Meet Emma Woods, digital inclusion fellow

Digital equity in Indiana is important because it’s necessary for access to essential services, civil and cultural participation, education and employment. This is why I am very excited to now be serving the Indiana State Library as their digital inclusion fellow!

I am an Americorps member serving through the American Connection Corps program run by the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Lead for America. In my previous role, I served the Uplands region of Indiana in developing county and regional-level digital inclusion plans.

I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in the fall of 2021 with a bachelor of arts in political science and a minor in public relations. While in college, I found my passion for community building through my involvement in student organizations. This experience through Americorps has allowed me to continue growing my community organizing skills and make a difference in Indiana.

While serving with the library, I will be curating a digital inclusion plan for the state organization and presenting a three-part webinar series on what digital inclusion is, what resources are available and community implementation of digital inclusion strategies. I will also be promoting the various digital equity and inclusion programs within the libraries. I have included theses resources below as well!

Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

More information can be found here. Click here to apply.

FCC Map Challenge
Recently, the FCC released a map showing broadband availability across the U.S. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will use this map to guide the distribution of funding for building broadband infrastructure through programs such as the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. To make sure that the funding reaches the areas that need broadband most, residents and businesses are being asked to look at the map and verify that the information is correct.

Click here to view the map and to validate information. More information about the challenge process can be found here.

Indiana’s Digital Equity Plan Survey
As more activities take place online, it’s important that everyone has equal access so that all can take part in our society and economy. A survey about your electronic devices, internet access and use, and the difficulties you face will provide information for Indiana’s first-ever digital equity plan. The 10-minute survey can be found here. This is your opportunity to help Indiana become a state where digital equity is a reality!

This blog post was written by Emma Woods, digital inclusion fellow, Indiana State Library.

What is a fact? Missing State Library artifacts

Carl Becker once posited the query, what is a fact? In his famous essay, his answer included the following, “And generally speaking, the more renowned a historical fact is, the more clear and definite and provable it is, the less use it is to us in and for itself.” His observations have relevance today.

Consider the steps taken to verify information laid out in a brief paragraph written by the Smithsonian Institute – in response to a survey sent out in 1849 in an effort to “capture the state of public libraries in the United States” – as reported in its 1850 Annual Report.

Included among those libraries that responded to the survey was the Indiana State Library, then consisting of four rooms on the first floor of the Indiana State House and opened daily, Sundays aside, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. As well as its 7,000 volumes, the library had “some curious Mexican armor and arms; a portrait of Beato Simon de Cassia, painted in 1751; a painting of the ‘Tippecanoe battle-ground;’ 150-square-feet; and a small collection of minerals and fossils.”

If those same items might intrigue patrons today, we shall never know. None still reside within our collection.

Take, for example, the portrait of Beato Simon de Cassia and the Mexican suit of armor. No mention of these items can be found in the library director’s report from 1850-1852. Yet, they are regularly referenced in the Daily State Sentinel, a contemporary and manically partisan newspaper. Indeed, the items became a sort of rope in the heated tug-of-war between the town Whig and the country Democrat politicians.

The Daily State Sentinel was owned by brothers George and Jacob Chapman, who weren’t without a sense of flair. The masthead of their paper carried an image of a Rooster, soon to become the symbol of the Democratic Party in Indiana, and the words, “Crow, Chapman, Crow.”

To understand how this came to be, a little background is needed. The portrait, suit of armor and a book – apparently of less interest – comprised a gift from one John S. Simonson, a military man with one foot firmly planted in Indiana, as his wife, Elizabeth Watson, hailed from Charlestown, and the other in a stirrup riding with the U.S. Mounted Riflemen. Before being elected to the position of Indiana’s Speaker of the House in 1845, Simonson had served one term as a state senator. Soon after his election to speaker, James K. Polk appointed Simonson Captain of the Mounted Riflemen, a post he held throughout the Mexican War. He played an integral part in the siege and capture of Vera Cruz and then spent the next many years fighting American Indians in Texas.

Papers suggest that Simsonson held a good opinion of himself, which might help explain how his gift to the state of Indiana became a point of contention for Indiana Democrats, who argued that Simonson’s gifts were plunder from an aggressive war. On Jan. 30, 1852, proceedings from the State House reveal that Mr. Sleeth, a Democrat, demanded that all material stolen from Mexico during the U.S. invasion be turned over to the local Catholic Cathedral. Mr. Holloway, a Whig, insisted the spoils remain, byproducts of the nation’s defensive war with Mexico. Similar discussions resurfaced, each time less heatedly, for decades, until 1885 when the portrait and book were quietly donated to a local Catholic church.

The fate of the painting of the Battleground at Tippecanoe is uncertain. In an Indianapolis Star article from December of 1929, Kate Milner Rabb laments the condition of a George Winter painting of the Battleground at Tippecanoe, languishing at the State Library. This plea for help appears to have gone unheeded. A painting of the Battleground at Tippecanoe by George Winter is referenced in a letter from the State Museum, in 1980, which explains that if the library transfers the painting of the Tippecanoe Battleground to the Museum, the Museum can then restore it. Might the below image from the State Museum Collection be the said work from the director’s report? We may never know.

From the Collection of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

While documentation has yet to be uncovered, it seems likely that the minerals and fossils from the early days also winded their way to the State Museum.

The Mexican suit of armor is still unaccounted for. It may have trotted off with a concerned legislator, found a home in a Catholic or a Mexican cultural institution or, perhaps, stands in in a closet, waiting to be found and traced back to Captain John Simonson?

Other matters are less shrouded in mystery. For instance, the state librarian – a job held by both men and women – was a busy person. Reports from the 1850s onwards chronicle a variety of pressing 19th-century duties. The perennial problem of keeping the library’s collection from walking away was dealt with in the 1850s by taking all books out of circulation. Theft was also discouraged by printing the names of delinquent patrons in the director’s report, with inconclusive results. Then, there was the daily foot traffic. Statistics from the librarian’s 1894 report indicate that 6,218 patrons read newspapers in the reading room.

Since the librarian maintained the Statehouse and grounds for a chunk of the century, their time could be consumed with non-librarian issues as well, such as how to care for the building when it became a military encampment during the Civil War.

And, what to do with the battle flags produced by Civil War regiments? After the flags were ordered to be returned to the State of Indiana by Lew Wallace, they moved around and were displayed in various places. Their time at the Statehouse was not without problems. By the 1880s, one librarian petitioned that the flags be given to either the Geological or Agricultural Department as “the library is no place for a collection of curiosities that draws visitors and creates noise and confusion.” Added to the librarian’s displeasure was the habit of patrons to “tear off bits for relics.” Eventually, the flags found a proper home at the Indiana War Memorial, where they were preserved, and a small percentage are on display.

One senses, also, that the librarian’s needs were never at the top of the legislative agenda. A raise for the state librarian came eventually, near the end of the century, but not the oft-requested iron shelves, an interesting irony as fire prevention was a top priority when the State House was constructed.

One may be dispirited to learn that records were not kept of the comings and goings of certain artifacts, but then one should be encouraged that the state librarian, despite a light salary and a heavy load, chose to answer the Smithsonian survey. As for what to make of the work undertaken to trace an array of objects listed in 1850 – work that included tours of the State House and War Memorial (trips both worth taking), time in the library’s own fourth-floor vault, correspondence with the registrar at the State Museum and an explanation for how the rooster came to represent the Democratic Party in Indiana – consider it a nod to Becker, proof that the value of a fact can be in its unraveling.

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

Identifying the current locations of unmarked photographs

Finding photographs without a location or identifying information can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are several ways to locate where a photograph was likely taken.

Sarah Malsbury home
A house with distinctive architecture may be easy to spot on Google Maps. The home of Sarah Malsbury has a somewhat distinctive roof line. Searching for Sarah in Ancestry Library Edition produces a 1900 census record, listing her location as Sycamore Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. When viewing an image of the actual record, the city location is written as Silverton Precinct, Rossmoyne.

Home of Sarah (Stickel) Malsbury, from the Indiana State Library Digital Collection.

The 1910 census lists an address as being on Highland. When looking at the Rossmoyne area on Google maps Highland does not seem to exist anymore. There are a few blocks that appear to have older homes scattered in between newer, more uniform construction. Zooming in on a house located on Pine Road reveals a possible candidate. A Google Street View image shows a house that is strikingly similar to the one in the photograph down to the fence in front. A 1914 atlas of Hamilton County, Ohio available on the Cincinnati Public Library’s digital collection contains a map of the Rossmoyne area. On the image, the road now known as Pine Road is labeled Highland confirming that the house on Pine Road is the house in the image.

Rossmoyne, Google Maps aerial photo.

Closeup of Pine Road, Google Maps.

8468 Pine Road, Rossmoyne, Google Maps Street View.

Rossmoyne, 1914 Hamilton County Atlas courtesy of the Cincinnati Public Library.

Carter family home
In the case of the image with the Carter family taken in front of a house, there was one clue on the back of the photo: the name of the photographic studio with the location of the studio. Another clue was a vague description on an envelope containing multiple photographs including the group photo. The description given was “Grandfather Richard’s house – Frankfort.”

Carter family, from the Indiana State Library Digital Collection.

The photograph is part of the Dr. Floyd Raymond Nicolas Carter Collection, so other information about the family could be gleaned from other photographs and materials in the collection. A second photograph had an older woman along with three other adults in front of the same home. Based on information in the collection, the search was narrowed down to the Frankfort area in Indiana.

Elenor Carter at other family members, from the Indiana State Library Digital Collection.

Starting with Ancestry Library edition, I was able to find the census record for Richard Carter in the 1880 census, but no address was recorded for the house. Richard died in 1883, his wife Eleanor Carter died much later, in 1901. Checking the 1900 census, I was able to find Eleanor and Marion, one of her children. The address was listed as 402 W. Clinton St. Entering the address on to Google Maps I found an open area of land with a grassy space closest to the street and a parking lot behind that. When viewing the address on Google Street View I also noticed a walkway going from the sidewalk out to the street. The other two homes on the block both have them leading up to their stairs. It is likely a house once occupied that space. Checking later Frankfort City Directories showed one of Eleanor’s grandchildren occupying the home after her death.

Digitized copies of Sanborn fire insurance maps for Frankfort are available through the Fire Insurance Maps online database at the library. I was able to check both the 1906 and 1927 Sanborn map and confirm the existence of a home at 402 W. Clinton Street with the same approximate shape as the one pictured.

402 W. Clinton St., Google Street View.

1906 Sanborn fire insurance map.

1927 Sanborn fire insurance map.

Evansville outhouse
Another interesting photo is one of an outhouse on the streets of Evansville after the 1937 flood. The photo is part of the Kulenschimdt collection and one of several photographs and postcards with images of the 1937 flood. Checking the downtown area of Evansville on Google Maps, I looked for taller buildings in the hope that the store in the foreground was still standing. After several attempts to locate the building, it appeared that it had possibly been torn down. I then checked for online images of the downtown Evansville area during that time period to see if one would have either building pictured.

Men’s outhouse during the 1937 Evansville flood, Indiana State Library Digital Collection.

In a separate tab, I started a search for department buildings in Evansville focusing on the building in the background. After searching for a bit, I was able to figure out that the building in the background was Siegal’s Department Store. A check of Google Maps Street View showed a building that looked remarkably like the one in the photograph. I was also able to locate an older image of Siegal’s on the website Historic Evansville.

Downtown Evansville map.

From there, I was then able to find the name of the building located in the foreground. The building was the Lahr, and later Schears Department Store. A photograph from an article in the Evansville Courier Press shows both buildings in 1961. Another photo from the Willard Library’s Karl Knecht collection shows the Lahr/Schears building around the time of the flood.

Schears Department Store, Willard Library Karl Kae Knecht collection, 799.

When trying to locate the current location of an older photograph with little-to-no information, there are multiple tools one can use to try and find where the photograph was taken. Research of the area and the persons in the photograph along with trial and error may help identify otherwise unknown photographs.

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.”

Lake depth maps: 1920-1925

The Indiana State Library has been digitizing a set of historic lake maps and making them available online for free to use and download. This set of maps was created between 1922-1925, making them all around 100 years old. Have a lake house? These might make nice pieces to frame!

There were 37 lakes mapped by the Indiana Department of Conservation, Division of Fish and Game in the first half of the 1920s. The maps show lake depth, adjacent topography, cottages, access roads and vegetation. The detailed surveys were the result of labor by William Motier Tucker, a native of Ripley County and Professor of Geology at Indiana University. He always worked with a student assistant, conducting the surveys in the summer months. The maps were then available for sale from the Department of Conservation for 50 cents each. They were purchased by interested fishermen and cottage owners.

There was much interest in Indiana’s lakes in the 1920s, mostly relating to fishing and fish hatcheries. Indiana had six state owned fish-hatcheries on lakes by 1926. They were responding to requests for stocking fish for sport and food. A lot of effort went into artificially propagating fish. You can read about these efforts in the Division of Fish and Game annual reports available online through the digitized yearbooks. In 1925, the Division sold over 205,000 fishing licenses, which contributed to the Division being self-sufficient. They receive no regular appropriation from the legislature. Today, 29% of Fish and Wildlife funding comes from license funds (source, pie chart).

In addition to being interesting to fishermen, the lake maps were to serve as a reference for years to come as they show the permanent benchmark levels for the lakes. There was concern that land drainage projects were threatening to lower lake levels in the northern half of the state. The Department of Natural Resources makes modern lake depth maps available on their website. So, while these 100-year-old maps may not have much practical use and are superseded by newer maps, they remain quite interesting. My favorite details are the manmade surroundings shown on the maps – there are cottages represented, some hotels and access roads are named. Many of Indiana’s beautiful lakes are remote, located way off state and interstate highways. Many no longer have many, if any, lots open for new development, making lakefront living a special privilege. I hope you find something interesting, too!

Bonus interesting information: William M. Tucker, the Indiana University professor who created the maps, left Indiana for a position at Fresno State College in the late 1920s. In 1937, he discovered the vertebra of huge prehistoric sea lizard, 50-million-years old. A few months later, the skull was found, making it one of the most valuable fossils discovered in the area.

This post was written by Monique Howell, Indiana Collection supervisor.

TALK early literacy text program launched

The Indiana State Library is working with the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services and pilot libraries in Michigan to launch a new program called TALK – an acronym for Text and Learn for Kindergarten – for Indiana parents and caregivers. TALK promotes early literacy and kindergarten readiness through fun activities texted to parents each month. TALK has been developed using grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Although this program started in Michigan with Indiana coming on board recently, the hope is that this program could be replicated in states across the nation.

TALK sends texts with fun activities parents can do with their babies, toddlers and preschoolers to make any time learning time. The program was developed by librarians and is based on the already well established Every Child Ready to Read program which encourages parents to read, write, sing, talk and play with their children every day. TALK activities are designed to prepare kids, ages up to 5, for school success.

After signing up for TALK, the parent will receive up to 8-10 text messages per month with entertaining activities they can do at home with their child. TALK activities increase back and forth parent and child conversations. Research shows that when parents and caregivers talk and listen to young children, they develop cognitive and language skills they will need to succeed in school. Parents may sign up for messages in English or Spanish. The activities are then geared for their child’s developmental level and age. To see example texts for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, click here.

Public libraries can sign up as well to promote the TALK program in their communities with promotional toolkits provided for their use. Libraries who sign up can send texts about library events such as story times to parents.

The Indiana State Library will be hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 18, titled “Launching TALK in Your Community,” for Indiana public libraries interested in signing up for the program. The webinar will show how to use the online toolkits to access promotional materials and give tips on how to reach parents who aren’t regular library users. There will also be a demonstration of the TALK portal used to send text messages about upcoming library events. Libraries interested in learning more may register here. For more information about the TALK program, visit here. You may also contact Beth Yates, children’s consultant, or Kara Cleveland, Professional Development Office supervisor – both of the Indiana State Library – with any questions.

This blog post was submitted by Kara Cleveland, Professional Development Office supervisor at the Indiana State Library.

2022 Indiana State Library end-of-year reflection

As we close the book on 2022, we reflect on the many projects and services that came to fruition and were provided by the Indiana State Library, as well as the staff that continue to work so diligently to make things happen this year.

On the heels of 2021 – a year filled with many things related to, surrounding and/or as a result of COVID – we went about our regular business in 2022 with the Genealogy and Local History Fair, Discovery to Delivery, the Difference is You conference, DNA workshops, Evergreen updates and migrations/onboarding (and everything that goes along with those), web archiving of born digital state publications, digitizing and uploading collections to the Indiana State Library Digital Collections, Letters About Literature and more. In addition to regular business, the Indiana State Library had a number of projects in 2022 that went beyond the norm. Below are the highlights of some of those projects and programs.

On March 1, the Indiana Digital Library launched, creating a statewide consortium of e-books and magazines through the OverDrive platform. IDL is comprised of 203 public libraries from across the state, which have total checkouts amounting to almost 4 million since IDL rolled out. This new consortium allows access to more materials, cuts wait time, and ensures a more efficient use of funds. More information about IDL can be found here.

The Indiana Library Passport – a digital passport program for libraries across the state created to highlight features that make their library an excellent place to visit – launched in early July. This mobile passport is open to everyone, and features 140 public libraries and branches in Indiana. Patrons can visit the passport landing page to sign up. When participants check in through the Passport while they’re at the location, they will be entered into a quarterly drawing for a prize package!

On July 1, a new librarian certification portal was unveiled. The new certification portal was designed in-house specifically for librarian certification, allowing the process to be more streamlined and customizable for future use. Over time, the types of transactions that can be completed through the portal will increase. Changes include a new credit card service with lower fees, correspondence almost entirely done through email, a public lookup for librarians and in-house troubleshooting.

In August, the Indiana State Library presented “The Mystery of the Darlington Bible,” a program in which the focus was a 14th century medieval Bible held in the collections at the library. Professor David Gura of the Medieval Institute, and curator of ancient and medieval manuscripts at the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame, investigated and presented on the origins of the book, including the production techniques, magnificent illuminations and movement from Medieval Spain to Indiana.  Though the circumstances of its travels remain something of an enigma, we hope to bring more of its history to light as Dr. Gura continues his research on the Darlington Bible, the existence of which was previously unknown to the medieval scholars’ community.

Following the release of the 2020 census data, Indiana State Library staff, along with the assistance of the Indiana Business Research Center, worked to reevaluate Indiana’s public library districts and classes by compiling 2020 census data and examining that data in conjunction with public library survey data. This is an arduous and lengthy process, but population changes must be reflected since, in turn, they can affect a library’s class size, causing the need to reexamine service models to accommodate any changes. The Library District Interactive Map on StatsIndiana is updated with the most recent boundaries after 2020 census redistricting.In October, it was announced that the U.S. Government Publishing Office named the Indiana State Library as the 2022 Federal Depository Library of the Year for its preservation and promotion efforts of the Federal Documents Collection. “This is the first Library of the Year I am awarding since beginning my role as GPO superintendent of documents, and I can’t imagine a more deserving library,” said GPO superintendent of documents Scott Matheson. “Indiana State Library’s long-standing dedication to promoting and preserving government information is something to be admired. Through its much-loved Government Information Day and other crucial efforts, [the] Indiana State Library has played an important role in helping GPO realize its vision of an America Informed.”

Brent Abercrombie, Indiana State Library federal documents coordinator.

In late November, we learned that we were awarded a $30,000 grant from the Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr. Foundation, which will be used for the purpose of funding a six-month termed conservator position to stabilize and treat a collection of mid-19th century rare wall maps housed in the Indiana Division of the Indiana State Library. Currently, these maps are restricted due to their condition. Treating these maps will allow them to be digitized and made available to researchers.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but highlights from a year well done! With other exciting projects that received a jumping off point in 2022, we’re excited to see what 2023 brings! Thank you for a great year!

This blog post was written by Stephanie Asberry, deputy director of public and statewide services at the Indiana State Library.

Recent acquisition: Albert J. Beveridge collection

This fall, the Rare Book and Manuscripts Division of the Indiana State Library accessioned additions to the Albert J. Beveridge collection. Compiled by his second wife, Catherine Eddy Beveridge (1881-1970), and including instances of her notes, it comprises correspondence, manuscripts, publications and artifacts. These items supplement the existing correspondence, speeches and one portrait, as seen below.

Albert Jeremiah Beveridge was born on Oct. 6, 1862 near Sugar Tree Ridge, Ohio. In 1885, he graduated from Indiana Asbury College (DePauw University). In 1887,  Beveridge married Katherine Langsdale, was admitted to the Indiana bar and began practicing law in Indianapolis. Beveridge married Catherine Eddy in 1907, seven years after the death of his first wife. In 1899, Beveridge was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican and served six terms as a senator, during which time he was known for, among other things, fighting for child labor legislation.

In 1911, he returned to Indianapolis, starting a new career as a biographer and penning works on the lives of John Marshall and Abraham Lincoln after an unsuccessful bid for the Indiana governorship as a Progressive candidate in 1912. In the same year, he was the chairman of the National Progressive Convention at Chicago. He died on April 27, 1927 in Indianapolis.

Highlights of the recent acquisitions include a photograph of Beveridge with President Theodore Roosevelt, his wedding invitation and political badges.

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

Sources
Banta, Ray E., comp. “Indiana Authors and their Books, 1816-1916.” Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1949.

United States Congress. “Beveridge, Albert J. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.” Dec. 13, 2005.

Government information games

Learning government information can be viewed as a daunting task. Most people know government information exists, or can name a government document, but struggle to properly explain or grasp the sheer scope of it. Government information typically gets associated with politics, political science or history. Often viewed as a subject rather than a type of information, government information covers all subjects and is considered a credible and reliable resource. Educators can trust the information presented to be accurate. Government information is also presented in fun engaging ways specifically designed for adults and children. One of the engaging techniques used for children are games.

Many federal agencies create education resources specifically for children and educators. Tracking down all these learning activities can be laborious. Luckily, there are some tricks and resources available to make the process easier. The Indiana State Library’s Indiana Federal Documents blog recently published a Games & Activities page within the Children’s Resources subject guide. Most of the games are targeted for elementary and middle school students and are either standalone games or activities with a accompanying lesson plans. It is important to note that some games require a specific internet browser (e.g., Google Chrome) in order to play. Below are just a few examples of federal agencies creating games designed to engage and educate children.

Recognized by the American Library Association as A Great Website for Kids, Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government features learning adventures and games create improve student’s understanding of the federal government. The games test students’ knowledge of geography and understanding of the three branches of government. It also has activities designed for various age groups. The website is an excellent resource to begin teaching children about the federal government and civics.

NASA Kid’s Club is a great website that is presented in a fun and engaging layout with games and activities for elementary age kids to learn about NASA and space. The clubhouse has five games that range from easiest,  level 1, to hardest, level 5. All the games support national education standards in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM. The Kid’s Club also includes Info for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers that provide an overview of the games along with related resources to explore.

Ready.gov Kids was created to teach children about natural and manmade disasters. Through games and activities, the website helps them learn about how to prepare themselves and their family in case a disaster occurs. The games page tests kids on a wide range of emergencies and explains how to build an emergency kit through Disaster Master and Build a Kit online games. Ready Kids also features a Resource Library filled with helpful activities, resources and tools.

These three examples represent just a sample of games available on federal web sites. The Games & Activities page also includes links to games from the U.S. Mint, CIA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. census and more. All the games are designed to educate children on a particular subject or topic. The page does not represent every game or activity available online. It is not uncommon for webpages or games disappear or get moved to a new site, so keeping a guide current can sometimes be challenging. There are tips one can use to search for a particular game or agency.

Targeted searching can help potentially uncover new resources or activities. USA.gov is an excellent starting point to search for government information. The site allows researchers to search through all available government websites to find information. Keyword searches for “game” or “kids” yield several results from federal – and some state – agencies. One can also use Google to search for a particular government department or agency and include kids in their keyword search to see if a children or education section exists. If those searching tips do not yield a positive outcome, contacting a federal documents librarian can help confirm what is available. Happy playing!

This blog post was written by Indiana State Library federal documents coordinator Brent Abercrombie. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services at 317-232-3678 or via “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Upcoming webinars from the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office

Greetings this holiday season! The Professional Development Office is busy planning a wide range of webinar topics for the coming year.

Below you will find the important dates for the Indiana State Library’s training and professional development events taking place in 2023. You’ll notice that we will feature a What’s Up Wednesday webinar training series on the last Wednesday of each month and our new webinar training series called What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology will take place on the second Wednesday of each month. Some topics are still being developed, but we hope you can find some areas of interest in the list below. Best wishes from the Professional Development Office.

January 2023
Jan. 11
 “What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Dementia Friendly Libraries.” Hosted by Thrive Alliance and Bartholomew County Public Library.
Jan. 25 “What’s Up Wednesday – INDiPres.”

February2023
Feb. 8
 “What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – How to do a Presentation, Best Practices.” Presented by Paula Newcom, Northeast regional coordinator at the Indiana State Library.
Feb. 22 What’s Up Wednesday: Topic to Come!

March2023
March 8
 “What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Powered by Sunshine: How Solar Projects Benefit Libraries and Their Communities.” Hosted by the Brown County Public Library and Pendleton Community Public Library.
March 29 “What’s Up Wednesday – All Free for the Finding: Digging up Family History for Free on the Internet.” This presentation is a sampling of the best, free websites for genealogy. Attendees will become versed in research tips, general genealogy websites, Indiana genealogy websites, immigrant genealogy websites, British genealogy websites and newspaper websites. Presented by Angela Porter, Genealogy librarian at the Indiana State Library.

April 2023
April 12 “What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Enhancing Services with Outreach.” Hosted by Floyd County Public Library.
April 26 “What’s Up Wednesday – LaPorte County Public Library and The Exchange.” Hosted by the LaPorte County Public Library.

May 2023
May 10
 What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Topic to come!
May 31 What’s Up Wednesday – Topic to come!

June 2023
June 14
What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Topic to come!
June 28 “What’s Up Wednesday – Bendable.” Hosted by St. Joe County Public Library.

July 2023
July 12
 What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Topic to come!
July 26 “What’s Up Wednesday – Edelweiss & Libraries.”

August 2023
Aug. 9
 What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Topic to come!
Aug. 24-25 (tentative) “Indiana Library Leadership Academy 2023.”
Aug. 30 “What’s Up Wednesday- What’s New in INSPIRE.” Presented by Paula Newcom, Northeast regional coordinator at the Indiana State Library.

September 2023
Sept. 13
 “What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Building Back After the Fire.” Hosted by the Eckhart Public Library.
Sept. 15 The Difference is You Conference.
Sept. 27 What’s Up Wednesday – Topic to come!

October 2023
Oct. 11
 What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – Topic to come!
Oct. 25 What’s Up Wednesday- Topic to come!

November 2023
Nov. 8
 “What’s Up Wednesday: Trends & Technology – The Bridge: Noble County Public Library’s Makerspace.” Find out how The Bridge Makerspace evolved at the Noble County Public Library. Presented by Derrick Leatherman, IT services manager at the Noble County Public Library.
Nov. 29 What’s Up Wednesday – Topic to come!

December 2023
Happy holidays from the Professional Development Office!

Submitted by Laura Jones, Northwest regional coordinator, Indiana State Library.

Visit the Lego Monument this holiday season! It’s free!

Visitors to the Indiana Young Readers Center located in the Indiana State Library will get a treat this holiday season. For the fourth time since 2018, a 7-foot-tall replica of the Indianapolis Soldiers and Sailors Monument is on display from now until Valentine’s Day, 2023. Startlingly similar to the real monument, the replica is made from Legos, over 75,000 Legos to be precise.

Jeffrey Smythe of Center Grove, Indiana is the artist behind the Lego sculpture. Smythe attended the Herron School of Art and Design and graduated from IUPUI with a degree in interior design. He loves sharing his piece with the Indiana public, especially with field trips who visit the Indiana Young Readers Center.

The initial construction back in 2017-18 lasted 15 months, including three months of planning and sketching. Lego bricks used to create the sculpture, which includes a roughly 6-foot circular base area, were obtained from existing kits, Goodwill stores, auction houses and via online retailers and resellers. The piece was constructed at a 1:48 scale to accommodate Lego minifigures.

Since the initial build, Smythe has tweaked the design and grouped different combinations of characters around the base of the monument to tell different visual stories and provide lots of opportunities for viewers to seek and find.

This year, visitors will be delighted by a Muppet rock concert and a very familiar mystery solving dog. Let’s just say that we Scooby-Dooby-Doo hope you bring your families to visit the monument. “It’s one of my very favorite parts about working downtown in December,” said Indiana Young Readers Center librarian, Suzanne Walker. “The Lego Monument is beautiful, quirky and so very ‘Indiana.’”

The Indiana Young Readers Center is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. Visitors can also view the monument on select Saturdays; Dec. 10, 2022, Jan. 14, 2023 and Feb. 11, 2023 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. If you have questions about viewing the Lego Monument, reach out to Suzanne Walker, Indiana Young Readers Center librarian.

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