Laura O’Neill Hibbler, Editor


At ALA Annual, the RUSA History Section program “Library Engagement in National History Day Activities” featured a diverse panel of speakers: Crystal Johnson, Chicago Metro History Education Center; Gail Egbers, Pacific Lutheran University; Jennifer Hootman, Minitex, University of Minnesota; and Kris Maldre, National Archives and Records Administration. Attendees learned of creative and innovative ways for libraries of various types engage with students participating in National History Day competitions. Among the attendees there were a number of individuals interested in implementing programs at their institutions and creating relationships with their local schools. The four panelists offered great ideas for creating programs as well as enhancing existing programs. Our attendance was a small but enthusiastic thirty which we feel is pretty good considering we were competing against vendor breakfasts and Temple Grandin.

The History Section Program, “Digital History: New Methodologies Facilitated by New Technologies” sponsored by the Instruction and Research Services Committee, was held on June 30 at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The program was well attended and very well received. Speakers included Dr. Michael Kramer and Josh Honn both from Northwestern University and also Dr. Anne Flannery and Adam Strohm both from the Newberry Library. The program included discussion of digital tools available and how to use them, strides in using digital source materials and how to incorporate the new digital methodologies in the library and/or classroom.

The Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group’s conversation was kicked off by Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, which is hosted by the University of Chicago. Tamar presented on the innovative ways the consortium has worked with the community to preserve important pieces of local history that are too often overlooked by traditional repositories. There were a number of questions at the end of her presentation as well as informal discussions throughout the room after she concluded. Over fifty people attended the discussion group.

The Genealogical Preconference “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Chicago Style Genealogy” had about eighty attendees at the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library on June 28. Matt Rutherford from the Newberry Library spoke on “ChicagoAncestors.org—Discover the Past by Address.” Curt B. Witcher of the Allen County Library System gave a wonderful account of early American history resources in “And the Rockets’ Red Glare: Sources for War of 1812 Research.” Elissa Scalise Powell, from Boston University and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, presented on “Genealogical Education Opportunities.” Chip Nilges from OCLC WorldCat and Michael J. Hall from FamilySearch discussed “OCLC WorldCat and FamilySearch; how the recent partnership can enhance the research experience from the Beginner to the Expert.” Sandy Joseph closed the preconference with “Beginning African American Research on Family Search.” All of the presenters gave a great account of themselves, and provided much needed information to the attending librarians. ProQuest provided an outstanding lunch with a presentation by William Forsyth of ProQuest.