Helping librarians that serve the incarcerated – the Fall 2019 Institutional Workshop

Part of the mission of the Indiana State Library is to provide library services to state government and its branches and employees, as well as to provide specialized library services and training. One of the specialized populations that our Statewide Services Division serves are the prison and institutional librarians across the state. The Indiana State Library provides resource sharing services (e.g., interlibrary loan and book delivery) to the institutions. Additionally, Statewide Services staff provide continuing education to correctional staff, who are required to attend training to maintain American Correctional Association accreditation. To aid these special libraries, the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office staff provides site visits throughout the year. Finally, the library hosts an annual workshop where the correctional librarians can gather, network and learn about topics that can help them serve the incarcerated.

Each year, the morning of the workshop begins at the Indianapolis Public Library’s bookstore, where library staff and other nonprofits are invited to “shop” the books remaining after the public sale at no cost. State library staff are present to assist institutional libraries in shipping their materials back to their facilities via the InfoExpress courier service. This year, prison library staff gathered 50 large bags full of books, many of which were like-new popular titles – including James Patterson and Stuart Woods – to fill the shelves of their facility’s library.

The afternoon workshop was held in the Indiana State Library’s History Reference Room. Nicole Brock, ISL’s resource sharing coordinator, provided an overview and refresher on the state library’s resource sharing services. Wendy Knapp, ISL’s deputy director of Statewide Services, gave a presentation on library trends and the future of libraries as a whole, which helped prison libraries understand the current issues and climate of the profession.

Dr. Elizabeth Angeline Nelson (left) and Dr. Susan B. Hyatt

Finally, our featured speakers were Dr. Susan B. Hyatt and Dr. Elizabeth Angeline Nelson, two faculty members from the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts. Hyatt and Nelson have both worked within institutional walls on education and research projects, including the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and the Indiana Women’s Prison History Project. Correctional staff learned about these programs and were encouraged to think about ways they could support continuing education in their libraries, of which many already hold or are seeking college degrees.

Attendees left with three contact hours which they can apply to their continuing education requirements. Planning has already begun for next year’s workshop and book giveaway, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 23, 2020. For more information on the workshop, contact Statewide Services or subscribe to the Institutional Libraries Listserv here.

This post was written by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office supervisor, Indiana State Library.

An overview of the federal E-rate program

The federal E-rate program began over 20 years ago with a focus on providing low-income areas, schools, libraries and healthcare providers with telecommunications services, internet access and internal connections, including installation and maintenance at discounted rates. It is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission and administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company. Within USAC, there is a division specifically for E-rate in schools and libraries.

While the Telecommunications Act that established the E-rate program was passed in 1996, it really grew out of the Communications Act of 1934 that established the FCC and aimed to make telephone service universal, bringing it to rural communities across the nation. E-rate originally focused on both telephone and internet service, but in 2014 the E-rate modernization order was given in an attempt to close the Wi-Fi gap by providing only broadband funding. I guess they figured everyone had telephone service at this point, so yay for us!

The E-rate funding year runs from July 1 through June 30, but libraries actually start the process of applying for funds in the previous year. Right now, folks are starting to join the consortium or notifying vendors that they are seeking services for the funding year 2020, which won’t start until July 1, 2020. So, they’re always thinking at least six months ahead and usually an entire year.

This is the general timeline of the filing windows for the various forms, but the exact dates are announced through USAC’s website.

The State has our own State Technology Grant Fund that we use to help reimburse public libraries for a portion of their internet bills. This is allocated from the Build Indiana Fund and is a completely separate program from E-rate. We do, however, take into account the amount of money a library would be reimbursed by E-rate whether or not they actually file for it. So, if a library received a 90% discount from E-rate, we would only look at that 10% left when determining how much to reimburse the library from the State Technology Grant Fund.

Something that we aren’t involved with here at the State Library, but which may be useful to residents, would be the Lifeline program, which is also administered by USAC. The Lifeline program provides discounted phone and internet rates for those whose income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, as well as those who participate in federal assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit and certain Tribal programs. They may also qualify if their child or dependent participates in any of these programs.

This post was written by Hayley Trefun, public library consultant, Library Development Office, Indiana State Library.

Rethinking how we talk about the unserved

For over 100 years, the Indiana State Library has sought a solution to the “unserved” areas of Indiana. As someone who grew up in one of these areas, this has been a topic that I have long wanted to see addressed. As I look back at some of the articles written in the 1930s in Library Occurrent, I find that this issue has been on the minds of folks working with libraries for a long time. Maybe it’s time we started to change the conversation. What if we stopped talking about “unserved areas” and started talking about the “library deserts” that exist in our state?

In calling the areas unserved, we have unintentionally painted this as a problem for the libraries to deal with, and one that seems to be the fault of the libraries. “Why won’t the library serve those people?” First of all, having grown up in rural Hancock County before Sen. Beverly Gard was able to make changes with CEDIT, and change the service area, this was something the folks at the Hancock County Public Library wanted to see changed. While my friends and I would make the 20-30 minute drive to the Hancock County Public Library to do research, we were constantly teased by the worlds that could be opened up to us through all the books available for check out, but not to us. As high school students, all striving for admission and financial assistance to colleges, our focus was beyond the “why” we couldn’t check out the books, beyond the “why” behind the fact that we had to purchase most of the books we wanted to read. We had more immediate concerns that would impact our futures greatly, and didn’t even realize how much we were missing just because our neighbors had fought against paying taxes to the library.

By talking about library deserts, we can begin to shape the conversation around the citizens of this state who are at a disadvantage. Yes, they are welcome to go to any public library and use the materials while there, but it’s not the same level of access that the residents of that district have. It is a civic inequity that exists because of decisions made long ago and/or by a vocal group of individuals striving to protect their own interests. Every child in this state can expect to receive an education, starting at least with kindergarten. But there is so much work to do before those children ever get to kindergarten. Every Child Ready to Read and other early literacy programs have been growing in popularity throughout the public library network. But what about those pre-K kids who don’t have a public library of their own? Maybe they’ll still get to story hours, but what fun will it be when all of their friends get to leave with stacks with books and they have to go home empty-handed? And our colleagues in library districts that are juxtaposed with these library deserts have to have difficult conversations every day explaining what we all know: that library service is not free, that patrons contribute to the fiscal success of every library through some kind of tax and that the individuals who are paying those taxes should not have to carry the burden for everyone who doesn’t pay taxes.

Inequities among students who have restricted access to adequate broadband, varying levels of digital and general literacy and inequity in income noticeably affects their potential, as highlighted by this February 2019 ACT report. Obviously, library access does not solve all these problems, but ensuring all citizens have a basic level of access to information may help level the playing field for all our citizens. The ability to convey the benefits of library access to all members of our communities, and to all citizens of the state could be enhanced if we made a minor shift in our language to better reach more people.

This post was written by Wendy Knapp, deputy director of Statewide Services at the Indiana State Library.

SRCS Version 6 update and trainings

SRCS, the Statewide Remote Circulation Service, will be undergoing a facelift this June as the software is upgraded to Version 6. SRCS is an interlibrary loan service sponsored by the Indiana State Library that links the catalogs of over 200 public and academic libraries and facilitates resource sharing statewide.

To help Indiana prepare for the leap, Debbie Hensler, product manager from Auto-Graphics, visited Indiana to provide three trainings for Indiana library staff. Debbie’s trainings kicked off the morning of April 30, 2019 in Indianapolis with an in-person and webinar training in which over 100 library staff from around the state participated. The training was recorded for later viewing and will be available on the SRCS website before the upgrade.

The next day, Debbie, Nicole Brock and Jen Clifton took a trip up I-65 and visited the northern portion of the state and held a training at the beautiful Crown Point Library. Staff from 11 public and academic libraries in Northern Indiana were present for this training.

After returning to Indianapolis, the trio headed south to New Albany. The Floyd County library graciously hosted our training, as well as staff from three other southern Indiana libraries in their Teen Scene. With their proximity to Louisville, and the upcoming 2019 Kentucky Derby, we enjoyed the pre-race excitement as many staff wore their finest hats and even broadcast the first call bugle over the library’s PA system.

Changes SRCS users can expect to see in the new version are:

Visual
• The site will have a cleaner appearance.
• The menus will now be more mobile-friendly.

Searching
• A rebuilt search engine will provide a faster, smoother search behind the scenes, meaning no more flickering book covers!
• Search results will be easier to expand or narrow.

Customization
• Simplified drag-and-drop request form editing.
• Staff dashboard – Menus and preferred links.
• UX admin- Simplified customization options and homepage creation.

These changes will be implemented for SRCS in June. The system will be unavailable from Friday, June 21, 2019 at 8 p.m. Eastern through Monday, June 24, 2019 at 8 a.m. Eastern. New requests will not be able to be placed during this time.

If you have any questions, please direct them to statewide services at the Indiana State Library.

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

Here to serve Indiana libraries – the Library Development Office

The Indiana State Library’s Library Development Office has had a couple of staffing changes this past year, which has resulted in some confusion over where to direct questions. While all of us are available to help with any question you may have, here’s an updated list of the staff in our office, who are available to serve you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Consultants
Hayley Trefun – Statewide Library Consultant – Hayley recently joined us as the new consultant specializing in E-Rate and general public library and trustee issues. If you have E-Rate forms to turn in, a long range plan that needs to be approved or a board who needs training, reach out to her at 317-232-1938.
Angela Fox – LSTA and Federal Programs Consultant – Angela is the consultant responsible for the Indiana Public Libraries Annual Report and statistics, as well as Library Service and Technology Act grants. Like Hayley, Angela is also available for general public library and trustee questions at 317-234-6550.

Resource Sharing and Interlibrary Loan
Nicole Brock – Resource Sharing Coordinator – Nicole is the new coordinator for our resource sharing programs, including: InfoExpress library courier service, SRCS, INSPIRE and the Indiana Share program. She can be reached at 317-232-3699.

Digitization
Connie Rendfeld – Digital Initiatives Librarian – Connie coordinates the Indiana Memory statewide digital collection, and serves as a point person for Indiana’s DPLA hub and the InDiPres digital preservation initiative.
Jill Black – Digital Initiatives Specialist – Jill assists with scanning and metadata for Indiana Memory projects, and provides general consultations and training for libraries embarking on digitization projects.

Other support
Terry Black – Administrative Assistant – Terry provides secretarial support to library consultants in the Library Development and Professional Development Offices. Terry maintains our office records, which include E-Rate forms, legal, history and correspondence files. Terry also maintains the Jobs page and coordinates “Read To Me,” an early literacy program for children of individuals who are incarcerated. You can reach Terry via email or at 800-451-6028 and she will direct your question wherever it needs to go.
Jen Clifton – Library Development Office Supervisor – Oversees all of the aforementioned services, and is happy to either answer or redirect questions on any of the services. 317-232-3715

Don’t forget, your library also has an assigned regional consultant from our Professional Development Office who is available for site visits, new director visits, staff trainings, robot/maker/VR kit deliveries and other general questions or advice. Let us know how we can assist your library this year!

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

IMDPLA Fest recap

IMDPLA Fest: a one day discussion of all things Indiana Memory – Digital Public Library of America. You can find the region’s best and brightest digitization minds sharing thought-provoking new projects, discussing best practices and elevating the conversation surrounding digital preservation…

…and me.

I’m not a digitization specialist in even the most generous sense of the word. But I do work with them, and I oversee a grant program that funds some of the projects. In order to better understand just what those LSTA digitization monies are paying for – and to follow the larger discussions surrounding digitization projects – I attended the fest as an onlooker with a vested interest. Turns out, you don’t have to be an expert to benefit from the expert discussion.

Keynote speaker John Bracken, executive director of DPLA, summarized recent studies on children’s increasing internet use, finding it to be a trend parents absolutely needed to embrace if they wanted their child to succeed, while simultaneously being something that should terrify them. The odd juxtaposition got a laugh, but was also a was a fitting segue to a discussion of the necessity of DPLA, and its informational gatekeepers, to adapt to changing technologies and to take quality, vetted content to people at their points of access.

There were concurrent breakout sessions on large-scale digitization projects, loosely broken into two tracks: visual resources and manuscripts. Those interested in visual resources were offered sessions on The Iditarod of Photo Digitization: Junior Achievement and Indiana: 1800s Land Records Accessed by Township Address. People like myself, who followed the manuscripts, were treated to an overview on the work of digitizing the letters and journals of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, and one about the challenges inherent in digitizing employee records from the Pullman-Standard Railroad Car Manufacturing Company. And isn’t that food for thought: one day, your employee records, complete with notes on performance issues, could be eagerly set upon by future digital historians, preserved for all the world to see. Decades from now, a room full of scholars could be debating whether your since-expired self has any right to privacy regarding your records, or whether your history of habitual tardiness or not playing well with others now belongs to the annals of history. Or, if we’re travelling down that rabbit hole, consider those journals from the sainted Theodore Guerin. Her letters and journals are darkly humorous, somewhat pointed, deeply personal… and now preserved for future study. They are a wonderful, thought-provoking resource that brings such humanity to this particular bit of history. They are also a reminder that I might want to seriously consider setting fire to all of my overly angsty middle school writings.

A break for lunch was followed by some lightning sessions highlighting useful digitization tools and sites, before wrapping up the day with two practical, nuts-and-bolts overviews on issues every digitization project faces: questions of copyright and fair use and best practices for creating useable metadata.

The back half of the day gave concrete instructions for people in the field, and an appreciation of the complexity of the issues for observers like me. If you ever thought that digitization merely involved slapping down a page on a scanner and calling it a day – well, this meeting of the minds would disavow you of that idea. My appreciation of the work of digitization continues to grow, as does my need to shred a terribly mortifying childhood diaries. You know… just in case.

This blog post was written by Angela Fox, LSTA and federal projects consultant, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at 800-451-6028 or via email.

New Directors Workshop 2018

On Aug. 15, 2018, at the Indiana State Library, 32 new public library directors, representing 24 counties in Indiana, were introduced to each other and to the Library Directors One-Stop Guide. Public library consultants Karen Ainslie and Angela Fox hosted the annual New Director Workshop and presented on multiple topics.

The workshop offered an orientation to the many resources of the guidebook, including contacts for public library directors. The guidebook’s 20 chapters inform directors on the many tasks and responsibilities necessary for the day-to-day management of public libraries.

Welcome, new directors.

The opening presentation focused on the distinct roles of the director versus the board, including standards, library laws, certification and professional development. Additional presentations covered sharing resources, the INSPIRE database and other digital resources. The morning activities concluded with a walking tour of the Indiana State Library.

In the afternoon, directors heard about the roles that the Department of Local Government Finance and State Board of Accounts play in the budget and financing of public libraries. A survey of grants was followed by a session on public purchasing and public works to familiarize directors with the bid process and obtaining quotes. Also included was an overview of the children’s services provided by the Indiana State Library. The day concluded with a group picture taken near the Great Hall.

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie and Angela Fox, public library consultants, Indiana State Library.

Journey of a librarian: Library travels and retirement

My professional journey has literally been a trip from here to there in the library world. It all started when I went to library school directly from my undergrad program in 1975 -one of the best choices I ever made.

Current head shot.

What was the library world like in the late 1970s? The ’70s were information-rich with bound books full of knowledge. I learned to leverage the resources, whether it was doing reference or interlibrary loan. I started out at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the granddaddy of all Carnegies, as a science librarian. It wasn’t all low tech, as there were dial-up computers. I quickly stopped searching Chemical Abstracts by hand and switched to database searching. The rapid automation of libraries for information searching led to significant advancement of library operations.

From Pittsburgh I headed to Houston, where I entered the world of a corporate librarian. The company was a geotechnical engineering firm and I continued to provide science information. The continued automation of library tasks was present in this new position. A colleague and I were tasked with re-cataloging the corporation’s entire library collection. Fortunately we didn’t have to this manually. This involved training in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), an online resource for cataloging books and providing interlibrary loans. This was fine training in the library world of providing access to information.

In the Alleghenies in western Pennsylvania, circa 1978.

There was a short pause in my library travels, though. I returned to Troy, Michigan and was expecting a second child. I didn’t work as a librarian at this time. I became something of a “power user” of my local Michigan public libraries, the St. Clair Shores Public Library and the Troy Public Library.

Once the children were school age we moved to Carmel, Indiana, where I worked as an instructional aide in an elementary school. Besides my hours coinciding with my children’s schedule, I increased my technology competencies with instructional software and local area network administration. This segued into my position at Indianapolis Public Library, where I provided instruction on the online catalog and Microsoft Office applications. Now I was skilled, not only in library tools like cataloging and databases, but with a background in operating systems and network administration.

My traveling was not over, because I next moved to Los Angeles, where I worked first for Burbank Public Library and then for the Los Angeles Public Library. I had returned to public libraries. Hallelujah! This is where I wanted to be, but it’s not the end of my story.

My final move was to return to Indiana to the great city of Indianapolis. Indiana – and Indianapolis in particular – has a great tradition of public libraries. I was blessed to be hired by Indiana State Library to be a public library consultant. It is the culmination of a career of public service with strong information skills. I offered the Indiana public libraries my expertise in public libraries, information and technology services.

I will retire shortly. I look back at libraries in the ’70s compared to libraries of today and I marvel at what must be in store for the future. I have never been static in the library profession and I won’t be static in retirement. I will continue my travels where destinations will be determined not by employment but the attraction of beautiful sights and public libraries.

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie, public library consultant and state E-rate coordinator. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or via email.

Discovery to Delivery VIII – The Bigger Picture: Resource Sharing with a Broader Brush

The Indiana State Library, in partnership with the Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI), hosted the eighth annual Discovery to Delivery conference (D2D8) on Friday, May 11, 2018. Discovery to Delivery is a yearly conference centered on resource sharing in the state and was attended by over 90 staff representing public, academic and special libraries.

The day kicked off with a welcome from State Librarian Jacob Speer. OCLC’s Tony Melvin then provided a list of the ten most-requested interlibrary loan titles in the U.S. and Indiana, as well as updates about changes to OCLC’s lending platforms including FirstSearch, WorldShare ILL and Tipasa, the replacement for ILLiad. Matt Straub, director of business development at NOW Courier, gave attendees an inside look at operations at the company that provides InfoExpress book delivery service. The morning wrapped up with a presentation from Debbie Hensler from Auto-Graphics, the company that provides SHAREit, which is the SRCS platform. Debbie shared information about new enhancements and a peek at the new platform, V6, anticipated for release in Q3 2018.

During lunch, participants were given the option to participate in a SRCS user group discussion for either public or academic libraries, an institutional libraries discussion or they could lunch on their own.

Following lunch, participants had the option to attend one of three breakout sessions:

  • Party Time: Resource Sharing Cataloging Shelf – Anna Goben, Indiana State Library – Participants learned about Evergreen Indiana’s success hosting catalog parties around the state in an effort to crowd source the cataloging of new member libraries.
  • Sharing Your Greatest Resource, You!: Developing and Hosting a Campus-wide Librarian’s Meet & Greet for Faculty & Staff – Courtney Block, Indiana University Southeast – Courtney discussed the importance of creating opportunities for access to the library’s greatest resource: the librarians themselves, and shared her experience hosting a “Librarian’s Meet & Greet” for faculty and staff.
  • Are Your Statistics Lying to You? – Larissa Sullivant, Indiana University, Ruth Lilly Law Library – This session summarized the Indiana University Ruth Lilly Law Library’s recent inventory process, their challenges and successes and the effect of the inventory process on the collection and catalog.

A second session was then held with the following choices of presentations:

  • Does (No) Discovery Lead to (ILL) Delivery? – Sherri Michaels and Rachael Cohen, Indiana University – This session presented the results of a study at Indiana University to determine the persistence of library users in obtaining known items.
  • 10 Months of Tipasa – Meg Atwater-Singer, University of Evansville – Meg discussed how UEL’s staff were trained by OCLC, the “good, the bad and the ugly” aspects of migration and how the migration has impacted department workflows.
  • Interlibrary Loan 101 – Holli Moseman, Indiana State University – Holli provided an introductory session that covered the basics of borrowing, lending, document delivery and copyright.

Since it was difficult to choose which session to attend during each breakout, plenary discussions and reports from each session were provided after both. The presentations are also posted on the conference program page.

The day wrapped up with a final plenary discussion and attendees returned to their home libraries, hopefully, having a better understanding of the bigger picture of resource sharing in Indiana and of the changes on the horizon.

The Indiana State Library would like to thank the Academic Libraries of Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, OCLC, NOW Courier, Auto-Graphics and members of the Resource Sharing Committee for their contributions to the day.

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

Mobile hotspot lending

Whether you live in an Indiana city or county, you may not be connected to the internet. It is estimated that 27 percent of the population has no internet access. We know that 27 percent disproportionately effects lower income individuals in the cities and the countryside. Opportunities to connect to the internet have been available in 236 public libraries in Indiana for some time. The internet access has been inside the library, but there is a need for access outside the library walls.

The landscape for internet connection has changed over time. People still visit the public libraries for internet use, but now they are bringing their own devices, such as cellphones, laptops and tablets. People can connect to the public libraries wireless network. There is now another service available in some libraries: mobile hotspots. This lending service permits citizens of Indiana to access the internet outside of the library on their own device. No longer are people limited to libraries hours, but have access 24/7.

Why is this service important? Because increasingly school assignments are accessed and completed with the internet, job opportunities are found online and many government services are on the internet.

Several libraries in Indiana have rolled out mobile hotspot lending programs. Numerous vendors offer the hotspots and libraries are encouraged to explore their options. Sprint is the vendor on state contract, so if you are interested in offering the devices in your library contact the Sprint government sales representative for state pricing. Here are the contacts:

Brian Ferguson
Public Sector/Business Solution Account Manager –MI/IN
Government/General Business – Business Sales
(260) 348-6096

Mark D. Smith
Enterprise & Public Sector – Indiana
(317) 438-3334

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie, library development librarian and eRate coordinator. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or via email.