Missy Lodge, Associate State Librarian for Library Development
Missy Lodge, Associate State Librarian for Library Development
September 19, 2018

After 32 years of dedicated and consummate professional service to the State Library of Ohio, Missy Lodge, Associate State Librarian for Library Development, will retire September 30, 2018. “I have had the privilege of working with Missy Lodge in a variety of capacities for over 30 years and I truly cannot think of anyone in the field today who has contributed more to the Ohio library community,” stated State Librarian Beverly Cain. “Throughout her career, Missy has been a true champion for libraries and has worked hard to increase the capacity of Ohio’s libraries to achieve and sustain a level of success that is envied in libraries across the country. The impact of Missy’s work on the State Library and in the Ohio library community is both broad and long-lasting, and she will be missed.”

Missy devoted her career to library development. Her tenure at the State Library reflects proactive initiatives and responses to cultural shifts, legislation and funding priorities. It spans significant changes in the role of libraries through advances in education, government, business and technology. Missy led unprecedented change and innovation in library development services at the State Library.

Her career is the history of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program in Ohio. “It’s been my privilege to have worked for the State Library and I’m proud to have played a small part in helping Ohio’s libraries provide better services to their communities,” expressed Missy. “I have seen many ups and downs during the years, both for the State Library and for Ohio’s libraries.  But I think the future is bright.  The State Library is in a strong position to move forward, there is a good team in Library Programs and Development, and libraries around the state are developing new and innovative ways to serve their communities.”

Associate State Librarian for Library Development since 2010, Missy is a senior management team member and responsible for programming and budget priorities within her department. She manages State Library consulting services to libraries in continuing education, digitization, library technology, space design, strategic planning, and youth services. Missy oversees public library statistics collection and reporting to the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the federal and state Government Documents Depository program, and all aspects of the Ohio LSTA program. She also leads and manages the State Library’s role in special projects such as Choose to Read Ohio, Connecting to Collections, Guiding Ohio Online, Ohio Digital Library, Ohio Digital Network, Ohio Ready to Read, Collaborative Summer Library Program, Library Leadership Ohio, and ILEAD USA – Ohio.

Missy’s work in libraries began at the College of Wooster Library when she was an undergraduate majoring in history. While earning her Master of Arts in History and Master of Library Science degrees at Indiana University, she worked in their School of Library Science Library. In 1984, Missy moved to Washington, D.C. to work at the Library of Congress. For the next two years she was Staff Assistant to the Director in the Office of Planning and Development, where she planned and performed analytical and evaluative studies of library programs, organization, and operations.

Missy A. Betcher (Lodge), 1986
Missy A. Betcher (Lodge), 1986 Networking Consultant

The Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 threatened the Library of Congress budget, and consequently the program and her position were at risk for elimination.  As a prime example of her skills in analysis and planning, in 1986 Missy took charge of her professional destiny and moved back to her home state of Ohio and joined the State Library staff. She began as System and Network Consultant in Library Development where she worked with public libraries making automation decisions and monitored federally funded LSCA (Library Services and Construction Act) Title III Interlibrary Cooperation projects.

In recognition of her stellar work and changes in the agency’s priorities, over the next 32 years Missy’s responsibilities at the State Library progressed from Consultant to Coordinator, from Administrator to Head of Library Programs and Development, to Associate State Librarian for Library Development, and in 2010 she served as Interim State Librarian.

When the U.S. Museum and Library Services Act passed in 1996, LSTA was enacted. Federal funding shifted from public library construction to an emphasis on partnerships and collaboration, and availability of grants expanded to all types of libraries. In 1998, Missy led the transition in Ohio. She developed LSTA application materials and processes for reviewing proposals, monitoring funded projects, and conducting evaluations and on-site visits. Under her leadership, the LSTA Advisory Council, which continues today, was formed with representatives from public, academic, school, and special libraries and library users. Grant programs were established to address four LSTA priorities: automation, resource sharing, staff training and development, and services to the underserved.

Reflecting on her work, Missy said, “In 32 years it was never boring—there was always a new project or service being initiated.  And watching the LSCA/LSTA grants take shape was inspiring.  It was personally gratifying to see the impact these projects had on libraries and individuals.”

In 1999, a majority of LSTA grants awarded by the State Library were for automation projects, allowing school and public libraries to automate and join a library consortium. These grants supported an initiative spearheaded by the Statewide Resource Steering Committee, a collaborative predecessor to Libraries Connect Ohio (LCO) with representatives from INFOhio, OhioLINK, OPLIN, and the State Library.

In 2000, Missy developed LSTA training opportunities and helped implement special projects such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation technology support for libraries grants program and in collaboration with the *Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Memory project began. By 2003, the LCO collaboration led to the State Library awarding an LSTA grant for statewide access to databases.

When the Ohio LSTA Advisory Council drafted the first LSTA Five-Year Plan for 1998 – 2002, they had a vision for a virtual reference program. KnowItNow24x7 began in 2004 with an LSTA grant awarded to Cuyahoga County Public Library in partnership with Cleveland Public Library and NOLA Regional Library System (NEO-RLS). Using state-of-the art technology, the service expanded awareness and access for all Ohioans to high quality reference resources online and on the go. The program continued through 2015.

In 2009, the State Library of Ohio, in partnership with the *Ohio Historical Society, was awarded an IMLS Connecting to Collections Planning Grant for “Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative.” Missy originally wanted to work in archives and this ongoing project has been a special interest as it addresses the lack of care and preservation of Ohio’s cultural heritage. Ohio developed a directory of contact and institutional information, conducted a needs assessment of Ohio cultural heritage institutions, hosted “The State of the Historical Record in Ohio” summit, and created the Ohio Cultural Strategic Plan. Work to support the Connecting to Collections initiative has continued through preservation workshops, conservation classes and boot camps, and in collaboration with the Ohio Preservation Council, a special LSTA grant category to fund the conservation of one or more items in a library’s collection.

Another distinct legacy initiative for Missy is the Ohio Digital Network (ODN)—Ohio’s Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hub. Under her direction, discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage was a goal the LSTA 2013 – 2017 Five-Year Plan. LSTA grants were awarded in 2013 for the Ohio Digitization Hubs project to create a network of regional digitization centers. Cleveland Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library received funding to purchase specialized state-of-the-art technology to digitize and archive, for online access and hardcopy reproduction, rare and culturally significant materials located in their libraries. They also serve other libraries, museums, archives, and local communities.

In 2015, as part a DPLA planning grant, a survey was conducted of Ohio’s libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives to identify the current digital activities being undertaken by Ohio’s cultural heritage organizations. Results were used in planning the Ohio DPLA initiative. In 2016, Ohio’s application to serve as a DPLA service hub was approved and work on the Ohio Digital Network (ODN) commenced.

Led by the State Library of Ohio and in partnership with OhioLINK, OPLIN, and Ohio History Connection, the ODN builds on strong digital collection efforts across the state including Ohio Memory and the Ohio Digitization Hubs project. This year, ODN collections debuted with over 90,000 new materials discoverable in DPLA and the ODN website launched. The website features resources and vital information for Ohio libraries, museums, and archives working to expand access to their digital collections.

In addition to her steadfast work in library development at the State Library, Missy also presented at conferences, published articles, and served on numerous state and national committees. Her work with the Ohio Library Council includes membership on multiple committees and terms as conference program chair and membership committee chair.  Missy will be honored for her work as the Ohio Library Council 2018 Hall of Fame Librarian on October 3rd at the OLC Convention and Expo. The OLC August 2018 News Release states:

Hall of Fame Librarian: Missy Lodge, State Library of Ohio

Missy Lodge has been a facilitator and advocate for innovation and cooperation in Ohio libraries throughout her distinguished career. Lodge started her career at the Library of Congress and then returned to Ohio where she has served for the past 32 years at the State Library of Ohio (SLO). While coordinating and overseeing LSTA grants for the SLO, Lodge’s willingness to embrace the future, encourage innovation, and support risk taking has benefited libraries and library patrons. Her work administering funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation assisted large and small libraries in bridging the digital divide in their communities. Lodge has assisted librarians in applying for grant funds and encouraged and mentored them throughout the entire project, ensuring a positive outcome and helping Ohio to further stand out as a leader within the library profession. Her leadership has made many statewide collaborations possible and easier to achieve. Perhaps her greatest impact on the profession is her commitment to developing the next generation of library leaders through the Library Leadership Ohio Institute which ensures outstanding library services for all Ohioans for years to come.

It is with mixed emotions that the State Library board and staff express gratitude and appreciation for her work, and well wishes in her retirement. An open house reception will be held for Missy on September 24th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the State Library. There will not be a formal program.

*In 2014, the Ohio Historical Society changed their name to Ohio History Connection.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov