Associate State Librarian Jim Buchman has retired after a career spanning thirty years with the State Library of Ohio. The State Library of Ohio Board recently recognized Jim for his outstanding service and numerous contributions toward the success of many programs and services offered by the State Library of Ohio and willingness to take on new tasks, additional job responsibilities, and challenges in an environment of ever-diminishing resources.
Jim began working at the State Library in 1981 as a Typist/ Library Assistant. His duties expanded over time through promotions to Head of Circulation in 1983, Head of Patron & Catalog Services in 1990, and Associate State Librarian of Library Services in 2011. Jim played a vital role during rapid advances in technology and innovation in library programs and services including the LOAN program (an early library loan program); founding member of OhioLINK; early resource sharing using a fax network through collaboration, partnership and the formation of the Ohio Health Sciences Libraries; statewide resource sharing of online databases for all Ohioans through the Ohio Web Library; the online virtual reference service KnowItNow24x7; digitization and Ohio Memory Project; WorldCat Local; and collaborations to expand accessibility to specialized collections with the Ohio School for the Deaf and the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. In addition, Jim led the Ohio Talking Book Service through a period of tremendous change, including consolidating programs in Cincinnati and Cleveland into one and managing the transition from analog to digital Talking Book Machines, resulting in the Ohio Talking Book Service being selected as the Network Library of the Year for 2011 by the National Library Service.
The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce that the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress, recently presented awards to libraries in Ohio and Michigan for outstanding service to blind and physically handicapped communities.
The Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled (OLBPD), part of the Cleveland Public Library, and the State Library of Ohio Talking Book Service, in Columbus, Ohio, were co-recipients of the Network Library of the Year Award. The annual award, in its seventh year, carries a $1,000 cash prize.
Pictured left to right: Jim Buchman, Associate State Librarian for Library Services; Carolyn Sung, Chief of the NLS Network Division, and Will Reed, Manager of the OLBPD;
NLS presented the awards at a luncheon ceremony in June, in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Pictured left to right: Jim Buchman, Associate State Librarian for Library Services; Janelle Brown, Librarian at the Ohio School for the Blind; Beverly Cain, State Librarian of Ohio; Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress; Will Reed, Manager of the OLBPD; Thomas Corrigan, President of the Cleveland Public Library's Board of Trustees.
"In a year notable for budget cuts and shrinking resources, the Ohio and Detroit libraries have continued to meet the needs of the blind and physically handicapped patrons in creative and innovative ways, often exceeding patron expectations," said NLS Acting Director Ruth Scovill. "They are certainly deserving of these awards."
In July 2009, the Cincinnati Regional Library, which had served blind and disabled individuals in southern Ohio since 1931, closed. The state of Ohio then created a statewide talking-book service administered by OLBPD of Cleveland and State Library of Ohio Talking Book Service, the machine-lending agency, of Columbus.
State Librarian of Ohio Beverly Cain said, "By December 2010, the end of the first year of unified administration to the entire state, all patrons received braille and talking books with no discernable interruption. Ohio’s focus was on transitioning patrons from cassette audiobooks and machines to digital books and players. Staff from both locations worked tirelessly to provide the new technology to nearly 10,000 active readers."
Associate State Librarian for Library Services Jim Buchman, who heads the State Library of Ohio Talking Book Service, developed a flyer introducing readers to the new digital talking-book service and to Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download. The State Library of Ohio Talking Book Service also created and distributed a poster promoting service to blind individuals for the 2010 Ohio READ poster series.
OLBPD, under the leadership of Regional Librarian Will Reed, was one of the first network libraries to begin handling local registration of its patrons for BARD. Also OLBPD, through the purchase of equipment and supplies, was able to meet patron demand for digitally recorded audiobooks. Collaborating with an online reference service, OLBPD was able to offer an accessible instant-message service to the state’s blind and visually impaired residents.
The Detroit Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Detroit Public Library received the fifth annual Network Subregional Library of the Year Award, which also carries a $1,000 cash prize.
NLS created the Network Library Award to recognize outstanding accomplishments of libraries serving blind and disabled individuals across the country and in U.S. territories. A specially established committee of patrons and librarians selected the Ohio and Michigan libraries for the awards based on mission support, creativity and innovation in providing service, and record of patron satisfaction.
NLS administers the braille and digital talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness or disability makes reading a regular printed page difficult. Through its national network of regional libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in digital audio and braille formats, as well as digital audio equipment, directly to enrollees at no cost. Select materials are also available online for download, and music instructional materials are available in large print, braille and recorded formats. For further information, visit www.loc.gov/nls/. or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).
Associate State Librarian for Library Services Jim Buchman recognized the Ohio Talking Book Services staff during the July State Library of Ohio Board meeting for their outstanding service.
Pictured left to right: Library Assistants Paul Seedhouse & Larry Walls, Associate State Librarian for Library Services Jim Buchman. (not pictured: Jo Ferguson)