Talking History

This article was written by our fabulous Circulation Assistant, Sharon. Read on to learn about her love of history and our town.

I have always loved history. As a young child, family gatherings would often end up with me sitting on the periphery of adult conversations, listening to stories about their childhood. As I look back, I realize these stories gave me such insight into the lives of my parents. I have a clearer picture of who they are because I understand where they came from and how they lived their formative years.

Twenty years of military moves gave me wonderful opportunities to learn about the history of our nation, and a few spots in Europe, as well. It isn’t that I hadn’t read about many of these places in books, but actually being there and seeing these places and talking to locals was quite a difference experience altogether. My perspectives came into sharper focus.

Because of this love I have for learning about the past, I was thrilled when our library, in a joint venture with the O’Fallon History Museum, established a History Portal display. This was created to share about our local history and events that shaped our town. The History Museum is located at 101 W. State street in downtown O’Fallon. The building started as a bank, then served as a library before becoming home to the museum, which contains wonderful information and artifacts pertaining to our past. The library History Portal provides opportunities for patrons to learn about the town we live in through articles and artifacts, and to take virtual tours and watch video clips with the quick scan of QR codes.

I have had some interesting conversations with patrons who are also history lovers ~ and have learned some fascinating things about O’Fallon and the surrounding area from the creator of our portal, Greg Zelinske. Greg is one of the directors of the Friends of the Library and of the O’Fallon Historical Society. He’s a great source of knowledge if you want to talk history! Also, if you are visiting the second floor, you might enjoy looking at some of the reference materials located by the History Portal. We have a varitey of books pertaining to O’Fallon, the communities around us, and the state of Illinois. We also have O’Fallon High School yearbooks dating back to 1918! 

Our most recent portal display takes us back to 1938…to an event they said could never happen. But it did! Are you curious? Stop by and visit the History Portal on the second floor. Come by and see me if you want to “talk history.” I’m always ready for a good story about days gone by!

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