SWON Visits – Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Friday, April 4, 2014
Posted by: Melanie
Not that I’m close to retirement but here’s one place I would want to work when I retire. Why? Well, their collection is so interesting, every time I visit, I learn something new. I learn something new about history, people and places, that’s true. But I also learn about strategic partnerships, trying something new, risk taking and more.
Scott Gampfer, the Director of the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, is open about the challenges, while at the same time, excited about their current activities and the possibilities that abound. Maybe it’s the historian in him, but he is aware that things come and go; he easily takes the long view. For example, over the years there have been a variety of journals dealing with the history and natural history of the greater Cincinnati area. Currently, the Cincinnati History Library is in partnership with the Filson Historical Society (Louisville, KY) and the University of Cincinnati, to publish the Ohio Valley History journal. “Ohio Valley History is a quarterly journal committed to publishing the best scholarship on the history and culture of the Ohio Valley and the Upper South from the 16th through the 21st centuries. It is one of the nation’s largest regional journals with over 3,000 subscribers.” (http://filsonhistorical.org/read-watch-listen/ohio-valley-history/ohio-valley-history-submissions/) Scott readily owns that without that partnership, the journal would cease publication.
As an integral partner in the Museum Center itself, Scott’s staff assists with displays, traveling exhibits, both from a research side as well as a contributor to displays/exhibits. They author articles, assist researchers, create research guides and all of the other things a large special library normally does. They just happen to do a lot of these activities in collaboration.
What do you do that would benefit from bringing in another partner? In making the case for others to participate, you make the case stronger for customers and staff alike to be drawn towards you.