Geekspotting 2.0

The annual Indiana Library Federation (ILF) conference is right around the corner which means it’s time to check-in with Alex Sarkissian of the Allen County Public Library and Jocelyn Lewis of the Indiana State Library to see what’s going on in the ever-changing world of pop culture. Join us Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at 1:15 p.m. for “Geekspotting 2.0: Building a Popular and Diverse Collection for Your Library.”

This year’s topic will focus on diversity and representation in pop culture. Diversity has been a major concept lately and the demand to include traditionally marginalized voices in comics, movies, TV and gaming has led to an explosion of material. We’ll help you sift through it all and make collection development recommendations that are sure to be a hit with your local community.

Registration for ILF 2017 is now open.

For those who can’t make it to ILF this year, we will also be offering a live webinar version of this program on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at 10 a.m. You can register for this event here.

Both presentations are LEU-eligible!

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

New public awareness coordinator for the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library

In May, the Indiana State Library Foundation hired Elizabeth Pearl to be the new public awareness coordinator for the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. As the public awareness coordinator, Elizabeth provides statewide outreach services to libraries, support groups, nursing homes and any other organization interested in utilizing and promoting talking books.

Pearl works with patrons at the Hendricks County Senior Center in June of 2017.

Elizabeth wants to spread awareness of the talking book program by talking directly to librarians, service providers and potential users. She is happy to travel throughout the state to attend events at your library or provide training to your library staff, to attend local health fairs and other community events or visit other organizations or groups interested in using or promoting the talking book program.

If you would like Elizabeth to visit your library or attend your event, you can contact her via email or call her at 1-847-770-0933.

This blog post was written by Maggie Ansty of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. For more information, contact the Talking Books and Braille Library at 1-800-622-4970 or via email.

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. 

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

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.

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.

Mineral springs of Indiana

What do the small Indiana towns of French Lick, West Baden, Martinsville and Kramer have in common? In the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, in these towns, you could find relief from what ailed you; especially digestive issues and rheumatism. If you lived during these times, you might find refuge from your ailments at many of the mineral springs found in rural Indiana.

You might have found their main advertising focused on the curing properties of the mineral springs’ water via their natural healing content in relaxing surroundings. With “the combination of magnificent scenery and pure, bracing mountain air, with the medicinal virtues of the springs and the comforts of a palatially equipped and perfectly conducted hotel,” you could have been one of the thousands of tourists and health seekers seeking the “veritable Elixir of Life.”

Today, you can still visit French Lick and West Baden and stay at their popular resorts, but you won’t be able to partake in their famous waters. The Pluto Water of French Lick, with its devilish likeness, and the Sprudel Water of West Baden, with its friendly elf, are now bygone images.

Both waters had high native content of mineral salts, making them an effective laxative usually within one hour of ingestion, a selling point emphasized in the company’s promotional literature. Sodium and magnesium sulfate, both known as natural laxatives, and lithium salts were the active ingredients in the water. Sorry, you can’t buy Pluto Water anymore. The sale of Pluto Water ended in 1971 when lithium became a controlled substance.

Meanwhile, you could defeat your rheumatism at the Martinsville Sanitarium, as their motto “Where Rheumatism meets Its Waterloo” expresses, or at the Mudlavia Resort in Kramer. Both spas offered relief from the pain of rheumatism, referred to today as osteoarthritis, through soaking in mineral waters or using the method of being lathered from head to toe in hot mud.

In the Indiana Pamphlet Collection, the Indiana State Library has many brochures and pamphlets about these and other bygone mineral spring spas and resorts. Some of these rare and fragile materials are now available in the Indiana Historical Print Collection of the Indiana State Library’s Digital Collections. In the collection, one can find pamphlets from West Baden, White Sulphur Springs in Montezuma, Ind., Nature’s Rest and Water Cure in Trinity Springs, Ind. and the Dillsboro Sanitarium Company in Dillsboro, Ind.

For more information, visit the Mineral Springs Spas in Indiana page of the state library’s website. Information about Mudlavia, Indiana’s “other resort” can be found on the Indiana public media page. Finally, one may browse the “26th annual report of the Department of Geology and Natural Resources of Indiana, 1901” for a detailed report on the mineral waters of Indiana.

This post was written by Chris Marshall, digital collections coordinator for the Indiana Division at the Indiana State Library.

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

Marie Stuart Edwards: Suffragist and social reformer

Indiana engendered more than one leader of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. The most recognized of these Hoosier suffragists today are probably May Wright Sewall and Ida Husted Harper. Marie Stuart Edwards of Peru, Ind. was among the next generation of activists to take up the cause.

Marie Stuart Edward, circa 1910s. (SP021)

In many ways, Edwards was typical of women’s suffragists from Indiana. Born on Sept. 11, 1880, she was one of two children in an upper middle-class family from Lafayette, Ind. Edwards received a first-class education, having graduated from Smith College in 1901 and had a supportive husband, Richard E. Edwards (1880-1969), who she married in 1904.

Over six feet in height with brown hair and eyes, Edwards was described as “a woman of brilliant, buoyant personality” in the Carroll County Citizen-Times. Not one for idle hands, Edwards oversaw designing and decorating for her husband’s business, the Peru Chair Company, while raising her only child, Richard Arthur (1909-1984), and taking an interest in social reform.

Marie Stuart Edward and her son, Richard Arthur, 1912. (SP021)

Alongside her contemporaries Grace Julian Clark and Luella McWhirter, Edwards belonged to various women’s clubs and desired the right to vote so she might effect social change. Also, like many Hoosier suffragists, Edwards lent her support to the mainstream suffrage movement, carefully keeping away from the more radical factions, such as Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party.

Map of states where women could vote in 1914. From NAWSA pamphlet (S3355).

In 1917, Edwards was elected president of the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana, an organization associated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). That same year, the Indiana General Assembly passed the Maston-McKinley Partial Suffrage Act, granting Hoosier women the right to vote in municipal, school and special elections.

Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana leaflet before repeal of partial suffrage law, 1917. (S3355)

Between 30,000 and 40,000 women registered to vote in Indianapolis alone within a few months. However, Indiana suffragists soon suffered a bitter disappointment. On October 26, 1917, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the law was unconstitutional.

The court’s decision shocked Edwards, but she declared that Indiana women would continue to fight for equal enfranchisement. She was right. Although the women of the state seemed shaken by the setback, they soon recovered, gaining confidence as momentum for a national suffrage amendment mounted.

Cartoon from NAWSA leaflet promoting pro-suffrage parades in Chicago and St. Louis, 1916. (S3355)

While managing her husband’s chair factory during his war service, Edwards also served as the Franchise League’s president until 1919, when she became more heavily involved with NAWSA working for the passage of the 19th Amendment. The Susan B. Anthony Amendment, as it was then called, was ratified on August 18, 1920. It stated, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Carrie Chapman Catt and Marie Stuart Edwards on either side of the next U.S. president, Warren G. Harding, Social Justice Day, October 1, 1920, Marion, Ohio. (SP021)

In February of 1920, months before the amendment’s passage, Edwards helped found the League of Women Voters, in preparation for helping women exercise their new rights as voting citizens. A non-partisan organization, approximately 2 million women joined the League by 1921. Edwards served as the first treasurer of the National League of Women Voters and then as the organization’s first vice president until 1923. As part of her duties as treasurer and manager of the national speakers bureau for the League, she traveled widely across the United States.

Marie Stuart Edwards (front row, middle) volunteering with the Red Cross during World War II. (SP021)

In Indiana, Edwards remained heavily invested in civic responsibility. She was the first woman to sit on the Peru Board of Education and in 1922, Governor Warren T. McCray appointed her to the Indiana State Board of Education. Later, Edwards led the local Works Progress Administration board in Miami County during the Great Depression. In 1937, she served as vice president of the Indiana Board of Public Welfare, as well as chairman of the drafting committee for the Indiana Civil Service bill. Edwards was also a member of Miami County Board of Public Welfare (late 1940s-1955) and served on state women’s prison parole board during the 1950s. She died in Peru, Indiana on November 17, 1970.

Wilson, Mindwell Crampton. “Thoughts in Passing.” Carroll County Citizen-Times, November 17, 1917, 3.

Dice, Nellie Waggoner. “Forum: The Readers Corner.” Indianapolis Star, July 16, 1977, 63.

Harper, Ida Husted, ed. “Indiana.” In History of Woman Suffrage, 1900-1920, vol. 6. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922.

Kalvaitis, Jennifer M. “Indianapolis Women Working for the Right to Vote: The Forgotten Drama of 1917.” MA thesis, Indiana University, 2013.

Images from the Mary Smiley Small Photograph Collection (SP021) and Women’s Suffrage Movement Collection (S3355), Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library. These items are available online in Women in Hoosier History collection in the ISL Digital Collections.

This blog post was written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian Brittany Kropf. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or “Ask-A-Librarian.

Free summer programs for children at the ISL

The Indiana State Library is thrilled to announce that the Indiana Young Readers Center will provide free youth programming this summer. June is going to be packed with fun storytimes for younger kids and engaging workshops for older kids. Read below for more information and on how to register for our programs. All programs will take place at the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio Street in Indianapolis.

Summer Storytime
Children, ages 3-7

All About Clifford!
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017,10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Young Readers Center

What: Children will gather in the state library’s Young Readers Center to hear stories all about Clifford the Big Red Dog! Clifford’s author and creator, Norman Bridwell, was a Hoosier native born in Kokomo, Indiana. Kids will enjoy Clifford activities and crafts during this free program. Families are welcome to stay and explore Clifford’s doghouse and the rest of the Young Readers Center afterward.

All About Indiana!
When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Young Readers Center

What: Children will gather in the State Library’s Young Readers Center to take a road trip through Indiana and learn cool facts about our great state! Kids will enjoy Indiana-themed activities and crafts during this free program. Families are welcome to stay and explore the Young Readers Center after the program.

Registration: You can register for All About Clifford! and All About Indiana! online or by emailing or calling Christy Franzman, (317) 232-3700. Make sure to include the following information: Name of each child attending, age, name of parent/guardian and contact number. Space is limited. We will accept up to 30 children to be registered for this program.

During Summer Storytime, parents are expected to stay and enjoy the stories and activities.

Learn IN: Workshops for Kids
Children, grades 3-6

These workshops feature Arts for Learning Indiana artists.

Recipe for an Emcee
When: Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Local spoken word poet, Tony Styxx, will visit and help everyone write some of their own poetry lines. Kids will learn about using interesting adjectives, adverbs and similes to enhance their writing. Before Tony Styxx arrives, children will hear the work of other Indiana poets and learn more about different kinds of poetry.

Gifts from the Earth: Native American Effigy Pottery
When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 1:30 p.m – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will hear about the part Native Americans have played in the history of Indiana. Then artist, Robin McBride Scott, will tell about the history and culture of the Mississippi Native Peoples and the clay techniques they used. Everyone will create a piece of North American Mississippi-style pottery called an effigy vessel, which is in the form of a human or animal.

Jazz on the Fly
When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will hear about the history of Indiana Avenue, where the Jazz scene flourished in downtown Indianapolis, and they will see the difference between primary and secondary sources. Local writer, Bonnie Maurer, will lead everyone in reading jazz poetry, listening to jazz music and composing poems.

Tell Your Story
When: Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will learn about genealogy, where to find more information about their family and begin outlining their family tree. Local storyteller, Bob Sander, will teach the elements of story and everyone will practice telling their personal and family stories to new friends.

Registration: Please register for Recipe for an Emcee, Gifts from the Earth, Jazz on the Fly and Tell your Story online or by emailing or calling Caitlyn Stypa, (317) 232-3700. Make sure to include the following information: Name of each child attending, grade the child will be in next year, name of parent/guardian and contact number. Space is limited. We will accept up to 30 children to be registered for this program.

During Learn IN workshops, parents are welcome to enjoy the rest of the library or drop off their child for the duration of the program.

Indiana State Library media release policy
By registering for these programs, I hereby grant the Indiana State Library (ISL) permission to use my or my minor child or children’s photograph publically to promote the library. I understand that the images may be used worldwide for any lawful purpose, including educational and advertisement purposes and in any medium, including print and electronic. I further waive any claim for compensation of any kind for ISL’s use or publication of the images and/or those of my minor children, if applicable.

All programs being made possible by funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Indiana State Library.

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