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Diversity in Focus: New Lenses, New Frames, New Approach

DATE: Thursday, November 2, 2023
TIME: 10:30 a.m.  - 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Hickory 2, Nationwide Conference Center

Register Now!


(Subject to change)

10:30 am -- Registration
11:00-12:30 pm -- Presentations: Design Justice in practice and Appreciative Inquiry through a DEI lens
12:30 -1:30 pm -- Lunch and networking
1:30-3:15 pm – DEI Dream Propositions: What does our future look like?
3:15-3:30 pm – Break
3:30-4:30 pm – Report Out
4:30-5:00 pm – Wrap Up and Evaluations
5:00 pm-6:30pm – Social Event


In this precipitous moment, a radical reconstruction and new approach to our work with each other and for our campuses is of dire importance. Emerging approaches in equity and human-centered design can help shift our consciousness from “I” to “we” and “us” through harmonious relationships, whole system view, and by seeing the energy in difference. What will the next chapter of inclusive engagement, leadership, and advocacy look like in Ohio? Come join us as we seek to define, design, and innovate together a new approach to academic librarianship with the capacity to accelerate our growth and transform our libraries for the good of all.

This workshop will introduce appreciative inquiry and the tenants of design justice to engage with provocative and aspirational diversity, equity, and inclusion propositions in a way that is infused into our various processes and not merely an afterthought. Together we will collectively co-design what comes next, where does DEI find life, and what are the strengths that can get us to enact our DEI values in action.

Supported by our Gold Level sponsors


Participants will be introduced to appreciative inquiry as a model for organizational development and change. Participants will gain new insights on thoughtful approaches to active allyship practices through design justice. Participants will workshop together key areas of advancement in libraries and walk away with ideas and practical approaches to existing and new work in libraries.

Recommended pre-readings:


Shannon Simpson is the Scholarly Instruction Librarian at Kenyon College. She has an MLIS from Kent State, a BA in English with a minor in Psychology and has completed certificates from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the Harvard Leadership Institute in Communication and Leadership, respectively. Shannon has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous articles, presentations, research studies, and web material for various high-volume libraries, national conferences, consulting firms, and print journals. Her writing, instruction, and research is currently focused on the following subjects: information literacy, design justice, critical pedagogy, diversity and equity. In a previous life, Shannon played in a national symphony orchestra in South America, and attained a Series 7 brokerage license. She hopes no one will hold these things against her and instead ask her about any new podcast or hip hop obsessions..

Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros is an Associate Professor and the Latin American, Iberian, and Latino/a Studies Librarian at The Ohio State University (OSU). As an information professional, Pamela has supported international research, developed  award-winning K-12 educational curriculum, and served as a senior project manager for educational initiatives in the United States and Mexico. As an experienced facilitator and DEI specialist, she has designed, developed, and delivered sessions for the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Leadership Fellows Program, the Association of College and Research Libraries Consulting Services, and DeEtta Jones & Associates. As a former public librarian with the San Diego County Library and the Sedona Public Library, Pamela oversaw year-round educational and cultural library programming for youth, teens, and adults that resulted in expanded services to Spanish-speaking and Latinx communities. Pamela is the recipient of a Fulbright Garcia Robles Binational Business Fellowship, the Ohio State University 2017 Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, and Columbus Business First prestigious 40 Under 40 award for her community outreach and engagement. She is currently a master's student of Positive Organizational Development (MPOD) at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Pre-Conference Workshop

Diversity in Focus: New Lenses, New Frames, New Approach
In-Person Workshop: November 2, 2023, Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, Ohio

Presented by Shannon Simpson and Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros.

Conference Events

Finding Balance: Hybrid Spaces, New Opportunities & Transformed Missions.

Conference events and offerings will include:

  • A Virtual ILS Forum & Mini-Conference
  • Relax and reconnect with your colleagues at the Olentangy River Brewing Company from 5-9pm Thursday, October 27th! Only a 5-minute walk from the Conference Center, with free parking on-site. Light refreshments will be provided by the Conference Planning Committee, with a food truck vendor for additional food purchases.
  • Hybrid simulcast of the conference keynote address by Trevor A. Dawes
  • A “hybrid track room” at the in-person conference venue where sessions will be simulcast live online throughout the day.

Join us for #2023alao!

Online ILS Forum & Mini-Conference: Friday, Oct 27, 2023 via Zoom

In-Person Conference: November 2-3, 2023, Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, Lewis Center, Ohio

View our full program of events.

Questions? Contact us at

People's Choice Poster Award Winners

This year, we are happy to announce a first-place tie for the People's Choice award for the poster session. This year's winners are:

  • Reeling in Students: Using Instagram Reels to Increase Student Engagement with Library Services - Mira Scarnecchia, Sherlann Lewandowski & Ana Rita Borges Tobe, Columbus State Community College Library
  • Meeting Students Where They Are: Developing an Information Literacy Class Based on Student Interests - Jaclyn Spraetz, Miami University

Congratulations to all of our winners!

2023 Service Project - Unite Against Book Bans

This year ALAO has selected to support Unite Against Book Bans as its annual service project.

“Unite Against Book Bans is a national campaign to protect the rights of everyone to access information. Leveraging the reach of a national coalition, we connect, support, and mobilize people to fight book bans in their communities and states.”

Unite Against Book Bans is an initiative of the American Library Association with support of many state and national organizations

To participate in the movement you can visit the website and take the pledge to support the Freedom to Read statement. Or you can make a monetary donation which helps support libraries and librarians in censorship battles.

During our annual conference we also ask that you participate in sharing awareness of book bans by sharing your favorite banned book on social media and tagging your post with #2023alao and #UniteAgainstBookBans

About ALAO

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) is a chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). 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.

Community Agreements

The conference planners seek to create a space for respectful dialogue and debate about critical issues. Upon registration, attendees will be asked to review and accept a list of community agreements. Conference planners will actively strive to create spaces in which multiple perspectives can be heard and no one voice dominates. We welcome any and all suggestions that will make this a safe and productive space for all. Please contact Mark Eddy, the program chair, at

Who We Are

Members of the 2023 conference planning committee are:

  • Abigail Morgan, Miami University
  • Ann Marie Smeraldi, Cleveland State University
  • Cara Calabrese, Miami University
  • Don Appleby, University of Akron
  • Gerald (Jerry) Natal, The University of Toledo
  • Jason Wardell, University of Dayton
  • Ken Irwin, Miami University
  • Kristen Peters, Wittenberg University
  • Kristine Kinzer, Columbus State Community College
  • Mark Eddy, Case Western Reserve
  • Marsha Miles, Cleveland State University
  • Melissa Cox Norris, University of Cincinnati
  • Melissa Hill, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Paul Campbell, Ohio University
  • Rob O'Brien Withers, Miami University
  • Sara Klink, Stark State College
  • Stephanie Hilles, Miami University

Copyright 2019 - Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO)

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