Federal Librarian,Vol. 29, No. 2, Winter 2011

federal librarian winter 2011


Greetings From the President
Library System on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
A Joint Base Librarian
FAFLRT Board Meeting September 8, 2010 via conference call
FLICC 2009 Annual Awards for Federal Librarianship — October 5, 2010
Interview with Wayne Rowe, Librarian and Civil War Reenactor

Greetings From the President    

Remembering our Veterans

I am writing my winter greetings the day before Veterans Day and as I type these words my colleagues at the Veterans History Project (VHP) of the American Folklife Center are interviewing and gathering archival items of interest from veterans who are visiting the Library of Congress as part of “Take a Veteran to Work Day.” I truly hope that “Take a Veteran to Work Day” is an enormous success and that members of the FAFLRT community were able to visit LC with a friend or loved one who has served in the armed forces.

We are entering the holiday season. Holidays are a time for us to focus on the things which matter most — family, friends and creating lifelong memories. What better way is there to recognize and 3534support U.S. veterans than by collecting and preserving those memories so that they may last even longer than a lifetime? The VHP exists to do just that. During the holidays and beyond, you may volunteer to record veterans’ interviews or to collect original wartime photos, diaries, and other documents, and submit them to the Project for posterity.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Project’s congressional mandate to collect, preserve and make accessible the wartime stories of America’s veterans who served from World War I through the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, the Librarian of Congress Dr. James H. Billington launched a pledge campaign asking all Americans to record the story of at least one veteran and submit it to VHP where it will be housed at the Library of Congress forever. A 60-second public service announcement on the pledge campaign may be viewed at www.YouTube.com/loc

VHP Director Bob Patrick informed me that “We are especially interested in receiving collections from veterans who served in roles often overlooked when war stories are being told. This is why we are reaching out to FAFLRT members asking them to pledge to interview former military librarians so that their intriguing accounts may be included in our archive.”

Of the more than 70,000 collections already donated to VHP one of them is that of Peter Young, Vietnam veteran, former Director of the National Agricultural Library and current Chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress. Young was drafted to serve and ended up performing duties as a librarian for an infantry division in Vietnam. During his video-recorded interview, Young reflects on his military service and shares his candid views on war. You can review the type of information collected by the VHP and listen to the fascinating interview with Young by going to the following URL: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/66648. To find out more about how you or a loved one can share a story visit www.loc.gov/vets or call 1-888-371-5848.

I have invited staff of the VHP to come to the FAFLRT membership meeting that will be held on Sunday, January 9th from 10:30 to noon in San Diego. Please check the ALA Program for the location of the meeting. Our VHP colleagues will give a short presentation on the Project. There will be more than enough time for you to ask questions. I will send the complete agenda for the membership meeting to the FAFLRT list in December. I hope you can come. In addition to the membership meeting, we will also host the very successful Careers in Federal Libraries Preconference on Friday, January 7th from 9:00 to 3:00. We expect a very large turnout for the preconference given the current economic situation.

I conclude by asking you to think about how you or your library can participate in the Veterans History Project. You will be doing a great service for the nation if you can assist the VHP build its collections of amazing stories of courage and valor of our veterans of foreign wars.

Karl Debus López with input from Lisa Taylor, Veterans History Project

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Library System on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst    

“What is more important in a library than anything else — than everything else — is the fact that it exists”. – Archibald MacLeish.

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst library staff wanted to make sure that libraries existed throughout the joint base. And now they do.

Within the past year, a single operation library on the McGuire side of the base has become a “library system” with the opening of a satellite library at the SFAC center on Ft. Dix and the expansion the book swap at Cyber Café on Lakehurst Naval Air Station to a center of full services. The three libraries now share materials and resources, and serve a 65-square-mile behemoth stretching through farmland and forests and flight lines, and offering books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, paperbacks, and electronic readers to Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines.

Weekly, library employees travel to each site, loading cars with library materials and supplies. The outreach library staff member works at each satellite library one or two days a week, performing all the same functions to get materials into the patrons’ hands. They also implement and track services that initiate at the main branch located on McGuire, and then are delivered to the outreach sites weekly. Any member of the joint base community can use any or all of the three libraries as long as they have registered for a library privilege, using their base ID — military, civilian, dependent, or retiree.

Each library has its own needs and requests. The library services at the SFAC Center are tailored to assist the wounded warriors with materials that would help them with rehabilitation, transition, pursuit of educational venues, enhancement of job skills and dealing with employment issues. The library also provides this population with special services equipment and items that facilitate reading — CCTV — a monitor enlarging print; audio streaming computer — “text to voice” service that reads magazines and newspapers aloud; LARGE PRINT BOOKS.

Lakehurst already had a “paperback swap” in their lively Cyber Café. Now their shelves will house bestsellers, educational materials, gaming selections and non-fiction requests, Playaways, and DVDs. Children’s books will also be provided to the CDC facility.

In keeping with the library’s commitment to offer the broadest scope of services throughout the tri-base communities, the library has already hosted author talks and programs at both outreach centers and will continue with new presentations this coming year. A partnership with BURLINGTON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM has been initiated and arrangements for the county bookmobile to operate bi-weekly in the family housing area of Falcon Court North is now underway . This mobile library offers the military community over 1,000,000 more resources, including books, CDs and movies from 23 branches.

The goal of the Joint Base library system is to keep accessing the needs of each operation and address them accordingly. Customer service is the primary mission. As the main library pursues new collections and programs the outreach sites will now always be part of the considerations.

Though a library system “in progress”, the system works. The library staff is pleasantly challenged by the development of this new ‘system” and the personnel at both outreach sites have been as enthusiastic and supportive as the patrons themselves. As this joint base library concept emerges, so do the ideas and activity levels of the involved staff. Base awareness of these services is growing and the library staff is developing procedures and policies that are tailored to each center’s needs, yet can be applied throughout the system for continuity and smooth execution of customer service.

“Libraries are not made; they grow.” – Augustine Birrell

And, yes… the Joint Base Library will continue to grow.

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A Joint Base Librarian    

The military librarian is perhaps the most under-rated information resource in the culture of information specialists. The title is a misnomer in that the majority of military librarians are NOT military personnel. Although some may be former military, most have degrees as public librarians or information specialists and the addition of the military title comes with the acquisition of a job in a military venue. Military librarians provide not only mission support for military personnel, but educational support for the warriors and their families, for the base civilians, for base contractors, for reservists, for retirees; and they {librarians} offer “quality of life” materials and services for entire base communities. Unlike many federal librarians, military librarians serve very defined populations. Although all of these populations may at some point in time use a federal library, the military library is funded and operated to focus on the mission of the base, not the scope of federal information needs of the American people.

A Joint Base military librarian is now a whole new genre of specialist that has spawned from the DOD mandate of BRAC closures and mergers. Army bases and Air Force bases are now co-joined at the tarmac, and Navy bases are docked at their sandlots. Base government, civilian and military operations, and facilities now share place, space, and interface with grace.

So the military librarian on a joint base now has to think “multiple branches of the services and multiple branches of libraries”. The singular information service for one warrior department is now focused on the needs and requirements of multiple war departments. Although the nucleus of all military service is the same “mission”, the regulations and “splitting of the atoms” falls into very different services. Army reading requirements for PME is different than Air Force, as are the educational requirements for each branch. Children’s materials are not included in base library budgets so all children’s books and items are acquired through donations or grants. Navy regulations do not mandate a library on a Navy base. Army and AF regulations do. But on a joint base, all branches are considered equal, with the “lead” military branch for the base having the “tie-breaker” decision authority.

So, joint base librarians have to re-program their thinking. They need to address new integrated or initiated policies, understand additional streams of funding, accept cancelled traditions, employ new service procedures, solicit required needs, and establish new processes for meeting the customer’s needs. They must also constantly bear in mind that their patrons’ needs are mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. The library offerings and services must be wrapped in flexibility to be served in a mobile format. For pilots flying for 6 weeks TDY, a 21 day checkout does not suffice. For reservists who entitled to services only when they are active, circulation policies must differ in terms of and retrieval of materials and updated patron information.

Collection development must address “air, sea, and land” missions. Joint Base Librarians must look at the big picture; see where requirements and preferences overlap among the base community needs and consider the unique standards that each military branch brings to the buffet of library services. Collections and programs must consider all ranks and all branches, all equally. The only common aspect must be the customer service relations.

The physical and emotional environment of a joint base library must also set the tone for integration with military distinctions. The librarian needs to create a visual learning facility that reflects an overall “defense and warrior” image, yet suggests the unique characteristics of each military branch – common military colors, art depicting uniforms and symbols from each branch, replicas of air, land, and sea equipment and materials, portraits of battle heroes. A good joint base librarian will also employ customer service and program practices that are a mix of all war department traditions. .. little of the navy here… a bit of the army at this counter…a tidbit used by the marines right over there.

As challenging as this librarian role is, the biggest deficiency affecting this unique library position is the lack of preparation of any librarian to be a military librarian and then become a joint base librarian. Though not a new concept, joint basing is a new implementation resulting from a mandate from the DOD. Librarians were not trained, educated, acclimated to perform in this new venue. We adapt and “learn as we go”. But the government needs to see the joint base librarian as a new role and construct curriculums, OPMs, and job descriptions to produce a trained professional that meets the new criteria and customer service demands.

Beyond her own set of challenges in serving as a joint base librarian with no “benchmark” to mentor her, the librarian must also prepare her staff for these new approaches and perceptions. The entire library staff needs to be exposed to ranks, verbiages, clothing, and mission foci. Employees in a joint base library have to see the operation as an overall military activity. Rank and branch stop at the front door. The service must be offered to a “family” with common goals, emanating from “brothers of war” with unique personalities.

Like every other profession that emerged from necessity, the joint base librarian has been born. She has been brought into the information world to serve a military culture. She needs to be nurtured with DOD direction, warrior menus, open mindedness, and a penchant for adaptability. She needs to be trained to address the needs of military community. She should be recognized as a library specialist, someone who transforms a resource role into a professional in data dissemination within and among war department communities.

Submitted by Mimi Cirillo

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FAFLRT Board Meeting September 8, 2010 via conference call    

Attending: Jane Killian, Erica Stiner, Karl Debus-Lopez, Richard Huffine, Vicky Crone, Lucille Rosa, Kim Lyall,

Review of the minutes from ALA meeting in June. Correction of Erica’s name in one location. Approval of the minutes:

Treasurer’s Report: We’re over $15,000 in the black. As of July 31, 2010 $15,706.00. Thanks to Richard for fundraising. Debits from ALA in June. Richard has receipts for the brochures that will need to be paid and it doesn’t look like the catering bill has hit yet. September 15, 2010 the Midwinter registration will open and will close by September 27, 2010. We’ll be booking a room for the Board meeting and the Careers in Federal Libraries preconference. We normally meet on Sunday morning. Kim and Erica would like to join virtually, if possible. Jane suggested we do it on Friday virtually with a WebEx, etc. We could always meet after ALA at another time and via conference call. If the majority of folks cannot be in San Diego, we may save time and money by doing it a week later via conference call. We could have a Membership Meeting in lieu of a Board meeting. Concern that this may be a poorly attended Midwinter Conference in general. Karl will reserve a room for a generic FAFLRT meeting in San Diego that we may or may not use for a Membership meeting. We will definitely have a FAFLRT Board meeting after ALA Midwinter. Karl asked about the size of Careers in Federal Libraries. Richard recommended planning for 120 people and a budget of about $1,200. He hasn’t been able to confirm a sponsor but is still working on that. Karl will confirm with Nancy Faget about the size and set-up of the room. Karl asked about other obligations during the Midwinter Meeting: Membership Pavilion Booth; New Members Round Table — Karl will check with Eileen Welch and Kim will check with NMRT. Richard has copies of the FAFLRT Brochure if it is needed. We can have a meeting in late October/early November to talk about what a membership meeting would look like for the Round Table. We could just do an open session to talk to the membership.

Nominating Committee: Last year we got information at the very last minute about getting our slate together. The deadline will be February 2, 2011. We will need nominations next year for Vice-President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Armed Forces and Federal Directors. Helen Sherman has volunteered to chair the Nominating Committee for 2011. Richard will be on the Committee. Karl will request a Membership List from Roz and the two will begin their work soon.

ALA Annual 2011: Deadline is February 14 for programming submissions. We should get ideas from the membership and have a good group of programs for both Armed Forces and Federal Libraries. Ideas from the group:

Grooming staff within the Federal workforce: moving up; moving on; diversifying; breaking out of the mold. Fedlink HR workgroup does something like that annually. Helen Sherman could coordinate with them. Also address changes in the Federal hiring process. Vicky can approach Helen about that.

Grey Literature in the Digital Age: how is government publishing changing today? Richard could coordinate that.

Armed Forces Librarianship Today: Things affecting librarianship in the Armed Forces today. Erica Stiner and Lucille Rosa will think about the topic and come up with something. Naval Postgraduate School; Army Libraries; installation libraries, etc.Solicit input from the membership on programming for 2011. Karl will craft a message to the membership and contact Rose Marie Krauss about her participation for New Orleans.

Rising Stars Program (Kim Lyall): Nancy approached Kim about crafting a program/effort to involve more members and recognize FAFLRT members that are up and coming in our profession. They could start as profiles in the newsletter and expand as the interest grew. There are questions about “new” versus “young” and the definition of “rising.” The idea is to focus on folks that are new to the profession or new to serving Federal and Armed Forces Libraries. We could define new as within 5 years of starting in libraries. Kim will draft a solicitation to see who wants to be profiled. The deadline for the newsletter is September 15, 2010. It would be nice if we had a more firm deadline for newsletter content and an expectation for its delivery. Richard will reach out to Jane to get the schedules for the rest of the year (2010-2011).

ASCLA/FAFLRT: ASCLA has suggested merging the Division with our Round Table. Diane Reese suggested forming a committee of the two groups to get together to discuss the merger. Karl has been uncertain about the value of this idea. Being part of a Division has some benefits but there isn’t much overlap and being subsumed by another group could reduce our visibility. Should we consider this? Should we select a committee of Board members to participate in a joint review across the groups? There was not a lot of interest in pursuing this from the FAFLRT Board in attendance. Karl will contact Diane and tell her that we are not interested at this time, unless she has a more firm proposal that we can consider.

Bylaws Review: Should we review our Bylaws? We need to review the bylaws to ensure that any outdated language is removed. Lucille – it should be on the ballot at the same time as elections. Vicky Crone will contact Fran Perros about convening a committee. Newsletter submissions: if we can have a plan for the year, we can work as a Board to get content for the Newsletter.

FAFLRT Communications: not using our Blog; not using ALA 2011Connect; periodically use the listserv — should have a strategy for member communications? There are also Twitter and Facebook accounts. Kim will check with Nancy on the status of all of our various communication accounts. At our next meeting we will discuss which we should maintain.

Membership Committee: We don’t have one and we need to address that. The Chair can appoint someone to head that committee to track our membership and encourage people to join our Round Table. Erica would like to spearhead that. Richard will help.

Books for Troops: We can talk about that later or Karl will send an email out.

The group adjourned at 4:03 p.m.

We’ll meet again in November.

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Fabulous Feds    

Ms. Lucille Rosa, Naval War College Library, Newport, RI has been named to Who’s Who in 2011 edition.

Ms. Trudie Root joined the staff of the Army Library Program (ALP) on Tuesday, 12 October 2010. She will be responsible for ACTEDS Competitive Professional Development, METRICS, public and AKO websites, and general support for the ALP. Trudie has served as Serials Acquisitions Librarian/Instructor at Eastern Michigan University Library; managed the Pinellas Park (FL) Juvenile Welfare Board Library; directed the Pinellas County Law Libraries; and was Head, Technical Services, Dunedin Public Library before joining the Pentagon Library staff in June 2004. She brings a wealth of library experience and skills to the Army Library Program

Mike Colarusso is now the Public Services Librarian at USAG Baumholder FMWR Library, Germany. He’s very happy to be supporting the 170th IBCT as they prepare for deployment and recently assisted the Baumholder Library in its relocation to a larger facility on Smith Barracks. He has been a FAFLRT member for three years and is Co-Editor, Federal Librarian (online). His previous library assignments include Kaiserslautern Main Library, Germany and Barr Memorial Library at Fort Knox, KY. Mr. Colarusso received his MSLS from Clarion University of PA in 2007.

Cherie Givens JD, PhD has joined the U.S. Government Printing Office as an Assessment Specialist and Outreach Librarian. Prior to joining the GPO Cherie worked as an online lecturer for San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science while completing her PhD in Library, Archival, and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Mary Ellen Haug, George C. Marshall Center Research Library, Garmisch, Germany was presented the Commanders Award for Civilian Service on 18 October 2010. She was recognized for her performance during the period August 25, 2002 through October 24, 2010, for consistently demonstrating superior accomplishments and outstanding performance. Upon her assignment to the Marshall Center Library in 2002, she quickly became familiar with the mission and information needs of the Center and was instrumental in initiating a wide variety of new customer services and streamlined processes within the Research Library. Mary Ellen embarked on a series of circulation, interlibrary loan, acquisition, and serials management enhancements. She demonstrated a thirst for learning and self-improvement and was actively engaged in educational endeavors, online training and volunteering to support a wide variety of Marshall Center activities. She excelled in a multi-cultural, multi-language environment and was the consummate “team player”. Mary Ellen accepted a position in Portland with the Army Corps of Engineers where she is the director of the Technical Library. We wish her the best in her new job. She can be reached at maryellen.y.haug@usace.army.mil.

Tom Lynch has been promoted to fill the librarian position vacated by Mary Ellen Haug. Tom arrived at the Marshall Center Research Library in July 2009 having previously worked at the Library of the Marine Corps, Marine Corps University, Quantico VA. He has been an outstanding addition to the Library Team and is able to provide customer service in English, German and Russian!! Tom looks forwards to meeting y’all for coffee at future Military Libraries gatherings!

Michael G. Arden, has resumed the position of Audiovisual Librarian at the United States Military Academy at West Point after leaving a five year position as Systems Librarian at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan.

Kari Anderson has joined the staff at the Joint Forces Staff College’s Ike Skelton Library, Norfolk, VA as Chief, Reader Services, with responsibility for the reference and circulation functions. She was previously with The LAC Group, where she managed contracts for library services in a number of federal libraries. Prior positions include Information & Access Services Librarian at Mary Washington College and Librarian for the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington DC. Kari is a member of both ALA and SLA.

Carolly Struck, Medical Library East Campus, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Great Lake, IL retired 30 November 2010 after 35 years of federal service.

Belinda Pugh, formerly Library Director at Marine Corps Air Station Library, Iwakuni Japan has been selected as Reference Librarian at Tyndall AFB library, Panama City, FL

Cynthia Shipley

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FLICC 2009 Annual Awards for Federal Librarianship — October 5, 2010    

The Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) has announced the winners of its national awards for federal librarianship, which recognize the many innovative ways that federal libraries, librarians and library technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business and scholarly communities and the American public.

FLICC will honor the award winners at the 2010 Fall FEDLINK membership meeting on Oct. 6, 2010, at the Library of Congress in Washington, where the winners will receive their awards from Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. The names of the winners will remain on permanent display in the FLICC offices at the Library of Congress.

Federal libraries and staff throughout the United States and abroad competed in three award categories. The winners are listed below.

2009 Federal Library/Information Center of the Year

Large Library/Information Center (with a staff of 11 or more federal and/or contract employees): National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library, Bethesda, Md., is recognized for its leadership role in the “green” initiative at NIH, serving as a role model for green procurement and environmental stewardship with the opening on Earth Day 2009 of its Green Terrace, a fully-sustainable space. The Terrace and a new “green” Information Commons provide a mix of quiet study and interactive social spaces. The library also expanded its “informationist,” or embedded librarian program into the laboratory setting with the introduction of its bioinformatics training and consultation service. NIH library informationists provide research support to more than 40 research teams and programs for 16 NIH institutes and centers. Of special note is their donation of 5,000 linear feet of medical journals, already held in trusted digital archives, to help rebuild the collections of the University of Baghdad Medical School.

Small Library/Information Center (with a staff of 10 or fewer federal and/or contract employees): Gorgas Memorial Library, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, Md., is recognized for its 2009 implementation of a citation database and citation management system for its Silver Spring Lab and six overseas labs. Using this licensed data, librarians create innovative products such as publication strategies and research impact analyses on each organization’s malaria and dengue research. Librarians also developed publication and citation metrics for the organization’s Balanced Scorecard which improve bench scientists’ workflow, facilitating discovery and citations for future manuscripts, and identifying mission success. Customers indicated high satisfaction for new and already established information services which are instrumental for researchers and ultimately preserve the fighting strength of marines, sailors and soldiers and their early return to duty.

2009 Federal Librarian of the Year

Eleanor S. Uhlinger, University Librarian, Naval Postgraduate School/Dudley Knox Library, Monterey, Calif., is recognized as a transformational leader who championed the need for the library to be involved in all levels of accreditation, curriculum and program reviews. In 2009, she oversaw library renovations to create a combination of quiet and collaborative spaces with technology to enhance learning. Physical and virtual enhancements, coupled with her patron-friendly focus and promotion of staff initiatives, resulted in double-digit increases in in-person reference requests, interlibrary loan and reserve item circulation, with only a limited increase in library expenditures. Uhlinger’s emphasis on assessment, metrics, budget oversight and improved efficiency, combined with her commitment to the collection, preservation and access to the school’s research, publications and history, made the Dudley Knox Library more proactive in serving the current and emerging needs of the faculty, students, staff and alumni of the Naval Postgraduate School.

2009 Federal Library Technician of the Year

Gary B. Baker, Library Technician, Army Counterintelligence Center, Ft. Meade, Md., is recognized for single-handedly operating the center’s library, managing and cataloging its collections remotely as a result of a 2006 facility fire, and laying the groundwork for a physical map collection. In 2009, he cataloged 2,600 items, created 229 bibliographies in addition to collecting more than 2,000 other bibliographies from the Library of Congress and other sources, and relabeled and repaired more than 1,000 volumes. Baker actively promoted library services and access to materials and supported its patrons without the benefits of a physical library space.

For the latest information on the awards, interested parties may refer to the FLICC website, www.loc.gov/flicc/awards.html.

The Federal Library and Information Center Committee fosters excellence in federal library and information services through interagency cooperation, and provides guidance and direction for the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK). Created in 1965 and headquartered at the Library of Congress, FLICC also makes recommendations on federal library and information policies, programs and procedures to federal agencies and to others concerned with libraries and information centers.

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Interview with Wayne Rowe, Librarian and Civil War Reenactor    

Lucille: Wayne, you are a Librarian at the Naval War College, a retired Navy Commander, a Civil War Re-enactor and you teach a course on the Civil War here at the NWC. How did you get interested in the Civil War?

Wayne: 1961 was a pivotal year, it was the start of the centennial (100th Anniversary) celebration for the American Civil War and an eleven year old boy received two books as a Christmas present that would change his life. Who would have guessed that Santa Claus was such a smart guy?

American Heritage — “Naval Battles and Heroes” served as my inspiration to join the Navy. American Heritage — “The Golden Book of the Civil War” was so interesting because of the way it showed the battle maps. Instead of using lines to reflect troops this was a diorama showing positions, buildings and landscape. It made it seem alive to a very young boy who had always played with toy soldiers.

Lucille: How long have you been a reenactor?

Wayne: I’ve love the Civil War since I was eleven, but not until I retired and my children were either off on their own or in college could I expend the time to take up this passion and hobby.

Lucille: Have you actually been to the battlefields?

Wayne: I’ve visited all the major Civil War battlefields on the East Coast and a few more inland.

Purely by accident while on vacation, I saw on a directional map in a Tokyo, Japan zoo/park that there was a monument to President Grant. I was driven to find it, which was no easy task as everything was in Japanese and where the monument was located was completely over grown with scrubs. But I did find it and it commemorated the planting of two trees there by former President Grant and the Emperor while Grant was on his around the world cruise after his presidency.

Lucille: Can you talk about the role you play as a reenactor?

Wayne: I’ve been a reenactor for eleven years starting out as a private and today I am the Commanding Officer of the 1st Company, Richmond Howitzers a Confederate artillery unit.

When I mention to someone I am a Confederate soldier especially in the North I am always asked why. My answer is twofold, the Confederate army was always the underdog and General Robert E. Lee was always one of my heroes for doing so much against all odds. Second, someone has to play the part or you can not have a battle. Besides being a rebel makes it easier on what you can wear as compare to the Union counterparts who are almost “cookie cut look-a-likes.” At least in the reenactment world, it seems to me, that the Confederate units are more “family friendly” and at least of half my unit are women and children and they camp in the same area as we do.

I have built a Web site to coordinate my research and aid in running of my reenactment company. The Web site is: http://1stCoRichmondHowitzers.com.

I am the self appointed historian for my company and since I have no relative who fought in the Civil War, my research involves the Richmond Howitzers. I’ve spent many hours in Historical Society and Library especially in and around Richmond, Va. And held and read many letter, diaries, books and after action reports that after 9 years are finally getting to know who they really are.

Lucille: Do you have any particularly memorable experiences?

Wayne: One of the most rewarding aspects of studying the Civil War is the network of people you meet. I have had picnic lunch at the River View Cemetery sitting under an old oak tree with the great-great-grand daughter of one of the original Richmond Howitzers as she read letters he had written.

Another time I visited Baltimore, MD and visited Josephine who was 97 years young. She was as bright and lucid as one could imagine as she spoke lovingly of her Richmond Howitzer grandfather, not great grandfather, but her grandfather, which is very rare.

Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) are starting to happen and the battles fought in 1861 will be show cased in 2011. The first shots fired in Virginia were fired from Gloucester Point against the federal gunboat Yankee. The Richmond Howitzers was the unit that fired these shots and my unit has been asked to go down to Virginia in May and participate in this anniversary event.

Hanging in my office at home, I have a framed cartoon of a room just filled with Civil War books, flags, swords, etc. This cartoon was drawn for me many years ago by the graphic arts department and its caption says, “How do you tell the difference between a Civil War buff and a Civil War nut.” I have been often labeled the latter.

Lucille Rosa

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