History tapes will be available

Audio recordings of the Valley's history will be available to the public in the spring.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Tom Howe's dog that was lost between Vermont and Youngstown and then found, horse races along the frozen Mahoning River, and John Young and the founding of Youngstown are among the stories recounted on 139 audio tapes of the radio program "Tales of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys."
The tapes are on permanent loan to the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County from the Industrial Information Institute for Education Inc.
Tim Seman, genealogy and local history librarian, is preparing the audio tapes so the public can use them. He wants to make copies the public can use, and also make archive copies on CD-ROM, he said.
The 15-minute programs were produced in the 1950s and broadcast on local radio, Seman said.
Library officials were to accept the donation of the permanent loan from Institute officials this morning. Dale Foerster, Institute director; and Garry Mrozek, Michael Heher and Rob Gardner, Institute board members, were to be on hand for the presentation.
The collection consists of 193 audiocassette tapes featuring dramatizations of historical happenings in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys. These performances, which were produced by the Institute and broadcast throughout the 1950s and again in 1976 during the U.S. bicentennial celebration, describe many of the events and people that made history in the community during the 18th and 19th centuries.
What happened
Foerster said the permanent loan to the library came about because she had the tapes in her office and was searching for the radio show transcripts. About the same time, Seman came across the transcripts in the library archives and wondered where the audio tapes were.
"He called out of the blue and asked me if I knew where the tapes were, and I said, 'Right here on my desk,'" Foerster said.
Seman expects the audio cassettes will be available to the public as a noncirculating resource at the main library in the spring.
Foerster noted all the Institute's activities are underwritten by board members and sponsor companies.
The Industrial Information Institute for Education Inc. at One University Plaza was founded in 1947 to carry the story of free enterprise to the people of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys. The Institute was a pioneer in the field of community economic education. Today it continues as the area's primary economic education agency.
Institute programs facilitate and encourage career education, science education and the caliber of general education in area schools that young people will need for employment in the 21st century.