Ohio Memory

Ohio Memory’s Lily Birkhimer, Jenni Salamon, Kristen Newby and Jillian Ramage

Q: Where can you find the largest collection of Ohio newspapers, images of WWI black infantry soldiers and photographs of early 20th Century daily life…online…in one place?

A: Ohio Memory

This month, we had the pleasure of meeting members of the Ohio Memory team. Ohio Memory is managed collaboratively between Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio. The dynamic online resource helps communities share, discover and connect to Ohio’s rich history.

Located in the Ohio History Center, Ohio Memory supports a variety of projects. They partner with 365 institutions across 88 counties in the state and provide a subscription program for 35 members (including many libraries), supporting those organizations in digitizing and sharing historical photos, yearbooks, local newspapers, ephemera and more. In fact, Ohio Memory contains over 700,000 digital images!

 

Grants fund important digitization projects. Little Stories of the Great War: Ohioans in World War I was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Through prestigious NEH grant funding, Ohio Memory gives greater awareness to Ohio’s contributions, features content from fifteen cultural heritage institutions across Ohio and provides lesson plans for teachers. Kristen Newby coordinates efforts for this project and told fascinating stories about what she’s learned. She digitized images from Ross County’s Camp Sherman, including images of an all-black military band as well as the camp’s library, the only non-segregated area of the camp. Kristen also uncovered incredible letters from the soldiers, including one that revealed the discovery of a German spy!

 

Newspaper collections are reviewed (and sometimes ironed) before they are sent for digitization

The team is working in partnership with Chronicling America to digitize Ohio newspapers as part of a national initiative and have contributed over 400,000 pages to that website by the end of 2018. Jenni Salamon leads the effort and explained reading newspapers from Ohio’s early days gives readers an interesting perspective. Researchers and the curious can learn what the political climate was like then and how much things have and have not changed today. In addition to Chronicling America, Ohio Memory’s newspaper collection contains over 360,000 pages of free-to-access content, many of which came from the Ohio History Connection’s hardcopy and microfilm holdings, which comprise the largest collection of Ohio newspapers in the world!

 

Glass plate photo negatives from an Ohio Memory collection

Lily Birkhimer manages content and outreach for Ohio Memory. She is responsible for training institutional partners, managing metadata, public inquiries and online selection. Lily is currently digitizing glass plate negatives from the Albert J. Ewing Collection. These delicate materials provide a detailed glimpse into our past. Lily records written information on the plates and their sleeves, and she leverages census information to fill in the gaps and create connections that may have otherwise been lost.

Other Ohio Memory projects include preservation of materials from the Zoar community, LGBTQ collections and information for a World Heritage project. The team contributes weekly to their blog, where you can learn more about special items from the collection and read about topics relevant to current events.

There’s so much to explore and discover. As they are always adding new resources, we’ll be taking a closer look at Ohio Memory, and we hope you do too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


 

Learn more about the State Library of Ohio and Ohio Memory’s Shannon Kupfer at our 2014 feature here.

Back to School

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end and school will start again in a few short weeks. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to meet with wonderful school and academic librarians from a variety of institutions.

We thought it would be fun to look back and to catch up with some of our friends at school libraries to learn about their plans for the 2017-18 school year.
 

Dr. Christina Dorr, media specialist at Hilliard Weaver Middle School, is ramping up for the school year with Cat Days, a two-day orientation that helps students explore the building, learn their schedules and pick up their school books and iPads. The library helps manage the school’s one 2 one program, offering students technical support for their iPads. Once school is in session, Dr. Dorr will provide library orientation classes to incoming middle schoolers and refresh upperclassmen on the library’s role. She provides the students with information about how to access the library’s collections, check out material and ebooks, and opportunities to volunteer and participate in library events.

In October, the school will welcome award winning author Jason Reynolds. In preparation for the event, students have been reading his books and some even met over the summer discuss his works at the local Starbucks.  Dr. Dorr is working in collaboration with other teachers to engage the students in anticipation of the event and has planned a number of fun activities that will excite them make for fantastic event.

Dr. Dorr is also looking forward to working with student groups, including the book club, Books and Brownies, and the newly established Gay/Straight Alliance. Dr. Dorr is enthusiastic and energized for the new school year. Her students are sure to have a fantastic year!

Windermere Elemetary School librarian Shannon Hemmelgarn is excited to begin another school year too! Her summer activities have included efforts to keep students reading year-round with the use of social media and in-person book chats. Her summer reading included “Refugee” by Alan Gratz and “Return to Sender” by Julia Alvarez, middle grade stories that tackle issues in today’s world. Shannon shared that this reading can be used to help approach tough topics and start important conversations with youth.

The new school year promises plenty of excitement for Windermere Elementary. Shannon has been working on new curriculum for her students to help improve their information literacy skills (and avoid “fake news”), digital citizenship and responsible technology use. Shannon has partnered with the youth services librarian at Upper Arlington Public Library to provide a story hour for kindergartners and their families. She will work with students of all grades to engage them and reintroduce them to the library.

In April, the district will welcome author and storyteller Mac Barnett. Library lessons will help prepare and engage students for this exciting event. Shannon is also organizing a family reading program, inviting students and their families to read Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The program includes activities and contests and will commence with a viewing of the movie. Shannon’s excitement for the year to come is contagious – her students are in for a fun school year!

Thank you to all that are creating learning centers of excellence–we wish everyone a fantastic year!  Additionally, check out these other amazing school & academic libraries we’ve featured:

CCAD Packard Library

Columbus State Community College Library

Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School

Leigh Bonds & OSU Libraries

Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library

The Ohio State University Fine Arts Library

Oberlin College Libraries

Oberlin College Conservatory Library

OSU Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

OSU Byrd Polar Archive

OSU Historic Costume and Textiles Collection

Pontifical College Josephinum Library

Little Libraries 2017

We are excited to announce that United Way of Central Ohio has funded another two little free libraries for our Libraries Everywhere program!

This year we are collaborating with the King Arts Complex to honor artist Aminah Robinson.  We project to have the little free library in place at King Arts by early autumn, and we’re thrilled to be working with artist and former Robinson mentee, Bryan Christopher Moss, to paint Aminah’s portrait on the library.

Our second UWCO-funded little free library will go into Columbus’ Milo-Grogan neighborhood.  We are currently in discussion with resident and Melanincholy Fest Founder Apollo Akembe to bring to life a unique library honoring a special, long-time resident of the area, his grandmother.

For both libraries, we will partner again with Rebuilding Together Central Ohio and Half Price Books.  We are also excited for a new collaboration with The Conscious Connect to ensure we continue to provide diverse materials for a diverse audience.

 

IMG_1015

Last July, we featured some amazing little libraries and community leaders who helped create them.  Our Street Art Library was born from a partnership with Transit Columbus and Placemakes for their Cherry Street project.  We are excited for our Street Art Library to be placed near The Lookout Shop starting this August.

 

We also started mapping little libraries beyond what is recorded at LittleFreeLibrary.org, and we encourage others to continue to add to our Little Library Google Map.

 

This year, we had an incredible experience at Columbus, Ohio’s Community Festival (ComFest).  We are honored that our Eco Library was chosen to receive funding from ComFest among such important community peers like Camp Lionheart and others.

We had an estimated 500+ conversations with festival participants, and we reached thousands who walked by or viewed our online posts.  We were touched by the stories that participants shared with us like how the book Double Fudge transformed a young man’s life and how a being born and raised (BAR) by a black single mother (BAR) inspired another man.

In addition to the grant, the Eco Library was made possible by the generosity and a ton of sweat equity by Half Price Books (Jeff Heydinger), The Lookout Shop (Justin Withrow), Lucida Dynamics (Doug Houdeshell) and Rebuilding Together Central Ohio (their entire amazing staff).

 

img_7441-1

We are thrilled that the Eco Library’s permanent home is now with 934 Gallery.  The gallery focuses on bringing a fresh perspective to contemporary art through exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, installations, performances and public art projects.  Come meet Cbus Libraries’ co-founder, Bryan Loar, at this year’s 934 Fest on July 22 as we dedicate the library in honor of Daniel Sebastian Loper.


We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response to our little libraries, and we are inspired by the creativity and personal stories of our communities.  We hope to see you soon!