central Ohio Technical College
–Jessie Long, DLIG Co-Chair, Miami University Middletown
–Jennifer Hicks, DLIG Co-Chair, Miami University Middletown


Special Collections and Archives Interest Group News

Save the Date for the Special Collections and Archives Interest Group’s (SCAig) Joint Workshop with the Society of Ohio Archivists (SOA).   The workshop is entitled, “Opening Doors – Outreach with Archives and Special Collections.”  After a history of closed doors and limited access, outreach has become essential to getting the public engaged with special collections and archives. This workshop will address the various ways that archivists and special collections librarians can better reach out to their user communities and cultivate new user communities.  Five presenters from different types of archives and special collections libraries including academic libraries, government records centers, and local historical societies will discuss their outreach efforts and provide their tips and tricks for improving your outreach efforts, no matter the size of your institution and staff.  The workshop will take place on Thursday May 14, but the SCAig co-chairs and SOA are currently considering whether to continue to hold the workshop at the Columbus Metropolitan Library in downtown Columbus, Ohio as planned or move the workshop to an online format.  We will share more information by the end of March on the SCAig website and through the SCAig Google Group.  Please contact the SCAig co-chairs Suzanne Reller at or Rachel Makarowski at with any questions.

–Suzanne Reller, SCAig Co-Chair, University of Cincinnati
–Rachel Makarowski, SCAig Co-Chair, Miami University


 STEM Interest Group News

Due to the current disruption that COVID-19 developments have created for all of us including the traveling bans instituted at many of our institutions, STEMIG has adapted its Spring Workshop to an online format and canceled the in-person meeting.

We hope that the change will encourage the participation of those interested in the topic but have travel restrictions.

Title: Curriculum Mapping

Date: Friday, March 20, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Online (Zoom meeting)
Speaker: Matt Benzing, Computing and Engineering Librarian at Miami University.


For questions, contact  

–Matthew Benzing, STEM IG Co-Chair, Miami University
–Daniela Solomon, STEM IG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University


Support Staff Interest Group News

The Support Staff Interest Group co-chairs are at work on materials for a digital conference tentatively scheduled for April. Our discussion topics will be related to four recent journal articles that focus on Customer Service as well as Cross-Training. We hope the online discussions and the subsequent video chat via Zoom will prove easily accessible to a variety of library staff. More details to come in the next few weeks.

–Erin Smith, SSIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University
–Rob Withers, SSIG Co-Chair, Miami University

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 1 (March 2020) | Tagged | Leave a comment