Duplication on Demand transition complete!

In March, the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library completed the transition of its service model from sending patrons one book on one cartridge to Duplication on Demand, which sends patrons up to ten books per cartridge based on their requests and subject preferences. The same player and cartridge are used as before. Each cartridge includes a mailing card that lists its contents. Patrons should not attempt to return this card with the cartridge, but instead discard it or keep it for their records. There is an address sticker on each cartridge that ensures its return to the library.

There are many benefits to this change for both staff and patrons. Staff can duplicate up to 20 cartridges at a time. The number of physical items circulating through the library has decreased, allowing mail to be processed more efficiently. Patrons now have access to newly-published books more quickly, and there are no wait lists for popular titles. Cartridges can be easily customized for patrons wanting a series of books, or several books by the same author. Thousands of older titles that previously had to be ordered from offsite are now available immediately. All the Indiana Voices titles are also available through Duplication on Demand.

To access the titles on DoD cartridges patrons can either use the player’s bookshelf mode or the sequential play feature. Sequential play will play books in the order they have been loaded on the cartridge, while bookshelf mode lets the patron pick what book they want to listen to.

To use the sequential play feature, patrons put the cartridge in and listen to the first book as usual. At the end of the book, closing announcements will play; when they are finished a voice will say “end of book, press play/stop to go to the next book”. Patrons press the play/stop button and the next book on the cartridge will begin playing. They can repeat this step until all the books have played

To use bookshelf mode, patrons turn the player on and put the cartridge in. Next, they hold down the green “play/stop” button for ten seconds, or until the player beeps and says, “bookshelf mode.” Once in bookshelf mode, they use the fast forward and rewind buttons to scroll through the books or magazines recorded on the cartridge. After reaching the desired title, they press the green play/stop button again and it will start to play.

Any patron having any difficulties with Duplication on Demand should contact the Talking Book and Braille Library via email or at 1-800-622-4970.

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

Indiana Legacy: An important tool for finding people of the past

Indiana Legacy allows everyone to search, from the comfort of their own home, for information on individuals going back to the early 1800s. One can research all kinds of pertinent information: birth, marriage, divorce and death.

Indiana Legacy combines existing Indiana State Library databases with VINE, the Vital INformation Exchange. VINE allows libraries to contribute and share records that they possess. Each record displayed shows the record type with an ID number, the name of the person, date, place and source of the record. Finding information this way saves a great deal of time and effort because you are looking at a transcript of the original document with the added benefit of knowing where an exact copy can be obtained.

And if you have difficulties or see a mistake that you can correct, please do so by using the Chat with a Librarian option located on the main Indiana Legacy page. All contributions are suggestions are welcome.

This post was written by Joan Gray, Indiana State Library.

So, what about those genetic DNA tests you can take nowadays?

Do you know who your ancestors are? Do you know which countries they came from? Did you know that taking a DNA test will help you discover your own ethnicity estimates?

I’d like to briefly highlight five major DNA testing companies in order to acquaint you with what each company has to offer. There are many more DNA testing companies available, but this article will compare five major companies. But first, let’s briefly talk about the basics of DNA. I’m not a science person, so this will definitely be a very basic explanation. I went into a DNA test without any knowledge of DNA except that I knew it as the carrier of genetic information and that our DNA is arranged into chromosomes, grouped into 23 pairs. I could also recognize the double helix images of DNA structure.

It’s important to keep in mind that siblings in a family do not inherit the exact same DNA from their parents as another sibling inherits. When I first had my DNA tested it was after my sister had hers tested. Remember now, I told you I’m not a science person, so I assumed that my ethnicity estimates from my DNA would be the same as my sister’s ethnicity estimates. We have the same mother and father, so I thought we would have the same ethnicity estimates. Wrong! I’ve been hooked and fascinated with DNA genetics ever since.

I later learned that everyone gets half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Which DNA is inherited from each parent is totally random. Inherited DNA is reduced each generation, as you can see by a table from 23andMe, “Average Percent DNA Shared Between Relatives,” that summarizes both the average percent DNA shared for different types of relationships, and the expected range of percent DNA shared. For example, we inherit 50% DNA from each parent, about 25% DNA from each grandparent, about 12.5% DNA from each great-grandparent, and so on.

Ancestry has a great article on understanding inheritance:

“By understanding how DNA is inherited, you can see how and why you have some DNA segments that match your relatives, and others that do not, why you may or may not have inherited DNA segments associated with a certain ethnicity, and why getting multiple people in your family tested can help you discover more of your family’s genetic tree.”

Let’s talk ethnicity estimates. To date, no ethnicity gene has been found in the human genome. Your own ethnicity estimate is just that, an estimate. It is based upon comparing your DNA with known members of different ethnicities in the testing company database. By this comparison they will estimate how closely your DNA matches with each ethnic group. All of the testing companies I’m comparing will give you ethnicity estimates. The picture below is a screenshot of my own ethnicity estimate from Ancestry. I took my DNA test from Ancestry about eight years ago. The screenshot shows that my DNA is about 70% from Ireland. On the right side of the screenshot and directly underneath Ireland, there are particular regions and towns of Ireland where they estimate my ancestors lived. Then it estimates that I have 20% DNA from Scotland, 8% DNA from England and Northwestern Europe and about 2% Germanic Europe.

My sister and I had researched our genealogy long before we each took a DNA test. Plus, with family history and stories passed down, we knew we had strong ties back to Ireland. With the maiden name of McNamara, that’s a given. We also have these very Irish surnames on our family tree: Murphy, Farrell, McKeown, Kelly, MacMeehan, Flannery and Murray. We also have our great, great, great grandfather Patrick MacDonald born in Glencoe, Argyll, Scotland around 1790. As a young man he went to Ireland and married Susan Murray. They lived and raised their family in County Monaghan, Ireland before emigrating to Ontario, Canada. You’ll note that County Monaghan is one of the areas mentioned in my ethnicity estimate above.

Below is a screenshot from Ancestry that shows a comparison of the ethnicity estimates for me and my sister. There are some very real differences here. She has 8% DNA from Germanic Europe, where I only have 2% in my DNA. It’s interesting to note that we also have many German names in our tree, including Metz, Demer, Spitzmesser and Burkhardt. She seems to have inherited more of the German DNA and about twice as much English and Northwestern European DNA in our family than I have inherited.

Along with ethnicity estimates, all of the companies I will be comparing also name relatives that are genetic DNA matches. My matches include thousands of people on Ancestry that share some of my DNA, thus we are related to one another. This was mind boggling to me! They are listed from closest relation – my sister – to matches that share less than 1% DNA with me. Unfortunately, I have not had much time to explore these matches other than the cousins I already know about. Interestingly though, a distant cousin, unbeknownst to us, contacted my sister a few years ago and they’ve been emailing ever since. This distant cousin lives in Ontario, Canada and is related to our Scottish MacDonald clan that emigrated there in the 1800’s. She has been able to fill us in on a lot of that family history that we had not known before, along with sharing some photographs too. It’s up to each individual as to how much you want to pursue the DNA matches you find out about.

According to Genetics Digest, there are three essential tips you must know before buying a DNA Test.

  1. Buy from a company that protects your data.
  2. Find a test that reveals when and where your ancestors appeared.
  3. Follow the science and genetic experts.

I would like to add that it’s important to look over each company’s website and learn about what they offer. Read the FAQ’s and comments from users. Also, decide what is important to you and what you hope to learn by having your DNA tested. The price of the kits range from $79 -$99, but keep an eye on their websites around different holiday times for sales on the kits.

One more thing to consider before taking a DNA genetic test is that there might be information disclosed to you that you weren’t expecting: adoptions, illegitimacies, name changes and non-paternal events, where parentage may be unexpected. It is suggested to be emotionally prepared for whatever the results of the testing shows.

I have prepared a chart that compares these five different DNA testing companies: MyHeritage, Ancestry, Living DNA, Family Tree DNA and 23andMe. The comparison chart covers such criteria as the number of geographic regions each test company covers, health and well being upgrade availability, personal traits upgrade availability, exploration of ancient ancestry, advanced DNA testing availability, ability to upload DNA test results to other company sites, ancestry timeline, tracking possible migration routes, cost and other features.

Additionally, here is just a sampling of some of the DNA related books we have in our Genealogy Collection. Come visit us sometime and take a look at them. As of this writing in April of 2021, we are open, but require patrons to make an appointment first. You can make an appointment by calling us at 317-232-3689 or through our Ask-a-Librarian service.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about this fascinating subject, we invite you to attend our “Virtual DNA Workshop” scheduled to take place in May of 2021.

The Indiana State Library Genealogy Division and the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group are partnering to present a “Virtual DNA Workshop” from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2021. This is a free event, but registration is limited to the first 200 people. It will take place via Zoom.

The workshop will focus on using various DNA tools to understand how people are connected to their DNA matches. Speakers from CIDIG will cover topics on understanding genetic genealogy; reviewing DNA results; comparing shared matches; building family trees based upon DNA matches; and using various DNA tools to analyze matches. Using the Zoom chat feature, attendees will be able to submit questions during the sessions and during the panel discussion at the end of the program. You will find a full description of the three sessions at the registration link below.

If you miss this May workshop, don’t despair. The State Library and CIDIG will be partnering again in the Fall of 2021 to present another DNA Workshop.

You can register for this free event here.

Disclaimer: The author of this blog and the Indiana State Library in no way endorse any of the DNA testing companies referred to in this blog. The existence of the provided links do no imply endorsement of the services or products of these companies.

Bibliography:
23andME
Ancestry DNA
Central Indiana DNA Interest Group
Family Search Wiki. DNA Basics
Family Tree DNA
International Society of Genetic Genealogy; Genetics Glossary
International Society of Genetic Genealogy; Wiki, Autosomal DNA statistics 
Living DNA
My Heritage DNA

This blog post was submitted by Genealogy Division librarian Alice Winslow. For more information, contact the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3689 or submit an Ask-a-Librarian request.

Prayer in public meetings

Can your local public library begin its public meetings with prayer? Would doing so put the library at risk of a lawsuit based on an alleged violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause?

Image courtesy of Pixabay

When government is involved in a religious challenge, the court may put the challenge through a three-part test known as the Lemon test. Lemon v. Kurtzman was a court case in which the U.S. Supreme Court created a test to analyze if government was engaged in impermissible entanglement in religion in violation of the establishment clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Government typically can be involved in activity involving religion under the following circumstances:

  • The primary purpose of the action is secular,
  • The action neither promotes nor inhibits religion, and
  • There is no excessive entanglement between church and state.

It would seem that government sponsored prayer before meetings would not pass the Lemon test and would thus violate the establishment clause. However, when it comes to prayer before government meetings, the Court appears to be more lenient. Per the Court opinions, this seems to be primarily due to the longstanding history – dating back to the drafters of the constitution – of leading legislative sessions with prayer.

A very divided U.S. Supreme Court, via 5/4 decision, found local government meeting prayer permissible in the following situation:

  • A town board invited religious leaders in the community the town served to have a turn saying the opening prayer.
  • All the religious leaders were volunteers, none were paid.
  • Even though most of the prayer leaders were Christian, it was okay because the community had predominantly Christian churches. The Court held that the town did not have to go outside of its boundaries to get prayer leaders from other religions.
  • Anyone was allowed to volunteer to do the prayer, including laypeople and atheists. The board allowed a Jewish layman and a Wiccan priestess who had read press reports about the controversy to have a turn at leading the opening prayer.
  • The town board did not interfere with contents of the prayers and let the prayer giver say his/her own prayer according to his/her own belief system. Prayers were not reviewed or vetted in advance.
  • While a number of the prayers did invoke the name of Jesus, the Heavenly Father or the Holy Spirit, they also invoked universal themes as by celebrating the changing seasons or calling for a spirit of cooperation among town leaders. They had both a civic and religious theme.
  • Over time, the prayers did not denigrate any religions nor proselytize/promote one religion over another.
  • Meeting attendees were not compelled to engage in religious observance of the prayer. Prayer was for the board members not the attendees.

With the ruling being so split on such a fact specific situation, it is very possible that a finding of an establishment clause violation could occur if any of the above facts were different. A couple federal courts in other circuits – not Indiana’s, which is the 7th circuit – found that prayer incorporated into government meetings was a violation of the establishment clause in slightly different scenarios.

  • A 6th circuit case found it unconstitutional when the county commissioners began their meetings with prayer when the prayer was always led by one of the commissioners so they could control the message and all the commissioners were Christians. This gave the impression of government sponsored endorsement of the Christian religion. Additionally, they called for the audience to stand and bow their heads/assume a reverent position which made at least one of the attendees uncomfortable, as if he was being coerced to participate in something he didn’t believe in. The court found that the prayer time was unconstitutionally coercive because a single resident was singled out for opprobrium when he objected and there was evidence suggesting that board allocated benefits and burdens based on participation in prayer.
  • A 4th circuit court found it unconstitutional when commissioners said the prayer because prayer by board members was government speech, not individual speech. The prayers did not fit within the legislative prayer exception because the practice discriminated against and disfavored religious minorities since all faiths but those of the five elected commissioners were excluded. The prayers constituted unconstitutional coercion because the board maintained complete control over the content of the prayers and the religious views excluded all but those represented by the five commissioners. The court also stated that indirect coercion may violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment when government orchestrates the performance of a formal religious exercise in a way that practically obliges the involvement of non-participants. The commissioners were also said to have made public comments indicating frustration and disapproval of minority religious views.

Based on the above cases, one might conclude that under very narrow and particular conditions, it might be ok to have community religious leaders lead a library board meeting in prayer but not an actual board member personally. However, libraries should consult with their own legal counsel before engaging in such a practice to ensure the way they are instituting the practice is constitutional. One option to consider is the board could hold a moment of silence before each meeting that people could use to say their own prayer to themselves if they so desire.

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

Discovering census history at the Indiana State Library

The 2020 census data for congressional apportionment – released every 10 years – is due to be released one month from now, on April 30. The Census Bureau will deliver official 2020 census counts to the president on this date so these numbers can be used to determine the number of representatives each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. For the method used in determining these figures, see the Census Bureau’s Computing Apportionment. This year, the delivery date was extended due to COVID-19. You can find details about changes to the timeline on the Census Bureau’s website. Typically, congressional apportionment numbers are due to the president on Dec. 31, following the decennial census, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. A history of this process is available on the Proportional Representation webpage from the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 2020 Census is not the first census to be disrupted by national concerns. The Earth spins and the nation moves forward through time as the American people are counted every 10 years. Let’s take a trip back in time to the fourth U.S. census, in 1820, when census enumeration was planned to take place during the six-month period from August 1820 to February 1821. Back then, the nation was going through its first major economic depression following the Panic of 1819.

What was the Panic of 1819, you ask? Good question! Last week was the first time I’d heard of it, and it’s not until recently that current scholarship has caught up with history. I decided to start my research using our free online newspaper databases and by searching for journal articles using INSPIRE, the Indiana State Library’s free database resource.

Here is what I discovered:

Late last year, Scott Reynolds Nelson wrote in his Journal of the Early Republic article, “The Many Panics of 1819,” that the causes were several:

Fundamentally, a trade war between the United States and Great Britain triggered the crisis, and that trade war over the Caribbean produced many panics – in the New England shipbuilding industry, in the southern provisioning trade, in the plantations of the British Caribbean where enslavers increasingly faced a hungry workforce.

…Though the land office failures were important. The Land Office was effectively a mortgage bank, the biggest in the world. On the significance of the land office in the American South, see Daniel S. Dupre, Transforming the Cotton Frontier: Madison County, Alabama, 1800–1840 (Baton Rouge, LA, 1997). Farmers borrowed on a four-year mortgage from the land office, a competitor to the Bank of the United States created by Jefferson’s Democratic Party. The rapid drop in provision prices led farmers to fail and abandon their mortgages and lands.

Additionally, Jessica M. Lepler explained the nationwide effect last year in her article, “The Panic of 1819 by Any Other Name:”

…North and South, East and West, urban and rural, young and old, male and female, bound and free, the hard times were national. This was no single-year crisis; the Panic of 1819 lasted about a decade.

These two authors were part of a 2019 panel discussing the subject.

Historical evidence can be collected here at the State Library through primary and secondary sources. Newspaper articles, history books and other ephemera explain how the 1820 census was affected by the economic state of the nation at the time. The 1820 census itself was extended by an extra seven months, until September of 1821. At the time, the United States would have been in recovery from fallout due to its first major economic crisis.

James Monroe was president on Census Day, Aug. 7, 1820. Courtesy of the United States Census Bureau.

Two centuries apart, the 1820 Census and the 2020 Census, and in both cases the process of the census was affected by major events impacting U.S. society.

As the pandemic draws closer to a solution and more people become vaccinated, we’ll see more books and articles written that compare our recent experiences to past events. The State Library has many resources that can help us delve into census history, both published and unpublished.

Visit our library to do research in the State Data Center Collection by calling us at 317-232-3732 to make an appointment. You can also use online resources like INSPIRE and the Census Bureau’s elaborate history website. Call or email the State Data Center for assistance. We are here to help you discover census history!

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

Once upon a time: Tips for writers from a librarian

Libraries are magnets for writers and would-be authors. One of the questions libraries often hear from writers is, “How can I get my book into your library?” The answer can vary from library to library based on the library’s collection development policy and the type of book in question. For example, a law library is probably not going to be interested in a science fiction novel. A public library will probably not be interested in an extensive multi-volume textbook about string theory. However, public libraries oftentimes are interested in collecting well-written books by their own local authors. A big plus is if the book has been reviewed in a reputable book review publication like Publisher’s Weekly or Library Journal. There are lots of other things that authors can to do make their work more attractive to a librarian.

First off, authors can do the work to make their book the best book they can possibly write. There are many organizations that hold online writing classes that help writers hone their skills, learn about the publishing industry and get connected with other writers. Midwest Writers Workshop has virtual conferences for writers and the Indiana Writers Center has over a dozen classes offered at any given time covering topics from plays to poetry.

Authors can learn tips and tricks from other writers by joining a writing community. There are organizations for writers in almost every genre imaginable from Romance Writers of America to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Benefits to joining one of these groups are manifold. Writers can find critique groups, learn about upcoming opportunities or be listed in a speaker’s bureau. One of the best things that a burgeoning writer can do is to get hooked into a network of other writers.

Library programs are another outlet that might be available to new writers. Some libraries have local author fairs where many authors can showcase their work at one time. The Indiana Historical Society has done this in the past as well as the Indianapolis Public Library’s Meet an Author / Be an Author event. Author events that showcase just one local author are a bit more rare and harder for a library to justify, due to the fact that one lesser-known author is not as likely to bring in a crowd versus a group of authors. Nowadays, a virtual author event might also be possible.

When in doubt, read a book. “Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book” by Courtney Maum can serve as a how-to guide for authors just starting out. In down-to-earth chapters, Maum offers all kinds of advice about writing and the publishing industry.

The Indiana State Library is one library that actively collects fiction and poetry by Indiana authors who write for all audiences. For more information on donating your work to our collections, reach out to Suzanne Walker, the coordinator for the Indiana Center for the book.

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

Upcoming Get INSPIRED! sessions

This year, the Indiana State Library is hoping to help library employees across the state to Get INSPIRED! The Professional Development Office has added a second series to our webinar offerings, What’s Up Wednesday – Get INSPIRED! This series is on the second Wednesday of every month and will be a focused look at some aspect of the INSPIRE suite of tools. The remaining 2021 webinars in this series are below:

April 14 – “Ebooks”
Learn how to use the different features available in the new and expanded EBSCO Ebook collections in INSPIRE.

May 12 – “Live Q&A”
This will be an informal question and answer session about all things INSPIRE. If you have specific questions, please add them to this form and they will be answered during this session.

June 9 – “Business Databases”
Learn how to use the various business databases available in INSPIRE to access valuable business information.

July 14 – “INSPIRE for Career Prep”

Aug. 11 – “Live Q&A”

Sept. 8 – “Top INSPIRE Databases for Assisting Students”

Oct. 13 – “Digital Collections with Justin Clark”

Nov. 10 – “Live Q&A”

These webinars are all worth one TLEU each for Indiana library staff. Keep an eye on the PDO calendar of events and the INLibraries Listserv for more details. January’s “Introduction to INSPIRE” webinar can be found on the archived webinars page. March’s webinar “INSPIRE Search Strategies” will be archived soon, so be sure to check the archived page for this great opportunity.

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

Celebrating Women’s History Month

National Women’s History Month traces its roots to March 8, 1857, when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over poor working conditions. The first Women’s Day celebration in the United States was in 1909, also in New York City. In 1981 Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated annually the second week of March. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed resolutions requesting and authorizing the president to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating March as Women’s History Month. Many federal agencies celebrate and recognize the importance of Women’s History month.

As Women’s History Month is celebrated in 2021, many will reflect upon advances women have made over the last decade. Women have increased their earnings, education and fields of occupation and have continued to live longer than men. View stats from Census Bureau surveys highlighting how women’s employment has changed over the years here.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Services, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

The Agriculture Department has a Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network where women can connect, share stories and share experiences with fellow women in agriculture. The goal is to promote the image, role and leadership of women, not only on the farm, but in youth organizations; at cutting edge research facilities at universities across the country; and in the boardrooms of global corporations.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva had a conservation which they called “The Age of Womenomics.” They discussed gender inclusion, especially in economics and finance, their respective career journeys, challenges and role models and the impact of this current COVID-19 economic crisis on women.

The U.S. Secretary of State recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice with the Women of Courage Award. Learn more about the 2021 honorees here.

This blog post was written by Marcia Caudell, supervisor of the Reference and Government Services Division at the Indiana State Library.

Federal CARES grants help Indiana libraries safely reopen

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States in early 2020, libraries began to close as a precaution for their communities and staff. The federal government rushed into action to aid industries affected by the virus and subsequent closures. On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act, which designated $50,000,000 for libraries and museums through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

IMLS distributed these CARES Act funds to state libraries based on the population served and to other library and museum grant applicants based on need. In Indiana, a portion of the funds received were used at the State Library to ensure book delivery and other statewide services could continue. However, a majority of the funds were made available as grants to public and academic libraries to reimburse COVID-related expenses.

Allowable reimbursements through Indiana’s CARES Act grants for libraries included:

Personal protective equipment and facilities supplies and services, including:

  • Masks, facial shields, gloves, sanitizer and wipes.
  • Plexiglass shields.
  • Washable keyboards and mice.
  • Webcams.
  • Curbside service stanchions and signage.
  • And all other items related to preventing and protecting staff and patrons against COVID-19.

Hotspots and digital inclusion supplies and services, including:

  • Mobile devices.
  • Signal boosters and antennae.
  • Wireless routers and corresponding subscriptions for the duration of the grant.
  • Remote learning and videoconferencing platforms for the duration of the grant.

E-content, including:

  • E-books, digital movies and music.
  • Databases.

There was a great demand for these grants and to date the Indiana State Library has awarded two rounds of 336 CARES Act grants to Indiana libraries. Over $200,000 has already been reimbursed to Indiana communities through the program.

These grants will help libraries recover from the unexpected costs of new hygiene and distancing needs, while enabling library staff to try new service models including curbside pickup, delivery and virtual programming. Additionally, libraries were able to expand their e-book offerings to better serve patrons enjoying library services from home.

Many libraries have since reopened their doors to the public and will continue to reintroduce in-person services as the virus wanes. However, many of the items purchased through these grants will continue to benefit libraries by helping them to operate safely and expand their new virtual and curbside services.

Questions about CARES Act grants for Indiana Libraries may be directed to LSTA grant consultant Angela Fox.

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

Explore Brown County

Brown County can be found in the center of the southern half of Indiana. It is known for its arts and crafts, food and wine and beautiful hilly vistas. The area was formed from two treaties regarding land ceded by Native Americans – the Treaty of Fort Wayne and the Treaty of St. Mary’s. Many of the early white settlers were from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas and already had familiarity living in mountainous or hilly country. Until the railroad and cars arrived in the area in the early 20th century, the whole of Brown County was very rural. People farmed and harvested lumber from forests to survive. As transportation opened more options for the county, the beginnings of the art community began to form as well.

T. C. Steele and Selma Neubacher Steele built their home, House of the Singing Winds, in 1907. It is now a state historic site. Adolph and Ada Schulz relocated to Nashville, Indiana from Chicago around 1917 and founded the Brown County Art Association. Two organizations, the Brown County Art Gallery and Museum and the Brown County Art Guild still work today to build the legacy of fine art in the community.

Brown County Art Gallery, 1926.

Interior of T. C. Steele’s home and studio.

In 1931, the Brown County State Park opened, inviting visitors to explore the Yellowwood State Forest, Hoosier National Forest and Lake Monroe amongst many other natural and recreational activities. This cemented the area as a tourist destination and that reputation continues to grow to this day.

Picnickers in Brown County State Park.

Explore more of Brown County in our Digital Collections.

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