Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Conference Musings

I'm going to add my two cents worth regarding our conference. First, thank you to my colleagues here at Library Cloud for such gracious and kinds words about me. I'm blushing!

Ohio academic library folks are so blessed to have such a great organization as ALAO. I've said it before, the people are a critical factor in its success. My two colleagues, Diane and Karen, are definitely included in that. While I may have helped them ease into ALAO service, serve they have done fantastically for the past several years. I was truly overwhelmed at the honor of being selected as the Jay Ladd Award winner for 2007; but much of my "success" in ALAO has been because of the people I got to work with and their willingness to let me voice my opinion and try new things and allow me to grow and build each position I held. I have to admit, the two positions I enjoyed the most were being Membership Coordinator and PR/Outreach Coordinator (hence why I was always carrying a camera around!). The members I got to know and the institution liaisons I got to work with were just amazing. The numerous boards I served on; each was unique in its make-up and implemented some really great new services such as our website, our electronic newsletter and our online elections. Not to mention their willingness to help the planning committee at the conferences. I loved it all, but especially the people!

The conference this year had some really great programs and I am unashamedly proud of my assistant, Pat Wood, who presented a program on cultivating quality student workers and who also presented a poster session with one of our Student Assistants, Janah Shumaker. I have made sure our campus knew about our successes this year!

One of the most intriquing programs I attended was one by Linda Dobb, who is Excecutive Vice President of Bowling Green State University. She planned on talking about innovative collaborations, but instead spent some time talking about a new initiative of Governor Strickland. The University System of Ohio (USO) is a new hot topic for Higher Education in Ohio. Obviously, many mindsets will have to change and new collaborations developed to accomplish this, but Linda really pushed our librarians to ensure that academic libraries become part of the planning and dialogue that should be occuring at our respective institutions. I had heard about it somewhat in relation to our consortium, OhioLINK, but my campus has not really mentioned it much. I foresee many conversations to be held in the future over this new mandate. Since I have a technical college and a branch of Ohio Stae on my campus, I can imagine that each will approach it in different ways. I will be curious to see how it will play out and how exactly my library will be able to help.

I really enjoyed Joe Janes' presentation as well as the panel discussion which followed his keynote address. The panel had no fear of no questions; our audience kept them coming throughout the hour. I saw Joe taking notes during the panel discussion; I hope Ohio librarians and their perspectives become a future column in Library Journal.

Programs on various technologies were also plentiful; I enjoyed the folks from University of Akron-Wayne College and their discussion of Community College 2.0. My hats off to them for being so adventurous and offering so many new services for students. The program on creating tutorials on academic integrity at Miami University Libraries was interesting, too. May you continue to add more courses and expand your tutorials! I definitely may steal some of your ideas!

Congratulations to all the presentors and to the poster session presenters. It is a leap of faith to put yourself and your project and progam on the line; rest assured that there were folks who learned from your sharing of knowledge!

Way to go, ALAO and the planning committee!

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