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March Madness in Western New York

WNYLRC Newsletter - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 12:59

Anyone remember the names Calvin Murphy? Bob Lanier? Hank Nowak? All three played basketball in Western New York, respectively for Niagara University, St. Bonaventure University and, Canisius College. Lanier and Murphy went on to play in the NBA, while Hank Nowak served as a U.S. Congressman for the area. All three are in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Bob Adams, pictured in the image, was captain of the Canisius team in the 1950s and one of the first African American ROTC Officers at the College. Academic Yearbooks and Archives are great resources for searching collegiate sports histories!

According to several sources, the origin of the term “March Madness,” comes from a statement in an article written by an Illinois high school basketball official during a Spring tournament organized in that state in 1939: “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.” The term was picked up by various sports newscasters on and off until the 1980s, when CBS news announcer Brent Musburger used the reference on national TV and from there, it became the unofficial banner for college basketball Spring playoffs.

Today, Niagara, Canisius and St. Bona remain “Little Three” rivals. And even though Syracuse dominates the New York State college basketball scene, St. Bonaventure is an Atlantic 10 team, while Canisius and Niagara are among the teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), and UB Bulls (University at Buffalo) play in the Mid-American (MAC) Conference. Regardless of your loyalties or even interest in the sport, basketball’s March Madness is a great cabin fever reliever for those of us who have had enough of the cold, gray days of winter!

Hello from the WNYLRC Archival Services Coordinator

WNYLRC Newsletter - Wed, 01/23/2019 - 16:16

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: jjohnson@wnylrc.org or phone 716.633.0705 ext. 122 or Heidi Ziemer at: hziemer@wnylrc.org or 716.633.0705 ext 114, if you have further questions.

The 56 Million Dollar Library!

WNYLRC Newsletter - Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:00

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

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