It is not often that we have the opportunity to help create a new organization. One based on really old collections, mindsets, and behaviors itching to change—and ready to change. I’ve had the privilege of being able to do so twice. And, this time I know mostly how the story ends.
I was a founding board member of the Minuteman Library Network in Massachusetts at a time when libraries were just beginning to use computer technology to build shared databases of their collections. Suddenly, 24 libraries were able to see past their card catalogs and bookshelves, and outside their walls to locate the very item their patrons wanted right from the computer screen on their desks. To seek information and then to actually find it, went from being a hit-and-miss affair to almost instant gratification.
During the years we were creating the shared database, library staffs learned much about each other and our missions and collections. We trained and created resources and activities we could not have afforded individually. We became better libraries and librarians.
So, it will be with The History Trust. Through collaboration member organizations will become better stewards of our common history. By working together to share the real objects, images, and documents that tell the stories of our towns and organizations on the Digital Archive, those seeking the information our collections contain will be well and truly served.
And I will have been a part of a second great and worthy effort.