Archivist, Dayton Metro Library

Reference Librarian (archives emphasis)
Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio

Job Description (2008):

Provides library users with assistance in reference, readers’ advisory, and in the use of library materials and reference resources. Serves at the public reference desk and in a roaming capacity. Maintains and develops archival material in special collections and serves as a resource for information on preservation policy and techniques. Participates in digitization projects and in the creation of metadata. Plans, prepares and conducts programs. Participates in public relation activities to promote library use. Provides service and maintains liaisons with community agencies.

I spend a significant portion the typical day engaged in the following activities:

  • Providing local history reference service in person, by mail/email, and by phone
  • Arranging and describing (procssing) archival collections and address related preservation issues
  • Planning and implementing digitization projects, including use of CONTENTdm
  • Repairing and preserving historical materials using safe, archival procedures
  • Promoting access to archival materials through the use of social media (such as this blog) and improved cataloging
  • Instructing patrons in the use of local history and genealogical resources, including developing and leading programs

Arranging & Describing (Processing) Archival Collections

I have worked diligently to reduce the backlog of unprocessed manuscript collections held in the local history collection of the Dayton Metro Library.

It is my firm belief that we as keepers of history only do our job halfway if the collections we acquire and protect are not also properly arranged, described, and promoted, so that potential users can find them.

For a detailed list of collections I have processed, visit the Manuscripts Processing page.

In addition to processing the collections and creating finding aids, I have:

  • Ensured that all processed collections are properly included in the library catalog (and by extension, WorldCat) through the creation of collection-level MARC records, to ensure maximum discoverability. View library catalog. View list of DML manuscript collections on WorldCat.
  • Requested 1 barcode to be assigned to each manuscript collection’s bibliographic record, so that barcode can be scanned each time the collection is used, allowing to efficient tracking of collection usage statistics.
  • Added at least collection-level descriptions for all available manuscript collections to the OhioLINK EAD Finding Aid Repository (see all Dayton Metro Library finding aids under “D”).
  • Arranged all manuscript finding aids in the Local History Room’s ready reference shelf, arranged in collection number order (view image). (These were previously interspersed with other reference books according to Dewey Decimal Number.)

Planning & Implementing Digitization Projects


I have digitized the following collections for Dayton Metro Library’s digital images site, Dayton Remembers: Preserving the History of the Miami Valley (, powered by CONTENTdm:


I have also digitized a number of collections and individual items for the Dayton Metro Library Local History Flickr account, a project that I spear-headed. Flickr has greater potential for social interactions and garners higher ranks in search engine results (e.g., Google), which creates even greater visibility for our collections.

I also created Flickr groups centered on Miami Valley history, the 1913 Flood, and the 1937 Flood.

Repairing & Preserving Historical Materials

  • Book repairs, including: reback, recase, rebind, and resew/rebind. See sample resew/rebind.
  • Custom boxes made from archival corrugated board and cardstock.
  • Custom pamphlet covers.
  • Page mending and replacement using archival methods, such as Japanese paper and wheat paste.
  • Encapsulation, using either a sealer or the tape method.

Instructing Patrons in use of Local History & Genealogy Resources

  • Instruct patrons daily in the use of these resources in person and remotely, on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Created and delivered public programs about local history web resources.
  • Delivered public programs about the use of Ancestry genealogy web site, during the temporary absence of the Genealogy Librarian.

This page was last updated on July 20, 2012.

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