[Libs-Or] State Library Newsletter: Letter to Libraries Online (May 2021)

HENDERSON Joel R * SLO Joel.HENDERSON at slo.oregon.gov
Mon May 3 09:32:33 PDT 2021

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Volume 31, Issue 5 - May 2021


Letters to Libraries Online is Getting a New Name

Starting with the upcoming June issue, the State Library's monthly newsletter Letters to Libraries Online (LTLO) will change its name to Connections: Your Link to the State Library of Oregon! We wanted to provide you with some advance notice so there is no confusion when next month's issue is released.

Connections will feature the same content, only now with a name that better represents its current scope as the State Library's newsletter reaching audiences beyond local libraries. The look and feel will carry over to provide continuity. Simply put: new name, same great newsletter.


Volunteers Make Progress on Oregon Index OCR Project

Five volunteers from around the country are working on a new project for the State Library of Oregon. They are reviewing and correcting the automatic optical character recognition (OCR) of scanned Oregon Index citation cards. The original 785,667 citation cards were compiled by State Library staff and volunteers in the 20th century, and cover events and issues important to Oregon history and state government.

In partnership with the Oregon Department of Revenue, the citation cards were scanned and posted by State Library staff to Oregon Index Online<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=f8bf537648&e=14e6da8535>, an online citation index unleashing the powerful potential of decades of Oregon newspaper and magazine articles and the information buried in hundreds of books about Oregon.

[Example of an Oregon Index Online record]

The OCR is what makes the cards searchable, so the corrections that the volunteers are making are critical to improving the search results. Volunteers have completed eight drawers since September 2020, each drawer containing between 750-1400 cards. There are 657 drawers in total. This project has gone especially well during the pandemic, since all work is done remotely, with no on-site time required. For more information about the Oregon Index OCR Project, contact Heather Pitts<mailto:heather.pitts at slo.oregon.gov>, or for information about the Volunteer Program, contact Cam Amabile<mailto:courtney.amabile at slo.oregon.gov>.


Surprise Letter Details History of State Library Land

[Map showing where houses and structures were located before the State Library was built]Recently, a Talking Book and Braille Library user sent us a very interesting letter. The letter details how, when she was a little girl in the early 1930s, she would play at her good friend's house that was located on the land where the State Library building was eventually built! With the letter she also included a photo of the house and a hand-drawn map of the area (digitally recreated to improve readability).

Her friend, a Huntington, lived next door to Mrs. Kay (her friend's grandmother), and the two girls would often play in the big house, stable, and barn. The user also shared that Josephine Bumgartner, who we assume lived in the Bumgartner house, was a librarian working for the State Library when it was still located in the Supreme Court building.

[Thomas Kay House]Based on the information in her letter, we think the Thomas Kay home in the picture to the right was located where our Operations office is now, and the Bumgartner and Huntington homes were where the Talking Book and Braille Library office and stacks are now.

The Bumgartner and Huntington houses were moved a few blocks north in 1937 after being bought by the State of Oregon, but the Thomas Kay house and the remaining homes and structures were torn down to make room for the State Library building.

It was an awesome surprise to receive such a fun story from one of our users who has a long-standing connection to this area!


Getting to Know the Library Support and Development Services Division

Featured Staff: Jennifer Cox (she/her)

[Image of Jennifer Cox out in the mountains]Say hello to Jennifer Cox, the newest member of the Library Support and Development Services team. Jennifer joined us in March as our new Virtual Reference Coordinator. She manages Answerland<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=2a809c555c&e=14e6da8535>, the State Library's online 24/7 library chat reference service. Her background includes a wealth of experience in academic libraries in Illinois and Oregon.

Staff from libraries around the state (and country!) are available through Answerland to answer (ha ha) people's questions, whether they are school or college students doing homework, people researching health information, or individuals looking for book or movie recommendations. Jennifer has even helped an author research Russian history for a new book! She loves to be the glue that helps connect librarians with Oregonians who have questions.

Even though she has only been at the State Library a month, Jennifer has already dived into all aspects of the new job. Since being here, she has been pleasantly surprised to learn about the services the State Library offers and how many people we're able to help.

When Jennifer isn't on the (virtual) reference desk - or providing reference and instruction in her other position at Chemeketa Community College Library - she can often be found out in the wilderness, wearing a third hat as an outdoor educator and guide.


Library Support & Development Services Program Manager
Buzzy Nielsen<mailto:buzzy.nielsen at slo.oregon.gov>, 971-375-3486

Talking Book & Braille Library Manager
Elke Bruton<mailto:elke.bruton at slo.oregon.gov>, 971-375-3509

Government Information & Library Services Manager
Caren Agata<mailto:caren.agata at slo.oregon.gov>, 971-375-3483

Chief Operating Officer
Susan Westin<mailto:susan.westin at slo.oregon.gov>, 503-378-5435

State Librarian
Jennifer Patterson<mailto:jennifer.l.patterson at slo.oregon.gov>, 503-378-4367

Letters to Libraries Online is published monthly by the State Library of Oregon.

The State Library of Oregon cultivates, preserves, and delivers library and information services to foster lifelong learning and community engagement.

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