Indiana Memory – Digital Public Library of America Fest 2017

The second annual Indiana Memory – Digital Public Library of America (IM-DPLA) Fest is set for Sept. 8, 2017 at the Indianapolis Public Library Central Branch. IM-DPLA Fest is a free, one-day conference running from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fest was created to address topics on digitization and provide networking opportunities for those interested in working on digital projects. Past attendees include representatives from large public universities, public libraries and small cultural organizations. Everyone interested in digitization is welcome to attend.

This year’s keynote speaker is Kendra Morgan. She is a senior program manager with the Online Computer Resource Center (OCLC) and the co-author of the recently published report “Advancing the National Digital Platform: The State of Digitization in the US Public and State Libraries.” In addition, there will be several other presentations on topics in digitization. The lightning talks and poster session will highlight different digital projects from around the state. Proposals to participate with a lightning talk or poster session need to be submitted by June 30, 2017. See the IM-DPLA blog for more information about submitting a presentation, lightning talk or poster.

“Advancing the National Digital Platform: The State of Digitization in the US Public and State Libraries,” by Kendra Morgan and Merrilee Proffitt was release in 2017. It can be downloaded as a free pdf from the OCLC website.

Registration, and a more detailed schedule, will be announced at a later date on the IM-DPLA blog. So, whether you’re a seasoned digital veteran or just dreaming of acquiring your first flatbed scanner, we look forward to seeing you at the 2017 IM-DPLA Fest!

This blog post by Jill A. Black, a library technician with the Indiana Memory Project. For more information contact the Library Development Office (317) 232-3697 or ldo@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.

Are you being served? Library cards for non-residents

In the Library Development Office (LDO) we occasionally hear from an Indiana resident who has moved into an unserved area. An unserved area is an area where there is not a library district. Though you may be in an unserved area, there are options for library service through a contract or non-resident fee. A one-stop guide highlighting the locations of Indiana libraries is the library districts map issued by Indiana Business Research Center. The map is found here.

If you are not a resident of a library district, non-resident cards are available from each of the 237 public libraries. The fees vary based on the library’s per capita expense for the service population. For service, choose the library closest to you and find out the non-resident fee. As mentioned, fees vary, but average between $56 to $70 per year.

Sometimes a township has contracted with a nearby library for service, which means the township may take on part, or all, of the cost of the library card. Please contact your local officials to see if they offer library cards to a nearby library.

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

Expanding computer access for Indiana libraries

Since 2011, the Indiana State Library (ISL) has partnered with Net Literacy to offer free, rebuilt computers to libraries in Indiana. Net Literacy is an Indiana-based organization first founded in 2003 by a central Indiana middle-school student, Daniel Kent. The original purpose of this organization was to assist senior citizens by having middle and high school students teach the seniors how to use computers. The group accepted donated computers which the students rebuilt and donated to senior centers to allow them computer access. By 2010, Net Literacy had increased computer access and skills for over 50,000 senior citizens.

Unloading the truck.

Student volunteers strip down and rebuild the donated computers and dispose of the unusable pieces in an EPA-compliant manner preventing computers and monitors from being delivered to landfills. Net Literacy is a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) and installs Microsoft Windows, Open Source and other software on these computers.

Ready to roll.

In 2011, Kent approached ISL about providing refurbished computers to libraries who needed more public access computers. The computers come ready to set up with Windows 7 Professional, a minimum of 2GB ram, a 40GB or larger hard drive, a DVD drive, antivirus software and an Ethernet card, making them internet-ready. These computers come with a flat screen monitors and all of the required cables, mice and keyboards.

Unloaded and waiting to be tested.

Twice each year since that time, ISL has issued an open call to all public, institutional and other Indiana libraries to request these free computers. The requirements are simple: The requests are limited to libraries in Indiana, the computers must be used to assist the public and the library should be willing to pick this equipment up from the state library whenever possible. Since 2011, this partnership between the ISL and Net Literacy has made over 1,400 free, rebuilt computers and monitors available to libraries in Indiana.

Marcus Bullock, a Project Search intern, makes sure the computers are in working order.

For more information about this partnership or instructions on how to request Net Literacy computers, please contact the Library Development Office.

This blog post is by Steven J. Schmidt, Library Development Office supervisor. For more information, contact Steven at (317) 232-3715 or send an email to StatewideService@library.in.gov.

Do you want books from all of the libraries? A PLAC card might be for you

Have you ever wished you could pop into a local library to check out a book to read while lounging on the beach at the Indiana Dunes State Park, even though your Indiana home library is hundreds of miles away? Perhaps you live in southern Indiana and you have to go all the way up to Allen County for a business trip. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to check out a DVD from the library near your hotel? If these situations strike a chord with you, a Public Library Access Card (PLAC) is the perfect solution.

PLAC is the statewide library card program enacted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1993 (Indiana Code 4-23-7.1-5.1). The PLAC program allows individuals to purchase a card which allows them to borrow materials directly from any public library in Indiana.

Any individual who holds a valid Indiana public library card may purchase a PLAC card which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. The cost of the card is reviewed and adjusted annually by the Indiana Library & Historical Board (ILHB). The fee for 2017 is $65.00. The Indiana State Library collects the revenue from the sale of these cards distributes it back to libraries on the basis of net loans.

What a deal!

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the PLAC card program:

Q: Are public libraries required to participate in the statewide PLAC program?
A: Yes. According to Indiana Code 36-12-3-2 and Indiana Code 36-12-7-2, all public libraries “shall comply with and participate in the statewide library card program.”

Q: What types of materials are eligible for loan in the PLAC program?
A: Books and select non-book materials. Each public library will annually determine what types of materials will be loaned to PLAC cardholders, but at least books that normally circulate must be available for loan.

Q: Does the PLAC include access to eBooks, databases and other online resources?
A: No. eBooks, databases and other online resources are licensed locally for the home users of that library and are not available to PLAC holders.

Q: If I later decide that I don’t need my PLAC, can I get a refund?
A: No. PLAC fees are not refundable.

Q: Who is eligible for a PLAC?
A: Anyone who holds a valid library card issued by a public library in the state may purchase a PLAC. In order to receive a PLAC card individuals must have a valid “resident” or a non-resident library card.

Q: How is the PLAC used?
A: Individuals need to present the PLAC on their initial visit to the library and go through the registration process for that particular library.

Q: When does my PLAC expire?
A: The PLAC expires one year from the date of application for the card. At that time, the PLAC cardholder would need to reapply and pay for a new PLAC card.

Q: Must materials borrowed on a PLAC be returned to the lending library?
A: Yes. PLAC cardholders should be informed that they are expected to return materials borrowed using a PLAC to the lending library.

Q: May anyone in my family use the PLAC?
A: No. According to IC 4-23-7.1-5.1 the PLAC is always issued to an individual.

For even more questions and answers about the PLAC program click here. If you have other questions, please contact StatewideServices@library.in.gov.

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.

The Indiana statewide triad: InfoExpress, IN-SHARE and SRCS

Part of the mission of the Indiana State Library (ISL) is to strengthen the services of all types of libraries by developing new services and consistently re-evaluating existing services. During the last six months, ISL has updated the rules governing two of its long standing state library services and introduced a new one, which promises to re-invent the way resource sharing is managed within the state.

InfoExpress

Since 1997, ISL has provided a heavily subsidized courier service, InfoExpress, to a wide variety of libraries around the state. Each courier stop costs the state $625 per year, but we subsidize that service so most libraries pay only $100 a year for one-day-a-week service.

A typical year will have an average of a half million parcels moving around the state. Each of those parcels contains somewhere between one and 20 items, so the total number of books, videos, etc. that are circulating around the state each year easily exceeds five million items. One of the high points of this service is that our cost per item is a fraction of the cost of similar systems in other states.

On Jan. 1, 2017, new public library standards went into place. These standards changed the way that the minimum number of service days is computed. This means that in July, when you renew your subscription to InfoExpress, all libraries will be required to subscribe to one-day-a-week of service for every 2,000 parcels shipped out.

IN-SHARE

Thirty years ago one of my first library jobs was processing interlibrary loan requests for libraries that couldn’t afford to subscribe to the new OCLC ILL system. This state-library funded service still exists today under the name of IN-SHARE. In the years since that service was launched, very little has changed about the way we manage that system. It currently costs the state library approximately $25 for each and every request submitted. Since we had no limits on the membership or the number of requests they could place, this amounted to basically asking the state library for a blank check each year to provide a very expensive service to a small number of libraries.

At the recommendation of the Resource Sharing Committee, IN-SHARE is adopting some new rules and guidelines starting this July. These guidelines will offer most libraries a set number of free requests each year, with a preference for the service going to the smaller libraries who normally would not be able to offer interlibrary loan service to their patrons. Any IN-SHARE requests that exceed that threshold will be billed at $5 for each additional request, far below what it costs the state library to process. These bills will be sent out quarterly and only apply to IN-SHARE requests that exceed each library’s threshold.

SRCS

The third part of this resource sharing triad is Indiana’s new Statewide Remote Circulation System (SRCS). This is a new way for streamlining interlibrary lending requests between Indiana libraries. Instead of having to pay a staff member to search for, and request, each title, authorized patrons can place their own requests. Patrons search a statewide union catalog combining the holdings of nearly 200 Indiana libraries and identify the item that they want. If one of these libraries has a copy of that item currently available, and it is in a loan-able location and format, then the patron sees a Request This Item button. A SRCS request is still an interlibrary loan, but it cuts across the differences between the many different ILS in use by Indiana libraries and streamlines the requesting and processing steps.

One of the drivers for the IN-SHARE changes has been the advent of SRCS. It has been estimated that approximately 75 percent of the items currently being requested through IN-SHARE could be filled faster and cheaper using SRCS. By combining SRCS and IN-SHARE, most libraries will be able to expand service to their patrons, while reducing their dependence on IN-SHARE. People often ask, “Does this mean IN-SHARE is going away?” The answer is “no.”  By reducing the demand, and the cost, for IN-SHARE, the ISL plans to use the savings to underwrite the setup any annual connection fees for participating in SRCS. IN-SHARE will, of course, continue to provide the items that SRCS can’t provide, such as photocopies and out-of-state materials.

This blog post is by Steven J. Schmidt, Library Development Office supervisor. For more information, contact Steven at (317) 232-3715 or send an email to StatewideService@library.in.gov.

Who is in charge at the public library?

Most public library patrons are familiar with the friendly people behind the reference desk, who help track down books and answer questions, and the smiling circulation clerks who make sure you get your “Harry Potter” holds. Occasionally, you might come into contact with the library director. You’ve almost certainly seen the director speak at a public, library-related event. Behind the scenes, however, there is a library board responsible for the governance of the library. The library board oversees the finance, policy and planning activities at the library. They also hire the library director, who keeps the board informed on finance, policy, planning and day-to-day operations.

How are these public library boards appointed? In Indiana, the library boards are appointed, not elected. In most cases, there are seven appointees, but four county contractual libraries have eleven member boards. Elected official bodies in the library district are in charge of appointments. For example, school boards appoint library board members.

Each public library has three board members appointed by the school authorities in the district. The next two board member appointments are selected by county authorities, such as council members or commissioners. Finally, the last two appointments, rounding out the seven-member board, vary based on the territorial composition of the library district. For example, the appointing authorities may be determined based upon whether the library is in one city or one township.

Board members serve for four year terms and the terms can be renewed, but they can serve no longer than 16 years. There are exceptions to this rule for the smallest of library districts where it can be difficult to find people to serve.

This is all covered in the Indiana Code IC 36-12 found here. The code also covers Indiana laws that guide the library board’s governance. For instance, the treasurer of the library board is the only paid board member, whereas all other board members receive no compensation.

I applaud the dedication of the appointed board members who work with library directors to provide library services to the Indiana community.

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

Innovative Library Program: Westchester Public Library’s MakerSpace Lab

Northwest Regional Coordinator Kimberly Brown-Harden recently had a conversation with Automation and Serials Manager Rhonda Mullin from the Westchester Public Maker Space Lab9Library in Chesterton, Indiana. They discussed Westchester’s innovative MakerSpace Lab and the impact it is having on both patrons and the library.

Kim: Can you give me some background on how the program was created?

Rhonda: Our library prides itself in offering the latest technology to our patrons. Because of this we saw a need to introduce 3D printing as well as a MakerSpace Lab. Unfortunately, space is very limited within our library. We did some serious brainstorming and decided to create space within an existing space. So we literally created our MakerSpace Lab within the space of another room. We hired a contractor who constructed an interior wall with a sound barrier, cut in a door frame and door, installed a peek window and trimmed it out. From there we outfitted the room with equipment and supplies. Continue reading

Library Personnel Connect at Indiana Library Federation Conference November 2015

The Indiana Library Federation connected library personnel for two days in November. The conference theme was “Strengthening Connections: Your Key to Success.” The keynote speaker, author Daniel Handler, emphasized his connections where he related his past experience reading local newspapers, and curiously reading unusual stories Not in Kansasthat may or may not be a lesson to the reader. The results are Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket stories, a “series of unfortunate events.” I give you a small sampling of fortunate events that started on Tuesday November 16, the first day of the conference.

“Arguing for Aristotle: Connecting the Evolution of Small towns and the Future of Public Libraries” by Zachary Benedict reinforced my belief in libraries as public spaces to make people happy, to assist the public with their inward development, where quality civic space and a good life are experienced. It was not all philosophical. 80% of libraries are in small towns of less than 25,000 people. So like Greek and Roman public spaces, public libraries need to be well designed and well intended.

This was followed by “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” a panel of library directors and technical service person discussed the implementation of broadband technology in their library spaces. Discussion began with what each library has in terms of technology infrastructure, what obstacles there are to overcome (more than money alone), what success looks like, and where to go in the future.

Wednesday, November 17, a packed room with a standing crowd enjoyed Laura Solomon presentation on “Absolutely Free (and Practically Unknown) Online Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed.” Some sites are for productivity but she closed the presentation with http://www.omnomnomify.com, an Internet tool to Cookie Monster your web pages. All of us need sites that can assist us in handling information but levity is good, too.

Participants laughed at themselves, recalled memories and experiences, and look to the coming year to implement what was learned in our conference connections.

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

Hartford City Public Library’s New Director Michele Ogle

Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom, and I recently visited the Hartford City Public Library and met the new director, Michele Ogle. Michele gave a tour of the building, a Carnegie library that has been remodeled and modernized. Patrons in the library were engaged in genealogy research while others browsed the book resources.

Michele Ogle_editI asked Michele about her journey to her present position. It is a return to her roots having grown up in Montpelier, Indiana. As a child she regularly visited the Montpelier-Harrison Township Public Library and as a teenager worked as a circulation clerk at the library. She also worked there in the summers between college terms, before deciding to pursue her Masters in Library Science.

Michele is excited about serving the population where she grew up. She finds it difficult to pick one favorite book but is partial to the Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Meeting non-famous people in history interests her, learning about how they lived and trials they faced. Other interests are playing videogames, gardening, all sorts of creative hobbies, and spending time with pets and her family.

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