Indiana Young Readers Center staff heads to the National Book Festival

Suzanne Walker and Caitlyn Stypa, staff of the Indiana Young Readers Center located in the Indiana State Library, attended the National Book Festival in Washington, D. C. on Sept. 1, 2018. This diary describes their time at the festival.

From the diary of Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book and Indiana Young Readers Center librarian:

8/31/2018

Dear Diary:

Caitlyn and I had a very early start the day before the festival. I am not kidding when I say that I woke up at 4 a.m. Our flight was at 6:50 a.m. Yikes. I headed to Caitlyn’s house and woke up the neighborhood when her dog decided to wish me a very good morning repeatedly. We finally got on the road. I did miss my turn to go to the airport, which I’ve never done before. I blame the fact that Caitlyn and I were chatting. We chat a lot. All that being said, we arrived at the Indy airport and were on our way with no problem. Our flight was great.

Here we are at the D.C. airport getting ready to jump on the metro. Our first stop is the convention center to set up our booth!

Here is our booth for the National Book Festival. Indiana always tries to make a good showing at the festival. The festival is a free event with book sales, author talks and signings, multiple stages and lots of activities for visitors, including the Parade of the States. Each state shows up with their signature stamp and a book that they are highlighting. Visitors get a map of the USA and collect stamps from each state. The day is usually a blur of children pushing maps in our faces for us to stamp. This is both good and bad. The good part is that we can see a lot of people, but the bad part is it can become a bit repetitive. We are hoping that our unique decorations will make people ask us about our highlighted book, because what do lobsters have to do with Indiana? I’ll answer that later! Indiana always has great bookmarks to give away that are donated to us by Ball State University. This year was no different. We have thousands of bookmarks to give away.

Once our booth was ready, we had enough time to take in a museum before my evening meeting at the Library of Congress. We headed to the National Portrait Gallery and got to see the newest presidential portraits, a gallery of Native American portraits done by George Catlin and some more modern pieces including a map of the U.S. done in neon lights and television screens. I was really interested in the Catlin portraits because of the work we recently did on a new video describing the murals at the ISL. I was glad to see the Indy 500 represented in the modern neon map.

Caitlyn stayed at the National Portrait Gallery while I headed off to the Library of Congress for my meeting, which was primarily about Letters About Literature. It was all good stuff. Caitlyn and I met up after the meeting in an amazing location for two ISL employees to meet in D.C.

Clearly I was excited to find the Indiana Plaza. You can’t tell too much from this picture but it was HOT in D.C.

Our long day was topped off by dinner at Founding Farmers. We had a great time meeting up with old and new friends before we hit the hay to rest up before the National Book Festival tomorrow. Yawn. More tomorrow.

9/1/2018

Dear Diary:

Wow! What a great day we had at the National Book Festival! We started out with breakfast at the hotel and then did the quick walk over to the convention center. We were there by 8:30 a.m., with doors opening at 9 a.m. We said hello to lots of other states and had to run over to the Maine table to explain about the lobsters. Didn’t want any drama with a fellow state!

So here’s the story of why the Indiana booth was covered with Magic 8-Balls and lobsters: The book we chose to highlight in our booth this year was “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia. Chessie, as we call her because we are now best friends, was only 19 when she wrote the book. She grew up in Indianapolis and is a dream to work with. The book is about a girl who has schizophrenia. She uses a Magic 8-Ball to help her decide what’s real and what’s not and lobsters also have a big role in the book.

And guess who showed up at our booth!? Chessie herself! Francesca was at our booth from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. signing books, bookmarks and helping us stamp maps. It was great to hang out with her and she loved the lobsters and Magic 8-Balls that decorated our booth. Did I mention that our decorations were drawn by an ISL staff member? True story! And they turned out great.

Here’s me and my good friend, Francesca Zappia.

People did ask about the lobsters. And we gave away all the “good stuff” by about 2 p.m. There are about 100,000 people who visit the National Book Festival each year, including Carl Harvey! Lots of Hoosiers also showed up at our table just to say hi and tell us where they are from. We talked a lot about the Indiana State Library and classic Indiana titles. We had a Magic 8-Ball that only answers one question: What Indiana classic should you read next? There are 20 possible answers in that thing! I got “Raintree County.” Caitlyn got “Princess Diaries.”

Here’s Caitlyn, stamping yet another map.

By 3 p.m. I was searching for an aspirin to help with the headache that was doomed to appear. Minnesota helped me out. We stamped more maps and at 5 p.m. we packed up our booth and heaved a sigh of relief. Another successful National Book Festival in the books (excuse the pun)!

After the festival we had dinner with representatives from Alaska, Wisconsin and Michigan. We swapped NBF stories and invited each other to see our representative state libraries. After dinner, Caitlyn and I might have gotten some gelato and then we definitely crashed. Good night!

9/2/2018

Dear Diary:

Caitlyn and I head back to Indy at 5 p.m. today. We have just enough time to see the National Mall and one museum before we head to the airport to get checked in for our flight. We had a great time representing Indiana at the National Book Festival!

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, Indiana Young Readers Center librarian at the Indiana State Library and director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

2018 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner announced

Indiana Center for the Book Director Suzanne Walker has announced author Mac Barnett and illustrator Brian Biggs as the 2018 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winners for their book “Noisy Night.”

“I write for kids because I believe children are the most thoughtful, adventurous, intelligent readers there are. And so I’m particularly honored that our book has won the Firefly, an award bestowed by kids themselves,” Barnett said.

The Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award is an initiative of the Indiana Center for the Book to promote early childhood literacy in Indiana. The state award committee is made up of professionals in Indiana, including librarians, caregivers and project coordinators; all of whom are involved in early childhood development. The committee chooses five books each year for children ages zero to five to vote on with help from an adult.

Runners-up include “Hooray for Birds!” by Lucy Cousins, “Blocks” by Irene Dickson, “Spunky Little Monkey” by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson and “Everybunny Dance!” by Ellie Sandall.

“The coolest thing about this award is that it is voted on by Hoosier children,” Walker said. “It is really fun to see the young children try to decide which book out of five is their favorite.”

“I was fascinated to see how many votes ‘Noisy Night’ received at my library,” said Cathy Butcher, a librarian in Flora, Indiana. “We don’t have any apartment buildings in our little rural town, but this book really held the interest of our preschoolers.”

This is the fourth year of the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. This year, 54 Indiana counties submitted votes for the award and over 5,000 children, ages zero to five, voted. Votes were collected at public libraries as well as at daycares.

The nominated books are chosen for their ability to encourage parents and children to use the Every Child Ready to Read® practices of talking, singing, reading, writing and playing together. Caregivers can use the Firefly books as a quality go-to resource for having fun and learning with their young children.

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, Indiana Young Readers Center librarian at the Indiana State Library and director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

Returning this year… summer programs for kids!

We are thrilled to announce that the Indiana State Library will again provide free youth programming this summer through the Indiana Young Readers Center! June and July are going to be packed with fun and engaging workshops for kids to INvestigate + Explore.

Join us this summer for six exciting programs combining Indiana investigations and explorations of cool themes like art, culture and history. Programs are open to children who have completed third grade up through middle school and require advanced registration. Read below for more information and learn how to register for our programs. All programs will take place at the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis. Attendees may also enter through the door at 140 N. Senate Ave. Public registration is limited, so act fast!

Next Great Architects | Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | History Reference Room
Kionna Walker will show children how to use problem solving and their imaginations to explore architectural planning processes. Kids will also learn about the design and construction of the Indiana State Library. Register here.

Gifts from the Earth: Native American Effigy Pottery | Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Artist Robin McBride Scott will lead children in creating an effigy vessel they can take home after they learn about treaties. Participants will also see the library’s own copy of St. Mary’s Treaty. Register here.

The Writerly Life | Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Julie Patterson will lead children in applying strategies for developing ideas into stories that others want to read. Children will also decorate notebooks so they can practice the writerly life at home. Register here.

Jazz Drum Dialogues | Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Children will learn about the rich history in the Indiana Avenue corridor and learn the basics of jazz drumming from local musician Lawrence Clark. Register here.

Comic Creation | Monday, July 16, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Jingo de la Rosa will lead children in drawing comics after they learn about some of Indiana’s great illustrators like Norman Bridwell, Jim Davis, Ben Hatke, Keiko Kasza and Troy Cummings. Register here.

Sitting Still Like a Poet | Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Julie Patterson will help children quiet their minds and pay attention to the “story worthy” material around them. Children will also learn about different types of poetry and Indiana poets. Register here.

INvestigate + Explore is funded by the Indiana State Library Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Each program is partially facilitated in partnership with Arts for Learning Indiana.

Please contact Caitlyn Stypa at (317) 232-1401 or via email, with any questions.

This blog post was written by Caitlyn Stypa, Indiana Young Readers Center program coordinator, Indiana State Library.

Summer Storytimes and Learn IN Workshops recap

With the Indiana Young Readers Center (IYRC) grand opening in October, this summer was the first opportunity for IYRC staff to dip their toes into summer programming for kids. We had a lot of fun and we hope to see you next summer, if not sooner!

In June, the IYRC hosted two storytimes for children ages 3-7 and four workshops for children in grades 3-6. Each storytime involved books, crafts and playing in the IYRC. Each workshop paired an art form taught by an Arts for Learning artist, with a topic related to Indiana history or Indiana literature. Children learned about different kinds of poetry written by Indiana poets and Tony Styxx gave a lesson on spoken word poetry. Robin McBride Scott showed children how to make an effigy vessel after they learned about treaties and they saw St. Mary’s Treaty up close! After looking at Baist Atlas maps for signs of segregation along Indiana Avenue in the 1940s, Bonnie Maurer helped children write pieces of jazz poetry. Bob Sander explained the elements of storytelling after children heard about genealogy and made timelines of their lives. All of these programs were free for anyone who wanted to join in the fun.

Please enjoy these photo highlights:

We learned so much about effigy pottery from Robin McBride Scott and had fun making our own pieces, bowls that look like birds.

This young man shows off his effigy pottery creation.

Caitlyn shows visitors how to use Baist maps to search for clues of segregation along Indiana Avenue.

Bonnie Maurer led us in jazz poetry exercises to hone our writing skills.

These children show off the masks they made at the “All About Clifford” storytime.

After the stories were read and the crafts were made, these siblings played in the IYRC.

This blog post was written by Caitlyn Stypa, Indiana Young Readers Center assistant, Indiana State Library.

Is Clifford a Hoosier?

Well, kind of. Technically, Clifford the Big Red Dog lives on Birdwell Island with his best pal, Emily Elizabeth. However, his author and creator, Norman Bridwell, is from Indiana!  Bridwell (1928-2016) was born in Kokomo. Before creating the famous big red dog, Mr. Bridwell attended Kokomo High School and John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis.  “Clifford the Big Red Dog” was first published in 1963 and the series is still popular with children today!

The Indiana State Library recently held a Saturday Storytime program, “All About Clifford,” in the Young Readers Center. Children enjoyed hearing several stories about Clifford the Big Red Dog and his adventures with Emily Elizabeth. They then made Clifford masks and enjoyed time in Clifford’s big doghouse. Each child in attendance received a free copy of “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” courtesy of the Indiana State Library Foundation.

Clifford the Big Red Dog and his creator are featured in one of the exhibits in the Indiana Young Readers Center. Visitors can read Clifford’s original story and learn more about the big red dog and his creator from Indiana!

Many of Bridwell’s books can be found in the Young Readers Center and can be checked out with an Indiana State Library card or an Evergreen Indiana card.

This blog post was written by Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian Christy Franzman. For more information on this post or the Indiana State Library, please call 317-232-3675.

Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner announced

Indiana Center for the Book (ICB) co-directors Christy Franzman and Suzanne Walker have announced children’s author Britta Teckentrup as the 2017 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner for her book “Don’t Wake Up the Tiger.”

The Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award is an initiative of the ICB to promote early childhood literacy in Indiana. The selections are nominated by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee, made up of professionals in Indiana including teachers, librarians, caregivers and project coordinators, and the award is voted on by children six and under.

Runners-up included “Race Car Count” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, “Best in Snow” by April Pulley Sayre, “Grumpy Pants” by Claire Messer and “Music Class Today!” by David Weinstone.

“ICB is excited to be in its third year of this picture book award focusing on early literacy. Children from infancy to five are absolutely capable of enjoying books and being discriminating judges,” Walker said. “The nominated books are chosen for their ability to encourage parents and children to talk, sing, read, write and play together. It is our hope that caregivers will see this list of books as a quality go-to resource for having fun and learning with their young children.”

“’Don’t Wake Up the Tiger’ is a fun, interactive book that kids really enjoy,” Franzman said. “Getting children actively involved with books will motivate them on their road to literacy.”

Upon hearing the news of receiving the award, Teckentrup said, “That’s wonderful news. How very exciting. Even more so as the award was voted for by children. Thank you very much for the award and for nurturing the love of reading and books!”

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

Free summer programs for children at the ISL

The Indiana State Library is thrilled to announce that the Indiana Young Readers Center will provide free youth programming this summer. June is going to be packed with fun storytimes for younger kids and engaging workshops for older kids. Read below for more information and on how to register for our programs. All programs will take place at the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio Street in Indianapolis.

Summer Storytime
Children, ages 3-7

All About Clifford!
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017,10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Young Readers Center

What: Children will gather in the state library’s Young Readers Center to hear stories all about Clifford the Big Red Dog! Clifford’s author and creator, Norman Bridwell, was a Hoosier native born in Kokomo, Indiana. Kids will enjoy Clifford activities and crafts during this free program. Families are welcome to stay and explore Clifford’s doghouse and the rest of the Young Readers Center afterward.

All About Indiana!
When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Young Readers Center

What: Children will gather in the State Library’s Young Readers Center to take a road trip through Indiana and learn cool facts about our great state! Kids will enjoy Indiana-themed activities and crafts during this free program. Families are welcome to stay and explore the Young Readers Center after the program.

Registration: You can register for All About Clifford! and All About Indiana! online or by emailing or calling Christy Franzman, (317) 232-3700. Make sure to include the following information: Name of each child attending, age, name of parent/guardian and contact number. Space is limited. We will accept up to 30 children to be registered for this program.

During Summer Storytime, parents are expected to stay and enjoy the stories and activities.

Learn IN: Workshops for Kids
Children, grades 3-6

These workshops feature Arts for Learning Indiana artists.

Recipe for an Emcee
When: Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Local spoken word poet, Tony Styxx, will visit and help everyone write some of their own poetry lines. Kids will learn about using interesting adjectives, adverbs and similes to enhance their writing. Before Tony Styxx arrives, children will hear the work of other Indiana poets and learn more about different kinds of poetry.

Gifts from the Earth: Native American Effigy Pottery
When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 1:30 p.m – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will hear about the part Native Americans have played in the history of Indiana. Then artist, Robin McBride Scott, will tell about the history and culture of the Mississippi Native Peoples and the clay techniques they used. Everyone will create a piece of North American Mississippi-style pottery called an effigy vessel, which is in the form of a human or animal.

Jazz on the Fly
When: Saturday, June 24, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will hear about the history of Indiana Avenue, where the Jazz scene flourished in downtown Indianapolis, and they will see the difference between primary and secondary sources. Local writer, Bonnie Maurer, will lead everyone in reading jazz poetry, listening to jazz music and composing poems.

Tell Your Story
When: Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Indiana State Library, Indiana Authors Room

What: Kids will learn about genealogy, where to find more information about their family and begin outlining their family tree. Local storyteller, Bob Sander, will teach the elements of story and everyone will practice telling their personal and family stories to new friends.

Registration: Please register for Recipe for an Emcee, Gifts from the Earth, Jazz on the Fly and Tell your Story online or by emailing or calling Caitlyn Stypa, (317) 232-3700. Make sure to include the following information: Name of each child attending, grade the child will be in next year, name of parent/guardian and contact number. Space is limited. We will accept up to 30 children to be registered for this program.

During Learn IN workshops, parents are welcome to enjoy the rest of the library or drop off their child for the duration of the program.

Indiana State Library media release policy
By registering for these programs, I hereby grant the Indiana State Library (ISL) permission to use my or my minor child or children’s photograph publically to promote the library. I understand that the images may be used worldwide for any lawful purpose, including educational and advertisement purposes and in any medium, including print and electronic. I further waive any claim for compensation of any kind for ISL’s use or publication of the images and/or those of my minor children, if applicable.

All programs being made possible by funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Indiana State Library.

This blog post was written by Caitlyn Stypa, Indiana Young Readers Center assistant, Indiana State Library.