Member Spotlight

Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Megan Jaskowiak from Miami University!

What is/are your role(s) in academic libraries?

I am the Health and Social Sciences Librarian. I liaise with Criminology, Gerontology, Psychology, Sociology, Speech Pathology and Audiology, and the new Physician Associate Studies program.

What do you like most about academic library work?

Being a part of the academic community is tremendously fulfilling, however my favorite part of my job is working with the students. I learn a lot from them while I help them with their research. I feel like I have accomplished my goals when they feel confident in their information seeking abilities.

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

In the coming months, I will be creating microlearning modules that can be used either asynchronously or as part of a flipped classroom approach. They will break down library instruction sessions into short focused segments that students can access at their convenience.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I love to travel. I have been to 46 states and four continents. I would like to make it all 50 states.

Why did you join ALAO?

The reason I joined ALAO is that I love being active in state level professional organizations, and I always learn so much from fellow librarians. I am very excited to attend my first ALAO conference.

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 2 (June 2022) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Membership Report

The current membership of ALAO includes a total of 282 members consisting of 254 regular members, 4 retiree members, and 24 student members. We are excited to welcome new members who joined between March 2, 2022 and May 31, 2022.

Lorien Anderson, Columbus State Community College

Tonja Baker-Ferrell, Kent State University, Student

Amber Bales, Miami University

Jessica Byers, Ashland University

Josie Cotton, Kent State University, Student

Annie Dempsey, College of Wooster

Breana Fair, Southern State Community College

Angie Francis, Eastern Gateway Community College

Sasha Griffin, Denison University

Olivia Hobbs, Case Western Reserve University

Megan Jaskowiak, Miami University

Greg Jones, Wright State University

Ashley Mensah, The Ohio State University

Amanda Miller, Eastern Gateway Community College

Jennifer Morehart, Bowling Green State University

Dai Newman, Columbus College of Art and Design

Nicole Rencher, Columbus State Community College

Brian Richards, Eastern Gateway Community College

Julia Stone, Kent State University, Student

Corinne Tabolt, Kent State University, Student

Naidi Valverde-Romero, Kent State University, Student

Leslie Whitford, Xavier University

–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University

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Notes from the Trenches

The Community and Two-Year College Library Interest Group met in April for a virtual sound off to reconnect and discuss experiences across institutions during the past year. We had originally planned an article discussion meeting on current trends in community college libraries but decided to pivot our approach due to some factors that presented themselves in our group over the past two years. This group had been experiencing low attendance due to Covid-19; because of this, and the anticipated burnout of our colleagues, we decided to discuss experiences at our institutions over the past year and any challenges or difficulties we were facing personally and in our libraries. This will be a short exploration of the key takeaways of our session to connect with others who are experiencing similar obstacles at their institutions.

Some of the challenges that arose in our discussion surrounded lower enrollments, budget cuts, and staffing. Librarians in the discussion noted that they are walking into empty or near empty libraries on a regular basis. Community colleges across the United States are facing declines in enrollment and while this problem extends beyond the library, discussion quickly turned to how we as librarians can work to increase the foot traffic in our facilities. Programming and promoting the library as a space that is more than just a place to study and do research emerged as potential areas where we can focus our energies. One librarian talked about a breakout-room style scavenger hunt that they put on in their library in the Fall semester that was successful and brought in students who may not normally visit the library. This scavenger hunt allowed students an opportunity to interact with various library tools like the library catalog and the LibGuides in a fun, low-stakes activity. While this activity and the others discussed were successful at bringing in students, they also opened up the discussion to some other challenges, like staffing and budget cuts. In order to run a successful program, one needs to have staff to plan and execute the event and money for supplies or prizes. The problem of staffing affects more than just programming. One librarian indicated that she is the only employee at her library, making even day to day operations challenging without having even student workers to provide some assistance.

Another challenge that arose in our session was the universal feeling of burnout that was experienced across institutions. One of the main discussion points of this topic was how libraries can be an emotional temperature gauge on campus, and how the emotions/burnout of students and faculty can transfer to librarians. This sentiment was felt universally across the group, and a few personal stories were shared about the importance of our flexibility and empathy on campus. This topic concluded with our collective assertion that while the year had been difficult for us all and burnout is a real issue we are facing, we also noted our students and colleagues’ resilience and are extremely proud of how we have all handled these uncertain times.

–Meagan Fowler, Cuyahoga Community College
–Zoe Orcutt, Lakeland Community College

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Interest Group News

ALAO has 12 active special interest groups that have formed to discuss concerns, issues and new trends related to academic librarianship in Ohio. ALAO’s interest groups are in the season of events! Keep an eye on the ALAO events page for summer events. Joining an interest group is a great way to participate in leadership events and network with fellow librarians and library staff. Most groups are currently looking for co-chairs before the fall semester. For more information visit the ALAO website or contact Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator at

–Sara Klink, Interest Group Coordinator, Stark State College

Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAig) News

The annual workshop of the Special Collections and Archives Interest Group (SCAig), “DEI in Digitization” was held on May 17, 2022. Featured speakers included Sidney Gao (Digital Collections Manager at University of Cincinnati) and Nathan Tallman (Digital Preservation Librarian, Penn State University). Gao presented on principles and practice for accessible cultural heritage digitization through the adoption of the PDF/Universal Accessibility (PDF/UA) format, and Tallman discussed guidelines and criteria for digital appraisal, selection, and preservation. A special thank you is due to our speakers, as well as our Planning Committee members, Miriam Intrator (Special Collections Librarian at Ohio University) and Rachel Makarowski (Special Collections Librarian at Miami University).

–Henry Handley, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, University of Dayton
–Josh Zeller, Special Collections and Archives IG Co-Chair, Mount St. Joseph University

Sustainability Interest Group (SIG) News

The Sustainability Interest Group closed out the spring semester with an Earth Day event at the end of April. We heard a presentation from Ginny Boehme, Science Librarian at Miami University, who spoke about her work with faculty and students on a Miami Tree Walk project, as well as her experiences learning to assist with bird banding. The committee continues to seek a new co-chair for the upcoming 2022–2024 term beginning this summer. Please reach out to if you would like to nominate yourself. We look forward to planning sustainability programming for the coming year, particularly for the conference this fall.

–Kim Hoffman, Sustainability Interest Group Co-Chair, Miami University
–Bethany Spieth, Sustainability Interest Group Co-Chair,
Ohio Northern University

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People & Library News

Case Western Reserve University News

The Kelvin Smith Library hired Christine Liebson as a Special Collections Archivist. Christine returns to CWRU, where she served as a library assistant in the past. She most recently was a content metadata specialist with OverDrive.

The Kelvin Smith Library hired Jesse Cvelbar as a Library Assistant 4. Jesse’s primary responsibility will be OhioLINK circulation, along with evening and weekend Access Services operations. Jesse graduated from Case Western Reservice University in 2021 with a BS in human nutrition and a BA in psychology.

The Kelvin Smith Library hired Karen Caputo as a Scholarly Communications and Copyright Librarian. Karen was recently an Instruction & Design Librarian at Franklin University.

–Brian Gray, Case Western Reserve University

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College News

Margaret Breidenbaugh (she/her), Resource Sharing Coordinator at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, served on this year’s OhioLINK Membership Summit Planning Committee. Activities included identifying speakers for an upcoming conference session, “Database Maintenance: From the Central Catalog to Your Local System” (August 10, 10:00 – 11 am) and the conference kick-off session, “Steal My Idea!” (June 7, 11:00-12:00 pm). Margaret also presented during the June session. She talked about how she is using Excel to leverage data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) combined with institutional data from the OCLC Policies Directory to assess past and current borrowing lending patterns across different types of academic libraries.

–Margaret Breidenbaugh, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Miami University Middletown News

Jessica Long was promoted to Principal Librarian rank by the Miami University Board of Trustees.  She is the Outreach & Instruction Librarian for the Gardner-Harvey Library and has been on the staff since 2010. She holds an MLIS from Kent State University and completed the coursework for a Master of Medieval Archaeology from the University of York. 

–John Burke, Miami University Middletown

Oberlin College News

Oberlin College Libraries welcomed Paul Heyde as Associate Director, Collections & Resource Services, in mid-May.  Heyde was most recently Team Leader, Acquisitions & Metadata Services, Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve University.  Prior to that he had a wealth of technical services experience in the research libraries of the Western Reserve Historical Society and the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.  Heyde joins the leadership team in the Mary Church Terrell Main Library, Mudd Center.

Transition in the Oberlin College Libraries leadership team continues with the announced retirement of Deborah Campana, Head, Conservatory of Music Library, effective July 1, 2022.  Kathleen Abromeit, Public Services Librarian in the Conservatory Library, has graciously agreed to serve as Acting Head of the Conservatory Library, effective July 1.

–Alison Ricker, Oberlin College

Ohio Library Support Staff Institute Announcement

We are pleased to announce that the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute (OLSSI) will be holding our annual conference in person this summer, and all library staff are welcome to attend.

OLSSI offers library staff from all types of libraries the chance to attend an institute that is part-conference and part-retreat, focused on the professional development of Support Staff. Please feel free to share this announcement with your coworkers as well.

Details: OLSSI will be held at Otterbein University July 17th-19th, 2022

  • Regular registration opens today, May 1st, and continues through June 29th.
  • In an attempt to support our libraries, OLSSI registration remains at $299.
  • While the institute is focused on Support Staff, all library staff are welcome.

It’s been my pleasure to serve on the OLSSI Steering Committee and I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.

–Sarah Schaff, on behalf of the OLSSI Steering Committee

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 2 (June 2022) | Tagged | Leave a comment

President’s Report

Jerry Natal, ALAO President Elect/Interim President

As I type this, I gaze out my office window and see the dormant grass peeking out through the melting blanket of snow, and am reminded of the promise of spring, and all the activity that comes with the warmer weather. For ALAO, this means planning workshops and programs, elections of officers, and conference planning and selecting proposals, among other things—watch for upcoming events. I urge everyone to get involved: run for office! Vote! Mentor! Volunteer! Keep ALAO strong as we transition to a post-pandemic season.    

ALAO February 18, 2022 Board Meeting:

Here are the main topics from the board meeting.

Fiscal Agent update:

As of this writing the transition of ALAO’s fiscal agent from SWON to OhioNET is complete (many thanks to ALAO Treasurer Don Appleby). Accounts are transferred and online payment service through PayPal is now available.

Event Registration:

This is a limitation with Wild Apricot (the platform used by ALAO for event registration) in the number of persons that can be stored in its registry, which is a cost issue. The ALAO web team is exploring alternatives for event registration, including the use of Zoom integrated with PayPal and online payments through Wild Apricot.

COVID-19 Relief Membership

By most reports, cases of COVID-19 are on the wane. However, in the event that there may be members who are still affected financially as a result of circumstances due to the virus, the special COVID-19 Relief Membership has been extended until the end of the fiscal year (June 30th).

Conference Planning:

The conference planning committee goes full steam ahead in preparation for the fall in-person conference [see the Vice President/President Elect Report for details]. I proposed to the board that thought needs to be given to how the organization might proceed for future conferences, considering alternative approaches and how best to serve the ALAO membership. This will be a topic for future board meetings.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

A task force spearheaded by Mandi Goodsett and comprised of Frank Bove, Shannon Simpson, and myself has been hard at work drafting an antiracist/DEI statement. Conceptually, this will be more than just a statement—more like a call to action. The draft was presented to the board for comment and will be presented for a vote at the March board meeting. [Special thanks to Drew Balduff for his work prior to his leaving due to a shift in his career trajectory.]

Support for SOA Statement:

ALAO is showing support for The Society of Ohio Archivist’s statement regarding HB327 which prohibits “teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts which prohibit school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and state agencies from teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts.” A statement of support was drafted (many thanks to Mandi Goodsett) and presented to the board for comment and approval.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio endorses and echoes the Society of Ohio Archivist’s Council Statement on HB327 and Legislation that Restricts History Education. We join our colleagues in condemning the close-minded and anti-intellectual objectives of Ohio HB327. Measures to “whitewash” our shared history wrongly silence the voices of marginalized groups and discourage the critical thinking, discussion, and learning that historical inquiry endeavors to foster.

The statement was sent to the fifteen representatives on the House State and Local Government Committee deciding HB327, and will be posted to social media and the ALAO web site.

For SOA’s full statement see

Provocation Series:

ALAO was contacted to ask if the organization would be interested in participating in a Virtual Chat with one of the Project Information Literacy “Provocation Series” authors. These are essays on a variety of stimulating topics; recent speakers have included Barbara Fister, Mike Caulfield, and Nicole Cooke. PIL asked if ALAO might participate in joint sponsorship of a future chat. While ALAO is not prepared to participate at this time, it is an opportunity to revisit in the future. For more information about the essay series see

April Board Meeting

The next board meeting is scheduled for April 15, 2022.

ALAO Newsletter Vice President/President Elect Report March 2021

Annual Conference:

As the pandemic numbers continue to fall, my enthusiasm for an in-person conferences has grown. The 2022 Conference Planning Committee has selected as the theme for the ALAO’s 49th conference “The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.” This year’s theme reflects changes made necessary by an unrelenting pandemic and racial tensions that inspired academic libraries to challenge tradition and question our neutral stance. The dates for the in-person preconference and conference are Thursday, November 3rd and Friday, November 4th and will be held at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. Alexia Hudson-Ward, formerly an award-winning entertainment editor, public radio promotions coordinator, Coca-Cola Company marketing manager and now Associate Director for Research and Learning at MIT, has agreed to be keynote speaker. She edits a weekly blog launched by Choice—Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE)—that explores issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion affecting the library community [See]. Ms. Hudson-Ward has an Ohio connection—she was previously the Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries at Oberlin College. The preconference program is under development and will also feature Ms. Hudson-Ward. There will be an informal “Welcome Back” themed social time Thursday evening with hors d’ouevres and beverages to allow attendees to connect/reconnect. An RSVP will be asked from anyone planning to attend. I am grateful for the efforts of the conference planning committee thus far as we continue transitioning back to the in-person event.

Before I move on, I would like to thank Kristin Cole for her work on the conference planning committee, and congratulate her on accepting a position at Cengage. I would like to also give a big thank you to Katy Tucker for volunteering to take Kristin’s place on the team working with conference exhibitors. That’s the spirit!

Call for ALAO 2022 Conference Proposals

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 49th Annual Conference, “The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.” We encourage thoughtful, timely proposals from all areas of library work. Adherence to the conference theme is encouraged but not required. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

▪ Barriers to accessing information ▪ Censorship ▪ Crisis management ▪ DEI in Information Literacy Instruction ▪ Emerging technology solutions ▪ Inclusive cataloging and collections ▪ Libraries as space/third space ▪ Misinformation ▪ Service changes/transitions

Proposal Elements

One proposal form is used for all presentation types:

▪ Presentation (50-minute session with time for Q&A) ▪ Poster Session ▪ Lightning Talk (live talk up to 7 minutes, with Q&A after talks. Time limits will be strictly enforced.)

Submission deadline is April 15, 2022.

For more information visit

Posted in Vol. 40 no. 1 (March 2022) | Tagged | Leave a comment

ALAO 2022 Election Slate of Candidates

Mandi Goodsett, ALAO Past President

The 2022 ALAO Board Election will take place March 21 – April 8, 2022. You must be a member to vote, so it’s the perfect time to consider joining or renewing your membership! More information on joining and renewing can be found on the ALAO website. I’m also pleased to say that if you were delayed in renewing your membership because of our recent need to pause our PayPal account, you should be able to proceed with your renewal now.

This year we are voting on Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary, Membership Chair, and three Board Member at Large positions. You can learn more about the responsibilities of these offices in the Procedures Manual and Bylaws.

Voting will take place online. Emails will be sent on March 21 containing access to candidate biographical information and an online ballot form.

Thank you in advance for casting your vote! And special thanks to our wonderful candidates:

Vice President/President-Elect

  • Mark Eddy, Research Services Librarian, Case Western Reserve University


  • Jill Crane, Coordinator of Cataloging and Metadata, University of Dayton
  • Jaclyn Spraetz, Information Literacy Librarian, Miami University

Membership Chair

  • Laura Birkenhauer, Student Success Librarian for Campus Engagement, Miami University
  • Elizabeth Sullivan, Assessment and User Experience Librarian, Oberlin College

Board Member at Large

  • Jessica Byers, Curator and Reference Librarian, Ashland University
  • Cara Calabrese, Acquisitions & Access Librarian, Miami University
  • Michael Hawkins, Data Librarian and Head of Map Library, Kent State University
  • Melissa Hill, Serials & Electronic Resources Manager, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Kristine Kinzer, Library Coordinator, Delaware Campus of Columbus State Community College
  • Derek Wilmott, Acquisitions & Collection Management Librarian, University of Toledo
  • Rich Wisneski, Electronic Resources Librarian, Miami University 

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2022 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) conference planning committee invites you to submit proposals for the 48thAnnual Conference, The Tipping Point: Initiating Change in Academic Libraries.

As libraries challenge long-standing traditions and question our neutral stance, small changes or incidents often result in greater consequences. Share with your colleagues your programs, stories, and examples of defining, transformational moments in your libraries. Conference Date: November 3-4, 2022 Conference Location: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, Ohio Submission Deadline:  April 15, 2022 Call for Proposals:  Submission Form: 
We encourage thoughtful, timely proposals from all areas of library work. Adherence to the conference theme is encouraged but not required. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Barriers to accessing information
  • Censorship Crisis management
  • DEI in Information Literacy Instruction
  • Emerging technology solutions
  • Inclusive cataloging and collections
  • Libraries as space/third space
  • Misinformation
  • Service changes/transitions
One proposal form will be used for all presentation types:
  • Presentation (or other 50-minute session)
  • Poster Session
  • Lightning talk (brief live session)
If you have a unique format idea, not listed above, please submit it under the presentation option (Panel discussions, etc… ) We invite you to contribute your ideas to make 2022 the best ALAO conference yet. 
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Call for Applicants for the ALAO Diversity Scholarship

ALAO would like to help develop talented folks who are underrepresented in our profession with a $1500 tuition scholarship. Apply by March 15, 2022 for consideration. The award winner will be notified by April 15, and will be presented with a certificate at the ALAO Annual Conference Nov. 2022 (registration included with scholarship award). Full consideration details are available at

Apply here:

For more information visit: Academic Library of Ohio Association

–Edith Scarletto, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Bowling Green State University
Gwen Short, Diversity Committee Co-Chair, The Ohio State University

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ACRL Chapters Council Report

The ACRL Chapters Council met on January 12, 2022. Emily Knox, Associate Professor at the iSchool@Illinois gave a presentation on “Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Core Values of Librarianship.”  Brief messages were shared by the candidates for ACRL Vice President/President-Elect, Dr. Beth McNeil and Dr. José Aguiñaga. Additional reminders and updates included:

  • Registration for the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., opens in February. Currently, the event is scheduled to take place in person, from June 23 to 28.
  • ACRL recently granted few one-year memberships to 50 BIPOC individuals as part of a renewed focus on DEI initiatives.
  • The ALA Public Policy & Advocacy Office is working on its agenda for 2022 and will complete it by early spring.

In addition, the most recent Chapter Topics newsletter was published in January. An update on the 2021 ALAO Annual Conference was featured in the Professional Development section and ALAO’s presentation “Developing a Responsible Event Code of Conduct and Reporting Workflow,” by Edith Scarletto and Mandi Goodsett, was featured in the Best Practices section.

Jane Hammons, Liaison to ACRL, The Ohio State University

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