Every ten years, America counts its population to determine where federal dollars should be spent during the next decade. The accuracy of a state’s count impacts how much of that federal pie will flow in. A bad count can cost a state millions of dollars, impacting the funding of necessary services. When America wrapped up its Census 2020 enumeration on October 15, the Census Bureau reported that 99.9% of Oklahomans had been counted, thanks to self-response and Bureau field operations… and LIBRARIES. Read on to see how Oklahoma’s public libraries helped with this year’s count.
America’s libraries were uniquely positioned in 2020 to play their most important role ever in a decennial count of the country’s residents. The U.S. Census Bureau set a high goal for the 2020 effort: 70% of Census self-responses would be online. As dependable providers of internet access, Oklahoma’s public libraries were ready and excited to help their communities get online to complete the Census and assure an accurate count.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries launched a Census website in the fall of 2019 to help libraries and the public stay up-to-date and informed on preparation for the count. ODL appropriated federal dollars from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support Oklahoma libraries’ efforts. The funds were used for a “Get Counted at Your Library” initiative that provided promotional materials for all public libraries. The funding also provided 16 grants to help communities target hard-to-count populations and improve Census responses. The agency held a Census Solutions workshop for libraries and literacy councils to brainstorm ideas on reaching hard-to-count groups, developing grant proposals, and identifying local partners to aid the count.
Immediately after the
Oklahoma Department of Libraries Board of Directors appointed Vicki Sullivan as
the agency’s deputy director on March 1, 2002, Sullivan and her colleagues were
driving down Lincoln Boulevard to go to a celebratory lunch.
When approaching the State
Capitol Building, former ODL Webmanager Michael O’Hasson brought up a story
from Sullivan’s past: while applying for the Deputy Director job at the
Oklahoma Historical Society, word came back to her that one OHS board member
had quipped, “There’ll be a woman as deputy director of this agency when that
capitol has a dome on it!”
While passing the capitol
building in 2002, seeing the long-awaited dome rising above the scaffolding, it
was impossible not to laugh at the irony and the serendipity.
Sullivan officially retired
from state service on October 31, and staff held a reception to thank her for
her long service to the agency and the state. In addition to serving more than
17 years as Deputy, she also headed the Oklahoma Publications Clearinghouse and
the Office of Government Information. In addition to her service at the
Historical Society, she also logged some time at the Department of Human
Services—before embarking on a library career—bringing her total years of
service with the State of Oklahoma to 44.
Many in Oklahoma’s library community celebrate her for another reason. Holmes was a founder and first president of the Friends of the Guthrie Public Library. She also served as a delegate from Guthrie to the 1978 Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Libraries (which led to creation of the statewide friends group, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma) and a delegate from Oklahoma to the 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services.
Melody Kellogg, new director of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL), brings with her a three-decade long portfolio of public service in libraries, state government, local government, and the non-profit sector.
Kellogg was hired by the ODL Board in December to succeed Susan McVey, who retired January 31 after 17 years as director. As the agency’s chief officer, Kellogg will work with ODL staff and Oklahoma’s library community to continue to build and improve library and information services for all Oklahomans.
She is Oklahoma’s fifth State Librarian and State Archivist since ODL was created in 1967 when the State Library merged with the Oklahoma Libraries Commission.
ODL Board Chair Phil Moss said Kellogg’s extensive experience in a variety of public service settings was instrumental in setting her apart during the interviewing process.
“Melody brings a unique combination of backgrounds and skills to ODL,” Moss said. “I think her work as a public servant at both the state and municipal levels will benefit the agency, and her various experiences in libraries are also noteworthy. Plus, she has a passion for libraries and the important services they provide to the state and its communities.”
Kellogg’s public service path began in 1985 when she began a 13-year tenure with the Main Street Program at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. She was promoted to assistant director in 1988 and later led the program as its director.
(This press release may be downloaded in Word of PDF format)
January 14, 2019
Contact:Bill Young 405-522-3562 or 405-370-3750 email@example.com
Department of Libraries Director Announces Retirement
Susan McVey has announced her retirement from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL), effective February 1, after 17 years as State Librarian and State Archivist.
McVey has served as the agency’s fourth director since ODL was created in 1967 when the State Library merged with the Oklahoma Libraries Commission. Prior to appointment as director in 2001, she served six years as deputy director. She also headed the agency’s law and legislative reference division from 1991 to 1995.
A native of Duncan, Oklahoma, McVey received her masters in library science from the University of Texas at Austin, and a masters in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. She was reference librarian and later director at Oklahoma City University’s Dulaney-Browne Library before joining ODL as a legislative reference librarian in 1986.