Geekspotting 2.0

The annual Indiana Library Federation (ILF) conference is right around the corner which means it’s time to check-in with Alex Sarkissian of the Allen County Public Library and Jocelyn Lewis of the Indiana State Library to see what’s going on in the ever-changing world of pop culture. Join us Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at 1:15 p.m. for “Geekspotting 2.0: Building a Popular and Diverse Collection for Your Library.”

This year’s topic will focus on diversity and representation in pop culture. Diversity has been a major concept lately and the demand to include traditionally marginalized voices in comics, movies, TV and gaming has led to an explosion of material. We’ll help you sift through it all and make collection development recommendations that are sure to be a hit with your local community.

Registration for ILF 2017 is now open.

For those who can’t make it to ILF this year, we will also be offering a live webinar version of this program on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at 10 a.m. You can register for this event here.

Both presentations are LEU-eligible!

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Jane Austen at the Indiana State Library

While not a prolific writer, Jane Austen certainly was one of the most formidable novelists of the English language. Born December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, England, she lived a relatively quiet and unassuming life until her death at age 41 on July 18, 1817. Her plots revolve around domestic life in early 19th century England and are equal parts romance and acerbic social commentary. Her novels are so beloved that they have spun their own industry of Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF). Although Jane Austen only published six complete novels, three of which were released after her death, her literary legacy has spawned over a thousand sequels, retellings, continuations and adaptations.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. Literature lovers and so-called Janeites (fervent devotees of the author’s works) are celebrating her life in a variety of ways culminating with the release of her portrait on the new British £10 note in September. Libraries in particular are encouraged to create displays, book discussions or other event programming based on Jane’s life and works.

Here at the Indiana State Library, we have many items related to Jane Austen. In our general collection, we have several early 20th century editions of her works as well as a collection of early biographical material.

Image of a facsimile manuscript from “Plan of a novel according to hints from various quarters” (1926 : Oxford at the Clarendon Press)

Book cover (with typo!) from “Love & Friendship and Other Early Works” (1922 : Frederick A. Stokes Company)

Our Indiana and Talking Books Large Print collections have several examples of popular Jane Austen fan fiction including works by Indiana authors like Karen Joy Fowler (“The Jane Austen Book Club”) and Ben H. Winter (“Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters”).

For ideas on how you can celebrate all things Jane, check out these sites:
Jane Austen Society of North America:
Best Jane Austen Fanfiction:
Jane Austen 200: A Life in Hampshire:

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library.  For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at

Mid-century manners

Betty Betz was born March 28, 1920 into a prominent business family in Hammond, Ind. Her grandfather, Frank Betz, was the founder of the Frank S. Betz Company in Hammond which specialized in surgical instruments. Betty attended Sarah Lawrence College where she graduated in 1941. She then went on to a successful career as a nationally syndicated columnist whose writing focused on the social lives of American adolescents. Her newspaper columns, magazine articles and television show (which briefly ran in 1951) covered many topics of interest to teenagers of the 1940s and 1950s. She also authored and illustrated several advice and etiquette books, many of which are in the Indiana State Library’s Indiana Collection.

While much of the advice contained in these books seems archaic, silly and perhaps mildly offensive to modern sensibilities, they do serve to provide a fascinating peek into American social norms of the postwar era.

Image from “Your Manners are Showing: The Hand-book of Teenage Know-How” (1946 : Grosset & Dunlap).

They are also delightfully and lavishly illustrated.

Image from “The Betty Betz Party Book: The teen-Age Guide to Social Success” (1947 : Grosset & Dunlap).

To locate the Indiana State Library’s collection of Betty Betz’s books, please visit our online catalog.

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library.  For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at

Victorian Era Christmas Books at the Indiana State Library

Prior to the 19th century, Christmas as a holiday was not quite the celebration it is today. We can thank many of our modern Christmas customs to the Victorian era of British history. Decorating Christmas trees, purchasing commercially manufactured gifts to wrap and place under said trees, exchanging holiday-themed greeting cards and reviving older traditions such as the singing of carols are all aspects of the season which were popularized by the Victorians.

Not surprisingly, the 19th century also saw a rise in the publication of books about Christmas as writers and publishers alike saw an opportunity to capitalize on the burgeoning Christmas market. The Indiana State Library has several examples of such books in its collection.

One of the earliest Christmas books in the ISL collection is a collection of carols entitled Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London, Richard Beckley, 1833). Some famous carols that made their first appearance in this book include “God rest you merry, gentlemen”, “The first Noel”, “I saw three ships”, and “Hark the herald angels sing.”Carols

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Digitzed items now accessible through ISL catalog

With digitization efforts going full swing at the State Library and staff scanning and uploading numerous materials to Indiana Memory, enhancements are being made to our local online catalog to increase access and exposure to these valuable items.

When searching the ISL catalog at, be on the lookout for a link to any digitized versions under the Electronic resources section of the record.


Clicking on the link will transport you directly to the digital version in Indiana Memory where you can view the material in its entirety. Continue reading

Recovering the Classics: Give a fabulous makeover to a literary masterpiece

Recovering the Classics is a collaborative program between the White House, the New York Public Library and the Digital Public Library of America. Its goal? To allow artists,rtc_A+Tale+of+Two+Cities_Alexis+Lampley graphic designers and anyone else who is interested a chance to design a cover for a classic work of literature which is currently in the public domain. All designs are sold as prints, apparel or other items with proceeds going to the artists.

Of further interest to libraries is a chance to exhibit 50 book covers as part of the program’s 50×50 campaign which seeks to “showcase 50 classic book covers in all 50 states, and nurture communities of book-lovers in the process.”

If you are interested in contributing or if you would like to host an exhibit, more information can be found at

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalogue Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at

Ebooks & Interlibrary Loan

It is undeniable that libraries today are devoting increasing amounts of time and resources to building and expanding access to electronic resources. Patrons want this access and libraries have done an admirable job providing it for them. However a fact that often gets lost in the discussion of e-resources is that it limits the ability of institutions to share materials with each other. Interlibrary loan has long been an essential component of library services, allowing libraries to lend items to each other to fulfill patron requests. Such lending worked very well with print materials but due to the licensing restrictions that often are inherent to electronic resources, it is almost impossible for libraries to share digital items. But it is equally impossible for libraries to purchase all the materials that could possibly be requested or needed by their patrons so resource sharing between institutions is still as essential as it has always been. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

Once relegated to the outlier realm of children’s entertainment, comic books and graphic novels have evolved to completely dominate pop culture, spinning off into TV shows, movie franchises and video games.  New comic book titles increasingly deal with complex themes and appeal exclusively to adult audiences while the older, tried and true superheroes of yesterday have gotten 21st century makeovers.

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INSPIREd cataloging help

Let’s face it, professional journals are expensive. Really, really expensive. So expensive that most libraries cannot afford subscriptions to these valuable publications. But keeping abreast of the latest professional output is very important, especially for catalogers who must adhere to strict standards and practices.Inspire Large_final-01Here’s where can help! Full-text journal access is available for many of the most prominent publications in the field of Library Science. Titles pertinent to cataloging and technical services topics include (but are certainly not limited to):

Cataloging & Classification Quarterly (ISSN 0163-9374)

Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services (ISSN 1464-9055)

Library Resources & Technical Services (ISSN 0024-2527)

Technical Services Quarterly (ISSN 0731-7131)

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594)

You can locate these titles by a couple of different ways: You can use the Advanced Search feature to search by journal title by selecting SO Journal title/source from the drop-down menu or you can search by International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) by selecting IS ISSN from the menu. You also can achieve the same results by doing a Publication Title Search from the top menu option.

Additionally, keyword and subject searches can direct you towards full-text articles from other publications. If a full-text option isn’t available for a title you want, remember that you usually can obtain a copy of the article via interlibrary loan.

As always, is absolutely FREE to all Indiana residents so take advantage of this resource and keep your cataloging knowledge up-to-date!

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalogue Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at

New Indiana Humanities book kits added to ISL catalog

Over 270 book kits recently were added to ISL’s online catalog on behalf of the Indiana Humanities Council’s Novel Conversations program. These book kits are provided free-of-charge to libraries and other institutions in the state and are excellent to use as a way to supplement extra copies of a title for your book club or community reads.

Titles range from popular recent releases in both fiction (The Rosie project by Graeme Simison) and non-fiction (Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain) to classics (John Steinbeck’s East of Eden) to local interest titles (Where we live: Essays about Indiana) and even graphic novels (Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis). Depending on the title, these kits provide anywhere from 5-30 regular print copies and many include large print copies and/or audiobook versions of the title.EastOfEdenTo locate these kits in ISL’s online catalog, visit and do a title search for “Humanities kit.” To obtain a kit, follow the directions on the screen and call 1-800-675-8897 ext. 128.

For more information on the Novel Conversations program, please go to

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalogue Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at