Poetry from the collections of the Indiana State Library

There is no shortage of poetry in the collections of the Indiana State Library, from published works to ephemeral poems, many tucked away in letters or scrapbooks. This is a look into pieces left by the amateur poets of Indiana – every day Hoosiers creating with language based on their lives, loves and experiences.

Many of the poems within the Manuscripts Division exist as collections unto themselves. They are often a single poem with little information about their creation or author. This further lends to the idea that they existed solely as a personal exercise for their creator or perhaps a gift to someone. The themes represented in a selection of the poems in the Manuscripts Division are some of the most quintessential in poetry: love and relationships, war and loss. These are all topics that have driven humans to create songs, ballads and other forms of poetry throughout history.

The following two poems are examples of themes on love and relationships – mostly the complicated variety. They are both anonymous. “Song of a Fellow” is signed by “Eva” and tells of an unimpressive suitor who failed to woo her. “The Reconcilement” is about the ups and downs in a marriage. Both poems are also written on small scraps of paper.

“The Watchmen of Dover” is a poem about England in World War II by Wilbur Sheron of Marion, Indiana. Sheron’s biography indicates he wrote a number of poems. It’s likely that this may have been intended for other readership as he lists himself as the author as well as his contact information.

“At Early Candlelight” tells the tale of an older man reminiscing in the early evening about his lost family and how he will meet them in heaven. It is on two small scraps of paper, but is also entitled and signed by the author, Robert McIntyre. No information is available about him.

This next poem was found in the scrapbook of Caroline Furbay, saved from her friend Charles William Alber, both also from Marion, Indiana. What a pleasant way to say, “It’s the thought that counts!”

Poets have formed groups in Indiana to share their work, such as the Poetry Society of Indiana, first formed as the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs in 1941. The Manuscripts Division holds collections from some of these groups and the writers involved, such as the aforementioned club and the Poets’ Study Club of Terre Haute. The INverse Poetry Archive is also part of the Manuscripts Collection and collects poems submitted by Hoosiers on an annual basis.

This blog post was written by Lauren Patton, Rare Books and Manuscripts librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Indiana State Library hosts the 2021 Midwest Regional Conservation Guild Annual Conference

On Nov. 12-14, the Indiana State Library Preservation Division hosted the 2021 Annual Conference for the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild. MRCG is a professional association of art conservation and restoration professionals with the purpose of bringing together those individuals in the Midwest region -and beyond – interested in the preservation of historic and artistic works and to promote fellowship and exchange of ideas on a professional level. The Guild hosts annual meetings each autumn in cities around the Midwest.

The conference took place over three days and featured two pre-conference events, three conservation lab tours, two museum receptions and 22 professional talks. Hosting the conference here at Indiana State Library greatly helped to promote the library’s preservation program. Over the three days, in-person attendance was over 80 people, with another 25 attending virtually. Many of the large collecting cultural institutions in the Midwest, such as museums, libraries and historical societies, sent their conservation staff and collection staff. Many conservators in private practice also attended as well.

The pre-conference programs included a program by American Institute for Conservation Emerging Conservation Professional Network Specialty Group. The program worked with students interested in attending graduate school, show how to prepare their portfolios for their applications and interviews. The conference also included a program, hosted by Bruker Inc. and the Indiana State Museum Conservation Lab, on the use of X-ray florescence analysis to study and analyze cultural and historic artifacts. As part of the conference attendees were also able to get tours of the conservation labs at the Indiana State Library, the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana State Museum. We were also fortunate to be able to hold receptions and programs at both the Eiteljorg Museum and the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library.

Professional talks are the core of any conference and the 2021 MRCG Conference featured 22 professional talks from conservators and other museum professionals on conservation topics from the conservation of paper collections to paintings and other cultural artifacts.

Read more about the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild here.

This blog post was written by the Indiana State Library Conservator Seth Irwin.

Indiana’s dilapidated rural bridges

On Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, President Joe Biden officially signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This law will inject an unprecedented $1 trillion into various public infrastructure projects throughout the country, including here in Indiana. Of principal concern is the improvement and repair of roads and bridges. In Indiana, this will include money toward the state’s numerous rural bridges.

Image ca. 1910 of the Fredricksburg Bridge, Salem, Indiana. From “Reinforced Concrete Bridges of Luten Design” (ISLO 624 no. 5).

According to a 2014 report from Purdue University, over 3,000 county bridges in the state were built prior to 1960.[1] Since that time, agriculture equipment has become larger and much heavier rendering many older bridges incapable of serving their function as an essential component in the movement of agricultural goods from farms to markets.

Image of a modern tractor on an older truss bridge. From Purdue Extension Report PPP-91 (ISLI 668.65 P894 no. 91).

Indiana bridges undergo thorough inspections on a regular basis. The Indiana State Library houses hundreds of bridge inspection reports dating back to the 1970s. These reports provide highly-detailed analysis of all aspects of a bridge’s design and construction and use rating systems to identify problem areas. Some reports include diving teams who perform underwater investigations of bridge support structures.

Image from Bridge inspection report: Boone County, Indiana, phase II, final report, 2011 (ISLI 624.2 N724bcr 2012).

Based on the findings from these reports, a troubling picture of the state of Indiana’s bridges emerges. According to the 2021 bridge profile of Indiana from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, over 1,000 of Indiana’s bridges are deemed structurally deficient.[2] Almost 2,000 bridges have posted load limits meaning that the larger and heavier vehicles and machinery necessary for modern farming cannot cross them without risking further damage to the bridge.

Image showing Jay County bridge number 008 (left) and close-up images (right) showing heavy corrosion. From Bridge inspection report, phase II, Jay County, Indiana (ISLI 624.2 J42ba 2012).

While Indiana recently allocated millions of dollars to local bridge and road development as part of its Next Level Indiana initiative, the passage of the federal bill should add further resources thus ensuring rural communities remain able to conduct business in the 21st century.

The Indiana State Library’s extensive collection of bridge inspection reports can be searched in our online catalog.

Information on Indiana’s Bridge Inspection Office can be found here.

Access the full text of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act here.

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.”

[1] Tian, Yu, Haddock, John, Hubbard, Sarah. (2014). Focus on the Infrastructure: Indiana’s Local Bridges. Purdue Extension Center for Rural Development EC-775-W.

[2] American Road and Transportation Builders Association. (2021). National bridge Inventory: Indiana: 2021 bridge profile.

 

The Coate Coppock Estate and estate fraud

If you’ve gone through a box of older relatives’ papers, you may have run across a flyer that mentioned an estate and that the heir of the estate were due millions of dollars. The paper would have mentioned ongoing litigation and that the end of suit was in sight. It would have also asked the reader to help assist with these lawsuits by sending money to the leaders of the suit. Unfortunately, the unclaimed millions mentioned didn’t exist. In some cases, neither did the estate. They were all a scam to fleece people out of their savings with the promises of easy money.

There have been numerous cases of estate fraud over the centuries in the U.S. One of the earliest and most well-known is related to the Anneke Jans Bogardus Estate in New York City. The land in question was a 62-acre farm where Trinity Church currently sits. The first suit was brought in 1749 by a descendant of Cornelius Bogardus who died before the land was sold and did not sign the deed transferring the land. Both the descendant, Cornelius Brower and his son John filed multiple claims with the ruling always going to Trinity.

Flyer from Consolidated Association of Coate and Coppock Heirs

Flyer from Consolidated Association of Coate and Coppock Heirs

Flyer from Consolidated Association of Coate and Coppock Heirs

Other estate fraud cases include the Col. Jacob Baker estate in Philadelphia 1930s and the Sir Francis Drake estate. Approximately 2 million dollars was collected to help settle the Drake estate and the leader of the scam, Oscar Hartzell, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to ten years in Leavenworth penitentiary.

One of the aspects of the scam was fraudulent documents, usually a will or deed created to attach a person to the property in question and would be mentioned at meetings of heirs and in newsletters. False pedigree charts and books were often created as well to connect unrelated persons to one another, only a more dedicated genealogist would find the discrepancies when going through the information. Even after the scam was revealed, the false pedigree information lived on in published family histories.

The Vern A. Carpenter Collection at the Indiana State Library has six folders dedicated to the Coate Coppock Estate. The Coate Coppock estate was hinged on a 99-year lease to property in central Philadelphia that belonged to Marmaduke Coate and Mary Jane Coppock. The lease covered 976 acres in Philadelphia, along with 5,000 acres in multiple counties in Pennsylvania. Fliers were sent out to people making them aware of the “unclaimed” lease and asking them to support the cause. Local newspapers ran articles about meetings of the heirs. Amanda Krell, along with Glen B. Coate, were ringleaders of the scam.

In the folders are papers from Nathan Winterrowd of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Winterrowd was mentioned in a few newspaper articles in 1922 trying to raise money for the estate and get more claimants to join. Numerous signed affidavits from other family members detailing relationships along with other vital information take up most of the first two folders. Correspondence, newsletters and pamphlets about the Coate and Coppock estate are also included.

Letter to Nathan Winterrowd from Glen B. Coate

The other folders contain correspondence to and from Vern Carpenter and different agencies of the U.S. government, FBI, U.S. district attorney for Pennsylvania, U.S. Post Office, Herbert Hoover Presidential library, the Bureau of prisons and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, along with several other libraries and state and federal agencies.

Carpenter was researching the Wenderoth – and related names – family when he came across Nathan Winterrowd in the newspaper and the Winterrowd connection to the Coate and Coppock estate. He started looking into what the family connection was to the estate. He spoke with one of the original attorneys who managed the estate, Harry S. Monell, who was engaged to Amanda Krell in May of 1920. He mentions Winterrowd and how they had him arrested on a couple of occasions but was generally evasive about what happened to the association after he resigned.

While talking with another genealogist, he was put in touch with a woman, Ruth Quintrell. During an interview, she mentions she attended a Coate and Coppock heirs meeting and after listening to Krell, Quintrell suspected Krell was a fraud. She mailed a check to the association and then sent the returned check along with correspondence to Herbert Hoover, the Secretary of Commerce at the time, thus starting the federal investigation into the Coate and Coppock Association.

Correspondence from Vern Carpenter and Ruth Quintrell discussing Amanda Krell

Carpenter spends his time contacting various state, and federal agencies, libraries and archives looking for information about the case and finding out what if anything happened to Amanda Krell and Glen B. Coate. His first big break is from the Herbert Hoover Presidential library. The library sent him 34 pages from a folder that also contained correspondence into the Baker Estate. After contacting a family member who works for the federal government Vern finds out case files from the Coate and Coppock Estate are held at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. There are also records from the U.S. Postal Department that go into the investigation of the association.

Photocopies of correspondence between Ruth Quintrell and Herbert Hoover from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

Photocopies of correspondence between Ruth Quintrell and Herbert Hoover from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

Photocopies of correspondence between Ruth Quintrell and Herbert Hoover from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

Photocopies of correspondence between Ruth Quintrell and Herbert Hoover from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

Photocopies of correspondence between Ruth Quintrell and Herbert Hoover from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

In the end, Carpenter found that the Federal Government had decided against prosecuting Amanda Krell and Glen B. Coate. Instead, they issued a permanent injunction which was why finding records about the case proved to be difficult. In his book “Wenderoth Families of Germany,” Carpenter spends 21 pages going through the documents he found while researching the case.

Photocopied correspondence from Horace Donnelly, Fraud Office U.S. Postal Office

Scams like this still happen today. They are usually better known as the “Nigerian prince” scam.

Blog written by Sarah Pfundstein, genealogy librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3689 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

These are a few of my favorite books – Eye-catching book titles found in the Genealogy Division collection

As a genealogy librarian, I tend to be around a lot of books. While I am fond of all the books in the Genealogy Division collection, some of them just scream for extra attention from me. The books contained in this post screamed the loudest.

“Very Impudent When Drunk or Sober: Delaware Runaways, 1720-1783”
ISLG 975.1 B792VE

This book features newspaper ads about runaway indentured servants, political exiles, transported convicts and slaves. The ads are colorful, featuring the physical attributes, personalities and clothing of the runaways. An example from the book, page 133:

Thirty Pistoles* Reward. Wilmington, April 8th, 1762. Run-away on about the 27th of last Month from his Bail, and in Debt to sundry Creditors, to the Amount of several Thousand Pounds, a certain Robert Middleton, about 35 years old, 5 Feet 5 or 6 Inches high, of a dark Complection, middling round Vissage, sharp Nose, dark Eyes, chearful Countenance, much pitted with the Small-pox, middling well built, is free and agreeable in Company, forward in talking, Card-playing, and drinking, but not apt to be drunk, snuffs and sings well, but with a strong Voice; when he went-away wore a short black Wig, his Apparel uncertain…

*A pistole was a Spanish coin worth about one English pound.

Western Sun, Volume 1, Number 43, Vincennes, Knox County, 17 September 1808, Hoosier State Chronicles

“Harrison County Indiana Marital Adventures (divorces, adultery and bigamy) 1809-1856”
ISLG 977.201 H323KEA

The information contained in this book comes from the Harrison County Clerk’s Archives. An example from the book, page 11:

…for two and a half years after their marriage she conducted herself so as to preserve his esteem but now has abandoned herself to all the base desires of a prostitute and not regarding her plighted faith and the holy bonds of matrimony to forsake all others and cleave to him only, she has forsaken him only and cleven until all others to whom she could barter her wanton charm. That abandonment to the habits of a harlot and divested of the tender, affectionate sentiments and consortal love which is the crown and glory of a amiable wife, she has most shamefully defiled the marriage bed, by admitting to her illicit contact with profligate men with whom she had repeatedly committed the abominable crime of adultery and that nothing might be lacking to display the contempt of her morals and the state of her manners she still continued to live in a state of indiscriminate concubinage bestowing her lewd favors promiscuously on all who see them. She had commenced producing a brood of illegitimates whose origin is so doubtful that they can claim no man even as a prospective father and are, as it were, brought into the world without a male parent.

“Runaways, Deserters, and Notorious Villains from Rhode Island Newspapers”
ISLG 974.5 T244R V.1
ISLG 974.5 T244R V.2

The two volumes feature newspaper advertisements for runaway wives, thieves, deserters, slaves, and indentured servants. From volume 1, page 150:

William S. Bradlee, my husband, has endeavored to injure me in a public Manner, and circulate Reports the most inconsistent as well as vile. By Reason of his base Conduct, and stealing Articles from the House where I live, he has been turned away from it; and now to avoid Prosecution, has suddenly ran away, spreading his Lies as he went. It is well known that I have lived in a House for a long Time where four Families are closely conntected, all of whom will fully declare that I have never behaved in an unbecoming Manner in any thing, except in keeping with that most worthless of Men. Abigail Bradlee

“Sudden and Awful: American Epitaphs and the Finger of God”
ISLG 929 M282S

This slim book contains American epitaphs for the years 1750-1900. From page 2:

North Andover, Mass.:
Erected in Memory of
Mr. James Bridges
Who departed this life July 17th 1747
In the 51st year of his age.
Being melted to death by extreem heat

A photo of the gravestone can be found at Find-a-Grave.

“Psychic Roots: Serendipity and Intuition in Genealogy”
ISLG 929 J77P
“More Psychic Roots: Further Adventures in Serendipity and Intuition in Genealogy”
ISLG 929 J77M

These two books examine stories from genealogists that experience coincidences, chance and luck – something other than their research skills – that leads them to information about an ancestor.

One of my favorite stories is from the first volume. The story involves a man who locates a portrait of his ancestor. This story can be found on page 188, in the chapter “Being Led.”

The author, Henry Z. Jones, has written many genealogy books about the Palatines, in addition to being a former Disney actor, credited as Hank Jones. He has appeared in “Blackbeard’s Ghost” and “Herbie Rides Again.”

“Curiosities of the Search-room. A Collection of Serious, and Whimsical Wills”
ISLG 929.1 B995C

This book is a 1969 reissue of the original 1880 edition. The book features various wills of time and place. Examples of some chapter titles: “Excentric Wills,” “Puzzling Wills,” “Wills in Obsolete Language and in Rime” and “Vindictive Wills.” On page 103:

Will of Dr. Dunlop. The humorous will of Dr. Dunlop of Upper Canada is worth recording, though there is a spice of malice in every bequest it contains.
To his five sisters he left the following bequests:
To my eldest sister Joan, my five-acre field, to console her for being married to a man she is obliged to henpeck.
To my second sister Sally, the cottage that stands beyond the said field with its garden, because as no one is likely to marry her it will be large enough to lodge her.
To my third sister Kate, the family Bible, recommending her to learn as much of its spirit as she already knows of its letter, that she may become a better Christian.
To my fourth sister Mary, my grandmother’s silver snuff-box, that she may not be ashamed to take snuff before company.
To my fifth sister Lydia, my silver drinking-cup, for reasons known to herself.
To my brother Ben, my books, that he may learn to read with them.
To my brother James, my big silver watch, that he may know the hour at which men ought to rise from their beds.
“To my brother-in-law Jack, a punch-bowl, because he will do credit to it.
“To my brother-in-law Christopher, my best pipe, out of gratitude that he married my sister Maggie whom no man of taste would have taken.
“To my friend John Caddell, a silver teapot, that, being afflicted with a slatternly wife, he may therefrom drink tea to his comfort.”
While “old John’s eldest son was made legatee of a silver tankard, which the testator objected to leave to old John himself, lest he should commit the sacrilege of melting it down to make temperance medals.

From The Beggers Delight, Houghton Library – EBB65, EBBA 3493

“Lost Babes: Fornication Abstracts from Court Records, Essex County, Massachusetts, 1692-1745”
ISLG 974.401 E78S

This book is an index to fornication cases heard in Essex County, Massachusetts by the Court of General Sessions. This court was responsible for administrative and criminal cases. These cases were important to determine the parentage of the child and who would be responsible for the cost of the birth and the future support of the child.

A married couple could be brought before the court if the wife had given birth or were about to give birth to a child. If the child was born less than seven months after the marriage, the couple would be fined. This type of fornication case usually did not result in any lasting disgrace for the couple. There are many examples of these types of cases in the book.

A single woman brought before the court could be fined and sometimes whipped.
Some interesting cases from the book include: Page 2:

Term of Court 7 August 1694
1:75 Bethiah Witt of Lynn, widow, presented. Said she had a child but she was married to Solomon Rogeway, gone to sea, but could not give an account of who married her 40s

Page 36:

4:67 An infant child left at the door of Mr. Thomas Norton of Ipswich, 22 Dec 1721 in the evening, given to Overseers of the Poor

Page 61:

Term of Court 12 July 1737
10:495 William Diamond of Marblehead, shoreman, & Alice Fergusen of Marblehead, the wife of George Fergusen, cohabited three years in evil example to others, not guilty

“Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston, 1630-1775”
ISLG 974.402 B747si

Though all true, this book reads like fiction. This readable book gathers its information from various sources such as dairies and newspapers.
Intriguing chapters include:

  • “Witch’s Brew: Witchcraft and Possession in Early Boston”
  • “Rogues’ Gallery: Scoundrels, Imposters and Schemers”
  • “Miscellany of Miscreants”
  • “Family Skeletons, Dangerous Liaisons, and Black Sheep”

“Curmudgeons, Drunkards, and Outright Fools: Courts-Martial of Civil War Union Colonels”
ISLG 973.7 A11LCU

This tome contains only the tastiest tidbits selected by the author from the court-martial transcripts at the U.S. National Archives. From Chapter 7, “And a Brandy for my Horse!  – Col. Newton B. Lord,” page 43:

Lord seems to have reserved his most dramatic acts for the home folks. At Brownsville, New York, in his native Jefferson County, ‘in full view of the citizens’ he rode his horse into a bar, procured a drink of brandy for himself and a second brandy for his horse, then fired his revolver into the ceiling. After riding out into the street, where a large crowd of the curious had now gathered, he rode once again into the bar, and ‘repeated his performance.’

Other interesting titles by this author, Thomas P. Lowry, include “Was Grandpa a Freeloader?: Civil War Pension Claims North and South” and “Utterly Worthless (One Thousand Delinquent Union Officers Unworthy of a Court-Martial).”

Note: Original spellings from the sources are kept.

This blog post is by Angi Porter, Genealogy Division librarian.

Indiana Letters About Literature writing contest submissions now open

The Indiana Letters About Literature writing contest is now open! Students in grades four through 12 are invited to write a letter to an author, living or deceased, whose one work has made a difference in how the student sees themselves or the world. Indiana students can write about works of literature including fiction, nonfiction, short stories, poems, essays or speeches – including TED Talks.

Last year over 800 letters were submitted to the contest. Students wrote about lots of books including “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio, “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper, “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling, and, as students were reflecting upon current events, books about viruses including “The Girl Who Owned a City” by O. T. Nelson and “Five Feet Apart” by Rachael Lippincott. Students were not shy about tackling heavy topics in their letters including the COVID-19 pandemic, racism and immigration. Letters are not actually delivered to the authors, but for the past nine years about 100 letters have been selected for inclusion in an annual anthology. That will continue this year.

First, second and third place winners are selected from amongst the top 100 letters in three levels: grades 4-6, grades 7-8 and grades 9-12. In addition, a special award is given to the top letter written to an Indiana author.

The top letters from the 2020-21 contest are as follows:

Noelle Carey, McCutchanville, was the first-place winner from Level One. She wrote a letter to Kelly Yang, author of the bestselling novel for children, “Front Desk.” This is a selection from her letter:

“Mia Tang and her family went to America to have a better life, but when they arrived it wasn’t anything like what they expected. Her family worked for very little money and willingly did so to hopefully get the ‘American Dream.’ They worked for a boss that repeatedly made them feel meaningless and replaceable. This brings to light another imbalance in our communities. People of color are sometimes forced to take any job available, and sometimes for very little pay, to survive. Immigrant families like Mia’s look for a fresh start but sometimes don’t get what they imagined. Our world needs to be better, know better, and do better.”

Melani Martinez Blanco, Jasper, was the first-place winner from Level Two. She wrote a letter to Alan Gratz, author of the novel, “Refugee.” This is a selection from her letter:

“I was an immigrant, a foreigner to a country where I had no idea of the language or its system. I was made fun of constantly when I didn’t know certain words or phrases, but then I started to get the hang of it. I am now fourteen years old, and I cannot imagine never having come to this country that I and many immigrants call home. Isabel and her journey were the first time I didn’t feel alone in a long time. We would discuss this in class and many students would listen to my family’s journey and how I felt personally connected to Isabel and her many obstacles. Alan Gratz, I want to personally thank you for having this character whose story made me feel stronger and more connected to my roots and the way I came to be the person that I am today.”

Badreddine Bouzeraa, Wheeler, was the first-place winner from Level Three. He wrote a letter to George M. Johnson, author of the memoir, “All Boys Aren’t Blue.” This is a selection from his letter:

“In the first act of ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue,’ your unique storytelling of struggling to find a way to express yourself allowed me to realize that many LGBTQ+ members struggle with the same ordeal. Many are taught that there are only two genders and one sexuality. However, there are a plethora of unique orientations. On page 23 of ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue,’ you state, ‘However, I was old enough to know that I would find safety only in the arms of suppression – hiding my true self – because let’s face it, kids can be cruel.’ Millions in the non-heterosexual orientation continue to suppress themselves, and I beg to question, why must we?”

Jack Egan, Michigan City, won the Indiana Author Letter Prize for the top letter written to an Indiana author. He wrote a letter to Ernie Pyle, war correspondent and author of the article, “The Death of Captain Waskow.” This is a selection from his letter:

As in your day, today we are also combating difficult times due to a pandemic called COVID-19. By describing Captain Waskow’s life and sacrifice so beautifully, you also brought to life all the other men and women who died for the freedom we enjoy today. I am not so sure that the society in which I live today is as willing to sacrifice for others as your generation was so willing to do in your time. Unfortunately, today our society is not even willing to wear a mask to protect others from COVID-19, let alone be willing to be placed on the front lines of a war to protect their freedoms.”

The deadline to enter the 2021-22 contest is Jan. 10, 2022. Details, entry forms and official rules for the contest can be found on the Letters About Literature website.

Get your students excited to enter the contest by sharing this video with them:

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.

‘Oceans of Possibilities’ – Summer reading 2022 news

As we head into the last few months of the year, it’s time to start planning for 2022 summer reading programs! The Collaborative Summer Library Program has chosen “Oceans of Possibilities” as its 2022 summer reading theme.

CSLP Membership
All Indiana public libraries are members of CSLP because the Indiana State Library pays the membership fee for the entire state using LSTA/IMLS funding. That means the slogan and artwork are available for libraries to use; however, individual libraries may decide whether they want to use the CSLP theme each year. The State Library also purchases access to the CSLP online catalog for all Indiana public libraries. The online catalog contains both the artwork for 2022 and program ideas that work with the “oceans” theme.

The online manual access code was sent to directors via email on Sept.15. If your director did not receive the code, please have them or their designee to contact me, Beth Yates, via email. View a tutorial here on how to access the manual. Currently available incentive items can be viewed in the online store.

The Theme
The oceanography theme creates, well, “Oceans of Possibilities” for programming. Here’s just a few general topics to get you started:

  • Ocean life – General ocean plants and animals, endangered animals, conservation.
  • History – Shipwrecks like the Titanic, explorers.
  • Geography – Maps, bodies of water.
  • Astronomy – Navigation/wayfinding, moon and tides.
  • Beaches – Summer fun, beach parties, sand and sandcastles, swimming and safety, the sun.
  • Geology/Paleontology – The fossil record shows Indiana was once underwater!
  • Weather – The water cycle connects us to oceans even in landlocked Indiana.
  • Jobs – Marine biologist, diving/SCUBA, ecologist, fishing, ship captain, lifeguard, geo scientist.

Don’t be afraid to include Indiana’s own lakes, rivers and parks. While they are certainly not oceans, the water cycle connects it all. And as always, it’s more important to offer programs your patrons will be interested in than it is to connect every program to the theme.

Indiana Training Opportunities
This year, I will be offering one webinar that contains news, updates and resources for the summer 2022 program. This webinar will be recorded and posted on the Indiana State Library’s Archived Training page within two weeks of the live session on Dec. 9, and it will be available there through the summer. Unlike in past years, this training will NOT include a roundtable discussion of program ideas. Roundtables will take place separately; all dates and times are listed below.

REGISTER:

National Training Opportunity
As the Collaborative Summer Library Program president-elect, membership committee chair and Indiana’s state representative, I am thrilled to announce that CSLP is offering our very first national, virtual summer reading conference!

The CSLP Summer Symposium will take place on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastern time. Session topics include program ideas, outreach ideas/community asset mapping and publicity ideas. You can attend any or all of the sessions FREE of charge using just one link, which you will be sent after you register. While “Oceans of Possibilities” will be a focus, all libraries are welcome, even if you don’t plan to use the 2022 CSLP theme. Sessions will be recorded and made available and will also be eligible for LEUs.

View the full session line up and descriptions on the CSLP Summer Symposium website. You can register from there, or via this link.

This blog post was written by Beth Yates, children’s consultant for the Indiana State Library.

U.S. government data spotlight: The CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been a major source for current U.S. data and statistics about COVID-19 over the span of the pandemic with its COVID Data Tracker. While it continues to fulfil its mission to protect the U.S. from other threats to health and safety, the federal agency maintains many online health tools, as well as portals to current and historical data and statistics.

The CDC’s A-Z Data and Stats by Topic includes topics such as chronic disease prevention, which includes multiple health surveys designed to monitor lifestyle and health data; genomics, which directs data users to the NHANES survey and the newer HuGE, a knowledge base in human genetic health data; and vaccines and immunizations, which offers a new data visualization tool called COVIDVaxView Interactive. It allows data users to search vaccination coverage by race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, poverty-level, place of birth and more at national, region and state-levels of geography.

If you want to dig deeper into the statistics CDC offers, visit the FastStats homepage with direct access to national and state-level health statistics. On the left side of FastStats, data is organized into categories including disability and risk factors, injuries and reproductive health. Visit the page for an A-Z index of over 100 links to health data reports and databases. Each of these links gives you access to the most current national data on the topic as well as related subject, recent reports and data tables and query tools or databases, that offer current and historical data on your health topic of interest.

The CDC’s Vital Signs is a periodical publication featuring the data behind current threats to health in the U.S. and covers measures of impact and ways for prevention. Past issues include topics such as containing unusual resistance, about antibiotic-resistant germs; safer food saves lives, about stopping foodborne health scares; and Hispanic health, which features health data specific to Hispanic/Latino peoples in the U.S. Each Vital Signs page contains articles identifying the issue, visual descriptions (e.g., videos, infographics and maps) and ideas for efforts at the federal, state and local levels to prevent the problem. The Science Behind the Issue section connects data users to the well-known CDC publication, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and the newer Science Clips from the CDC Library. Data users are also directed to related Government Information websites and resources at the bottom of each page.

This blog post by Katie Springer, reference librarian. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services Division at 317-232-3678 or submit an Ask-A-Librarian request.

Talking Book and Braille Book Club October meeting

The Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library will be having a meeting of the Talking Book and Braille Book Club on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Central. We will be reading “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, which is available in audio (DB 81189), braille (BR 23299) and large print (LP 19795).

The novel is set in France, 1939. Vianne Mauriac sends her husband off to war, while her younger sister Isabelle runs off to Paris, claiming an affair. Once there, Isabelle becomes involved in the Resistance. Vianne’s home is occupied by the invading Nazis. Please note that that “The Nightingale” includes violence, strong language and some descriptions of sex. “The Nightingale” was the winner of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for historical fiction and will be adapted into a film starring sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, scheduled to be released in December 2022.

You can request a copy of “The Nightingale” and let us know you are interested in participating by contacting Abby Chumin at 1-800-622-4970 or via email. If you want to participate via the Zoom app, we will send you a link via email. For those wishing to join by phone, a number will be provided.

This post was written by Laura Williams, supervisor of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library.

Indiana State Library seeking libraries for passport program

The Indiana State Library is currently exploring the idea of a statewide library passport program. The program, with a tentative launch in 2022, will operate in a similar manner to the Passport To Your National Parks® program administered by America’s National Parks™, under its parent company, Eastern National, an official nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service.

The State Library wants to hear from libraries with a special space to share. Architecture, art, special collections, museums, statues and outdoor public spaces are just some of the features that would make the library an excellent place to visit. Ideally, these features should be accessible to the public without the need of a library card, as visitors will be encouraged to travel to each highlighted library.

Indiana libraries that are interested in the program are encouraged to fill out this Microsoft Form, letting the State Library know why guests should visit their library. All types of libraries are eligible for involvement, including public, academic and special libraries. Depending on the number of submissions, libraries may be included in a later iteration of the program. The form submission deadline is Oct. 31.

The program is subject to change at any time and will adhere to any potential COVID-19 restrictions.

Please contact John Wekluk, communications director at the Indiana State Library, with any questions.

This post was written by John Wekluk, communications director at the Indiana State Library.