David Osborne on the Library: Genealogy Help, Local History…

David A. Osborne on the Library: “Staff are very cooperative, very knowledgeable, and assist me in any way that they can.”David Osborne

David A. Osborne remembers a time before the library, “Years ago, we did not have the luxury of going to the library. It took years to get a small library. As the population has increased, the library has stepped up to fulfill needs.”

Mr. Osborne uses the library a little differently than you might expect. He is a regular visitor to the Local History Department and a genealogy enthusiast. “I attended a one-night class at the Florence Library. At that class, I found out about the Local History section at the Main Library in Burlington. Because of that I started coming to Burlington 9 years ago. I was impressed.”

“Burlington has a Local History Department made up of different individuals with different responsibilities. Staff are very cooperative, very knowledgeable, and assist me in any way that they can. When I have difficult issues with genealogy, Kaitlin and Hillary find the resources to help me.”

He credits the Local History staff’s community involvement as a major contributor to its success, “When they employed (Local History Coordinator) Bridget to come aboard, she was very involved with the community. She has always partnered with other organizations to bring programs to the community.”

If the Local History Department isn’t partnering with organizations, community members are gracious enough to volunteer, “It is impressive to see the number of volunteers, almost every day that I come in, transcribing old records and doing other things.”

Mr. Osborne notes the other activities available at the library, “The public has noticed that they need more reading and activities for children. In the summertime, the libraries are busy with reading programs all through the county.”

“I’m grateful that people had the foresight to enhance a major library like we have in the county.”


Kaitlin Barber is a Boone County native with an MA in Public History from NKU, and an MLIS from the University of Alabama. She began her work with Local History at BCPL in 2011, as a digitization intern. She is now a Local History Librarian who is grateful for the opportunity to work with members of the community like David A. Osborne.

The Gillespies on the Library: Something for Everyone!

Discover how BCPL customers use the library in this new blog post series.

Avid readers John and Joanne Gillespie, who have been married for 65 years, joined the library when they moved to Florence in 2007. A self-proclaimed lifetime reader, Joanne chooses her books based on the subject. She loves Amish books and Southern historical fiction. John prefers his books action-packed and favors authors like James Patterson, John Grisham and Lee Child. He brought a bit of that action to his real life when he went skydiving last year at 90.

GillespieJohn, 91, really didn’t start reading until after he retired from a long and varied work life. He served in the Navy during World War II from 1943-46 as a gunner’s mate. He worked as a lineman for Cincinnati Bell for almost three years, owned a Mom and Pop store and drove a truck on a local route for 35 years. He has made up for lost time by reading 700 books since retiring. He keeps track of all the books he has read and wants to read in a notebook.

Not to be outdone, Joanne, 89, also keeps a notebook listing what she has read, and it is alphabetized. Even though the couple raised four children, Joanne was never a stay-at-home mother. She worked as a nurse for 50 years at St. Elizabeth in Covington, then spent 17 years as a teacher at the Northern Kentucky Vocational School.

“We couldn’t do without the library,” said Joanne. “We appreciate everything about it. We love the people. We love this branch (Florence).”

“Everyone treats us respectfully,” John added. “The people here are very courteous and helpful. They suggest authors and book series. If they don’t have something, they will get it for you (from another branch or through an interlibrary loan).”

According to Joanne, “There’s something for everyone at the library, no matter what age they are.”


A Circulation Assistant at the Florence Branch, Suzanne Yowler started her career in journalism and public relations. She established her free-lance writing business after her first son was born almost 20 years ago. English was always Suzanne’s best subject and she considers herself a Grammar Queen.