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Exhibit educates public on Ohio’s forest resources

July 2, 2017
Exhibit educates public on Ohio’s forest resources

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2017 edition of CFAES Monthly.

Building Ohio State:  From Forest to the Renovation of the Thompson Library was among the most popular exhibits presented by the Ohio State University Libraries, said a library official. On display through May 14, the exhibit examined the past, present and future of Ohio’s forest resources and told the story of the unique connection and history shared between The Ohio State University and Ohio’s forests.

“The final visitor count was 1,732. This makes Building Ohio State the third highest attended exhibition out of the past four years,” said Ken Aschliman, exhibitions coordinator for the University Libraries. 

“This exhibition was special for us because it was the first exhibition where the spark came from outside the University Libraries. By working with community partners and partners across the university, the project brought a lot attention to the history of Ohio’s forests, the history of OSU, and the recent renovation of Thompson Library.”

The exhibit featured interactive opportunities to learn about Ohio’s forest resources, showed examples of forest products, and highlighted sustainable forest management and its continuing role in education, sustainability and economic development in the state of Ohio. 

It also brought awards to several people. Mark Ervin, with the Ohio Society of American Foresters (OSAF), received the “Communicator of the Year” award from the organization. OSAF also honored Florian Diekmann, college librarian, with the “Outstanding Contribution to Forestry from Outside the Profession” award. Kathy Smith, forestry program director, was awarded the “Outstanding Individual in Conservation Education Award” by the Ohio Forestry Association for her work on the exhibit (among other things). 

This exhibition was organized by The Ohio State University Libraries and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) in collaboration with the Ohio Society of American Foresters, the Ohio Forestry Association, the Ohio Tree Farm Committee, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.

“The extraordinary collaboration of this team combined libraries expertise in information resources and exhibit design with CFAES and the forestry community’s capacity for storytelling around how Ohio State research advances sustainable practices and economic development for the state of Ohio,” noted Lisa Carter, Ohio State University Libraries’ Associate Director for Special Collections and Area Studies.

“This exhibit was the perfect nexus to tell Ohio State’s land-grant story and showcase the Thompson Library as a fine example of its application,” Carter said. “This partnership will serve as a model for us as our librarians work with faculty and staff across campus to connect deeply with our community and people across the state.”

 “I am so delighted that the University Libraries allowed us this opportunity to honor Ohio’s Forest and Wood products industry and it was great to see our industry partners and stakeholders active engagement with this exhibit,” said Jeff Sharp, director of the School of Environment and Natural Resources. The school is part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

“The library’s beautiful white oak is further enriched though our deeper understanding of that woods origin,” Sharp said. “I look forward to Ohio State University continuing to work with the timber industry to enhance this significant Ohio resource.”

To learn more about the exhibit and view videos on Building Ohio State visit