People & Library News

Bluffton University News

Bluffton University hosts “Voices of Conscience:  Peace Witness in the Great War”

Bluffton University’s Musselman Library is the venue for the university’s hosting of “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War.”  This traveling exhibit remembers the witness of peace-minded people against the First World War from 1914-1918 and immerses visitors in the historical experience of witnessing for peace during “total war.” The exhibit also suggests parallels to the culture of war and violence in our world today.  The exhibit was developed and is toured by Kauffman Museum at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas.  Learn more at

Carrie Phillips, archives and special collections librarian at Bluffton University, has curated a companion exhibit titled, “Of Bronze and Bravery: Local Voices of Conscience.”

The exhibit includes selected works of Russian Mennonite artist and Bluffton emeritus art professor John Peter Klassen, along with archival documents and artifacts illustrating the Bluffton College experience in the Great War.  Both exhibits are on display through March 31.

Bluffton University Fifth Annual Research Fair

Bluffton University’s fifth annual Research Fair was held Thursday, February 7, from 1:00-4:30 pm at Musselman Library.  The poster-session-style event showcased the work of 44 Bluffton University students in 41 presentations including traditional research presentations, projects, pre-professional experiences, and creative work.  Presenters were nominated by members of the Bluffton University faculty.

–Carrie Phillips, Bluffton University

 Oberlin College News

Alonso Avila joined the library as Information Literacy and Student Success Librarian in the Mary Church Terrell Main Library in January. His primary responsibilities include curricular support, reference and instruction, information literacy initiatives, and information resource management. Avila was most recently employed at the University of Iowa as a Special Collections and Reference and Instruction Librarian where he designed and taught a 10-week first year seminar on international hip-hop and social justice.

Other staff changes: Allison Gallaher, Assistant Director of the Libraries and Head of Public Services, and Jessica Grim, Collection Development and Management Librarian, retired in January after a combined 66 years of service in the Terrell Main Library.  A search is underway to fill the position of Conservatory Library Special Collections Librarian, following Jeremy Smith’s move to East Tennessee State University.

-Alison Ricker, Oberlin College

Ohio University Lancaster News

Ohio University Lancaster is hosting two events in March: Celebrate Women 2019 conference. Registration is still open! Keynote speakers include Colonel Eileen Collins, first woman to pilot and command an American spacecraft and Professor Chawne Kimber, mathematician and accomplished quilter/activist. A day full of concurrent sessions, 3 keynote timeslots, door prizes, and lunch—all for less than $50! If you’re still not sure, check out the video here.

The Friends of the Hannah V. McCauley Library at Ohio University Lancaster present Professor Timothy G. Anderson (OHIO Athens): “Barns as Evocative Elements of the Midwestern Landscape”. Dr. Anderson provided the introduction to the 2nd edition of Barns of the Midwest. The event is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. March 28, 6:30pm, room 211, Brasee Hall, Ohio University Lancaster, 1570 Granville Pike, Lancaster, OH 43130 . Feel free to contact Judy Carey Nevin, director, Hannah V. McCauley Library, Ohio University Lancaster: 740-681-3351 .

–Judy Carey Nevin, Ohio University Lancaster

University of Toledo News

Jolene Miller, Director of Mulford Health Science Library has been selected to serve in the following capacities:

As a co-presenter for a 90-minute immersion session at the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting in Chicago.  The session, entitled “Closing the Circle with Reflection: Elevating Professional Practice,” will be an experiential session introducing participants to reflective practice.

As a fellow for the 2019 Medical Library Association’s Research Training Institute, which provides practicing health sciences librarians with an opportunity to immerse themselves in instruction and focused activities related to scholarly research, inquiry, and publishing. Jolene’s research project is “Health Science Librarians’ Engagement in Reflective Practice:  A Qualitative Exploration of Why They Invest in Reflective Practice.”

–Jolene Miller, Mulford Health Science Library, University of Toledo

Wright State University News

Wright State University Libraries would like to congratulate Bette Sydelko on her Bette Sydelkoretirement! Bette has served the Wright State University community for a total of 27 years; 18 years at the Fordham Health Sciences Library and 9 years in Dunbar library. In her most recent position as Medical & Education Librarian she is the subject librarian for the Boonshoft School of Medicine and the College of Education and Human Services.

Bette is one of the many people we can thank for the early years of online library chat in Ohio. When OhioLINK got involved with statewide chat services many years ago, Bette was on its WebRef committee, which first started its own service and then got involved with the public libraries’ 24/7 KnowitNow service. We owe a lot of thanks to Bette and her fellow early-adopters for the fast, friendly, local service we enjoy today. Bette considers it a privilege to have helped online reference service, an ever-growing field, get started in Ohio.

Bette’s last day was February 28, 2019. Please join us in congratulating her and wishing her a happy retirement!

–Sue Polanka, Wright State University

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President’s Report

Conference Recap

I want to thank those who attended the annual conference and the preconference. I hope you had many great conversations during the day, and brought home new and exciting


Eric Resnis, President

ideas.  Most presentations and poster files are now available on the ALAO website.

By the numbers:

  • 40: Preconference attendees (sold out)
  • 254: Conference attendees
  • 26: Exhibitor (with 40 attendees representing these exhibitors)
  • 227: Cold weather items collected for The Open Shelter

A special congratulations goes to the winners of the People’s Choice Poster Award. Easy effort, high impact, wide reach:  Cultivating community engagement with a low-tech whiteboard

From Cynthia Comer and  Julie Weir.  Congrats Cynthia, and Julie!

Strategic Plan

We are still in the planning stages for the strategic plan. Some input was gathered at the annual conference, and some more input will be gathered from the membership in late January.


I’m pleased to announce a few new programming collaborations with fellow organizations. More details on these events will be available early next year.

Our Assessment Interest Group is partnering with MiALA for a Spring Workshop that will be held at the University of Toledo.

Our new Programming, Outreach, and Marketing Interest Group (PROMIG) will be partnering with the SWON, NEO-RLS and CLC on a event to occur in 2019.

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Conference Planning Update

Katy Mathuews

Katy Mathuews, Vice President/President Elect

The 2019 Conference Planning Committee has already begun planning ALAO’s 2019 Annual Conference! The 2019 Annual Conference will be held on October 18, 2019 with a pre-conference on October 17, 2019. The theme will be, “Libraries Speak Up! Advocate. Collaborate. Educate.”




The 2019 CPC Members are:

Name Institution
Katy Mathuews Ohio University
Don Appleby University of Akron
Carrie Girton Miami University Hamilton
Christina Beis University of Dayton
Michelle Brasseur Wright State University
Allen Reichert Otterbein University
Adam Randolph Wright State University
Gerald Natal University of Toledo
Laura Birkenhauer Miami University
Anne Kumer Case Western Reserve University
Heather Crozier Ohio Northern University
Shelby Stuart Case Western Reserve University
Mandy Shannon Wright State University
Chris Deems Ohio Northern University
Daniela Solomon Case Western Reserve University
Myra Justus Cincinnati State College Library
Rob Withers Miami University
Eboni Johnson Oberlin College
Krista McDonald Miami University Hamilton
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ALAO 2019 Election Call for Nominations

Call for Self-Nominations for Vice President/President-Elect, PR Coordinator, Treasurer, and Board Member at Large (3 positions)

Are you looking for a leadership opportunity? Would you like to get involved in


Katy Kelly, Past President

professional service for an ACRL chapter? If so, please consider nominating yourself for the ALAO Board. Elections will take place in March/April 2019, 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.

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?

  1. Perform the duties described for your elected position (see the ALAO Procedures Manual for the specific duties and responsibilities of each position).
  2. Attend the annual Board retreat (usually in June/July of each year; 2019 date and location to be determined).
  3. Attend four Board meetings per year.

In 2019, we will be electing the following officers:

  • Vice President/President-Elect
  • Public Relations (PR) Coordinator
  • Treasurer
  • Board Member At Large (3 positions)

Submit this online nomination form by Friday, February 15, 2019, to be considered as a candidate.

If you have questions, please contact Katy Kelly at

Thank you!

The 2018/2019 ALAO Nominating Committee:

  • Katy Kelly, ALAO Past President and Nominating Committee Chair, University of Dayton
  • Stefanie Hilles, Miami University
  • Yuimi Hlasten, Ohio State University
  • Eboni Johnson, Oberlin College
  • Christine Morris, OhioNET
  • Edith Scarletto, Bowling Green State University
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Congratulations to Krista McDonald, Winner of the 2018 Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring 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. Through this award, ALAO strives to foster a culture of mentoring within the association.

The award was established in 2016 in memory of longtime ALAO member and friend krista mcdonald vendittiand mentor to many, Kathryn Venditti. Kathryn was an outstanding academic librarian at Ashland University from 1999-2015. She received the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award in 2014 and was an active leader in the field and a loyal colleague. In particular, Kathryn is remembered for her supportive mentorship to many emerging librarians. The ALAO Executive Board voted to establish this award in her name to honor her generous spirit, exhibited through her lifelong mentoring of both new and experienced librarians.

At this year’s conference, I was honored to present the 2018 Kathryn Venditti Mentoring Award to Krista McDonald, Director of Rentschler Library at Miami University-Hamilton. Elizabeth Woods, her mentee who works at the Ohio History Connection, enthusiastically nominated Krista. In her nomination, Elizabeth wrote,

“I first met her during a HUGE turning point in my life; I had recently moved into a management position for the first time. Luckily, I was paired with her through the 2017-2018 ALAO Mentoring Program. From day one, she immediately created space for comfort and growth. She is extremely personable and provided a favorable environment for my career development.”

Elizabeth also described Krista’s sustained activities as a mentor:

“Agreeing to be someone’s mentor is only the first step. She worked hard to set up meetings for us to discuss issues I brought to the table. She provided in-person coaching, guidance via email, and advocated for my participation and engagement in leadership opportunities in library organizations.”

“What I appreciate most about her is her continued availability as a source of guidance. Our relationship did not end when we completed the ALAO Mentoring Program. She wants the best for you and for you to feel supported in the field of librarianship. Hopefully, others get the joy of becoming her mentee!”

Krista has been involved with ALAO committees and leadership positions since 2006. Most recently, she served as president in 2016 to 2017. I count myself as one of the lucky individuals who is mentored and guided by her. She gives so much to see people succeed.

Congratulations, Krista McDonald!

Thank you to the 2018 awards committee that reviewed the nominations and selected our winners: ALAO President Eric Resnis, ALAO Vice President, President-Elect Katy Matheuws, Sue Polanka, 2017 Jay Ladd Award recipient and Jenny Donley, the 2017 Kathryn Venditti Award winner. Many thanks to Eric, Katy, Sue and Jenny for serving with me in order to recognize our colleagues and their important work.

–Katy Kelly, University of Dayton, Past President

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Congratulations to Brian Gray, the 2018 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award Winner

The Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has been an brian grayALAO 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 2018 Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award to Brian Gray, Team Leader of Research Services at Case Western Reserve University. Brian received a joint nomination by two of his colleagues at CWRU, Jen Starkey and Mark Eddy. For over a decade, Brian has served in many capacities on the ALAO Executive Board as well as serving as chair and member of numerous committees including:

  • Board Member at-Large from 2007 to 2009, which included membership on the budget and planning committee and professional development committee.
  • Member of the conference planning committee from 2007 to 2009, coordinating the exhibitors and vendors.
  • In addition, from 2008 to 2013, he served in roles to support membership and the website. Brian’s development and vast knowledge of the ALAO website has informed the process of web redesigns and assisted with subsequent webmaster training.

Most recently, Brian served as ALAO President between 2015 and 2016. During his presidency, among many other initiatives, he developed meaningful partnerships with consortiums like SWON and Northeast Ohio Regional Library System to coordinate jointly sponsored programming to connect our members with professional development and social activities around the state.

Here are statements from his nominations:

When asked about their nominee’s activities that promote academic libraries and librarianship on their campus, they said: “He has been a leader in co-developing the Personal Librarian Program and has served on the campus-wide First-year experience advisory group.”

For statewide support of academic libraries, he has not only been a significant leader in ALAO but also in support of OhioLINK as chair and valuable contributing member of CIRM, the Cooperative Information Resources Management committee.

He also promotes academic libraries on a nationwide scale by planning and organizing the Personal Librarian and First Year Experience Conferences at Case Western Reserve University held in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

Lastly, the nominators wrote, “he has a positive attitude even in the face of stressful and difficult situations. He cares deeply about his work and about contributing to statewide and national professional organizations.”

Congratulations to Brian Gray!

Thank you to the 2018 awards committee that reviewed the nominations and selected our winners: ALAO President Eric Resnis, ALAO Vice President, President-Elect Katy Matheuws, Sue Polanka, 2017 Jay Ladd Award recipient and Jenny Donley, the 2017 Kathryn Venditti Award winner. Many thanks to Eric, Katy, Sue and Jenny for serving with me in order to recognize our colleagues and their important work.

-Katy Kelly, University of Dayton, Past President

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Apply for Scholarships for ACRL Cleveland

ALAO will be offering a total of 10 scholarships: 5 for ALAO members, and 5 for library students (NOTE: ALAO memberships are free to students). We understand that some institutions may only pay partial costs of attending this conference, and we want to help bridge the gap. These scholarships will be awarded via check so that awardees may use the funds in any way they see fit in helping them attend ACRL 2019.  The only requirement to apply for these scholarships is to be a current member of ALAO. Simple!

The amount of these scholarships is as follows:

For current librarians: $399.00

For library students: $100.00


The application forms will live and made available on the ALAO website on December 1, 2018. We will accept applications until 11:59pm on December 31, 2018. Notifications will be sent out on or before January 15, 2019.  This allows plenty of time for participants to register for the early-bird rate.

–Paul Campbell, Second Year Board Member, Ohio University

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