ACRL 2019 Update

ALAO Taco Party at ACRL

After an exciting day at ACRL in Cleveland, let’s taco’bout it!

Enjoy appetizers, a taco bar, and desserts while networking with fellow ALAO members. Wear your conference name badge and join us at Zocalo Tequileria.

The taco bar includes vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. The cash bar includes specialty tequilas, margaritas, beer and wine. Zocalo is accessible and is located ½ mile from the convention center.

Registration is free, but limited to 75 attendees. You must be a current ALAO member to register.

-Katie Blocksidge, ACRL Liaison, The Ohio State University at Newark/Central Ohio Technical College    

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Committee News

Research Grant: Call for proposals

Applications are now open for the 2019 ALAO Research Grant! You can apply here. Within the form, you must submit a research proposal, budget information, and a current resume or C.V. for each applicant. For more information, visit here.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) seeks to promote research, and each year the ALAO Executive Board may award up to $2000.00 to support and encourage research projects proposed by ALAO members. Both ongoing and new research projects are considered. Grants are intended to help in funding such incremental research costs as the organization of data, the hiring of interviewers or other assistants, charges for computer time, and modest travel costs associated with research. Grants may not be used for purchase of equipment. Grants are limited to investigations related to issues in libraries, librarianship, and information science and technology. **NOTE**: You must be a current member of ALAO in order to apply for the research grant.

–Brittany Brannon, Research & Publications Committee Co-Chair, OCLC
–Heidi Gauder, Research & Publications Committee Co-Chair, University of Dayton

 Continuing Education Grant Recipients

The ALAO Professional Development Committee is excited to announce that continuing education grants have been awarded to the following recipients:

Carla Myers, Miami University, $1000 (The Library Publishing Forum)

Jessica McIntosh, Otterbein University, $500 (ACRL 2019)

Justin Bridges, Miami University, $500 (RBMS Annual Conference 2019)

Jane Wu, Otterbein University, $500 (2019 MLA Research Training Institute).

Congratulations One and All!

–Beate Gersch, Professional Development Committee Co-Chair, Harvard University
–Heather Crozier, Professional Development Committee Co-Chair, Ohio Northern University

ACRL Scholarships Awarded

In 2018, the ALAO Board voted to offer scholarships that would assist our membership in attending ACRL 2019.  The amount of these scholarships would be the cost of early-bird registration for the conference at the full and student levels.

The Professional Development Committee had originally hoped to offer 5 librarian and 5 student scholarships.  Sadly, the committee did not receive any applications for the student scholarship.  As a result, the PDC decided to convert the funds for the student scholarships into one additional librarian scholarship in order to maximize the impact to our membership.

The committee is pleased that 5 of the 6 awardees stated they expected their institutions would pay none of their cost in attending ACRL 2019.  We hope that this serves as evidence in showing the positive impact that ALAO can have on our membership.

The PDC awarded 6 of our members scholarships to ACRL 2019.  Our awardees are:

  • Ariel Bacon
  • Carla Myers
  • Jillian Sandy
  • Michelle Brasseur
  • Maureen Barry
  • Mark Dahlquist

 –Paul Campbell, Second Year Board Member, Ohio University

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Membership News

Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Amy Zell, Coordinator of Teen and Patron Technology Services at the Hubbard Public Library and MLIS Student Member!

What are your aspirations after obtaining your MLS/MLIS degree?Amy Zell Member Spotlight

While I dearly love my position as Coordinator of Teen and Patron Technology Services at Hubbard Public Library, my dream is to run a community makerspace in an academic library setting, or in conjunction with educating future librarians on program development. I believe makerspace programming is more than introducing individuals to 3D printers, it is teaching that failure and problems are the beginning of learning. I am working on a toolkit to demonstrate how to develop programs within the makerspace that feature design planning and maker empowerment.

In what capacity do you aspire to work in academic libraries?

I currently work in a public library but my hope is to make a transition after obtaining my degree. I then plan to go on to acquire a second masters degree or my doctorate.

What do you like most about library work?

I enjoy educating other librarians. I think it is important that we continue to learn from one another on an ongoing basis. Open, honest exchanges of information, programming ideas, and how to move forward in our profession are invaluable pieces of wisdom from all of our colleagues at every level.

What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately – at work and/or in class?

I run a Makerspace Bookclub for homeschoolers. The first book we read was Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind. They had to identify problems the characters were experiencing and then choose one of them to relate to a social problem. After choosing the social problem (they chose isolation), they had to create a way through making to improve that problem. This group of three 10 year old girls chose to install a little free library in the community. Each book was equipped with stickers and registration and the side of the library said “Connect with a book” because these young ladies believe that we are all connected through reading. In a few weeks, I will begin a similar type of process with a Makerspace Storytime at our local VFW Post to help bring families closer together through making.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I have a special chair in my dining room (called a Swingasan) for doing homework and reading that no one in the family is allowed to sit in unless they are reading a book.

Why did you become/What do you love about being an ALAO member?

I enjoy the multitude of resources that come with being a member- always learning!

Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 382 members consisting of 341 regular members, 2 retiree members, and 39 student members. We are excited to welcome our newest members!

New members who joined between December 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019:

Holly Birk, Ohio Wesleyan University
Kelly Moore Broughton, Ohio University
Marel Corroedor-Hyland, Case Western Reserve University
Melissa Cox Norris, University of Cincinnati
Christopher Deems, Ohio Northern University
Michael Dziabiak, University of Findlay
Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros, Ohio State University
Ash Faulkner, Ohio State University
Jane Hammons, Ohio State University
Alea Henle, Miami University
Elizabeth Lang, Ohio Wesleyan University
Zachary Lewis, University of Dayton
David Luftig, University of Dayton
Laura Miller, Ohio State University
Zoe Orcutt, University of Akron
Jennifer Rice, Kent State University
Laura Sheets, Bowling Green State University
Jerry Yarnetsky, Miami University

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Interest Group News

Curriculum Materials Center Interest Group News

The CMC Interest Group is excited to introduce a new listserv for members of the interest group through BGSU. If you are interested in joining it, please fill out this form: or contact Colleen Boff at

Joint Library Event on June 14th 2019

Representatives from ALAO, OELMA, and OLC are planning a joint library event on June 14th, 2019. This should be an exciting event that will help many ALAO librarians – not just those with a CMC – learn how to partner with librarians outside of the academic world. Save the date and watch for more information coming soon!

One final note: If you are interested in joining the CMC Interest Group, please let the co-chairs, Colleen Boff ( and Marla Beebe ( know.

–Marla Beebe, CMCIG Co-Chair, Shawnee State University
–Colleen Boff, CMCIG Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University

Instruction Interest Group News ALAO Spring Workshop DLIG IIG

Save the Date! Distance Learning & Instruction Interest Groups Spring Workshop on April 26th

Mark your calendars and please join us this coming April 26th, 2019 at the Columbus Public Library Shepard Branch for a co-hosted IIG and DLIG Spring Workshop! This year’s program, titled “Back to Basics: Active Learning & Instructional Design” will focus on basic, evidence-supported strategies for designing library instruction. The workshop will feature two speakers that specialize in instructional design to lead attendees in hands-on, active learning sessions, as well as opportunities to connect and share with colleagues. More information will be coming soon about workshop registration and program details. We hope you can join us!

Blog for us!

IIG is looking for ALAO members who have instructional strategies, teaching experiences, or useful educational frameworks to share! Contact either of the IIG Co-chairs if you have a story or reflection you’d like to share on our blog, or even if you have an idea of a potential blog post and would like some feedback. We also welcome you to contact us with questions or interest in finding out more about the IIG!

-Mandi Goodsett, Cleveland State University, IIG Co-Chair
-Lindsey Miller, Miami University, IIG Co-Chair

Programming, Outreach, and Marketing Interest Group News

Collaboration Connection: Planting the seeds to building successful community partnerships

ALAO’s Programming, Outreach, and Marketing Interest Group (PROMIG) and Northeast Ohio Regional Library System (NEO-RLS) will jointly sponsor a spring workshop focused on collaboration.

Presenters will discuss developing successful partnerships between schools, libraries, and other local non-profit organizations. Facilitators Kieth Peppers and Wendy Wasman will share their successful collaboration on a grant-funded project between the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Baldwin Wallace University, The University of Akron, and the Cleveland Metroparks.

Collaboration Connection encourages participants to find the collaborator or resources needed to launch a multi-type organizational collaboration. Projects initiated during the afternoon will be judged based on specified criteria and eligible for one-time project support in the amount of $500.00.

The event will take place on May 2, 2019 from 9am-3pm at Mansfield-Richland County Public Library. For additional details and registration, follow this link to the Northeast Ohio Regional Library System’s event page.

Cost:  FREE
There is a $15 surcharge for facility use and amenities.

–Eboni Johnson, PROMIG Co-Chair, Oberlin College
–Shaunda Vasudev, PROMIG Co-Chair, Capital University

Special Collections and Archives Interest Group News

The Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAIG) will be holding its annual spring workshop on May 29th at the University of Cincinnati’s Archives and Rare Books Library.  The workshop will focus on primary source instruction and will be taught by University of Dayton archivists Heidi Gauder, Kayla Harris, and Stephanie Shreffler, authors of “The Archives as Classroom: A Primary Source Mini-Course” for the Society of American Archivists’ Case Studies on Teaching with Primary Sources series.

Registration for the workshop will be available on the ALAO website soon, and event announcements will be sent to all ALAO members.  Any questions regarding the workshop can be sent to SCAIG co-chairs Nick Pavlik ( and/or Suzanne Reller (

–Nick Pavlik, SCAIG Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University
–Suzanne Reller, SCAIG Co-Chair, University of Cincinnati

 Scholarly Communications Interest Group News

The Scholarly Communications Interest Group (SCIG) continues to grow in membership, and new members are always welcome to join. ALAO members who have questions about the Group can find more information about it, including contact information for the group’s co-chairs here.

In May of 2019 the SCIG will be sponsoring a webinar on how to develop outreach and programming around scholarly communications issues and initiatives. The webinar will be presented by Will Cross and Erica Hayes, both of whom work in North Carolina State University’s Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center. More information about this event will be forthcoming!

-Mark Clemente, SCIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University
-Carla Myers, SCIG Co-Chair, Miami University

Technical, Electronic & Digital and Services Interest Group News

TEDSIG is planning a Twitter live discussion on April 10th from 11:00a-1:00p.  We will be discussing ideas about equity, diversity and inclusion as it pertains to working in Tech Services. Diversity is a timeless issue and we want to hear about TEDSIG member’s experiences and opinions on how to be inclusive and and promote library services.  We will be tweeting out from @AlaoTedsig and look forward to engaging with TEDSIG members.  Please use the hashtag #TEDSIG19 to connect your tweets to the event.

–Lori Chapin, TEDSIG Co-Chair, Miami University
–Libby Hertenstein,  TEDSIG Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University

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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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