Virtual reality (augmented reality): The next step in information evolution

From oral traditions to pictographs to manuscripts to mass production printing, humans have always looked for the best way to share stories with the most number of people in the most effective way. We have adapted to use different media to tell our stories and virtual reality and augmented reality are the next media platforms.

Libraries have long been a place to try out new technologies before they become household items. Remember when Bill Gates gave us all those PCs?

Immersive experiences can provide safe training spaces (imagine performing surgery without having to risk a patient), increase empathy (imagine literally viewing the world through the eyes of a person who is homeless) and let one travel without limits (imagine taking a field trip to the moon—walking in Neil Armstrong’s footsteps).

The HTC Vive is one of the first commercially available VR headsets and one of the most high-end platforms available. Because it’s more than just a headset, users experience more immersive activities because the handheld controllers are tracked as well as the head.

The following programs help to get a feel for what VR can be:

  • Tilt brush – 3-D art you can create and interact with
  • Google Earth – visit anywhere the Google cameras have been
  • The Body VR – learn about biological systems as if you were in the Fantastic Voyage
  • SoundStage – virtual sound equipment to create music

As patrons start to see VR depicted in more areas of life (“Ready Player One” hits theaters in March 2018), providing the unique experience of actually being a participant in VR will be an exciting opportunity for Hoosiers in every community.

The HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit is available for check out by libraries eligible for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants through the Indiana State Library (ISL), including school and academic libraries, as well as any public library that meets standards. The kit is available for a loan period of three months and will be delivered and set up by ISL staff who can train up to six staff members at the time of delivery. Libraries can return the kit to ISL after use or schedule a time for an ISL staff person to pick it up. The kit cannot be shipped through InfoExpress. Libraries are encouraged to develop programming around the kit to share with patrons. The HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit can be scheduled by contacting your regional coordinator.

HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit components:

  • 1 set of HTC Vive Virtual Reality equipment (including head set, 2 hand controllers, 2 light houses, and cables)
  • 2 tripods for the lighthouses
  • 1 computer (not wireless compatible)
  • 1 keyboard
  • 1 mouse

Funding for this project is from the Institute of Museum and Library Service under the provisions of the LSTA.

VR in libraries:
Public Libraries Online  – provides programming ideas
California’s Virtual Reality Experience  – installed VR systems in over half of the public library jurisdictions in underserved communities
Library Use of New Visualizaton Technologies – a blog post by MIT Information Science Graduate Research Intern, Diana Hellyar

This blog post was written by Wendy Knapp, associate director of statewide services. 

Lost book makes its way back to state library after 40 years

Recently, after a 40-year, 10-month and 27-day absence, a long-missing item was finally returned to the Indiana State Library. Arriving in a United States Postal Service (USPS) box, the package was postmarked from Arlington, Virginia. The book inside was well-worn and much-used. As you can see in the lower right corner it must have also moonlighted as a coaster at some point. With a due date of Aug. 23, 1976, we can only image what an overdue fine would be back then. Today, we charge 25 cents a day for overdue books, which would make the fine $3,735.25.

The book? William Bast’s 1956 James Dean biography, which was published a year after the native Indiana actor’s death in a California auto accident. Bast was also Dean’s roommate at UCLA.

For now, the book goes back on the shelf with a flag for our conservator to find at a later date for repair work. As for the overdue fine, if there was circulation pardon that I could bestow, this would earn it. However, it had been missing for so long there is no way to trace who had it. Let this serve as a reminder to us all that it is clearly never too late to return an overdue library book. Even though it was due six years before I was born, I’m glad to see it back.

This blog post was written by Stephanie E. Smith, circulation supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the circulation supervisor at stsmith3@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.

A letter from Afghanistan

In the Harriet L. Paddock collection, in between folders of genealogical research on the Paddock and other families, is a letter from Bill Castor to Harriet’s father William S. Paddock. During the latter part of 1954, Bill decided to take a trip to Afghanistan, a place that had long fascinated him. In his letter he also recounts his travels through the region including his time spent in Tehran, Iran after the 1953 coup.

The following correspondence is available in the Indiana Digital Collections.

Harriet L. Paddock taught in the Business Department of Butler University for 28 years. She attended Indiana State University, graduating in 1929. She later received her master’s in education from Harvard University and a doctorate from Indiana University.

Her collection of genealogical research and correspondence relating to the Paddock, Lewis, Rea and other families is available to view in the Genealogy Division on the first floor of the library.

“This blog post by Sarah Pfundstein, genealogy librarian. For more information, contact the Genealogy Division at (317) 232-3689 or email spfundstein@library.in.gov.”

Bicentennial Commission holds final meeting at Indiana State Library

On Thursday, June 30, 2017, the Indiana Bicentennial Commission met for the final time at the Indiana State Library. The commission, which included former First Lady Karen Pence and former Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who served as co-chair, set “the direction of the planning and funding of a strategic plan to implement a cost-effective, inclusive [and] realistic celebration of Indiana’s 2016 bicentennial.” Started under the guidance of former governor Mitch Daniels in 2012, the commission worked for five years planning and implementing the state’s bicentennial celebration.

Executive Director Perry Hammock detailed one such endeavor. The statewide Bison-tennial Public Art Project, which was sponsored by the United Way, aimed at placing five-foot-tall fiberglass bison in every county in the state. Even though a small handful of counties did not display a sponsored bison, the art project was a rousing success.

When Indiana turned 200 on Dec. 16, 2016, the Bicentennial Commission had carried out several major events and completed many major celebratory projects, such as the construction of the Bicentennial Plaza outside of the statehouse, the building of Statehouse Education Center in the Indiana State Library and the execution of the torch relay, which saw a bicentennial torch carried through all 92 of Indiana’s counties.

Even though the commission has disbanded after a very successful five years, the Indiana State Library is still seeking materials related to Indiana’s bicentennial for archival purposes. Individuals or organizations with such materials may contact Bethany Fiechter of the Rare Books & Manuscripts Division at the 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.

Proposed Friends of the Riley Library group seeks members

My name is Dena Vincent and I’ve been the librarian at the Edward A. Block Family Library at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health for over 14 years. I received my Masters in Library Science in 2003 from Indiana University.

The children’s library at Riley Hospital got its start in the early 20th century. At the 1923 meeting of the Indiana Library Association, currently known as the Indiana Library Federation after a 1990 merger with the Indiana Library Trustees Association, members of the association pledged their support for the children’s library at Riley Memorial Hospital, today’s Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.1

I am seeking people who would be interested in starting and running a Friends of the Riley Library group. The focus of the group will be to support volunteer efforts for the library and to raise funds for the library to purchase and pay for magazine subscriptions, collection updates, supplies and, ultimately, to help fund library staff. The overall goal would be to generate the necessary funds to create and support an endowment for the library and its programs and services. The proposed friends of the library group would work closely with me and with the Riley Children’s Foundation to augment the support currently provided.

Due to increasing costs and a reduction in reimbursements, many cuts have been made in departmental budgets in the last few years. Therefore, non-revenue producing departments, like the library, will ultimately be funded by the Riley Children’s foundation.

The Edward A. Block Family Library is a library for patients and families. The library is similar to a small public library offering books for all ages, movies, video games, music CDs, magazines, phone charging, computers and printing/faxing/copying. Other services include Riley Reading Time on CCTV, dial-a-story and volunteers reading to patients and delivering book carts to their rooms.

Patients and families are welcome to come to the library, however, 35 percent of our patients are in isolation and another 25 percent are in the NICU.2 If a parent is not there to provide some distraction then these children may not have any type of distraction other than nurses or doctors. The Cheer Guild provides toys and crafts for the children, but as you can imagine children need other resources, especially reading.

The library at Riley got its start with the help of Indiana librarians and with your continued support we can provide a library to patients and families well into the future.

If you would like to be a member of the Friends of the Riley Library, call me at (317) 944-1149 or email me.

If you would like to volunteer, you may fill out an application here.

If you would like to donate monies/materials, or learn more about the library, please visit our website.

1Spencer, Rhonda, and Dina Kellams. “In Conclusion: Highlighting the Indiana Library Association-1923 Meeting at the West Baden Springs Hotel.” Indiana Libraries 31.2 (2012) 56. Abstract. Library Occurrent 6.12 (1923): 427-28. Print.

2 Riley Hospital. Riley Hospital Daily Brief. Rep. N.p.: n.p., 2016. Print. November & December.

This blog post was written by Dena Vincent, librarian, Edward A. Block Family Library at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.

Summer Storytimes and Learn IN Workshops recap

With the Indiana Young Readers Center (IYRC) grand opening in October, this summer was the first opportunity for IYRC staff to dip their toes into summer programming for kids. We had a lot of fun and we hope to see you next summer, if not sooner!

In June, the IYRC hosted two storytimes for children ages 3-7 and four workshops for children in grades 3-6. Each storytime involved books, crafts and playing in the IYRC. Each workshop paired an art form taught by an Arts for Learning artist, with a topic related to Indiana history or Indiana literature. Children learned about different kinds of poetry written by Indiana poets and Tony Styxx gave a lesson on spoken word poetry. Robin McBride Scott showed children how to make an effigy vessel after they learned about treaties and they saw St. Mary’s Treaty up close! After looking at Baist Atlas maps for signs of segregation along Indiana Avenue in the 1940s, Bonnie Maurer helped children write pieces of jazz poetry. Bob Sander explained the elements of storytelling after children heard about genealogy and made timelines of their lives. All of these programs were free for anyone who wanted to join in the fun.

Please enjoy these photo highlights:

We learned so much about effigy pottery from Robin McBride Scott and had fun making our own pieces, bowls that look like birds.

This young man shows off his effigy pottery creation.

Caitlyn shows visitors how to use Baist maps to search for clues of segregation along Indiana Avenue.

Bonnie Maurer led us in jazz poetry exercises to hone our writing skills.

These children show off the masks they made at the “All About Clifford” storytime.

After the stories were read and the crafts were made, these siblings played in the IYRC.

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

Interstate Library Compact

An interstate compact is an agreement among member states that addresses a common issue. In the case of the Interstate Library Compact, the issue to solve was how to provide the best library services when the distribution of the population makes it more practical for a library to serve residents of another state.

A real world example of what this looks like follows:

Indiana’s Union City Public Library serves the residents of Union City, Ind. Union City also extends into Ohio. However, Indiana’s library card law only allows the Union City Public Library to provide library cards to out of state residents when there is an interstate compact agreement in place. Otherwise, Indiana libraries may only provide library cards to Indiana residents, and they must charge for the cards if the Indiana residents are not part of the library’s tax district. Indiana’s Union City Public Library is the closest public library for Union City, Ohio residents. However, without an interstate compact agreement, the Indiana library could not serve the Ohio patrons.

Images courtesy of Pixabay (https://pixabay.com)

The Interstate Library Compact establishes standards and procedures for providing library services on an interstate basis. States become part of the Interstate Library Compact by enacting legislation that mirrors the language of the compact. Then, member states, or public libraries within the member states, can enter into cooperative agreements with the libraries of other member states.

According to the National Center for Interstate Compacts, there are 34 states that are a part of the Interstate Library Compact. See the list of member libraries who have chosen to enact the Interstate Library Compact into law. Indiana and our neighboring states Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky have all chosen to be part of the Interstate Library Compact. If you have questions about interstate compacts, please contact the Indiana State Library (317) 232-3675 or toll free at 1 (866) 683-0008.

This blog post was written by Sylvia Watson, library law consultant and legal counsel, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Sylvia at sywatson@library.IN.gov.

NOW Courier visit

In preparation for the approaching 2017-2018 INfoExpress year, Indiana State Library (ISL) staff visited NOW Courier, the state’s vendor providing statewide library courier service. ISL and NOW staff meet regularly throughout the year to discuss issues and upcoming changes affecting service, such as SRCS and the revised library standards.

During our most recent visit to NOW, their CFO and customer care team heard many of the concerns libraries have shared with us over the past two months related to late or missed deliveries, missing parcels or driver problems. NOW staff assured us they will continue working to make INfoExpress a reliable and trustworthy service for our 381 participating libraries, schools and universities. In fact, NOW delivered over half a million parcels to Indiana libraries in the past year.

Did you know your NOW Courier delivery driver is a busy independent contractor? In addition to books, NOW Courier drivers also deliver office supplies, pharmaceuticals, payroll information and even mail shipped through DHL. NOW Courier even facilitates the delivery of vital organs and blood to hospitals, though those would never be on the same route as your books.

Following the meeting, NOW Courier Customer Care Manager Nick Brownlee showed us around their Indianapolis hub. In these pictures, you can see the book parcel sorting tubs and shelves for the various routes in Indianapolis and around the state. While the warehouse was quiet at 2 p.m, he said it’s a bustling place from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. as drivers work overnight to sort and prep the parcels for each route’s deliveries.

We hope you have enjoyed this peek into the logistics of shipping your books!

This blog post by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office director. For more information or questions regarding INfoExpress, contact David Michael Hicks at (317) 232-3699 or email dhicks@library.in.gov.

Is Clifford a Hoosier?

Well, kind of. Technically, Clifford the Big Red Dog lives on Birdwell Island with his best pal, Emily Elizabeth. However, his author and creator, Norman Bridwell, is from Indiana!  Bridwell (1928-2016) was born in Kokomo. Before creating the famous big red dog, Mr. Bridwell attended Kokomo High School and John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis.  “Clifford the Big Red Dog” was first published in 1963 and the series is still popular with children today!

The Indiana State Library recently held a Saturday Storytime program, “All About Clifford,” in the Young Readers Center. Children enjoyed hearing several stories about Clifford the Big Red Dog and his adventures with Emily Elizabeth. They then made Clifford masks and enjoyed time in Clifford’s big doghouse. Each child in attendance received a free copy of “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” courtesy of the Indiana State Library Foundation.

Clifford the Big Red Dog and his creator are featured in one of the exhibits in the Indiana Young Readers Center. Visitors can read Clifford’s original story and learn more about the big red dog and his creator from Indiana!

Many of Bridwell’s books can be found in the Young Readers Center and can be checked out with an Indiana State Library card or an Evergreen Indiana card.

This blog post was written by Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian Christy Franzman. For more information on this post or the Indiana State Library, please call 317-232-3675.