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Facilitating New Discoveries: Why I Love My Job

July 26, 2013

I love being able to connect people with new ideas or new
ways of thinking about things.

And that is just what I got to do today during a visit from
Alexis Caudell, director of the Mitchell Community Public Library. The
Library is planning a major renovation, and Alexis wants to create an
interactive exhibit about local history. A very cool idea … but where to begin?

Alexis called me last month to ask me that question. And
while I could have sent her to some great websites and books, I was able to
offer her something even better. As a Local History Partner memberof IHS, the Mitchell Community Public Library can work with Local History
Services to consult with other members of the IHS staff. So I set up a meeting
for Alexis with a couple of people who work on IHS exhibits.

Alexis met with Barb Dirks, the IHS director of Collections
Digital Resources, to talk about the ins and outs of digitizing collections, and
what is involved in researching and writing one of our Destination Indianajourneys, as well as other ways to use
collections images. From Luke Smith, our
senior director of Information Technology, she got to hear about the pluses and
minuses of working with different kinds of software and what’s involved in creating
interactive touchscreens. And then there
was the fun discussion about using large wall spaces with Sarah Anderson,
one of our graphics designers who works in our You Are Thereexperiences, as well as many other IHS exhibits.

Barb, Luke and Sarah couldn’t answer every question Alexis
had or make decisions about what her interactive exhibit will ultimately look
like, but they could talk about the many possibilities out there and share with
her some lessons learned from their experiences. My job was just to ask
questions and watch as the discovery process unfold. I can’t wait to see what Alexis comes up


Stacy Klingler is assistant director of Local History Services at IHS. Along with the other LHS team members, she travels the state assisting local history organizations. She loves her job because itÕs never the same thing twice, unless she has to make a U-turn at Main Street.

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