Switzerland County Public Library 100th anniversary celebration

Switzerland County Public Library celebrated their 100th anniversary on Saturday, July 29, 2017. The history of the library, as posted on their website:

Original petition to establish the library

“The Switzerland County Public Library was legally formed in 1915, after the state library law was passed, and it has its roots in many of the local literary societies which donated the first books, including the Methodist Church Lyceum, the Vevay Literary Society, the Julia L. Dumont Club, and the Working Men’s Institute.

The first library was located on the south side of Main Street, in a building owned by Mrs. Abner Dufour. She rented the facility to the library for $7 per month, partially furnished. The ladies of the library board were expected to be responsible for cleaning and decorating their new library. In 1917, the library board asked the county commissioners to make the library open and free to all taxpaying citizens of Switzerland County, making it the first countywide library system in the state of Indiana.

The library’s original reference desk

On November 13, 1917, the library received a letter from the Carnegie Corporation, informing them that the town of Vevay and Switzerland County would receive a sum of $12,500 for a new library building. A vacant lot on Ferry Street was purchased from Mrs. A .P. Dufour for $1000, and a contract to build the library was given to the Dunlap Company for $10,975. The new library building was completed and opened to the public on January 27, 1919. This was the last Carnegie library built in Indiana, and one of the last in the United States. Dr. L. H. Bear was the first person to obtain a library card, and Will H. Stevens was the first person to check out a book.

Current Director Shannon Phipps and former Director Lois Rosenberger

In 1991, the library and the Town of Vevay exchanged deeds, and in 1992, the former Carnegie library became the Town Hall and police station, and the new library opened across the street, in the former Market Square Park, at a cost of approximately $492,000. The money for the new building was granted by the Vevay/Switzerland foundation.”

Juggler Paul O. Kelly

The event was packed with fun programs throughout the day. Juggler Paul O. Kelly made an appearance from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Happy Hooves Petting Zoo was in the library’s yard from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., musical group West of Dublin played in the library from 12-1 p.m. and Dan Bixler entertained the crowd with stories and music from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The event also included refreshments and an appearance from Lois Rosenberger, former director from 1969-1977 and 1979-1995. Louis was at the library when the current library building was built in 1992!

Musical group West of Dublin

Happy anniversary, Switzerland County Public Library!

This blog post was written by Courtney Allison, southeast regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Courtney at callison@library.in.gov.

Continuing education website gets a facelift

The Continuing Education portion of the Indiana State Library’s (ISL) website will be undergoing some changes soon. ISL’s Certification Program Director and Legal Consultant Cheri Harris and Professional Development Office Supervisor Suzanne Walker have been working through the website to identify instances where the same information is listed in multiple places, places where information does not match and pages that are confusing and wordy. “Our hope is to make the website more useful by making it easier to navigate,” Harris said. “In addition to streamlining the way the site is organized,” she added “we are also updating the language and content.”

The website will be updated gently in stages. A major overhaul to the archived webinar page has already been completed. The next phase will tackle the main menus and the initial landing pages and then more changes will spread out from there. The look of the site will mostly remain the same, but watch for a new menu for important forms, more ISL staff on the contact page and the changes to the Archived Webinar page.

“That’s what I’m most excited about,” Walker said. “Now people will have a much more visual experience with our archived webinars. They are now grouped by category with clickable tags to help the user find similar trainings. We have so many great trainings. We will easily hit fifty webinars this year. It is great that people can use the search box on the website to find them and the fact that they are now categorized and tagged makes it almost like a webinar database.”

Here’s a sample of what the old archived webinar page looked like:

Lots of text, arranged by date, with the newest webinars at the top and it linked out directly to YouTube.

Introducing, the new look:

Each webinar has a landing page where ISL can link to additional resources about the topic and each webinar has a category at the top of the block of text (Populations and Programming are shown here) that are color-coded and alphabetized.

Check back often to observe all of the updates.

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, supervisor of the Professional Development Office at the Indiana State Library and co-director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

Registration for book processing parties and round tables at the Indiana State Library now open

The Professional Development Office (PDO) of the Indiana State Library is thrilled to announce the addition of almost 20 new book club kits to their collection.

PDO is looking for volunteers to help process these kits so they will be ready for fall circulation. Processing mainly consists of applying book covers. PDO welcomes volunteers from both public and school libraries and no experience is required.

Two all-day sessions, on July 7 and July 27,  will be offered. The all-day events include the processing party, a round table discussion eligible for one LEU, provided lunch, snacks and a tour of the state library.

The July 7 round table topic will be: School & Public Library Partnerships/Book Clubs. Session is full.

The July 27 round table topic will be: Summer Reading Wrap-Up/Back-to-School/Book Clubs. Register here.

Parking is free. Contact Beth Yates, children’s consultant, via email or at (317) 234-5649 for more details.

This blog post was written by Beth Yates, children’s consultant for the Indiana State Library.

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.

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.  

Meet Fayette County Public Library’s new director, Betsy Slavens

Recently, Southeast Regional Coordinator Courtney Allison visited the Fayette County Public Library to chat with new director, Betsy Slavens. Betsy was the director at the Benton County Public Library before heading to Fayette County.

Are you from the area? If not, where are you from originally?
No. I am originally from Greenwood, Ind.

What inspired you to work in libraries?
I have always been a reader. When I was a child, my mom and dad would take me to two different library systems on alternating days because I could never get enough books. Even now, I always carry at least one book with me because I never know when I might get a spare minute. Working in a library seemed like a solid life choice.

What is your favorite thing about working for your library?
I love being the boss! No really. I really enjoy helping the staff meet their potential, advocating for the library in the community and helping library users discover something new and wonderful within our walls. I guess that’s actually three favorite things.

What is your favorite book?
That’s a hard question. So, I’m going to go with my top five desert island picks. I’d say, “Anne of Green Gables,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” by Marisha Pessl, “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole and “Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932” by Francine Prose.

If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?
Mr. Rogers because he was gentle, kind and thoughtful. I’m not sure what kind of dinner we’d have, but he was a vegetarian and I would like to respect that. I’d like to dish with Ernest Hemingway about cats over a couple of cocktails. Isn’t it fun to think of Ernest Hemingway going gaga over kitties? Jane Austen would be a hoot, too. We could go to the mall food court and people watch; it’d be a blast. I hope these are all individual dinner dates and not one big party.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
Besides reading, I enjoy going to food and beer festivals and taking road trips with my friends, travelling throughout Europe with my husband, watching British TV shows with my old man cat sitting on my lap, sewing, knitting, daydreaming and napping.

Welcome, Betsy!

This blog post was written by Courtney Allison, southeast regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Courtney at callison@library.in.gov.

Ready to Lead: The InLLA Leadership Toolkit

Leadership. What is it? What does it mean? What does it look like? The first known use of the word was in 1765, so the idea and topic of leadership has been around for centuries.  Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines leadership as: 1. the office or position of a leader; 2. capacity to lead; 3. the act or an instance of leading.

If you’re interested in leadership concepts and learning more about how to become a leader, I’d like to introduce you to Ready to Lead: The InLLA Leadership Toolkit. The toolkit will contain webinars, a recording, videos and other resources about leadership and preparing for leadership. To get a sneak peek of what you might find in the toolkit, we are excited to host the following leadership webinars in April:

  • Servant Leadership – April 12th 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EST. Connie Scott, director, McMillen Library at Indiana Tech. Connie will talk about servant leadership, which means you’re a ‘servant’ first. Servant Leaders focus on the needs of others, especially team members and staff before your own needs.
  • Leadership vs. Management – April 20th 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST. Michelle Bradley, manager, Member Engagement Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS). Michelle will talk about differences between management and leadership. Many times we confuse leadership with management principles. This webinar will cover the difference between the two.

This blog post was written by Kimberly Brown-Harden, northwest regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Kim at kbrown-harden@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.

Meet Cara Ringle, new director of the Benton County Public Library

Recently, Northwest Regional Coordinator Kimberly Brown-Harden visited the Benton County Public Library. While there, she had an opportunity to meet and talk to Cara Ringle.

Are you from the area? If not, where are you from originally?
Yes, Fowler is my hometown. I lived in other places for school, and I live in a different city now, but I travel to the BCPL in Fowler every day.

What inspired you to work in libraries?
I’ve always loved reading and just learning in general. I always came to the library as a child, so when I needed a summer job, I started working there. I learned how multi-faceted libraries actually are and made the decision to get my MLS in grad school. Along the way I’ve had wonderful mentors who taught me what being a great librarian is all about, and I want to follow in their footsteps.

What is your favorite thing about working for your library?
To put it simply, I love the people. We have wonderful community members who come in and I very much enjoy chatting with them and helping them find what they need. Sometimes they stop by for no reason other than to say hi. When kids call me “Ms. Cara” my heart swells. Everyone has been very kind and supportive of me, especially since I became the director.

What is your favorite book? I’m a librarian; there are too many to name! My favorite YA is “Looking For Alaska” by John Green (I have a line from the book tattooed on my shoulder), because it’s an honest, realistic depiction of teenagers. Another favorite is “This Side of Paradise” by F. Scott Fitzgerald because his life fascinates me and the Jazz Age is my favorite era to read about.

If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, so I could tell her she was a strong woman who deserved better than the life she was given. Mary Shelley, because she essentially invented the sci-fi genre when she was just a teenager and it would be fun to pick her brain. Gilda Radner, one of the original female members of Saturday Night Live, so I could thank her for fostering my love of comedy and for being fearless and hilarious in her performances

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I have a writing degree, so I write quite a bit. I dabble in short stories and memoir-type essays and I’m also working on a novel. I’m big into theatre, so I drag my friends and family to see musicals with me. In terms of reading, I average about a book a day.

I’m also on the board of directors and the secretary for the Prairie Preservation Guild, which is a non-profit that helps run the historic Fowler Theatre. I volunteer my time and strengths in a collective effort to bring quality affordable arts and entertainment to our area.

This blog post was written by Kimberly Brown-Harden, northwest regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Kim at kbrown-harden@library.in.gov

 

Meet Akilah Nosakhere, new director at the Muncie Public Library

I recently sat down with Akilah Nosakhere, new director at the Muncie Public Library. Akilah grew up in Muncie, Ind. and graduated from Ball State University. She moved to Atlanta, where she earned a Master of Library Science from Atlanta University. She said she really discovered her love affair with information while living in Atlanta. She went on to be library director at New Mexico State University, before returning to Muncie. Akilah’s first day as the director of the Muncie Public Library was January 3, 2017. She was really interested in the position because she was genuinely impressed with the public library, the public service they provided and their work within the community. I had a couple of questions for Akilah.

Akilah Nosakhere, director, Muncie Public Library

What’s your favorite thing about working in libraries?
Free access to information from all sources.

What’s one thing coming up at your library that you’re really excited about?
The Community Garden Pavilion and our author event with Peter Kageyama.

What are you reading right now?
For the Love of Cities” by Peter Kageyama.

The Maring-Hunt Branch of the Muncie Public Library has a makerspace.

The Maring-Hunt Branch of the Muncie Public Library also has a 3D printer.

We chatted a bit about these exciting events. The Community Garden Pavilion is a project by a group of Ball State students, looking to build and expand on the library’s green space. The group just presented their literature review for the project and have a community planning event on Feb. 8, 2017 at the library where community members can express their ideas about the pavilion. Building begins on April 7, 2017 and will be completed by the end of the semester with a showcase on May 1, 2017.

Hardware from the original Carnegie Library displayed in the Maring-Hunt Branch.

The library is also partnering with other community organizations on Love Where You Live: An Evening with Peter Kageyama, the author of “For the Love of Cities.” This event takes place on March 15, 2017.

You can learn more about the Muncie Public Library here.

This blog post is by Courtney Allison, professional development librarian. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov