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2018 OPAL Conference

8:30 - 9:00 Registration & Breakfast
9:00 - 9:05  Welcome and Conference Kickoff
9:05-10:00 Keynote
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 11:00 Breakout Session 1
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:00 Breakout Session 2
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 1:30 Posters and Networking
1:30 - 2:15 Breakout Session 3
2:15 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 3:15 Breakout Session 4
3:15 - 3:30 Break
3:30 - 4:00 Closing and Awards

Breakout Session 1 (10:15 - 11:00)

Track: Activism

Affordable Learning & Inclusive Access: Furthering the library’s connection to the classroom

In March 2018, OhioLINK announced its Inclusive Access model: a series of discounted pricing agreements with major publishers for eTextbooks and courseware. The Inclusive Access model is an exciting opportunity to work closely with faculty and deliver cost savings to our students, yet many of us are at different stages in the affordable learning process. Because of this, it is critical that we communicate our ideas, challenges, and successes with one another. This panel asks participants: How are we advocating for affordable learning on campus using OhioLINK’s Inclusive Access model?

Here we will explore current strategies for engaging faculty and students, as well as share ideas for building campus partnerships and providing technical support for Inclusive Access.

​Because we all belong to smaller institutions and many of us are in the same consortia, we will also explore common challenges to affordability: What has worked well so far? What has been particularly difficult? What direction are we going to take next?

This discussion is designed to inform audience members of strategies we can use to promote and support Inclusive Access on campus. The panelists aim to encourage audience members to become stronger affordable learning advocates. A handout containing thinking exercises and other useful resources on Inclusive Access will be provided, and to round out our discussion of OPAL’s affordable learning efforts, an afternoon panel will address Ohio libraries building and promoting Open Educational Resources (OER)


Drew Balduff (Moderator), Online Services and Outreach Librarian, University of Findlay

Alyssa Darden, Director of Learning Commons, Franklin University

John Kocher, Franklin University

Tiffany Lipstreu, Library Director, Otterbein University

Chuck Vesei, Assistant Library Director, Ritter Library, Baldwin Wallace University


Track: Advocacy, Marketing, and Outreach

Achievement Unlocked!: Lessening Library Anxiety with a Personal Librarian Program

In Fall 2014, the Walsh University Library introduced a Personal Librarian (PL) Program for all incoming freshmen with several goals in mind: lessening library anxiety by providing a friendly point of contact, saving students time and frustration by helping them navigate an array of resources, and easing the transition from high school. The PL sends email newsletters introducing library spaces and services, and helps students with research and citations and can answer any library-related questions they may have.  Since 2014, our PL Program has expanded to include incoming transfer students, and our goal is to find a way to provide consistent, active outreach to upperclassmen through the program as well.  In 2016 our PL Program was able to partner with our General Education 100/110 classes to provide a more robust library orientation.  Audience members will be introduced our Personal Librarian Program, see the results of our annual assessment survey, learn what’s next for 2018/2019, and get tips on how to implement a similar program at their home institution. 


Katie Hutchison, Student Engagement & Archival Services Librarian, Walsh University

Alyssa Mitchell, Public Services and Access Librarian, Walsh University


Track: Collaboration & Partnerships

Break Out of the Box: Developing and Implementing an Escape Room to Teach Information Literacy Skills

Escape rooms are the newest trend in library programming. Three librarians from different institutions wondered how these popular programs could be adapted for an academic library audience. In this panel discussion, the librarians will discuss the different approaches they used to create escape room themed activities in their libraries. The session will cover how the activities were created, how clues and puzzles can be used to improve information literacy, what concerns and issues arise when developing these activities, and how escape rooms can foster cross-campus collaboration, among other topics. The speakers will discuss how to adapt the escape room model for one-shot sessions, library/campus orientations, and student organization activities run by non-library faculty. Attendees will get a chance to check out some escape room props. 


Lauren Connolly, College Librarian for Liberal Arts and Information Literacy, University of Findlay

Alaine Kay, Reference-Web Resources Librarian/Assistant Professor, Muskingum University

Kristin Cole, Assessment & Special Projects Librarian/Assistant Professor, Otterbein University


Track: Services

LibGuides and the Embedded Librarian

The Graduate School of Leadership and Change at Antioch University has integrated LibGuides into multiple areas of library support. Not only is LibGuides the primary library webpage, we also use it to schedule library consultation sessions and workshops, create personal pages for students and faculty, and more. Increasingly, though, the line between program (departmental) support/information pages and library support is being blurred in ways that serve both. LibCal is now used to also schedule and promote writing workshops as well as faculty-led virtual sessions, and credit-bearing ‘course’ assignments have LibGuides support pages. Access to all of these are integrated into the program website. Faculty no longer have to worry (as much) about maintaining web content, and simply direct students to the library, confident that the librarian not only knows what the faculty expect, but has crafted specific library support pages along with faculty consultation. The librarian has also established first-year scaffolded library skills together with self-directed self-assessments/tutorials using LibWizard. The end result is that LibGuides is seen as integral not only for the library, but the life of the faculty, staff and students of the program. 


Steve Shaw, Graduate Research Librarian, Antioch University


Track: On Your Own Options

Headshots or Videographer

Breakout Session 2 (11:15 - 12:00)

Track: Activism

Stronger Together: Support, Leadership, and Alternative Pathways for New Information Professionals

Becoming a member of a new professional community can be overwhelming and intimidating, regardless of the field. As many library science programs move online, it’s more important than ever to provide opportunities for library school students and new professionals to network, learn new skills, and gain leadership experience in an in-person environment. The goal of the New-to-Libraries Network (NLN) is to provide this baseline of support for new professionals in the Northeast Ohio area and beyond. The group facilitates professional development events, organizes networking socials, and collaborates with other library organizations in the state to provide support for those new to libraries. The result of this effort is a small community of practice in the region that provides the in-person professional development that is important to professional integration.

This session will not only explore the value and activities of NLN, it will also delve into several topics of interest to new professionals, including advocacy for library values, marketing oneself, nontraditional post-MLIS employment, developing networking skills, and finding ways to get involved in the profession. Each of the four speakers will speak briefly about these topics, providing advice both for new information professionals and more experienced colleagues looking to support and mentor those new to the field. Afterward, members of the audience will be encouraged to ask questions of the speakers in a moderated Q&A session. Attendees to this presentation who are new to libraries will learn about resources and groups that can support their entrance to librarianship, as well as alternative paths to success in the information profession. Attendees with more experience in libraries will take away ideas for supporting their newer colleagues as mentors and partners. 


Jacquie Kociubuk, Graduate Assistant, Kent State University

Mandi Goodsett, Performing Arts & Humanities Librarian, Cleveland State University

Christina Rodriques, Member Relations Outreach Coordinator, OCLC

Danielle Buckius, Executive Director of Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness, Franklin University


Track: Advocacy, Marketing, and Outreach

Catalysts, Pioneers and Provocateurs: 21st Century Academic Libraries

Academic libraries inspire discourse and connect students, faculty and communities to new ways of thinking. At a time of heightened awareness of inequalities for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, immigrants and other marginalized communities, what are the roles of libraries, academic institutions and external partners? Join us as we discuss how academic libraries have positioned their programs and collections to spark dialogue. Panelists will share how their work advocates the library as a platform and how their constituents and community have benefited. Further, we’ll chat about their vision for what’s next. Don’t miss this timely talk with following Q&A!


Bryan Loar (moderator), Co-Founder and Board President, Cbus Libraries

Jenny E. Robb, Curator and Associate Professor, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Krista McDonald, Director, Miami University Regionals Rentschler Library

Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist and Assistant Professor, Kent State University Libraries, Department of Special Collections and Archives

Nimisha Bhat, Technical Services Librarian, Columbus College of Art and Design


Track: Collaboration & Partnerships

Partnering with the Theatre Department and Alumni Relations to build special collections in the Institutional Repository

The Archives of Otterbein University are housed in the Courtright Memorial Library and they include a rich collection of materials from the Theatre and Dance Department as well as numerous publications, yearbooks, journals, scrapbooks, and historical items that are of great interest to alumni. As the Digital Initiatives Librarian I have worked closely with the University Archivist to review and determine the items that would be of greatest interest and value to our constituents. As a result of this we have digitized roughly 50 years of Theatre programs, images, review and other paraphernalia as well as 100 years of yearbooks. This presentation will include a discussion of how collaboration and partnerships were developed as well as a detailed description of the methods used to manage the projects and numerous student workers who assisted.


Sarah Whybrew, Digital Initiatives Librarian/Assistant Professor, Otterbein University

Stephen Grinch, Archivist, University Archives, Otterbein University


Track: Services

Research Paper Boot Camp: Leveraging Campus Collaborations to Retain Students

In my role as Reference librarian and liaison to several academic departments, I noticed that some returning and transfer students might benefit from additional support in their research classes. As part of the required freshman First Year Experience sections, discussions occur which outline university academic support services and students are encouraged to make appointments; however, returning and transfer students either forget about the academic support services available or neglect to follow through making appointments. These second year+ students are taking the first classes that require challenging, lengthy research projects. Some could use additional support in one of more of the following: planning for semester-long assignments, locating required research, reading required scholarly articles, or synthesizing and writing 10+page papers in the appropriate style.

I collaborated with the members of the Learning Center, Reading Support Services, and the Writing Center and together with interested faculty, we created a series of workshops designed to support our new researchers and teach them good habits.

Our goal was to support returning students in their research assignments and thereby encourage them to continue their academic careers at Baldwin Wallace University. This breakout session outlines the constituents involved, what we set out to do, and the feedback we received from the student attendees during our first two semesters of offering the workshops. I will review the faculty comments and relate our own observations about what worked and what we changed as we created this new workshop series.


Laurie Willis, Reference Librarian, Ritter Library, Baldwin Wallace University 


Track: On Your Own Options

Headshots or Videographer

Breakout Session 3 (1:30 - 2:15)

Track: Activism

(Re)Defining OPAL

The landscape of higher education is rapidly changing and academic libraries are not immune. OPAL members face increasing challenges including pressure from our administrations to demonstrate value and accountability, and doing more with less. In response to these pressures, how do we tell the OPAL story to our campuses? How do we share the value of OPAL—the tangible and intangible benefits of our membership? How is our consortium preparing for the future? 

This past year, the OPAL Executive Committee hired the firm treetree to help craft our story. At this session, EC members will share the key messaging and brand manifesto that came out of this project, and an updated strategic plan that (re)defines our consortium in preparation for the future. An open forum will continue a dialogue between the EC and OPAL members as we work toward strengthening our community, deepening access, and ensuring confidence.


Leslie Jankowski, Director of Library Services, Columbus College of Art & Design; Chair, OPAL Executive Committee

Tiffany Lipstreu, Library Director, Otterbein University; Member-At-Large, OPAL Executive Committee

Christine Morris, Deputy Director, OhioNET


Track: Advocacy, Marketing, and Outreach

Building On Strengths: Using Asset Based Community Development Principles in Academic Libraries to Improve Library Services and Establish New Partnerships

You can’t identify your community’s needs until you understand your community’s assets. Community asset mapping allows you to better understand the strengths of your institution and helps to identify new partnerships so that your library can increase outreach, better assess community needs and improve library services for all patrons.

As librarians & educators we’re often focused on solving problems based on what we see as our institutional or community deficits.  But shifting the focus from our needs to our assets is an empowering & positive way to build new relationships and improve library services.  Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) principles, including asset-mapping, allow you to identify the assets of individuals, departments  and existing relationships so you can build from strength. It’s an inclusive means of improving your library’s outreach services, aids in spurring innovation, helps identify new partnerships, and ultimately, helps improve your library’s services. 

Through applying this method, our library has expanded services for faculty and students, created new collections, and formed new partnerships that have had mutually beneficial results.

In this session, I’d like to introduce the basic principles of ABCD, including asset-mapping, discuss real life experiences attempting to apply these principals to my work and then spend some time where participants can start work on their own personal & community asset maps


Laura M. Ponikvar, Library Director, Cleveland Institute of Art


Track: Collaboration & Partnerships

Creating Strong Partnerships between Public and Academic Libraries

In the winter of 2017/2018, Otterbein University’s Courtright Memorial Library (CML) and Westerville Public Library (WPL) worked together to bring a browsing collection (“Book Nook”) of WPL’s materials to CML.  In the spring of 2018, they teamed up again to host an author event for both of their communities.  In this session, Erin Huffman of Westerville Public Library, Kirsten Peninger of Courtright Memorial Library, and Jessica Crossfield McIntosh of Courtright Memorial Library will discuss the steps taken to bring both of these to their communities, share some of the challenges they encountered, and offer tips on how to start or continue similar collaborations in your library. 


Kirsten Peninger, Assistant to the Library, Otterbein University

Jessica Crossfield McIntosh, Public Services Librarian/Assistant Professor, Otterbein University

Erin Huffman, Program and Community Engagement Coordinator, Westerville Public Library 


Track: Services

How to Catalog, Circulate, Promote, and Manage an AV Equipment Collection in Your Library

This session will focus on the concrete steps taken to establish a heavily used circulating AV Equipment collection at Baldwin Wallace University’s Library. Attendees will learn about cataloging procedures and circulating policies as well as creative ways to promote discoverability and use of the equipment.  Workflow issues and dealing with the inevitable equipment breakdowns will also be covered.


Chuck Vesei, Assistant Library Director, Ritter Library, Baldwin Wallace University


Track: On Your Own Options

Library Tours

Breakout Session 4 (2:30 - 3:15)

Track: Activism

Toll Free: The Library as Driver of Open Access Resources

Last spring, OhioLINK officially partnered with the Open Textbook Network to build and promote open education resources (OER). While this partnership represents a natural progression for libraries, it also provides a ready platform for us to highlight and develop affordable resources. It is an exciting time to consider textbooks and other OER materials, as the industry is in a lot of flux. An earlier OPAL panel will discuss the inclusive access deal between publishers and the state and how libraries can be involved. The focus of our presentation is on resources that are open. We will talk about the partnership with the Open Textbook Network, including the role of ambassadors, and how this has helped develop faculty outreach and adoption. Further, we’ll look at how OERs can be promoted on campus, as well as how to talk to faculty about OER. We’ll discuss the recent OPAL policy on why OA collections need unanimous approval to be added to the catalog along with how to discover these resources. Finally, we want to open the discussion to the floor and find out what resources you’re engaging at your institution. 


Michael Dziabiak, Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, University of Findlay 

Mandi Goodsett, Performing Arts & Humanities Librarian, Cleveland State University 

Allen Reichert, Electronic Access & Government Documents Librarian/Professor, Otterbein University 


Track: Advocacy, Marketing, and Outreach

“I Needed the Library and the Library Came to Me!”: Finding Students Outside the Library

How would library service change if librarians left the library and tried to meet students where they traveled on campus?  Our library created the position of Student Success Librarian to move our services beyond of the traditional in library reference service and in class instruction sessions.  The role of Student Success Librarian has allowed us to tell the library’s story and participate at a variety of events and campus venues and to develop cross-campus partnerships.  By thinking outside the traditional academic silos, the position of Student Success Librarian gives us opportunities to identify new ways to reach and engage students outside the classroom.  We have collaborated with other departments, including African American Male Initiative, International Education Office and Student Support Services, to offer Librarian on Location reference and research services outside of our library space. 

Using Scheuler’s Retention and Student Success model, we’ve blended traditional services with new venues to rethink library outreach leading one student to say, “I needed the library and the library came to me!”  Meet the library director who created the position and the librarian who is implementing it as you consider ways to rethink your library services. 


Debra Oswald, Library Director, Sinclair Community College

Julie McDaniel, Student Success Librarian, Sinclair Community College


Track: Collaboration & Partnerships

Automated Reports with SQL and Python

This program details a collaborative effort between Baldwin Wallace University and OhioNET to automate billing and fines reports for three campus libraries. First we will illustrate the limitations and challenges of the Sierra Desktop Application when measured against the libraries' needs, then we will discuss how we used Sierra Direct SQL Access and the Python programming language to automate the entire process. The result of this effort has allowed circulation staff to have more time to spend on other necessary tasks. An added benefit is that the reports are generated in Excel spreadsheets which are easily used for record-keeping purposes. Familiarity with SQL or Python is not required.


David Green, Technology Specialist, OhioNET

Laura D’Amato, Reference Librarian, Baldwin Wallace University


Track: Services

The Traveling Rare Bible Petting Zoo: Teaching with Rare Books in an Undergraduate Biblical Literature Course

The invitation to speak to students in an undergraduate Biblical literature lecture course inspired one special collections librarian to weigh the risks and rewards of creating a hands-on classroom experience, placing examples of 18th century and older Bibles from the institution’s special collections into the hands of students.

The professor of record for Bluffton University’s Introduction to Biblical Worldview course sought out the special collections librarian to guest-lecture, to introduce students to a selection of the rare Bibles from the university library’s special collections.  Course content had exposed the students to the concept of a “canon” and had provided an introduction to the structure and contents of Bibles over time.  While considering options for a show-and-tell presentation to the class of 40-45 students, the librarian struggled to settle on an engaging and memorable approach.   Could a one-shot, hands-on experience be possible?

After consulting with the professor and with colleagues in archives and special collections at other institutions, the librarian was encouraged to design an activity in which small groups of students would each examine a large folio- or quarto- sized Bible from the library’s special collections under controlled, guided conditions.  First, simple handling practices were demonstrated by the librarian.  Then the librarian distributed a Bible to each group, along with a worksheet of questions to guide the students’ study.  After each group completed their examination, photographs of each Bible were shown using the classroom’s projection equipment, and each group was invited to share their findings to the class.

Reactions to this pedagogical experiment have seemed overwhelmingly positive.  Students were engaged and audibly acknowledged their interest: “this is so cool!”  The librarian was pleased with the outcome of the first offering and has made minor changes to the teaching strategy to improve successive iterations of the experience.


Carrie Phillips, Archives & Special Collections Librarian, Musselman Library, Bluffton University 


Track: On Your Own Options

Library Tours

Breakout Session Quick Links

Time Blocks for Headshots and Testimonials


Video Testimonials







Color-coded Tracks


Advocacy, Marketing, & Outreach

Collaboration & Partnerships


OPAL Video Testimonial Information

Share what you love about OPAL! These questions will be asked during OPAL video testimonials on Thursday and Friday to gather content for an OPAL video.

  • What can you not imagine being able to do at your library if not for OPAL?
  • What one word describes OPAL best?
  • Thinking back on your time working with OPAL (either as a member of an OPAL institution or an external professional working with OPAL in some capacity) - what is your favorite memory, such as a projects experience, a networking connection that led to something, and event or occasion?