Notes from the Trenches

Teaching and learning human anatomy using a 3-dimensional computer graphics learning tool: Considerations and benefits

Authors: Jacobsen, A. L., Miami University, Social Sciences Librarian and
McMurray, M. S., Miami University, Department of Psychology

Given recent trends in budgeting, academic libraries must implement fiscally responsible decisions to support student learning and institution-wide sustainability goals. Rising prices paired with budget cuts has forced difficult decisions to ensure sustainable access to quality resources at affordable costs. A notable example is the recent emphasis on developing and using open educational resources. Miami University Libraries recently acquired an innovative learning tool called Visible Body-Human Anatomy Atlas, a 3-dimensional computer graphics (3DCG) application that provides accurate human anatomy models, including augmented reality, to develop sustainable access to quality teaching and learning resources in the biomedical and health sciences fields. It is reusable, has no up-front cost to students, and is cheaper than acquiring, maintaining, and disposing of embalmed or plastinated cadavers (Bushey, 2013; Shoepe, 2008). Our long-term goals for this resource are to supplement classroom teaching and learning, as well as potentially replace anatomy textbooks and specimens.

The Visible Body-Human Anatomy Atlas provides sustainable, hands-on, interactive learning opportunities for students and faculty. Users can search and browse through a comprehensive collection of structures and systems that can be digitally dissected in 3-dimensions, reattached, rotated, and more. Its depictions of anatomical structures and systems are more realistic than traditional 3D plastic models and 2D renditions. Students can also quickly access definitions, functions, and common pathologies of structures within the dissection environment. To facilitate learning, students can complete self-guided active learning tutorials, instructor-designed lab activities, create study note cards, and take quizzes. Importantly, the Atlas is also easily accessed using any computer or mobile device, making it especially helpful for students in online teaching settings. These strengths increase intrinsic motivation to learn and therefore overall student success.

This resource compliments learning objects currently used by Miami University faculty. Within the dissection environment, faculty can create and annotate anatomical dissections (both static images and dynamic content) to present in class, and then send these to students (via email or Learning Management System) for at-home review. Faculty can also assign students to conduct their own dissections, and similarly receive reports or videos of their students’ work. It can supplement student learning using Miami University’s Anatomage Table. Students report a high degree of enthusiasm for this resource. According to one Miami University student, the, high level of detail, study quizzes, and ability to study material for brief intervals of time on the Visible Body app such as while sitting on the bus makes the resource particularly valuable (K. Shaw, personal communication, November 28, 2018).

3DCG anatomical atlases provide a promising solution for developing fiscally responsible collection management decisions to support student learning outcomes and university initiatives. We are grateful to have acquired this resource with internal grant funding, as initial investment was high. Comparison analyses of reviews, ratings, and features of other 3DCG anatomical atlases were conducted. Librarians and faculty members in multiple departments further evaluated this resource prior to acquisition to ensure a good return on investment.


Bushey, C. (2013, February, 23). The last industry to face big changes: Supplying cadavers to medical schools isn’t as easy as it used to be. Crain’s Chicago Business. Retrieved from

Shoepe, T. C. (2008). Human cadaver laboratory proposal. Retrieved from Loyola Marymount University, Seaver College of Science and Engineering, Department of Natural Science website:

-Anna Liss Jacobsen, Assessment IG Co-Chair, Miami University

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Continuing Education Grant Program- Apply Now!

Are you presenting a conference paper, attending a workshop, or looking to participate in other professional development opportunities in 2019? The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant can help you get there!

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Continuing Education Grant is awarded each year to support the cost of participating in professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, seminars, which are related to the member’s current position or in pursuit of a professional library degree. Current ALAO members are eligible to apply for funds to defray the costs of attending any library-related educational opportunity occurring during the calendar year.


  • Applicant must be a current member of ALAO.
  • Applicant may not have received this grant in the previous three award cycles.
  • Funded event must occur between January 1 and December 31, 2019.

Application Deadline: February 1, 11:59 p.m.

Awardees will be notified by March 1, 2019

For more information and to apply online go to click here.

If you have any questions about the Continuing Education Grant, please contact Professional Development Committee co-chairs Beate Gersch or Heather Crozier.

–Beate Gersch, Professional Development Committee Co-Chair, The University of Akron
–Heather Crozier, Professional Development Committee Co-Chair, Ohio Northern University

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Diversity Scholarship Award Recipient Update

On behalf of the ALAO Diversity Committee, co-chairs Edith Scarletto and Yuimi Hlasten Malgorzata Rehfus - 2018 Diversity Schoarlship Recipientare pleased to announce that the 2018 ALAO Diversity Scholarship recipient is Malgorzata Rehfus of Kent State University. Yuimi presented the scholarship certificate to Malgorzata during the 2018 Annual Conference.

Malgorzata is completing her Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State this semester, while she works fulltime at OCLC.

She donated a portion of the Diversity Scholarship to cover the cost of buttons distributed by New Professionals Special Interest Group members during the NPSIG session of 2018 IFLA WLIC. The buttons said “Open to All,” which is the inscription above the door of the Main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Application information for next year’s annual Diversity Scholarship, which will be awarded to a student attending courses in a graduate program in library science in the Autumn Semester of 2019, will be shared in January.

–Yuimi Hlasten, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Denison University
–Edith Scarletto, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Ben Richards, Business and Communications Librarian at Cleveland State University.

What is your role(s) in academic libraries?Ben Member Spotlight Dec

I am the Business & Communication Librarian at Cleveland State University. I am primarily involved with doing information literacy instruction, reference consultations, and supporting faculty research, as well as working with our College Credit Plus program, First Year Experience, and contributing to assessment projects within the library.

What do you like most about academic library work?

I enjoy seeing students become more empowered through learning valuable research, technology, and critical thinking skills. I feel like the library contributes so much to our institution both through student success and faculty support, and it’s great to be a part of that.

What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?

There has been more interest from faculty on exposing their students to citation management tools, and I have enjoyed providing workshops on Zotero and Mendeley in the classroom. They’re tools that have the potential to not only make citing an easier process, but also help students to organize their research and incorporate sources more intentionally into their writing.

We tried a scavenger hunt activity this year for our First Year Experience classes, and as our assessment we took student reflections on which resources and services in the library they planned to use and what questions they had. I am excited to delve further into the set of responses and find out how first year students perceive the library in terms of contributing to their success on campus.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I had a pet guinea pig who was photographed and appeared on an American Greetings birthday card.

What do you love about being an ALAO member?

I love that there is a community of people in Ohio who get together just to geek out about academic libraries. It’s always fun to hear about the awesome work people are doing and hear new ideas.

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Wright State University

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Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 374 members consisting of 326 regular members, 3 retiree members, and 45 student members. We are excited to welcome our newest members!

New Members since September 1, 2018:

  • Ariel Bacon, Ohio State University
  • Amanda Balla, Kent State University SLIS
  • Barbara Biggs, Kent State University SLIS
  • Elli Cucksey, Capital University
  • Laura D’Amato, Baldwin Wallace University
  • Carla Everstijn, Kent State University SLIS
  • Jennifer Eyer, Kent State University SLIS
  • Kent Huffman, Kent State University SLIS
  • Michele Jennings, Ohio University
  • Bryan Kvet, Kent State University SLIS
  • Morris Levy, Ohio State University
  • Stacey McKenna, Ohio State University
  • Lisa Neagos, Denison University
  • Ashley Nix, Kent State University SLIS
  • Jenny Presnell, Miami University
  • Paul Roberts, Ohio Christian University
  • Suzanna Schroeder-Green, Ursuline College
  • Shannon Simpson, Kenyon College
  • Emily Smith, Kent State University, SLIS
  • Laura Sullivan, Northern Kentucky University
  • Janell Verdream, Ohio State University
  • Amy Zell, Kent State University SLIS

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Wright State University

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Interest Groups News

Assessment IG News

Practical Assessment: From Beginner to Expert

The Assessment Interest Group is excited to share with you a sneak peek into the annual workshop, titled, Practical Assessment: From Beginner to Expert to be held March 8, 2019.

The workshop aim is to bring together learners, researchers and practitioners who have responsibility or interest in library assessment.  Presentations and demonstrations will provide effective, results-oriented library assessment strategies. Presentations will describe topics such as how to identify goals, develop methods, use measures and tools, implement assessment, communicate with stakeholders, or achieve outcomes.

We look forward to you joining us to learn about how you can use assessment to improve your library services and communicate value. Stay tuned for future communications!

-Anna Liss Jacobsen, AIG Co-Chair, Miami University
-Jennifer Starkey, AIG Co-Chair, Case Western Reserve University

Curriculum Materials Center IG News

It’s time to start planning the CMCIG spring 2019 workshop. Please take this brief survey to give us ideas on what you would like to see in your CMCIG workshop. Interested in helping the co-chairs plan the spring workshop? Contact Co-Chairs Colleen ( or Marla to join us. All planning meetings will be held virtually.

Other CMCIG News

CMCIG held a roundtable discussion at the 2018 ALAO conference on November 2. The following academic librarians attended: Marla Beebe (Shawnee State), Colleen Boff (Bowling Green State University), Diane Kolosionek (Cleveland State University), Diane Schrecker (Ashland University), and Susan Steinke (University of Dayton). We were joined by two school librarians representing the Ohio Educational Library Media Association (OELMA): Lori Lee, District Librarian for Zanesville City Schools &  Dr. Linda Jacobs Swarlis, Library Director at Columbus School for Girls. One of the take-aways from our discussion was interest in working together to create a module geared towards preservice teachers. This resource would contain an overview of the research environment to expect in Ohio k-12 schools and tips for how to collaborate with school librarians.

CMCIG co-chairs were also invited to have a presence at the OELMA conference held on Oct. 24. As a consequence, the following panel presentation was given by Colleen Boff (Bowling Green State University), Joe Prince (Bowling Green State University), Diane Kolosionek (Cleveland State University) and Lorena Popelka (Columbus State Community College): High school to college transitions: Does the professional literature accurately reflect what’s happening in the trenches?

Both of these events were designed to increase interactions between librarians affiliated with OELMA and the ALAO CMCIG. We look forward to continued discussions and collaborations.

-Marla Beebe, Curriculum Materials Center IG Co-Chair, Shawnee State University
-Colleen Boff, Curriculum Materials Center IG Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University

Collection Management IG News

A small but lively group attended the CMIG forum at ALAO conference in November.  Much of the discussion revolved around licensing and acquiring streaming video; as a result we are planning an online program on this topic for the Spring.  Stay tuned to the listserv for further details.

–Sean Kennedy, co-chair, Collection Management Interest Group, University of Akron
–Fred Jenkins, co-chair, Collection Management Interest Group, University of Dayton

Community and Two Year College Libraries IG News

The Community and Two Year College Libraries Interest Group has been meeting for conversations!  During the Interest Group Round Table time at the Annual Conference, eight members talked with Deb Gilchrist about assessment and how to find time to conduct assessments.  Participants shared their experiences with assessment as well as questions and concerns about other local issues.

Four members participated in the November Semester Sound Off – a low-key online discussion.  While the advertised topic was student success, the conversation covered a variety of issues of interest to the participants.

Plan to join us for spring semester Sound Offs and online IG workshop.  If you would like to play an active role in our IG or be part of the workshop planning committee, please contact Sara Klink or Julie McDaniel.

-Sara Klink, Community and Two Year College Libraries IG Co-Chair, Stark State College
-Julie McDaniel, Community and Two Year College Libraries IG Co-Chair, Sinclair Community College

Distance Learning IG News

Last Chance to Nominate a “Distance Learning Visionary” December 20th Deadline
The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) wishes to recognize and commend visionary librarians in distance learning who promote equitable access to library resources and services.  Who among your colleagues is implementing creative solutions, conducting studies, or coordinating programs in distance library services and learning?

ALAO’s Distance Learning Interest Group (DLIG) invites nominations for the 2019 “Distance Learning Visionary”.

To Nominate:

Nomination applications should include (1) a 250-500 word essay that demonstrates the nominee’s contributions to distance learning at an Ohio institution and (2) a brief presentation proposal to suggest what the nominee might share with colleagues at the 2019 DLIG workshop.   Links to relevant supporting materials are encouraged.  Self-nomination or group nominations are permitted.

Visionary Benefits:

  •  Awarded honor of being named the 2019 Distance Learning Visionary.
  •  Recognition at the 2019 ALAO Annual Conference, as well as on the ALAO Website, ALAO Newsletter, and the DLIG Blog.
  • Monetary grant of $150.00 to present at the 2019 DLIG workshop. (Please note that the funds are contingent upon the grantee presenting in person, remotely, or via pre-recorded session.)

For complete details and submission guidelines, please see the Distance Learning Visionary Research/Project and Presentation Grant website here or email the DLIG Co-Chairs, Rebecca Quintus and Jessie Long.

Applications are due by December 20, 2018.

-Rebecca Quintus, Distance Learning IG Co-Chair, University of Findlay
-Jesssie Long, Distance Learning IG Co-Chair, Miami University, Middletown

Instruction IG News

The Instruction Interest Group (IIG) is in planning mode for the annual Spring Workshop and we will again be pairing up with the Distance Learning Interest Group! Stay tuned for a save the date! In addition to the DLIG Co-chairs, Rebecca Quintus (Findlay) and Jessie Long (Miami-Middletown), we welcome a few new faces to the IIG/DLIG Spring workshop planning committee: Zach Walton (OSU-Lima), Abigail Morgan (Miami University) and Stacy McKenna (OSU).

We had a great turn out at the Instruction IG roundtable at the ALAO Annual Conference. It was great meeting and chatting with so many of you. It was a great way to hear what was on your mind as instruction season wraps up at our institutions. We  talked ideas for our next spring workshop, explored reflective instruction and explored the possibility of merging IIG and DLIG. We hope you can join us for the Spring Workshop!

-Mandi Goodsett, Instruction IG Co-Chair, Cleveland State University
–Lindsay Miller, Instruction IG Co-Chair, Miami University

Programming Outreach, and Marketing IG News

PROMIG held its first roundtable at the 2018 ALAO Annual Conference. The attendees included library professionals from Akron U. Otterbein, Miami, Cincinnati, Hiram and other local institutions. As an introductory meeting for the new Programming, Outreach, and Marketing interest group, the focus was on establishing a community of support and identifying barriers to achieving success.

The round table participated in a team sharing exercise identifying accomplishments that participants were proud of (in relation to programming, outreach, and marketing) and areas that have presented challenges. This activity was a great way to learn the valuable strengths that each new member will be bringing to the group.

We plan to use the information discussed at the round table to further develop resources for supporting the PROMIG community. If you are interested in joining this new interest group and being a part of the listserv, please contact Eboni Johnson  or Shaunda Vasudev.

-Eboni Johnson, Programming, Outreach, and Marketing IG Co-Chair, Oberlin College
-Shaunda Vasudev, Programming, Outreach, and Marketing IG Co-Chair, Capital University

Special Collections and Archives IG News

The Special Collections and Archives Interest Group met on November 2 at the ALAO Annual Conference for an informal roundtable discussion on the actions archivists and special collections librarians can take to cultivate success and convey value. The group shared challenges and successes and discussed ideas for future workshops.  Also, we are pleased to announce our 2019 Special Collections and Archives Interest Group annual meeting and workshop planning committee:

  • Stefanie Hunker, Browne Popular Culture Library, Bowling Green State University Libraries
  • Rachel Makarowski, Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives, Miami University;
  • Christine Mannix, Packard Library, Columbus College of Art & Design;
  • William Modrow, Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives, Miami University;
  • Christian Sheehy, University Library, Xavier University.

Look for a save-the-date early in the new year!

-Nick Pavlik, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University
-Suzanne Reller, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, University of Cincinnati

Scholarly Communications IG News

The ALAO Scholarly Communications Interest Group hosted a webinar, “Building a Comprehensive Licensing Review and Negotiation Program: How to Use Licenses to Secure Rights for Your Library and Your Users and to Push the Scholarly Communication System toward Openness” on November 29.  The webinar, featuring Mark Clemente, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Shelby Stuart, Electronic Resources Librarian from Case Western Reserve University as speakers, described: the overall purpose of subscription licenses; key license clauses in the structure of license agreements; how to license for greater openness in scholarly communication; how to leverage staff expertise to collaboratively build your licensing program; how to use and create licensing tools, checklists, and model language; general license negotiation strategies; and how to track and market newly acquired rights in your licenses.  Forty-five individuals from various Ohio libraries registered for the webinar.  The webinar recording and slides will be made available in December 2018.

-Mark Clemente, Scholarly Communications IG C0-Chair, Case Western Reserve University
-Carla Myers, Scholarly Communications IG C0-Chair, Miami University

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People & Library News

Bryant & Stratton College News

The Bryant & Stratton College Eastlake campus has relocated to Solon, and is now part of the Solon Medical Campus.  The library is directly adjacent to the student center, and continues to serve the campus community as a hub for research, testing, and student organization meetings.

In August, Bryant & Stratton College transitioned to the SirsiDynix Library Manager.  At the Cleveland and Solon campuses, the SirsiDynix Enterprise catalog tool has been fully integrated into the campus Virtual Library portals, and library outreach is under way at both locations to instruct the campus community in its use.

–Joe Dudley, BSC Cleveland and Solon Campuses


Case Western Reserve University News

Kelvin Smith Library is pleased to announce two new library staff members:

Halle Novotney, Library Assistant IV (Student Assistant Supervisor)

Previous Position: Cafe Manager, Bon Appetit Management Company

Benjamin Gorham, Digital Learning and Scholarship Team; Research Data Specialist

Previous Position: Graduate Student, The University of Virginia

–Corina Chang, Case Western Reserve University


Denison University News

Yuimi Hlasten started at Denison University Libraries on October 29, 2018, as the new Electronic Resources & Scholarly Communications Librarian. Yuimi comes to Denison from Ohio State University Libraries where she was programming assistant in Publishing and Repository Services.

–Peggy Rector, Denison University


Oberlin College News

Rebecca Belford joined the libraries as the Conservatory Library Technical Services Librarian.  Prior to Oberlin, Belford was the music librarian at the University of Oregon, the music cataloger and reference librarian at the University at Buffalo, and the Head of Shared Cataloging and Special Formats Metadata at Brown University.

Natalie Gutiérrez-Negrón is the Conservatory Library’s Circulation Evening Supervisor. Prior to Oberlin, Gutiérrez-Negrón was an academic support specialist for the youth department at El Centro de la Raza in Seattle, where she co-spearheaded a youth-led after-school program for young people of color ages 11 to 14.

Rebecca (Becky) Sparagowski is the Archives and Special Collections Intern. Sparagowski previously worked with electronic records at the Centre for Research Collections and Metadata Services at the University of Edinburgh.

Sarah Weeks began work in August as the Associate Director of Libraries/Head of Technical Services. Weeks comes to Oberlin from St. Olaf College, where she was Head of Acquisitions and Resource Management. Previously she worked as a systems librarian for Yavapai Library Network in Arizona.

Crystal Willer is the Project Archivist for Music Special Collections in the Conservatory Library. Previously she worked at UW-Madison’s Memorial Library, the Arthur H. Robinson Map Library, and the Wisconsin Historical Society and interned at the Circus World Museum and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Jeremy Smith, former Special Collections Librarian and Curator of the James and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection in the Conservatory Library, left Oberlin in October to accept a position in Tennessee.

Two Oberlin College librarians will retire at the end of the calendar year: Jessica Grim, Head, Collections and Acquisitions, and Allison Gallaher, Assistant Director of Libraries/Head of Public Services.  Together, they have served the libraries for 64 years, beginning with appointments as reference and instruction librarians in an era when a robust print reference collection was truly the heart of an undergraduate library.  Their expertise and wisdom will be sorely missed, and we wish them well in new adventures.

The main library at Oberlin College is now officially the Mary Church Terrell Main Library, honoring the life and legacy of a distinguished alumna.  Terrell received three degrees from Oberlin: BA 1884, MA 1888 and an honorary degree in 1948.  She was an educator, feminist, civil rights activist, founding member of the National Association of Colored Women, and charter member of the NAACP.  The naming ceremony took place on October 6, during the college’s celebration weekend for the inauguration of Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar.  Read more: here beginning on page 4.

-Alison Ricker, Oberlin College


OhioNET News

After 26 years as the Executive Director/CEO of OhioNET, Michael P. Butler will be retiring on December 31, 2018.  His farewell to the library community is on the OhioNET blog.

We are preparing to welcome Nancy S. Kirkpatrick as the new Executive Director/CEO on January 2.  A full announcement is available here.

–Christine Morris, Deputy Director, OhioNET


The Ohio State University at Marion/Marion Technical College News

Betsy Blankenship, Director/Head Librarian at The Ohio State University at Marion/Marion Technical College Library, co-presented with Marion Technical College colleagues, Dr. Amy Adams and Professor Christy Culver “Coming Together and Reaching Out: How to Team Up with Your Library to Recognize Excellence” at The Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges Annual Conference, October 12, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.

-Betsy Blankenship, The Ohio State University at Marion/Marion Technical College

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