Benson Memorial Library, Libraries, Library Director, Local History & Genealogy, Titusville, PA

Building a Digital Local History Collection Together

Here’s a new thing that we’re working on at the Benson Memorial Library that will be unveiled in early 2018. I can’t take credit for the idea…that idea grew out of the Chattanooga Public Library…but hey good ideas are good ideas and if they work for your community you might as well use them. The laptop was funded by a grant through a local university and the scanner was funded by a local foundation. On top of that, we bought a 4TB MyBook Duo external hard drive to store files.

The idea is simple: if you have tools, then make them available to the public. Teach them about the tools and how to use them. If the tools create a product, ask the community if your library can build a collection out of that product. That’s what we’re going to attempt to do with this Scanning Station…to build a collection of digital artifacts that pertain to Titusville History by doing the following:

  • Offering tools to scan photos and documents at a high quality to the community for free.
  • Teaching the community how to scan items and use this technology.
  • After using the Scanning Station, asking the patrons if they would like to contribute what they just scanned to a digital collection of items, photos, and more that focuses on Titusville history.

Our Scanning Statement/Policy can be found here. This is still a work in progress and will go before our board for approval in January 2018. Every patron that uses the Scanning Station will be required to complete this form. It will then be the responsibility of the Historian to keep track of this form and the files which were scanned.

In the end, we hope to empower people to learn more about scanning, how to preserve their history, and in turn contribute to a collection which will collect our community history. I hope this collection will benefit many people in our community for years to come.

Chattanooga Public Library, Libraries

The 2nd Floor Photo Booth

We’ve got a photo booth now for The 2nd Floor.  It’s rad!

It all started when we decided to try to bring author Alexander McCall Smith to the Chattanooga Public Library and enter a contest sponsored by Random House.  From that grew the discussion to make the display for this event into something interactive.  The 2nd Floor Photo Booth was born.  Megan Emery spearheaded the project and had some help from Meg Backus and Lee Hope.  The actual booth itself was build by the Maintenance staff at the Chattanooga Public Library.

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We shared all the photos to our main Chattanooga Public Library Instagram account with the caption #BRINGTHEBRIT to Chattanooga Public Library.

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The actual “booth” part of the photo booth was made by a member of our Maintenance Staff at the Chattanooga Public Library in our woodshop at the library.  The first part (which you see above) is a well crafted box that holds one iPad.  The iPad is running Insta Booth as our photo app.  Why Insta Booth?  Simply because it gives us an option to add a timer to the photos.  That ways folks have 5 seconds before the photo snaps.

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We’ll be sharing the photos on our 2nd Floor Photo Booth Instagram account. Enjoy the photos!

Libraries, Portland, ME, Teens

Photos by David Chu

Yesterday, one of my (now former!) teens came into the library and took a few pictures of what goes on in the teen library after school.

David Chu (the photographer) takes some amazing pictures.  I’ve been lucky to see him develop and hone his craft over the last three years.  You can view all of his work at his Flickr page here:  He’s pretty amazing, eh?

(click on the pictures for larger images)

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PS: Isn’t it crazy when your teens grow up and go to college?


Great signage at the Common Ground Festival

I really enjoyed seeing this sign over the weekend when my family and I made the annual trek to Unity, Maine to visit The MOFGA Common Ground Festival.  Not only was it very clear what the organizers were trying to do (collect photos and videos of the festival to share) but it was also clear to the person entering what they were agreeing to (an image/video of you may be used in some manner).

This is the approach I’ve always took with taking photos and video in libraries.  I announce that we will be possibly using these photos and videos to promote the library.  Most of the time, the people involved are happy to be part of the photo/video.  Those that do not wish to be included gladly step to the side.

Are libraries doing something like this, or are we still making our patrons sign a piece of paper saying that we can use their image?  I’m curious to see what the trend is!



#teenlibrarymakestuff program

Artwork by Portland Public Library Teen Aprille Marie

One of my favorite things that happened this summer was the #teenlibrarymakestuff program that was a collaboration between my library and the Darien Library in Connecticut.

The program had a rather simple setup:

This summer submit your drawings, sculptures, photos, comic sketches, paintings, and more to the Darien Library/ Portland Public Library Tumblr art display depository. Darien Library and Portland Public Library in Portland, Maine are joining forces in this virtual teen art show.  Share your works with other teens from around New England.  Just simply bring us your art and we’ll photographic it into a curate-tion sensation!

I’m happy with the final results from the program.  It’s great to see neat, original stuff put together by teens.  At my library, we have these works up on our digital signs.  This allows us to take the submissions from this program and put them out into a never ending art show.

Visit the Portland Public Teen Library Tumblr here
Visit the Darien Library Teen Tumblr here 


Justin The Librarian @ the Cape May County Library

Some of the things that I’ve been proud to be a part of at the Cape May County Library over the last two years.