By Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger Librarian
The Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative project is a joint-effort between the State Library of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as part of their call to action, Connecting to Collections. Launched in 2006, Connecting to Collections is:
In October, 2008, the State Library of Ohio and OHS were awarded a Connecting to Collections planning grant, and the initiative began in earnest in early 2009. Shortly thereafter, the Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA) contributed support to the project, and the Ohio Museum Association (OMA) became a project partner in 2010. Consulting on the project was Tom Clareson, Senior Consultant for New Initiatives at LYRASIS.
In January, 2010, a needs survey was distributed to all cultural heritage institutions in the state. It asked key questions regarding collections and received a 41% response rate, with 290 institutions responding out of a possible 700. 77 Ohio counties had some level of return; Mr. Clareson followed up the survey with phone interviews to assure that all 88 counties were represented in the survey findings. Findings are available at http://oh.webjunction.org/ohconnectcollect .
In May, 2010, preliminary survey results were presented at a statewide summit, which was held in Columbus. Additional needs information was gathered at the summit and included breakout sessions relating to the following areas: advocacy, digital issues, education, and funding. Notes from these sessions are also available at http://oh.webjunction.org/ohconnectcollect.
In July, five regional meetings were held throughout the state in order to gather additional information from interested parties. The five locations were Cincinnati, Athens, Delaware, Bedford, and Bowling Green. Survey findings were presented, as was information gathered from the summit and potential solutions to some of the needs expressed in the survey.
As 2010 draws to a close, the project partners are drafting an implementation grant proposal in the hopes that we will be awarded federal funds to address the collections-care needs of cultural heritage institutions in the state. Missy Lodge, Associate State Librarian for Library Development, says that “The large and rich cultural collections of the State deserve nothing less.”