“Wake Up, Woods” chosen as Indiana’s National Book Festival title

Every year, a list of books for children and youth representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival, which takes place annually in Washington D.C. Indiana’s selection is always by an Indiana author and usually includes other Indiana connections, like being set in Indiana or celebrating Indiana’s culture and heritage.

The 2020 National Book Festival selection from Indiana is “Wake Up, Woods” published by Rubber Ducky Press, written by Michael A. Homoya and Shane Gibson and illustrated by Gillian Harris.

“Wake Up, Woods” pairs informational text with clever verses to inform and delight the reader about plants native to North American forests. “Wake Up, Woods” is not only written and illustrated by Hoosiers, but each of the plants highlighted in the book are native to Indiana and can be found in the spring time in parks and preserves – and even in shade gardens around yards. Detailed illustrations, lilting verses and scientific explanations make “Wake Up, Woods” an important text for anyone wanting to wake up to the wonder around them when visiting the woods. This is an excellent nature book to share with young readers and is perfect for the classroom, or to tuck in a backpack before a hike.

Bloodroot, an Indiana native plant, is the first plant featured in “Wake Up, Woods.”

Adriane Doherty, owner of Rubber Ducky Press, said, “It is such an honor for Rubber Ducky Press to have ‘Wake Up, Woods’ selected by our state’s Indiana State Library’s Indiana Center for the Book to represent Indiana at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. We are so very proud of all the work done by the contributors and, especially, illustrator Gillian Harris and authors Michael A. Homoya and Shane Gibson. And, of course, none of this would have been possible without the drive and determination from the people of the Indiana Native Plant Society.”

The book came about through the diligent work of the Indiana Native Plant Society, whose dream it was have a picture book celebrating Indiana’s native plants in the springtime.

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian Suzanne Walker.

Gaming in the library; soft skills webinar announced

On Friday, Nov. 8, the Indiana State Library held a small gaming demonstration for library employees. The event was designed to help librarians and library employees begin to explore the use of board games in a library setting; especially the games’ ability to help promote the development of soft skills. It was held in conjunction with the American Library Association’s International Games Week. In the future, we hope to bring this type of discussion to library communities as a training opportunity.

In 2007, two librarians whom I consider pioneers in the use of games in libraries, Jenny Levine and Scott Nicholson, had the idea to attempt to set a world’s record for the number of people playing the same game at the same time at libraries. This day became National Games Day and libraries around the United States were encouraged to hold events to promote and play games and, if possible, help set this record. Five years later it was re-branded International Games Day and five years after that, on the tenth anniversary, it was expanded and re-branded again to International Games Week. For a full history, check out their website.

As I wrote about in my last blog entry, “Fun and games or secret career-building tool?,” games of all types can help the players learn and practice skills that are coveted by many employers. The participants at this event got a chance to discover and discuss these concepts and the consensus was to bring this discussion to the larger Indiana librarian community. Join me on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 10 a.m. for a webinar on this topic: “Engagement with soft skills – using board games at the library to engage patrons and improve career readiness.” Please see our calendar for this event and for other training opportunities.

This post was written by George Bergstrom, Southwest regional coordinator, Professional Development Office, Indiana State Library.

INverse poetry archive now accepting submissions

INverse, Indiana’s poetry archive, celebrates and preserves a diverse range of Indiana poetry for future generations of Indiana writers and readers. The archive is a collaboration of Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka, the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Arts Commission.

Residents of Indiana are encouraged to submit poems to the archive annually between Feb. 1 and April 30. During the current inaugural year, submissions are being accepted from now until April 30, 2020. The archive is conceived to be a repository for all Hoosier poets, from amateur to professional.

For information about the annual timeline, eligibility criteria, the eligibility review process and for instructions on how to submit poetry, please visit the INverse poetry archive website. Questions about the submission process can be directed to Stephanie Haines, arts education and accessibility manager at the Indiana Arts Commission. Questions about the state library’s plan to make the archive available to the public can be directed to either Bethany Fiechter or Brittany Kropf of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division.

Funding for this program comes from the Indiana General Assembly.

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

Do a browse! It’s fun and everyone is doing it!

Here at the Indiana State Library – and at many public libraries across the state – we make commercial newspaper databases available for research. The great thing about these databases is that they are keyword searchable. Need to find Uncle Ned’s obit? Done. Need to find articles about the 1960 election? Done. Want to pull up everything the Indy Star has ran on elephants? Done. Research has been revolutionized. I support it 100%.

However, one thing these databases take away is the joy of browsing. Will students know the stumbling dumb fun of coming across something they weren’t even looking for?

If you enjoy the hunt, we have two resources here that keep the browse tradition alive: the clippings files and the Indianapolis Newspaper Index.

The Indianapolis Newspaper Index offers some great moments of discovery. For example, do you know about George and Perry? 

Now you want to know more!

What about Mount Lawn, where folks are living in pioneer log cabins!? Mount Lawn has a sad little Wikipedia page, and not much to be found with a Google search, but here in the card file it called out to me, a lover of log homes, and I wanted to know more.

Indianapolis Star Magazine December 6, 1953, page 21

You can also come into the library to browse our clippings files on the second floor. These are literally articles “clipped” from newspapers. They aren’t just tossed in a drawer; we have subject headings – which are fun to browse and useful, too. The subject headings under “charities” points us to some other ideas:

Charities
– 1939, 1940-49, 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-79, 1980-89, 1990-99, 2000-
– Community Centers (contains material on American Settlement, Kirshbaum Center, Boys Club, Northeast Community Center, Lawter Boys Club, Hawthorne Community Center)
See also
Indianapolis, Flower Mission
– Community Centers – Christamore
– Community Centers – Flanner House
– Community Centers – Fletcher Place
– Goodwill Industries
– Indianapolis Day Nursery
– Salvation Army
– Suemma Coleman Home
– Wheeler Mission

Did you know you can also browse our online catalog? While you can’t enter our stacks, you can browse the Evergreen Catalog by call number. Say you find a book that looks relevant to your research topic and want to “look” at the shelf around it. Select Advanced Search, then select the Numeric Search tab, then utilize the “Call number (shelf browse)” option and plug in the call number of the book you found.

Happy hunting!

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

“Fall & Winter along the South Shore Line” on display at Indiana State Library

Out of the vault and on display, “Fall & Winter along the South Shore Line” is now ready to be viewed at the Indiana State Library. The exhibition includes ten of the library’s collection of colorful large-scale Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad posters. The South Shore Line commissioned artists in the late 1920s and early 1930s to design their eye-catching advertising posters. The posters on display were designed by artists Ivan V. Beard, Emil Biorn, Otto Brenneman, Oscar Rabe Hanson and Leslie Ragan.

Featured with the poster exhibit is a display of Hoosier artists’ holiday cards depicting vibrant and festive scenes. The cards, designed by such notable artists as Wayman Adams, Gustave Bauman and Floyd D. Hopper, were given to their friends and family for Christmas and New Year’s during the 1920s and 1930s.

The South Shore posters, and many others in the library’s collection, are being digitized for online access through the Indiana State Library Broadsides Collection.

The “Fall & Winter along the South Shore Line” exhibit is free and open to the public during regular business hours and will remain on display in the Exhibition Hall through January 2020. The Indiana State Library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. For hours of operation, directions and parking information, click here.

The South Shore Line continues providing service as an electrically powered interurban commuter rail line under the authority of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District between Millennium Station in downtown Chicago and the South Bend International Airport in South Bend.

This blog post was written by Indiana Division Librarian Andrea Glenn. For more information, contact the Indiana Division at 317-232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Dorcas Campbell, banking pioneer

Dorcas Elisabeth Campbell was born around 1896 in Fairland, Indiana. Little is known about her early life, but after completing high school she spent several years doing social work in various places throughout the country. Eventually, she directed her professional interests toward banking and received a degree from the University of Michigan in 1934. This was followed in 1937 by an MBA from New York University, where she also taught.

By the 1940s, Campbell had worked her way up the banking ranks and was elected vice president of the East River Savings Bank in New York City, making her one of the few women in the country to hold such an elevated position at any banking institution, as both banks and financial concerns of all sorts were traditionally seen as residing in the exclusive domain of men. Campbell fervently sought to change that.

In 1944 she published “Careers for women in banking and finance” (ISLI 331.48 C187c), the cover of which features an ancient coin bearing a profile of the goddess Juno Moneta, overseer of all things financial in ancient Rome. The word “money” derives from Moneta and Campbell was distinctly reminding readers that women have long possessed strong ties to the world of finance as protectors of funds.

Campbell prefaced her book by encouraging the reader to take a quiz on personal attitudes regarding women in the workplace and then to re-take the quiz after finishing the book to see if opinions changed after reading the arguments laid out in her book.

While her book mainly focuses on women as potential bank employees, Campbell spent much of her career writing financial advice columns that advocated for women to be more involved in their own finances. Her columns appeared in numerous publications during the ’40s and ’50s, a period which saw many women enter the workforce due to labor shortages caused by the second World War.

In the Aug. 14, 1950 issue of the Dunkirk Evening Observer, out of New York, Campbell says, “Since more and more women are working and since women often outlive their husbands and thus inherit money, it’s essential that they learn how to handle it successfully… On the job, women earn less than men and therefore have to do more with their money. As inheritors, they must know how to hang on to it.”

A May 22, 1946 article in the Coshocton, Ohio Tribune, featuring an interview with Campbell, spent as much time discussing her physical appearance as it did her banking advice, underscoring prevalent attitudes toward professional women. Expressions used in the article to describe Campbell included referring to her as a “diminutive banker in skirts” with “a pretty little finger” and a “tender heart.”

In 1949, Campbell made a guest radio appearance on the “Eleanor and Anna Roosevelt Program,” where the former first lady interviewed her about women and financial literacy. A transcript of that interview is available through the George Washington University’s Eleanor Roosevelt’s Papers Project.

Campbell died in New York City on Sept. 21, 1959 after complications from an operation. She is buried in Franklin, Indiana. In honor of her death, her good friend and fellow female financial pioneer Sylvia Porter wrote an obituary in which she reminisced about the time they first met at a banking convention where they were the only two women present who were not wives of any of the attending bankers. As Potter remembered, “We were viewed as freaks.” Potter finishes the homage to her friend and colleague with this:

Sure, the sex and age barriers still exist. There still are men who won’t accept the obvious fact that the brain has no sex. The discrimination in pay between men and women for identical jobs is still infuriating. Nevertheless, the progress from 1939 to 1959 has been breathtaking. Dorcas Elisabeth Campbell’s career reflected that progress, and by her intelligence and the high standards she set for herself, she helped make that progress. As so many of the men bankers who came to say farewell to her remarked, ‘That was a person.’” 1

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

1. The Progress-Index; Petersburg, Virginia, Sept. 29, 1959.

How to find more of yourself at the Indiana State Library

Life’s Questions
Have you ever wondered where you come from? Maybe your question is less about origin and more about why you and your family are they way they are. It could be that you’re interested in history or tradition or maybe you’re seeking answers to life’s biggest question – “Who am I?” Whatever the reason might be, know that you’re headed in the right direction of discovery when you start with genealogy. DNA testing and genealogy research help you go beyond what you know from relatives or general historical documentation. Genealogy research and workshops are provided for free by the Indiana State Library. By saying “yes” to further discovery at the library, you are saying “yes” to the next individual step into your personal family history.

“What does this mean for me?”
If you’ve started to think about family heritage, you might be wondering how to begin. There are so many people, dates, locations and events to sort through, that it would be almost impossible to do it alone! That is the exact reason why ISL’s genealogy collection, with more than 40,000 print items, exists. With an extensive collection and resources to aid you in your genealogy journey, you will not have any trouble glimpsing into the history of your fellow Hoosiers. From marriage and birth records to death databases and indexes, there are many ways to begin with the basics. A “Researching Hard-to-Find Ancestors” guide is available for free. Manuscripts from the past are available to browse on the website as well. Online resources like webinars and videos are located easily under the Collections & Services, Genealogy Collections tab for your convenience.

This blog post was written by Jenna Knutson, University of Indianapolis student. 

A city with a heart: Charitable organizations and philanthropy

Due to such a large collection of historical materials and resources relating to philanthropy and charitable organizations in the Indiana State Library’s collections, I was stumped on where to start my search. By browsing the stacks, I could see many materials on various organizations that focused on the betterment of people, society and communities. Annual reports, brochures and newsletters from various societies and organizations fill our shelves. Ultimately, by pure serendipitous discovery, my starting point found me.

With the impending bicentennial of Indianapolis, I had been focusing on adding materials to our digital collections from, or about, Indianapolis. So, while browsing our vertical files, I stumbled across a hefty file with lots of pamphlets, brochures, reports and so on. I pulled the file, and one particular item caught my eye: one about a Red Feather campaign.

I recognized the name from my work digitizing company employee newsletters. The campaign was a way of gathering up monetary donations to give to the Indianapolis Community Chest. From there, I found myself searching our collections and unearthed a range of materials about the Community Chest from its beginnings in the 1920s up to the 1950s. This became the starting point for our newest digital collection, “Charitable Organizations and Philanthropy.” The collection’s focus will be on the various organizations across the state.

Currently, I’ve only added materials about the Indianapolis Community Chest.

The Community Chest began in the early 1920s as a unified way to raise money for various social agencies around the city. It eventually became the Community Fund, and by the 1950s, was renamed the Indianapolis Community Chest.

The Community Fund was the financial arm of the Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies. Eventually, the organization morphed into what is currently called the United Way of Central Indiana. Its goal was to provide funds for various social agencies and groups such as the YMCA, YWCA, Salvation Army and the Girls and Boys Scouts, to name a few. After their fundraising, the Community Fund would give the money to the Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies for distribution.

The Red Feather campaigns, popular in the ’40s and ’50s, were being promoted in many company employee newsletters, such as Ayrograms and the Serval Inklings.

In the future, I will be adding more materials about other similar organizations across the state, as well as information about the Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies.

This post was written by Christopher Marshall, digital collections coordinator for the Indiana Division at the Indiana State Library.

‘Winter Wonderland Story Hour’

By the time the middle of December rolls around, kids are ready for a snowy morning. Regardless of whether or not it’s snowing on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, the Indiana State Library invites children to join in on some winter-themed fun from 10:30-11:30 a.m. inside of the library. The Talking Book and Braille Library and the Indiana Young Readers Center have put together “Winter Wonderland Story Hour,” a story time that will be filled with books, activities and a winter-y snack. While the program has been designed for readers who are blind or vision impaired, all children are encouraged to attend. Stories, read by ISL staff and Talking Book Library patrons, will be interactive. Children will follow along as “An Old Lady Swallows Some Snow” and help an assortment of stuffed animals take shelter in a lost mitten. Snacks will be provided in the Great Hall, which will be decked out in its holiday best.

Sledding in Broad Ripple Park, circa 1900. Courtesy of Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, Indiana State Library.

Parents or guardians should plan on being present for the duration of the event. Older siblings, grandparents and other adults are welcome to come along. There are 20 spaces available for children and registration is required. This event will be most appropriate for children in third grade and under.

For more event details and to register click here.

This blog post was written by Kate McGinn, reader advisor and outreach consultant for the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library, Indiana State Library.

There’s something for all you boils and ghouls at the Indiana State Library

You can’t go into a Halloween store today without seeing a plethora of creepy and scary costumes, but that’s not how things were when I was a kid. I went out on Halloween night in one of Grandma’s old housecoats and her favorite wig, while my brother donned a pair of Dad’s old jeans and a trash bag full of newspapers. We’d walk around the neighborhood getting our goodies, come back to the house, switch costumes and then go out for another round.

The candy and costume industries surely make a lot of money this time of year due to aggressive marketing, but I believe that most people still enjoy the simple things about Halloween.

Who doesn’t like roasting hot dogs over a campfire, bobbing for apples, hay rides, getting lost in the corn maze or sipping on warm cider? Let’s not forget about carving the pumpkin and roasting the seeds in the oven. All of these things make Halloween a favorite holiday for so many goblins of all ages.

So, I did some checking around at the library – with help from some other great people who work here – to see how others here in Indiana celebrated Halloween. Take a look at some of our finds!

Here’s a haunting doily, colored by hand, from our Manuscripts Collection:

Check out some of the clippings we found from Halloweens past. You’ll find these in our Indiana Collection:

You can creep through our catalog and find a spooky novel, like “The Witches,” to enjoy while you’re handing out candy to all the little monsters.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Cleopatra” analyzes the Salem Witch Trials to offer key insights into the role of women in its events, while explaining how its tragedies became possible. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

You can also pick up a wonderful book, like “A Halloween Scare in Indiana,” from the Indiana Young Readers Center to share with your little goblin.

A fun and funny Halloween romp for children and parents alike! It’s Halloween night, and creatures and critters from near and far are starting to gather outside the front door. And now here comes a whole army of monsters, on broomsticks, buses and bikes, all clamoring in the darkness. What is it they want? Are they coming for you? This humorous, creative story is the perfect Halloween adventure for children and parents to share.

Regardless of how you like to spend Halloween, be safe, have fun with friends and family and take time to visit the Indiana State Library.

This blog post was written by Rayjeana Duty, circulation supervisor, Indiana State Library.