Connecting to Collections

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Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative

Q: What is the Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative project?

A: The Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative project is a joint-effort between the State Library of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society, 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:

  • a multi-faceted, multi-year initiative
  • both “inspirational and practical”
  • intended to raise public awareness of the importance of collections care for now and for future generations.
  • focuses on both the IMLS communities of libraries and museums and builds partnerships and collaboration between these two entities
  • builds on IMLS’ strong history of grant-making in conservation, preservation and collection management

Q: What are the goals of the Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative?

A: The Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative addresses the following goals and activities as part of Connecting to Collections:

  • Directory: A comprehensive list, with contact information, of all institutions holding documents in the public trust. This directory will be very beneficial to Ohio’s preservation effort by simply being able to identify the interested organizations.
  • Survey: A needs assessment of Ohio cultural heritage institutions to gather data on the universe of Ohio’s cultural heritage institutions. This will include an assessment of institutions’ capability to
  1. provide safe conditions for collections,
  2. deal with emergencies that threaten collections,
  3. provide adequate resources to care for the collection, and
  4. promote public awareness of issues affecting collections.
  • Summit: A Summit will be held in May 2010 to discuss the “State of the Historical Record in Ohio”
  • Regional Meetings: Because many of the issues and concerns from the survey are regionally based the Summit will be followed by a minimum of five regional meetings to be held around the state in Summer 2010 allowing repository officials and government officials to discuss the state of the historical record at the regional and local level.
  • reparation of the Ohio Cultural Heritage Strategic Plan: Once disseminated, the Plan will be used by cultural institutions to begin implementing the goals of the Heritage Health Index.
  • Statewide Media Campaign: As part of the dissemination of the Strategic Plan a statewide media campaign, including a media kit with materials that can be tailored for the local level, will be developed and distributed.

Q: Who are the primary partners for the Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative?

A: The primary partners for this project are the State Library of Ohio and the Ohio Historical Society. Primary Partner team members are:

Sharon Dean, Director Collections Services, Ohio Historical Society
Louise Jones, Research Services Manager and Interim State Archivist, Ohio Historical Society
Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger, State Library of Ohio
Missy Lodge, Head Library Programs and Development, State Library of Ohio
Angela O’Neal, IT Manager, Ohio Historical Society
Andy Verhoff, Local History Coordinator, Ohio Historical Society

Ad hoc members:
Nicole Hayes, Director of Education and External Relations, Intermuseum Conservation Association
Tom Clareson, LYRASIS, Project Consultant


Q: What is the “needs assessment survey” mentioned in the project goals?

A: The survey contains 68 questions and is divided into nine sections:

  • Preservation activities
  • Preservation Environment, Security and Disaster Preparedness
  • Preservation Information
  • Preservation Training
  • Preservation Planning and Funding
  • Grants
  • Staff
  • Partnering
  • Institutional Information –Collections, Digital Collections, Staff and Resources

The survey will be available for completion from January 26 – March 1, 2010. Surveys may be completed anonymously.

Q: Once my institution completes the survey, how will the information we provide be used?

A: The intent of the survey is not to seek or point out deficiencies in individual locations. The intent is to gather information which will provide a snapshot of collection conditions and conservation/preservation activities at the moment and to identify needed resources to help you. The next steps following the survey will be to find the means to provide those resources to individual institutions.

Completed and returned surveys will be used to paint the most realistic picture of:

  • conditions under which collections are cared for
  • challenges faced by institutions and statewide
  • how the primary partner institutions and others can provide assistance


Q: Why should my institution participate in the project?

A: Participating in the project and completing the survey will be beneficial for both the Primary Partners and for the individual institutions.

For the Primary Partners, survey results will allow for
• Identifying conditions under which collections are preserved
• Identifying gaps between “best practices” and reality in collections care
• Identifying ways in which state-wide service / professional organizations can help you close the gap
• Assist in identifying and then developing grant-fundable projects that will provide institutions the resources needed to preserve their collections

For individual institutions the survey will allow staff to:
• Discover things activities you could be doing, but aren’t (some of these things could be easy to do, too)
• Be introduced to best practices


Q: What happens if I need assistance with the survey or need a clarification of a question?

A: A list of survey partners can be found at WebJunction Ohio Connecting to Collections. Any of these individuals will be able to assist you in completing the survey.

Q: Where can I find more information on the Ohio Heritage Partnership: A Statewide Initiative project?

A: For more information, please visit WebJunction Ohio Connecting to Collections. For more information on the IMLS Connecting to Collections project, visit here. To speak with someone directly about this project, please contact Missy Lodge from the State Library of Ohio or Andy Verhoff from the Ohio Historical Society.

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