By Jack Jeffery
The Quinn Library at Ohio University-Chillicothe has been nominated for the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. One of the library's points of pride is a special collection on the topic of religious tolerance.
"National recognition like this comes when you have a plan and you are diligent in following it," said Allan L. Pollchik, head librarian. "We started dreaming about this special collection three years ago, and with encouragement from [Director of Information and Technology] Patty Griffith and Dean Richard Bebee, we are realizing the dream."
Currently, there are nearly 150 books in the library's special collection, including a rare book edition by John Locke, whose writing inspired parts of the Declaration of Independence.
Three climate-controlled cases hold the rare books, some of which were purchased with money given by Dan Brown, author of "The Da Vinci Code." His gift was made as a thank you for research help provided by the previous head librarian, Stanley Planton.
Eventually, Pollchik said he expects the special collection will grow to about 200 books, a dream that will given an assist if the library is awarded the national honor. Ten winners will each receive a $10,000 award and be recognized at a ceremony in Washington. D.C. Winners will be announced in the fall.
The annual award is presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent government agency that is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. According to the institute, the award was created to underscore the powerful role of museums and libraries as leaders in society by recognizing those that demonstrate a core commitment to public service through innovative programs and active partnerships.
Quinn Library serves as an important resource for the OU-C and Chillicothe-area communities. The library holds 60,000 books/volumes, 70 electronic databases, 240 current journal subscriptions and 400 DVDs and videos. It is housed in Stevenson Center, which also includes the Learning Commons. The library and Learning Commons have become a hub of campus activity.
"Being nominated for this prestigious award emphasizes the type of resources that the campus has to offer its region," OU-C Dean Richard Bebee said.
U.S. Rep. Zack Space nominated the library for the award.