Membership Update

ALAO is proud to report that we are 337 members strong, including 314 regular members, 4 retiree members, and 19 students, as reported at the Executive Board meeting on February 24, 2017. We are excited to welcome our newest members:

  • Carla Myers, Miami University
  • Jennifer Vinopal, Ohio State University
  • Jenna Nolt, Kenyon College
  • Kristina Schulz, University of Dayton
  • Eugene Rutigliano, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Laurie Willis, Baldwin Wallace University
  • James Layden, Ohio Dominican University
  • Mark Konecny, University of Cincinnati

As we move into spring, ALAO will also be hosting many interest group workshops. The interest group workshops are an affordable way to meet with fellow ALAO members to discuss and learn about focused topics. Our interest group membership is quite robust, as evidenced below:

Interest Group Number of Members
Assessment 155
Collection Management 188
Curriculum Materials Center 109
Distance Learning 161
Instruction 322
Special Collections and Archives 153
Support Staff 87
Technical, Electronic, and Digital Services 234

In addition to access to interest groups, ALAO members are eligible to apply for grants and awards that support research, continuing education, diversity initiatives, and recognize excellence in the profession. Check out or contact Katy Mathuews at  to learn more about the benefits of ALAO membership.

-Katy Mathuews, Membership Chair, Ohio University

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Legislative News

ALAO has budgeted up to $600 for travel support for a member willing to represent ALAO and academic libraries generally at ALA National Library Legislative Days on May 1-2 2017 in Washington, D.C. Please review this information about the conference from the ALA Washington Office. Please contact Joseph Straw as soon as possible if you are interested in representing ALAO. Please provide a current resume, a brief description of your advocacy activity with ALAO or other civic organizations, and the name and phone number of a reference that is familiar with your advocacy efforts or interest. For more information about the grant please review this description from the ALAO website. Anyone interested in getting more involved in advocacy efforts is urged to apply. The ALAO representatives will be part of the Ohio delegation at the conference that will meet with members of the state congressional delegations and/or staffs.

-Joe Straw, Government Relations Liaison, Marietta College

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Interest Groups News

Assessment Interest Group Spring Workshop: May 19

AIG’s spring workshop “Using Assessment to Reshape and Rethinking Service Models” will be held at the Miami University Voice of America Center on Friday, May 19.  Registration is now open at:

The workshop will focus on how assessment can be used constructively to look at current service models, determine what is working (and what is not), and to think about how to make changes going forward. Featured speakers will be Laurie Willis and Charles Vesei from Baldwin Wallace University who will lead attendees in thinking about revamping the reference desk. Expect to leave this workshop full of ideas about using assessment towards positive and meaningful change!


  • 9-10am Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 10-12pm Keynote on Redesigning Reference
  • 12pm-1pm Lunch (provided)
  • 1pm-3pm Afternoon Workshop on Project Design
  • 3pm: Closing and After-Workshop Networking

Eric Resnis, Co-Chair Assessment Interest Group, Miami University
Melissa Engleman, Co-Chair Assessment Interest Group, Denison University


Curriculum Materials Center IG

The CMC Interest Group is seeking members interested in leadership of our interest group. Our current co-chairs are completing their terms of commitment. If you are interested in leading this interest group into the new academic year, please contact Desiree Fuerst,  We are also in search of workshop or networking opportunity for the CMCIG.

-Desiree Fuerst, Co-Chair Curriculum Materials Center Interest Group, The Ohio State University-Newark
-Deidra Herring, Co-Chair Curriculum Materials Center Interest Group, The Ohio State University


Distance Learning IG News

2017 DLIG Visionary Award
The co-chairs of the Distance Learning Interest Group of ALAO are delighted to announce the recipient of this year’s Distance Learning Visionary Award.

Dr. Beate Gersch is the Coordinator of Instruction Services and the Bibliography and Undergraduate Outreach Librarian at the University of Akron Libraries.

She earned her Ph.D. in Media Studies from the University of Oregon in 2003 and later turned librarian, graduating from Kent State University, School of Library and Information Science in 2011.  She brings an interesting perspective of media, power, and culture to librarianship.  She focuses on information literacy instruction, especially in digital environments.  Dr. Gersch has taught face to face courses and online.  She recently joined the Part-time Faculty of KSU School of Library and Information Science in 2016 with a concentration on Information Literacy Initiatives and Instruction.

She has presented internationally at ACRL, LOEX, DLS, and IFLA on topics such as archival research, collaboration, the Framework, library outreach with students and administrators, and assessment of academic libraries’ web pages.  She has published book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers on these same topics.  She recognizes the importance of intercultural communication as it relates to information literacy instruction as well as collaboration within the university and assessing impact.

Dr. Gersch will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming DLIG Workshop on Friday June 9, 2017 at the Voice of America Learning Center of Miami University, West Chester, Ohio.

DLIG Workshop Friday, June 9, 2017, 9:30 – 4:00
VOALC, Miami University, West Chester, OH
Please save the date and plan to register for the DLIG Workshop in Southwest Ohio.  This year’s theme is Bridging the Distance in Distance Librarianship:  Meeting the Needs of Today’s Online Learners.  Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Beate Gersch who will address intercultural aspects in online information literacy instruction.

For questions about the workshop, please contact DLIG co-chairs, Kristin Cole,  or Beth Tumbleson.

-Kristin Cole, Co-Chair Distance Learning Interest Group, Muskingum University
-Beth Tumbleson, Co-Chair Distance Learning Interest Group, Miami University Middleton


 Instruction IG

Registration is now open for the Instruction Interest Group’s Spring Workshop “Learning From Experience: Sharing Applied Threshold Concept Methods in Instruction” on April 20th at the State Library of Ohio. IIG’s Spring Workshop offers a variety of differentIIG Spring Workshop sessions on ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Come with your questions about the new Framework and leave with great ideas and tips. Register at the following link:

Check out Health Sciences Subject Librarian Hannah Schmillen’s “Library Instruction Nirvana vs. Library Instruction Reality: Balancing & Prioritizing Instruction Strategies, Reflections by a New Librarian” published on the IIG Blog. Visit the IIG Blog to read Hannah’s post and to find out how you can become a guest blogger:

Mark Eddy, Co-Chair Instruction Interest Group, Case Western Reserve Universtiy
-Dana Knott, Co-Chair Instruction Interest Group, Columbus State Community College

Special Collections and Archives Interest Group 2017 workshop: Preserving Scrapbooks in the Archives

SCAig is excited to present this year’s workshop, Preserving Scrapbooks in the Archives with Jennifer Hain Teper. The workshop will be held on Friday, June 9, 2017, 9:30 am–4:30 pm at the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library. The day will include tours of UD’s archives and special collections, lunch, and networking.

This workshop has been generously supported by the Midwest Archives Conference Speaker’s Bureau program—we thank them for their support of archival education in the Midwest.

Scrapbooks in the Archives will present the different structures and preservation challenges of historic scrapbooks often found in archival collections. After understanding common challenges, participants will be introduced to different simple methods to assist with handling and long-term storage of these valuable and unique artifacts. Attendees are encouraged to bring scrapbooks that present preservation challenges in their own collections for discussion.

Workshop instructor Jennifer Hain Teper serves as the Velde Preservation Librarian at thescaig presenter University of Illinois Libraries overseeing conservation, collections care, digital preservation, and digitization services throughout the library system. Before her current position began in 2009, she served as the head of conservation at the UL Libraries from 2001–2008. Jennifer graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a MLIS and Certificate of Advanced Study in the Conservation and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials. She teaches several preservation and conservation related courses in the Graduate School of Information Science at Illinois and also serves as an instructor at the International Preservation Studies Center (formerly the Campbell Center).

Look for registration to open in early April. Please visit for more information.  Registration will be $20 for members of ALAO or MAC or students, $25 for nonmembers, and will include lunch and breaks. Registration capped at 30.

An optional equipment fee will pay for supplies.

Option 1: $30 kit (knife, ruler, Teflon “bone” folder, small awl, Mylar sheet and envelope.)
Option 2: $3.50 kit (Mylar sheet and envelope only)
Option 3: $0 (I already have the equipment or will observe the hands-on portion)

Questions? Contact SCAig cochairs Kate Medicus at or Janet Carleton at Hope to see you there!

-Kate Medicus, Co-Chair Special Collections and Archives Interest Group, Kent State University
-Janet Carleton, Co-Chair Special Collections and Archives Interest Group, Ohio University

 Support Staff IG  2017 Spring Workshop

Registration is now open for the spring 2017 Workshop: “Discover Your Superpower” in March.

The ALAO Spring Support Staff Workshop will offer a variety of presentations to meet the diverse needs of support staff working in Ohio Academic Libraries. Timothy Winland, BBS, AAMN-Men in Nursing representing the University of Cincinnati will be offering the keynote, “Implementation of Leadership: the Physiological Effects of Change.”

Other presenters are Penny McGinnis, Technical Services Manager and Natalie Winland, Public Services Manager of University of Cincinnati-Clermont College Library sharing a session on identifying which superhero you are and discovering your superpower.

Melanie Blau-McDonald, director of SWON Libraries Consortium will proctor a World Café session that fosters collaborative thinking on the topic of organizational planning and development.

New upcoming co-chair for SSIG

Chasity and I are delighted to announce that Jennine Vlach from the Kelvin Smith Library-Case Western Reserve University will be SSIG’s newest co-chair in July. Welcome aboard Jennine!

-Chasity Gragg, Co-Chair Support Staff Interest Group, Ohio University
-Natalie Winland, Co-Chair Support Staff Interest Group, University of Cincinnati-Clermont College


Technical, Electronic, & Digital Services IG

TEDSIG will be co-hosting a workshop with the Collection Management (CMIG) Interest Group for Friday, June 16th at the State Library of Ohio. The workshop will focus on how work in technical services can assist and inform collection managers, and vice-versa. For example, how can the statistics kept in acquisitions and electronic resources assist collection managers in retention and cancellation decisions? How can technical services and collection managers assist each other in examining open access materials, streaming video services, and so on? Speakers will be from Case Western Reserve University, the University of Akron, and OhioLINK, with more details to come.

We will be sending out a call for our 2017 TEDDY nominees later this spring. The TEDDY award recognizes Distinguished Service by an ALAO member in the fields of Technical, Electronic, and Digital Services. Contributions may include service, innovative practices, presentations, publications, and leadership in the profession.  The award includes two waivers to a future TEDSIG event and TEDS, the TEDSIG mascot. Nominees must be current ALAO members who have worked in or are currently working in an Ohio academic library in the area of technical, electronic, or digital services.

TEDSIG will also be soliciting a new co-chair later this spring when Rich Wisneski’s term expires. If you already have a nominee in mind, or which to nominate yourself, please contact Cara Calabrese.

-Rich Wisneski, Co-Chair Technical Electronic & Digital Services Interest Group, Cleveland State University
-Cara Calabrese, Co-Chair Technical Electronic & Digital Services Interest Group, Miami University of Ohio

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People & Library News

Cedarville University News

Kirsten Setzkorn, Digital Services Specialist at the Cedarville University Centennial Library, earned her Master of Library & Information Science degree from Kent State University in December 2016.  She completed her culminating experience during the fall of 2016 at the Ohio State University Thompson Library. Kirsten graduated from Cedarville in 2013 with a degree in History.

-Julie Deardorff, Cedarville University

 OhioNET News

Registration for OhioNET’s Dive into Data 2 conference opens on March 20th

OhioNET pleased to announce that registration for our next day-long, multi-type conference–Dive into Data 2: New Skills, New Depths–is set to open on Monday, March 20th.  Remember to mark your calendars to join us at the event itself on Thursday, July 20th at the Fawcett Center for a day of practical advice and relevant examples to help you create effective research projects.  Our day will feature 3 learning tracks, each focused on a different type of research goal (visioning, decision-making, or evaluating).  Additionally, our schedule will include both a Real-Life Research Case Study Panel, with participants describing different features of their research processes, and Real-Time Research Projects, featuring various data-collection methods that will be conducted on the day of the event. Our wrap-up session will include a presentation of the results and options for visualizing the data collected.

Finally, we’re thrilled to announce the addition of a student registration option for this event.  This offer will be open to anyone currently enrolled in a library/information science degree program. Got questions?  Please don’t hesitate to contact Shelly Miller.

-Shelly Miller, First Year Board Member, OhioNET

University of Toledo News

Artist’s Showcase at the University of Toledo’s Mulford Library

In 2005 the Mulford librarians at the University of Toledo hosted an event to provide a creative outlet for students, faculty and staff of the university’s Health Science Campus (HSC). Now in its 12th year, the HSC Artist’s Showcase has become a popular event. This year’s show will contain nearly 60 works — paintings, drawings, photographs and university of toledo art showmultimedia pieces. The event includes a reception with light refreshments, and in the past has been accompanied by lectures that draw connections between art and medicine. In addition to bringing awareness of the artistic talents of fellow students and colleagues with the show, the hope is that the lectures will stimulate inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking by bringing together individuals from various departments and disciplines. Past topics include the importance of anatomy to art, medical illustration, art and creative wellness, and the impact of eye disease on painters. This year, in lieu of the lecture there will be an art scavenger hunt, and attendees will have a chance to win books on art and medicine.

The Artist’s Showcase has proven to be a successful means of reaching out to the UT community, as well as a way to engage interested individuals from the Toledo community at large. It has been suggested many times that the show be expanded to include the main campus, but the Mulford librarians prefer to keep the event intimate and easily manageable. Outside of the initial outlay for the art panels and accoutrements, the usual costs for refreshments and honoraria or giveaways are minimal, as is the amount of work required of the librarians (typically three or four) who are involved in the planning and set up of the show. Once the artwork was collected, the entire show was assembled in two hours.

Art shows have been around libraries for quite some time, and many have gallery spaces. But these have typically served as vehicles for artists of some repute, often not from the nearby community. If your library is looking for an alternative means of getting in touch with students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community, an amateur art show such as this may be suitable.

-Gerald Natal, First Year Board Member, University of Toledo

Wright State University News

Maureen Barry, First Year Experience Librarian at Wright State University, has recently partnered with a mentoring program for 30 fourth- through seventh-grade girls in Dayton, the On Purpose Girls.  The Program Director for OPG, Kim Jarvis, was seeking Barry Wright Statesomeone to create a small library for the program and Maureen was in the right place at the right time.  She volunteered to create the library, and immediately began seeking age-appropriate fiction books that featured strong female characters and people of color, along with other non-fiction and reference books.  Friends and colleagues from all over the country have donated books for the library based on a wish list that Maureen maintains through  The On Purpose Girls Community Library celebrated its Grand Opening on January 11, and is located in the Aspire Church in Dayton, where the OPG Mentoring Program meets weekly.  As a result of the partnership, Maureen also started a book club for the girls.

-Maureen Barry, Wright State University

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Annual Conference Report

O15513 Kristy McDonald

Krista McDonald President

I hope everyone enjoyed the 2016 Annual Conference and Preconference. I would like to extend special thanks to our keynote speaker, Courtney Greene McDonald, and UX workshop leader Ben Woods for joining our conference under difficult circumstances. Both of these speakers stepped into their roles with less than four weeks to prepare for their sessions when our previously scheduled speaker abruptly cancelled. They, along with Jerry Hensley and L. Scott Lissner, who led our preconference workshop on accessibility in academic libraries, anchored an excellent slate of programs on user experience.

Please join me in congratulating the recipients of the following ALAO awards presented at the 2016 conference:

Support Staff Presenter Grant Rosha Hester
Continuing Ed grant Richard Wisneski

Donald Pearson

Research grant Katy Mathuews

Tammy Stitz

Diversity Scholarship Dierric Rogers
DLIG Visionary Sara Klink
TEDdy C. Rockelle Strader
Kathryn Venditti Kathryn Venditti
Jay Ladd Julie Deardorff

Let’s also congratulate Ken Irwin, recipient of the 2016 People’s Choice Poster Award, for his poster, “Citation Tetris: A Library Skills Training Game.”

As has been recent past practice, we are gathering session materials and making them available to the ALAO membership via the members only area of the ALAO website. After logging in, you should see links to the presentation materials from the 2016 conference and several past conferences as well. Materials continue to be added as we receive them from presenters. If you presented and still need to submit your content, please email ALAO webmaster Joe Dudley at

Krista McDonald, President, Miami University Hamilton

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2017 ALAO Nomination for Elected Office

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 this summer. 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 two-day 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
  • Board Member-at-Large (3 positions)
  • Treasurer
  • Public Relations Coordinator

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 17, 2016 to be considered as a candidate!

If you have questions, please contact me or another member of the Nominating Committee.

Brian C. Gray, Case Western Reserve University
Katy Mathuews, Ohio University
Eileen Theodore-Shusta, Ohio University
Mandi Goodsett, Cleveland State University

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Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring Award

kathryn-venditti-award-2On December 22, 2015, ALAO lost a long-term friend, mentor, and leader. Kathryn Venditti was an Instruction and Reference Librarian at Ashland University, and had been a member of ALAO for over 15 years. She served various formal leadership roles over the last decade, including several conference planning committees and many years as the Interest Group (IG) Coordinator. During her tenure as the IG Coordinator, she established the processes used by the IG Chairs and Board to this day. The IG Handbook she created is the guiding light for the IGs to be successful. Kathryn’s enthusiasm and efforts to support ALAO and academic libraries were honored in 2014 when she received the Jay Ladd Award, the highest honor that ALAO can bestow on a member.

The conversations since her passing have demonstrated how much she has meant for so many members of ALAO. I lost count of how many members have told me the first person they met in ALAO and consider their first ALAO “friend” was Kathryn. She was the smiling face that greeted so many of us at our first ALAO Conference or workshop. She was the unofficial “ambassador” in everything she did from welcoming new members to providing a positive experience for everyone. The Board reflected on Kathryn’s years within ALAO. As we went around the room, the common theme was stories of joy from times spent with Kathryn. Almost everyone in the room described the “mentoring” she provided as each person was considering or accepting an ALAO leadership role. She had a calming approach as she prepared you to tackle your new challenges. Her enthusiasm was contagious and clearly led to many considering running for election or volunteering for roles within ALAO. I myself can say I participated in several conference planning committees and her personality set the tone for everything we did.kathryn-venditti-award

At the recent ALAO Conference, it was with great honor that I had the task of introducing a brand new ALAO award that will recognize an outstanding mentor. In the future, information will be available at the ALAO website.

The Kathryn L. Venditti Mentoring Award was established in 2016 in memory of longtime ALAO member Kathryn Venditti. Kathryn was an outstanding academic librarian at Ashland University from 1999-2015. A former ALAO Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award winner, she 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 new and experienced librarians.

  • 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.
  • Nominees will have a sustained record of effective mentorship, as demonstrated by activities that may include but not be limited to advising, developing, coaching, sponsoring, advocating, guiding, and/or supporting librarians, library workers, or library students.
  • Preference is given to nominees who work in academic libraries. Nominees need not be members of ALAO.
  • In the future, the Awards Committee will solicit nominations in spring and select the winner. Presentation of the award will occur at the Annual Conference in the fall. Nominations should include a single page describing the nominee’s record of mentorship. The Award does not have to be presented each year.

The 2016 award was given to Kathryn Venditti. It was accepted on behalf of her family by Kathryn’s son Gabriel. At the end of Gabriel’s acceptance speech, he issued this challenge to all of us: “So as I accept this award for her in her absence, I have a request for all of you.  Embrace your capacity for good.  Use the gifts you’ve been given to leave a mark on the lives that connect with yours.  And also, reach out to others who have these gifts as well, and teach them how to use them.”

Brian C. Gray, Past President, Case Western Reserve University

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