Public Library Archives/Special Collections Roundtable Meeting

Public Library Archives/Special Collections Roundtable Meeting
Guest author Jennifer Sharp

This session was recorded live. Watch at:

Outgoing chair, Anke Voss, opened the roundtable meeting and thanked the steering committee members she worked with over the past year. Committee members for 2014-2015 are:

Leslie Waggener, Chair

Mark Greek, Vice Chair/Chair elect

Brittany Turner, Secretary

Heidi Butler, Member at Large

Daria D’Arienzo, Member at Large

Jennifer Sharp, Web Liason

Carl Van Ness provided the report from the 2015 Program Committee.

Lightning round introduced by Leslie Waggener, who also discussed future meetings with PLA at ALA. During the upcoming year, Leslie hopes we will be able to expand the resource list that PLASC put into place this year (available on the microsite).

Ryan Edge, University of Illinois, spoke about the Preservation Self Assessment Program they are developing. It is a web application designed for collection managers and similar professionals. It provides preservation assessments, guides users, and provides metrics. The goal is to instill confidence that doing something is better than doing nothing.

Mark Greek, DC Public Library, discussed the library’s effort to collect punk in DC. They have had a circulating collection of orchestral scores but decided to branch out. Tried collecting “Go go,” didn’t go so well. A staff member had always been interested in collecting punk. Documentary film maker James Schneider ( has collaborated with them and will be donating his footage to the archives. The library received a $20,000 grant from IMLS to create a portal. Public outreach has included the Fort Reno Music Festival ( At the final festival of the season, they distributed a zine. Material has started coming in, including fliers, CDs, and t-shirts. Now they are considering reinvigorating their music collecting, including returning to the Go Go initiative, and perhaps reaching out to hip hop. An accordion composer has donated his material, too. The library is reaching a community that wouldn’t step foot in the library.

Christina Moretta, San Francisco History Center, described how the history center and library have used social media over the years. The History Center started a blog in 2008, and started a Twitter account to promote it. As time went by, the library realized there was no social media plan or guidelines in place, so they had to go back to the beginning. Christina’s recommendation is to find what you like about social media outside of your library, and then apply it to your collections. Being in San Francisco, the library was able to get Twitter advice directly from Twitter. They recommended just one account for the entire library. Now they have specific hashtags for each department.

The library decided to follow that for Facebook too, and reduced their pages down to one. Another one of Christina’s recommendations is to highlight your unique material on Pinterest. The library has also partnered with HistoryPin. The guidelines they developed for staff are now also on the page regarding photo use by the public.

Katie O’Connell, San Bruno Public Library, is using Timeglider to create a timeline for her city’s centennial. The library’s local history collections are not processed, other than a few digitized collections, are not available. They hope to increase awareness of the material, and build a more coherent historical narrative. Additionally, the library wanted a product that would endure and be useful after the centennial year. For these reasons, they turned to Timeglider, a web based time line application. The time line covers 1849 to the present and has over 80 events. These events are represented with photos, video clips, audio clips, and other items. The library has a subscription to Timeglider, which hosts the content. The time line will be available to the public in September through the centennial website,

We also had a report from Geof Huth, Council representative.

Leslie Waggener mentioned book she is co-authoring with Kathy Marquis about creating local history collections in public libraries with published materials. Will be published by ALA Editions.


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