Do you want books from all of the libraries? A PLAC card might be for you

Have you ever wished you could pop into a local library to check out a book to read while lounging on the beach at the Indiana Dunes State Park, even though your Indiana home library is hundreds of miles away? Perhaps you live in southern Indiana and you have to go all the way up to Allen County for a business trip. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to check out a DVD from the library near your hotel? If these situations strike a chord with you, a Public Library Access Card (PLAC) is the perfect solution.

PLAC is the statewide library card program enacted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1993 (Indiana Code 4-23-7.1-5.1). The PLAC program allows individuals to purchase a card which allows them to borrow materials directly from any public library in Indiana.

Any individual who holds a valid Indiana public library card may purchase a PLAC card which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. The cost of the card is reviewed and adjusted annually by the Indiana Library & Historical Board (ILHB). The fee for 2017 is $65.00. The Indiana State Library collects the revenue from the sale of these cards distributes it back to libraries on the basis of net loans.

What a deal!

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the PLAC card program:

Q: Are public libraries required to participate in the statewide PLAC program?
A: Yes. According to Indiana Code 36-12-3-2 and Indiana Code 36-12-7-2, all public libraries “shall comply with and participate in the statewide library card program.”

Q: What types of materials are eligible for loan in the PLAC program?
A: Books and select non-book materials. Each public library will annually determine what types of materials will be loaned to PLAC cardholders, but at least books that normally circulate must be available for loan.

Q: Does the PLAC include access to eBooks, databases and other online resources?
A: No. eBooks, databases and other online resources are licensed locally for the home users of that library and are not available to PLAC holders.

Q: If I later decide that I don’t need my PLAC, can I get a refund?
A: No. PLAC fees are not refundable.

Q: Who is eligible for a PLAC?
A: Anyone who holds a valid library card issued by a public library in the state may purchase a PLAC. In order to receive a PLAC card individuals must have a valid “resident” or a non-resident library card.

Q: How is the PLAC used?
A: Individuals need to present the PLAC on their initial visit to the library and go through the registration process for that particular library.

Q: When does my PLAC expire?
A: The PLAC expires one year from the date of application for the card. At that time, the PLAC cardholder would need to reapply and pay for a new PLAC card.

Q: Must materials borrowed on a PLAC be returned to the lending library?
A: Yes. PLAC cardholders should be informed that they are expected to return materials borrowed using a PLAC to the lending library.

Q: May anyone in my family use the PLAC?
A: No. According to IC 4-23-7.1-5.1 the PLAC is always issued to an individual.

For even more questions and answers about the PLAC program click here. If you have other questions, please contact StatewideServices@library.in.gov.

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

Indiana State Library’s ‘Race into Reading’ bookmark design contest now accepting entries

The Indiana State Library, in conjunction with the Indiana Center for the Book, is pleased to announce the return of its annual bookmark contest. This year’s theme, Race into Reading, was chosen to coincide with Indiana’s book choice to represent the state at the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States in September, “Race Car Count” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

Race into Reading is a fun theme that celebrates speed, acceleration, racing and Indiana. The state library’s suggested reading list can be found here and features a selection of Indiana-related titles focused on fast athletes, zippy race cars and speedy animals, including “Speed” by Nathan Clement and “Little Red Gliding Hood” by Tara Lazar. Children are encouraged to check out these books from their local libraries and use them as inspiration for their bookmark designs.

Sampling of last year’s entries, including the grand prize winner and three additional top five finalists.

The contest is open to all students in Indiana schools, from kindergarten to third grade. The first-place winner will have their bookmark printed in color and distributed to libraries throughout the state, their school will receive a supply of the winning bookmarks and, starting on July 1, 2017, their school or local library will receive one year of the InfoExpress library delivery service. Four honorable mentions will receive the same perks as the grand prize winner, except for the year of InfoExpress service. Bookmarks will be judged on artistic quality, use of color and use of theme. The contest entry form is available here and the form must be postmarked or emailed by March 18, 2017.

Additionally, the winning designs will be featured at Indiana’s booth at the Pavilion of the States during the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. The Indiana Center for the Book gives away thousands of bookmarks to festival participants each year. The festival is free and celebrates the joy of books and reading and features authors, illustrators and poets of all ages.

For more information, contact Michael Hicks, InfoExpress Coordinator, Indiana State Library.

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

Happy New Year, guest blogs and the future

Do you fancy yourself the next Perez Hilton? Well, this post probably isn’t for you then. However, if you are an Indiana library employee and you would like to write a guest blog post for the Indiana State Library’s blog, the floor is all yours.

Is your library opening an awesome new lab? Are you booking a big-time guest presenter? Would you like to illustrate the day-to-day operations of your bookmobile? Have you successfully executed a social media campaign? I want to hear from you. Because libraries cover such a wide range of duties, the possibilities are endless.

The state library is unique in the fact that we provide services to state government employees, house very specialized collections and help develop and train librarians all over the state. Therefore, we don’t necessarily function in the same way a traditional public library functions. Of course, we are opened to the public, and provide some of the best genealogy and Indiana-related resources in the state, but we’ve never suffered a mad rush when a new “Harry Potter,” “Twilight,” or “Hunger Games” book was released. Our friends a few blocks away at the Indianapolis Public Library are the experts when it comes to handling popular new fiction releases.

As the communications director here at the state library, moving forward, I’d like to offer libraries from all over the state a chance to have their say. We’ll also be highlighting more of what the state library does in this blog, by featuring blog posts from members of our Professional Development Office (PDO) and Library Development Office (LDO) in addition to continuing to bring you posts by all of our divisions, such as genealogy, rare books and manuscripts and talking books and Braille.

So, if you have a topic you’d like to cover that appeals to other librarians, library patrons or both, feel free to get in touch with your idea via the email address below. Just remember, no celebrity gossip.

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