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Visitors chat in front of Ohio University Press books during the open house

Photographer: Nicole Pellechia


Former Ohio University Press staffer Dot Scarmack visits with an open house patron

Photographer: Nicole Pellechia


Ohio University Press bags

Photographer: Nicole Pellechia

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Ohio University Press celebrates 50th anniversary with open house

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Ohio University Press staffers welcomed the public into their office space for an open house on Feb. 21.  

This was an exciting conclusion to Ohio University Press Week, a week of speeches and presentations that promoted the press and exposed the published works and knowledge of the staff.

"It has been one of the busiest weeks since I started here," said Jeff Kallet, Ohio University Press publicist.

Ohio University Press Director Gillian Berchowitz spent the week traveling around the Athens area presenting and giving speeches to groups and organizations on topics such as the history of OU Press and the publishing of books about Africa.

"Even when we had low attendance, people had lots of questions. It was great to be able to reach out to them," Berchowitz said.

The open house attracted approximately 50 guests, including several members of the Ohio University Press editorial board. Appetizers, desserts and drinks were served and were all prepared and provided by staff members of the Ohio University Press.  

In addition to tours and food, attendees had the opportunity to take advantage of the book sale, which featured a wide variety of Ohio University Press books marked down to half off. They also had the opportunity to enter a fishbowl drawing for a copy of the deluxe edition of the University's bicentennial book, "Ohio University: The Spirit of the Singular Place," signed by all five living University presidents or one of two $50 restaurant gift certificates.

One of the guests was Dot Scarmack, who first served as marketing and sales manager for the Ohio University Press beginning in 1974. She worked for the Press for 11 years and said she still supports it.

"We were just a small world back then, but I really loved books and loved the press. I just tried to learn as much as I could," Scarmack said.  

Open house attendees were given the chance to mingle, purchase books and learn more about the work done by Ohio University Press. Upon leaving, each guest was given an Press tote bag, with a copy of the cookbook, "The Locavore's Kitchen," as a party favor and a thank you gift for attending.

The overall goal of Ohio University Press week was to expose it to the community as much as possible.

"We have had great attendance. Lots of new friends of the press," Berchowitz said.