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Event Recap – Military Reference & Research: Sources & Research

Event Recap – Military Reference & Research: Sources & Research

By Malea Walker

There is more military information freely available online than you could possibly imagine, and even more held in the archives and collections of the many military and government libraries in the DMV area. Over the course of the day we heard from 27 speakers from various institutions that work with military information. This whirlwind of speakers only allowed for a brief glimpse into the treasure troves of each library, but gave us a massive amount of information to refer to later.

The day began with a generous continental breakfast and a chance for networking. As we settled into the program we heard brief introductions from Sharon Lenius and Wendy Hill before Lillian Gassie’s welcome address. Lillian, who is now working with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), gave us a look back at the progress of military information online, including the deep impact that 9/11 had on the type of information that could be disseminated. Over the past few years, she noted, there has been a slow and cautious reopening of information.

We continued the day by hearing from six panels. The first was the Academic Panel, which began with a presentation by Lily McGovern of the National Defense University (NDU), and then presentations from Faith Kanno of the Marine Corps University and Trish Bachman, also from NDU, who is working on the redesign of the MERLIN website. Trish explained that after MERLIN’s website was taken down, they have been working to put all of their material into different formats such as LibGuides. The new MERLIN homepage will be up soon! We also learned the difference between some of the military universities, and were cautioned by Lily that some have .mil addresses, but other have .edu websites.

Next, the Science and Technology Panel brought us brief overviews of DTIC (Wendy Hill), the Naval Research Labs (Carol Lucke), and the Naval Observatory (Sally Boskens). Wendy discussed the public resources (also available through NTIS, Science.gov, etc.) and reminded us of the benefits of being a DTIC customer including digitization on demand. Carol showed us that while most of NRL’s materials are behind a firewall, there are some items in their publications section that are freely available. Sally showed us some of the incredible items available at the Naval Observatory library including receipts that she just found for purchases in the 1800s.

After a break we continued the morning by hearing from the History & Archives Panel and Medical Resources Panel. We heard about the wealth of historical information available at history.army.mil (Carrie Sullivan), the Veterans History Project (Bob Patrick), and the the great collections of the US Naval Academy Archives (Jennifer Bryan), Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress (Patrick Miller), and the US Air Force Historical Studies (Terry Kiss).

The Medical Resources Panel revealed some different ways of searching for medical intelligence information (Matt Bachtell) with different languages and foreign websites, and the information available from various other medical and academic military institutions (Ann Holman, WRNMMC; Linda Spitzer, USUHS; and Debra Yourick, WRAIR).

After lunch we were able to hear from a panel on DoD Resources (Connie Wiley, US Army Corps of Engineers; Paulette Haiser, NGA GEOINT; Kristen Svendsen, Pentagon Library; Mary Hickey, DINFOS; Mary “Tuke” Klemmet, DAU) and a panel on Think Tanks (Gail Kouril, RAND; Lisa Pogue, Homeland Security Institute; Cy Behroozi, Brookings; Rebecca Morgan, National Academy of Sciences). These were very quick but showed how much could be found that I hadn’t seen before online. One thing that stood out for this particular recapper was that the Pentagon Library has digitized older Army Regulations available through their catalog.

Marie Kaddell then gave a wonderful presentation on non-governmental websites that provide military information of all types including military news, history, social media, veterans resources and more. Marie will be putting up her slides onto her website at http://www.governmentinfopro.com/

Finally, Wendy wrapped up this wonderful and informative day with thanks to the speakers, and a big thank you to the generous sponsors: Elsevier, Gale/Cengage Learning, Morningstar, Peterson’s, and Fedlink.

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Event Recap: Following in the Footsteps of War

Event Recap: Following in the Footsteps of War

By Jill Lynch

On October 4, 2014, the DC/SLA Military Libraries Group traveled south to Fredericksburg, Virginia to hear excerpts from Charles A. Clark’s diary of the Battle of Second Fredericksburg.

Tom Glad, a librarian at DTIC has a personal connection to the diary of Charles Amory Clark, a Union soldier in the Civil War. Tom served as our guide on this 3 hour tour. He shared excerpts from the diary at various locations in Fredericksburg.

The tour started at 8:00AM at a parking lot in Downtown Fredericksburg, where for an hour we were offered coffee, donuts and networking. At 9:00AM nineteen of us boarded a trolley headed to our first stop.

Members on trolley

DC/SLA members board a trolley to the first stop, the Union Infantry Winter Camp at the Stafford Civil War Park.














The first stop took us to the Union Infantry Winter Camp at the Stafford Civil War Park, where we walked among ruins of tent sites and rifle pits. Although this winter camp was not actually where Charles Clark spent any nights, we were taken there to give us an idea of what kind of camp he would have been in. We were allowed about 30 minutes to walk through this camp, enjoy the scenery and take pictures.

The next stop took us to Chatham Manor, where President Abraham Lincoln had his review of the Army of the Potomac. According to Clark’s diary entry, there were 75,000 troops lined up on the field. Although time did not permit a visit inside the Manor, we were able to roam the gorgeous grounds.

Next on the tour was a quick stop next to Mary Washington University, to catch a glimpse of Sunken Road.

We all got back on the Trolley for our last tour stop at the old Salem Church. The original structure is still standing and in pretty good shape. We didn’t go inside, but open window shades afforded us the opportunity to take a peak instead.

The trolley dropped us off at the starting point and several members of the tour had lunch on the Rappahannock River at Brock’s Riverside Grill, while the rest of us went to an Oktoberfest Festival in downtown Fredericksburg.

Thanks to WT Cox Information Services for sponsoring this unique opportunity

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Event Recap: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War: Author Book Talk and Dinner

Event Recap: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War: Author Book Talk and Dinner

By Jill Lynch
On May 14, 2014 the DC SLA Military Libraries Group hosted an author talk with Kayla Williams at Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro in Old Town Alexandria. Kayla was invited to talk to us about her newest book, Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War over an intimate dinner with a small group of 16 librarians and guests.

The dinner was located on the second floor of the recently opened, Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. We had the entire space to ourselves and it was elegantly decorated for our event. The upstairs facility had a view overlooking King Street, a private bar and restrooms. DC/SLA member and CUA library student Elizabeth Lieutenant was posted downstairs at the entry to the Bistro to hand out name tags and direct attendees upstairs.
Guests started arriving just after 6:00 PM for cocktails, appetizers and networking. While sipping on drinks and enjoying bites of spanakopita, fried calamari and triple dip on pita bread slices, we caught up with old friends and new acquaintances. Kayla arrived early and socialized with us before the talk started.
Time quickly carried us later into the evening and everyone settled into their seats close to 7:00 PM. Salad was served as Kayla was being introduced. She told us all to enjoy our meals, as she had no problems with talking over clinking forks and plates.
Kayla started her talk by giving us some background information about how she met her husband, Brian McGough, during her year-long deployment to Iraq during the early years of the war, which is documented in her first book, Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army. The remainder of the talk centered on the years that take place after she returned home from war. Kalyla shared details of the many challenges she experienced as a female combat veteran and new wife including the lack of care returning war veterans receive, the difficulties of reintegration into civilian life, and the strain of caring for Brian during his rehabilitation from traumatic brain injury he received during an ambush in Iraq. Kayla also described how energizing it is for her to advocate for better care for future generations of returning warriors.

Dinner was a choice of Chicken François or Eggplant Parmesan and was served just before the end of the talk. Kayla is a vegetarian and her first book details how difficult it was for her to find healthy meat-free meals while on deployment. It was a blessing that Vaso’s gave us a vegetarian option.
Kayla sat down to eat as most of us were finishing up. She sat in the center of the “T” shaped table and entertained questions while dessert and coffee were served. She answered all of our questions with a combination of directness, allegory, and wit and she left us laughing frequently with a point well-illustrated through clever humor. Once again we found ourselves short of time and unfortunately the fellowship couldn’t continue as long as we might have liked. The dinner was scheduled to end at 8:30 PM but we were still chatting well past 9:00 PM. Before leaving for the evening, Kayla reminded us that she would be more than happy to speak at any of our libraries.
The DC/SLA Military Libraries Group is grateful that Kayla Williams spent an evening away from her family to share her story with us. We were also pleased with Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro and would like to thank the management and staff for facilitating this wonderful and informative event.

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Join the Military Librarians Group for Special Reception and Tour of Grant Hall, Ft McNair

Join the Military Librarians Group for Special Reception and Tour of Grant Hall, Ft McNair

The Military Libraries Group of DC/SLA invites you to an Evening Reception and Tour of Grant Hall on the grounds of Ft Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC. Begin the evening with a Wine Reception, Ft McNair Officers’ Club (4th & P Sts) followed by Tours of Grant Hall, Ft McNair.

The newly renovated building, formerly known as “Building 20,” was originally part of Washington Arsenal and the Federal Penitentiary during the Civil War. The third floor of Grant Hall was the site of the Lincoln Conspirators Trial in a specially prepared Courtroom. A tour of the Grant Hall Courtroom is a unique opportunity to learn about the sad aftermath of the Lincoln Assassination, as much of the country mourned the fallen President and struggled to regain its “Nationhood.”

This tour is a very special opportunity as this building is not generally open to the public. Docents from Special Collections of the National Defense University (NDU) Library will conduct the tours. Visitors will need to walk up two flights of stairs to the renovated Grant Hall Courtroom. No special accommodations are possible in this historic building.

A maximum of 40 members and guests can be accommodated on the special tour.  We will maintain a Waiting List. More details below:

WHEN:  Thursday, May 9, 2013, 5:30-8:30 p.m.  R.S.V.P. by May 7th.  Walking Tours depart O’Club at 6:15 and 7 p.m.

WHERE:  Ft Lesley J. McNair, located in Southwest Washington DC, between the Anacostia River and the Washington Channel not far from Arena Stage, and Waterside Mall (under reconstruction). METRO: Waterfront – Green Line, Three/four block walk to the Main Gate or auto access gate.

Free Parking is available in the Officers’ Club Lot.  Picture ID required for entrance to Ft McNair.

HOW:     Register for this tour NOW!  Cost:   DC/SLA Members/DCLA/LLSDC – $20, Guests – $25,
Students/Retirees/Job Seekers – $10

For more information:   Contact Sharon Lenius leniussa@gmail.com

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Celebrate National Preservation Week 2013 with Special Events Hosted by the LOC

Celebrate National Preservation Week 2013 with Special Events Hosted by the LOC

The Library of Congress, along with the American Library Association (ALA), will celebrate Preservation Week 2013 with a special focus on saving the mementos of military members and their families—digital and analog correspondence, photos, videos, scrapbooks and albums, and objects such as medals and uniforms.

The Library will host a number of events, from Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26, to share care strategies for these priceless keepsakes, so they can be passed on to future generations.

Preservation Week Events

  • Monday, April 22, from noon to1:30 p.m., “Preserving Your Memories: Print and Digital Photographs” Conservators will highlight basic preservation measures one can do at home to care for photographs. Digital archivists will cover preservation considerations for digital photo files. The 2012-2013 Fellow in Photograph Conservation will present research and treatment of a World War I photograph album. Staff from the Library’s Veterans History Project will share information on how to participate in the project. Dining Room A, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
  • Monday, April 22, from 6 p.m. to7:30 p.m., “Rosenzweig Forum on Technology and the Humanities: Preserving and Interpreting Born-Digital Collections:” Presenters will discuss how their organizations are acquiring, managing, analyzing, preserving and providing access to born-digital collections. The Rosenzweig Forum for the Digital Humanities is a collaboration of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland. Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C
  • Tuesday, April 23, from noon to 2:00 p.m., “These Amazing Shadows: The Movies that Made America”—FilmThis 2011 documentary illustrates the history and importance of the National Film Regis try, the Library’s collection of 600 films—with up to 25 added each year—identified as culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. Featuring interviews with Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and experts from the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, the film champions preservation of our material heritage as a celebration of the American experience. Introductions by the Library’s Mark Sweeney, director for Preservation and Liz Stanley, preservation specialist. Pickford Theater, on the third of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C
  • Wednesday, April 24, from noon to 1 p.m., “Preserving Your Memories: Traditional and Digital Albums and Scrapbooks:” Conservators will highlight basic preservation measures one can do at home for long-lasting albums and scrapbooks; present the pros and cons of dismantling old scrapbooks and albums in poor condition; and discuss how to address condition problems. Preservation considerations for digitals albums and scrapbooks will be discussed. Staff from the Library’s Veterans History Project also will share information on how to participate in the project. Dining Room A, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
  • Friday, April 26, from noon to 1 p.m., “PAC: A Packed Agenda for Conserving Libraries’ Heritage — 20 Years of Changes and Development”—Lecture:” Christiane Baryla, director of the International Federation of Library Associations Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation, will speak on international preservation efforts.Pickford Theater,, on the third of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C

Preservation Week Virtual Events

  • April 21 to 27, Veterans History Project Digital Presentation
    The website presents seven collections that represent the wide variety of concerns that must be addressed when preserving the first-hand accounts of America’s veterans. Available at http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-preservation.html
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2 p.m. EDT, Webinar: “Preserving Your Personal Digital Photographs:” The Library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program will present information about learning to care for digital photos. Hosted by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Free, but registration required at www1.gotomeeting.com/register/876436809.

Preservation Week—an initiative supported by the Library of Congress, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services of the ALA, the Institute of Library and Museum Services, the American Institute for Conservation, the Society of American Archivists and Heritage Preservation—encourages libraries and other collection institutions to connect to our local communities and inspire action to preserve our collective heritage.

A full list of national activities can be seen at Preservation Week’s online map and followed on Twitter via @PreservationWk.

And if you tweet, don’t forget to use the Preservation Week hashtag: #preswk.

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Celebrate DC/SLA’s 75th Jubilee

DC/SLA Tweets

Photos on flickr