There’s something for all you boils and ghouls at the Indiana State Library

You can’t go into a Halloween store today without seeing a plethora of creepy and scary costumes, but that’s not how things were when I was a kid. I went out on Halloween night in one of Grandma’s old housecoats and her favorite wig, while my brother donned a pair of Dad’s old jeans and a trash bag full of newspapers. We’d walk around the neighborhood getting our goodies, come back to the house, switch costumes and then go out for another round.

The candy and costume industries surely make a lot of money this time of year due to aggressive marketing, but I believe that most people still enjoy the simple things about Halloween.

Who doesn’t like roasting hot dogs over a campfire, bobbing for apples, hay rides, getting lost in the corn maze or sipping on warm cider? Let’s not forget about carving the pumpkin and roasting the seeds in the oven. All of these things make Halloween a favorite holiday for so many goblins of all ages.

So, I did some checking around at the library – with help from some other great people who work here – to see how others here in Indiana celebrated Halloween. Take a look at some of our finds!

Here’s a haunting doily, colored by hand, from our Manuscripts Collection:

Check out some of the clippings we found from Halloweens past. You’ll find these in our Indiana Collection:

You can creep through our catalog and find a spooky novel, like “The Witches,” to enjoy while you’re handing out candy to all the little monsters.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Cleopatra” analyzes the Salem Witch Trials to offer key insights into the role of women in its events, while explaining how its tragedies became possible. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

You can also pick up a wonderful book, like “A Halloween Scare in Indiana,” from the Indiana Young Readers Center to share with your little goblin.

A fun and funny Halloween romp for children and parents alike! It’s Halloween night, and creatures and critters from near and far are starting to gather outside the front door. And now here comes a whole army of monsters, on broomsticks, buses and bikes, all clamoring in the darkness. What is it they want? Are they coming for you? This humorous, creative story is the perfect Halloween adventure for children and parents to share.

Regardless of how you like to spend Halloween, be safe, have fun with friends and family and take time to visit the Indiana State Library.

This blog post was written by Rayjeana Duty, circulation supervisor, Indiana State Library.

Changes coming to overtime eligibility requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The FLSA is the set of federal laws that establish minimum wage, overtime pay requirements, employment record keeping, child labor standards and break time requirements for breastfeeding mothers. Please be mindful that there are also state laws in Indiana that cover some of these topics, so it’s important to review both when trying to determine what the law requires.

In general, the FLSA currently provides that nonexempt employees must be paid for all hours worked at a rate of at least $7.25 per hour. The FLSA also provides that nonexempt employees must be paid overtime pay at a rate of 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay after working 40 hours in any given week. The record keeping requirements applicable to the records of the nonexempt employees include identifying information about the employee, hours and days the employee worked, wages paid to the employee, including any overtime, as well as any wage deductions. There are different requirements for the records of exempt employees. The FLSA includes restrictions on hours of work for minors under 16 as well as lists of occupations deemed too hazardous for minors to work. Indiana state law actually provides more protection for employees and thus would trump the FLSA provisions related to break requirements for breastfeeding mothers.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

What does exempt/nonexempt mean?
The overtime and minimum wage provisions provided by the FLSA are applicable only to employees classified as nonexempt. Employees classified as nonexempt are eligible to enjoy the protections provided by the FLSA. Employees classified as exempt cannot benefit from – do not qualify for – the minimum wage or overtime provisions of the FLSA. They are excluded from the FLSA provisions.

How do I know if I am exempt or nonexempt?
Prior to Jan. 1, 2020, in order to be exempt from the FLSA, an employee must be paid a salary of $455 or more per week – $23,660 annually. Additionally, the person must perform duties that would be classified as executive, administrative, professional or be a computer technician, outside sales representative, or highly-compensated employee earning $100,000 or more annually. In order to be exempt, the employee’s job duties and salary must meet all of the FLSA requirements. To find out what duties qualify under the executive, administrative, professional and computer technician exemptions, see this guide.

What are the upcoming changes?
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020:

  • The salary level part of the test – the test that is used to determine if an employee is exempt or non-exempt – is changing from $455 per week to $684 or more per week – $35,568 or more annually.
  • The total annual compensation requirement for “highly-compensated employees” is changing from $100,000 per year to $107,432 per year.
  • Employers will be able to use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments – including commissions – paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level.
  • The special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and the motion picture industry have been revised.

Government employers may continue to use compensatory time instead of paying overtime in the event that is the government employer’s policy. Similarly to overtime pay, comp time accrues at 1.5 hours for every hour worked over 40 by a non-exempt employee in any given work week.

When will the changes take effect?
The rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Until that time, everything stays the same.

Who do I contact if I have questions about this?
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division may be contacted for more information at 1-866-487-9243. The U. S. Department of Labor also has a website that explains the FLSA in more detail.

This blog article is general information and should not be construed as legal advice.  This article reflects Indiana law at the time the article was written but may not include every detail or nuance and may not reflect the law in other jurisdictions. Additionally, laws frequently change. The reader should not act on the information contained above but rather should act on the advice of his/her own legal counsel or other appropriate professional.

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

Found in the Genealogy Division: From one pioneer to another, a special inscription

In 1887, John H. B. Nowland wrote a special inscription to Emily Stewart Cravens in the book, “Sketches of Prominent Citizens of 1876, with a few of the pioneers of the city and county who have passed away.” Both Nowland and Cravens were pioneers from Indianapolis’s early days.

In the mid-to-late 19th century, Indianapolis was slow-growing and a small enough large town for the people who populated it to be friendly, neighborly and still very much of hard-working pioneer attitudes. The streets were dark and muddy; lined with taverns and cold houses lit by candle light. The 1830s saw the budding start of manufacturing and construction of factories and all was flavored with Gemütlichkeit from German immigrants who started arriving in the 1840s.

Nowland was born in Kentucky and came to Indianapolis late in the year 1820 with his pioneering parents, Matthias Nowland and Elizabeth Byrne. The first abode the family lived in was a cabin in the middle of Kentucky Avenue. Nowland, after spending some time in Washington D.C., returned to Indianapolis. He worked for various Indianapolis newspapers and wrote two history books about Indianapolis: “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis” and the aforementioned “Sketches of Prominent Citizens of 1876.” He died in 1899.

Cravens, born in Maryland, was the daughter of William Stewart and Sophia Doud. Her father, William Stewart, a bookseller from Hagerstown, Maryland, arrived in Indianapolis in 1853 and set up a book shop on Washington Street with Silas T. Bowen. In 1871, Emily married Junius Cravens, a dentist of Indianapolis. She died in 1932.

How did the two meet? Maybe in her father’s book store or through a literary club, such as the Fortnightly Literary Club, to which Emily Stewart Cravens belonged. Whatever the connection, the lady obviously deserved more than just a simple signature from Mr. Nowland.

I have tried my best to transcribe the poem Mr. Nowland wrote to Mrs. Cravens in 1887. My note in parentheses, the poem follows:

In Indianapolis you will find
People of every grade and kind
Black and white all mixed together
Muddy sheets in rainy weather
Full markets and but little money
Pretty girls as sweet as honey
And many a bargain if you (word unknown) it
Here’s Indianapolis how do you like it

January 1st 1887

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

Ethnic South Bend newspapers

Diverse ethnicities were represented in St. Joseph County, Indiana near the turn of the 20th century. According to “Indiana Newspaper Bibliography,” by John W. Miller, there were several Hungarian newspapers, among other ethnic-language papers, published in South Bend in the first quarter to half of the century. I wondered why and how there came to be a prominent Hungarian community in South Bend.

According to “Peopling Indiana: the Ethnic Experience,” edited by Robert M. Taylor, Jr. and Taylor McBirney (ISLI 305.8 P419i), the Studebaker Wagon Company and the Oliver Plow Plant in South Bend needed laborers. In 1882, they welcomed 32 citizens from a Hungarian Village, Hegykő, to South Bend to work in the factories. Churches and other community groups helped to host the newest South Bend citizens. Another wave of Hungarian migration came in the early 1900s, and toward the end of World War I, a group of professional and highly-trained Hungarian workers immigrated to South Bend and the Calumet Region. Apparently, the professional group did not mix well with the group of laborers. The laborers for the most part lived in boarding houses, where the close quarters caused disagreements and drama. There was even a radio show broadcast from South Bend called the “Sunday Hungarian Family Hour,” which fictionalized life in the boardinghouses for entertainment. Although the Hungarian-Americans tried to spotlight their ethnic identity with festivals and costume displays, they remained a largely close-knit group. In fact, their neighborhood area was nicknamed “Little Budapest” where there were Catholic churches that conducted masses in Hungarian, among other social organizations.

According to the Miller book, no library or institution in Indiana has holdings of Igazság, translated as Truth in English, a politically-independent Hungarian newspaper which ran from about 1906-10. Another Hungarian newspaper was called simply, The News, which ran for a short, unknown time period. Es Videke, or I’m in the Middle, was published from 1925-26, although the State Library does not have holdings. Yet another, Magyar Tudosito, or Hungarian Bulletin, was published from 1911-19, and concentrated on helping to Americanize the Hungarian immigrants. Miller’s book does not indicate any Indiana holdings for Magyar Tudosito.

Városi Élet, translated to City Life, is the Hungarian newspaper for which we have the longest run on microfilm, from January 1934 to January 1953. From the description in our Evergreen catalog, in which it was listed as a Hungarian/English newspaper, I had hoped that the Városi Élet might have side-by-side Hungarian and English articles. I assumed that the purpose of having such a newspaper would be to assist adjustments in relocating to the United States. Instead, I found that the few English words that did appear in the Városi Élet newspaper were in advertisements and comic strips.

Here is a page from Városi Élet from 1934:

Here is a page from the same newspaper in 1953. There were very few format changes over the years:

This newspaper ceased publication before the next major migration of Hungarians to St. Joseph County, which was after the Hungarian uprising in 1956. At that time, around 300 Hungarians immigrated to the area.

South Bend, and St. Joseph County in general, still has a substantial number of its population with Hungarian heritage, as well as those with Polish, German, English and Irish heritage. This county in Indiana is rich with ethnic history and traditions. For more information on the Hungarian migration to Indiana, see “Hungarian-Americans in St. Joseph County, Indiana: Implications of Ethnicity for Social Policy” by Wim Wiewel (ISLM F 532 .S2 W548 1979).

The Indiana State Library is always looking for newspapers that we are missing in our collection. If you find any of the above newspapers listed in the Miller book in Hungarian, we would love to receive your donations, either temporary – while microfilming – or permanent, to add to our collection.

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

Researching in ISL Digital Collections: Indianapolis Bicentennial

The city of Indianapolis is about to turn 200 years old and the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission is planning a celebration which will begin in June 2020 and last through May 2021. Those planning to celebrate can check the commission’s website for announcements, contests, events and a list of commission members. Since the Indiana State Library is continually adding materials to its online collections, now seems like a great time to check the collections for information about Indianapolis in order to gear up for the forthcoming festivities.

The Indiana Historical Legislative Documents collection contains the earliest volumes of the Indiana Acts. The volumes have an index to help locate specific laws passed in a year by the General Assembly. In this case, browsing the index and noticing “Seat of Government” points toward Indiana Acts 1820, Chapter 10, “An Act appointing Commissioners to select, and locate a site for the permanent seat of government of Indiana,” which was approved Jan. 11, 1820, and would move the state capitol from Corydon to a new location to be determined.

Indiana Acts 1821, Chapter 18, “An Act appointing commissioners to lay off a town on the site selected for the permanent seat of government,” was approved Jan. 6, 1821, and stated “the said town laid out as the permanent seat of government for the state of Indiana shall be called and known by the name of Indianapolis.” It was then necessary to plat it out on a map.

Indiana State Library Map Collection contains a digital copy of Plats of the town of Indianapolis, which shows maps of the downtown Indianapolis mile-square donation lands with the names of the first patentees. It includes a comprehensive list of Indiana laws from 1821 to 1913 related to the lots and out-lots. The Indiana Archives and Records Administration has additional details about the Indianapolis Donation and the official state land records held there.

The Indiana Documentary Editions collection contains the Messages and papers of Jonathan Jennings, Ratliff Boon, William Hendricks, 1816-1825. Jonathan Jennings was the governor at the time and issued a proclamation calling for the commissioners to meet in 1820 to select a site for the new capitol. John Tipton was one of those commissioners. The book “John Tipton papers. Volume I: 1809-1827” includes the transcript of the journal Tipton kept during the May 17-June 11, 1820 expedition. Here’s a bonus: the Rare Books and Manuscripts online John Tipton Collection contains digital copies of Tipton’s 1820 journal in his own handwriting.

There is a wealth of information not only in the Indiana State Library’s physical collections, but also in the ever-growing online digital collections. As the Indianapolis Bicentennial approaches, more online materials about the history of the city could show up. Keep searching!

This blog post was written by Indiana Division Librarian Andrea Glenn. For more information, contact the Indiana Division at 317-232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Paws among the stacks

Libraries and animals have had a longstanding connection for centuries. According to Wikipedia:

“The relationship between cats and libraries is centuries old. Monastic records from the Middle Ages indicate cats were kept in medieval monasteries in order to control rats that might otherwise eat valuable manuscripts.”

While we generally don’t have rat control problems in modern day libraries, animals and libraries still have a symbiotic relationship. Dewey Readmore Books was the library cat at the Spencer Public Library in Iowa who had a book written about him titled “Dewey the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.” Anyone who has attended a library conference has likely brought home a bag with the likeness of cats Baker and Taylor.

Dewey

Baker and Taylor

One modern adaptation for animals and libraries is “Read to the Dogs” programs. Animals are long regarded to be stress relievers, so it’s no surprise that many libraries have added therapy dog programs to their offerings. When kids sit down to read their favorite story to one of these gentle therapy dogs, they don’t realize that they are learning and improving their reading skills in the process. The dogs don’t care if they make a mistake and don’t correct you if you miss a word. Read to the Dogs programs are a fun and secretly-educational activity.

When I was head of the children’s department at the Crown Point Community Library, the Power Paws Read to the Dogs group would visit. It was heartening to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they saw their favorite canine in the library. Some would sit by their favorite dog and read stories, while others would go from dog to dog. There were even some children there who just wanted to pet the dogs. No matter what reason they were there, the animals didn’t care. The dogs were happy to get the attention. I watched the kids and the dogs for several years before getting my Yorkie, Gigi, trained and certified as a therapy dog. We achieved our Canine Good Citizen certification in 2013 and we became members of the Power Paws Read to the Dogs group. We have since relocated and are in the process of joining the Love on a Leash, Heartland Chapter therapy group. Gigi actually barks in excitement when she realizes that we are heading to our local libraries because she gets to hang out with the young patrons. She truly loves it!

Gigi earned her Canine Good Citizen certification

An informal survey conducted in 2018 confirmed that library workers love animals – 90 percent own at least one pet. Survey says that cats and dogs are the most popular but cats are a whisker more popular than dogs by 1 percentage point, doggone it! I am definitely a part of the library worker group that loves animals! Growing up on a farm in southern Indiana, I was surrounded by all kinds of animals: cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ponies, a mule, dogs, cats, chickens, geese, rabbits, noisy guinea fowls, fish, a chameleon, hamsters and a hermit crab. Very idyllic for an animal lover. In 2014, I became the Northeast regional coordinator for the Indiana State Library. Part of my job is to visit the 60 libraries in my region. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many libraries have animal programs. Even more amazing is the amount of libraries that have animals that live in them.

I surveyed a few of the libraries to see what part animals play in their library world.

Libraries with animal programs
Heather Siler from the Swayzee Public Library says that the local Love on a Leash group comes monthly during the school year. Children of all ages come to read to these trained and certified therapy dogs. She says, “Everyone’s mood is brightened by the dogs. Kids are lining up to read to them!” The only downside seems to be, “vacuuming the next day from all of the petting.” The library ends its summer reading program with a visit from Mark’s Ark. He brings in about eight different reptiles, insects, mammals and amphibians; talks to the kids about them; and allows the kids to touch them.

Mark’s Ark program at the Swayzee Public Library

Barbara Dixon, director of The Barton Rees Pogue Memorial Library, says that they’ve had many animal visitors over the years. “We don’t have any animals that live here, but have had many visitors over the years: dogs, cats and assorted other critters when we have had people bring them in for various programs. We had a library program with several animals from the Art in Motion pet store that went over very well. We also have a patron who had a very elderly dog that would stop in once in a while.” She notes a definite bonus is that “animals are great stress relievers.”

Animals that live in the library
Animals with either fur or fins have been living at the Marion Public Library since the 1980s. Mary Eckerle, director, said that the children’s librarian started the trend. “Kids love them. Adults seem to like them, also.” She’s found that there are a few downsides to having animals at the library. “Mess, allergies, dealing with deaths and explaining them. Possible biting incidents.” They also enjoy visits from the Love on a Leash Heartland Chapter group and Silly Safaris.

Love on a Leash group for Read to the Dogs program

Arlene the guinea pig

I was blown away when I first visited the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County; not only by the beautiful building, but by all of the animals who visit and live there. It’s an animal lover’s paradise. Birds, frogs, a rabbit and a hedgehog, as well as staff members’ dogs, can be found in the library. Cats even stop by periodically from the local shelter. According to Director Sonja Dintaman, their menagerie “started with fish, then grew from there. Pets are stress relievers for everyone. The kids love them. There is some extra work for staff, but no complaints from patrons.” Just so you know how important animals are to their community, Dintaman related an unfortunate incident that occurred once. “A kid broke into the library and stole our hedgehog. It was front-page news locally and she was returned in a couple days. She sadly passed away later, but a patron donated another one.”

Shelter cat making itself at home

Pickles the hedgehog

Miss Bookster the rabbit

Karen and Rags are working hard today! Rags is our special worker in charge of security. Children love this gentle pup when they come in for story time.

I’ve found that, concerning animals, most librarians have huge hearts. Last year the staff at the Noble County Public Library rescued a kitten who was in crisis. Director Sandy Petrie recounts the story of Mr. Kitty. “We found him in a storm drain by our staff door when he was about 6 weeks old. He was in 3 inches of water and covered in fleas. The staff took him in, cared for him, fell in love and he is here to stay. We keep him in the staff area due to potential allergies of our patrons. He is a huge morale boost for staff. It is very hard to be upset with a cuddly kitty purring at your desk. And he has a huge personality.” According to Petrie, “some of the kids know he is here and come up to the staff door windows to try and play with him. He plays with them under the door frames.” The library recently adopted another kitten, named “CC,” short for carbon copy, since the little one looks exactly like Mr. Kitty.

Mr. Kitty

Carbon Copy

The Huntington City-Township Public Library has some not-so-cuddly animals, but loveable nonetheless. They have Russian and Greek Tortoises named Ace, Zed and Bob. According to director Rebecca Lemons, “Staff were asking for cats and birds and fish, but I wanted something that was easy to maintain and not too messy. I am not sure why they decided they wanted an animal, but we moved ahead with it. The patrons are absolutely in love with our tortoises. Of course, the kids love them, but we have so many adults who are invested as well. We have one gentleman who regularly checks on them and makes sure they are doing okay. It is a great learning opportunity for the kids to be able to see them as well. Our staff has really taken to them as well and several have taken on the added responsibility of keeping them fed and clean. I think that it gives them a little bit more ownership in what is happening in the library. It also makes a great start to the day when you can stop and say good morning to ‘the boys’ and see what they are up to. Food is a bit of a pain, as we have to buy and prep fresh vegetables for them every day. We have a system worked out to prep once a week and our Friends group pays for the food. Keeping their house clean is also a little bit of an added duty, but it isn’t too bad. I think the only drawback for patrons is that they want to play with them but they can’t due to the salmonella risk and the fact that tortoises get anxious with too much activity. We always say that we had no idea how much personality a tortoise could have but they really do. You can tell when they are grumpy or happy or sleepy and watching them eat is the most adorable thing ever. The best story I have is that when we first got Ace we would take him outside every other day or so to run around in the grass. He quickly figured out that I took the cover off of the tank when it was time to go outside. Before long he was climbing his decorative tree and trying to push the screen off the tank. Yes, a tortoise can climb a tree and yes, I have pictures of it.”

Tortoise in a library

While I was waiting to set up a virtual reality kit training at the Bristol Public Library – I hadn’t visited for a for a couple of years – I spied something unusual on the wing chair across from the circulation desk. It was a beautiful grey cat! I learned from the director, Carol Anderson, that the library adopted her from the local shelter. Anderson said that the cat, aptly named Page Turner, has been an absolute hit with the community. Community members go out of their way to stop by the library just to see how Page is doing. Page has also inspired young artists to draw her likeness and crown her queen of the library!

Page Turner

She has also made the newspapers, both local and national!

Along with Page, they have a bearded dragon named Shakesbeard who resides on a desk near the children’s area.

Shakesbeard, the bearded dragon

Last, but not least, is Arlo the Gecko, that lives in the Children and Youth Services Department at the service desk at the Carmel Clay Public Library. Director Bob Swaynay says, “Our library had other smaller animals before Arlo; hamsters and guinea pigs. We switched to a gecko because it has a longer lifespan. The kids love Arlo! He is a regular spotlight attraction. There is some extra maintenance of the animal’s health and environment and costs associated with staff time and materials, but it’s well worth it.”

Arlo

Animals are definitely a lot of work, with the continual feeding, cleaning and grooming. I think that the benefits far outweigh the extra work that comes with animal ownership. Animals are conducive to building relationships between staff and patrons of all ages. As I was taking a picture of Arlo the Gecko at the Carmel Clay Public Library, an older gentleman came up to me. He told me that he always stops by to check on Arlo and then proceeded to talk about wanting to help with the upcoming library book sale. Children have a natural affinity toward animals. According to Carol Anderson at the Bristol Public Library, she has seen kids coming to the library multiple times during the week to check on Page and Shakesbeard! I’m sure those kids have begged their parents to take them to the library to visit the animals. So, whether a library offers animal programs, or if animals have taken up residence in a library, the library will become a must visit destination in your community.

This post was written by Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom, Professional Development Office.

Resources
“Are Dogs the new library cat?”
Baker and Taylor cats
“Cat Named Page Turner now roams Bristol Public Library”
“Dogs and Pigs and Birds, Oh My!”
“Helping Hands (Uh, Paws)”
Love on a Leash
Power Paws Read to the Dogs
Mark’s Ark
Silly Safaris 
Wikipedia

 

Census Day

If you haven’t already, you’ll soon be hearing more and more about the 2020 census.

April 1, 2020 is Census Day and beginning in mid-March, everyone will be receiving census forms in the mail. If you do not like filling out paper forms, the 2020 count will be the first one to allow all U.S. households to respond online. You can also call 1-800 numbers to give responses over the phone. All of us will be asked the following: how many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020; whether the home is owned or rented; the sex, age and race of each person in your home; and whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. Some of us will receive a longer form called The American Community Survey.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution mandates that a count of people residing in the U.S. take place every 10 years. Our founders used this to both determine the number of representatives each state has in Congress and the amount to tax each state. Putting the taxation and representation together assured an accurate count. The more people a state had, the more the state would be taxed and the fewer amount of people in a state meant fewer representatives for that state.

But, questions, questions… why so many questions?

The federal government bases a large amount of its spending decisions on census data. Census data also underpins state legislative districts and local boundaries, like city councils and school boards. Businesses use census data to determine where to build factories and stores. Are there enough skilled workers in an area? Are the people that live there interested in buying the stores products? A local government needs to know how many people are traveling to work and from where to determine roadways and other transportation needs. School districts need to know how many children are expected to attend, and their ages, in order to decide to build new schools and where to locate them.

The United States census is more than just a head count. The census has become a snapshot of America history. For more than 100 years, America was primarily a rural country of farms and villages, but the 1920 census showed that more Americans were living in towns and cities than on farms. In the 1840s, the common school movement was beginning to spread and the 1850 census asked if the person was at school within the last year and if the person was over 20 years of age, could they not read and write? By the 1890s, Civil War veterans were in their 50s and 60s and many were suffering from war wounds. The 1890 census questions included: Was this person a soldier, sailor or marine during the Civil War (U.S.A. or C.S.A.), or the widow of such a person? The nation was experiencing an economic collapse, and needed to plan for potential pensioners. The 1930 census included an unemployment census. Answers to questions helped steer the government’s response to the crash and the Great Depression. The 1940 census was the first to include a separate questionnaire on the nation’s housing conditions, including questions about indoor plumbing and kitchen appliances. In 1940, they asked if the home had a radio and in 1950 added televisions to the questions. By 1970, they asked if the home had a radio that was battery-operated.

Even though there are many questions, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:
Your social security number
Money or donations
Anything on behalf of a political party
Your bank or credit card account numbers

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate. For more information, visit Avoiding Fraud and Scams.

If you would like to learn more about the U.S. census questions click here.

The Indiana State Library  has a number of good books on the history and importance of the census:
Alterman, Hyman. 1969. “Counting people: the census in history.” New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.
Anderson, Margo J., and Stephen E. Fienberg. 1999. “Who counts?: the politics of census-taking in contemporary America.” New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Anderson, Margo J. 1988. “The American census: a social history.” New Haven: Yale University Press.
Cassedy, James H. 1969. “Demography in early America: beginnings of the statistical mind, 1600-1800.” Cambridge: Harvard University Press
Klein, Herbert S. 2004. “A population history of the United States.” Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

This blog post was written by Marcia Caudell, supervisor of the Reference and Government Services Division at the Indiana State Library. Contact the reference desk at 317-232-3678 for more information. 

So, what does the Indiana State Library actually do?

“So, what is the Indiana State library?” As the communications director at the State Library, this is a question I often hear at conferences immediately after the person who asked the question realizes that we’re not the Indianapolis Public Library. It’s a fair mistake. After all, not many cities are privileged enough to have two large downtown libraries. More importantly, though, it’s a great question. What do we do here at the Indiana State Library? Predictably, the answer to that question is “a lot.” All libraries do a lot. However, the Indiana State library functions a little bit differently than a public or academic library.

The Indiana State Library from W. Ohio St.

For starters, the Indiana State Library is a state government agency. Yes, we are all government employees of the State of Indiana, which is why we all have cool badges with our pictures on them. As a state agency, the library operates using a two-pronged approach. One prong is public services, the side of the library which, as the name implies, serves the citizens of Indiana and preserves the state’s history. The other prong is statewide services, the side of the state library which supports libraries throughout the state. Our mission statement sums up these two operational divisions: “Serving Indiana residents, leading and supporting the library community and preserving Indiana history.”

The Indiana State Library from Senate Ave.

Public Services
On the public services side, we operate in a similar fashion to a public library. A special research library, the Indiana State Library is a beautiful Art Deco building, opened in 1934, that sits on the Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis near the Indiana Historical Society, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Indiana State Museum. Two of the library’s four floors are open to the public. However, we differ from a traditional public library in that the majority of our materials are Indiana-related. We do not carry many of the latest popular fiction and nonfiction titles – unless they are Indiana-related – but we do have the largest collection of Indiana newspapers in the world. In the state, our genealogy collection is second to only the Allen County Public Library in terms of size, and our collection is one of the largest in the entire Midwest. We also house the Indiana Young Readers Center, the only young readers center within a state library in the country. The center is modeled after the Library of Congress Young Readers Center and features Indiana authors and illustrators, including Jim Davis, Meg Cabot, Norman Bridwell and John Green. The state’s Talking Book and Braille Library is also part of the Indiana State Library. TBBL provides free library service to residents of Indiana who cannot use standard printed materials due to a visual or physical disability. TBBL also operates Indiana Voices and hosts the biennial Indiana Vision Expo.

Letters About Literature workshop in the Indiana Young Readers Center

On the subject of events, in addition to Vision Expo, the state library also hosts the annual Indiana Poetry Out Loud finals, Letters About Literature, the Genealogy Fair and Statehood Day. Furthermore, the library offers INvestigate + Explore summer programming for children; Genealogy for Night Owls; monthly one-on-one DNA testing consultations with the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group; various history and genealogy lectures and programs, highlighted by our recent lecture series; and even the occasional art opening in our Exhibit Hall. Yes, we even showcase fine art when our many display cases throughout the library aren’t already put to use featuring some of the wonderful items in our collection – which are often featured in this blog.

Dolls created by the Work Projects Administration in 1939 for the Indiana Deaf History Museum on display as part of the “Welcome to the Museum!” exhibit in the library’s Exhibit Hall.

Wait, there’s more! The Indiana State Library is a DPLA hub via Indiana Memory, a collection of digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, maps and other media. Indiana Memory is a collaborative effort between Indiana libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions. The library also maintains its own digital collection, covering a wide range of topics such as the arts, environment, sports and women.

We participate in the Federal Depository Library Program and serve as the congressionally-designated regional depository of Indiana. As the regional depository, the library is required to collect all content published by the U.S. government. The library is also the home of the Indiana State Data Center. State data centers across the country assist the Census Bureau by disseminating census and other federal statistics. The data center provides data and training services to all sectors of the community including government agencies, businesses, academia, nonprofit organizations and private citizens.

The Indiana Center for the Book is a program of the Indiana State Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The center promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries and Indiana’s literary heritage by sponsoring events and serving as an information resource at the state and local level.

The Martha E. Wright Conservation Lab

The Martha E. Wright Conservation Lab is the center for all things preservation and conservation at the Indiana State Library. Preservation and conservation services aims to improve and ensure long-term, ongoing access to the cultural and historical collections of the Indiana State Library. The department, staffed by one full-time conservator as well as volunteers and occasional interns, fulfills this primary goal by providing conservation treatments of collections items and implementing preventive care and administrative policies.

Finally, our Ask-a-Librarian service offers an opportunity for anyone to, well, ask a librarian a reference or research question. Questions may be submitted 24/7 to Ask-a-Librarian and all questions will be answered within two business days.

All of these services come courtesy of our divisions: Genealogy, Indiana, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Catalog, Talking Books and Braille and Reference and Government Services.

Pretty simple, right? Shall we move on to statewide services?

Statewide Services
Nearly every single library patron in the state of Indiana has benefited from the Indiana State Library’s statewide services. While some programs and services are offered directly to Indiana residents, the vast majority of statewide services could be considered behind-the-scenes. Not many patrons ponder how their interlibrary loans travel from one location to another or how librarians keep up with their required continuing education, but statewide services makes them possible. Statewide services consists of two divisions, the Library Development Office and the Professional Development Office, or LDO and PDO, as they are known to many library employees throughout the state.

LDO supports the improvement and development of library services to all Indiana citizens. The aforementioned Indiana Memory, Hoosier State Chronicles – which is Indiana’s digital historic newspaper program with nearly a million digitized Indiana newspaper pages – and INSPIRE are three programs freely available to Indiana residents that are maintained by LDO.

Hey, that’s us!

INSPIRE, also known as “Indiana’s virtual library,” is a collection of vetted databases provided to the residents of the state at no cost. INSPIRE offers a diverse collection of reference materials, such as free access to level one of Rosetta Stone in 30 languages, a small business resource database, the latest issues of Consumer Reports and much more. If you attended high school or college in Indiana in the last 20 years and needed online resources, there’s a good chance you’ve used INSPIRE.

Hey, that’s us, too!

Let’s get to the behind-the-scenes stuff from LDO. The Library Development Office administers over $3 million of LSTA grant money each year. This federal funding, distributed from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as part of the Grants to States program, is intended for projects that support the Library Services and Technology Act signed into law Sept. 30, 1996. The purposes and priorities of the LSTA include increasing the use of technology in libraries, fostering better resource sharing among libraries, and targeting library services to special populations. While the Indiana State Library does set aside an allotment to be awarded directly to libraries as competitive LSTA sub-grants, the majority of the funds are funneled into services meant to benefit the entire state.

Remember those interlibrary loans? Well, they travel from library to library via a combination of SRCS, Indiana Share and InfoExpress. SRCS, Indiana’s Statewide Remote Circulation Service, links together catalogs of over 150 libraries containing over 30 million items. These materials are delivered to your library using the InfoExpress courier service. Indiana Share also allows libraries to request interlibrary materials though the Indiana State Library.

In addition to LSTA-supported programs, LDO supports E-rate, the discount telecommunication program available to schools and libraries from the federal government; the PLAC card program, which allows an individual to purchase a Public Library Access Card, thus permitting them to borrow materials directly from any public library in Indiana; and Read-to-Me, a cooperative effort between LDO and the state’s correctional facility libraries to enable incarcerated parents an opportunity to share the joys of reading with their children.

The complete list of services provided by the Indiana State Library and administered by LDO are far too expansive to cover in a single blog post, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that LDO also provides consultation to libraries across the state in the areas of library finance, management, planning, evaluation, grants, board training, trustees, expansion, library standards, certification, statistics, new director information and unserved communities.

PDO supports the advancement and development of library staff in all Indiana libraries for improved services to the citizens of Indiana. The Professional Development Office includes specialists in the areas of programming, children’s services and continuing education. The four regional coordinators and the children’s consultant travel the state to provide support for library employees in Indiana.

Staff working at Indiana public libraries who spend at least 50% of their time on professional library work are required by law to be certified; they gain and maintain certification by earning a certain amount of library education units, also known as LEUs, every five years. PDO frequently oversees, creates or produces these webinars, which cover a wide range of topics. “So, You Want to Start a Library Podcast,” “Serving Adults with Disabilities” and “Teaching iPad and iPhone to Seniors” are just as few examples of recent webinars. Additionally, PDO assists librarians in locating other sources of continuing education outside of the state.

Legos!

The Professional Development Office provides five types of kits for use by youth librarians across the state: book club kits, LEGO kits, DUPLO kits, storytime kits and Big Idea storytime kits. PDO also maintains the wildly-popular VR kits. The kits are shipped to schools and libraries via InfoExpress and may be kept for a specified duration of time.

Connect IN, the program that provides free high-quality and functional websites to public libraries without a current online presence, and to those having difficulty maintaining their existing site, is managed by PDO. Connect IN provides a modern and high-quality website, tech support and training, content management system training, free website hosting and free email for library staff.

The 2019 The Difference is You conference

In addition to the daily consultation and educational support offered by PDO staffers, the department spearheads larger initiatives throughout the year to honor and develop current library employees. These initiatives include the Indiana Library Leadership Academy and the The Difference is You library support staff and paraprofessional conference. Whether it’s working with individual librarians or entire gatherings, PDO puts the continuing education of Indiana librarians at the forefront of all they do.

Does your local library use the Evergreen catalog? That’s also a service provided to more than 100 Indiana libraries from the Indiana State Library that falls under the statewide services banner. Evergreen is funded by the Indiana State Library through LSTA monies and participant membership fees. The services provided by the State Library include purchasing and maintaining the central servers, personnel costs in operating the system, training, software development, data conversion and other related expenses.

The Indiana Historical Bureau and the Statehouse Education Center
The Indiana State Library has within its walls the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Statehouse Education Center. In 2018, the Indiana Historical Bureau, previously its own agency, merged with the Indiana State Library. The historical markers you might see while travelling the state are part of the Indiana Historical Marker Program administered by the bureau. Additionally, the Indiana Historical Bureau regularly publishes a detailed history blog, digitizes many historical items, organizes the Hoosier Women at Work conference and produces the award-winning podcast Talking Hoosier History. In 2017, the 120th Indiana General Assembly passed HB1100 mandating that the Indiana Historical Bureau “establish and maintain an oral history of the general assembly,” leading to the Indiana Legislative Oral History Initiative. Also, keep an eye out for a re-vamped shop opening in the near future on the first floor of the state library.

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Bureau

The Statehouse Education Center is a project of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, a commission that was assembled to spearhead the strategic plan behind the celebration of Indiana’s 2016 bicentennial. As part of the Statehouse Tour Office under the Indiana Department of Administration, the center sees thousands of students, families and individuals each year who learn how state government works for them through interactive exhibits on voting, urban versus rural landscapes and the architecture of the statehouse.

Thank You
Hopefully, I’ve given you a sense of the many services the Indiana State Library provides publicly and behind the scenes. Everything the library does would not be possible without our many volunteers and employees, the Indiana Library and Historical Board, the Indiana State Library Foundation, the General Assembly, our financial office and the work of our many committees, including the INSPIRE Advisory Committee, the IMDPLA Committee and the Resource Sharing Committee… just to name a few. Indeed, we all do “a lot.”

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director.

An interview with Kristin Lee, digitization and metadata assistant

Kristin Lee, Rare Books and Manuscripts digitization and metadata assistant, has been digitizing and creating metadata for the Will H. Hays Collection since October 2018. This project is funded by a National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Access to Historical Records, Archival Projects grant.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to work on this project.
My name is Kristin and I’m originally from Turlock, California, but I’ve been living here with my cat Josephine for about four years. I moved to Indianapolis to pursue a master’s degree in Public History at IUPUI. While in grad school, I had the opportunity to work with the Rare Books and Manuscript Division at the Indiana State Library as an intern and I was excited to work at ISL on another project. I was also interested in this project because the Will Hays Collection is one of the Library’s most-viewed collections and I knew that digitization would help broaden its use and accessibility for researchers outside our immediate community.

What have you learned about Hays or the film industry that you didn’t know?
One of the things that surprised me was how negatively people reacted to Hays’s move to the film industry and the film industry as a whole. Particularly during his last weeks as Postmaster General. Hays received so many letters from people who begged him to stay at his post and who saw movies as corrupt and immoral or just a passing fad. A few years later when “talkies” started getting produced, people again reacted with suspicion. I remember one critic writing that talking pictures would be the downfall of the film industry because movie actors, while excellent pantomimes, had terrible voices! It was really interesting to learn that people had such a negative outlook for the film industry when it’s a form of entertainment that is so normal to me.

What’s your favorite item you’ve discovered within the collection?
My favorite item from the collection is an invitation to the premiere of the film “Don Juan” on Aug. 5, 1926. “Don Juan” was the first feature film to use the Vitaphone sound system to create a moving picture with synchronized sound. The film included a musical soundtrack and sound effects, but no spoken dialogue; the first actual “talkie,” “The Jazz Singer,” would premiere in 1927. “Don Juan” also included several shorts before the film that showed off Vitaphone sound. One of these shorts was of Hays introducing the Vitaphone and talking about the future of sound in films; a copy of this short is available to watch on YouTube – it’s fun being able to hear Will Hays and watch him speak. He liked using a lot of hand gestures!

Will H. Hays’ invitation to “Don Juan,” 1926

How has working on this project shaped your views of providing access to and preserving collections?
Working on the Will Hays project has only reinforced my views on the importance of making digital versions of historical sources. Digitization increases the availability of collections to researchers who are not able to visit the Indiana State Library in person. As more people have access to this collection, we will continue to learn new information about Will Hays and the early film industry. Also, because some of the correspondence has become brittle and crumbly with age, digitization will help us preserve these items for researchers for years to come. Lastly, I have also come to really appreciate the work of all the people who digitized the records that I used as a student in college and grad school for my research… I know how much work goes into it now!

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, and Kristin Lee, Rare Books and Manuscripts digitization and metadata assistant, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Indiana Voices – Volunteers are what make it happen

Indiana Voices produces audio books for the blind and visually or physically-impaired citizens of our state and would not exist were it not for the active participation by numerous dedicated volunteers. The purpose of this blog is to share the details of their roles that are critical to the success of this program.

Narrators
Our narrators are the “voices” behind Indiana Voices. At present, there are 14 individuals who come in to our studio at the Indiana State Library for a least an hour a week to read a title that has been assigned to them. The books that are chosen by the director of the program must fit within the criteria for books to record for our program. The titles, which can be both fiction and nonfiction, are either written by a Hoosier author, are about our state in some way or may have a plot that places the story in Indiana.

Individuals wishing to narrate for Indiana Voices must complete an audition in order to be evaluated for suitability to read for the program. A good narrator needs to have a natural ability to convey the material that they share with our patrons in an interesting, and engaging manner. Narrators must be willing to make a long-term commitment of time, as producing an audio book can often take weeks or months to complete. It is also important for the narrator to be willing to research the text they have been assigned in order to understand the pronunciation of words and the pacing needed to enhance the patron’s listening experience. The best narrators are those that are able to “disappear” during the recording so that the listener is able to lose themselves in the text.

Audio Monitors
Audio monitors serve another critical role in the production of audio books for Indiana Voices. These volunteers learn how to operate the specialized software that is used to record the narrators they’re teamed up with as they read through their assigned text. The monitor’s job is to confirm the audio quality during each recording session and they are also responsible for maintaining a consistent sound level throughout the narration.

The audio monitor also serves another important role by providing a high level of quality control. To accomplish this, this volunteer reads along with the narrator to assure that the recording is as true to the written text as possible; listening for errors such as missed or added words, mispronunciations, awkward phrasing or other such inaccuracies. When these do occur, it is the monitor’s job to see that these mistakes are corrected.

Audio Book Reviewer
This book reviewer position works independently of the studio setting, but is just as important as any of other roles of Indiana Voices. The reviewer is the final step for assuring the accuracy of the audio book recording.

Reviewers are provided the initial recording of a completed audio book along with a printed copy of the text and an edit log. The reviewer then listens to the audio recording and follows along with the text noting on the log sheet any errors or inaccuracies that may have been missed during the original recording and then returning it to Indiana Voices. Using this log sheet as a guide, the recording can then be corrected and finalized into a finished audio book.

Audio Editor
The audio editor reviews audio files for errors that have occurred during the recording process and makes needed corrections to these files. Once this adjustments have been made, the edited titles can be moved along to a final review and to their ultimate completion as a finished audio book. Audio editors must learn the software needed for editing, have an ability to multitask, possess strong reading and listening skills and be detail oriented.

The role of audio editor requires more than just technical skills, but also an ascetic ability. Good editors are able to compose a recording in such a way that corrections are able to match so well with the original recording that the integrity of the natural flow of the text is maintained.

Volunteer Opportunities
Indiana Voices is always looking for variety of different volunteers to fill openings as they occur. At present, possible volunteer opportunities are for narrator/monitor teams (two individuals are needed to apply together), audio monitors and audio editors.

Persons interested in learning more about these opportunities are encouraged to email Director of Indiana Voices Linden Coffman, call 317-232-3683 or check the Indiana State Library website.

This blog post was written by Linden Coffman, director of Indiana Voices.