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.

How would you like your coffee?

Ah, yes, coffee, that marvelous drink so many of us have in our hands at some point in the day. It is such a pervasive part of our lives and our society that we not only drink it, we also cook with it. The book “Coffee Cookery” by Helmut Ripperger has a wide variety of food and drink made with coffee: Mocha pudding, mocha cupcakes and coffee cream pie. The following recipe is for hot coffee rum. Now doesn’t that sound lovely for a snowy night in front of the fire?

Have you ever wondered, even for a moment, how coffee and even coffee houses came to be so important? The Indiana State Library has a number of materials on the history of coffee, how and where it’s grown, as well as its influence on society.

One such book is “All About Coffee” by William H. Ukers, an in-depth work on the historical, technical, scientific, commercial, social and artistic aspects of coffee. The book contains numerous illustrations of historical London coffee houses as well as the following “Picture Coffee Map of the World.”

A current book in our browsing collection is “Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry” edited by Robert W. Thurston, Jonathan Morris and Shawn Steiman. It contains articles submitted by researchers on areas not only including the history of coffee, but also special chapters on producer country and consumer country profiles, the quality of coffee and coffee and health.

The idea that coffee is beneficial to your health isn’t new. The following image is of the first coffee broadside of 1674 speaking about how coffee was not only a “sober and wholesome drink,” but also was great at “preventing and curing most diseases.” There is a passage in the material that mentions another book entitled “Advice Against the Plague” by Gideon Harvey that recommended coffee as a way of warding of the contagion. There is also the story about a man named Pepys, who after being warned that his health was in danger if he continued drinking alcoholic drinks to excess, started frequenting coffee houses as a way to socialize without spirits, even though he wasn’t particularly fond of coffee as a drink.

Broadside from “Penny Universities: a History of the Coffee-Houses” by Aytoun Ellis

Just as with taverns and tea houses one of the most important aspects of coffee houses is and always was the opportunity to socialize. There were coffee houses that were infamous for being places where gambling was abundant, while others were places that business men would meet to read and discuss the news from that day’s papers, to simply discuss business or to grumble against their current government. In 1675, this last aspect brought about a royal “Proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee Houses” because of “the defamation of his majesties government” being spread by coffee house customers. Most, if not all, of these social activities can be found in today’s coffee houses making them a vibrant part of modern society and why coffee, no matter where it is served, is such a big part of people getting together.

To find out more about the history of coffee and coffee houses come to the state library. We’ll be happy to pull a few books for you.

This blog post by Daina Bohr, reference librarian. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services Collections at (317) 232-3678 or email dbohr@library.in.gov.