Unique Is Good

Sitting here watching old reruns of The Newhart Show. I do remember this show from prime time, and it was a hoot. It still is. It looks so much like real life, but it’s exaggerated and condensed to keep you laughing. If people really behaved this way in real life, it would be enough to make you want to tear your hair out.

I was condensing all my anxiety about the conference into a huge wad of apprehension, but it started slowly and over the course of three days, the instructors and mentors and most especially my teammates helped me see that my ideas and talents were valuable, and in fact necessary to the success of our project!

Briefly, we are participating in ILEAD USA. We received a grant to form a team to explore different ways the library can use technology to do a project that would be helpful to the communities we live in. Our group is hoping to encourage people in our county to bring their historical photos and records to be scanned and added to a database of county history, which we would then try to make searchable and available online to anyone.

On my team, there are two archivists, two techie people, and me…I am seeing that I have a relatively important job as a graphic artist. I will most likely be the face of the project, designing posters and a logo, a poster session-turned-backdrop for the traveling scanning station, and helping create a user-friendly web interface for the search engine. That last one still makes me nervous, but Julia, our main techie, says she will need help to create that interface, so I will try my best.

Catherine, the archivist, said that when I showed them the logo I had made, she started to feel like we really could make this work. Apparently it gave her confidence in all of us, and now she is the driving force and director of what we are trying to accomplish.

I am support staff…and I am seeing the value of my contribution! It’s energizing, knowing that I can put my experiences to good use. Next up is publicity posters and a poster session, then our equipment arrives and we’ll start scanning in June! At the end of June we attend another conference to mark our progress and keep us moving ahead.

I am looking forward to it, now!


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