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Wednesday, June 19 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Papers on Water and Air

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Heavy metals: Providing neutral information to a community rocked by scandal (Rebecca Hopman and Regan Brumagen, The Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Library)
In February 2016, Oregon state officials released the news that high levels of arsenic and cadmium were found in the air dangerously close to a high school, a primary school, and a day care facility. The likely sources were two nearby glass companies. The news of this environmental disaster caused an upheaval in the glass world, and many turned to the Rakow Library and The Corning Museum of Glass for answers. Artists, companies, journalists, and people living near the implicated glass companies wanted to know more about potential dangers and considered the Rakow Library – the library of record for glass – their source of reliable, up-to-date information. The questions continued to flood in several months later at the annual Glass Art Society conference, which happened to be held at the Museum. Given that this case was likely to go to court, library staff had to take the extra step of showing the Museum's legal team that we were providing accurate, neutral information and were not sharing anything that could be interpreted as advice. At the same time, we also had a responsibility to document these events and collect related information. We did so by creating vertical files on the topic and publishing a LibGuide, which provided links to news agencies covering the initial story and government websites with health and safety information related to glasses and heavy metals. While the initial uproar has died down, this remains an important environmental story with ongoing investigations, developments in the courts, and company closings, all of which we continue to document. In an era when trust in the media and governing bodies is at an all-time low, it is even more critical for libraries like ours to document and provide access to information on environmental disasters and issues related to climate change.

Documenting Nantucket Island's History Before It Sinks into the Sea  (Amelia Holmes, Nantucket Historical Association)
Erosion and rising sea levels are threatening Nantucket, an island located thirty miles off the coast of Massachusetts. Referred to by Vanity Fair as a “disappearing spit of land,” Nantucket will be underwater before much of the continental U.S. The uncertainty of climate change places an unquantifiable restraint on the Nantucket Historical Association’s (NHA) collections development and assessment activities. How do we document the island’s changing environmental landscape? How do we document an ephemeral community for future researchers who won’t be able to visit the island? How do we store collections knowing they will someday need to be moved to the mainland? What does “enduring research value” really mean when the longevity of your storage facilities, and even your institution, are uncertain? This presentation will engage with these questions, and offer ideas, tips, and resources to consider for special collections repositories documenting their community in preparation for climate change.

Without a Paddle: Archival Resources on Florida's Water  (Terrence Phillips and Michele Wilbanks, University of Florida)
Florida's environment is always at the forefront of politics and citizen concern. With water levels at a maximum from last fall's hurricanes, Florida faces another fall full of potential disasters. Pair that with an official ban on the word "climate change" from the Governor's office and Florida is on the verge of an environmental collapse. Our aim with this case study is to illuminate, broaden access, and organize materials from different collections that deal with Florida's environmental past and present. With prize-winning authors Jack E. Davis and Steven Noll on faculty at the University of Florida, the environmental history of Florida is a popular topic for student projects.There are finding aids organized in broad categories, but it is a daunting prospect to search all the inventories looking for the numerous keywords that could describe water, climate, or natural resources. We analyzed patron requests and class assignments to create a subject guide which facilitated access to materials that relate to Florida’s environment. Collections from Florida politicians including Bob Graham and George Smathers provided legislation related to environmental initiatives, while the writings of Marjorie Harris Carr and Arthur Marshall championed environmental activism. Additionally, the use of digitized historic aerial maps, frequently accessed by state agencies to analyze environmental changes, demonstrated the potential payoff of digital accessibility. This case study will consider our analysis of user patterns to connect related materials from unaligned collections to highlight primary sources about Florida’s environmental past and present, with the subject guide acting as the hub.


Regan Brumagen

Associate Librarian, Public Services, The Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Library
Regan Brumagen is the Associate Librarian for Public Services at The Corning Museum of Glass, Rakow Research Library. As a museum librarian, she answers reference questions, coordinates reference and instruction, and participates in outreach and exhibition planning. Before joining... Read More →

Rebecca Hopman

Outreach Librarian, The Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Library

Amelia Holmes

Nantucket Historical Association
avatar for Terrence Phillips

Terrence Phillips

Digital Services Specialist, University of Florida
I am currently the Digital Services Specialist for the University of Florida's Special and Area Studies department.I started working at the University of Florida’s Latin American Collection in high school before attending the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Having graduated... Read More →
avatar for Michele Wilbanks

Michele Wilbanks

Public Services Coordinator, University of Florida
I am the Coordinator of Public and Support Services in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida, directing all aspects of the public services operations. I manage the departmental email reference box, oversee the public services staff and... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
University Ballroom 3-4