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Members Guide

Onboarding for newcomers and reference for everyone!

Navigate Key Tasks

Welcome to OPAL! Use this guide to get to know OPAL, sign up for a mailing lists, and to learn about the resources available to you. Also learn how we work together so that you can get involved. You will also find resources such as the Organization Manual listed under Core Documents.


New or Changing Positions in OPAL

Completing the tasks listed below can be a helpful starting point. Get more details about various functions in the Roles section to the right.


Peer Mentoring and Shared Expertise

Peer mentoring support is available to pair new OPAL library staff or those changing positions or working on projects with an experienced library staff member who performs comparable tasks. Because of the unique needs of OPAL members, our mentoring program is less structured and more flexible. This allows us to provide a more customized and informal approach. Want a short term arrangement, several perspectives, meet online, in-person? It's all possible. More about connecting with an OPAL mentor in the next section. Individualized training is also available as necessary - contact to request and schedule.


Connect With OPAL Mentors

OPAL staff can find a peer mentor by searching the OPAL Directory. Members available for mentoring have a green icon next to their name - or use the directory Types filter and limit your search to "OPAL Mentor." Click on "More..." under the member's contact information for a list of their mentoring subject areas. Members with an orange icon next to their name are already mentoring someone and may not have availability. Reach out to the OPAL mentor(s) you are interested in working with directly to make arrangements and schedule meeting times. Contact if you have any questions or to update your mentoring status. OhioNet generally coordinates mentors for new directors.

If you are interested in a formal mentoring program, The Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Professional Development Committee (ALAO PDC) sponsors a program for members that runs annually. 

New to OPAL

  • Send OhioNet new member information by completing this form.
  • Join an OPAL Community of Interest (COI) for your practice area by contacting the coordinator listed on the COI page.
  • Find a peer mentor in the OPAL Directory or request training by contacting The new member information form also has a field for this. 
  • Sign up for OPAL email lists and the OPAL Updates & Tips Blog. Contact to be added to the OPAL Slack Channel.
  • Request that your Lead Implementor or Director arrange for specific permissions (Find leads for each institution by searching the OPAL Directory and filtering by Lead Implementer).
    • OhioNet Support for Sierra Permissions
    • OhioLINK for OStaff
    • Get log-in and password for the  Sierra manual on CSDirect
  • As part of OPAL you are also a member of OhioNet, which enables you to register for free webinars, training events and other benefits. Registration requires an OhioNet user account which takes just a moment to create.

Changing Positions in Your Library

  • Update your OPAL profile in the Directory.
  • Update your OPAL email lists.
  • Update your Communities of Interest.
  • Read more about your new role in the positions section (to the right).
  • Find a peer mentor in the OPAL Directory or request training support from
  • Request any necessary permissions changes for Sierra through OhioNet at
  • Contact OhioLINK for any Ostaff permissions or other changes.


Get started, find out more about specific roles within OPAL, and access commonly used templates.

Core Documents