About the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO)
The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) exists to develop, promote, and improve library and information services in Ohio’s higher education community, to advance the interests of academic librarianship and the personnel of academic libraries, and to provide leadership and advocacy for the educational and policy concerns of the academic library community in Ohio. ALAO strives to adopt environmentally sustainable practices in all areas of the association. ALAO is a chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and generally ascribes to the ACRL’s strategic Plan for Excellence.
ALAO is incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization. A copy of the IRS determination letter is available from either the Treasurer or Membership Chair.
Updated May 7, 2014
ALAO had its beginnings in 1947, with the establishment of the College Librarians Section of the Ohio College Association (OCA), in response to desires of members of the College and University Division of the Ohio Library Association (OLA) for a professional organization that was more focused on the needs of academic libraries.
The association with OCA was very beneficial for academic libraries, but the need for an active statewide organization devoted to academic library concerns was persistent. ALAO adopted its first constitution in 1974, voting to remain a section of the Ohio College Association, yet continue to cooperate with OLA. ALAO held its first Annual conference, "The Traumatic World of Serials," as a pre-conference to the 1974 OLA Conference. ALAO later sought and gained affiliation with the Association of College and Research Libraries, becoming the Ohio chapter of ACRL in 1981. ALAO retained its dual affiliation as a Section of OCA until the reorganization of OCA in 2009.
The ALAO database includes more than 800 individuals, representing over 100 libraries, organizations, and businesses. Active membership typically numbers 360 individuals at any given time. We provide support, encouragement, and continuing education opportunities for academic library staff from all over Ohio through our workshops, annual conference and other programs. Interest Groups are a vital part of the association, offering small group discussions and highly focused workshops.Various committees oversee the awarding of scholarships, research grants, Interest Group awards and the Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award, while other groups work to improve ALAO communication efforts and continuing education opportunities. It is a vital, growing organization, devoted to advancing library and information services in academic institutions of Ohio.
Changes in the higher education and Ohio library landscape eliminated the need for several liaison positions on the ALAO Executive Board: Representative to OLF (Ohio Library Foundation), Representative to OCLIS (Ohio Council of Library and Information Services), and Liaison to the Ohio ALA Councilor were all officially removed from the Executive Board roster in 2014. OLF and OCLIS ceased to function as state-wide organizations in 2011 and 2013, respectively; members of the discontinued OCLIS electronic distribution list are now served by Ohlib of the State Library of Ohio. The primary purpose of OCLIS, to share information among the myriad Ohio library organizations, institutions and associations in the state, became less critical as connections via the Web became commonplace. OLF and ALAO once worked together to provide a scholarship to a student in the Kent State University SLIS program; ALAO now takes sole responsibility for that scholarship, and any continued function of OLF is carried out by the Ohio Library Council. The role of the Ohio ALA Councilor Liaison is effectively served through improved online communication among all ALA members.