History of NOTSL

Northern Ohio Technical Services Librarians began meeting in 1947. We are fortunate to have a historic volume, Northern Ohio Catalogers. Minutes, 1947- which contains the first written record of these meetings.

Until 1968, the minutes are all elegantly hand-written. In these pages, members have honored former members at the deaths and marked important technical developments. There are timeless examples of the on-going concerns of our profession, written with humility, kindness, and humor. It turns out that many of the concerns we have today were concerns of theirs.

For example, there was a program in the 1940s on using the Addressograph machine to duplicate book cards, shelf list cards, and catalog cards… “Miss Zenk reports that she has been able to increase the output of clerical work by 25%, with a reduction of 1/3 in her staff.”

Although the Northern Ohio Catalogers didn’t reorganize to form the Northern Ohio Technical Services Librarians until 1958, our first meeting as an organization was held on Oct. 28, 1947.

Looking back through this history reveals a group of people who really valued each other and the work that they did. When you read through these minutes, another thing you find over and over again is that NOTSL is continually re-inventing itself, changing as necessary, to satisfy its members

The first entry, dated October 28, 1947, reads:

“On October 28, 1947 nine catalogers in the Greater Cleveland area (including Oberlin) met in the Treasure Room of the Cleveland Public Library to discuss the organization of a regional group of catalogers in the Northern Ohio area.
Miss Marjorie Eckert, Head of the Catalog Dept. of the Cleveland Public Library was instrumental in calling this group together, and she appointed Miss Alice Phelps of the Cleveland Public Library, Catalog Dept to act as Chairman pro-tem and Miss Gertrude Smith, Head of Catalog Dept. of the Cuyahoga County Public Library to act as Secretary-Treasurer pro-tem.
Preliminary discussions of such points as time and number of meetings ; area to be included ; constitution ; affiliation with A.L.A. etc. were held at this time. A committee, namely Miss Marjorie Eckert and Miss Marjorie Merriam, Cataloger, East Cleveland Public Library, was appointed to draft a constitution to be presented at the first general meeting. It was decided to use the New Ohio Directory of Libraries as a starting point for the mailing list. Possibilities for speakers for future meetings were discussed. The group decided to extend an invitation to Miss M. Ruth Macdonald of the Army Medical Library to speak before the group in November.
The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted
Gertrude W. Smith, Secretary pro-tem”

On May 2, 1959, at the 24th meeting of the Northern Ohio Catalogers, the name of the organization was changed to Northern Ohio Technical Services Librarians.

The minutes were hand-written through April 21, 1972.

The last entry in the volume is the minutes of the May 30, 1986 meeting.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: