VIENNA, W.Va. – Digitizing the past for future generations has become a passion for Ohio Valley University student Morgan Kirl.
Kirl is a participant in Parkersburg Area Community Foundation’s (PACF) Civic Leaders Fellowship initiative. Last summer, she was placed at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library. Her work there was so impressive that Brian Raitz, director of the Parkersburg and Wood County Library, requested a grant to allow her to continue her work. Thanks to a recently awarded PACF grant to the Parkersburg and Wood County Library, Kirl’s work will continue in 2014.
“Morgan really latched onto this project,” said Raitz. “She has a great work ethic, is self motivated, and really seems to enjoy this project.”
The library received $5,000 to digitize genealogy and local history materials. With this grant, Kirl can continue work on the genealogy project, which has included creating guidelines as to what information will be scanned, prioritizing the information to be scanned, determining the software and hardware to use, and helping to train volunteers to work on the project. This project will allow people within the library to search and see genealogy items digitally. The items that are public domain will be loaded to a website to allow anyone to search it from anywhere.
“We are pleased that the Foundation’s grant will enable the library to continue the project that Morgan began as a Civic Leaders Fellow last summer,” said Foundation Program Officer, Marian Clowes. “This is a great example of how the Civic Leaders program is enabling young people from our region to get valuable work experience that will help them as they prepare for future careers.”
PACF began the Civic Leaders Fellowship program two years ago as a way to give college students experience in their area of interest and enhance their ability to find meaningful employment in the region, as well as provide employers with the opportunity to improve the region’s potential workforce
The lessons she’s learned through the Civic Leaders Fellowship program have been immeasurable for Kirl.
“The fellowship program has taught me necessary skills to working in a non-profit organization, such as networking, how to write a grant, tips on public speaking, and how to conduct oneself in difficult situations,” Kirl said.
Kirl will graduate from OVU in May. She plans to continue with the fellowship program for another year and continue her work at the library. She would like to begin graduate school in the spring of 2015.
“The work I am doing at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library is very fulfilling for me. Helping the community gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Kirl said. “This project will encourage people to utilize the library to its fullest extent.”
Applications for participation in this year’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program are currently available on the Foundation’s web site.
Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a residential faith-based Tier I institution with four colleges offering 35 undergraduate degrees and a master of education degree to students from 28 states and 14 nations. To learn more about the university, visit www.ovu.edu.