Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner announced

Indiana Center for the Book (ICB) co-directors Christy Franzman and Suzanne Walker have announced children’s author Britta Teckentrup as the 2017 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner for her book “Don’t Wake Up the Tiger.”

The Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award is an initiative of the ICB to promote early childhood literacy in Indiana. The selections are nominated by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee, made up of professionals in Indiana including teachers, librarians, caregivers and project coordinators, and the award is voted on by children six and under.

“ICB is excited to be in its third year of this picture book award focusing on early literacy. Children from infancy to five are absolutely capable of enjoying books and being discriminating judges,” Walker said. “The nominated books are chosen for their ability to encourage parents and children to talk, sing, read, write and play together. It is our hope that caregivers will see this list of books as a quality go-to resource for having fun and learning with their young children.”

“’Don’t Wake Up the Tiger’ is a fun, interactive book that kids really enjoy,” Franzman said. “Getting children actively involved with books will motivate them on their road to literacy.”

Upon hearing the news of receiving the award, Teckentrup said, “That’s wonderful news. How very exciting. Even more so as the award was voted for by children. Thank you very much for the award and for nurturing the love of reading and books!”

This entry was posted by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director at communications@library.in.gov.

Federal dollars for local broadband connection at Indiana public libraries

Have you heard the phrase “Think globally, but act locally?” Nowhere is that more evident than in your local public library. Your public library provides you access to the internet either through the library computer or your own device. From your local library you can access the world through their broadband connection. The public libraries broadband connection is supported by the federal eRate program that helps with cost control as public libraries share their cost information.

The public libraries’ demands for internet access by the public increases each year; so the cost is ever increasing due to increased bandwidth demands. Each year the demands on the eRate federal dollars grows. In the beginning, libraries had speeds of 56 k. This is no longer the norm. The American Library Association and Federal Communications Commission are recommending speeds of 100 MB for rural and 1 gigabyte for urban libraries.

Whether it’s megabytes or gigabytes, the federal eRate program supports your local broadband costs. The current federal year for broadband funding support is July 2016 through June 2017. To find the figures on those dollars benefiting Indiana, visit www.usac.org/sl and use the FRN Status Tool.

Doing a search on Indiana public libraries gives the figures for 2016 and 2017 and shows a total of a little over four million dollars support for Indiana public libraries broadband services. That represents over 150 public libraries. Remember that is not the total cost, but represents the federal support for your local internet connection in the state of Indiana. So remember when you access the internet at your local public library there is both local and federal support in actual dollars for a robust broadband connection.

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie, library development librarian and eRate coordinator. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov.

Last call for night owls

Join us for another exciting evening of Genealogy for Night Owls tomorrow, May 17, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. If you aren’t able to make it to the Indiana State Library to research your family during our regular hours, aren’t sure where or how to get started on your family history or just want to put in some extra hours of research, Night Owls is the perfect opportunity.

We have an evening of fun planned, including an informative tour and sessions available with experts from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Indiana Chapter of Palatines to America, professional genealogist Betty Warren, the Genealogical Society of Marion County, the Indiana African-American Genealogy Group and the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group. And…it’s free!! Registration is required by today, May 16, 2017. You can register online here.

Free summer programs for children at the ISL

The Indiana State Library is thrilled to announce that the Indiana Young Readers Center will provide free youth programming this summer. June is going to be packed with fun storytimes for younger kids and engaging workshops for older kids. Read below for more information and on how to register for our programs. All programs will take place at the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio Street in Indianapolis.

Summer Storytime
Children, ages 3-7

All About Clifford!
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017,10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Young Readers Center

What: Children will gather in the state library’s Young Readers Center to hear stories all about Clifford the Big Red Dog! Clifford’s author and creator, Norman Bridwell, was a Hoosier native born in Kokomo, Indiana. Kids will enjoy Clifford activities and crafts during this free program. Families are welcome to stay and explore Clifford’s doghouse and the rest of the Young Readers Center afterward.

All About Indiana!
When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Young Readers Center

What: Children will gather in the State Library’s Young Readers Center to take a road trip through Indiana and learn cool facts about our great state! Kids will enjoy Indiana-themed activities and crafts during this free program. Families are welcome to stay and explore the Young Readers Center after the program.

Registration: You can register for All About Clifford! and All About Indiana! online or by emailing or calling Christy Franzman, (317) 232-3700. Make sure to include the following information: Name of each child attending, age, name of parent/guardian and contact number. Space is limited. We will accept up to 30 children to be registered for this program.

During Summer Storytime, parents are expected to stay and enjoy the stories and activities.

Learn IN: Workshops for Kids
Children, grades 3-6

Recipe for an Emcee
When: Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Local spoken word poet, Tony Styxx, will visit and help everyone write some of their own poetry lines. Kids will learn about using interesting adjectives, adverbs and similes to enhance their writing. Before Tony Styxx arrives, children will hear the work of other Indiana poets and learn more about different kinds of poetry.

Gifts from the Earth: Native American Effigy Pottery
When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 1:30 p.m – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will hear about the part Native Americans have played in the history of Indiana. Then artist, Robin McBride Scott, will tell about the history and culture of the Mississippi Native Peoples and the clay techniques they used. Everyone will create a piece of North American Mississippi-style pottery called an effigy vessel, which is in the form of a human or animal.

Jazz on the Fly
When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will hear about the history of Indiana Avenue, where the Jazz scene flourished in downtown Indianapolis, and they will see the difference between primary and secondary sources. Local writer, Bonnie Maurer, will lead everyone in reading jazz poetry, listening to jazz music, and composing poems.

Tell Your Story
When: Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will learn about genealogy, where to find more information about their family and begin outlining their family tree. Local storyteller, Bob Sander, will teach the elements of story and everyone will practice telling their personal and family stories to new friends.

Registration: Please register for Recipe for an Emcee, Gifts from the Earth, Jazz on the Fly and Tell your Story online or by emailing or calling Caitlyn Stypa, (317) 232-3700. Make sure to include the following information: Name of each child attending, grade the child will be in next year, name of parent/guardian and contact number. Space is limited. We will accept up to 30 children to be registered for this program.

During Learn IN workshops, parents are welcome to enjoy the rest of the library or drop off their child for the duration of the program.

Indiana State Library media release policy
By registering for these programs, I hereby grant the Indiana State Library (ISL) permission to use my or my minor child or children’s photograph publically to promote the library. I understand that the images may be used worldwide for any lawful purpose, including educational and advertisement purposes and in any medium, including print and electronic. I further waive any claim for compensation of any kind for ISL’s use or publication of the images and/or those of my minor children, if applicable.

All programs being made possible by funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Indiana State Library.

This blog post was written by Caitlyn Stypa, Indiana Young Readers Center assistant, Indiana State Library.

Making it “happy” again

During a recent treatment, I was reminded by a librarian that it’s amusing to them that I describe conservation treatment work as making something “happy” again. To be perfectly honest, that is exactly how I see it. When I see something that is torn, stained, and taped within an inch of its life, it looks miserable to me. I see the potential and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

A great example of this is a recently completed treatment on one of our beautiful 1920s South Shore Line broadsides. “Steel Mills at Gary by South Shore Line,” (C. 1925) had come to my attention because it will be featured in an upcoming exhibit here at the library this summer. We have also been digitizing these broadsides and, in its current condition, it would have been very unsafe to do so.

With a large disfiguring tear down the front and several edge tears, creases and losses, this broadside just looked uncomfortable. As you can see on the back, an enterprising former employee had attempted to mend this posted with one of a conservator’s most-dreaded nemeses: tape. This mending job had also not quite lined up the tear carefully enough, causing the main disfiguring problem: bumpiness in the overall surface (or as we call it in fancy conservation terms, cockling and planar distortion). The edges definitely held promise because I could see that much of what appeared “lost” at the front had actually just been torn and folded over onto itself. With careful work, it could be made happy again!

The plan of attack was simple:

  • Surface clean the front and back carefully
  • Remove the tape from the back, ensuring all adhesive residue is removed
  • Properly align and mend tears
  • Re-encapsulate

Self-mending flap tears, where the paper has torn in a way that overlaps itself and can be mended to itself, sometimes without Japanese paper needed.

Encouraging folded edges to lay flat again with the use of localized humidification.

More of the same.

Using gentle pressure to encourage folded edges to lay flat.

After the tape and adhesive residue were painstakingly removed, I was able to realign the tears and mend it all back together using wheat starch paste and Japanese paper. Here are the results:

After treatment.

This broadside looks much happier and can now be safely exhibited, digitized, and accessed by our patrons. A very satisfying treatment, indeed!

This broadside is part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Broadsides Collection at the Indiana State Library.

This blog post was written by Rebecca Shindel, Conservator, Indiana State Library. 
Please note that colors presented on computer screens are not precisely accurate, and may look slightly different from one screen to another.

Fake news and how to fight it

Fake news feels like a modern scourge of intellect, but it’s nothing new. One of the earliest fake news examples on record dates to the first century, when Octavian, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, smeared the reputation of Mark Antony for control of the Roman Empire. Octavian, better known today as Emperor Augustus, read a will of dubious authenticity aloud to the Roman Senate. In that will, Mark Antony would give Roman lands to his children with Egyptian ruler Cleopatra and asked to be buried in an Egyptian tomb in the manner of a pharaoh. While the accuracy of this document can never be proven at this point, the fallout from Octavian’s act destroyed Mark Antony’s career and indirectly led to both his and Cleopatra’s deaths.

With over 2000 years of fake news, you would think that it would be easy to spot by now.  However, judging from the current news climate coupled with reports such as this 18-month study with middle and high school students, it appears we as a society need to strengthen our ability to identify and fight fake news as we see it. Luckily, there’s a lot of things we can do.

The first and easiest thing to do is to not spread fake news in the first place. Mad-Eye Moody said it best: Constant Vigilance. Fake news is often characterized by a number of traits which can help you spot it quickly. A few of these are:

  • It makes you angry, scared or, for some political stories, overly reassured
  • It seems too good (or bad!) to be true
  • It is not from a generally reputable source
  • It does not cite its sources, or uses poor sources to back its claims

You’ll see fake news on the Facebook pages of many of your friends, but just because they believe it doesn’t mean it’s true. Even the smartest, most-educated people will make mistakes and post fake news sometimes. It’s up to you to sniff it out.

Second, if you want to share something online, check it first. Let’s look at a claim like “Farmed salmon is bad for you.” The article that this claim is based on uses lots of inflammatory language, bright colors and statements meant to alarm you. But don’t be fooled. A quick Google search for “Is farmed salmon bad for you?” will turn up a link to the Washington State Department of Health which refutes virtually every claim in the other, negative article. If you look at the author of the negative article, you’ll learn that he’s not a doctor, dietitian or nutritionist, nor does he have a degree in any medical field. He’s an editor and CEO of a popular magazine, which gives him lots of publicity but no weight to his arguments. On the other hand, the Washington State Department of Health does not operate at a profit, employs scientists and provides excellent, credible sources for its claims in this article. Even though it’s wise to consider the safety of your food, bad information doesn’t help anyone.

Third, if you accidentally post fake news – and everyone does – apologize and take it down from your feed. Some fake news outlets can look astonishingly like real ones (like this one) and you may not think you have time to verify what you’re reading. It’s always best to double check, however, to keep yourself well-informed.

Here’s a quick checklist to verify an article’s claims:

  1. Where is it located? Good articles and videos come from good news sources.  What’s a good news source? Look for ones with strong codes or standards of ethics (like this one or this one) that clearly state their responsibilities to their writers, their sources and their readers. If you can’t find a standard or code of ethics, you will probably want to consider another news source. Other good sources of information are academic journals (which Indiana residents can find using INspire, the state library’s gateway to digital information access) and nonpartisan research organizations.
  2. Who wrote it? Look up the author using Google or LinkedIn, a professional networking site. Real news is written by real journalists, and you can often find pertinent information about them like resumes/CVs, other articles they’ve written and any other qualifications they may have, such as additional education or certifications.
  3. How old is it? Information, like fish, has an expiration date. Very often, old news is repackaged as current and articles without dates should be doubly suspect. Old news might rehash incidents or disputes that have since been resolved, or make you angry over something that is no longer true or applicable.
  4. Why was it written or developed? Fake news can be profitable – ask Jestin Coler, who registered a number of websites which produced fake news and made between $10,000 and $30,000 per month. Other reasons that fake news might be produced may be to sway political opinion, promote specific ideologies or beliefs or destroy a rival’s reputation.

Fake news may be everywhere, but you are smart enough to fight it. In addition to the above advice, I have developed a Fake News LibGuide with tools, tips, websites and other resources for you to use. You deserve honest, accurate information and you have every right to be mad that fake news outlets are trying to dupe you. Fight back with real news and real information. If you get stuck or lost, remember that the library is always there to help.

This blog post was written by KT Lowe, coordinator of library instruction and service learning at Indiana University East. You are welcome to contact her at lowekat@iu.edu or visit her on Facebook.

E-Rate internet connectivity filing due on May 11

In the budget recently passed by the general assembly, libraries will see increased funding for the non-E-Rate portion of their internet connectivity bills. Many libraries still struggle to provide adequate bandwidth at peak usage times and the spike in usage during after school hours is especially taxing for libraries that serve communities with one-to-one programs.

The Pew Research Center recently released a report that indicates that even though low-income Americans are experiencing greater levels of connectivity, it is still significantly different from the adoption rates of middle to high income households. As more patrons have adopted the use of more devices, the libraries’ Wi-Fi can be easily overloaded. Adequate broadband delivery to the library is just the first step in helping to alleviate this issue, but one that has been recognized by the state as a service that would benefit everyone through increased funding.

With fewer than two weeks left to complete your filing for E-Rate this year, libraries have an opportunity to increase the “ask” for connectivity for next year. Filing is due on or before Thursday, May 11, 2017 at midnight. The additional $500,000 dedicated to support library connectivity is a great tool to leverage both federal and state funding to help bridge the digital divide within your community. For questions please contact Karen Ainslie of the Indiana State Library.

This post was written by Wendy Knapp. Wendy is a member of the ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy E-Rate Taskforce.

Materials using the phonetic alphabet

An unusual item from the Indiana State Library’s original print newspaper collection is Di Anglo Sacsun (ISLN Newspaper Room), a newspaper published in Boston from 1846-1848. Our holdings include a scattering of newspaper issues from the publication period of this phonetically-spelled newspaper. The paper states its mission as being “Devoted to the diffusion of knowledge and news, through the medium of phonotypy, or the true system of spelling words: that is, just as they are pronounced.” It was thought that material printed in phonetic spelling would be easier for non-native English speakers, or those who learned the English language by rote, to master.

This newspaper is written using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) which utilizes syllables that stand for different phonetic sounds that are common to all spoken languages.

On the left and right sides of the newspaper’s masthead are printed keys to pronunciation.

The International Phonetic Association (International Phonetic Association) is devoted to representing and promoting the International Phonetic Alphabet and championing its use by linguists, speech-language pathologists, classically trained singers, actors, and others.

Another item in the state library’s collection that utilizes the IPA is the Primer of Phonetics by Henry Sweet (ISLM 414 S974P).

This book, published in 1906, serves as an in-depth phonetics pronunciation key.

Pages from the Primer of Phonetics showing English sounds.

We also have a phonetic translation of the Book of Psalms from the Bible, De Buc ov Samz From de Oturizd Verzun:  Printed Foneticali in Paraleliz’mz (ISLM BS 1422 1849).

Although the phonetic alphabet did not become a popular spelling format for newspapers, it is used in dictionaries with pronunciation keys and serves as a standardized approach to language learning.

This blog post was written by Leigh Anne Johnson, Indiana Division librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

Pianos in the library

When people think about pianos they might think about Bach, Beethoven, grandiose concert halls, Elton John, 1989’s “Great Balls of Fire!” film or even where Slash decided to stand and play his guitar solo in the Guns N’ Roses “November Rain” video. One place that usually doesn’t come to mind, however, is libraries.

Despite being known as quiet places, libraries all over the world house pianos and maintain piano practice rooms. The Toronto Public Library, for example, has multiple pianos and several practice rooms. Libraries do not keep pianos solely for the purpose of practice, though. The Woodstock Public Library, in Woodstock, Ill., “welcomes accomplished and talented pianists to play the piano at [their] library.” In this case, the piano is to be played, during specified hours, in order to provide pleasant background music for library patrons. No “Chopsticks,” though!

Strictly forbidden at the Woodstock Public Library:

Indiana is no exception to the piano rule. Several public libraries in Indiana have their own pianos.

“I’m not sure how our upright piano made its way to us, it’s been here at least as long as I’ve been here and that’s been over twelve years,” said Mary Schons, head of information services at the Hammond Public Library in Hammond, Ind. The piano at the Hammond Public Library is primarily used for two programs, the long-running “Welcome to the World of Music,” with Florian Bolsega, which takes place every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., and their new program, “Sing Along with Rich,” which happens every last Monday of the month at 10 a.m., in the library’s community room. “While the singalong is for everyone, Rich Boban specializes in working with people who have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In January, a mother stopped by with her adult son who has a stroke and is aphasic. The music is helping him recover,” Schons added.

Rich Boban, singalong coordinator at the Hammond Public Library

The Adams Public Library System, (APLS) which serves the communities of Decatur and Geneva in Indiana, also has a piano used for programs. APLS hosts monthly Mid-Day Music events, featuring different musicians. As for the piano itself, Kelly Ehinger, director of APLS said, “The piano was a gift to the library and restored by a volunteer.” The piano is also used for special events outside of the regularly-scheduled Mid-Day Music events.

The Adams Public Library System piano being enjoyed by local pianist Karen Fouts

Over a decade ago, the West Lafayette Public Library (WLPL) in West Lafayette, Ind. purchased their Sohmer baby grand piano solely with gift funds. The fundraising effort brought together local music teachers, a generous public and the estate of a Purdue University physics teacher. “Since its debut at the library, the Sohmer is in active use by residents who have offered numerous piano, and other musical, recitals each spring and late fall. The piano is an active part of public presentations by both the library and community groups being played for art receptions, donor gatherings and the like,” said WLPL director Nick Schenkel. “Perhaps most of all, the baby grand urged our library board president at the time of the piano’s arrival to proclaim that WLPL is a special part of our community because of its ABC focus on arts, books and culture; a proclamation we gladly trumpet to this day,” Schenkel added. WLPL’s baby grand sits proudly in the library’s main meeting room suite awaiting use.

West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel at the library’s Sohmer baby grand piano

While the thought of a library might not conjure up images of Jerry Lee Lewis rockin’ out, it can’t hurt to check with your local public library to see if they do, indeed, own a piano or house a piano practice room. Just remember to cool it on the “Chopsticks.”

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director at communications@library.in.gov.

Innovation in library micro-grants from the Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation is a worldwide community devoted to “forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe.” Created in 2009, the foundation distributes $1,000 grants, no strings attached, to projects and their creators.

Library Pipeline’s Innovation Committee has partnered with the Awesome Foundation to found an innovation in libraries chapter that will, each month, award a $1,000 micro-grant to a project that suggests creative solutions, proposes a new way of thinking about library services and supports under-served and diverse communities. Grant applications are due by the 15th of each month, with awardees announces by the first of the following month.

According to the Awesome Foundation, “The Awesome Innovation in Libraries Chapter was created by a small working group of passionate librarians within Library Pipeline who wanted to provide a catalyst for prototyping both technical and non-technical library innovations that embody the principles of diversity, inclusivity, creativity and risk-taking. Naturally, we embedded these principles into the grant selection guidelines. We are thankful for our dedicated team of trustees and sponsors who make this initiative possible.”

Award recipients are asked to report back publicly on what worked, what didn’t and what they learned, as well as to make the results of their efforts openly available to other to reuse in communities across the world.

To apply, submit your application on the Awesome Foundation website. Applications are constantly being accepted; please check the website details to confirm the next deadline.

This blog post was written by Amber Painter, southwest regional coordinator. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office (PDO) at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov.