Outreach transformation

Living Library exhibit

Many changes have occurred in the History of Science Collections over the summer. One transformation is readily apparent when you first enter the Collections lobby: the arrival of 11 new museum-quality display cases, handcrafted by Ron Mitchell. These cases change everything for public outreach.

Vertical case, by Ron Mitchell
One of the new wall cases in Ron Mitchell’s shop, awaiting delivery.

Cases arriving
The cases arriving…

Installation
Installation of three wall cases

All eleven cases are now installed and filled with the books of the Living Library exhibit. When you come to the Collections to view the Living Library exhibit, take time to appreciate these exquisite cases.

Going forward, beginning with the Living Library exhibit, we now have the capability to display a larger number of books, sufficient to support exhibit-based tours. In the past, we have not been able to meet the demand for personal tours and customized book presentations. Long waits and schedule conflicts have been all too common. With these new cases and the exhibits they make possible, however, no one will ever need be turned away from viewing the treasures of the Collections. iPads loaded with a multimedia exhibit guide will facilitate self-guided tours for walk-ins. Trained docents will be able to offer exhibit-based tours to an increasing number of groups.

We are compiling a list of area educators, retired faculty and graduate students who would be interested in receiving training to serve as prospective docents. To schedule a tour or to inquire about the docent program, contact the new Outreach Coordinator, Carilyn Livesey (lib-hos@ou.edu).

The cases are beautiful works of art and craftsmanship in their own right, but they also signal an exciting transformation in public service and outreach by the History of Science Collections.

About ouhos

Kerry Magruder, Curator; and JoAnn Palmeri, Librarian
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