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NIDL History

 

The year 2000 saw the UTS Library networking in several directions: first the UTS Library became an INCOLSA member which was a cooperative of over 750 academic, public and specialty libraries across the State of Indiana; second the Library contacted and participated with local groups like PFLAG, Outspoken and at Pride Day to assure the library is a resource for the total community; third the Library encouraged sharing of resources between other gay/lesbian libraries in the region like Gerber-Hart Library (Chicago), Chris Gonzalez Library (Indianapolis) and William-Nichols Institute (Louisville) which resulted in sharing of a large donation of materials from Gerber-Hart which has passed down to the other two through the UTS Library. The UTS Library has started and as NIDL is in process  of entering the archive holdings into an electronic database to improve access while also assessing the needs for preservation to those materials.

In 2004 the library was given a technology grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne to upgrade its computers and circulation software and bring in full MARC records for the circulating collection.  This added subject headings for the circulating collection to make items more accessible and easy to be searched.  The library also sponsored a Sexuality Minority Youth workshop that had panel speakers from civic offices, churches and community groups like PFLAG.  This lead to a Horizons Youth Group growth to nearly 30 teens a meeting the folloing year.  From 2005-2007 the process of converting/updating the item records and barcoding of the entire circulating collection of over 5,500 items kept staff busy while serving the patrons in the community.  Hardships in 2007-2009 saw the Center and the Library struggling to maintain the finances to operate.  The library closed in March of 2009 and went into storage as the center closed its doors.  The board continued to preserve and find space for the library while thinking about the future of the center and the collection. 

NIDL Logo WhiteIn the fall of 2009 the board was approached by IPFW Helmke to set up a collaboration between IPFW and FWCEC Inc. to reopen the library.  This was in anticipation of support for new classes in sexuality/gender studies and existing women's studies courses.  In 2010 the FWCEC Inc. voted to concentrate on becoming a library and adopted the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library (NIDL) as its mission.  The library's collections were moved out of storage into room 180 of Ginsberg Hall on the Northeast campus of IPFW in the cold February of 2010.  NIDL opened in July 2010 in anticipation of the fall semester.  NIDL got a Facebook page; updated the website and added the circulating collection in a searchable catalog to the website.  In Sunday, December 19th edition of the Journal-Gazette, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne announced it was giving NIDL's parent organization a grant of $2,000 for support of the library.   NIDL was also gifted a subscription to and all of the issues of The Gay & Lesbian Review back to 1994 for its archives and use by the students. 

The library was then moved once again from Ginsberg Hall to the lower level of the Walter E Helmke library on March 11th, 2011. The move allowed NIDL's collection to be housed on regular library shelving; the discussion groups could use the new meeting space available; and the archives were setup with space to organize collections. The grant money received in December was used, in addition to the library's ongoing support expenses, to purchase storage boxes for sorting the archival materials and distribute outreach/promotional materials at several community events.  The major job of converting the general sections of the nonfiction collection to the Dewey system was accomplished as the last goal of the 2004 technology grant

In fact much of the sorting activity in NIDL's archive by spring of 2012 made a  summer trip possible to the Kinsey Institute with a van load of duplicate materials to help fill in the gaps of their collections at  Bloomington.  Two grants were awarded to NIDL; one for support from the Community Foundation and one for technology and digitization from Macy's.  The Northeast Indiana Diversity Library has an Agency Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and because NIDL had been working to be fiscally sound in 2012, the Foundation would increase the 20% match of all the money NIDL donors add to the fund the following year to a "Dollar for Dollar" match to help the fund grow!  By December 2012 we learned that we were accepted to work with IPFW to have a digitization project added to the mDON (mastadon Digital Object Network) of IPFW's Helmke Library.  NIDL also began networking with groups on suicide prevention and a new colaboration of non-profits called the North East Indiana LGBTQ Coalition.

Endowment-Match-2013The NIDL Board used the two grants to budget for 2013 so new circulation/staff computers and a laptop for event displays were added as the old  computers (2004) were dying.  Digital storage and archiving equipment also were acquired for up coming projects.  This year NIDL returned the endowment interest back to the endowment fund--this was the first time in all the community center's years that the interest was re-invested.  By Pride Day we had our campaign for the dollar match and by the end of 2013 NIDL raised $1,450 that was matched in order to increase the library's endowment fund.  The first project for digitizing on mDon is the TROIS which is the newsletter (1980-1987) of our first local Gay and Lesbian organization in Fort Wayne that eventually lead to the Community Center.  Secondly, NIDL uncovered in the archives over 550 photographs plus their negatives of a pagent at a former Fort Wayne bar known as Tulisa's Up The Street. 

In 2014 NIDL was featured on a segment of "21 Country" in which Eric Olsen from TV Channel 21 came to vist.  In April the libray unveiled the NIDL Digital Archives that starts with the TROIS (Three Riviers One-In-Six) newsletter of the first Gay-Lesbian organization (GLO) in Fort Wayne.  Making this newsletter of local history accessible to be viewed or searched by keyword by anyone on the Internet through cooperation with IPhoto Party at WunderjkammerPFW's Helmke Library and their mDON is a great achievement.  The cleanup of the metadata from the typewritten TROIS newsletter has been labor intensive but Half of the articles have been corrected and updated.  The electronic indexing of our verticle files by several volunteers made a milestone of finishing the the first drawer and one-thousandth entry in the index database.  This is only A through B but for the NIDL archives this is quite an achievement since starting this project in 2000!  NIDL has also been active with the NEI LGBTQA Coalition which is a coalition of nonprofit organizations in the local area working together to share resources to better the community for LGBTQ persons.  An Coalition example is the "Breaking the Silence" vigil on the end of the "Day of Silence" observance.  NIDL also made bibliographies available and spoke at one of the Cinema Center movie events surrounding the "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals" exhibit from the Holocaust Museum brought to town by IPFW; FW Jewish Federation; Congregation Achduth Vesholom; and the Dr Salon Foundation.  NIDL added books with an emphasis on transgender issues due to a surge of interest in groups that serve those populations at NIDL and PFLAG in the community.  In November and due to the continuing digitization of photos NIDL held a Photo Party inviting early members of the community to Wunderkammer to veiw and help identify founding members in photos digitized from NIDL's archives.

The Northeast Indiana Diversity Library's greatest challenges besides on-going fund raising and securing volunteers is space, preservation and providing Internet access to our holdings. Proper storage, access, and preservation of archived items take more space and money for acid-free materials to extend the life of historically significant items. Programs to develop the NIDL's archive databases and to digitize them are a large expense but would enhance the networking between other libraries and the Internet public. All of these challenges if met would greatly enhance the value of the NIDL's collection.

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Last modified onSunday, 17 April 2016 08:30

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