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

Meet Susan Knight, new director at the Franklin County Public Library District

I recently sat down with Franklin County Public Library District’s new director, Susan Knight. Susan’s first day in the library was Jan, 2, 2017. She comes from a school background, spending the last 12 years as a media specialist in the Greensburg school system.

Susan Knight, new director at the Franklin County Public Library District

The library has some exciting plans on the horizon. They break ground for an expansion in April that will double the size of the building. The project is expected to take about a year, will expand their heavily used genealogy section and create a meeting space for the community.

The library as an extensive collection of art, which is displayed around the building

When I visited, I just missed National Pie Day. This is an annual event celebrated at the library with many pie themed activities for all ages and pie is served when the library opens until all the pie runs out. This year they served 688 pieces of pie!

The library has a die-cut machine available to the public

I had a few questions for Susan:

What is your favorite thing about working in libraries?
Meeting people and serving the community.

What’s one thing coming up at your library that you’re really excited about?
I was looking forward to Pie Day, which just happened. Also, the library expansion. That’s a big one.

What are you currently reading?
Board minute packets, the Indiana State Library website and the new director packet.

To learn more about the Franklin County Public Library District, you can visit their website 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

Indiana State Library’s ‘Race into Reading’ bookmark design contest now accepting entries

The Indiana State Library, in conjunction with the Indiana Center for the Book, is pleased to announce the return of its annual bookmark contest. This year’s theme, Race into Reading, was chosen to coincide with Indiana’s book choice to represent the state at the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States in September, “Race Car Count” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

Race into Reading is a fun theme that celebrates speed, acceleration, racing and Indiana. The state library’s suggested reading list can be found here and features a selection of Indiana-related titles focused on fast athletes, zippy race cars and speedy animals, including “Speed” by Nathan Clement and “Little Red Gliding Hood” by Tara Lazar. Children are encouraged to check out these books from their local libraries and use them as inspiration for their bookmark designs.

Sampling of last year’s entries, including the grand prize winner and three additional top five finalists.

The contest is open to all students in Indiana schools, from kindergarten to third grade. The first-place winner will have their bookmark printed in color and distributed to libraries throughout the state, their school will receive a supply of the winning bookmarks and, starting on July 1, 2017, their school or local library will receive one year of the InfoExpress library delivery service. Four honorable mentions will receive the same perks as the grand prize winner, except for the year of InfoExpress service. Bookmarks will be judged on artistic quality, use of color and use of theme. The contest entry form is available here and the form must be postmarked or emailed by March 18, 2017.

Additionally, the winning designs will be featured at Indiana’s booth at the Pavilion of the States during the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. The Indiana Center for the Book gives away thousands of bookmarks to festival participants each year. The festival is free and celebrates the joy of books and reading and features authors, illustrators and poets of all ages.

For more information, contact Michael Hicks, InfoExpress Coordinator, Indiana State Library.

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.

2017 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award ballot announced

As the co-director of the Indiana Center for the Book (with the esteemed Christy Franzman of the Indiana Young Readers Center as the other co-director), I delight every January in working with other members of the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee to finalize the ballot for the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. In its third year, the Firefly Award strives to present a balanced ballot of high quality picture books that appeal to our youngest book enthusiasts; children ages 0-5.

This year, I’m particularly excited that two books by Indiana authors are included: “Race Car Count” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and “Best in Snow” by April Pulley Sayre. Both these books are quintessentially Indiana in two very different ways. Dotlich’s counting concept book covers the exciting Indy-centric topic of motor sports, while never directly stating anything specific to the Indy 500. A fun addition is the back matter, where she introduces the reader to her cast of characters, a remarkably diverse cast, considering they are race cars. Sayre’s book, the only nonfiction book on the list, is illustrated by crisp photographs of Indiana wildlife and landscapes draped, frosted and dusted with snow. “Best in Snow” continues Sayre’s work of introducing science and nature concepts to young children in rhyming chant.

Along with the two Indiana books, the 2017 Firefly ballot is rounded out by animals, music and interactivity. “Grumpy Pants” by Claire Messer shows children that even if they wake up feeling grumpy, they can be the boss of their own emotions and take actions to turn their feelings around. “Don’t Wake Up Tiger!” by Britta Teckentrup is an invitation to interactive play, as children are invited to pet, stroke and sooth Tiger to keep her asleep. “Music Class Today!” by David Weinstone is the most diverse book on the list, picturing a mustachioed male guitar player leading a group of racially-diverse children and their care-givers in a rousing session of music class complete with rhythm and repetition.

I want to encourage libraries in Indiana to collect these five books, present them to children ages 0-5, and their caregivers, and give the children a chance to vote on their favorite. Voting information can be found here and can be done in a variety of ways. Some libraries create little voting booths for this program and others just have the children vote by a show of hands.

All library systems in Indiana will receive 15 copies of the ballot courtesy of TeachingBooks.net and are welcome to make more copies as needed or to print off additional copies of the ballot from the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award website. TeachingBooks.net has also partnered with us to collect some resources for each book to assist in programming and sharing.

It’s an exciting time for the Firefly Award! Now begins the long wait through spring to see which book will win.

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.

Interview with Andrew Horner, Director of Converse-Jackson Township Library

Paula Newcom, Northwest Regional Coordinator,  recently visited the new Director of the Converse-Jackson Township Library, Andrew Horner. He is a graduate of Purdue University and worked previously at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer as Area Director.  Working in libraries is a new endeavor for him.  He is definitely enthusiastic about learning all aspects of public libraries!  He is an avid history buff and loves helping out on the family farm.

Andy Horner

PN: Are you from the area?  If not, where are you from originally?

AH: I am from the area. I grew up in the small town of Amboy, in Miami County.

PN: What inspired you to work in libraries?

AH: I have always loved books and people and small towns. I knew that I wanted to be in the area that I grew up in and this job allows me to combine all of my loves at once!

PN: What is your favorite thing about working for your library?

AH: The people!! I love our patrons and the fact that in a small library, we know our patrons by name. Someone comes in and they feel welcome and at home. To help with and be a part of that is a wonderful feeling!

PN: What is your favorite book?

AH: My favorite book is the Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas.

PN: If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?

AH: I would pick Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. These men are considered great leaders who lead by peace and love. I would enjoy speaking with them about how they lead and stick to peace in a sometimes violent world.

PN: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

AH: I enjoy reading and watching TV. I grew up on a small family farm and love going home to help my parents whenever I can. Family is very important to me and I love being there for them whenever I can!

This blog post by Paula Newcom, Professional Development Librarian. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov.

Director’s Interview: Debbie Clapp, Ladoga-Clark Township Public Library

Kimberly Brown-Harden, Northwest Regional Coordinator recently had an opportunity to talk with Debbie Clapp, Director, Ladoga-Clark Township Public Library. She replaced Wanda Bennett who retired this year.  Debbie is very passionate and excited about libraries and how to best serve the patrons in her area.   Here’s her story: 

Debbie

What is your name?

Debbie Clapp

What is the name of the library you work for?

Ladoga-Clark Twp. Public Library

Are you from the area? If not, where are you from originally?

I live in Crawfordsville about 15 minutes away from Ladoga.

What inspired you to work in libraries?

It’s always the love of books, isn’t it? I love the stories-both in books and in the clients who come into the library looking for a book. Whether it is a book for light reading or a DIY book to fix the DIY task that went awry, there is always a story to be told.

What is your favorite thing about working for your library?

I love the people, especially the children. I love how the book captures them, at least for a moment, and they too are “in” the story.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite is usually the one I just finished, but I have read several books multiple times because I love them, such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings.

If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?

My utmost favorite person in history is George Rogers Clark. He was known as the “Conqueror of the Old Northwest.” and led, with very small resources and in daunting weather and terrain, a group of men to victory during the Revolutionary War. I love his quote, “Great things have been effected by a few men well conducted.” I would love to speak with Mother Teresa because of her mercy, humility and utter focus on the needs of others. Finally, I would love to talk with the Apostle Paul about his travels and his utmost dedication to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

I am an amateur, amateur, amateur painter in acrylics. I enjoy it and can see my own improvement but am still squarely in the level of expertise that my family begs me to not give them my artwork as gifts!!

 

 

 

Nichelle M. Hayes 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.

nmh headshot

Name: Nichelle M. Hayes

Cohort: Cohort 3

Current Employer: Indianapolis Public Library

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

I was an English Lit major during my undergrad. I’ve always had a thirst for knowledge and love to share that knowledge. I’ve been a genealogy researcher for 20+ years. Kisha Tandy (2nd cohort) told me about the opportunity for the fellowship. I felt like it was a great opportunity and I was honored to be selected.

How did the fellowship help prepare you for your career?

I would not have been able to obtain a MLS without the fellowship. Networking with other Fellows and individuals who were already in the field really helped give me an amazing background knowledge for librarianship. I continue to network with fellows and other librarians that I met during the fellowship. Marcia Smith-Woodard is such an inspiration. She really guided me during the process. She was a cheerleader, coach and mentor. Her help has been invaluable.

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

Since, I was completely new to the field, my focus was to learn as much as possible about all facets of librarianship. I also wanted to work in the field after graduation.

Describe your career path.

While I was working on my MLS, I worked at an elementary school. I was fortunate enough to be able to begin my career as a Library Media Specialist, where I built a library from the ground up. During that same time I worked (and continue to work ) as the librarian for my church. I am currently an Adult Public Librarian at Central Library in Indianapolis.

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

Determine your goal and see if the MLS will help you to achieve that goal. Conduct extensive research on salary and job availability. Determine the best area of the country (or the world) for your area of interest. Look outside the box of traditional librarianship. There are lots of areas where an MLS can be beneficial.

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

I am the Librarian for my church. I actively promote literacy to the congregation. I am a member of IBLN and ILF.

State Library bids farewell to Children’s Services Consultant Angela Dubinger

Angela Dubinger has been the Children’s Services Consultant at the Indiana State Library for nearly a year. As some of you may already know, Angela will be leaving to pursue a Angela_editnew position in Madison County. The following is an excerpt from our conversation discussing her time at the State Library and what she looks forward to in the future.

RB: Your last day is coming up on February 12th, does it seem like the last year has flown by?

AD: Yeah, it really does! I have so many emails to go through, kit requests, consultations and training requests that are a big part of what I do. So, it really fills up a lot of time when you add a sometimes heavy training schedule and you are out three times a week. I remember in September I booked way too many trainings, and you can’t know the first few months that you work here. Then here comes October and Indiana Library Federation Conference presentations and having to get those ready, but it was such a busy season. Continue reading

An interview with Hope Greathouse

Southwest Regional Coordinator Amber Painter recently interviewed Hope Greathouse from the Madison Correctional Facility in Madison, Indiana. Madison Correctional edited2Facility is one of the many correctional facilities in Indiana that possesses a library. Hope is the library supervisor at the facility who has been serving inmates in the adult correctional facility for several years.

AP: Are you from the Area?
HG: I am originally from Pendleton, Indiana

AP: What inspired you to work in libraries?
HG: I have a degree in education. Since I have started working in the adult correctional facility as the administrative assistant, I don’t really get a chance to use my degree and to pursue my passion. The library allows me to keep in touch with my educator side.

AP: What is your favorite book?
HG: My favorite book is “I Know This Much is True” by Wally Lamb.

AP: If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?
HG: I would love to have dinner with Abraham Lincoln. He was President during such a trying time in our nation’s history. I would love to have dinner with Robin Williams because he was so funny and played so many great roles. I would love to have dinner with Oprah as I think she is a great philanthropist and she also has great taste in books.

AP: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
HG: When I am not at work I love reading, camping, and vacationing with family.

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