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

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People & Library News

Bryant & Stratton College – Cleveland/Solon News

Joseph Dudley (Bryant & Stratton College – Cleveland/Solon) will present “Creating eBook Collections on the Bryant & Stratton College Virtual Library” in a general session as part of the interdisciplinary Teaching, Colleges, and Community Worldwide Online Conference (TCC 2020).  The conference will take place entirely online at, April 14-16.

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

 Case Western Reserve University News

Personal Librarian and First Year Experience Library Conference
Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University and The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition are elated to announce a partnership that will feature the biennial Personal Librarian Conference as a pre-conference to the 40th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience to be held February 13 – 16, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. This partnership will allow attendees to attend both conferences without added travel and other associated costs.
The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition serves as the trusted expert, internationally recognized leader, and clearinghouse for scholarship, policy, and best practice for all postsecondary student transitions.  Located at the University of South Carolina, The National Resource Center convenes conferences and other professional development events that address current trends, issues, and concerns related to supporting student learning, development, and success in the first college year.

-Brian C, Gray & E. Gail Reese, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University

Spring Meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America

I am pleased to announce that the Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve University is the host site for the Spring Meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America on Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 10, 2020. This meeting is free and open to the public.  Those who plan to attend are asked to register in advance so we can ensure we have appropriate seating and catering.

Presentation topics will include “Revising the Tenniel Illustrations to the Alice Books,” “Alice in the Chinese Language Wonderland,” “Beyond Tenniel: Trailblazing Illustrators of Alice,” “New Discoveries about Alice Through Digital Scholarship,” “Transforming Alice into Many Languages,” “The History of the Appleton edition of Alice,” “Lewis Carroll as a Poet,” and “Lewis Carroll’s Appearances in ‘Mathematical Games’.”   The full program details are at   Those who wish to attend are asked to register at:

Please share this announcement with any of your colleagues who may find the meeting of interest.  My thanks in advance for anything you can do to help get out the word about this scholarly and fun event.

-Arnold Hirshon, Vice Provost and University Librarian, Case Western Reserve University

Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship

The Digital Learning & Scholarship Team has been renamed the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship. Recent highlights from that team include:

  • Amanda Koziura was promoted to the rank of Librarian 3.
  • Amanda Koziura was interviewed about being a Digital Scholarship Librarian by the Syracuse University iSchool.  The interview will be used in an online course on academic librarianship.
  • Amanda Koziura was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2020 Digital Humanities Summer Institute (June 7-12) at the University of Victoria, Canada.
  • Ben Gorham presented about GIS, photogrammetry, network analysis, and UAV photography methods at the Archaeology Institute of America (AIA) Meeting in Washington, DC on January 2-4, 2020.
  • Ben Gorham, Jen Green, and Roger Zender will serve as representatives for the S+R Ithaka Supporting Big Data Research Project. The Project includes a cohort of 20 other academic institutions and aims to increase understanding and awareness of faculty and researcher big data needs.
  • Charlie Harper and Ben Gorham presented on the US Census during International Love Data Week hosted by the Kelvin Smith Library’s Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship, February 10-14, 2020.
  • Charlie Harper coordinated a Digital Scholarship Mixer during International Love Data Week hosted by the Kelvin Smith Library’s Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship, February 10-14, 2020. The Mixer drew over 41 attendees interested in digital scholarship and data science initiatives.
  • Jared Bendis will present his paper On the Shoulders of Giants: Teaching Game Design through Medieval Gaming at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 8, 2020.
  • Mark Clementa was awarded a scholarship to attend the Building Legal Literacies in Text Data Mining Institute at UC Berkeley in June 2020. This is a four-day NEH-funded workshop on legal, ethical, and policy issues relating to digital scholarship and text data mining.
  • Marie Vibbert presented her paper The Women We Can See in Science Fiction Magazines at the City Tech Science Fiction Conference in New York, NY, December 2019.
  • Naomi Langer and Stephanie Becker presented Image Analysis for Cultural Heritage Digitization: Using Golden Thread software for FADGI compliance at the Ohio-Dig Meeting, November 2019.
  • Stephanie Becker was awarded a scholarship to participate in Lighting the Way: A National Forum on Archival Discovery and Delivery at Stanford University, February 2020.
  • The Lewis Carroll Society of North America will host its Spring Meeting at the Kelvin Smith Library on May 8-10.  Amanda Koziura, Ben Gorham, Jared Bendis, and Charlie Harper will present on digital scholarship tools, techniques, and applications.

-Jen Green, Team Leader Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University

Denison and Ohio Universities News

Kelly Broughton, Ohio University, and BethAnn Zambella, Denison University, have been selected for the 2020 UCLA Library Senior Fellows program, a three-week residential program featuring lectures, panels, workshops, and field trips, hosted and supported by the UCLA Library. Zambella, Director of Libraries at Denison since 2013, says, “I’m particularly excited about the opportunity for intensive and sustained fellowship and stimulating big-picture discussions. I also hope to find more ways to integrate mindfulness and reflection into my personal and professional milieux.” Broughton, Assistant Dean for Research and Education Services at Ohio University since 2008, says “I’m really looking forward to engaging in a variety of discussions and learning experiences that will enhance my ability to think strategically and manage change.  I am also eager to learn from both experienced senior professionals and peers from varying backgrounds and experiences.”

–Kelly Broughton, Ohio University
–BethAnn Zambella, Denison University


Kent State University News

Kent State University Libraries congratulates the following recently hired faculty and staff:

  • Liz Campion – May 4 Archivist: Joining Special Collections and Archives durElizabeth Campion 500x750ing the 50th anniversary year of the 1970 Kent State Shootings, Liz is responsible for operations and programs relating to records, paper, books and other materials that document the shootings and their aftermath.



  • Katie Clements Kathryn Clements 2019 500x750 NEW– Adjunct Public Services Librarian: Katie trains graduate student assistants and manages various reference and research services provided by Special Collections and Archives. Additionally, she manages off-site reference requests received by the department.



  • Nick Fagan – Head of Architecture Library/Assistant Professor: In additionNick Fagan 2019 500x750 to overseeing the daily operations of the branch library, Nick supports the students and faculty in the colleges it serves. He also collaborates with the College of Architecture and Environmental Design on the Belden Brick Materials Library, located on the floor above his branch.



  • Kimberly Schwab Franklin – Receiving and Delivery Coordinator: KimberlyKimberly Schwab Franklin 500x750 2019 oversees the mailroom operations for University Libraries’ Kent Campus locations.




  • Bryan Kvet, Ph.D. – Adjunct Librarian: As a librarian for two of Kent State’s branchBryan Kvet 2019 500x750 libraries, Bryan instructs students in the Architecture and Fashion libraries on information literacy sessions, as well as assists the heads of the libraries on major projects.



  • Anita Slack – Life and Health Sciences Librarian/Assistant Professor: As the subjectAnita Slack 500x750 librarian for biological sciences, biomedical sciences, nursing and public health, Anita provides information literacy instruction and in-depth research assistance to students in those fields.



  • Yuening Zhang– STEM Librarian/Assistant Professor: Yuening guides students inYuening Zhang 500x750 the academic areas of chemistry, biochemistry, computer science, physics, advanced materials, liquid crystals, mathematics, aeronautics and engineering through research projects and provides them with information literacy instruction.


–Cynthia Williams, Kent State University


Oberlin College News

Tracy Sutherland has joined Oberlin College Libraries as Assistant Director and Head of Public Services.  As Assistant Director, Tracy is third in charge of the Oberlin College Libraries, and provides leadership and oversight for the Department of Public Services in the Mary Church Terrell Main Library. Most recently, Tracy served as Head of User Services at Vassar College.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Master of Library and Information Science from Simmons College, Boston.  No stranger to Ohio, Tracy participated in the Ohio University School of Dance program.  Oberlin is pleased to welcome Tracy to the libraries of the college and conservatory.

–Alison Ricker, Oberlin College


OhioNET News

OhioNET Welcomes New Employees

Earlier this year, OhioNET welcomed three new employees to their team: Michael Dziabiak, Library Systems Coordinator; Sarah Probst, Electronic Resources (eResources) Coordinator; and Jillian Tuttle, Member Engagement Coordinator.

In his role as Library Systems Coordinator, Michael will help support the Consortium of Ohio Libraries (COOL) through maintenance of Evergreen, the consortium’s integrated library system (ILS) and its holdings. Michael comes to us from the University of Findlay where he was the Cataloging and Metadata Librarian. Michael has been a library cataloger in both public and academic libraries. Prior to becoming a librarian, he was a research assistant and media production specialist for the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Michael holds a Master of Library and Information Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies both from the University of Pittsburgh. Michael is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Applied Security and Analytics and is expected to graduate in 2021.

As eResources Coordinator, Sarah will lead the maintenance of OhioNET’s electronic resource management (ERM) software, ConsortiaManager, negotiate pricing and contract terms on behalf of members, and assist in troubleshooting access issues. Sarah comes to us from her role as Member Services Coordinator at ConnectNY, a 15-member academic library consortium in New York. There, Sarah acted as the primary liaison between members and ConnectNY services and handled the organization’s communications needs, negotiated eResources contracts, managed product implementations, and coordinated events. Sarah holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Music Technology (audio engineering) from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

Jillian Tuttle comes to OhioNET from United Way of North Central Ohio, where she focused on brand identity, strategic messaging, and increased community awareness as their director of communications. As Member Engagement Coordinator, she will focus primarily on marketing and communications that enhance member experience. Jillian holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Bowling Green State University.

OhioNET is a membership-driven organization serving libraries and information centers of all types and sizes in the greater Ohio area. OhioNET’s mission is to support library success through learning opportunities, technology solutions, collaborative purchasing, and strategic connections. For more information about OhioNET, please visit or find us on social media: @ohionet.

–Jillian Tuttle, OhioNET


The University of Toledo News

Jolene Miller published the following:

Miller, J. M. (2020). Reflective practice and health science librarians: Engagement, benefits, and barriers. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 108(1), 17-28. doi:10.5195/jmla.2020.777. Available online at

Miller, J. M. (2020). [Review of the book The illustrated dictionary of toxicologic pathology and safety science]. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 57(5), 568.

–Jolene Miller, The University of Toledo

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President’s Report

Katy Mathuews

Katy Mathuews, President

I would like to extend a big thank you to all those who attended the 2019 Annual Conference and related events. The October 17 preconference events included an intergroup dialogue workshop and a free active allyship training. The free training served as our annual service project and was a tangible step toward addressing harassment and discrimination in our profession. On October 18 the conference day was packed with 28 breakout sessions, 19 posters, 17 roundtables, 1 amazing keynote speaker, and an abundance of snacks and networking!

Our general theme this year was Libraries Speak Up! Advocate. Collaborate. Educate. Char Booth’s keynote address highlighted this theme. Booth pointed out that libraries are one of the few public goods we have left. Booth challenged us to think about what is broken in our systems, services, and societies and consider what we can do to help address the challenges faced by our users. Booth provided inspiring context and practical examples to help library personnel speak up for our patrons.

Conference Quick Facts

30: Preconference Attendees

29: Allyship Training Attendees

227: Conference Attendees

21: Exhibitors

Award Winners

Jane Wildermuth: TEDSIG TEDDY Award Recipient

Heidi Gauder: Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring Award Recipient

Carrie Girton: Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award

September 27 Board Meeting

In an effort to address the “Efficient and Purposeful” focus of our Strategic Plan, the board kicked off discussions to complete an organizational review. The review will include a survey of board positions, committees, and practices with the goal of realizing efficiencies and revisions to existing practice. We look forward to sharing the results of our efforts and will be exploring a membership survey in 2020 to learn more about our needs and values. We will also be finalizing a new Code of Conduct for all ALAO events. We look forward to sharing the results of these activities in the coming year.

Posted in Vol. 38 no. 4 (Dec. 2019) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Past President’s Report

Jay Ladd Award


Eric Resnis, Past President

The Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has been an ALAO member for at least 5 years, and who has promoted academic libraries and librarianship not only on his or her own campus, but also within the state. The award also recognizes someone who has provided leadership in the promotion of ALAO through service such as committee membership, executive board office, or interest group office.

Congratulations to this year’s award winner: Carrie Girton, Public Services Librarian at Miami University – Hamilton. Dedicated, reliable, and caring are pertinent words to describe Carrie. Her service to ALAO is long-reaching, including many years on the Conference Planning Committee, an interest group co-chair and as an executive board officer.

Carrie is described as a great listener who has genuine interest in the success of her ALAO colleagues. When you think interest groups, her name is one of the first that pops into your head.  In her role as Interest Group Coordinator, she has played a major role in bringing new and relevant interest groups to ALAO, helping manage our existing cadre of interest groups, and ensuring that interest group coordinators have the resources and support they require. She is one of the reasons that IG are so important to ALAO.

Kathryn Venditti Award

The Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring Award is given annually to an academic librarian who has demonstrated excellence as a mentor to a librarian, library worker, or library science student.

Congratulations to this year’s winner: Heidi Gauder, Coordinator of Research and Instruction at the University of Dayton.  Heidi is described by one of her nominees as “the type of mentor that every new librarian wishes they had.” She is deeply invested in helping her colleagues become better instructors, researchers, and scholars. Seeking tenure and promotion can be a daunting challenge for a new librarian, yet Heidi works diligently to demystify the process, providing guidance along the way, making connections with librarian colleagues, and providing a clear example of continual achievement and growth that occurs after promotion.

Another nominee notes “I’ve worked at various institutions and I genuinely have not met anyone else who so selflessly mentors others the way she does.” Indeed, many librarians at the University of Dayton have gained great knowledge and experience from her careful guidance.


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Vice President’s Report

Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett, Vice President/President Elect

The 2020 ALAO Conference Planning Committee has already begun our work to put together a great conference for our members next year! As a reminder, the conference will take place on October 30th, 2020 at the Nationwide Convention Center. We have chosen the theme, “Resilience: Sustainable & Thriving Academic Libraries for the Future.” Stay tuned for more details and a call for presentation proposals early in 2020.

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ALAO Research Grant Now Open for Proposals

Do you have a great research idea but need funds to bring it to life? Last year, the ALAO Research Grant helped fund two different projects to investigate health science librarians’ reflective practice and public libraries’ role as community centers.

Submit your application by January 10, 2020 at You must be a current member of ALAO to be eligible for the award. If you have any questions, please contact Brittany Brannon or Ken Irwin.

Want to submit a proposal but don’t have a project ready? The Research and Publications Committee and the Assessment Interest Group are hosting a workshop for developing a research idea into a project plan on March 27th at OhioNET. Come get ideas for and feedback on your research project and develop it into something you can submit for next year’s grant cycle.

–Brittany Brannon, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair, OCLC
–Ken Irwin, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair, Wittenberg University

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