The Wyoming County Historical Society hopes to reach a wider audience through Facebook.
“We’re really trying to involve people in the society and this is just one more way to do it,” said Janice McClintock, one of the organization’s volunteers.
McClintock, who grew up in Mehoopany but now lives in Bloomsburg, already managed the society’s website and Pinterest. Knowing a lot of people already use the platform to share local history, she had been wanting to get the historical society on Facebook for some time.
With the COVID-19 situation keeping the historical society closed to the public until further notice, she figured it could also keep people connected to it.
Through the page, she hopes to post and share items of interest to both members and nonmembers. For example, recent posts on the page include an article about Factoryville-born baseball legend Christy Mathewson and a “mystery photo” of two children pulled from a collection at the society.
“We want to put out there some of the great benefits of becoming a member of the society and visiting the museum and research library in Tunkhannock,” she said. “It’s a great local society.”
McClintock said the historical society can always use more volunteers to “save the items that are precious to our history and help educate the future.”
Mark Mitchell, chair of the organization’s board of trustees, agreed that launching a Facebook page could let people know what the historical society has to offer. With this knowledge, he said people may even come up with new ideas for the society.
“We’re always open to suggestions on how we can better do our job,” he said.
The historical society has been closed since March in compliance with directives from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office. This has resulted in a loss of revenue, but Mitchell said it hasn’t been severe. The society always appreciates monetary donations.
“The only people using the society have been our regular volunteers, and they of course observe all the protocols of hand sanitizing, social distancing, and face masks,” Mitchell said.
When the board met earlier this month, members agreed to keep the historical society closed to the public for now.
“We’re an all-volunteer organization and many of our members are within the age group considered more susceptible to the virus,” he said. “We wouldn’t want to jeopardize any of their health in opening too soon.”
When the board meets again in the fall, they will reevaluate. Come September, Mitchell said it’s a strong possibility that the historical society will reopen by appointment only.