Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I LOVE this time of year because it is the perfect time to get organized (or reorganized!) and convert the chaos into some semblance of order.  I found this quote and have decided to apply it to not only my home life, but my work life as well:

"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.  We can help write that story by setting goals." - Melody Beattie.

Melody Beattie is a published author (Codependent No More, plus others) and so she knows a thing or two about how to write a book.  This year before me is an unwritten chapter in my book of life, and before I waste time reacting to what life throws at me, I am going to take the time and set some goals for the day, for the week, for the month....something to give me a direction for the future.  I've already spent the morning working on my work goals, and want to share them with you:

2015 Goals

  • Add at least one new yearbook to the Howard County Memory Project each month
  • Add one new Kokomo Civic Theatre Scrapbook and Playbill collection each quarter
  • Scan new material each month, and publish something new each quarter
  • Convert at least 76 yearbooks from the old software to the new software
  • Convert at least 4 church records from the old software to the new software
  • Update the design of the website with our new IT Head
  • Find at least one volunteer to help with data entry
  • Check my 2015 goals each month to check my progress
  • Update the department blog monthly with my progress

Ultimately, the "book" I am writing at work is the Howard County Memory Project.  There are other items on the goal list, but these are the ones I wanted to share because you can hold me accountable to them by checking the  website and blog regularly.  I'd appreciate your input and suggestions as I work to achieve the goals I've set for this chapter in my work life.  I welcome your email at mvess@khcpl.org.

Well, the weather outside says it is definitely winter in Kokomo.  If you want to warm up, come to the Genealogy Department.  At this time of year, we are actually warmer than it is outdoors!  ;-)
Happy January!                    



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hello - I'm happy to be adding my ten fingers to the GLHD blogosphere!  I'm new to blogging, so your patience is appreciated.

My name is Melanie, and I work as the Digital Archivist for the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.  My job is to update and add to the Howard County Memory Project.  Right now I am working on converting our already published yearbooks over to our NEW software, CONTENTdm. That's a long story for a day we are snowed in, but for now, let me just tell you some wonderful news:  The Kokomo High School 1966 AND 1969 Yearbooks have been completed, and they INCLUDE images!  For whatever reason the images were not included when the original collection was uploaded to the original software, but now you can now SEE your old classmates from '66 and '69....and if my ten fingers do not conk out on me in the near future, you will see the 1970s and 1980s yearbooks as well!  [ Yes, conk is a word.  I have a friend who always wins at Scrabble...and no, I didn't mean your classmates were literally old.  I told you, I'm new to blogging! ;-)  ]

If you are not familiar with the Howard County Memory Project, please check it out.  I welcome your suggestions and your submissions.  Until my next post...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October events - We need YOU!

Only a week and a half until our 33rd Genealogy for Night Owls.  Come join us Friday Oct. 18 from 5:30 until midnight for fun, food, prizes, and research.  We will begin the evening with a catered buffet dinner, share our search needs, draw for door prizes and spend lots of time researching.  We have 2 short programs planned.....Land Records and How Can DNA Research Help in Genealogy?  The cost to come is $15.25 for members of the Howard County Genealogical Society and $17.25 for non-members.  This charge covers the cost of the meal.   While you are here, check out the books we have for our Silent Auction.  Proceeds from the Silent Auction go to the Howard County Genealogical Society.  They use the $$$ to do neat things for us!  Please come.  You'll have loads of fun.

Come to the GLHD to register and pay your fee (we need the headcount so there is enough food!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gear up for some hard hitting Genealogy work!!

Fall is here and summer activies should be winding down.  We have plans in GLHD and it's time to get moving on your genealogy research!

Saturday Sept. 28 (10:00 AM - noon) is the day members of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) will be here to help you with your paperwork.  This isn't just for women, either.  Men are welcome.  DAR members will help you look for links for any of the women in your family or for your own links for SAR membership. 

Friday Oct. 18 (5:30 to midnight) is our 33rd semi-annual Genealogy for Nite Owls.  We will have the library to ourselves and plenty of time for fun and research.  Our catered meal will begin at 6:00 and door prizes will be awarded all evening.  We have 2 instructional sessions planned for anyone who needs a break.  Ron Tetrick will talk about Land Records and How Can DNA Research Help in Genealogy?  The cost for the evening will be $15.25 for members of the Howard County Genealogical Society and $17.25 for non-members.  Please come in to the department anytime before Oct. 16 to sign up and pay the fee. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

As a reminder - Next Monday, September 9 is the Howard County Genealogical Society monthly meeting.  The meeting begins at 6 and will end by 8.  There will be a short business meeting, refreshments, and a program.  This month's program will be a talk and power point about the Daughters of the American Revolution - DAR. 

Later in the month - Saturday, September 28 will be a DAR workshop for any one interested in joining.  As a matter of fact, you don't even have to join (I'm looking at you males in the audience).  We can help with your research also.  Perhaps your wife or daughter would like to join.  Or, maybe you are looking for a Revolution ancestor so you can join SAR or SR.  We will be happy to see you, Saturday Sept 28 10:00 until noon. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Some upcoming genealogy happenins'

Ancestry.com is offering free access to Immigration and Travel Records for the Labor Day weekend.   Good time to get some free info!

Also, a library in Michigan is giving a free course on Preserving Family Treasures: 

 MCLS invites you to view "Preserving Family Treasures" on September 9, 2013 at 6 PM (Eastern Daylight Time). You can attend in-person at the Delta Township District Library in Lansing, Michigan or online via live stream here: http://www.mcls.org/treasures. No log-in is necessary. This event will be recorded and made available in the future. This event is free and open to the public. We encourage you to share this information with your patrons and to host viewing parties at your library.

Do you have grandma’s wedding gown, a tintype of a great-great uncle during the Civil War or even the family bible from the old country? Family and personal historical collections are a diary of where we come from and what is important to us. Most of these collections are stored in attics, basements or under other conditions which constantly place them in harm’s way.

Internationally recognized preservationist and the ALA 2012 Ken Haycock Award winner Jeanne Drewes'  presentation will focus on appropriate storage environments, enclosure options for varying formats, steps to mitigate damage and handling instructions.  If you are a family historian or the caretaker of a small library or historical society collection this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the very best. You may bring materials for recommendations from Ms. Drewes after her public presentation.

Ms Drewes currently serves as Chief of Binding and Collections Care in the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress and as Manager for the Mass Deacidification Program.

Librarian for Conservation and Digitization at the Library of Michigan Kevin Driedger will also join the conversation during the Q and A period of this event.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A chat from the new person

Oh my...look how time has been flying!  I fully intended to pick up this blog just where Marcia left off.  Ahhh...such good intentions.

The weeks (and months) since Marcia left have been busy.  I'll start with a brief introduction.  I am Amy Russell.  I was born in Niagara Falls, NY, but have lived in Kokomo since I was 2.  I am a graduate of Kokomo High School, Purdue University and Indiana University.  My library career began here at KHCPL (KPL then) fresh out of college as the County Bookmobile Librarian.  I left after 3 years to take a job in the Library at Haynes International.  I returned to KHCPL as a volunteer in 2010 and am now the Head of the Genealogy & Local History Department.  (Volunteers take note.  This is a way to a career path).

We have also added a new member to the Digitization portion of our department.  We were sad to let Janet Winrotte move on to a new adventure but delighted to welcome Melanie Vess.  Melanie came to us from the Adult and Teen Department and has been diligently learning the digi side of genealogy and local history.  Melanie ably supervised a summer student and is keeping some of our volunteers busy.  Of course Janice Blanchard and Ron Tetrick are still the friendly folks who greet you as you come in and will help with your requests.  You might also see a couple of our substitutes - Joe Rayl and Cindy Stover helping us with desk duties. 

We have lots of plans for fall and I will get to them in another entry.  Meanwhile, watch for announcements on a DAR workday (Sept 28), our 33rd NightOwls evening (Oct 18) and another trip to the Allen County Public Library (Nov. 9).