Homeschool fair at Indianapolis Public Library

On Sept. 14, 2019, the Indiana State Library and the Indianapolis Public Library are joining together, along with other partners, to present “Homeschoolers and Libraries: Partners in Learning.” This homeschool fair will run from 10 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. at the Indianapolis Public Library’s Central Library building located at 40 E. St. Clair Street. The event is free and open to the public.

Homeschooling families and all those interested in learning more about homeschooling are invited to attend this fair, the first of its kind presented by the Indianapolis Public Library. Registration is required. Interested families can click here to register. The first 250 families to register will receive a reusable shopping bag and a free book! Walk-in registration will also be available the day of the event.

The fair will include panel discussions, presentations on a variety of topics including technology as well as hand-on STEM activities. Kicking off the day will be Lilly scientist, Guy Hansen with his entertaining and informative science demonstration. Partners for the event also include WFYI, the Indiana Association of Home Educators and Kids Ink.

The Indiana State Library is excited to be a part of this event and will be involved in several presentations covering topics like digital collections, early literacy and library services for homeschoolers.

The program is made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

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

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something… red?

This Olde English rhyme traditionally signifies a bride is preparing for her wedding day, but I’m not a bride. However, like a new marriage, I am in my first month at the Indiana State Library. As a mother of two young children, I am in love with the space where I spend my days. The Indiana Young Readers Center is a quiet, child-friendly room elegantly adorned with chandeliers juxtaposed against Clifford’s doghouse. It’s a space to explore books written by Indiana authors for children and teens, but there is much more to engage children. Allow me to make suggestions for your visit.

When you arrive you can meander through the Indiana Statehouse Education Center toward the grand staircase. Take a moment before walking to the second floor to appreciate the craftsmanship in this 1934 structure. After an elevator ride with a stroller, or a jaunt up the steps to the second floor, look for Garfield sitting on a bench. This bench draws you into the space. Now that you’ve found it, what is the Indiana Young Readers Center?

This man found something old in the IYRC. His eyes visibly widened and he proclaimed his excitement out loud when he found the collection of Garfield books he avidly read as a child. While we do have a collection of older books behind glass cases, young parents can also find stories reminiscent of when they fell in love with reading. You can sit to read a favorite book while your children wander the space.

These two toddlers found something new in the IYRC. There are many books, but there are also developmental toys and interactive exhibits. These two new friends were practicing their sharing skills. They crawled around the space and squealed with delight at the books on the shelves. They might not know yet that all of the books are written by Indiana authors, but they did enjoy the onomatopoeia usage in April Pulley Sayre’s books.

When visiting the Indiana Young Readers Center, many children want to take a book or two home. The Indiana State Library is not only home to the Evergreen system, but serves as an Evergreen library as well. The IYRC purchases two copies of each book, so one copy can be checked out. All residents of Indiana can get an Evergreen card from the Indiana State Library, which allows them to borrow materials from the IYRC.

The Indiana State Library is a beautiful home to valuable tools and materials for scholars and the general public alike. Nestled on the second floor, the Indiana Young Readers Center is a unique space encouraging Indiana’s children to appreciate something old, discover something new, joyfully borrow something and to find something… red.

The post was written by Indiana Young Readers Center Program Coordinator Tara Stewart.

Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award nominations needed

Did you find a great new picture book over the summer? Send it our way! The Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award is an initiative of the Indiana Center for the Book. This state award, administered by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee, highlights picture books for young children. Picture books serve an important role in the first years of the life of a child. The purpose of this award is to encourage parents, caregivers and very young children to interact together with exceptional picture books.

Indiana library workers may nominate pictures book for the award from June through October 1 each year. What does that mean? That means that we need your nominations! Have you read a fun picture book in your storytime? Have a book that makes you laugh every time you read it? Noticed a popular picture book the kids are loving this summer?

If you work with youth in a library, either in a school or in a public library, you are eligible to nominate as many titles as you wish. Nominating is easy. Just send an email to the Indiana Center for the Book. Include in your email: title, author, illustrator and publication date.

Criteria for book nominations are as follows:

• Must be published by July 1st of the current year, or any time in the previous year and still be in print. currently, this ranges from Jan. 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.
• Possess strong child appeal.
• Demonstrate three or more of the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read®: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.
• Have artistic quality with text that supports the illustrations or a compelling narrative provided by illustrations.
• Diversity and inclusion are encouraged.

The nomination pool will be narrowed down to five titles by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee by January 2020. Ballots will be released and votes will be accepted until early May. More information on ballots and how to vote will be available in early 2020.

For more information about the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award, visit our website.

This blog post was submitted by the Indiana Young Readers Center.

 

Which book will win the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award?

The race is on! There are five picture books nominated to win the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. Voting is happening now until May 15, 2019. Libraries all over Indiana are having storytimes, collecting votes from voting stations and making special visits to preschools and child centers to help determine which of the five titles will take home the prize.

The five books were chosen from a list of titles nominated in 2018 by librarians all over Indiana who work with children. A committee of librarians chose these five books from over 30 nominated titles, primarily because the books are really good at getting children to talk, sing, read, write and play.

  • “A Hippy Hoppy Toad” by Indiana author Peggy Archer is written completely in rhyme and gets children to bop along to the beat, while they wait to see where the hippy-hoppy toad will land next.
  • “Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall is perfect for reading aloud to a loved one, particularly someone who might be afraid of taking that giant leap off the tall, scary diving board.
  • “There’s a Monster in Your Book” by Tom Fletcher is ridiculously fun, and encourages play and interaction with the silly monster at every turn of the page.
  • “Hello Hello” by Brendan Wenzel introduces children to dozens of animals and encourages conversations about animals, unfamiliar words, and saying hello to new friends.
  • “Play This Book” by Jessica Young turns the reader into a one person band, and uses illustrations of instruments to boost fine motor skills in the hands of the children who reach out to play that enticing printed piano in the middle of the book.

Ruth Fraser, the branch manager at the Klondike Branch of the Tippecanoe County Public Library loves the Firefly Award. “I love that it encourages caregivers to engage with the youngest learners, and gives kids the opportunity to have a say in their favorite books. It teaches parents how to nurture the important voices of their children.” The ballot for the award can be found here. Votes can be turned into the Indiana Center for the Book until May 15.

The Indiana Center for the Book is hoping for a record number of votes for 2019, as this is the fifth year of the award. “Five is an important milestone for children, and an important one for us,” said Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book. “At five children can do somersaults. They can use a fork and a spoon and they can even rattle off their name and address. Now that the award is five, I’m hoping that every children’s librarian in Indiana knows about it and will turn in votes from their community.”

The award will be announced on May 17, 2019. For more information, visit the Firefly website here.

This blog post was submitted by the Indiana Young Readers Center.

Lego Soldiers and Sailors Monument is installed at the Indiana State Library

The staff of the Indiana Young Readers Center are extremely excited to welcome Jeffrey Smythe’s Lego rendition of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to the Indiana Young Readers Center just in time for the holidays. The monument will be on display at the Indiana State Library and free to see during regular business hours from now until Valentine’s Day.

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

11/21/2018

Dear Diary:

After weeks of emails and planning and measuring, the day finally arrived! Jeffrey brought the Lego Monument to the ISL today! It was going to be a bustling day anyway, as the whole State Library was topsy turvy with holiday decorating. Every division came out to decorate the evergreen trees found in many corners of our building. I love the trees with glass cardinals and owls gracing their branches, and our Giving Tree near the front door is a nice addition for this year.

But no tree took longer to assemble than our Lego monument “tree.” Jeffrey showed up around 9 a.m. with the first panels and sections of the monument. He knew right away that he would not be able to get it in one car load, so we unloaded and he headed back to Greenwood for more.

Here’s Caitlyn – IYRC staff, and Joe and Jeffrey unloading the monument. Jeffrey even has Lady Victory in his arm! We made good use of the library’s many flatbed carts, although we had to jockey all day with other library staff who kept using them for the Christmas trees. I love this picture because you can see that inside the monument are Legos of many colors! Not only that… there are Duplos in there!

It took three trips in the car to get the monument to the library. It did not arrive all in one piece; rather it came in several carefully-packed sections.

We knew right away that we would definitely need the three 8-foot tables that we had allocated for the monument. Jeffrey was delighted with the space we had chosen – right in front of a window on the east side of the building. Black tablecloths were scrounged up and the real assembly began.

There is so much detail on the monument! The actual monument is full of statue groupings and bronze and limestone features. I loved reading this article about the artist for the actual monument. I’m sure Jeffrey read it too, as he researched for three months before even putting two bricks together. Jeffrey did his best, scaling down the monument to a 1:48 scale to accommodate Lego minifigures. That’s one inch of Legos for every 4 feet in real life.

There was a tricky moment when it was time to slide the steps in and attach them to the main center piece. We discovered that our tables are not exactly the same height! Thank goodness Jeffrey brought some extra bricks – actually some flat platform pieces of uniform color – to prop up the panels so everything could hook in correctly.

Here’s the water in one of the two pools. Jeffrey said he tried three different versions of the water before he was satisfied with how it looked. It looks good enough to swim in!

Caitlyn and I made the mistake of going to lunch and when we got back, the lights were on and everything! It was glorious! There were still hours of work ahead, as Jeffrey had to install all the corner sections and Joe went to work snapping in hundreds of flowers. There are about 50 minifigures that had to be installed as well, including Mickey, Minnie, E.T. and the Powerpuff Girls. We are writing up a seek-and-find for visitors who want a challenge.

Colleague Stephanie Smith looks on as Jeffrey puts the finishing touches on the monument. She literally gasped when she walked into the room. It is that breathtaking!

Around 3 p.m. we had the final bricks snapped in. By 4 p.m. we finished adjusting the stanchions and putting up our “Do Not Touch” signs and a little bit of information about Jeffrey. It’s just amazing. I hope lots of people can come and see the Lego Monument. It’s certainly been a great way to start the holiday season for me!

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

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.