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.  

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

Lake County Public Library direct mail to non-card holders case study

Today we welcome guest blogger Jennifer Burnison of the Lake County Public Library

In the fall of 2016, the Lake County Public Library (LCPL) wanted to reach out to community members who did not have a library card. We believed if we promoted our digital library services to the 25-39 year old community, we would see more individuals in this age range sign up for a library card and then proceed to use the library’s digital resources. This age range is defined by young professionals and young parents who feel they do not have time to use traditional library services, but we believed they would be eager to use our digital library. LCPL wanted to send postcards to this group promoting the digital library, along with instructions on how to sign up for a library card remotely, but we weren’t sure how to identify individuals in this age range who did not have a library card.

We overcame this issue by using Patronlink, a powerful library marketing, analytics and outreach tool that allows libraries to analyze and communicate with patrons and non-patrons alike. LCPL was able to upload and flag their current patrons’ records in Patronlink’s database of over 270 million individuals. Using the filter tools, we narrowed the file down to our service area and selected individuals who were 25-39 years old. Finally, we omitted current patrons from the list, giving us a list of all the 25-39 year-olds in our service area who did not have library cards.

Lake County Public Library

Taking it one step further, we wondered if the income levels of these individuals affected their desire to use digital services. We knew our service area covered two zip codes with similar populations, but with divergent income levels. LCPL decided to only send postcards to the individuals aged 25-39 in these two zip codes and look at the key performance indicator (KPI) to see which sample had more individuals sign up for library cards.

The postcards were printed in-house and were mailed out at the end of September 2016. Around 3,000 postcards were mailed out using the post office’s bulk mail rate of $0.175 per postcard, for a total of approximately $525. Statistics were then gathered at the beginning of November 2016.

LCPL postcard sample

LCPL proactively flagged the records of individuals who received a postcard, so when we re-uploaded our patron list we would be able to quickly identify the individuals who had both a “sent post card” flag and a patron flag. After analyzing the results, we determined 1.8 percent of households who received a postcard signed up for a library card, while some households had multiple people sign up for cards. We consider this a successful direct mail campaign, as a response rate of two percent is expected for these types of mailings. As for differing income levels, there was no statistical difference in the number of library card sign-ups in relation to income levels; everyone enjoys low-cost or no-cost options.

For more information about the LCPL’s case study, contact Robin Johnsen, the library’s technology marketing specialist at rjohnsen@lcplin.org.

Jennifer Burnison is the marketing manager for the Lake County Public Library. For more information about the Lake County Public Library, contact Jennifer at jburnison@lcplin.org.

Ryan Brown interviews Ryan Brown

Indiana_State_Library_Exterior_Ohio Street Entrance_2_web

Ryan Brown has been Communications Director at the Indiana State Library since November 10, 2014. February 24, 2016, will be his last day at the library. In this State Library exclusive, Ryan Brown interviews Ryan Brown. Let the fun and confusion begin.

RB: You have been at the Indiana State Library for over a year. What are a few of the highlights of your tenure?

RB: I’m glad that you asked. There have been many interesting projects I have worked on over the past year such as the new brochures, door coverings, banners, annual report, etc. One of my favorite partnerships that I developed was with the Indiana Department of Education. We shared a booth together at the Indiana State Fair last summer and distributed information about the services available at the library to thousands of Hoosiers from all over Indiana. It was great to get out into the community and tell people face-to-face about the awesome collections at the library, as well as our statewide services.

CaptureRB: What are some of those collections and services?

RB: The Indiana State Library has one of the largest genealogy collections in the Midwest. It also has a huge inventory of rare books and manuscripts, government documents, newspapers, large print books, as well as talking books and Braille. There are also many online services available to Indiana residents like INSPIRE.in.gov, Indiana Memory and Hoosier State Chronicles. All of these items and services are free to Indiana residents. If you have any questions about the collection or services, you can Ask-a-Librarian.

RB: Wow! That is a lot of stuff!

RB: We are starting to sound like a commercial.

RB: Nah, it’s just good PR.

[Ryan Brown looks at Ryan Brown in disbelief]

RB: Anyway…it seems like a year is not a long time to be at a job, why leave so soon?

RB: The main reason I took a new job was so I could eventually move to South Bend where my wife is originally from.

RB: South Bend?

RB: Yes. You are probably thinking, “It’s cold up there and you are not a Notre Dame fan, so why would you want to move to South Bend?”

RB: Exactly!

RB: Do you remember a few years back when you promised your wife that when you were ready to have children the two of you would make an effort to move to that area?12019970_1134785493213457_3248265130995280150_n

RB: Oh yeah, what was I thinking? [Chuckling]

RB: Well…the time has come.

RB: Wait a second; am I going to be a father soon?

RB: Not at the moment, but you were going to start trying.

RB: Ah yes…now I remember…what else?

RB: I would say overall that I have enjoyed my time here at the State Library. There are a lot of great people on staff and working here allowed me to practice many of the skills I learned at school. Plus, we had many accomplishments in that short time period. We saw significant increases in event attendance as well as use of our services like INSPIRE.in.gov.

RB: What are some of the challenges you faced at the library?

RB: One of the biggest challenges was getting the media interested in what goes on at the State Library. Though, we did have a ton of press about our partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

RB: Explain…

RB: The State Library acquired State Park passes from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that are available at local libraries so patrons may check them out. The program started in January and has been very popular amongst patrons and the media. Anyone interested in the park passes should contact their local library for more information.

RB: What is your favorite item or part of the Indiana State Library?

RB: That is a difficult question that you always ask people in interviews. I guess if I had to narrow it down to one item, it would be the original State Flag. I believe that the Indiana Historical Bureau will be taking the flag around the state to various locations this year for the bicentennial.Bicentennial_Logo_Color

RB: Bicentennial? What is that?

RB: Don’t you know? 2016 marks the 200th year Indiana has been a state.

RB: Oh yeah? What is the library doing to celebrate?

RB: The library has a bunch of projects it is involved with including the new Indiana Young Readers Center, Hoosier State Chronicles, Bicentennial Toolkits for Libraries, Bicentennial Manuscript Collection, and many more!

RB: Thank you for taking a few moments of your day and participating in this interview. It has been a pleasure speaking with you. Since Wednesday is your last day, how would someone contact the library if they need info about the Wednesday Word or any communications questions?

RB: It has been great interviewing with you Ryan. If you are a librarian or library needing to reach the communications department, please email the State Library at communications@library.in.gov.

This blog post was written by Indiana State Library Director of Communications Ryan Brown. Click here for more information on the Indiana State Library.

Never judge a book by its cover

But in honor of Valentine’s Day, at least let them entertain you.

Here is just a sampling of cover art that keeps the Talking Book staff entertained on a daily basis. There are hundreds more where these came from, all of which are available to borrow from the Indiana State Library!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This blog post was written by Talking Books & Braille Supervisor Maggie Ansty. For more information about large print and talking books, please visit the TBBL website.

 

Do you know who I am?: A look at political biographies

When people think of political biographies they generally think of ones for people like the presidents, and presidential candidates and we definitely have plenty of these types of materials. Including Turning Point: a Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age by former President Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton as They Know Him: an Oral Biography by David Gallen, and Crashing the Party: How to tell the Truth and Still Run for President by presidential candidate Ralph Nader. We also have the VHS tapes of a series called The Presidents by the American Experience, for those of us who still have those archaic mechanical devices.

There is more to political biographies and even politics itself than just the main cast of characters. The variety of people and their participation in politics is as wide and varied as the complex political system itself. For example there is August Belmont who was the party chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 1850’s, August Belmont: a Political Biography by Irving Katz; Helen Bamber who has been a central force in Amnesty International, Helen Bamber: a Life Against Cruelty by Neil Belton; Gerda Lerner who is a grass roots political activist who has campaigned for among other things an interracial civil rights movement, Fireweed: a Political Autobiography by Gerda Lerner; and Simas Kudirka who is one of the many who have sought political asylum in the United States, For Those Still at Sea by Simas Kudirka and Larry Eichel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, do you know who they are? Come learn more about them and others from the world of politics, their stories may give you more of an insight into the depths and variety of the people who work so hard for all of us.

This blog post was written by Daina Bohr, Reference and Government Services Librarian. For more information Ask-A-Librarian at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

Explore the Large Print Collection of the Indiana State Library

The Indiana State Library has over 16,000 large print titles as a part of the Talking Book and Braille Library collection; these books can be borrowed both by individual residents of Indiana and libraries in Indiana. Our collection consists of classic titles, current bestsellers, young adult novels, books that are being made into movies, as well as books in many more genres.

oldnew

Continue reading

The Advance-Rumely Company of LaPorte, Indiana

In the early 20th century, Indiana was home to the Advance-Rumely company, which produced farming and agricultural machinery that was used all over the country. The company was officially formed in 1915, but traces its origins back to 1848 when Meinrad Rumely came to America. His business venture became known as the M. Rumely Company in 1887, and produced incredibly popular agricultural products such as the Rumely Oil Pull, which was a gasoline powered tractor.
001_Cover Page_web Continue reading

New Grant Opportunity from the Indiana State Library Foundation

The Indiana State Library Foundation in collaboration with the Indiana State Library’s Talking Book & Braille Library is seeking applicants for a new grant supporting talking book patrons with the purchase of assistive technology devices. The grants will provide monetary reimbursements in amounts ranging from $50 to $1,000 towards the purchase of an assistive technology device of the grant recipient’s choosing. These devices remove many barriers to education and employment for visually impaired individuals and may include: video magnifiers, optical character recognition systems, speech systems, etc.Assistive_Tech_Picture_web 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.