Insightful Workshops & Presentations Tailored for Librarians

We are excited about the schedule of workshops for this year’s annual conference. The line-up is wide-ranging and strong. We are pleased to offer 20 in-person workshops and 8 virtual workshops. (All virtual content is available for viewing through September 26, 2024. )

The conference planning team has chosen presentations covering a variety of library topics, including:

  • Faith Integration
  • Library Spaces & Makerspaces
  • Leadership & Management
  • Open Education
  • Services, including Reference, Cataloging, Archives, & Systems

Check out the Speakers page to meet this year’s presenters and read workshop descriptions. Notice the presentation tracks too. There’s something for everyone!

We hope you are as excited as we are about the 2024 Conference and these great presentations. Be sure to register soon (early bird registration ends March 19th). Remember to invite a colleague! And, we eagerly anticipate all who can come and join us in embodying ‘The Great ACL Get Together’ theme, as we connect people and ideas for a transformative learning experience.

Hope to see you there!

Ruth McGuire

Ruth is the ACL Conference Presentations Coordinator as well as the Host Librarian for the 2024 ACL Annual Conference. She is the Director of Library Services at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and has been an ACL member since 1999.

Miriam Liethen

Miriam joined the ACL Conference Coordinating Team this year as the Assistant Presentations Coordinator. She is the Electronic Services Librarian at Grace College & Theological Seminary and has been an ACL member since 2020.

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ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop Spotlight

One way that ACL prioritizes continuous learning and professional development for its members is through ACL-Pro Plenary Workshops during the Annual Conference. The workshops are included in the conference registration and offer CEUs.* Whether you need the CEUs or not, I think you’ll find these sessions practical and relevant.

Do you provide instruction to your students or library users—both in person and/or online? Looking for guidance on how to improve the efficacy of your teaching? Join us for “Creating Transformative Instructional Design Experiences for Learning” on Tuesday, June 11. This workshop will be led by UNW Education Professors Annalisa Buerke and Jonell Pacyga. You’ll glean insights into how to apply teaching principles and use technology tools to craft successful instructional sessions.

What about questions regarding AI and ChatGPT? Since ChatGPT was released, discussions about its proper usage and what it even is have been circulating in every arena. Join us for “Librarianship in an AI Era: Mindsets and Tools to Wisely Utilize the Potential of Artificial Intelligence,” on Wednesday, June 12. This workshop will be presented by our very own UNW Professor and Research & Instruction Librarian Jessica Moore and Adjunct Faculty and Instructional Designer Adam Minnie. You’ll want to attend this workshop to learn more about AI and its intersection with the library and how you can approach this emerging technology at your own institution.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these opportunities to earn CEUs and learn together with us at this year’s Annual ACL Conference.

*Earning CEUs is a proactive step librarians can take to remain effective and valuable contributors. Attendees simply complete a survey, and the CEU credits are recorded in their membership record with a certificate emailed to them. 

Please make note of these important deadlines related to conference:
March 15 – Deadline to nominate colleagues for the Emily Russel or Lifetime Service Awards
March 15 – Deadline for international ACL members to apply for the Spidell Conference Scholarship
March 19 – Early Bird Registration Deadline
March 31 – Deadline to apply for the President’s Conference Scholarship
April 9 – Deadline to submit a poster session application

Hope to see you here in June!

Becky Halberg

Becky is the Library Web Coordinator at the University of Northwestern and serves on the 2024 ACL Conference Host Team. She has been an ACL member since 2022.

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Keynote Spotlight

As my colleagues and I discussed themes and speakers for ACL’s upcoming 2024 Annual Conference, a common idea emerged: though technology often makes physical presence optional, we still want and need embodied community. If nothing else, the pandemic was quite effective at revealing our need for physical presence. Technology can simulate it, but I don’t think it will ever replace it—nor should it. In Minnesota, no other event signals our desire and need to gather better than the Minnesota State Fair, also known as The Great Minnesota Get Together! And there it was… 2024’s conference theme: The Great ACL Get Together!

Our next task was to find a keynote speaker who could address the importance of physical presence in a world of digital surrogates. And we are delighted to introduce you to Samuel James! He is the associate acquisitions editor at Crossway Books, and the author of Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age (Crossway, 2023). We asked James to draw on the ideas in his book to help us understand how digital technology shapes the way we think. Check out his abstract here. After his address, James will sit down with us for a conversation on what the implications might be for libraries as physical and digital environments, a timely conversation for both in-person and virtual attendees. I trust that this session will encourage you both personally and professionally as we navigate our online age together.

Registration is now open! (ACL members, be sure to log into the MY ACCOUNT area before registering to take advantage of your $90 membership discount.) When you register, you’ll have the option of adding Samuel James’s book, Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age, to your conference package. At only $12, it’s a great price, and it will be shipped to you prior to the conference. (If you are located outside the US, you can collect your copy at the conference in June.)

We hope to see you in Saint Paul!

Greg Rosauser

Greg is Associate Professor and Archivist at Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and on the 2024 ACL Conference hosting team. He has been an ACL member since 2011.

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Why Minnesota?

University of Northwestern Campus

On behalf of the staff of the Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, I am excited to invite you all to Minnesota this June for the 2024 Annual Conference! Experience a “taste of Minnesota” with a memorable blend of engaging content, fellowship, and fun!  

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, and a lakeside bonfire with friends is a quintessential summer activity! As the conference kicks off on Sunday evening, we will gather on picturesque Lake Johanna Island for a fun and welcoming bonfire with fellow attendees. There will be an opportunity to tour Northwestern’s Island Chapel with Art Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Baden, who will also lead devotions on Monday morning in the stunning Nazareth Chapel.  

What is an ACL conference without ice cream? Our Monday evening excursion will feature a walk along St. Paul’s historic Summit Avenue from Cathedral Hill to the Grand Ole Creamery! 

Theatre enthusiasts know that the Twin Cities has a vibrant and thriving theatre scene! Following the banquet on Tuesday evening, Minnesota’s own Theater for the Thirsty will perform their newest musical “This is My Story, This is My Song” featuring the stories behind some of the great hymns of the faith.  

Theater for the Thirsty

For those planning to extend their stay before or after the conference, the Twin Cities offers a variety of attractions including museums, zoos, parks, historic sites, and shopping. See our local LibGuide for a full list of suggestions. Here are some highlights: 

  • American Swedish Institute: Located in Minneapolis, this cultural center celebrates Swedish and Nordic heritage. Explore the historic Turnblad Mansion, art exhibits, and enjoy Swedish-inspired cuisine at the on-site restaurant, Fika. 
  • Mall of America: Located in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, the Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States. It features over 500 stores, numerous restaurants, and attractions like Nickelodeon Universe and SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium. 
  • Minnehaha Park: A beautiful urban park in Minneapolis, Minnehaha Park is known for its stunning waterfall, walking trails, and scenic views along the Mississippi River. Visitors can also explore the historic Minnehaha Depot and enjoy a meal at Sea Salt Eatery. 
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Located in St. Paul, Como Park offers a free zoo and conservatory. Explore a wide variety of animals and plant life or take a leisurely stroll through the Japanese Garden. 
  • Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden: For art enthusiasts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis showcases contemporary art, and the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features iconic sculptures like the Spoonbridge and Cherry. 
  • Historic Stillwater: Known as the “Birthplace of Minnesota”, Stillwater is a charming town on the banks of the St. Croix River known for its historic architecture, boutique shops, and scenic river views. Explore the town, take a boat tour, or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants. 
  • Mill City Museum: Situated in downtown Minneapolis, this museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. It provides insights into the history of milling in the region and offers panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. 
  • Minnesota History Center: Situated in St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center provides engaging exhibits on the state’s history, culture, and heritage. 
  • Guthrie Theater: Theater enthusiasts can visit the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, known for its innovative productions and modern architecture. The theater offers guided tours, and the Endless Bridge provides a stunning view of the Mississippi River and city skyline. 
  • Stone Arch Bridge and Nicollet Island: Take a stroll across the historic Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, which provides stunning views of the city skyline and the Mississippi River. Afterward, explore Nicollet Island, known for its charming Victorian homes and gardens. 
  • James J. Hill House: Visit the historic mansion of railroad magnate James J. Hill in St. Paul. The house, a National Historic Landmark, offers guided tours showcasing its impressive architecture and the lifestyle of a 19th-century tycoon. The museum also offers walking tours of historic Summit Avenue.  

We hope to see you in Minnesota this June! 

Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is the Research and Instruction Librarian and a full Professor at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and a member of the 2024 ACL Conference Hosting Team. Jessica has been a member of ACL since 2007, and served as the chair of ACL’s Liberal Arts Section in 2013-2015. Her professional interests include information literacy, instructional design, assessment, copyright, and open education. Jessica and her husband Brian live in the Twin Cities area.

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2024 ACL Annual Conference Update

Please make plans to join us at the 2024 ACL Annual Conference at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota June 10-12.

The conference theme, “The Great ACL Get Together: Connecting People, Connecting Ideas,” was inspired by the Minnesota State Fair’s slogan, “The Great Minnesota Get Together.” Our retro-style postcard logo, featuring custom drawings of popular Twin City sites by Nate Farley, mirrors the fair’s essence. Much like how fair attendees gather for entertainment, showcasing talents, exploring innovations, and savoring diverse food options (often on a stick), the ACL conference similarly brings together Christian librarians. It fosters personal connections while exchanging essential learning and faith-related ideas crucial to librarians’ growth and development.

The 2024 conference program promises relevance and practicality for the librarians ACL serves. We’re thrilled to announce our keynote speaker, author Samuel James. Based on his recent book Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age, he will explore the human need for embodied community in an online age through a recovery of Christian wisdom and with implications for the role of libraries.

Offering Continuing Education Units (CEUs) via ACL-Pro Plenary Workshops reaffirms our dedication to fostering continual professional growth and learning within our membership. These workshops are tailored to offer essential training and valuable insights covering topics of broad relevance to librarians. The 2024 ACL-Pro Plenary workshops will specifically address the popular topics of active learning and teaching, as well as AI/ChatGPT.

Our conference provides a platform for librarians and information professionals to contribute to the field and engage with their peers through presentations and poster sessions. By presenting at the ACL Conference, librarians can showcase their expertise, discuss innovative practices, and contribute to the ongoing development of the profession. We are accepting presentation proposals through December 8, 2023.

The cost for the 2024 conference can be found on our website to help you start planning for your attendance. We expect registration to open at the beginning of March 2024.

We look forward to welcoming you to the conference, ACL’s key event for 2024!

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Introducing ACL-Pro Plenary Workshops

What’s better than gaining knowledge and fellowship through the ACL Conference each year? You guessed it – it’s earning continuing education units while you’re there too!

Each year, ACL provides opportunities for professional development and continuing education in the form of ACL-Pro workshops, which are included as part of your conference registration whether you’re joining us in-person or virtually. ACL-Pro is the arm of the Association of Christian Librarians that offers continuing education units, or CEUs, for qualifying continuing education and training activities.

We’re excited to announce two fascinating ACL-Pro workshops at this year’s conference:

Embedding Librarians & Libraries into the Campus LMS

Panelists: Robert Burgess, Mississippi College; Miriam Liethen, Grace College; Taylor Vanlandingham, John Brown University  // Moderator: Kirsten Setzkorn, Cedarville University

Discover how librarians creatively practice embedded librarianship in the context of their campus’ learning management system. Learn from each panelist’s unique experience establishing and growing an embedded program, as well as the greatest benefits and challenges they faced along the way. Discussion will include the many forms embedded librarianship can take. Participants will come away inspired with tangible ideas on how to implement their own embedded program to the benefit of their students and institutions.

Creative Roles: How to Use Student Workers in Unique Ways

Panelists: Leslie Starasta, Lincoln Christian University; Gary Fitsimmons, Bryan College; Jean Waldrop, Harding University; Crystal Whitham, Allegheny Wesleyan College // Moderator: Kari Siders, Cedarville University

Many libraries use or place students in standard roles such as circulation or book processing, yet to fulfill the needs of the library, students can be trained and trusted to accomplish so much more. Students in these libraries were placed in roles that included tasks such as libguide creation, ILLs, social media, archives, cataloging, and more. This workshop will expand your idea of the typical student worker role and encourage you to consider how you can utilize students more fully at your library.

ACL-Pro workshops cover innovative topics in librarianship with a focus on actionable steps that you can implement at your library. Through the practical application of these concepts, you will be better equipped to take your library to the next level.

Participation in these workshops (in person or online) makes you eligible to receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs). To obtain CEUs for attendance at one or both ACL-Pro workshops participants will be asked to complete an evaluation form after the session.

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Conference Spotlight: Workshop Presentations

We hope you can join us June 6-8 at Cedarville University in Ohio. If you are unable to attend in person, we hope you’ll join us at the virtual conference on June 26-27.

As the Presentation Coordinator, I am excited about the schedule of workshops. The line-up is wide-ranging and strong. We are pleased to offer 21 in-person workshops and 9 workshops online with Live Q&A sessions.

The conference planning team has chosen presentations covering a variety of library topics, including:

  • Faith Integration
  • Information Literacy & Teaching
  • Leadership & Management
  • Outreach
  • Public or Technical Services

In-Person Workshops (June 6-8)

Workshop #1 Tuesday 10:45-11:45 AMWitnessing While Being In The Heart Of Service to the Public – Lowell Walters & Ben BrickFocus on Faculty: Learning Objectives for Instruction – Jeanette ParkerUsage Data: Methods and Madness – Kelly BilzAn Index: The Heart of Research – Sarah Wessel, Laura Ladwig, Lori Thornton, & Jamey Wilkes
Workshop #2 Tuesday 2:30-3:30 PMStepping Out of the Library: How to Meet Students Where They Are – Christina LabudaReading, (W)riting, and Research as a Process – Do They Belong Together? – John Shaffett & Grace AndrewsCollaboration and Confidence: Demystifying Annual Statistics – Mary Logue & Denise NelsonService Through Collection Development: Diversity Statements in Collection Development Policies in Libraries at CCCU Institutions – Robin Lang
Workshop #3 Wednesday 10:45-11:45 AMWhat would Augustine do? How to be a Virtuous Librarian in a Virtual World – Ezra Choe & Garrett TrottInfo Lit in Service of Student Success – Julie SweeneyExcellent Service through Libguides… – Jennifer WalzIt Turns Out Libraries Need Catalogers After All! – Christa Welty-SalgadoOCLC News you Can Use – Suzanne Butte
Workshop #4 Wednesday 1:15-2:15 PMThe I in the DEI: Creating Inclusive Environments in the Workplace …- Peggy Nzomo, Garrett Trott, Deborah McConkey, Denise Nelson, Leslie StarastaOnline Tutorials: Fad or Future? – Robert BurgessItem Type RDA Catalog Conversion – Lauren DennyThe Heart of Service: Leadership through Communication – Rodney Birch & April VanPutten
Workshop #5 Thursday 10:45-11:45 AMServing from Afar: Panel Discussion on Serving as a Remote Librarian – Carol Reid, Deborah McConkey, etcFaculty or Staff?: Librarian Identity in Christian Higher Education – David PurdyOnce Upon a Time: An Academic Library Serving the Community through Story – Jacquelyn MatthewsWho is My Neighbor? Discerning Professional Ethics in a Season of Political Conflict – Rachel Maxon

Virtual Workshops (June 26-27)

Workshop #V1
11:30 AM-12:30 PM
#socialmediaplan: Serving Patrons via Social Media
Robert Oliverio
Collabs with People and Robots
Krissy Nichols, Tina Craft, Shannon Buckler, Deborah McConkey
Workshop #V2
2-3 PM
How I F.E.L.L. (Faith, Epilepsy, Librarian, and Leadership): Romans 8:28 Applied
Garrett Trott
Outsourcing Info Lit to OER: in Service to Ourselves and Others
Erin McCoy
Open for Service: Migration to an Open-Source Library Services Platform
Rusty Tryon
Workshop #V3
11:30 am-12:30 PM
Library Space as Service: How Do Our Spaces Serve Patrons, and How Do We Know When We’ve Hit the Mark?
Rachelle Waldon
The Heart of Student Success: The ACRL Framework, Writing Frameworks, and First-Year Research Writing
Amy Rice & Ruth McGuire
Workshop #V4
1:15-2:15 PM
Let’s Have a Difficult Conversation!
Jeremy Labosier
Serving Beyond: The Library as Student Heartbeat Monitor for the Rest of the Institution
Karina Dunn

Check out the Speakers page on the conference webpage to meet this year’s workshop presenters and read workshop descriptions.

I hope you are as excited as I am about the 2023 ACL Conference and these great presentations. Be sure to register soon (early bird registration ends March 15th). I look forward to seeing you in June, either at Cedarville University or Online. Together, I hope we’ll reconnect, grow professionally, and be inspired.

Kind regards,

Ruth McGuire
ACL Presentation Coordinator

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Registration is now open!

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2023 ACL Annual Conference is now open! Joshua Michael, the 2023 Host Librarian, and the librarians at Cedarville University are eager to welcome you to a great week of learning and encouragement as we explore this year’s conference theme: Service, the Heart of It All.

Our hope is that as many as possible would attend the in-person conference at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH, June 6-8, which will include all of the traditional elements of our annual conference. We know that not all can come in person with budgets and time constraints, so we will continue to offer a virtual streamlined option for 2023, but at a different time than our in-person event. Please note the differences below.

June 6-8, 2023
IN-PERSON at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio

Please join us once again for a time of in-person professional development and rich fellowship at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. You’ll enjoy the traditional ACL conference experience with a keynote address, two plenary ACL-Pro Workshops, 21 concurrent workshops presented by librarian colleagues, section meetings, daily devotional time, poster sessions, vendor showcase, and many opportunities to collaborate and network with like-minded librarians. Virtual participation also comes with in-person conference regisration. Explore the full in-person conference agenda here.

REGISTER for Annual Conference

June 26 & 27, 2023
ONLINE via Whova

If you are unable to travel to Ohio, please be sure to join us online June 26 and 27. This option is less expensive since there are no travel expenses, but will be a robust program with opportunity for lively interaction and engagement. The two days of online content will be broadcast live according to the schedule. There will be nine workshops presented by librarian colleagues and the added opportunity to participate in live Q & A sessions with the presenters. View virtual posters, interact with library-related sponsors and exhibitors, and participate in the many networking opportunities. Virtual content will be available for all conference participant for 6 months post conference. Explore the online participation agenda here.

REGISTER for Virtual Conference

Program Highlights

Keynote Address: Living the Life of a Servant Leader

Scott Livingston

The servant leader is one who is seen as servant first, whose focus is the growth and well-being of the people in the communities to which they belong. However, without proper self-care, even the most well-intentioned leader can become depleted and unable to serve at their fullest potential. Join us for a dynamic and transformative keynote experience as we explore the value and virtue of living the life of a resilient servant leader.

ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop: Embedding Libraries & Librarians into the Campus LMS

Panel: Kirsten Setzkorn, Cedarville University; Robert Burgess, Mississippi College; Taylor Vanlandingham, John Brown University; Miriam Liethen, Grace College & Theological Seminary

In this panel session, discover how librarians from three different institutions creatively practice embedded librarianship in the context of their campus’ learning management system. As more institutions of higher learning adopt LMS platforms and the number of distance learners continues to rise, librarians can capitalize on new opportunities to embed their services and resources into these online learning environments. Learn from each panelist’s unique experience establishing and growing an embedded program, as well as the greatest benefits and challenges they faced along the way. Discussion will include the many forms embedded librarianship can take – from integrating LibGuides into LMS courses, to creating a research course in the LMS, to librarians taking an active role in classes in the LMS context. Participants will come away inspired with tangible ideas on how to implement their own embedded program to the benefit of their students and institutions.

ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop: How to Use Student Workers in Unique Ways

Panel:Kari Siders, Cedarville University; Leslie Starasta, Lincoln Christian University; Gary Fitsimmons, Bryan College; Jean Waldrop, Harding University; Crystal Whitham, Allegheny Wesleyan College

During this ACL Pro-Workshop panelists from four libraries will reveal how they have created unique roles for student workers in their library. Many libraries use or place students in standard roles such as circulation or book processing, yet to fulfill the needs of the library, students can be trained and trusted to accomplish so much more. Students in these libraries were placed in roles that included tasks such as LibGuide creation, ILLs, social media, archives, cataloging, and more. This workshop will expand your idea of the typical student worker role and encourage you to consider how you can utilize students more fully at your library.

We know that budgets are tight! For the greatest cost savings, take advantage of the early bird discount by registering by March 15. No one offers a conference experience like ACL’s in a similar price range so your professional development budget earns more value.

ACL strives to provide conference programming to help you thrive in your profession, so please join us!

Please feel free to contact me with your conference questions. I hope to see you either in person or online in June!

With joy,

April McKinion
Conference Manager and Outreach Coordinator

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Why Ohio?

Welcome to our small town, a village really. We aren’t known for very much apart from a few notable characters. Yet, examine us closely and you will find something far more important, enduring, and inherent. You will find a people, and a heartbeat of a community cut from a long, southwest Ohio heritage… a steady thrum of life in rhythm with the open contours of rich glacial till at the edge of ancient rolling hills. Here, countryside courtesy meets academic ambition in a blend of quiet, earth-hardened folks and fervent, coffee-fueled philosophers. We aren’t always the perfect marriage of common sense and intellectual effort, but rather, we have a more fitting common ground within the crossroads of long-held fundamental traditions and principled values. Faith, family, and neighbor mean so much more to the folks of this part of Ohio than the differences that may divide us ever could. This year’s ACL Annual Conference hosted by Cedarville University mirrors these same traditions and values: “Service, the Heart of It All”.

So why Ohio? Well to be fair, why not? Did you know the ACL home office is headquartered here in Cedarville? Well, consider this your open invitation to join us for the conference and experience all that Ohio has to offer. You can start your journey of exploration with the Local Ohio LibGuide and plan your trip in pursuit of the next great adventure. Between conference sessions, you might visit the Historic Clifton Mill, or tackle a mile of waterside trails in river-hewn gorges and park reserves, or take a driving tour of Green County’s five covered bridges. Even on campus you can find notable points of intrigue, such as the Biblical Heritage Gallery and Archives of the Centennial Library or the Center for Bible & Theological Studies Wiersbe Reading Room. Whatever adventure you choose while at the conference, don’t forget to join us for homemade ice-cream at Young’s Jersey Dairy.

Perhaps your summer plans are more ambitious and the blueprint for this year’s conference is wide open to the road ahead. Before the conference, you might meander over to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter or take an after-conference turn at the Museum of the US Air Force and National Aviation Heritage Area. Ohio may not be your first destination of choice, but in just one state, where else can you find the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Queen City Riverboats, Jack Hanna Zoo Exhibits, Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Serpent Mounds and the Adena & Hopewell Culture Center, or Kings Island & Cedar Point amusement parks, two Major League Baseball teams, and five presidential homes, museums, and libraries with more besides. I dare you to get lost, and to discover just what makes Ohio a place “At the Heart of It All”.

Come on over and enjoy …I hope to see you soon!


Nathanael Davis
STEM/Business Librarian; Assistant Professor of Library Science
Cedarville University
ACL Conference Technology Coordinator

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