People & Library News

Case Western Reserve University News

New Appointment:

Nina Herzog
2017 – Present, Project Archivist, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University
2016 – 2017 – Temporary Archivist, University of Cincinnati, Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions

Upcoming Event:

Kelvin Smith Library is hosting a lecture from the 2018 Cleveland Humanities Festival, which explores the roles of health, health care, and medicine in culture and society from a variety of perspectives in history, literature, and the arts. In “The Arts of Dying,” Maggie Vinter, Assistant Professor in the English Department of Case Western Reserve University, will discuss the “arts of dying” – a genre of medieval and renaissance conduct manuals advising their readers on how to die well.

The Cleveland Humanities Festival is a collaborative event celebrating the great cultural institutions of the city of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio dedicated to humanistic inquiry. The Festival engages the public in addressing some of society’s most challenging issues and pressing concerns. Coordinated by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities of Case Western Reserve University, the Festival is partnering with our region’s major museums, educational institutions, and arts organizations. The 2018 Cleveland Humanities Festival will offer public programming which illuminates the role of the humanities in deepening our understanding of the complex ethical and personal questions that arise when the subject is health.

-Corina Chang, Case Western Reserve University

Posted in Vol. 37 no. 1 (March 2018) | Tagged | Leave a comment

President’s Report


Katy Kelly, President

Executive Board Meeting Report

 On September 22, the ALAO board met at OhioNET. At this meeting, board members discussed the following items:

  • Continuing the Innovation Conversations (webinars), co-sponsored with SWON Libraries Consortium.
  • An update from the website task force.
  • Voting on a procedure for a Special Recognition Award for acknowledging a person’s service to ALAO.
  • Reviewing a proposal to subsidize a Value of Academic Libraries ACRL workshop as part of the 2018 conference programming.
  • Partnering with the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA) to offer reciprocal membership rates to conferences.

The next ALAO board meeting is February 23, 2018, at OhioNET.

 Annual Conference Report and Program Session Summaries

A 14-person team of library colleagues from across the state successfully hosted 265 attendees at “Libraries Act. Respond. Transform: The ART of Empowerment” at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus on October 27.

The conference’s 28 programs and additional poster sessions and roundtable discussions explored 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. Congratulations and thank you to all of the presenters.

Keynote speaker April Hathcock, scholarly communications librarian at New York University, presented “Race Matters in Our Profession: Empowering Antiracist Praxis.” April’s talk explored how our professional values and abilities to serve our communities well are dependent on how we address racialized oppression of our society. Her keynote offered a multitude of suggested readings and ways these issues can be addressed by changing our interviewing practices and hiring policies and requirements. The talk and its question-and-answer forum set the open and honest tone for the day. Thank you to April for sharing her scholarship and perspective with the ALAO community. Additionally, thank you to OhioNET for its sponsorship of the keynote session. I presented a plaque and resolution to OhioNET’s staff and executive director Michael P. Butler in honor of the organization’s 40th anniversary.

The day prior, the planning committee hosted a pre-event “unconference” on Thursday, October 26. Gary Daniels, a representative from the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) gave a lively presentation on student rights. Gary began by teaching attendees about freedom of religion, voting rights, privacy, and due process. The majority of the talk, though, focused on student rights to free speech, a hot topic with many public institutions responding to it in different ways. Then, the event organizers Maureen Barry, Carrie Girton, and Bree Miller led attendees in an “unconference” with topics preselected by attendees. It fostered discussion on important issues such as challenging whiteness, critical librarianship, and collaborating on campus and in the community.

Thursday evening was a night to remember! OhioLINK hosted its 25th anniversary party, and I presented a plaque and resolution as part of the spirited occasion. Check out the photos on OhioLINK’s Facebook page. Past ALAO presidents Brian Gray, Sue Polanka, and Krista McDonald joined me for our first-ever “Battledecks,” where we each told a story with a series of slides that we had never seen before. Hilarity ensued (you probably had to be there), but I will never forget the horse figurines that were a consistent theme throughout my slidedeck. Thank you, OhioLINK, for sponsoring this Thursday social and program!

For our conference service project, we were pleased to partner with the Conscious Connect, an innovative urban library ecosystem that creates and sustains literary oases in low-to-moderate-income communities to end book deserts. The 30 diverse books collected at the conference will be distributed predominantly in West Dayton and South Springfield. Attendees also donated $200 toward the Conscious Connect’s Reading Park project.

The annual conference is volunteer-driven, and the planning committee’s careful consideration of each detail resulted in positive evaluations. At our wrap-up meeting on November 17, we saw that 98% of attendee survey respondents rated the overall conference as outstanding or good, while 97% rated the event at high or satisfactory value for its cost.

I started my involvement with ALAO as a conference planning committee member back in 2011. I always found the experience rewarding; this year as chair was no different. My sincere thanks and kudos to all involved; your involvement has furthered ALAO’s mission of providing support, encouragement, and professional development opportunities for our library colleagues.

Want more conference? See event photos on the ALAO Facebook page or take a look at the social media posts tagged with #alao2017. ALAO members can access conference presentation files by logging in at and navigating to the Members Only section. Also, save the date for 2018: We’ll be back at Nationwide on Friday, November 2, with a preconference on Thursday, November 1. I look forward to participating in the program, which will be led by Vice President/President-elect Eric Resnis and his committee.

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

Elections-Call for Nominations

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 March/April, and successful candidates will take office at the ALAO Board Retreat in summer 2018. Come join a fantastic group of Ohio librarians!

What does the ALAO Board do?

As the Ohio chapter of ACRL, we have 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 a mentoring program that pairs up Ohio academic librarians for peer-to-peer, inter-generational, leadership, or student mentoring relationships.

  • Perform the duties described for your elected position – see the Procedures Manual for the specific duties and responsibilities of each position
  • Attend the annual leadership retreat (usually in June/July of each year; 2017 dates and location to be determined)
  • Attend up to 4 Board meetings per year (usually on Fridays, at OhioNET)

This year, we will be electing the following officers:

  •  Vice President/ President-Elect
    •    Secretary
    •    Three (3) first-year board members-at-large
    •    Membership Chair

Remember that you must be an ALAO member in order to run for office, so this is a perfect time to join or renew.  Join or renew here.

Submit the online nomination form by Friday, February 16, 2018 to be considered as a candidate.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.

Krista McDonald, Miami University-Hamilton, Past President

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

2018 Annual Conference Update

Planning for the 2018 Conference “Take Action!: Conveying Value, Cultivating Success” is well underway.  The conference will be held at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center again for 2018. Members of the planning committee include:

Don Appleby — University of Akron
Maureen Barry — Wright State University
Jennifer Bazeley — Miami University
Laura Birkenhauer — Miami University
Michelle Brasseur — Miami University
Erin Fleak — The Ohio State University
Carrie Girton — Miami University
Peggy Rector — Denison University
Eric Resnis — Miami University
Ryan Scott — Columbus State Community College
Bethany Spieth — Ohio Northern University

Pre-conference — November 1, 2018

We will feature a full-day pre-conference for 2018.  ALAO is happy to bring the ACRL roadshow “Assessment in Action: Demonstrating and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success” to Columbus.  ALAO is providing a subsidy to help keep registration costs affordable for the roadshow. More information is available at:

Conference — November 2, 2018

I am pleased to announce that Megan Oakleaf from Syracuse University’s iSchool  will be the keynote for the 2018 conference. Megan is an Ohio native and written extensively regarding library impact, library value, and evidence-based decision making. More information about her work is available at

-Eric Resnis, Miami University, Vice President, President-Elect

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

Congratulations to Sue Polanka, 2017 Jay Ladd Award Recipient


Sue Polanka, left. Pictured with Past President Krista McDonald

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.

At the annual conference, I had the honor of presenting the 2017 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award to Sue Polanka, Associate University Librarian for Public Services at Wright State University.  Sue has been a very active member of ALAO. She served on a number of conference planning committees, has served President, and as Vice President in 2012 hosted one of ALAO’s largest conferences. Since leaving the executive board, she has continued her involvement with ALAO by participating in the Assessment Interest Group and helping to plan the preconference at the 2016 ALAO Conference.

Sue has promoted academic libraries and librarianship not only on her campus, or even within our state, but both nationally and internationally through her:

  • Recognition as a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” in 2011
  • Founding of No Shelf Required, a blog about ebooks in libraries that was voted #1 Academic Library Blog in Salem Press’s Blog Awards
  • Authorship of books and articles on electronic books, thus making her a renowned “ebook guru”
  • Numerous presentations at ALAO and ACRL conferences
  • Years of service on the OhioLINK User Services Committee
  • Service on the ALA Council

As her nominator wrote, “Sue is one of those librarians that we all aspire to be.” She never backs away from a challenge and is an amazing problem solver. She approaches everything with a smile, good humor, and a “let’s get to work attitude.” She is highly respected in our profession, and as you can see from the partial list of her accomplishments above, that respect is well earned. She is a mentor and leader both in her home library and in ALAO.

Congratulations to Sue Polanka!

-Krista McDonald, Miami University-Hamilton, Past President


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

Congratulations to Jenny Donley, 2017 recipient of the Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award


Jenny Donley, right.  Pictured with Past President Krista McDonald

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. Through this award ALAO strives to foster a culture of mentoring within the Association.

At this year’s conference, I was honored to present the 2017 Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award to Jenny Donley, Cataloging and Knowledge Architect Librarian at Ohio Northern University. In her nomination, Jenny’s supervisor Kathleen Baril wrote that, “Jenny Donley has been an excellent mentor to a library practicum student, library staff members, and younger librarians new to the profession.“ Ms. Baril shared quotes from two of Jenny’s mentees:

Gayle Riedel, who Jenny supervised as a Kent State practicum student, wrote that Jenny “has been an amazing mentor to me. I was hoping to learn the basics of cataloging, but Jenny went out of her way to give me projects that resulted in a wide range of experiences.”

And library staff member Brian Humphreys wrote “Jenny is the best supervisor I’ve had in my 20 years of library service.”

Ms. Baril also wrote, “As director of the library, I have observed that Jenny is a caring and compassionate person always willing to help others. She is also willing to take the time to explain things and how they work to library co-workers.”

Congratulations Jenny Donley!

Krista McDonald, Miami University-Hamilton, Past President

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

Research Grant Coming Soon!

The grant cycle for the research grant will be opening soon.  Stay tuned for further communications from the Research & Publications Committee.

-Heidi Gauder, University of Dayton, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair
-Eboni Johnson, Oberlin College, Research and Publications Committee Co-Chair

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