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The Secret World of Special Libraries



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The Secret World of Special Libraries



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Discover the world of special libraries in Central Ohio. Presented at Pecha Kucha Columbus on November 13, 2014. For more information about the event, please go to

Discover the world of special libraries in Central Ohio. Presented at Pecha Kucha Columbus on November 13, 2014. For more information about the event, please go to

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The Secret World of Special Libraries

  1. 1. The Secret World of Special Libraries
  2. 2.

Editor's Notes

  • We love love libraries of all types and sizes. A

    From large, public, academic libraries like Ohio State’s grand William Oxley Thompson library B

    To the little libraries in our Central Ohio neighborhoods. A

    We love to learn about them and those fantastic professionals behind them. B
  • I fell in love with libraries at the age of four when Bill Cosby’s Picture Pages aired on Captain Kangaroo and sent kids to their local libraries to pick up activity sheets.

    Here I am in high school at my first job at the Beavercreek Community Library. I’ve also worked in academic and corporate libraries.
  • I loved going to story time as a little girl. As soon as I was old enough, I became a volunteen and helped out with summer reading programs. In high school, I worked as a shelver at the Grove City Public Library. In college, I loved to take the COTA bus downtown to the Main Library to get away from noisy dorm life.
  • B

    There are numerous libraries outside of community public and academic libraries.

    These types are collectively known as special libraries and include museum, government, law, medical and corporate libraries.

    Tonight we’d like to bring to light some of these lesser-known libraries and their amazing professionals from right here in Central Ohio.


    Image Credits
    All images are under Creative Commons licensing.
    “Library of Congress” by casajump
    “Library of Congress - Thomas Jefferson building” by Jonathon Colman
  • Ohio History Connection has an impressive collection size (more than meets the eye), records, newspapers, photos, and personal collections.

    Visitors come to research genealogy, settle land disputes, and look at military records.
  • Liz Plummer, Head of Research Services shared that the library brings history to life -- everyone has a story and one day someone will be interested in yours.

    Liz shared a collection from the Janney Family of Warren, Ohio, a Quaker family of well educated women.
  • Fitch is an international design firm with their North American headquarters here in Columbus.

    Their materials library supports their designers with samples of everything imaginable that could go into a retail store. Wallcoverings, upholstery, flooring, beautiful lighting and more.

    Designers can touch, feel, and see how the various elements work together.
  • Carly Tysh, pictured here with her favorite design magazine, Frame, does a fantastic job making sure Fitch has the latest materials while displaying them in a way that creates easy access and conversations.

    Not only does she manage the materials and periodicals libraries, Carly is an award-winner designer with a background in interior design.

  • Bricker & Eckler is a local law firm. Librarians are embedded within practice areas to provide better service. The library supplies the resources for the lawyers to do a lot of their own research.

    Because attorneys do a lot of their own research, the librarians end up fielding the strange and challenging questions.
  • Susan Lowe says “librarians are adrenaline junkies, it’s a fast paced and exciting role.”

    Odd examples include determining the value of old farm equipment, finding copy from the tags on gorilla suits, locating old advertisements, and gathering circulation statistics on magazines from the 1940s.
  • The State Library of Ohio is an amazing resource that is open to the public.

    The library is a federal depository and has an incredible collection of rare materials.

    Some of those materials include a 1539 Complete Works of Martin Luther, many original WWII posters and even a handwritten letter from George Washington.
  • Shannon Kupfer is the library’s digital and tangible media cataloger.

    Through her own research, she was able to enhance the collection’s Ohio Holocaust survivor materials by reaching out and gathering additional details from a survivor living in Cleveland.
  • The Tool Library is free to Franklin County residents, non-profit, and has existed for 30 years. *Large Warehouse

    The library is only one of 45 in the U.S.

    Modeled after traditional libraries,the library offers memberships and is open 5 days a week.
  • The library’s staff are experts on tools and offer workshops and how-to’s.

    The Tool Library helped a local teacher refinish an elementary school’s stage, keep her students safe and prevent splinters.
  • The Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library is a medical and academic library serving 5 residency programs, medical staff and nursing students from the adjacent college.

    The library embeds librarians within medical groups to offer immediate and exceptional service.
  • Stevo Roksandic, pictured on the far right, is the library’s director and an “accidental librarian.”

    With a background in tourism and customer service, Stevo and his team focus on library users and underserved communities by creating exceptional learning spaces and actively reaching out to the community.
  • The Columbus Dispatch Library provides in-depth research, analysis, and an embedded librarian to help reporters.

    The library is responsible for archiving the paper and maintaining photo, clips and digital archives.

    Similar to law library, reporters do a lot of their own research, but the librarians help with tough questions.
  • Julie Fulton uncovers the unknown by studying trends to create a great story. They’ve discovered new voter trends through analyzing census data.

    Julie stresses the importance of accuracy and integrity while balancing a sense of urgency.
  • B

    Rounding out our survey are librarians without libraries.

    Using our grad school training, we partner with our colleagues to uncover exceptional leaders, study industries and businesses, report on trends, and hold professional development sessions.

    Demonstrating even librarians outside of libraries can add value to any organization.
  • Although special libraries and their professionals are individually unique, we discovered a common thread - special libraries exist to empower their communities. A

    During our research, our love for libraries of all types and respect for their professionals has only deepened. B

    We invite you to continue exploring with us at Cbus Libraries. A

    Thank you. A/B
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