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Karen M. Chobot, the Director of the Mildred Johnson Library at the North Dakota State College of Science recently shared her library’s event on our project listserv. Her event was a powerful–and painful–learning experience that will undoubtedly remain with her students for some time. We’re pleased and honored that the Mildred Johnson Library is participating once again in the project, and we’re happy to share Karen’s reflections, below:

This year we were lucky enough to schedule a visit from the BUS-eum of the TRACES museum in St. Paul, which visited the campus on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The TRACES museum focuses on events of World War II that have an impact on the people of the Midwest. This year’s traveling bus exhibit concerned the Nazi Prisoners of War, almost 400,000 prisoners who were housed in camps across the entire country. Only 3 of the camps were in North Dakota.

Given the current situation with Prisoners of War, the exhibit was timely and thought-provoking. Almost every one of the students who came to view the exhibit was unaware that we even housed Nazi prisoners in this country, although most of the older staff and public who came did so because they knew of the camps. Some even had relatives who worked in one of the camps in this state.Unfortunately, the TRACES museum is a victim of funding shortages and will probably close in November, though they hope to keep the website open and the Bus traveling, maybe even to Germany next year. Here is the URL: http://www.traces.org/

I now have a window display about the Prisoners, with information from the Bus, as well as some of our books on Nazi prisoners. In addition, my September Project exhibits focus on, as usual, Constitution Day and Banned Books/Freedom to Read. I always hope I can do more, but we have continual funding and staffing issues which make large events impossible.

Reading about everyone’s plans is fascinating and gave me a couple of ideas for other exhibits to do, particularly on voting and electing a president! Thanks for keeping us informed about everyone’s plans, and I hope the Project continues to grow.”

We love reading about the events, too, Karen, and each year we’re inspired by the creativity of the events and the dedication of those who put it all together. Thanks for sharing your event with us, Karen!

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