Talking Books Wins Network Library of the Year Award

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library was recently honored by the National Library Service as the 2015 Network Library of the Year for providing outstanding service to its patrons. Innovative services provided by the library in 2015 include the introduction of duplication on demand for books only available on BARD, Vision Expo, the Summer Reading program for children and young adults, the technology grant that was introduced in 2015, as well as a number of things happening behind the scenes to help improve service to patrons.

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Representatives from the library attended an awards luncheon at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to accept the honor.

You can read the full press release about the award here.


GenCon 2016 for librarians


GenCon is the largest convention for tabletop gaming in all of North America. It has been held in Indianapolis since 2003 and attracts approximately 60,000 attendees.  This year, GenCon will be held August 4-7, 2016 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Many libraries are keen to learn more about tabletop gaming and to incorporate this increasingly popular activity in their library programming. In order to accommodate interested libraries, GenCon will hold a special Trade Day on Wednesday August 3, 2016.  Trade Day will provide “hands-on training to educators, librarians and experienced retailers.”  In order to obtain a Trade Day badge, librarians will need to provide proof of employment.  Library Education Units are available to those who attend.

For more information on Trade Day, visit their site at

#YourStory at Midwestern Roots 2016 Conference

The Midwestern Roots Family History and Genealogy Conference will be held July 15-16, 2016 at the Indianapolis Marriott East. Preconference events take place on July 14. You won’t want to miss this event hosted by the Indiana Historical Society!  This year’s conference is appropriately themed, #YourStory.  The conference is excited to host Jennifer Alford, Jen Baldwin, Lisa Louise Cooke, CeCe Moore, Juliana Szucs, Curt B. Witcher and many more distinguished national, regional, and local speakers!

Midwestern Roots

The opening session on Friday by Curt B. Witcher, Your Story, Our History: The Power and Value of Story, will surely have attendees excited about our place in state and national history.

CeCe Moore will launch the Saturday sessions with her presentation, Telling Stories with DNA from “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”

Pre-conference activities include a variety of workshops offered in addition to research opportunities at any number of local genealogical research facilities including county libraries, area museums, and national organizations. Look for a complete list of facilities on the conference website.

The conference will host more than 30 sessions, many of which will spotlight online resources and changing and emerging technologies that are impacting the way genealogists research their family history. In addition, there will be sessions discussing legal genealogy, DNA, the use of Evernote in genealogy, African-American genealogy, finding female ancestors, how to work your own “genealogical cold case,” “metes and bounds surveys,” treasures at the National Archives, and genealogy and GIS, just to name a few.  You can view the brochure with a complete listing of speakers and sessions here.

Once again, the conference will host the Family History Market and Book Fair, allowing ample time in the schedule to peruse the resources from national, regional, and local history exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall.

Whether your time permits attendance for all three days or just a portion of the conference, you will find a registration option to suit your needs.  Librarians may earn continuing education credits from this conference.

To learn more and to register visit  or call (317) 232-1882.

Register before June 30, 2016 for early registration prices!

Follow @IndianaHistory on Twitter and stay up-to-date on Midwestern Roots with the hashtags #MWR16 and #YourStory.

Alice Winslow Librarian, Genealogy Division

Why Proper Storage is Important

You can find examples of it in any library, including this one: materials damaged by poor storage situations. Many of the treatments I perform on our materials here are due to storage situations imposed by well-meaning librarians of yesteryear who thought they were doing the right thing.


An example of a serial in a magazine file box without a support spacer from inside our stacks, found after less than five minutes of searching.

Last week I treated 88 copies of “IPMA Personnel News”* for this very condition.


Before Treatment: The issues were slumped in an S-curve from being in a magazine file box that was too large for the amount of issues present.

It may seem trivial, but when paper is out of plane like this, it is inevitable that the folds will be damaged if a patron attempts to open the issues. Paper develops a sort of “muscle memory” and cannot easily be convinced to lay flat again, especially after decades spent in the same position. In cases such as this one, simply placing them under weight for a period of time will not convince them to go back into plane.


During Treatment: Issues were individually placed in the lab’s humidity chamber, and after sufficient time, placed in the press to flatten them.


After Treatment: All issues are back in plane.

In cases where we are still collecting a serial and more are expected to arrive and fill the box, I would create a simple spacer out of archival cardboard to hold the issues upright. Since this serial is no longer being actively collected, I will make a regular, custom box to hold them securely.

This blog post was written by Rebecca Shindel, Conservator, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3675 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at

* JK 671 C45 – IPMA Personnel News (1968-1974) – General Collections, Indiana State Library

Shanika Heyward 2009 I-LLID Fellow Follow-up

In 2009, the I-LLID fellowship launched its first co-hort of M.L.S. candidates. The fellowship was funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered through a partnership between the Indiana State Library and IUPUI’s School of Library and Information Science.

Over the next several months we will be including spot lights on past fellows to highlight their personal and professional accomplishments.

ShanikaName: Shanika Heyward

Cohort: Cohort 1

Current Employer: Community Branch Manager, Indianapolis Public Library.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to apply for the fellowship?

I’ve always had a passion to serve and empower others to succeed. I’ve been working at the Indianapolis Public Library since graduating from High School. I started at the Lawrence Branch as a work-student from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Then, I was promoted to Clerk I, promoted to Clerk II, and finally to Clerk III. Then, I transferred to Collection Management Service Area as Receiving/Processing Clerk III to pursue my undergraduate degree. After graduating with my Bachelor Degree my former Manager, Jeanne Gabonay recommended I attend IU SLIS. I applied and was accepted. A few days after being accepted I received an anonymous email to apply for the ILLID’s fellowship.

How did the fellowship help prepare you for your career?

Being a single-parent with limited income and support. The fellowship gave me the support system and the financial resources to succeed. I was able to focus on my studies without worrying about how I was going to pay my bills or purchase textbooks each semester. The camaraderie shared among the fellows, mentors, and Marcia Smith-Woodard provided the wisdom for continual success.

What was your focus while you were working towards your Master’s degree?

I wanted to be a Cataloger. I took all advance cataloging related classes. However, at the time IndyPL was not hiring catalogers.

Describe your career path.

I am looking to advancing my career at IndyPL and/or pursing my PhD in the future.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing a master’s degree in library science?

I would tell them not to wait! Apply now! Study-hard! Enjoy the journey!

Outside of your job, what ways do you stay active in the profession?

I serve on numerous boards: The United Northeast Community Development Corporation; our mission is to Empowering, Engaging and Energizing Communities. And, the Forest Manor Multi-Service Center; our mission is to empowers the lives of our neighbors by offering individuals and families the services and support they need to become self-sufficient.

Have you received any professional or personal awards outside of the fellowship?

  • United North East Community Development Award 2015 • Forest Manor Community 5th Annual Champions Service Award 2014 • Indianapolis Public Library Foundation- Beth Tindel Award 2014 • Community Faith-based Love Award 2014

Google Business & Your Library

Have you noticed how excellent Google has become at handing you the exact information you’re seeking with no need to ever click past the initial search results?  Are you in an unfamiliar town and hungry for pizza?  Just ask Google on your smart phone and you will instantly find the closest Pizza Hut with directions, a phone number, and hours of operation.  How does Google know that information? The business tells them! What about your library?  Does Google know your hours and exact location?  Is the photo it brings up a good one?  If not, you can fix it!  And it’s important to do so because it is the first impression many people have of your library.

When Google first added a photo for the Odon Winkelpleck Public Library, it was taken from the state highway a block away.  It would have shown the back wall of the library if not for the buildings in between.  Instead, it showed the top of an in-ground garage.NotTheLibraryGoogleResults

By clicking on “Is this your business?” I was able to customize the results to show the front of the library, add our hours, and correct the spelling for “Winkelpleck”. I have since become an unofficial Google advocate, encouraging every business or organization I know to claim and customize their Google search result.  It’s free “top of the page” publicity!  And not only free, it’s also good publicity if you take the time to customize it.  In fact, I was recently annoyed by a business that paid to promote their own web page to the top of the search results.  That page was all about how great their product was.  But I was already sold on their product.  What I was seeking was a quickly accessible map link for their location.  How was I going to buy their product if I couldn’t see the Google results with their hours and location so I could visit them while they were open? What comes up when you search for your library in Google?  Every day someone discovers the answer to that question.  You too should know the answer!  During these latter years of my tenure as library director I tried to do a Google search at least once a month to see the top hits.  It was a huge relief when Google offered the ability to correct and customize our Google result page.  I encourage every organization to take advantage of that offer. One more note: I have run across a few businesses/organizations that Google has confused with other entities with a similar name.  If your organization doesn’t have a customized Google result, you can request one at

The Indiana State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Digital Collection

Located in downtown Indianapolis, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is one of the most notable architectural achievements in the Midwest, and is a proud symbol of Indianapolis. Designed and built over a decade starting in the late 1880’s, the structure took a great deal of planning, design work, and eventual labor to implement. Here at the Indiana State Library, we have successfully digitized many of the early reports that details the history of this monument so that patrons and future generations will have easy access to these rare documents. They can be read by clicking here.

First Image

Scene of the cornerstone laying, from the 1889 Report

Second image

The 1887/1888 Biennial report documents some of the monument’s earliest planning phases

Reports from 1887 to 1894 have been digitized and are now available online, in addition to various bulletins regarding architectural competitions from competing artists. They list everything from names, qualifying criteria for successful applicants, projected costs, and illustrations. Many of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Reports needed to undergo conservation treatment by the ISL conservator, Rebecca Shindel, before we commenced digitizing them. Due to their condition, extra preservation work needed to be done to ensure they were not damaged by the scanning process. It is our hope that these digital copies make researching this important aspect of Indianapolis easier and simpler, and without having the risk the condition of the original copies.

Third Image

The cover of one of the Biennial Reports, after conservation work


Check Out SRCS: The Statewide Remote Circulation System

By now, you have hopefully heard of the Indiana State Library’s new initiative, SRCS (pronounced “Circs”). In short, it’s a statewide patron initiated request system that works with a variety of ILS systems.  There are currently 167 libraries across Indiana who are participating in Phase #1 of SRCS’s rollout, with more expected to join during Phase #2 (projected to be late-fall).  SRCS is scheduled to “go live” on August 15, 2016.

To prepare participating libraries for the launch, ISL offered five SRCS trainings throughout the state during the week of May 23. Led by Ruth Castillo of Auto-Graphics (vendor for the SRCS system), these trainings were an intense overview and offered attendees a hands-on opportunity to practice.  Pictured below are a few of the training sessions.

If you work at one of the participating libraries and missed the May trainings, however, never fear! ISL will be offering two more trainings this summer:

  • On Wednesday, June 15th, the training will be held in the Huntington City Township Public Library, 255 West Park Dr., Huntington, IN 46750. Attendance will be capped at 48 people, and attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet so they can follow along with the presenter.
  • On Thursday, June 23rd the training will take place in room B205 at the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, 200 Daniels Way, Bloomington, IN 47404.  This class will be held in a computer lab with a capacity of 24 participants.

Attendees must pre-register in order to attend either of these events and to receive the 4 TLEUs for attending the training.  The registration link will be found on the ISL Continuing Education calendar ( starting on Friday, June 3rd.  Registration will close on Friday, June 10.

Further training dates will be announced as they are scheduled.

For more information on SRCS, visit the website here:

If you have questions, contact Steven Schmidt, Library Development Office, by phone at 317.232.3715 or via email at

This blog post was written by Beth Yates, Professional Development Librarian. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email

Celebrate 100 Years of Indiana State Parks

Processed with MOLDIV

This year marks the centennial for Indiana State Parks. The first state parks in Indiana were McCormick’s Creek and Turkey Run, which opened in December, 1916. Richard Lieber, a German-American businessman and conservationist, had convinced Governor Samuel M. Ralston to initiate the state park program during the state’s centennial. Lieber became known as the father of Indiana State Parks and when he died in 1944 at McCormick’s Creek Canyon Inn, his ashes were buried at Turkey Run with those of his wife, Emma. His papers reside in the Rare Books and Manuscripts collections at the Indiana State Library.

Cave ISL_RBM_P0_Caves_004a

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a number of great events and programs celebrating the centennial, including fitness challenges, free State Park entrance passes for all 4th graders in Hoosierdom until August 2016, and collectable booklets exploring 32 state parks and forests, from Brookville Lake to Salamonie. State Park Centennial Annual Passes are also available for check-out at an Indiana public library near you as the State Park system’s gift to the people of Indiana. Contact your local library to learn more.

In honor of the Indiana State Parks turning 100 and the coming summer, enjoy a few of the fantastic broadsides, photographs, and even a map from our digital collections.

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This blog post was written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian Brittany Kropf. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at

Stereotyping printing

Stereotyping was invented in the late 18th century as the printed book rose in popularity and the need for speed in printing and higher output increased. In printing, a stereotype uses a plaster mould, called a “flong”, made from the surface of a forme, or one side of a sheet. The mould is then used to cast a stereotype plate from hot metal. The resulting plate is more durable and stands up to the increased output of high-speed press runs. Multiple plates can also be run on multiple presses. In French, this is called cliché printing, the word “cliché” having evolved to highlight the meaning “an exact copy of the original” and “lacking in original thought”. Supposedly, the term “cliché” printing is an onomatopoeia, resulting from a sound made during the stereotype printing process.

The photographs below show stereotype printing materials found in the Edward A. Mitchell papers, a U.S. Representative from Evansville, Indiana from 1947-1949. The photographs (in order) show a flong (rose-colored plaster mould), the metal stereotype plate, and an example of the resulting print.

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