To my fellow library friends,
After 35+ years of employment with the State Library of Ohio, I will be retiring. My last workday will be Thursday, August 31st, 2023. My first day of retirement will be September 1, 2023.
Ohio libraries are the BEST in the country and that is because of YOU. It has been a pleasure working with you all!
I first started working for the SEO Service Center in 1986. At that time, it was named the Southeastern Ohio Regional Library Center. I was hired as temporary summer help when the library began their automation project. I and five other local college students were hired to barcode the collection and add the item information to the new online catalog. I worked the next summer also as we didn’t finish adding all 200,000+ items to the catalog the previous summer.
In October of 1987, I was hired as a part-time library assistant providing automation maintenance and technical support for the consortium libraries. One responsibility was to download the bookmobile circulation from floppy disks to the library catalog. Weekly I backed up the database on large tapes. The tapes were larger than a VHS tape. We stored a full copy of the database in the safe at the local bank. The database hard drives at that time were so heavy, it took two men to lift them into the racks. They failed frequently.
In 1989-90, I applied for a full-time position in the bookmobile department as a Reader’s Assistant and back up Bookmobile Driver. I met so many wonderful people traveling in the rural countryside. We served the following counties: Noble, Perry, Washington, Monroe, Harrison, Belmont, and occasionally filled in for the Guernsey County bookmobile. I worked in this position until 2000. At that time, the library reduced the staffing on the bookmobiles to 1 person. Moving back into the library, I worked in Shipping and Receiving. This area was growing because of our increased number of consortium libraries and our commitment to resource sharing and statewide delivery. I was an original “Cargo Queen.” Valeria Whetstone and I traveled the state staging best practices presentations for shipping library materials. Using our best British accents, our creative approach made learning about cargo fun, enjoyable, and infamous.
Around 2001 the State Library decided to end the bookmobile service. The remaining drivers were moved to the Shipping and Receiving Department, and I was moved to Automation/Cataloging. My main focus was copy cataloging, catalog maintenance, and providing catalog training to consortium library staff. I loved getting my hands on the new materials and inhaling the scent of new books.
2010-11 the library began the process of transferring our catalog from the Horizon platform to another SirsiDynix product. Knowing there would be over 1,200 consortium staff needing training on the new product, the library created a position devoted to training. I moved into this role and took off running. I worked with SirsiDynix to train other leaders in the consortium to assist with migration training. We went live on the SirsiDynix Symphony platform in the Spring of 2012. Since then, I have continued to provide in-person and online training. I create and maintain training videos on YouTube and Niche Academy. I’ve helped maintain our online documentation and train new libraries joining the consortium.
But alas, the curtain must close. I have so many memories. I’m excited to see the your libraries continue to stay relevant to its patrons, stay on course with new technology and to provide service to all Ohioans. Your creativity and passion for reading, teaching and community have truly inspired me! You aren’t just friends, you are family.
Keep making memories,