Delaware County District Library Wins 2018 Friends Award
We are pleased to announce that the Delaware County District Library has won the 2018 Ohio Friends of the Library Recognition Award. This prestigious award recognizes an Ohio library friends group that performs imaginative and effective activities that increase community awareness of its library, support library programs, and promote the mission and core values of the library.
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Library Council (OLC) continues its tradition of honoring the best and brightest individuals and organizations in the Ohio public library community. The 2018 honorees have demonstrated outstanding leadership and remarkable dedication to providing the best possible library service. They will be recognized at the OLC’s Awards and Honors Luncheon on Oct. 3 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio. The following recipients were selected based on a comprehensive set of criteria and nominations from the public library community.
Ohio Friends of the Library Recognition Award: Friends of the Delaware County District Library
The Friends of the Delaware County District Library took on a significant challenge in their area: how to call attention to their library in a county overshadowed by the rich cultural resources of the adjacent city of Columbus. They met this challenge by initiating an innovative collaboration with other regional non-profits, helping to “introduce the community to itself” through a shared flyer and website promoting the library as one of several cultural assets in the region. Beyond this project, they also developed partnerships with both non-profits and businesses in the area which have resulted in visits from nationally-known authors, a young writer’s conference, and literacy promotion beyond the library’s walls. Through its active fundraising, the Friends of the Delaware County District Library has contributed more than $70,000 to support programs and purchases for the library, and fosters staff engagement through a mini-grants program open to all staff members who join the group. Their hard work and dedication is a model of what a Friends group can accomplish when it supports the library and reaches out into the community.
Other award winners:
Hall of Fame Librarian: Missy Lodge, State Library of Ohio
Missy Lodge has been a facilitator and advocate for innovation and cooperation in Ohio libraries throughout her distinguished career. Lodge started her career at the Library of Congress and then returned to Ohio where she has served for the past 32 years at the State Library of Ohio (SLO). While coordinating and overseeing LSTA grants for the SLO, Lodge’s willingness to embrace the future, encourage innovation, and support risk taking has benefited libraries and library patrons. Her work administering funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation assisted large and small libraries in bridging the digital divide in their communities. Lodge has assisted librarians in applying for grant funds and encouraged and mentored them throughout the entire project, ensuring a positive outcome and helping Ohio to further stand out as a leader within the library profession. Her leadership has made many statewide collaborations possible and easier to achieve. Perhaps her greatest impact on the profession is her commitment to developing the next generation of library leaders through the Library Leadership Ohio Institute which ensures outstanding library services for all Ohioans for years to come.
Citizen of the Year: Ryan Burgess, Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation
Ryan Burgess has been instrumental in identifying opportunities to engage public libraries in transforming Ohio’s workforce. He has worked tirelessly with the OLC staff and library directors throughout the state to determine how library programs and services align with the training needs of Ohio’s businesses. Often referring to libraries as “continuous learning centers,” Burgess has showcased public libraries as hubs for learning and advancement. He collaborated with the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board to integrate libraries into the board’s plan to prepare Ohioans for the jobs of today and tomorrow. By fostering collaboration with OhioMeansJobs centers around the state, Burgess has made it easier for job seekers to access a wide variety of employment and training services at their local library. He also contributed ideas for a statewide initiative to provide free online computer, technology and business courses through Lynda.com with an Ohio library card. By leveraging library resources and adding new services, Burgess has highlighted how public libraries are uniquely equipped to meet the workforce needs of their communities. His support and work have had a profound impact on public libraries throughout Ohio.
Trustee of the Year: Michael Kilbourne, Bexley Public Library
Few candidates have met the “sustained commitment” requirement quite as fully as Michael Kilbourne, who has served on the Bexley Board of Trustees for 41 consecutive years, including eight years as Board President. His career spans a great number of library innovations, and Kilbourne repeatedly pushed for the library to stay ahead of current trends, leading the Board in supporting their system’s initial purchase of computers, automation of their ILS, and expansion of the AV department to include emerging technologies. Perhaps his strongest legacy of foresight and leadership, though, was his passion for learning and improvement. He consistently pushed the Board to support professional education for library staff, and encouraged both the staff and Board to take an active role in state and local organizations. Kilbourne’s career has included insightful leadership through numerous challenging situations such as a building fire, appealing PLF calculations, facility renovations and local tax levies, but his sustained commitment over the past four decades to addressing problems with an eye to the future is what has distinguished him among his peers.
Librarian of the Year: Andrea Legg, Tuscarawas County Public Library
Because her job involves overseeing four branch locations, a mobile services department, and a busy technical services department, a typical day can find Andrea Legg doing everything from writing grants to facilitating a book club. Legg’s recent accomplishments impacting library service include the expansion of the Tuscarawas County Public Library’s Mobile Services Branch and serving as Chair of the 2017 One Book One Community Committee. Both illustrate her ability to create long-lasting community connections and ongoing partnerships. She spearheaded fundraising and wrote grants to ensure that 1600 students were able to receive a copy of Wonder, the One Book title. Her fundraising efforts allowed for a culminating event with speaker Sam Drazin, who was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome like Auggie in the book Wonder. The event drew a crowd of more than 1700 people. As head of technical services, Legg oversaw the cataloging and circulation of toys modified by the Board of Developmental Disabilities for families with special needs children. Under her leadership, the library’s mobile services has also expanded its reach through pop-up libraries, bringing library materials not only to schools but also to trailer parks, nursing homes, the Farmer’s Market, County Fair, and other community events.
John Philip Outreach Award: Linda Toohey, Dover Public Library
Linda Toohey gave up a career as a cosmetologist to jumpstart a stagnant outreach program at the Dover Public Library. She used her personal vehicle for the first two years, then applied for and received a grant from the Reeves Foundation to fund a library vehicle. Realizing early on that she could not manage a strong program alone, she “hired” and trained a volunteer team. Now known as the Book Buddies, they assist with delivering books and movies to homebound patrons. New to technology, Toohey taught herself how to use an iPad to track deliveries and learned PowerPoint so she could create her own programs, which are well researched and much appreciated by program participants. She took this knowledge and shared it with her patrons, teaching them how to use digital resources. In five short years, Toohey, now known around town, as “Library Linda,” has grown a small program with only 20 deliveries a week into a full-fledged Outreach Services Department that includes more than two hundred deliveries a month, and provides technology assistance and programming through a robust team of volunteers.
Service Excellence Award: Lynn Mercer, Muskingum County Library System
Lynn Mercer has served the Muskingum County Library System for more than 38 years, and has either worked in or supervised nearly every department. Since 1995, she has directed the Human Resources Department, which she built from the ground up. Mercer has the unique ability to understand the challenges and opportunities inherent to each position in the library. As a result, staff members are confident that she will be compassionate and fair in dealing with their questions and concerns. Mercer has encouraged cross-training and professional development for staff, and spearheaded employee wellness and recognition programs. She has also built a strong relationship with the labor union, extending negotiations to every three years instead of two. In addition to exemplary service within her own library, Mercer actively seeks opportunities to make an impact on the library and HR communities. She also serves as the President of the Kate Love Simpson Library Board of Trustees in Morgan County and is a member of the OLC’s Board of Directors. Mercer is also the Secretary of the Muskingum Valley Human Resource Management Association, and a member of both the Society for Human Resource Management and the Ohio Public Employers Labor Relations Association.
Library Innovation Award: Medina County District Library, GED Testing Center
When Medina County District Library (MCDL) learned there were no GED testing centers in the entire county, requiring residents who had completed the GED requirements to travel to a testing center 45-60 minutes away, MCDL made a commitment to remove this barrier to completing the education process. MCDL already provided all of the resources to prepare someone to earn a high school equivalency certificate. Becoming a testing site, seemed like a logical solution and way to help Medina County residents complete the final step. However, this was not a simple process.
The library had to meet a long list of staff and facility requirements ranging from parking to proctoring. Libraries are known for helping adults prepare for the GED, but there are very few public libraries in the United States that support the operation of a GED testing center. In 2017, MCDL became an official GED testing site and within the first year, the library offered six test dates and 34 test sessions were completed. With this new testing center, MCDL demonstrates the essential role public libraries can play in their communities.
Diana Vescelius Emerging Leader Award: Amanda Marquart, Greene County Public Library
At a time when libraries face stiff competition for teen’s attention, Amanda Marquart figured out a way to reach and captivate the teens in her community. She has shown an incredible commitment to library innovation and outreach, always thinking of new ways to get people connected to the Greene County Public Library. In collaboration with middle school and high school teachers, Marquart offered creative programming such as escape rooms, gaming, and book club extensions at the schools and at the library, finding students where they are and engaging them in service activities through the library’s Teen Advisory Group. When the local high school was unable to offer the popular Pen Ohio program, Marquart immediately stepped in to run the program, and ultimately, lead her team to the state level of competition. Despite working part-time currently, Marquart has invested her time in the public library community and is an active member of YALSA, ALA and OLC. She is also President of the Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group. Her willingness to collaborate inside and outside the library demonstrates what librarianship can and should be.
The Ohio Library Council is the statewide professional association which represents the interests of Ohio’s 251 public library systems, their trustees, Friends, and staffs.
Columbus Symphony Seeks Original Compositions by Ohio Composers for SCORE WITH THE COLUMBUS SYMPHONY!
The Columbus Symphony, in collaboration with the Johnstone Fund for New Music, has launched an innovative new project to support and feature the compositional talent of Ohio—SCORE with the Columbus Symphony!
Composers of any age that are from Ohio, current residents of Ohio, or current students in Ohio are invited to submit an original composition for consideration. Works selected for participation will be prepared by the Columbus Symphony in a private rehearsal on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, and then performed in a public rehearsal on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Both sessions will be conducted by Music Director Rossen Milanov.
Compositions must be submitted by September 15, 2018. Selected works will be announced on or about October 15, 2018. There is no fee to enter.
- Open to composers who are from Ohio, current residents of Ohio, or current students in Ohio.
- No age restriction.
- One submission per composer.
- Preexisting works are acceptable.
- The following is the maximum instrumentation possible for submissions: 2222—4231—t+2—hp—str (10/8/6/5/4)
- Concertos will not be considered.
- Length of submissions should not exceed 15 minutes.
- Composer attendance at both rehearsals is required.
- Recordings of submitted scores are encouraged (midi realizations are acceptable).
- Submitted scores will not be returned.
- The number of works selected is at the discretion of the adjudicators.
- All decisions by the adjudicators are final.
- Submission Deadline: September 15, 2018.
- Selection announcement: on or around October 15, 2018.
- No entry fee.
How to Submit:
Step 1 – Mail a printed score (postmarked by September 15, 2018) to:
Attn: Call for Scores
55 East State Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Step 2 – By September 15, 2018, send an email to Coordinator Michael Rene Torres at email@example.com with a subject line of “CSO Call for Scores” and include the following
· Composer’s full name
· Composer’s email address
· Composition title
· Composition instrumentation
· Composition duration
· A pdf score or dropbox link to a downloadable score (in addition to the printed/mailed score)
· An optional link to a streaming audio file of the composition
Any additional questions regarding submission requirements, can be directed to Coordinator Michael Rene Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.columbussymphony.com or www.facebook.com/johnstonefund.
The 2018-19 season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Robert W. Stevenson, Preston Davis, and Kenneth L. Coe and Jack Barrow funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.
About the Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the only full-time, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 200,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit www.columbussymphony.com.
The plastic waste crisis is an opportunity for the US to get serious about recycling at home
August 17, 2018
Associate Professor, Global Environmental Politics, University of California, Berkeley
Kate O’Neill does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
University of California
University of California provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called “National Sword” policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the United States.
In response, support is growing nationally and worldwide for banning or restricting single-use consumer plastics, such as straws and grocery bags. These efforts are also spurred by chilling findings about how micro-plastics travel through oceans and waterways and up the food chain.
I have studied global trade in hazardous wastes for many years and am currently completing a book on the global politics of waste. In my view, today’s unprecedented level of public concern is an opportunity to innovate. There is growing interest in improving plastic recycling in the United States. This means getting consumers to clean and sort recyclables, investing in better technologies for sorting and reusing waste plastics, and creating incentives for producers to buy and use recycled plastic.
Critiques of recycling are not new, and critiques of recycling plastic are many, but I still believe it makes sense to expand, not abandon, the system. This will require large-scale investment and, in the long term, implementing upstream policies, including product bans.
Plastic litter on California beaches has decreased since the state banned single-use plastic bags in 2016.
Easy to use, hard to destroy
Plastics make products lighter, cheaper, easier to assemble and more disposable. They also generate waste, both at the start of their life cycles – the petrochemicals industry is a major source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions – and after disposal.
The biggest domestic use by far for plastic resin is packaging (34 percent in 2017), followed by consumer and institutional goods (20 percent) and construction (17 percent). Many products’ useful lives can be measured in minutes. Others, especially engineered and industrial plastics, have a longer life – up to 35 years for building and construction products.
After disposal, plastic products take anywhere from five to 600 years to break down. Many degrade into micro-plastic fragments that effectively last forever. Rather like J.R.R. Tolkien’s One Ring, plastics can be permanently destroyed only through incineration at extremely high temperatures.
Why the United States recycles so little plastic
Less than 10 percent of discarded plastics entered the recycling stream in the United States in 2015, compared with 39.1 percent in the European Union and 22 percent in China. Another 15 percent of U.S. plastic waste is burned in waste-to-energy facilities. The remaining 75 percent goes to landfills. These figures do not include any dumping or illegal disposal.
Even the most easily recyclable plastics have a lengthy journey from the recycling bin to their final destinations. Many barriers have become painfully apparent since China, which until recently accepted half of all U.S. plastic scrap, implemented its crackdown on March 1, 2018.
First, there are many different types of plastics. Of the seven resin identification codes stamped on the bottom of plastic containers, only 1’s and 2’s are easily recyclable. Public education campaigns have lagged, particularly with respect to cleaning and preparing plastics for recycling. Getting consumers to commit to more stringent systems is critical. But scolding can backfire, as experience with food waste shows.
Another factor is U.S. reliance on single-stream recycling systems, in which all recyclables are placed in the same receptacle. This approach is easier for consumers but produces a mixed stream of materials that is difficult and expensive to sort and clean at recycling facilities.
The United States currently has 633 materials recycling facilities, which can clean, sort and bale a total of 100,000 tons of recyclables per day. Today they are under growing pressure as scrap piles up. Even before China’s restrictions went into effect, materials recycling facilities operators threw out around half of what they received because of contamination. Most are not equipped to meet China’s stringent new contamination standards, and their processing rates have slowed – but garbage production rates have not.
Finally, since China was the U.S. plastic scrap market’s main buyer, its ban has eliminated a key revenue stream for municipal governments. As a result, some waste collection agencies are suspending curbside pickup, while others are raising prices. All 50 states have been affected to some extent.
Over 70 percent of U.S. plastic waste goes to landfills.
No silver bullets
Numerous public and private entities are working to find a more viable solution for plastics recycling. They include plastics producers and recyclers, corporations such as Coca-Cola, colleges and universities, foundations, international organizations, advocacy groups and state governments.
Upgrading materials recycling facilities and expanding domestic markets for plastic scrap is an obvious priority but will require large-scale investments. Increasing waste-to-energy incineration is another option. Sweden relies on this approach to maintain its zero waste model.
But incineration is deeply controversial in the United States, where it has declined since 2001, partly due to strong opposition from host communities. Zero-waste and anti-incineration advocates have heavily criticized initiatives such as the Hefty EnergyBag Program, a recent pilot initiative in Omaha, Nebraska to divert plastics to energy production. But small companies like Salt Lake City-based Renewlogy are working to develop newer, cleaner ways to convert plastics to energy.
Efforts to cut plastic use in the United States and other wealthy countries are focusing on single-use products. Initiatives such as plastic straw and bag bans build awareness, but may not significantly reduce the problem of plastic trash by themselves. For example, plastic straws account for only 0.03 percent of the plastic that is likely to enter the oceans in any given year.
Industry is starting to push back, with corporations like McDonald’s resisting straw bans. Some U.S. states have passed measures forbidding plastic bag restrictions.
To stem ocean plastic pollution, better waste management on land is critical, including steps to combat illegal dumping and manage hard-to-recycle plastics. Examples include preventing BPA leaching from discarded products, dechlorinating polyvinyl chloride products, on-site recycling of 3D printer waste, and making virgin-quality plastic out of used polypropylene.
The European Union is developing a circular economy platform that contains a multi-part strategy to increase plastics recycling and control waste. It includes making all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030 and reducing leakage of plastic products into the environment. The United States is unlikely to adopt such sweeping policies at the national level. But for cities and states, especially those where support for environmental protection is strong, it could be a more attainable vision.
A Texas city discovered a mass grave of prison laborers. What should it do with the bodies?
August 14, 2018
After the Civil War, Texas’s sugar cane plantations were still farmed by unpaid black laborers – prisoners forced to work for free in a system called ‘convict leasing.’
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
Andrea Roberts does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
When archaeologists discovered the intact skeletons of 15,000 free and enslaved Africans at a construction site in lower Manhattan in 1991, the federal government – which planned to build an office building on the site – conferred with African-American communities, scholars and activists. Together, they signed an agreement to halt construction, rebury the bodies and establish a national monument on the site.
Officials in Sugar Land, Texas, chose a different path in April 2018 when they found 95 graves beneath the construction site of a new school.
A judge issued approval to exhume the bodies and, on June 10, archaeologists hired by the school district opened up the wooden coffins.
They contained the remains of black prison laborers forced to work on Texas’ sugar cane plantations from 1878 to 1911. This form of indentured servitude, called “convict-leasing,” was common across the American South after the Civil War.
School construction has continued during the excavation. The city of Sugar Land, which owns most of the land occupied by the burial ground, quickly decided that the exhumed bodies would be reburied elsewhere.
Protecting Texas’ black history
The contrast between these two cases is illustrative.
As an urban planning professor whose scholarship focuses on community development and historic preservation, I can attest that it is not that unusual to find unmarked black cemeteries in the South. After all, enslaved Africans comprised 35 percent of the region’s population in 1860, according to census data.
Yet, too often, public discussion about how to handle these sensitive sites occurs only after graves have been disturbed.
My research on Texas’ black settlements and cemeteries suggests that such discoveries will only increase as its fast-growing cities expand into what was once rural land.
Texas was the last American state to officially end slavery, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Soon, Texas was home to hundreds of freedom colonies, towns founded by landowning African-American families descended from enslaved people.
My Texas Freedom Colonies Project Atlas and Survey has found archival and ethnographic evidence that African-Americans established more than 557 freedom colonies throughout eastern and central Texas between 1865 and 1920. Fort Bend County, where the Sugar Land burial ground was discovered, is itself home to five freedom colonies.
Today, memories and stories, a few homesteads and a cemetery are all that remain of the once-prosperous Texas communities that insulated African-Americans from the racial terror that followed Emancipation and Reconstruction.
These are critical parts of U.S. history. But many freedom colonies’ cemeteries have already been paved over, bulldozed or hemmed in by development.
What the law requires
In theory, Texas law should protect these heritage sites.
By law, once a cemetery or grave site is found, the property owner must be notified and the finding recorded with the county clerk.
If the cemetery is more than 50 years old and abandoned, the Texas Historical Commission takes jurisdiction over the site. It must consult with the dead’s next of kin, and can require exhumation to be conducted by non-invasive means, using ground-penetrating radar.
The state does not, however, outline how or where unearthed remains should be reburied, nor require that community members be involved in that decision.
Federal law, which comes into play when a burial site may be eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, is more robust.
In such cases, construction must be halted while officials determine if the newly discovered burial grounds qualify based on the historic significance of the dead, the events surrounding their death, the burial materials or their prehistoric value.
I believe work on the entire school project should have been paused the moment the bodies were discovered. The Sugar Land mass grave has clear historic relevance, both as an endangered place and a remnant of the horrific but little-known chapter of black history that followed emancipation and Reconstruction.
Sugar Land official complied with Texas law, but they did not recognize the site’s national significance as a graveyard of the former Imperial State Prison Farm.
So the National Historic Preservation Act – which requires local officials to consult with the state and other “interested parties,” including the descendants of prison laborers throughout Texas – was not triggered.
Black history and suburban growth
Texas is among the fastest-growing states in the country. With little to no regulatory constraints, suburban developments – many named after plantation owners – have proliferated in major metro areas.
My ancestors were enslaved and forcibly brought to this area of Texas in the 1830s. Since I was a child, relatives have shared stories of the black bodies buried beneath suburbs in Sugar Land and Missouri City.
Indeed, Sugar Land officials knew that they might discover an old cemetery on the site of the proposed school.
For decades, a local advocate, Reginald Moore, had told local officials that prison laborers were likely buried in the area. As a result, an archaeologist was already on hand when the graveyard was discovered.
Exhumation occurred within days, without family members’ permission. News helicopters provided the public with aerial views of the bodies in wooden boxes.
Archaeologists determined that the dead had been black men, some as young as 14 years old. Their misshapen bones were a sign of repeated hard labor.
By July, images of handcuffs, chains and other artifacts buried with the bodies were being broadcast internationally.
The Southern convict-leasing system, which some historians consider have called “slavery by another name,” was laid bare for the world – and relatives of the dead – to see.
Memorializing a difficult history
The sudden media visibility changed the dynamics on the grave site.
In the months since the discovery, Sugar Land has begun consulting with outside groups, including Moore and his Convict Leasing and Labor Project, on the process of interment and memorializing the bodies.
Moore wants the remains reburied at the nearby Old Imperial Prison Farm Cemetery, which his group runs. He and others also say a museum should be dedicated to convict leasing.
The African Burial Ground National Monument went up in New York in 2007, after an excavation discovered over 400 skeletons six years prior. recreation.gov
The Black United Front, a civil rights group, hopes that the remains will be DNA tested so that reparations may be paid to the descendants.
Preserving while growing
When Native American remains are discovered, federal law mandates a very specific and careful set of next steps.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act recognizes the rights of “Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, including human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.”
No specific laws recognize the cultural and historic significance of African diaspora sites. That makes it much harder to protect black history.
Too often, African-American heritage sites like Sugar Land are simply paved over.
Of the 114 previously non-mapped Texas freedom colonies my team has so far identified, for example, 21 are in high-risk locations near Texas’ fast-growing Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio or Austin metro areas.
State officials now have the opportunity to reach out to freedom colony descendants, historians and experts about appropriate protection of the sites before the inevitable development begins in the area.
Of course, Texas is not the only state facing this problem. And the law doesn’t have all the answers.
The United States was built with black labor. As its population inexorably expands, city planners must look beyond the law – to technology, cultural practice, community and history – to reconcile preservation with growth.