For those who have been wondering what happened to the library’s microfilm, wonder no more. The microfilm was sent away to a company in Indiana to be digitized for easier use. We now have all of the newspapers that were previously available on microfilm available on computer files that are searchable by key word. The process, called OCR (optical character recognition), took about three months to complete, but it will make for much faster searching of old records for our genealogists and others interested in finding articles in old local newspapers. The files are grouped in the same way the microfilm rolls were grouped, which means there are approximately three months of newspapers in a file. The user can type in a name, or any key word, and the program will take you to the first instance of that word in the file. If that isn’t the reference you were looking for, just click and the program takes you to the next instance of that word and so on through the entire file.
The collapse of the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River from Kanauga, Ohio to Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia on Dec. 15, 1967 is a part of the fabric of our area. Anyone living in the region that is old enough to remember the collapse has a story to tell. They all remember where they were when they first heard the terrible news. Like the death of President Kennedy or the Attack on Sept. 11th for the current generation, the collapse of the Silver Bridge is burned into their minds and has affected their lives moving forward. For those of us who grew up in the aftermath of the collapse, I speak from experience when I say that I remember many stories of the collapse and grew up hearing them told again and again.
Even now, if you mention the bridge collapse in a group of people, someone has a connection of some sort to a person who either lost their life on the Silver Bridge or escaped the disaster by some twist of fate or divine providence. The Point Pleasant River Museum serves as an archive of the rich history of the Silver Bridge fall and Stephan G. Bullard, Bridget J. Gromek, Martha Fout and Ruth Fout have authored a book, The Silver Bridge Disaster of 1967 full of photographs, history, and personal accounts which tell the story of the tragedy in vivid detail.
Everybody knows the library has books of all kinds to help people further their education and just for enjoyment. Almost everyone now thinks of the library as a great place to go to use a free public computer, but there are many services offered by your local Meigs County Library that you may not even realize are available. Many of these services are available for free or at minimal cost. The library has copy machines that are available for use by the public with black and white copies only 10 cents per page and color copies for 50 cents per page. We offer fax service that is free to a local or toll free number and $1 per page to any domestic long distance number. You can also receive faxes at the library for $1 per page. Color copy service is available only at the Pomeroy Library. Black and white copies and fax service are available at all library locations.
The library’s notary service has been quite popular. We have a notary available in each of our buildings any time the library is open. There is no charge for notary service. One of the relatively new services that the library offers is Passport photos. Passport photos can be made at the Pomeroy Library only. A special camera is used to make the photos to the exact specifications that are needed and you receive two photos on a sheet for $10. This type of photos is used not only for passports, but also nursing licenses, concealed carry permits and for various other identification needs. With the addition of this service, Meigs County residents no longer have to travel outside of the county to have a passport photo taken.
Regular library users have noticed some changes to the library database over the past few months. There is a wider variety of materials, more copies of popular titles are available and the catalog shows that some of the items are owned by places like Ironton and Jackson City libraries. In November of last year, the Meigs County District Public Library and the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library took advantage of an offer from our library circulation software provider The Library Corporation (TLC) to merge the two library’s databases to form one big database which includes all of our materials. The newly formed cooperative venture is called the Ohio Valley Library Consortium (OVLC).