Re-thinking the role of the regional oral history organization (July 25, 2014 Oxford University Press blog post)

The following text, from a July 25, 2014 post at an Oxford University Press website, is from a blog post entitled “Re-thinking the role of the regional oral history organization”:

‘You can access the full text, with accompanying links, here.]

 

By Jason Steinhauer

What is the role of a regional oral history organization?

The Board of Officers of Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) recently wrestled with this question over the course of a year-long strategic planning process. Our organization had reached an inflection point. New technologies, shifting member expectations and changing demographics compelled us to re-think our direction. What could we offer new and existing members that local or national organizations did not —and how would we offer it?

Our strategic planning committee set out to answer these questions, and to chart a course for 2014 and beyond. Four board members served on the committee: Kate Scott of the Senate Historical Office; LuAnn Jones of the National Park Service; Anne Rush of the University of Maryland; and myself, of the Library of Congress, acting as director. OHMAR dates back to 1976 and has been a vibrant organization for nearly 40 years. Therefore, our goal was not to re-invent but rather to re-focus. To start, we identified OHMAR’s core values. We determined them to be:

Openness

Passion

Community

Education

Expertise

Whatever our new direction, we would stay true to these ideals.

[End of excerpt]

 

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