In the age of the Internet, online library catalogs and now social media very few of us can remember the days when libraries used card catalogs as the sole means of organizing and accessing information. The “digital library” has begun to replace the library of borrowing slips and index cards, but that doesn’t mean that those index cards and card catalogs still can’t have a place in today’s modern repositories. One such collection of invaluable index cards can be found at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL), the collection known as the Piper Philatelic Index (PPI) or the Piper File for short.
Here in Central Pennsylvania we are fortunate to have such an active and enthusiastic community of students groups and organizations that express an interest in volunteering in the local region and more recently at the APS and the APRL. One of these student groups was here this weekend volunteering at the APS for the first time, the Penn State Hillel BKind student organization.
As National Library Week draws to a close with its message of “Libraries Lead”, we look at the global reach of the APRL for collectors and researchers from around the world. Much of the research and reference work done on a daily basis at the APRL is often performed for remote users and patrons, some here in the U.S., others internationally. In the age of the internet, email and social media, the ability to share and access the resources of the APRL has now become worldwide. Researchers regularly contact the library remotely for their research needs.
As today marks the penultimate day of National Library Week we explore the relationship between philatelic authors and the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL). Libraries like the APRL take the lead in assisting writers in the world of philatelic research and journalism to the many different types of resources and references that they need for their columns and articles. Some authors want to discover what previous research has been done on a particular stamp or philatelic item, while other writers look to the resources of the APRL for a very specific reference or fact.
One of the real strengths of the collection here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) is the breadth and scope of the resources that are available for not only the general collector but also the highly specialized philatelist. As we celebrate National Library Week and this year’s motto of “Libraries Lead” we are reminded of how the APRL leads specialized collectors and researchers to the resources they use in their collections and research.
One of the lesser known assets within the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) is one of the largest collections of worldwide philatelic auction catalogs and names sales. Researchers often consult auction catalogs to identify certain philatelic items as to their value over time or to see items that, if it were not for philatelic auctions, might not have been previously available for public viewing. Auction catalogs provide a history to the commerce of the philatelic world for both the hobbyist and the serious philatelist.
Yesterday as part of National Library Week and this year’s motto “Libraries Lead” we recognized the important role that the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) plays in assisting a philatelic exhibit judge. Today we look a little further at this unique relationship of the APRL and exhibiting from the perspective of another distinguished philatelic judge as well as a renowned philatelic exhibitor. Both appreciate the important function the library plays in leading them to the resources they require for their different roles in the world of philatelic exhibiting.
This week as we celebrate National Library Week with its motto “Libraries Lead” we recognize the role that libraries like the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) play in “leading” a varied group of researchers and collectors to the philatelic resources and research needed for their enjoyment and enrichment of the hobby.
As part of a national celebration and recognition of libraries and librarians, today begins a very special week here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL). Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), today marks the start of the 60th anniversary of National Library Week (April 8-14). First observed in 1958, the annual event recognizes the important contributions that libraries and librarians across the country play in their role as organizers and facilitators of knowledge, resources and research.
Today was another day for volunteering at the APRL! A student group from the Penn State Circle K Club, a collegiate service organization sponsored by Kiwanis International, spent part of their weekend with us here in the library.
Eight volunteers, two of whom had volunteered at the APRL in the past, spent several hours at the Match Factory. The students spent their time packaging stamps for use in the Education Department and the Gift Shop. One group of four students packaged mint stamps for use by the Gift Shop as courtesy items, while another group of four packaged used issues that will be part of our educational programs directed at outreach.