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News and stories from the WNY library community
Updated: 57 min 32 sec ago

March Madness in Western New York

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

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!

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

ESLN Discount for Computers In Libraries 2019

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 09:14

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.

Daemen College Yearbooks Now on New York Heritage!

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 09:41

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!