I am Jessica Johnson, the Archival Services Coordinator. I am excited to be involved in this pilot program developed by WNYLRC, which has been created to serve an immediate need within the membership for hands-on archival services. The aim of this program is to provide a service to members that will ultimately allow for greater access to archival collections. A brief form on the Archival and Preservation Services page (https://www.wnylrc.org/preservation-initiatives/) is required to participate in the program and will allow us to process all requests in a timely and efficient manner. For ideas of how this program could be useful to you, consider:
• A site visit with myself and the Outreach and Digital Services Coordinator, Heidi Ziemer, to talk with you about the archival needs in your organization and recommend a course of action.
• Assistance in training staff or interns how to use the EADitor to create online EAD finding aids, which are hosted for free to WNYLRC members through the Empire State Library Network. https://www.empireadc.org/
• Assistance in undertaking digitization projects which can be hosted for free on the New York Heritage site or the New York State Historic Newspapers site.
• Assistance in creating online exhibits hosted by New York Heritage Site.
• Assessing and recommending collections for grant funding.
• Help in developing and supervising rehousing projects for archival materials.
As the pilot program grows, we will continue to refine the list and hope to add to the services provided.
A bit about me: I have over 20 years of experience working with a variety of collections and I am passionate about their care and access. In my work, I am continually learning that collections provide invaluable tools for problem solving for people from all walks of life and professions, from intellectual and scientific discovery to connecting with people with their families and communities and for a range of vital uses in between.
In developing guides to collections and creating exhibits, I find tremendous value in the variety of ways people access information and the importance of presentation which can be key for connecting audiences to the material and information they are seeking.
I hope I can use my experience and skills to assist you in providing greater access to your collection and highlight the work that you do. Feel free to contact me at: email@example.com or phone 716.633.0705 ext. 122 or Heidi Ziemer at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 716.633.0705 ext 114, if you have further questions.
There appeared a wonderful story in the Buffalo News Christmas Day issue about a $56 million dollar gift to the University at Buffalo Medical School, donated by a private individual who attended the medical school during WWII. George Melvin Ellis, Jr, originally from Toledo, Ohio, but retired and living in Connersville, Indiana at the time of his death in 2011, left a $40 anonymous donation to the school, with the identitiy of the donor only to be revelaed after the death of his spouse. So, when Gladys Kelly Ellis died in 2018, the size of the gift had increased to $56 Million!
The fascinating part of the story for me is that the fortune was realized by Dr. Ellis through his use of the PUBLIC LIBRARY! According to the article, Ellis would make regular trips to the library to teach himself about how to invest a small inheritance he received from his father. Ellis would read financial publications at the library and then make his investment decisions. Hopefully he also used the library reference services to find those publications!
In any event, this is just another example of why we need our libraries!!! Back then it was access to print financial publications; while today it may be access to online publications or access to databases available through a library. Libraries change with the times, but their values never do! A library is important to all of us in one way or another and we need to let out local, state and federal government leaders know this so we can keep our libraries!
PLEASE take a moment to write a letter to your state legislator or, join us in one of the scheduled local visits with state legislators to tell them your “Dr. Ellis story” – here is where you can find out what t do to join the Library Advocacy Campaign of 2019: https://wnylrc.org/library-advocacy
Are you planning to attend the Computers In Libraries 2019 conference in March?
Registration for this conference is now open and we are able to provide a registration discount code through the Empire State Library Network!
This year, the GoldPass will be available for the group rate of $629 (regular rate is $819). The Full 3-Day Pass will be $359 (regular rate is $519). (No discount rates are available for the preconference workshops unless purchased as part of a Gold Pass.)
In addition, discounted prices of $599 (regularly $719) on the Library Leaders Summit (includes all three days of CIL), and $149 (regularly $219) on the Internet@Schools Track are also available.
Online registrations can be made until February 22 to receive these discounted rates. After this time, rates will go up.
The Western New York featured collection for December 2018 in New York Heritage is that of the Summit yearbooks from Daemen College in Amherst, New York.
Like several smaller, private colleges in the region and across the state, Daemen’s history, reflected in the pages of its yearbooks, has been shaped in some ways by various state and national events occurring throughout its existence. Daemen started out as an all-female institution, called Rosary Hill College, organized by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity – an order of religious Sisters dating back to 1835 in the Netherlands. The foundress of the Order was Mother Magdalen Damen (hence the origins of the later name change!). The Order came to America in 1874, at the request of the congregation of St. Michael’s Church in Buffalo, who saw a need for German speaking nuns to instruct the children of the growing population of German immigrants living predominantly on Buffalo’s east side. The Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Charity were responsible for the creation of many community elementary and high schools in the Western New York region and elsewhere in the country in those early years.
Daemen College was established by the Sisters in 1947, just after WWII. This was a time when many women who had joined the war workforce were being let go so GIs returning from the war could resume their old jobs. But many of these women wanted to continue to have careers after the war and so turned to higher education opportunities to be able to do so. The burst of industrial growth caused by a wartime economy did not slow down after the war, and so the US also required a larger, better educated workforce to sustain this growth. The result was the country (including this region) experiencing an increase in the establishment of public and private higher education institutions in the immediate aftermath of the war. Rosary Hill College graduated its first class in 1952 and issued its first yearbook at that time.
Early in 1959, the Roman Catholic Church announced Vatican II, an event focused on reviewing and revising Church doctrine. One significant change inspired a more “outward-looking” Catholic faith, willing to embrace secular and non-Catholic communities. So too, life at Daemen became more secular in both academic offerings and campus social life. In addition, the 1960s was a tumultuous time in American history and culture: the Vietnam War, civil rights and the women’s movement were all impacting life in small Catholic colleges, including Daemen. The College became co-educational in 1971 and nonsectarian in 1976, changing its name to Daemen College. In 1992, New York State amended the college’s charter, authorizing the award of graduate level degrees as well as baccalaureate degrees as more and more students were pursuing post-graduate studies in America.
College yearbooks are a great window on the past and New York Heritage currently offers viewers a look at about 45 yearbook collections from across New York State – with more to come!
The elections are over, which means it is time to start contacting our elected officials to let them know they need to increase library funding to meet demand! The Western New York Library Resources Council is kicking off 2019 library advocacy efforts in the region with a letter writing campaign in support of library funding!
Each year, library supporters in Western New York are asked to participate in local visits to State legislators as well as the trip to Albany for Library Advocacy Day (this year it will be Wednesday, February 27, 2019).
A library supporter writing from the hospital library at Sister’s Hospital in Buffalo!
But this year, we’ve added a new element to the “fight” for libraries – you are being asked to “write” for libraries!”
Yes, write a letter to your government representative, either local, county or state, asking them to support your library by ensuring that it receives the funding needed to serve your community!
In past years during the local home office visits state representatives often told us the handwritten letters from their constituents are sometimes greater motivators than anything else!
We are especially encouraging people to contact their State Assembly and State Senate members in support of library funding and in doing so, raise awareness across New York that our libraries are fundamental to every person! Write in support of your public, school, academic, hospital or special library – but make sure you write!
WNYLRC is making posters available to any interested library in the region promoting the letter writing campaign – just contact us to request yours! We are also offering to pay the postage for all the letters your library collects!
Join us and create a letter writing mailbox area in your library! We are asking everyone to post their mailboxes for the letters on their own social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) using the hashtag #NYSLetterWriting When you do, send us photos as well and we’ll post these to WNYLRC’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156012212968129&type=1&l=aa9e02fcb0 and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WNYLRC/status/1060200551105859585
As an incentive, we are awarding FIVE $100 gift certificates to the five mailboxes with the greatest number of “likes!” But most importantly, get your patrons to write for their libraries!! For more information on the letter writing campaign, go to: https://wnylrc.org/library-advocacy