OGS 2022 Year in Review

January 25, 2023

It is hard to believe that it has been another year already, but what a year it has been!

This year has been a year of challenges and great accomplishments for The Ohio Genealogical Society. Among the many achievements that we can be proud of this year were the hiring of full-time archivist Jenna Kish. Jenna joined us in the spring of 2022 and brought her skills as an archivist learned from her obtaining a BA in English and her Master’s in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. Jenna oversees the care and use of over 850 individual archival collections. She creates indexes and finding aids so that patrons can effectively use OGS’s archival collections. She also organizes new, in-coming archival materials, including accepted lineage society applications. She has been a welcome and productive addition to the OGS family.

Through the efforts of OGS Librarian Linda Swanson, we were able to integrate the Samuel D. Isaly Library catalog with WorldCat. WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of tens of thousands of institutions across the world. As of December 2021, WorldCat contained over 540 million bibliographic records in 483 languages, representing over 3 billion physical and digital library assets, and the WorldCat persons dataset included over 100 million people. Having the OGS catalog on WorldCat exposes our collection and its value to millions of users, and potential OGS members.

With the assistance of the OGS Technology Committee, we have continued the refinement and improvement to the OGS website user experience. Among those improvements has been the creation of back-end tools to allow for better management of the OGS membership database, event registration, products, calendar submissions, and improvements to the OGS Chapter locator. Many of these changes have been subtle, but have greatly improved the overall usability of the site. More improvements are in store for 2023.

One of the best achievements this year was the ability to host our first post-COVID in-person OGS Conference at Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio. It was great to see so many people gathered for this in-person educational and social experience. It was great sign that many of our members are ready to get back into the classroom and lecture hall with their friends and peers to continue to expand their genealogical knowledge and ability.

Another educational accomplishment of 2022 was the OGS’s efforts to offer online learning opportunities. This was achieved by the OGS making a transition from our past meeting software to the more universally used Zoom platform. This will allow us to continue to offer live webinars and offer recordings of those webinars on the OGS website for future users and OGS Members. The webinar program will continue to expand in 2023 and we welcome potential presenters to reach out to us.

This year has not been without its challenges though and the OGS, like all of you, has had to deal with the residual effects of COVID including shortages of needed goods and materials, increasing costs across the board for all aspects of our operation, hesitancy of the public to attend large gatherings, and the impact of jittery stock markets. However, we know that with your support we can overcome these and any other current and future challenges.

The coming year will once again be an exciting one for the OGS as we continue to offer online learning opportunities, continue to add resources to the OGS website, once again offer Librarian’s Day this spring, process and make available numerous archival collections that have been donated, and more. With the continued support of OGS Members, OGS Chapters, OGS Board of Trustees, OGS Volunteers, and OGS Staff we will be able to achieve great things in 2023. Thank you all for your support.

Noel Poirier, OGS Executive Director