Changes to Indiana gun laws

Effective July 1, 2022, gun owners in Indiana may go most places with their firearms, whether or not they have a license to carry and, yes, that means even at your local public library. HEA 1296, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in the 2022 legislative session, removes the requirement for firearm owners to have a license to carry a firearm in Indiana. How does this impact your local public library? Well, it doesn’t significantly, it just removes another restriction on gun owners in the state.

In 2011, the Indiana General Assembly created a law that prohibited political subdivisions from creating regulations related to firearms, including ammunition, storage and carrying. Public libraries are considered political subdivisions under Indiana law, so at that point, libraries lost the ability to keep firearms out of libraries. There are a few exceptions that would permit a library to regulate firearms in the library. For example, library boards can create and enforce a policy that prohibits or restricts the intentional display of a firearm at the library’s public meetings – meetings held by the library board or library board committees.

There is also an exception that allows employers to restrict employees who are on duty in the building from carrying a firearm. However, the employees must be allowed to keep their firearms in their locked vehicles stored in the glove compartment or trunk or otherwise out of plain view. Libraries cannot ask about firearm ownership on employment applications or make ownership or non-ownership a condition of employment.

Click here to read more about this new change in the law. To review the law as it pertains to government regulation of firearms, click here.

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

Maximize your borrowing potential through Indiana’s reciprocal borrowing program

Did you know that as a registered borrower at an Indiana public library, you may have access to the collections of over 170 other public libraries? This is possible through the reciprocal borrowing program, one of the best kept secrets in Indiana public libraries. This blog post will share information about reciprocal borrowing, as well as other options for borrowing from other libraries.

Statewide Reciprocal Borrowing Covenant
While “statewide” is in the name, we will add a disclaimer that not all 236 of the state’s public libraries districts are participants. However, there are 172 currently participating districts all over the state. If you are a patron of a participating library, you can show your home library card, in person, at any of the other participating libraries and receive a borrower’s card with reciprocal borrowing privileges. There is no cost to participate in this service unless you incur late or lost item fees for items borrowed. Please check with the circulation staff at the library you are visiting for details about what is available to reciprocal patrons. Some services, like access to e-books and interlibrary loan, may not be available to reciprocal patrons per local policy.

Local Reciprocal Borrowing Covenants
Some library districts have opted to partner only with nearby districts to extend borrowing privileges to the patrons of neighboring libraries. These may include county-wide agreements or agreements between libraries that are close in proximity to each other. While the Indiana State Library collects information on which libraries are participating in such agreements, the circulation staff at your library can give you the most up to date information about whether or not they have a reciprocal agreement with other local libraries. There is no cost to participate in this service, unless you incur late or lost item fees.

Public Library Access Card
If your library is not participating in either of these reciprocal agreements, you can purchase access to all of the 236 public libraries in the state through the Public Library Access Card program. With a PLAC card, a borrower can visit any of the state’s 236 public libraries and show their home library’s borrowing card to receive a card from that library. PLAC cards may be purchased at the circulation desk at any public library. The cost of a PLAC card in 2022 is $65 per person per year and cards may be used for 12 months from the date of purchase. Before purchasing a card, a borrower must first have a current borrower card (or paid non-resident card, if they live in an area with no library service) from a public library district. For more information on the PLAC program, visit this page.

Interlibrary Loan
If you are interested in accessing the books or media on shelves at other Indiana public libraries, but are unable to visit in person, enquire with your local public library about interlibrary loan or other borrowing options. There is a statewide network of delivery vehicles that transport library materials around the state daily.

Evergreen Indiana
Is your public library an Evergreen Indiana library? Then you already have access to most of the materials at other libraries at over 100 other Evergreen libraries. Simply request materials from other Evergreen libraries to be shipped to your home library, or show your green Evergreen Indiana card to borrow in person from other participating libraries.

Please note that while libraries are happy to share with other libraries, whenever possible, materials should always be returned directly to the lending library, or the library from which that item was borrowed in the case of interlibrary loans or Evergreen loans.

We are happy to let the secret out about these ways to maximize your borrowing power. Happy reading!

This blog post was written by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office director. She can be reached via email

Title IX in the Indiana State Library’s Manuscript Collections

June 23 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 passing of Title IX, a crucial section of the Education Amendment of 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in education for institutions receiving federal funding. Hoosiers, of course, have a special connection to the law as it was formally introduced in Congress by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh. Born in Terre Haute in 1928, he served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1954-62 and the U.S. Senate from 1963-81 and his work during this time had a powerful and lasting impact on this country. Remembered also for authoring the 25th and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution – which laid out presidential succession and lowered the voting age to 18 – as well as the Bayh-Dole Trademark act, he is best known for his work on equal rights for women. His support went beyond his role as co-author of Title IX, which was co-authored by Representatives Patsy Mink and Edith Green.

The collections at the Indiana State Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Division provide a number of contemporary artifacts that help make the culture that led to the passing of Title IX more tangible 50 years on.

Senator Bayh
The State Library’s holdings include both the Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083) and photographs of him in the General Photograph Collection (P000). Though the collection does not include materials directly related to the passing of Title IX, the Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083) contains campaign materials from 1975-76 that emphasize his continued commitment to equal rights for women, declaring “No other member of Congress can equal Bayh’s active and effective support for women’s rights legislation.”

1975 campaign materials, Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083)

1975 campaign materials, Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083)

The photographs of Bayh in the General Photograph Collection mirror Bayh’s commitment to family, which has always informed the way he viewed women. He has said that commitment to equal rights was strengthened by his wife Marvella Hern Bayh.

He said of her:

“From time to time, she would remind me what it was like to be a woman in a man’s world. Without her, I would not have been in a leadership role.”

After Marvella died of breast cancer in 1979, Bayh married another formidable woman: Katherine “Kitty” Halpin, an ABC news executive, who continues her husband’s work to educate the public on the importance of Title IX in his absence.

Marvella and Birch Bayh in the 1970s, General Photograph collection (P000)

Reactions
First-hand reactions to Title IX survive among the Indiana State Library’s manuscript collections and provide insight into the number of misconceptions there were about the law. The Earl F. Landgrebe papers (L625) contain numerous letters from concerned constituents. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969-74, Landgrebe received correspondence from organizations and private citizens on the subject. They provide an interesting snapshot of fears which time has proven false. One such letter, for example, states: “one of the apparent effects of the Title IX requirement is that athletic departments will not be able to spend as much money as they previously had on athletic programs offered to men.” This was a common cry from detractors of the law, which also went further to suggest that Title IX would destroy college sports altogether. Yet, 50 years on the business of college sports continues to thrive.

Earl F. Landgrebe letter to constituent, Earl F. Landgrebe collection (L625)

Fears about sharing equal funds between athletes are expected; less obvious were fears that Title IX would prohibit all manner of programs frequently separated by sex: sororities and fraternities, men’s choruses, women’s clubs, scholarships and other programs created explicitly to aid women, and even separate sex education for young boys and girls. This reflected a basic misconception of how the law would be applied and, like college sports, Greek life and sex-based organizations continue today unharmed.

Letter from constituent to Earl F. Landgrebe, Earl F. Landgrebe collection (L625)

Impact
Most people have grown accustomed to a post-Title IX America and many are not old enough to remember education before its passing. It is difficult to talk about the impact because no statistics truly reflect the way in which it has changed the day-to-day reality of education and subsequently high school and collegiate sports. In remarks published in the Fordham Law Review, Katherine Bayh said “Title IX grew out of listening,” listening to stories of women’s struggles for sometimes basic access to education.

Christopher, Katherine and Birch Bayh at the dedication of the newly-named Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse, Oct. 24, 2003.

She recalls that he was touched by a story from a constituent whose daughter was rejected from Purdue Veterinary School on the basis of sex. It’s something that is unthinkable now, but even after American universities began admitting women, many instituted limitations on how many could be in a given class. What’s more, even once women were admitted, the expectations for them were lower and women lived with the stereotype that higher education was merely a place to find a husband.

Graduation postcard, Agnes E. Hinkle Ostrom collection (L692)

The nature of archives is that they provide primary sources that can be used to better understand history. These snapshots of the past are only a small part of the story. For more information, the Indiana Historical Bureau will be celebrating a whole week of Title IX facts spanning the June 23 anniversary date. Don’t miss it! Follow IHB on Facebook and Twitter @in_bureau.

References:
Bayh, K. (2020). Remarks. Fordham Law Review, 89, 13-20. http://fordhamlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Bayh_October-.pdf

This post was written by Victoria Duncan, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor. 

Indiana announces 2022 Great Reads from Great Places selections

The Indiana Center for the Book and Indiana Humanities have announced two book selections for the annual Great Reads from Great Places program of the United States Library of Congress.

In 2022, the Indiana Great Reads selections will be “Zorrie” by Laird Hunt and “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson.

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival. Each book is selected by a local Center for the Book. In 2022, the Library of Congress suggested states pick two books: one for young readers and one for adults. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

Hunt’s “Zorrie,” a 2021 finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, tells the story of one Hoosier woman’s “life convulsed and transformed by the events of the 20th century.” Taking place in Clinton County, the novel is a poignant study in rural Midwestern life and an exploration of the passage of time through individuals and communities. A professor at Brown University, Hunt is an Indiana native, having grown up in Michigantown and graduated from Indiana University Bloomington.

Johnson’s “You Should See Me in a Crown,” a 2020 release named by TIME magazine as one of the best 100 young adult books of all time, tells the story of a queer Indiana teenager’s senior year of high school and her pursuits to get into an elite college by winning the school’s prom queen contest as well as capture the attention of the new girl in school. Johnson grew up in Indianapolis and is a graduate of Ben Davis High School and Indiana University Bloomington.

“Picking books to represent Indiana at the National Book Festival is such a joy,” said Suzanne Walker of the Indiana State Library. “This year’s selections are so strong, and I’m delighted to shine a national light on these two worthy authors.”

The 2022 Great Reads from Great Places in books will be highlighted at the 2022 National Book Festival, which will be in person for the first time in several years and will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. This year’s theme is “Books Bring Us Together.”

For more information about the National Book Festival, Library of Congress and Great Reads from Great Places program, visit here.

This post was submitted by Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book, and Marisol Gouveia, director of engagement at Indiana Humanities.

New military materials in the Genealogy Division Collection at the Indiana State Library

The Indiana State library’s Genealogy Collection has several newly-added resources for people researching their military ancestors in print, along with new items available in the library’s digital collections.

“Finding your Father’s War; A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II U.S. Army” by Jonathan Gawne is a nice handbook for someone who wants to learn more about their ancestor’s Army service in World War II.

The book contains a brief history of the army leading up to World War II, along with explanations of the various army units, insignia, awards and terms for those who may not already be familiar with the organization of the U.S. Army. There are also sections that discuss the distinct types of records and where to search for information about an ancestor’s military service.

Both the series “Union Casualties at Gettysburg,” along with “Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg,” a comprehensive record by John W. and Travis W. Busey contain a trove of information for someone researching their ancestors or a unit that fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. The authors organized the volumes by state, then by regiment and unit listing the wounded and the killed. Some entries for the wounded contain biographical information about the individual soldier that goes beyond the end of the Civil War. There are multiple appendixes that go over statistical information, the locations of field, general and convalescent hospitals treating the wounded and burial locations for each side.

In both “Borrowed Identity; 128th United states Colored Troops” and “Voices from the Past; 104th Infantry Regiment, USCT Colored Civil War Soldiers from South Carolina,” John R. Gourdin uses Civil War pensions to create biographical entries that contain surnames along with family relatives, friends, clergy and prominent members of the communities where the soldiers where living when they applied for their pensions.

In the Genealogy section of the Indiana State Library’s Digital Collections several images from the Kuhlenschmidt collection (G118) have been digitized. The images feature Albert Henn, Henry Kuhlenschmidt, and others as they served in World War I.

More photos from the collection can be viewed here, here and here.

The Betty Montoye Collection (G038) contains photographs and postcards from World War I along with the discharge papers for Paul Castleman and Oscar Ross.

More photos from the collection can be viewed here and here.

For more information about these and other new materials pertinent to your military ancestors check our online catalog and Digital Collections page.

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.”

Indiana Union of Literary Clubs

The Indiana Union of Literary Clubs was started after the Indianapolis Woman’s Club was established at the Indianapolis Propylaeum. The Propylaeum, founded in 1888, was the central meeting place for many different women’s clubs in Indianapolis. At that time, there were already several different women’s literary clubs in Indianapolis alone. Although a rare men’s club is listed in the 1905 “Manual for the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs” (ISLO 374.2 NO. 7), the Union mostly consisted of women’s literary groups.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were the height of popularity for literary clubs. By 1894, there were 175 organizations in the Union of Literary Clubs around the state of Indiana, according to “Literary Clubs of Indiana” (ISLI 810.6 M 153) by Martha Nicholson McKay. Of these, there were roughly five times as many women’s clubs than men’s clubs. Of the twenty men’s clubs, half were existing organized college literary societies (McKay, p 33).

The popularity of literary clubs among women seemed to point to a growing sense of intellectual curiosity. This could have been due to women seeking to improve so that “when the day of larger social and political freedoms dawns, they will be prepared for the new duties the wider field may disclose” (McKay, p.33). The boom in literary clubs also coincided with the suffragist movement in the United States.

To organize the numerous literary clubs around the state in the early 1890s, the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs became the first state organization of clubs. In 1892, the third convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs was held in Lafayette.

Here is the cover of the Bulletin from the 1892 convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs from the Indiana Pamphlet Collection (Ip 374.2 no. 49.)

“The Bulletin,” (Ip 374.2 no. 49), a publication from the convention, provides a transcript of the inaugural address, “The Value of An Intellectual Life” by Miss Elizabeth Nicholson of the College Corner Club of Indianapolis. She indicated that there was a need for women to have intellectual pursuits in addition to their roles as homemakers. A common criticism of women’s clubs during that time period was that they took too much time and energy away from home and family responsibilities. Miss Mercia Hoagland, a representative of the Fort Wayne Women’s Reading Club responds to this type of criticism (Convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs 1892 : Lafayette, p 3):

Other speeches and discussions at the convention included, “The Moral Power of the Novel” and “Woman as a Factor in the World’s Progress.” “The Bulletin” also recounted news from literary clubs around the state.

At the end of “The Bulletin,” there is a transcript of a discussion as to whether the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs should take an exhibit to the Columbian World Exposition in Chicago the following year. It was brought up that if they did take an exhibit, it would need to represent all the various literary clubs around the state.

Ultimately, the Union did take an exhibit to the Columbian Exposition. The Indiana State Library has the item, “Exhibit of Work at Columbian Exposition,” in the Indiana oversize collection ([q] ISLI 374.2 I385E). These pages are examples of how each club contributed a program or leaflet that represented them.

This is the page representing the Ladies’ Literary Society from Brazil, Indiana. All participating clubs had a two-page entry in the book.

In 1906, the Indiana Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs were consolidated and were renamed the Indiana State Federation of Clubs so that they could apply to become a chapter of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Some of these literary clubs still exist today. For example, the Fortnightly Literary Club, established in 1885 is still active in Indianapolis. Hopefully, the love of knowledge, books and the pursuit of intellectual curiosity will never fade.

This blog post was written by Leigh Anne Johnson, Indiana Division Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian” Ask-A-Librarian.

Bibliography
“Convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs 1892 : Lafayette, I.” (1892). The bulletin: a collection of addresses, papers and discussions of the third convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs, held at Lafayette, May 18, 19 and 20, 1892. In M. E. Hoagland (Ed.). 1, p. 18. Lafayette: Indiana : Indiana Union of Literary Clubs, 1892. (Ip 374.2 no. 49)

“Indiana union of literary clubs – Reciprocity bureau.” (1905). Manual. unknown: unknown(ISLO 374.2 NO. 7).

McKay, M. N.-1. (1894). “Literary clubs of Indiana.” Indianapolis, Ind. United States: Indianapolis : Bowen-Merrill Co., 1894. (ISLI 810.6 M153).

The Indianapolis Fortnightly Literary Club. (May 11, 2022). Retrieved from https://fortnightly.org/

Indiana Union of Literary Clubs. Exhibit of work at Columbian exposition. [Place of publication not  identified], [publisher not identified], [date of publication not identified] ([q] ISLI 374.2 I385E).

‘A bill drawn by a woman:’ Mrs. Packard and rights for the insane

On the morning of June 18, 1860 an Illinois housewife named Elizabeth Packard was forcibly removed from the home she shared with her husband Theophilus Packard, a Calvinist minister, and their six children. The reason for her expulsion? Her husband was having her committed to the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois. Women had virtually no legal status in mid-19th century America and in the state of Illinois, a husband could have his wife committed to an insane asylum without showing any proof that said wife was, in fact, insane. Theophilus and his wife often quarreled over religious doctrines, with Elizabeth insisting that she had a right to her own beliefs and biblical interpretations and this, it seems, was her husband’s primary justification for having her institutionalized and removed from the lives of her children.

Photograph of Elizabeth Packard from Wikipedia.org.

Elizabeth spent three years in the asylum with very few means to advocate for herself and her sanity. While incarcerated, she met many other women in similar situations, women who had become inconvenient or were socially noncompliant and therefore needed to be locked away by husbands or other family members. Some women did suffer from various mental health issues and Elizabeth frequently witnessed their cruel treatment at the hands of hospital staff. She diligently wrote down her observations and hid her journals to keep them from being confiscated.

Image of the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, from her “Modern Persecution” (1875).

In 1863, she was released from the asylum to the care of her husband who immediately sought to have her permanently recommitted to yet another institution, this time in Massachusetts. In a desperate bid for freedom and with the help of friends, Elizabeth was finally able to obtain legal assistance. After a multi-day trial, she was deemed legally sane in the state of Illinois. Unfortunately, before the verdict affirming her sanity was rendered Theophilus fled to another state with her children. Despite being found officially sane, as a woman she still had little legal recourse to regain custody of her children.

Bereft at the loss of her family, Elizabeth began to publicly advocate for changes to the treatment of those deemed insane with a particular emphasis on the rights of female patients. She published various books drawing from her personal experiences, shedding light on rampant institutional abuse and calling for major reforms. Of particular concern to her was the right of patients to freely correspond with those outside the asylum without said correspondence being censored – or discarded – by asylum officials. For those improperly imprisoned such as herself, communicating freely with someone on the outside meant that inmates could access the meager legal resources and other practical support available to them. It meant that women could no longer be locked up, never to be heard from again.

Title page from one of her books in the Indiana State Library Collection (ISLM RC439 .P16 1875).

Elizabeth also travelled the country lobbying individual state legislatures to change their laws. In 1891, she set her sights on Indiana and promoted a “Bill for the protection of the postal rights of the inmates of insane asylums.” She implored members of the Indiana legislature that such a law was needed as “a potent remedy for the evils of false imprisonment, unreasonably long detention and abuse of patients.” Senator W.C. Thompson of Marion County officially read and introduced the bill as Senate Bill 55 on Jan. 14, 1891 and it was referred to the Committee on Benevolent Institutions for further consideration.

Article from Indianapolis Journal, Jan. 16, 1891. From Hoosier State Chronicles.

Copy of the proposed bill dated Jan. 20, 1891 (ISLO 362.2 no. 61).

Caption to a pamphlet addressed to the Indiana legislature dated Feb. 3, 1891 (ISLI 362.2 no. 61). Note “Compliments of Mrs. Packard” written in pencil at the top of the page.

According to a subsequent news story titled “Mrs. Packard snubbed,” it appears that Elizabeth herself attended the Committee hearing on her bill but was completely ignored by the men in attendance:

“I have this morning met by appointment the Senate Committee on Benevolent Institutions, in room 113 of the Capitol at 7 o’clock, and was there completely gagged, not allowed to speak one word.”

She concluded her description of the event with a strong condemnation of the behavior of Indiana’s male law-makers:

“To the manliness and honor of the American legislators, I am proud to say that thus is the first uncourteous treatment I have ever received from any legislative committee in these United States. In appealing to forty-three different legislatures I have invariably been allowed a manly, patient hearing before they decide how they should report my bill.”

Indianapolis Times, Jan. 27, 1891. From Hoosier State Chronicles.

In addition to silencing Mrs. Packard, the committee caused further offense by severely altering the language of the original bill and stipulating that the only person an inmate could correspond with uncensored would be the Secretary of the Board of State Charities. Moreover, the committee further recommended to remove the phrase “to prevent sane persons being imprisoned in insane asylums” from the language of the bill. The resulting document was a failure as it continued to leave all the power with the very institutions responsible for committing the abuses Elizabeth sought to remedy.

Ultimately, Senate Bill 55 never progressed passed its second reading. Despite this failure, Elizabeth Packard’s entreaties did lay the groundwork for Hoosier legislators to begin considering similar reforms. Eventually, the General Assembly would pass progressive legislation, such as an act in 1895, which required those accused of insanity to stand for an official inquest with proper legal representation.

Elizabeth Packard was reunited with her children – but remained estranged from her husband – and financially supported them with her earnings from writing and public speaking. She died July 25, 1897.

An excellent biography of Elizabeth by Kate Moore titled “The woman they could not silence” was released in 2021 and is available to circulate from the Indiana State Library.

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.”

Sources
Indiana. “Journal of the Indiana State Senate, 57th session,” Jan. 8, 1891. (ISLI 328 I385Ljs 1891)

Indiana. “Laws of the State of Indiana, 57th regular session,” Jan. 8, 1891. (ISLI 345.1 I385 1891)

Indiana. “Laws of the State of Indiana, 59th regular session,” Jan. 10, 1895. (ISLI 345.1 I385 1895)

More, Kate. “The woman they could not silence: One woman, her incredible fight for freedom, and the men who tried to make her disappear.” Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, 2021. (ISLM HN80.P23 M66 2021)

Packard, Elizabeth Parsons Ware. “Modern Persecution, or Insane Asylums Unveiled, as Demonstrated by the Report of the Investigating Committee of the Legislature of Illinois.” Hartford: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1875. (ISLM RC439 .P16 1875)

Packard, Elizabeth Parsons Ware. “Mrs. Packard’s argument in support of the bill for the protection of the postal rights of the inmates of insane asylums.” Indianapolis, 1891. (ISLI 329 I385 v.2, no. 12)

Packard, Elizabeth Parsons Ware. “A bill for the protection of persons confined in the insane asylums of this state in their rights to communicate by letter with their friends; and to prevent sane persons being imprisoned in insane asylums; and to punish persons violating the provisions of this act.” Indianapolis, 1891. (ISLO 362.2 no. 61)

New webinar series announced from the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office

The Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office has announced a new series of webinars, What the Research Says, featuring academicians and their research. This series will be irregular, but the hope is to feature at least one per quarter. We invite academic librarians to reach out to us with projects they would like to present or topics they feel would make good additions to this series. Submissions may be directed to George Bergstrom, Southwest regional coordinator in the Professional Development Office.

This spring, we kicked of this new series with “Creating Informed Learners in the Classroom: Librarian Experiences of Developing a Multi-institutional Information Literacy Project,” featuring librarians from Purdue University. In this webinar Clarence Maybee, Rachel Fundator and Amity Saha presented on their three-year research project funded by an IMLS grant.

The Creating Informed Learners in the Classroom project, made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (RE-13-19-0021-19), facilitated librarian-instructor partnerships to integrate information-rich student projects into disciplinary classrooms. The project was a partnership between librarians at Purdue University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Arizona. Over the course of  four weekly online sessions, the project team trained 15 librarian-instructor teams – five from each university – to use an information literacy framework called Informed Learning Design to design student projects that enable students to use information in new ways in their courses.

In this webinar, the team gave an overview of the principles of Informed Learning design, their specific project, how they had to adapt due to COVID and some great lessons learned from this three-year effort in improving student learning. Anyone who missed this webinar is invited to view the recording on the State Library’s YouTube channel. More details can be found on the archived webinars page of the Continuing Education website.

The Professional Development Office hopes that this series will offer a venue for academic librarians to not only share their work with others in their field, but with the wider library profession. The format will most often be a one-hour panel discussion webinar, but we are open to discussing other options with interested presenters. Anyone who is curious about being a part of this new series is invited to reach out to George Bergstrom.

This post was written by George Bergstrom, Southwest regional coordinator, Professional Development Office, Indiana State Library.

Beyond books: “Libraries of Things” in Indiana public libraries

Books. Newspapers. Audio and visual materials. These are all things one would expect to find on the shelves in an Indiana public library. But did you know that many public libraries have been expanding their collections to lend non-traditional items, known as a Library of Things?

According to the Allen County Public Library’s website, a Library of Things is a “special collection of ‘things’ that you can check out with your library card. These items are meant to personally enrich your lifelong learning experience – whether it’s through interactive outdoor activities, baking, music or art.”

Greenwood Public Library Binge Boxes – Photo credit: Courtney Brown, Southeast regional coordinator

Over half of the public libraries in our state are offering additional materials. While their collections will vary, you might find:

  • Technology: Laptops, Chrome books, iPads and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, virtual reality (VR) headsets.
  • Crafting materials: Cricut and die cut machines and patterns, sewing machines, quilting and crochet materials, stamps.
  • Kitchen tools: Cake pans, cookie cutters, air fryers.
  • Audio and visual recording equipment, microphones, and light stands, karaoke machines.
  • Binge boxes: curated collections of books, movies and other materials about a topic.
  • Yard tools.
  • Tables and chairs.
  • Bicycles.
  • Seeds.
  • Passes to local attractions, including museums and pools.
  • Nature exploration/adventure packs: birding equipment, binoculars, telescopes.
  • Toys: Legos, puzzles, robots.

Kendallville Public Library – Snow shovel and homewares – Photo credit: Paula Newcom, Northeast regional coordinator

To see what your library offers, inquire with circulation staff or check your library’s website or catalog, including the Evergreen Indiana catalog. Some materials may require a rental agreement or deposit. Many materials are limited to a library’s own borrowers and are unlikely to transit or be available via interlibrary loan.

New Carlisle-Olive Township Public Library – Library of Things on display – Photo credit: Laura Jones, Northwest regional coordinator

Library staff interested in learning more about these collections may be interested in viewing this archived presentation for Indiana libraries, led by Dianne Connery, director of the Pottsboro Public Library in Texas, which is worth one LEU for Indiana library staff.

Enjoy exploring all your library has to offer beyond books!

This blog post was written by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office.

Along the Electronic Avenue

One forgets that as the curator of the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian and the National Archives, the United States government sits on a treasure trove of beauty and art, much of which can be had for free.

If one is out and about on the internet, stop by the National Gallery of Art, a wonderful place to pick up a painting. I found these two – one by Manet and the other by Miro – in the free download section.

Say a painting piqued the curiosity of an art teacher or an art student, they can find scores of courses, artwork and kits online at the National Archives and at National Gallery of Art. Preschoolers can examine a Rousseau while middle schoolers can reconstruct a Kandinksky.

Then, there is the poster collection at the Library of Congress, which is comprised of over 85,000 items, and includes commercial artwork. Many posters can be downloaded free of charge here, while other works of art can be purchased here for very reasonable fees, often about $16.Perhaps, it is realism you are after. Check out the Smithsonian, a great place to collect photographs of wildlife and other gems.

Numerous federal sites provide access to informational posters on safety, amendments, Works Progress Administration – also known as WPA – programs, ecosystems and so much more.

My electronic stroll through the galleries, brought to mind the words of William Morris: “I do not want art for a few anymore than education for a few, or freedom for a few.” How fitting that so many entities run by the government offer beauty right along with truth.

This blog post was written by Kate Mcginn, reference librarian, Indiana State Library.