Notes from the Trenches

Developing a New Curriculum for One-Shot Sessions at Heidelberg University

After finishing up my first year as an Instruction and Reference Librarian, I have the opportunity to reflect on what I did well and what I can improve for next year. One problem came up consistently for me: overlapping students in my one-shot sessions. While this issue does not reflect every academic library, it can happen to libraries that have not yet had the opportunity to build an integrated library program beyond the one-shot session. With this in mind, I aim to build structured one-shot sessions that will hopefully turn into an integrated library program in the future.

A large part of my job is teaching basic information literacy to two of the core freshman courses, Writing 101 and Communication 100. Since Heidelberg is a small university, I am able see the same students two to four times in a school year. While I am grateful for the opportunity to work with almost every freshmen student on campus (often on multiple occasions), I learned a couple of things: 1) Students get bored with similar presentations, and 2) I do not like the feeling of working with disengaged students. Last summer, I thought I had my curriculum down. It included active learning, individual learning, and small group discussions. I also received compliments from instructors and students throughout the school year. However, overlapping students was one component that I was not prepared for as a first-year library instructor, and I feared that it was hurting my relationships with students.

Trying to resolve this for the short term, I played around with different lesson plans for each class I worked with. However, it was not the structured, well laid out curriculum I had hoped to accomplish. At the end of the semester, I talked with the English Department Chair and we discussed the IL skills he wanted his writing students to learn. After meeting with him, I began forming a new curriculum for each course. Communication 100 would focus on research skills, like developing research topics and search terms; Writing 101 would focus on evaluation skills and understanding different types of resources and their importance to research.

I was able to try the new lesson with a couple of WRI 101 classes at the end of the spring semester. In these sessions, I observed that students were engaged in the lesson, and because I had seen over half of the students before, I was able to continue building a positive rapport with them.

Looking to the future, I am planning on meeting with the department heads again before the 2018-2019 school year starts. My goal is to communicate with them early on about how the one-shot sessions will be set up and why. I am hoping that with the department chairs on board, this will be a smooth process.

-Jaclyn Spraetz, Heidelberg University

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Diversity Committee Spring Workshop Report

Actively Inclusive: Libraries Speak Up!

The ALAO Diversity Committee held its spring workshop “Actively Inclusive: Libraries Speak Up!” on Thursday, May 10th at the State Library of Ohio. Attendance included 36 registrants from academic and public libraries in Ohio as well as two out-of-state institutions.

Attendees had opportunities to learn from library outreach programs focusing on diverse academic audiences and community populations; learn about inclusive practices related to serving library personnel, as well as recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce; and to hear about professional development opportunities that help participants increase their understanding of power and privilege.

Speakers presented sessions which featured media and interactive elements that focused on bias and unheard voices, ableism and disabilities, diverse race and ethnic identities, inclusive dialogue, and challenging the barriers to successful equitable hiring processes. The program included the following sessions:

Make Me Wanna Holla: Thinking about Black/African-American Students’ Experiences with Libraries – Amanda Folk and Tracey Overbey, The Ohio State University

Forgotten Diversity: Disabilities – Gretchen Avery and Andrea Boehme, Bowling Green State University

Inclusive Library Professional Development Using Principles of Intergroup Dialogue – Ione Damasco, University of Dayton

Partnering for Social Justice: Libraries Working with Others to Reach Out to Diverse Communities – Kathy Ladell, Northern Illinois University

Rethinking and Restructuring Recruitment in Academic Libraries – Edith Scarletto and Eileen Bosch, Bowling Green State University; Helen Look and Edras Rodriguez-Torres, University of Michigan

Libraries Connecting Across Divides: Intersectionality, Identities, and Unconscious Bias – Helen Look and Marna Clowney-Robinson, University of Michigan

-Bree Miller, ALAO Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Columbus State Community College

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National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C., May 7-8 2018

As Government Relations Liaison, I attended National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) in Washington D.C. Ginny Boehme, the winner of the ALAO National Legislative Day Travel Award also attended as part of the Ohio delegation. As in prior years, I would like to extend a thank you to ALAO for supporting our travel to this important advocacy event.

On May 7, myself and Ginny attended a series of day long briefings organized by the the American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office. The briefings were held at the Liaison Hotel on New Jersey Avenue just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. We were members of the Ohio delegation which was made up of 17 people that included academics, public librarians, trustees, vendors, and educational lobbyists. William Morris of the State Library of Ohio headed the delegation and did an excellent job coordinating the state’s efforts at the conference. Like last year, attendance was at record levels with 475 on site registrations supplemented by several hundred more virtual registrants. Public and school librarians made up the bulk of the attendees, with academic librarians still a minority with nearly 40 participating.

The briefings including presentations by James Neal, president, ALA; Mary Ghikas, executive director, ALA; Kathi Kromer, associate executive director, ALA Washington Office; and Ellen Satterwhite, vice president, Glen Echo Group. The legislative issues nearly all revolved around federal funding for libraries, broadband access, and net neutrality. The funding issues were focused on the reauthorization of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) the agency that manages the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Act (IAL) the only programs that provide direct federal support to libraries. Summaries of the issues covered at NLLD can be found off the ALA Washington Office website at: . After the briefing sessions, a reception for attendees was held at the Hart Senate Office Building.

May 8 was national legislative day proper and was spent entirely on Capitol Hill. In the morning, myself and the rest of the delegation met with staffers from the offices of Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). During the afternoon, I was on the House side meeting with staffers for Representatives Bill Johnson (R-OH-6) and Warren Davidson (R-OH-8). The issues covered in the meetings included continuation of the federal broadband program, the net neutrality FCC decision, IMLS, LSTA, and IAL. Besides the efforts of Ginny and myself, other Ohio delegates were able to get out and meet the state’s entire congressional delegation during the day. As in past years, a big thanks need to go out to the staff of the ALA Washington Office in organizing this grassroots event and in lobbying full time on behalf of libraries.

-Joseph Straw, Government Relations Liaison, Marietta College

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Interest Group and Committee News

Community and Two Year College IG NewsCommunity and Two Year College IG

Join us for a low-key online discussion on July 17th from 2:00-3:00pm.  Where you can “Sound Off” about what’s going on in your library!

-Sara Klink, Co-Chair, Community & Two Year College Libraries Interest Group, Stark State University
-Julie McDaniel, Community & Two Year College Libraries Interest Group, Sinclair Community College

 Instruction IG News

The ALAO Instruction IG was very pleased to partner with the Distance Learning IG to offer a joint spring workshop titled “Authority, Source Evaluation, and Critical Thinking for In-Person & Online Library Instruction” on May 4th at the State Library. The workshop offered a variety of sessions about how librarians are applying the ACRL Authority Frame for Information Literacy to the design of assignments, sessions, and online tutorials that encourage students to engage in critical source evaluation. In addition to a keynote address by DLIG Distance Learning Visionary award winner, Mary Hricko, the workshop featured four presentations and three lightning talks by various speakers. The topics ranged from using an information scoring system to help students better evaluate biased sources, to adopting the evaluation acronym DRAMA, to developing online tutorials in a variety of online platforms and evaluating their usefulness. The workshop ended with some roundtable discussions about topics of interest to attendees. Overall, attendees gave positive feedback about their experience, and the planning committee had a lot of fun putting the workshop together!

Whether or not you were able to attend our spring workshop, we encourage you to submit your instruction ideas to the ALAO Instruction IG blog to share with ALAO members! Blog topics can cover anything of interest to librarians who teach, and we are happy to work with you to develop a blog post idea and give feedback! If you would like to submit a blog post or ask questions about the blog, please contact Mandi Goodsett at

The ALAO Instruction IG is also excited to welcome Lindsay Miller, Assistant Head of Advise and Instruct Department at Miami University’s King Library, as our incoming co-chair. Congratulations Lindsay!

-Mandi Goodsett, Co-Chair, Instruction Interest Group, Cleveland State University
-Mark Eddy, Co-Chair, Instruction Interest Group, Case Western Reserve University

Professional Development Committee News

Continuing Education Grant Program

The ALAO Professional Development Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Continuing Education Grants.  Please join us in congratulating them!

Chloe Bragg, Ashland University – to attend the Innovative Users Group Conference for the first time.

Mandi Goodsett, Cleveland State University – to attend the ALA Annual Conference in her new role as President of the New Members Roundtable (NMRT) and to present on professional development for new librarians.

Andrew Kosmowski, University of Dayton – to present a poster and participate in a panel discussion at the ATLA Conference.

We look forward to honoring them at the 2018 ALAO Conference on Friday, Nov. 2nd.

2018-19 ALAO Mentoring Program

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Professional Development Committee (PDC) is excited to announce this Call for Participation in our Mentorship Program for 2018-19.

We invite people interested in being mentors and mentees to complete the application:

Program Overview

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Professional Development Committee (PDC) reviews registration information and matches mentoring pairs over the summer months. The PDC hosts a Meet-and-Greet social event in early August where mentoring pairs can get together in a fun, informal setting. Program participants are free to arrange times to talk or meet up as meets their needs. Watch for opportunities to catch-up at events like the spring IG workshops or the ALAO Annual conference. The annual program typically runs from late July through early May, and participants will be invited to give feedback on their experience to allow the PDC to evaluate and update the program as needed.

Who Can Be a Mentee?

Everyone is welcome to be a mentee, whether you are a student, a newly minted professional, or a more seasoned librarian. This is a great opportunity to connect with someone in the field who will work with you to develop your career.

Who Can Be a Mentor?

We welcome mentors from all levels of professional experience in academic libraries. Mentoring offers a meaningful way to engage with a colleague, be a supportive listener, and help them identify and achieve their professional goals.

Interested in Both?

If you are interested in both mentoring someone and being mentored, simply submit the form twice—once for your preferences as a mentee and once for your preferences as a mentor.
-Shelly Miller, Chair-Professional Development Committee, OhioNET

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People & Library News

Case Western Reserve University News

New Hires

José Diaz, Associate Director for Academic Engagement Services, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University (Starts August 6, 2018)

Previous Position: Head of Humanities and Social Sciences Cohort, The Ohio State University Libraries

Shelby Stuart, Electronic Resource Librarian, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University (Started May 7, 2018)

Previous Position: Library Assistant IV, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University

Upcoming Conference at CWRU

Mark your calendars! This Fall, Kelvin Smith Library will be hosting “The Digital and Democracy” 2018 Digital Scholarship Colloquium bringing together the vanguard of professionals using digital tools to advance democracy. The colloquium will delve into how research can be used for the advocacy of communities experiencing disruption and inequality and in all the points that touch a person’s life, including, healthcare, housing, environment, social justice. The program will feature the country’s top scholarly work and digital tools used to scale the heights of democratic power and influence.

The conference will take place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio on November 1-2, 2018

– Corina Chang, Case Western Reserve University

Denison University News

Peggy Rector has been elected to a three-year term as Member-at-Large of the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table (LSSIRT) of the American Library Association. Peggy is the Assistant to the Director of Libraries at Denison University where she has been employed for the past 31 years.  She has been an active member of the Academic Library Association of Ohio since 1986 and was 1994-95 chair of the Support Staff Interest Group. She was Public Relations Coordinator 2008 – 2013 and has served on numerous Conference Planning Committees.

-Peggy Rector, Denison University


Lakeland Community College NewsLLC

Megan Mamolen has joined the Lakeland Community College Library as a full-time Reference and Instruction Librarian, Electronic Resources Emphasis.  She is a graduate of Kent State University’s iSchool, and also earned a PhD in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from Case Western Reserve University. Following a transition from research science to academic libraries, she served as an Instructor at Kent State University’s iSchool, and worked as a part-time Librarian at Lakeland. She will continue on in her role as liaison to the health, life, and physical sciences departments on campus, and will also focus on electronic resources development and management.

-Michelle Rossman, Lakeland Community College


OhioNET Executive Director/CEO Michael P. Butler Announces Retirement


April 10, 2018

COLUMBUS, April 10, 2018 — Executive Director/CEO Michael P. Butler has officially announced his retirement from OhioNET, effective January 2, 2019.

Butler’s 26-year tenure has been marked by innovation and collaboration.  Two of the most notable innovations of that time have been the OPAL and COOL projects.  Leaders from both OPAL and COOL conveyed their thoughts on Butler’s crucial leadership.

“Michael was instrumental in the formation of the OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries) collaborative project in 1998 to implement a shared integrated library management system that allowed 16 private colleges to become part of OhioLINK to share physical materials” said Andrew Whitis, University Librarian at the University of Findlay and current OhioNET Board President. “He created a solid financial foundation for OPAL members that has created benefits beyond the original shared catalog. Michael’s guidance over the past twenty years has helped OPAL add additional participating libraries, share expertise, and provide numerous professional development opportunities for all of our staff.”

Community Library Executive Director/Fiscal Officer, Chauncey G. Montgomery shared that same gratitude and esteem, “Michael Butler’s interest in new technologies and innovative solutions provided the foundation needed to establish Ohio’s first statewide open source ILS consortium, COOL. The COOL libraries greatly appreciate his leadership and OhioNET’s support of our efforts.”

Likewise, collaboration has been a key theme during Butler’s tenure, and other library leaders have reflected on that point.

“Early on in his tenure as Executive Director of OhioNET, Michael had a vision that all Ohio libraries needed to be one community with equity at the core of our strategic mission,” wrote Theresa M. Fredericka, Director of INFOhio and OhioNET Board Member.  “His leadership to help PreK-12 school libraries through staunch support of INFOhio and OELMA led to helping school librarians achieve equal access to professional learning.  His vision of equity provided equal access to negotiated reductions in pricing for every library, regardless of size; and equal opportunities for school, public and academic libraries to work together. He is leaving a tremendous legacy to every Ohioan and to future generations.”

Tom Sanville, former Executive Director of OhioLINK, also remembered Butler’s spirit of cooperation as a hallmark.  “Michael Butler’s unfailing spirit of cooperation and collaboration rather than competition is the hallmark of his tenure at OhioNET.  Those of us from the other Ohio consortia who have worked closely with Michael have had a trusted colleague who always puts the interests of Ohio libraries first.  Michael has made a lasting contribution to the continued excellence of the Ohio library community.”

Missy Lodge, Associate State Librarian for Library Development, further elaborated on the theme of Butler’s commitment to collaboration.  “Throughout his time at OhioNET, Michael has shown a passion for libraries and a commitment to improving library services through collaboration.  His vision brings together libraries of all types and in doing so, makes us stronger and more responsive institutions. Michael has accomplished this vision by empowering his staff to work with other library organizations, leading to successful events such as Your Library, Your Community and Embracing eBooks.  And nowhere has his commitment to library collaboration been more apparent than Library Leadership Ohio.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Michael on LLO since 2010 when OhioNET stepped in to work with the State Library on retooling LLO.  He firmly believes that LLO fosters collaboration in Ohio libraries by investing in future leaders and showing them the value in working together.”

The OhioNET Board has named a search committee for the Executive Director/CEO position.  Whitis and Fredricka are co-chairing the committee.  Further information about the search process will be shared with membership as it becomes available.

-Christine Morris, OhioNET

State Library of Ohio and OhioNET News

Registration is now open for Opioids in Communities: Libraries in Response!

In partnership with the State Library of Ohio and OhioNET, each of Ohio’s Regional Library Systems will sponsor a day of learning and networking called Opioids in Communities: Libraries in Response.  From August 6th through the 9th, each region will host a day-long event featuring keynote speaker Sam Quinones, author of DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, as well as practical, local perspectives on library responses. Including speakers from a variety of library perspectives—public, academic, and K-12—this series of events will continue the conversation begun at OLC’s recent symposium on the same topic. While this event is geared toward middle management and front- line library staff, staff at all levels are welcomed. We look forward to seeing you at one of the sessions! #LibrariesRespond

  • Monday, August 6th—Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis
  • Tuesday, August 7th—Sinclair Community College Conference Center in Dayton
  • Wednesday, August 8th—Owens Community College in Findlay
  • Thursday, August 9th—Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg

-Shelly Miller, OhioNET, Chair-Professional Development Committee

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President’s Report


Katy Kelly, President

On February 23, the ALAO board met at OhioNET. At this meeting, board members discussed the following items:

  • Determining that the budget is in good shape even though annual conference attendance and exhibitor support was down.
  • Approving a new interest group (IG) proposed by ALAO members Sara Klink (Stark State College) and Julie McDaniel (Sinclair Community College). The Community & Two-Year College Libraries Interest Group will enable librarians working with students pursuing two-year degrees or technical certificates to share experiences, expertise, and solutions. This interest group was approved, becoming ALAO’s 12th IG.
  • Making appointments to the ALAO Board, effective in July. Meghan Frazer (OhioLINK) and Tina Beis (University of Dayton) will begin terms as webmasters. Anita Slack (Ashland University) and Katie Blocksidge (Ohio State University at Newark) will be reappointed to their current board positions of communications editor and ACRL liaison, respectively.
  • Beginning discussions about the possibility of a joint conference with Michigan’s academic library organization, MiALA. A task force was formed.
  • Limiting board roles to one per member in order to generate more involvement from the membership and avoid work overload. Verbiage is being drafted for the Procedures Manual.
  • Planning for the next ALAO strategic plan. We will begin this process at the July board retreat and carry it forward over a 10-month period. The board will solicit membership involvement in strategic planning at the annual conference.
  • Looking at how ALAO can best be represented at ACRL 2019 in Cleveland. Board members will be drafting a proposal for ACRL 2019 travel grants. We are also looking into planning an ALAO networking reception.
  • Hosting a half-day workshop on “Speaking Up for Libraries,” covering how to effectively communicate the value of libraries to a variety of stakeholders. This aligns with ALAO’s strategic plan and ACRL’s objectives. Workshop and budget were approved. More information forthcoming.
  • Selecting the National Legislative Day travel grant winner. Congratulations to Ginny Boehme at Miami University!
  • Reviewing and updating the Diversity Scholarship funding process. Instead of scholarship funds going to the institution, they will go directly to the recipient. Verbiage is being drafted for the Procedures Manual.
  • Removing the full-time student status as a requirement for free ALAO membership, making part-time MLIS/MSLIS students eligible. This motion passed. Another issue to consider at a later time is opening it to all degree-seeking students.
  • The next ALAO board meeting is April 27, 2018, at OhioNET.

-Katy Kelly, President, University of Dayton

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ALAO Election News

O15513 Kristy McDonald

The ALAO annual election of board members will begin soon. Nominations closed in mid-February, and the ballot is set. Voting will begin March 15 and will close on April 15. Voting in the annual election is one of the most basic means of participation in ALAO; however, only current ALAO members are permitted to cast a ballot. To join or renew your membership in advance of the election, please click: look forward to a strong turnout in the election as we have an exciting slate of candidates seeking office.

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who is running this year.

-Krista McDonald, Past President, Miami University-Hamilton

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