Ryan Brown interviews Ryan Brown

Indiana_State_Library_Exterior_Ohio Street Entrance_2_web

Ryan Brown has been Communications Director at the Indiana State Library since November 10, 2014. February 24, 2016, will be his last day at the library. In this State Library exclusive, Ryan Brown interviews Ryan Brown. Let the fun and confusion begin.

RB: You have been at the Indiana State Library for over a year. What are a few of the highlights of your tenure?

RB: I’m glad that you asked. There have been many interesting projects I have worked on over the past year such as the new brochures, door coverings, banners, annual report, etc. One of my favorite partnerships that I developed was with the Indiana Department of Education. We shared a booth together at the Indiana State Fair last summer and distributed information about the services available at the library to thousands of Hoosiers from all over Indiana. It was great to get out into the community and tell people face-to-face about the awesome collections at the library, as well as our statewide services.

CaptureRB: What are some of those collections and services?

RB: The Indiana State Library has one of the largest genealogy collections in the Midwest. It also has a huge inventory of rare books and manuscripts, government documents, newspapers, large print books, as well as talking books and Braille. There are also many online services available to Indiana residents like INSPIRE.in.gov, Indiana Memory and Hoosier State Chronicles. All of these items and services are free to Indiana residents. If you have any questions about the collection or services, you can Ask-a-Librarian.

RB: Wow! That is a lot of stuff!

RB: We are starting to sound like a commercial.

RB: Nah, it’s just good PR.

[Ryan Brown looks at Ryan Brown in disbelief]

RB: Anyway…it seems like a year is not a long time to be at a job, why leave so soon?

RB: The main reason I took a new job was so I could eventually move to South Bend where my wife is originally from.

RB: South Bend?

RB: Yes. You are probably thinking, “It’s cold up there and you are not a Notre Dame fan, so why would you want to move to South Bend?”

RB: Exactly!

RB: Do you remember a few years back when you promised your wife that when you were ready to have children the two of you would make an effort to move to that area?12019970_1134785493213457_3248265130995280150_n

RB: Oh yeah, what was I thinking? [Chuckling]

RB: Well…the time has come.

RB: Wait a second; am I going to be a father soon?

RB: Not at the moment, but you were going to start trying.

RB: Ah yes…now I remember…what else?

RB: I would say overall that I have enjoyed my time here at the State Library. There are a lot of great people on staff and working here allowed me to practice many of the skills I learned at school. Plus, we had many accomplishments in that short time period. We saw significant increases in event attendance as well as use of our services like INSPIRE.in.gov.

RB: What are some of the challenges you faced at the library?

RB: One of the biggest challenges was getting the media interested in what goes on at the State Library. Though, we did have a ton of press about our partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

RB: Explain…

RB: The State Library acquired State Park passes from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that are available at local libraries so patrons may check them out. The program started in January and has been very popular amongst patrons and the media. Anyone interested in the park passes should contact their local library for more information.

RB: What is your favorite item or part of the Indiana State Library?

RB: That is a difficult question that you always ask people in interviews. I guess if I had to narrow it down to one item, it would be the original State Flag. I believe that the Indiana Historical Bureau will be taking the flag around the state to various locations this year for the bicentennial.Bicentennial_Logo_Color

RB: Bicentennial? What is that?

RB: Don’t you know? 2016 marks the 200th year Indiana has been a state.

RB: Oh yeah? What is the library doing to celebrate?

RB: The library has a bunch of projects it is involved with including the new Indiana Young Readers Center, Hoosier State Chronicles, Bicentennial Toolkits for Libraries, Bicentennial Manuscript Collection, and many more!

RB: Thank you for taking a few moments of your day and participating in this interview. It has been a pleasure speaking with you. Since Wednesday is your last day, how would someone contact the library if they need info about the Wednesday Word or any communications questions?

RB: It has been great interviewing with you Ryan. If you are a librarian or library needing to reach the communications department, please email the State Library at communications@library.in.gov.

This blog post was written by Indiana State Library Director of Communications Ryan Brown. Click here for more information on the Indiana State Library.

State Library bids farewell to Children’s Services Consultant Angela Dubinger

Angela Dubinger has been the Children’s Services Consultant at the Indiana State Library for nearly a year. As some of you may already know, Angela will be leaving to pursue a Angela_editnew position in Madison County. The following is an excerpt from our conversation discussing her time at the State Library and what she looks forward to in the future.

RB: Your last day is coming up on February 12th, does it seem like the last year has flown by?

AD: Yeah, it really does! I have so many emails to go through, kit requests, consultations and training requests that are a big part of what I do. So, it really fills up a lot of time when you add a sometimes heavy training schedule and you are out three times a week. I remember in September I booked way too many trainings, and you can’t know the first few months that you work here. Then here comes October and Indiana Library Federation Conference presentations and having to get those ready, but it was such a busy season. Continue reading

‘Building it the right way from the ground up’: An interview with Gvido Burgis

The Indiana State Library Foundation is excited to announce its new Executive Director Gvido Burgis. Gvido is no stranger to the world of philanthropy and has a number of successes with nonprofits and government organizations. His enthusiasm for Gvido_2_prefered_webphilanthropy is contagious along with his warm smile and engaging personality. I had the opportunity to interview Gvido about his vision for the Indiana State Library. The following is an excerpt from our conversation.

RB: Tell me a bit about your background and how you advanced in the world of philanthropy?

GB: I guess I would have to step back into another galaxy far, far away in another lifetime. [Chuckling] Actually, I worked for state government for a number of years. I worked under Lieutenant Governor John Mutz in the 1980s. After the election in 1988 I believe, a lot of people who worked in the republican administrations were out looking for jobs. Somebody approached me about doing philanthropy because it’s a real people business. I started on the road of fundraising working for a consulting firm doing feasibility studies and capital campaigns for several years. There was a lot of travel involved with that over two and a half years. I traveled all over the country.

I returned to Indianapolis and worked as the Director of Development for the Humane Society for a number of years. I worked as an executive for this national organization for economic education for clergy. After that I came to Visiting Nurse Service as the Vice President of Development and worked there for nearly 18 years. We built this tiny foundation they had with total assets of maybe three million and through a series of campaigns and events; we built it to an organization of around 18 million. Continue reading

An interview with Hope Greathouse

Southwest Regional Coordinator Amber Painter recently interviewed Hope Greathouse from the Madison Correctional Facility in Madison, Indiana. Madison Correctional edited2Facility is one of the many correctional facilities in Indiana that possesses a library. Hope is the library supervisor at the facility who has been serving inmates in the adult correctional facility for several years.

AP: Are you from the Area?
HG: I am originally from Pendleton, Indiana

AP: What inspired you to work in libraries?
HG: I have a degree in education. Since I have started working in the adult correctional facility as the administrative assistant, I don’t really get a chance to use my degree and to pursue my passion. The library allows me to keep in touch with my educator side.

AP: What is your favorite book?
HG: My favorite book is “I Know This Much is True” by Wally Lamb.

AP: If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?
HG: I would love to have dinner with Abraham Lincoln. He was President during such a trying time in our nation’s history. I would love to have dinner with Robin Williams because he was so funny and played so many great roles. I would love to have dinner with Oprah as I think she is a great philanthropist and she also has great taste in books.

AP: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
HG: When I am not at work I love reading, camping, and vacationing with family.

This blog post was written by Amber Painter, Southwest Regional Coordinator. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov.  

Interview with Jefferson County Public Library Director Mark Mellang

Southwest Regional Coordinator Amber Painter recently had the opportunity to Mellang - Library Photointerview Jefferson County Public Library Director Mark Mellang. The following is an excerpt from their conversation.

AP: Are you from the Area?

MM: I’m not from Jefferson County, but I grew up in Southeastern Indiana, specifically Rising Sun. After graduating from IUPUI and applying for library jobs throughout the Midwest, the best offer I received was from the Aurora Public Library, which is the town just north of Rising Sun. After getting married and starting a family, I had deep roots in the area. The chance to become a director and remain in Southeast Indiana was a dream come true. Continue reading

Interview with Angela Downs

If you have ever called Jake Speer’s office at the Indiana State Library (ISL), then you have most likely spoken to Angela Downs. Angela is the administrative assistant for the Angela_Downs_Headshot_webdirector’s office on the fourth floor of the state library. She has been an employee at ISL for a long time and had a lot of interesting points of discussion during our conversation.

RB: Why did you try to trick me? [Laughing] You tried to say you wanted to do this interview yesterday, when you knew that we didn’t have to work.

AD: [Laughing] I thought it was funny just to play a little joke on you and I thought you would forget about it.

RB: So…you have been asking me when I was going to interview you and when it comes time, you try to trick me into not interviewing you…

AD: Yes, I did.

RB: Okay. I just wanted to get that on record.

[Both laughing] Continue reading

New Genealogy Division Supervisor Stephanie Asberry

If you attended the Genealogy and Local History Fair or have stopped by the library in the past few months, you may have noticed Stephanie Asberry. Stephanie started at the Indiana State Library (ISL) this summer as the new genealogy division supervisor andStephanie_2_web has successfully acclimated herself into her new job. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Stephanie and have a conversation about her experiences so far at the library.

RB: You come to the ISL from the Tennessee State Library. Tell me about where you went to school, what you were doing in Tennessee, and how you came here…

SS: I did my undergrad at Ball State.

RB: Oh yeah? What year?

SS: Well, I graduated in 1992. I’m putting an age on myself right there [Chuckling] and then I went to Oregon State…I did my undergrad in political science and then I went to Oregon State and got a degree in History. Then I moved to Michigan and completed my Master of Library Science at Wayne State University. I graduated in 2004 from there. When I was at Ball State my family moved down to Nashville, so that was one of the first resumes I sent out when I was getting ready to graduate. Continue reading

Interview with Marion Public Library Director Mary Eckerle

Mary Eckerle is the director of the city I currently call home! I worked with Mary previously when I was in the Reference Department at the Marion Public Library. They have a wonderful facility with a unique feature – their Carnegie Library is now a Mary Eckerlemuseum. Among their treasures is a Crosley car which is on permanent display in the lobby. Mary has a passion for the library and the Marion/Grant County community and is very civic minded. She is fortunate to have a wonderful staff who are like an extended family.

PAULA: Are you from the area? If not, where are you from originally?

MARY: I am from South Bend. Moved to Marion from Harvey, Illinois.

PAULA: What inspired you to work in libraries? Continue reading

Interview with Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom

Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom and I recently sat down and had a conversation about her first year working for the State Library. She and I have something in common – we both started working for the State Library last November. The following is an excerpt from our conversation.Paula Newcom 1

RB: It has been almost a year now that you have been working for the Indiana State Library. Tell me about how the year has gone and what the biggest differences are between your current job and what you did as a librarian in the public libraries…

PN: I think that the last year has been very good! I’ve had a lot of new challenges and have learned a lot, but I enjoy the freedom of being able to work at home as well as travel to my different libraries and often drive to the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis to attend meetings.

I have 60 libraries in my region – the Northeast region – and I think I have gone to almost half of them since I have been hired. I have been very blown-away by what I have seen with the different libraries in my area from the smallest to the biggest. They all seem to be doing something unique in each place. And a lot of libraries have had building/renovating projects which has pleasantly surprised me.

RB: Could you give me an example of that? Continue reading

Meet ISL Director of Building Operations Scott Lambert

This week I had a conversation with Indiana State Library Director of Building Operations Scott Lambert, aka ‘Building Grunt’ as he affectionately puts it.Scott_Lambert_2_web Scott has been a fixture at the library since 2005 and always provides interesting conversation. If you are not familiar with Scott, this interview will give you a chance to get to know him a little more.

RB: How did you come to work at the Indiana State Library?

SL: Well…actually, I went to school and got an Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing. I did that for about a year and hated it. I couldn’t stand it ‘cause all you do is talk to mad people all the time. So, I decided to get out of that and I started here as a secretary in the Indiana Division. That was my first position here, and I worked that for about a year. Ron Rose was the supervisor of the CSD Division.

RB: That’s circulation, right? Continue reading