Happy 2021 to our fellow ALAO members. On behalf of the Conference Planning Committee, I am excited to announce the theme for the 2021 conference: Building Bridges: Dialogue, Deliberation, and Connection in Academic Libraries.
The Conference will take place virtually Oct. 27th-29th and will be accessible via conference website. On Thursday, October 29th, there will be a preconference presented by Fobazi Ettarh focusing on vocational awe and its impact on library work. Our conference social will be held Thursday evening and, while the format is still being determined, is guaranteed to be fun.
On Friday, October 30th, our keynote speaker will be Sofia Leung, a librarian, facilitator, and educator, who works “towards fulfilling the promise of social justice in libraries and higher education.” We will also welcome Nicole Cooke, associate professor at the University of South Carolina, as our closing keynote presenting on “Re-Envisioning LIS: Activating Social Justice.”
Thank you to the members of the 2021 Conference Planning Committee for their dedication and hard work thus far. We are excited to continue planning for October.
Call for ALAO 2021 Conference Proposals
The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 47th Annual Conference, Building Bridges: Dialogue, Deliberation, and Connection 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:
Libraries as space/third space
Instruction modalities & virtual libraries
Emerging technology solutions
One proposal form will be used for all presentation types:
Presentation (or other 50-minute session)
Poster Session (brief, pre-recorded session)
Lightning talk (brief live session)
If you have a unique format idea, not listed above, please submit it under the presentation option (Panel discussions, etc… )
–2021 ALAO Conference Planning Committee
Conference Planning Committee Social Event Task Group Seeks Your Input
The ALAO Social task group would like your input on ideas for the ALAO Annual Conference Social. Please Fill out our form by March 22, 2021.
The Application for the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant is now open! Are you presenting a conference paper, attending a workshop or course, or looking to participate in other professional development opportunities (virtual or in-person) in 2021? The ALAO Continuing Education Grant can help you get there!
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, course, seminars, etc. 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.
Applicant must be a current member of ALAO.
Applicant of continuing education activities not related to “We Here” may not have received this grant in the previous three award cycles.
Previous recipients of the professional development award in the past three years are eligible to apply for the “We Here” continuing education grants.
Funded event must occur between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
ALAO is excited to announce that we will now be offering scholarships for ALAO members to participate in We Here events and community school courses! Most We Here courses are open to anyone, and any ALAO member is welcome to apply for a scholarship to participate. Scholarship applications are due by July 1st and will be awarded on a rolling basis while funds last.
We Here is a “supportive community for BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] library and archive workers”. The group provides a safe community for People of Color to learn, share, and intervene in systems of oppression in the library & archive profession. In addition to providing support, advice, and networking for BIPOC members, We Here offers a number of public-facing projects for BIPOC and non-BIPOC folks alike, including a publishing collective called up//root , a newsletter, online events and recordings , and community school courses taught by members here.
Applicant must complete the scholarship form completely
ALAO members may only apply for one We Here scholarship per calendar year
Application Deadline: March 19, 2021 11:59 pm (or until funds are depleted)
Please allow 2-3 weeks between your scholarship application and the event for which you would like a scholarship. The scholarship amount will cover event registration costs only. If you have any questions about the We Here Event or Course Scholarship, please contact the ALAO President, Mandi Goodsett.
See the links above for listings of We Here’s event and course offerings.
Whether or not you apply for a We Here scholarship, we encourage you to consider becoming a We Here patreon if you are financially able. This allows you to make monthly contributions to the work of We Here and support their important projects.
-–Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros, Professional Development Committee Chair, The Ohio State University.
Let’s shine the member spotlight on Julie Deardorff from Cedarville University!
What is your role(s) in academic libraries?
I’ve been at Cedarville University for 25 years, most of that time as Director of Collection Services. I’m responsible for collection development and acquisitions for all subjects and formats. I also manage the technical services related operations.
What do you like most about academic library work?
I’m happy to work at a library that values the print book collection and selecting print books is still my favorite part of my job. I enjoy working with our faculty and students to meet their needs. I also like creating efficient processes and fixing problems, which is a good thing considering how much of my time seems to be devoted to that!
What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?
I created our Library Careers Program, which provides internship and independent study courses, as well as other activities and events, for undergraduate students considering library science. I love working with our students and staying connected with them as they go on to impact the profession. I also serve as the archivist for our Higher Learning Commission accreditation team and have been heavily involved with our last two reports.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
My husband and I have traveled to all 50 states. We haven’t made as much progress with countries yet, but we did have the chance to co-teach The English Novel in England twice. Oxford is my happy place.
What do you love about being an ALAO member?
I am very grateful for the wonderful relationships that I have been able to develop with other Ohio academic librarians through the conferences, workshops, Collection Management Interest Group, and serving on the ALAO Board. I’ve only missed one conference in 25 years and every single one has been helpful.
–Maureen E. Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University
The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 316 members consisting of 287 regular members, 5 retiree members, and 24 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between November 26, 2020 and February 24, 2021.
Benjamin Daigle, Five College of Ohio, Inc.
Paul Fehrmann, Kent State University
Matthew Fisk, Kent State University
David Green, State Library of Ohio
Michael Hawkins, Kent State University
Paula Lestini, Wheeling University
Allison Nowak, Hocking College
Josh Olsen, Kettering University
Jessica Rakushin, University of Kentucky graduate student
Bridget Retzloff, University of Dayton
Barbara Slavinski, Fortis College
Bethany Spencer, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Tiffany Whitman, Kent State University
–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University
Many institutions and libraries have been suffering as a result of the pandemic. Health and safety concerns have made it difficult, among other things, to continue offering and supporting conferences and events that, in the past, serve to advance libraries’ missions and showcase expertise, collections, and services. However, we have also witnessed a rise in virtual events and geographically distributed conferences. This last year, the libraries at The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, as well as the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at OSU, combined their efforts to offer the first ever “3C GIS Day,” an all-day event highlighting research, innovation, and pedagogy around Geographic Information Systems at the three universities (Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, hence 3C) that was hosted by our institutions’ libraries.
This virtual event drew hundreds of participants from around Ohio, the country, and the world to learn about new approaches to GIS being undertaken by researchers at our universities, and highlighted library expertise in supporting innovative pedagogy and research through GIS platforms. The virtual event necessitated by the pandemic encouraged our institutions to collaborate on a single large conference instead of separate programs, as we had in previous years, and facilitated conversations around GIS topics in arenas such as: COVID-19, the environment and mobility, the social sciences and humanities, and industry insights. The event brought together students, staff, faculty, and industry professionals to discuss the work being done at and beyond our institutions, and emphasized the growing importance of GIS in bringing together a world that has become (temporarily!) isolated.
The planning committee for the event included Joshua Sadvari at OSU, Katie Philips with CURA, Amy Koshoffer at UC, and Ben Gorham from CWRU. The CWRU libguide for the event can be found here: https://researchguides.case.edu/3CGIS/
–R. Benjamin Gorham, Case Western Reserve University
COVID 19’s Struggle Bus: How I Manage to Disembark Occasionally
Over the past year, I’ve been hearing from people both inside and outside the academic world about feeling stuck on the dreaded struggle bus. Realistically speaking, this is no surprise.
I’ll spare you the typical advice about diet, sleep, and exercise that we’ve all heard. These are all important, but I’m going to share some of the other strategies I’ve tried that have been helpful.
Journal: I write “Morning Pages.” I’ve done this for years, and it is particularly helpful for venting. For a simple explanation of this, look to Google. For more information, look for Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
Meditate: I recommend any type of meditation: guided mediations, mindfulness meditations, walking meditation, mantra meditation, or even just closing your eyes and exploring your breath. It doesn’t have to be complicated or esoteric. Just slow down and focus on your breath—it literally keeps you alive, so I think it deserves a little appreciation. I also appreciate drifting off to sleep using sleep hypnosis sessions. Some free YouTube channels I like are:
The Mindful Movement
Joe. T.-Hypnotic Labs
Take a break from social media and news: I quit regularly logging onto social media in October 2020. While this was a personal decision, it can pay to be aware of the feelings engaging with this content can elicit. It took me a while to realize that I get information from many sources, and I’m unlikely to miss out on the onset of the apocalypse because I’m not on social media 84 times a day. My clarity of thought and ability to focus have improved exponentially, and I feel happier and less anxious.
Professional Self Care:
Productivity: Since 2020 was my first year in a tenure-track position, I felt immense pressure to be productive despite the struggles COVID presented. Cal Newport’s books have been particularly helpful. Newport is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and a productivity expert. He absolutely “gets” the demands and lifestyle of the academic world, unlike many productivity “experts.” Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World and Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World are practical, useful, and eye-opening.
Daily self-care: I’ve added a few more small habits that have been helpful including taking breaks during the workday to stretch—particularly muscles associated with computer use in the upper back, neck, and shoulders and getting outside whenever possible, even if just for a breath of fresh air. Lastly and most importantly, I accept that I’m not a machine. I’m going to have good and bad days, we all do. Do these strategies solve everything and make life perfect? Absolutely not—but they do provide brief escapes into calmness, and tools for processing and coping.
I have many more strategies and thoughts on this topic. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you’d like to chat.
–Anita Slack, Communications Editor, Kent State University –Guest-Edited by Maureen E. Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University
ALAO has something for everyone! ALAO has 12 active special interest groups that have formed to discuss concerns and issues related to academic librarianship in Ohio. Interest groups hold regular events and offer a variety of leadership opportunities. Joining an interest group is a great way to get involved and network with fellow librarians and library staff. For more information visit the ALAO website https://www.alaoweb.org/igs/index.html.
–Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator, Stark State College
Collection Management Interest Group News
The Collection Management Interest Group is exploring ideas for a virtual 90-minute spring workshop that will focus on library and vendor partnerships. The idea is 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 and be based on actual examples, best practices, and successful results.
As a group, we will explore:
· The benefit to vendors on collaboration & why they want to see partnerships.
· How librarians and staff can directly influence and direct the collections 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-scene processes, automation, etc.
More details in the next few weeks!
–Sean Kennedy, CMIG Co-Chair, University of Akron –Brian C. Gray, CMIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University
Community and Two-Year College Interest Group (C2YCIG) News
Call for Workshop Volunteers
The Community and Two-Year College Interest Group (C2YCLIG) will be hosting an early summer, virtual workshop following the completion of our three-part book discussion series that wrapped up in February 2021. We will continue with the theme, Race in America, for the workshop. We would like to put a call out for volunteers for the workshop planning committee. If you are interested in volunteering please email C2YCLIG co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Megan Mamolen, C2YCLIG Co-Chair, Lakeland Community College –Ragan Snead, C2YCLIG Co-Chair, Lakeland Community College
Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAIG) News
The co-chairs of the Special Collections and Archives Interest Group thank Joshua Zeller and William Modrow for volunteering for the annual SCAig meeting planning committee! The virtual workshop, “Management in Many Forms: Coordinating People and Projects in Remote and Hybrid Environments,” will be a two-part webinar series in May 2021 focused on building and managing professional relationships in remote/hybrid environments. We have confirmed the speakers of the event and will be sending out a save the date soon.
-Rachel Makarowski, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, Miami University -Henry Handley, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, University of Dayton
STEM Interest Group News (STEMIG)
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 April 9th.
We are also planning to team up with SCIG for a late spring/early summer workshop. Stay on the lookout for more information to come!
Like the other IGs, STEMIG will soon be calling for nominations for our next co-chair. If you know (or are) a great science, technology, or engineering librarian who might be interested, please don’t hesitate to submit a nomination when the time comes. We are a small but active group, and the next co-chair will have a tremendous opportunity to chart the course for the future of the IG.
–Daniela Solomon, STEMIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University –Zach Sharrow, STEMIG Co-Chair, College of Wooster
Technical, Electronic, and Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG) News
The Kelvin Smith Library was awarded one of seven Metadata Mini-Grants from the State Library of Ohio to prepare the Cleveland Play House (CPH) Production Photographs Collection (http://hdl.handle.net/2186/ksl:2006052983) for the Ohio Digital Network (ODN) and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
In 2011, the Kelvin Smith Library acquired the Archives of the Cleveland Play House. Founded in 1915, the Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. The archives include correspondence, photographs, posters, legal and financial records, design drawings, and audio and videotapes from the founding of the Play House through 2011. Spanning nearly 100 years, the CPH Production Photographs collection, numbering over 6,000 still images, has been digitized and is accessible online. The collection offers an expansive look at the development of regional theater productions from the view of the audience, backstage, and during rehearsals. The grant will be used to ensure the collection meets the ODN and DPLA metadata application profile guidelines.
Depositing the production photographs, and later, other materials from the CPH collection, into DPLA, will give researchers unfettered access to a comprehensive catalog of theatre history, showcasing it alongside similar collections from the New York Public Library, University of Utah, and Tarrant County College. A significant part of Cleveland’s cultural heritage, CPH has long participated in partnerships and collaborations with community organizations. CPH was an early adopter of children’s theater and community-based educational programming and continues to promote and elevate the works of emerging actors and playwrights. The project is being led by Anne Kumer (Electronic Resources Metadata Librarian, Acquisitions & Metadata Services), Stephanie Becker (Digital Collections Manager, Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship), and Nora Blackman (Archivist, Scholarly Resources & Special Collections).
–Brian Gray, Case Western Reserve University
Oberlin College News
Oberlin College bid farewell to Alexia Hudson-Ward, former Director of Libraries, at the end of September 2020. Hudson-Ward now holds an Associate Director position with MIT Libraries. Ken Grossi, Oberlin College Archivist, and Tracy Sutherland, Associate Director and Head of Public Services, currently serve as Co-Interim Directors of the Libraries. A search for a new Director is getting underway.
–Alison Ricker, Oberlin College
Ohio Library Support Staff Institute News
OLSSI (the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute) will be holding its conference online in 2021. It will be held Monday July 26 – Friday July 30. We are planning on having 2 classes each day, Monday through Thursday, and a final class on Friday.
More information as it becomes available.
–Michael Bradshaw, OLSSI Chair Emeritus, Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library
University of Dayton News
Katy Kelly Honored
Katy Kelly, Coordinator of Marketing and Engagement/Associate Professor at the University of Dayton Libraries was selected as one of this year’s honorees of Women of UD. The 2021 theme, “Leading with Character and Resilience,” captures what it means to do our work in the midst of a pandemic, social and political unrest, and economic uncertainty. Katy will be honored in a university-wide virtual ceremony on March 19th.
UD Librarians to Present Poster at ACRL 2021
Kayla Harris, Christina Beis, and Stephanie Shreffler from the University of Dayton will present a poster at ACRL 2021 titled, “Citizen Web Archiving: Empowering Undergraduates to Preserve the Internet.” Through a co-curricular learning experience, a team of librarians and archivists created a self-guided, asynchronous program in order to teach students what web archiving is, why it’s important, the ethics of collecting information on the Internet, and how students can contribute to the historical record by archiving websites they deem important via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
–Kayla Harris, Procedures Manual Coordinator, University of Dayton
The 2020 ALAO Conference took place virtually from October 28-30th, and by all accounts it was a success! There were 278 registrants, including 74 non-ALAO-members, and 37 students. We got wonderful feedback from attendees:
“I thought the CPC did a fabulous job, and I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of timely sessions. and the relevance of the theme. The conference is a winner!”
“The CPC did an amazing job with this event. The website and technology were flawless. I feel like the recorded sessions are revolutionary! I got to watch what I wanted, when I wanted, and when I attended the Q&A it was more like a flipped classroom – a stellar way to learn.”
“Thanks for all of your hard work on this conference. It was extraordinarily successful, and a great testament to both the diligence of the planning team and the wonderful community of academic librarians in Ohio!”
The conference content is now open to all, and it will be available until next year’s conference. I especially recommend watching our two excellent keynote presentations. https://2020.alaoweb.org/
ALAO Membership Meeting
This year, we elected to offer a membership meeting during the conference instead of a short board meeting. The meeting was open to all ALAO members and lasted about 20 minutes.
We hope to continue offering an annual membership meeting at the ALAO annual conference (rather than a shortened board meeting) because it provides an important opportunity for members to engage with ALAO’s strategic goals, while allowing the board to have a longer meeting separate from the conference for discussion and decision-making.
ALAO Award Winners
Congratulations to our 2020 ALAO award winners! The ALAO Awards Ceremony was also open to all ALAO members and had 89 attendees. It was wonderful to see so many people cheering on the winners in the chat!
Diversity Scholarship Award
Research & Publications Committee Research Grant
Kayla Harris & Heidi Gauder
Continuing Education Grant
Corazon Britton, The Ohio State University
Tressa Graves, The Ohio State University
Danielle Bernert, Columbus College of Art & Design
Support Staff Conference Grant
Special Presidential Commendation
Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award
Tammy J. Eschedor Voelker
Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award
I would also like to especially thank the members of the 2020 Conference Planning Committee for their dedication, skill, perseverance, and wonderful comradery. They did a wonderful job — if you know any of them, tell them thank you!
If you have any additional feedback about the conference and didn’t have a chance to fill out our post-event survey, please feel free to reach out to the Conference Planning Committee at email@example.com.
Executive Board Meeting Report
The ALAO Executive Board has been hard at work on several projects related to two of our strategic priorities. One strategic priority is to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of ALAO as an organization, while also providing support to our members in this area. To accomplish this goal, the board is working on the following projects:
A small sub-group, in collaboration with the Diversity Committee, is preparing a DEI survey to send out to library workers in Ohio. The survey will gather data about what DEI initiatives are already in place in Ohio academic libraries and what resources may be especially useful to share with ALAO members. We hope to use the data to plan some practical, hands-on programming for Ohio librarians.
We are also working with the group We Here to support the important work they do — stay tuned for more details soon.
Revising ALAO’s Code of Conduct and reporting workflow is a project that we’ve been working on for about a year, but we are nearly finished. In addition to being able to report a violation of the Code, ALAO members will be able to suggest inclusive practices unrelated to a specific event or incident. We hope to have this work completed in the spring.
Finally, we are so pleased to be hosting two anti-racism caucuses facilitated by Ione Damasco in early December. We hope you were able to join us!
Our other strategic priority is increasing the diversity of programming offerings for our members. To do this, a task force has been formed to explore the resources and activities that ALAO Interest Groups could offer beyond in-person workshops, as well as what resources would be needed to support them. More information about this project will be shared in the spring.
The Executive Board is also working on several projects to support ALAO members as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We offered an open forum event in September, and 30-40 ALAO members attended to share ideas and perspectives with one another. We will be offering additional forum events, but going forward they will be facilitated by ALAO Interest Groups and focus on the intersection of specific subjects (i.e. technical services, distance learning, etc.) and COVID-19.
In October, we sent out a COVID-19 survey to ALAO members. The results of that survey are being analyzed and will be shared with members in the spring.
Finally, a small task force has formed to explore how ALAO can provide financial assistance to members who have been impacted by the pandemic. We hope to share our ideas in the next newsletter.
We always welcome ALAO member input and feedback. If you have ideas for how ALAO could improve or would like to volunteer to help with a specific project, please feel free to reach out!
Call for Nomination for 2021 Executive Board Elections
Katy Mathuews, Past President
Are you looking for a leadership opportunity? Would you like to get involved in professional service for an ACRL chapter? If so, please consider nominating yourself for the ALAO Board. Elections will take place in spring 2021, and successful candidates will take office at the ALAO Board retreat this summer. Come join a fantastic group of Ohio library workers!
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.
What does the ALAO Board do?
The Ohio chapter of ACRL has a mission of advancing academic library services in our state and providing opportunities for education and growth for library personnel at all levels and at every career stage. We sponsor an annual conference and spring workshops that focus on innovative topics and showcase Ohio academic librarians; we provide scholarships and awards; and we maintain several active, diverse interest groups and committees. In addition, we have an active mentoring program that pairs up Ohio academic librarians for peer, intergenerational, leadership, or student mentoring relationships.
What is my role as an ALAO Board member?
Perform the duties described for your elected position (see the ALAO Procedures Manual for the specific duties and responsibilities of each position).
Attend the annual Board Retreat (usually third Friday of July).
Attend scheduled Board meetings (announced at Board Retreat).
In 2021, we will be electing the following officers: