Indiana Center for the Book partners for webinar series about books and authors

The Indiana Center for the Book and the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award are partnering on a series of webinars focused on authors and reading. All webinars are offered in partnership with the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office (PDO) and are each eligible for one LEU. The Indiana Center for the Book promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries and Indiana’s literary heritage by sponsoring events like these. The Indiana Authors Award seeks to recognize the contributions of Indiana authors to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation.

The Care and Feeding of Authors: Planning a Successful Author Visit – 1 LEU
Date: August 7, 2018 Time: 10 a.m. EST  Format: Adobe Connect Webinar
Looking to book an author at your library? Learn how to put your library’s best professional foot forward and avoid common pitfalls. Join Indiana author Kelsey Timmerman and Indiana’s Letters About Literature Coordinator Suzanne Walker for this discussion about best practices when booking an author. From making sure their dietary needs are met to paying them efficiently, there’s more to booking an author than just deciding on a date. This webinar is hosted by Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award Program Coordinator Caity Withers. Be sure to bring all of your questions regarding booking authors.
Presenters: Kelsey Timmerman, author; Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book; Caity Withers, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award

Indiana Authors: What’s New in Kids Lit? – 1 LEU
Date: August 15, 2018 Time: 10 a.m. EST Format: Adobe Connect Webinar
Indiana continues to produce great authors for kids. Join Shirley Mullin, owner of Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore in Indianapolis, for a conversation about books by new Indiana authors who write for children and discover great authors to book at your library.
Presenters: Shirley Mullin, owner of Kids Ink Children’s bookstore; Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book;  Caity Withers, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award

Diversifying Your Book Club by Selection and Membership – 1 LEU
Date: September 11, 2018 Time: 10 a.m. EST Format: Adobe Connect Webinar
Are you tired of reading the same books for your book clubs? Are you hoping to reach new audiences? Join Tiffani Carter, the manager of the West Indianapolis Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) for some tips and best practices to consider when choosing your book club selections and to learn how to recruit new participants.
Presenters: Tiffani Carter, manager of the West Indianapolis Branch of IndyPL; Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book; Caity Withers, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award

Please register to attend. Registration links can be found above. All three webinars will be recorded and available on the Indiana State Library’s Archived Webinars page within 30 days of their production. Find other free webinars from the Indiana State Library here.

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

Textile art: Embroidery – the craft, the art, the history

The Indiana State Library has an abundance of books on a variety of types of textile art. I found 127 on embroidery alone in our catalog. These include not only instruction books, but books showing how embroidery can be high art, as well as texts that tell its history.

The brief history of embroidery in “Design for Flower Embroidery” by Elisabeth Geddes (ISLM 746 G295d) mainly focuses on how floral patterns were used throughout the history of embroidery. The book states that textiles were first produced in the New Stone Age, also known as the Neolithic Era, and that a “later development was the addition of patterning worked into the warp threads with a needle.” It also mentions that bone needles were being used thousands of years before woven cloth was created. The author suggests that floral patterns were significant due to the fact that people would have seen the flowers as a sign of easier living and the hope of a good harvest. There are illustrations of floral patterns from different eras, such as the Egyptian Amratian period, as well as a few geometric patterns from similar time periods. The book also includes detailed descriptions of the items shown as examples. Included are descriptions of the colors of the items, which is good since the photos are in black and white. The evening bag shown below is one of these examples.

The book “A World of Embroidery” by Mary Gostelow (ISLM NK 9206 .G67) contains examples of works of embroidery from around the world. An embroidered cap from Nigeria, a whitework kappie from South Africa and a gargoush mezzahar, which is the ceremonial headgear of Jewish women of Sana’a, Yemen, are included as a few examples of headgear. The book also contains a number works that are exquisite works of art from different countries, as well as brief descriptions of the types of embroidery done in those countries. The image below is of an unusual item of embroidery; it is a flour sack embroidered in Belgium. These were the sacks from food sent to Belgium by the United States during World War I. So, to show their appreciation to President Wilson and the Belgian Food Relief Committee, groups of Belgians embroidered the logo on the flour sack. It was then sent to the president and the committee as a gift.

The two images below are examples of everyday items being made more beautiful. The first is of a pillowcase used by the Russian Princess Zeneide Warvaszy, who left Russia to go to England before the Russian Revolution. The second image is of an elaborately embroidered waistcoat that would have been worn by someone who had the money to have such an artistic expression created.

If you are inspired to possibly do a bit of embroidery yourself, we have instruction books with detailed descriptions of different stitches. One of these books is “Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches” (ISLM 746 T459m). It contains instructions and illustrations for 210 different stitches. The stitches are arranged alphabetically, but the book also has a “Uses at a Glance” section so you can find out which stitches to use if you want outline stitches, insertion stitches, border and band stitches, etc. We also have “Art Nouveau Embroidery” by Lewis F. Day and Mary Buckle (ISLM TT 770 .D27 1974) that has more in-depth descriptions of the types of stitches, rather than the individual ones. Come take a look at our collection of embroidery materials to see which ones will work for you.

Also, you can check our catalog for other textile art materials. Weaving, rug-making, knitting and more… we have it all here at the Indiana State Library.

This blog post by Daina Bohr, Reference and Government Services Collection librarian. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services department at (317) 232-3678 or email us at Ask-a-Librarian.

In a bind; Indiana counties collection to be temporarily limited

Over the years, our genealogy print collection has seen a lot of use from library patrons. The Indiana Counties Collection in the genealogy division, in particular, remains one of our most popular resources for researchers. Continued usage over the years has left several books in a need of repair. In order to provide family historians, researchers and genealogy enthusiasts with high quality materials, we will need to send out several items from our genealogy counties collections to a bindery for some tender loving care and rebinding.

This process to improve our collection will mean that some materials may not be readily available and at certain times access to books in the county collection will be limited. The first part of this project will take place in June of 2018. During the month of June access to materials from Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton and Crawford counties may be limited. Researchers in these counties are strongly encouraged to contact Crystal Ward before June to discuss utilizing the books before they are sent to the bindery. The books will be returned shortly and we do not anticipate a delay in returning the books. The project will continue until all the repairs are completed. After we rebind books in counties A through C, we will move on to the next set of books in counties D through H until all repairs are made in every county from A to Z.

We appreciate your patience during this project. We will make every effort possible to accommodate your request for materials. We will provide updates in the future to notify you when counties become available for use and when access is limited.

This blog post was written by Crystal Ward, librarian in the genealogy department. If you would like more information, please contact the genealogy department at (317) 232-3689. 

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.

Late 19th century and early 20th century school textbook drawings

As May nears its close, children across the state are getting ready for the end of the school year. Most students in Indiana rent their textbooks and are expected to return them in a condition similar to that in which they were received. Alas, books are often returned with minor additions, such as small artistic drawings doodled in page margins during bouts of boredom. Others may contain acerbic commentary on school life written on any blank spot the student can find.

The need for students to creatively enhance their textbooks is hardly a recent phenomenon. The Indiana State Library holds a large collection of school primers and textbooks from the 19th and early 20th centuries and many of these contain numerous drawings, doodles and humorous anecdotes.

The earliest example comes from a textbook published in 1853 and features several small drawings done in a sort of pointillism style with the images created by small ink dots.

Horses seem to be a popular artistic subject for 19th century students. This image came from a writing primer published in 1886.

Some drawings were very elaborate and were colored with crayons or colored pencils such as this railroad scene dated 1940.

This drawing of a schoolhouse is dated 1938.

This portrait of an elderly man, perhaps the student’s grandfather, was found in a spelling book published in 1901.

Less artistically-inclined students enhanced their textbooks in other ways such as the rather scathing caption on this image from an 1896 English textbook declaring the picture subject as being “not a pretty girl.”

Then there is this example found in the margin of a 1920s spelling book in which the sentence, “Ruth Fox is the best girl in school” is crossed out twice and the words “not so” are added to underscore the point. One can only imagine what poor Miss Fox did to fall from grace!

School textbooks and primers can be found by searching the Indiana State Library’s catalog.

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.”

Maps of Jennings and Ripley County, by William W. Borden (c. 1875): Part 1

This will be part one of a two-part feature on this collection item. Please be sure to check back in the near future for part two from Chris Marshall, who will give more information about the map book’s creator and the historical importance of its contents.

Rescuing a Book of Hand-drawn Maps from Repairs Gone Wrong

When Indiana Division Librarian Chris Marshall recently brought me a book of hand-drawn maps for consultation, it was a bittersweet experience. This little volume created by William W. Borden in 1875 contains notes, maps, and delightful remnants of pressed plants, evidence of which only remains in the impressions and acidic discoloration in the paper. Chris had selected the volume for digitization due to a patron request, but it needed some conservation treatment beforehand.

 

Suffering from loose pages, pages stuck together, taped hinges, and a fragile leather cover completely encased in stiff library book cloth with what was likely an overzealous coating of paste, this little book had received so much well-meaning but poorly executed repair work that it could barely open. A little pocket at the back also held three additional maps, each broken at their fold-lines in four sections. After some discussion with our Genealogy Division Supervising Librarian, Stephanie Asberry, a treatment plan for how best to restore access to this volume was agreed upon.

Here was the plan:

  1. Separate text block from binding safely
  2. Remove tape
  3. Separate all pages adhered together if possible
  4. Mend all loose pages back into sections
  5. Re-sew text block in a way that allows a relaxed, flat opening
  6. Mend the three additional maps back into one piece
  7. Send all to Chris Marshall for digitizing
  8. See if the original leather binding can be rescued from the book cloth
  9. Rebind either in original binding or new case, storing old binding with the book

As you can see, we are currently up to step eight:

Stuck pages have been safely separated. The title page seen in the first before image was a later, modern addition that Borden would not have intended to be there. We decided to separate the page and use the information for cataloging only.

Pages have been mended back together and the text block sewn back together for a comfortable, flat opening.

The pages can now relax flat.

Loose page from the before images above has been mended back in.

Lovely acidic discoloration left behind from a long-missing plant fragment.

While I was able to very carefully remove the book cloth from the leather binding, the leather is very stiff and brittle. Because it no longer flexes, it would not be safe to rebind back into its original binding.

When I receive the volume back from Chris from digitization, I will rebind it in a new case and create a box for the volume, the extra maps, and the original binding. At that point it will be readily available for researchers to view in person in addition to the digitized copy Chris will make available online in the near future.

Stay tuned for a part two about this map book in the near future! Also, if you’re interested in learning more about William W. Borden, the Indiana Historical Bureau had a wonderfully written feature about him in The Indiana Historian, December 1995 available here.

This blog post was written by Rebecca Shindel, Conservator, Indiana State Library.

ISL program helps connect incarcerated with family, build literacy skills

Since 2000, the Indiana State Library (ISL), in partnership with the Indiana Department of Corrections, has supported the Read-To-Me program. The objectives of Read-To-Me are as follows:

  • Break the cycle of incarceration and low literacy
  • Educate parents to become their child’s first teacher
  • Instruct parents in the use of children’s books to teach the children in their lives
  • Make personal connections with the children during the period of incarceration

Through the program, incarcerated individuals are able to select books to read aloud and send recordings of the readings to family members, whether it’s children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews.

Terry Black processing materials for the Read-To-Me program.

The program was spearheaded by passionate and resourceful former ISL librarians like Marie Albertson and Marcia Smith-Woodard. I now currently serve as the lead coordinator. There are currently five Indiana correctional institutions participating in the program, serving both men and women. I work with the program coordinators inside each of the participating facilities providing the books and supplies needed to record them.

Most books are donated to the state library. Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funds cover the purchase of CDs, DVDs or Hallmark Recordable books, as well as the shipping materials and postage for each book. A publishing company provides many chapter books and teen-level books. However, donations of new or slightly used preschool level or early reader books are always appreciated.

Materials coming in and going out.

The service is in high demand and growing. In 2016, over 421 incarcerated individuals read and recorded for their children. Within the first nine months of 2017, I have mailed 502 packages.

According to the on-site coordinators, incarcerated individuals and their families are appreciative of the service. Here are some recent anonymous comments:

“My children love the attention I give to them and I’m amazed by the questions they ask. Plus, they are growing, regardless, and the personal connections help their understanding in my incarceration.” – CIF

“It made a difference in my life because I’m showing my sons that I still love them no matter what and I’m still here for them. My love will never change how I feel about them.” – Westville

“I was shy to read; especially into the camera, but now that I did this for my kids I feel a lot better about it.” – Westville

“My grandchildren love seeing me on the big screen TV and when I am reading to them it brings back memories to them. We used to read books all the time.” – Madison

“The Read-To-Me program has kept my grandchildren busy for hours, not only enjoying the story, but remembering the times that I’ve read to them in the past. It keeps us in touch with each other on a different level, and for that, I am grateful.” – Madison

“This program has allowed me to build a relationship with my grandchildren, some I have never met. They can hear my voice and get the opportunity to get a book read to them by their grandma/nana. It has been a true blessing. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to participate in this program.” – IWP

After 17 years of the program, I think the program is going very well. Of course, there is always room for improvement. Hopefully, we can continue to support and educate parents to be better readers for themselves and for the children in their lives. I hope to find new avenues to increase interest in the program with positive promotions and incentives. The program could benefit from more funding to provide better quality equipment and supplies. Finally, our goal is to expand the program to the state’s juvenile facilities in some way.

Read-to-Me is supported in part through an LSTA grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

This blog post was written by Terry Black. Black is the administrative secretary for the Statewide Services Division. She can be reached at via email

Lost book makes its way back to state library after 40 years

Recently, after a 40-year, 10-month and 27-day absence, a long-missing item was finally returned to the Indiana State Library. Arriving in a United States Postal Service (USPS) box, the package was postmarked from Arlington, Virginia. The book inside was well-worn and much-used. As you can see in the lower right corner it must have also moonlighted as a coaster at some point. With a due date of Aug. 23, 1976, we can only image what an overdue fine would be back then. Today, we charge 25 cents a day for overdue books, which would make the fine $3,735.25.

The book? William Bast’s 1956 James Dean biography, which was published a year after the native Indiana actor’s death in a California auto accident. Bast was also Dean’s roommate at UCLA.

For now, the book goes back on the shelf with a flag for our conservator to find at a later date for repair work. As for the overdue fine, if there was circulation pardon that I could bestow, this would earn it. However, it had been missing for so long there is no way to trace who had it. Let this serve as a reminder to us all that it is clearly never too late to return an overdue library book. Even though it was due six years before I was born, I’m glad to see it back.

This blog post was written by Stephanie E. Smith, circulation supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the circulation supervisor at stsmith3@library.in.gov

NOW Courier visit

In preparation for the approaching 2017-2018 INfoExpress year, Indiana State Library (ISL) staff visited NOW Courier, the state’s vendor providing statewide library courier service. ISL and NOW staff meet regularly throughout the year to discuss issues and upcoming changes affecting service, such as SRCS and the revised library standards.

During our most recent visit to NOW, their CFO and customer care team heard many of the concerns libraries have shared with us over the past two months related to late or missed deliveries, missing parcels or driver problems. NOW staff assured us they will continue working to make INfoExpress a reliable and trustworthy service for our 381 participating libraries, schools and universities. In fact, NOW delivered over half a million parcels to Indiana libraries in the past year.

Did you know your NOW Courier delivery driver is a busy independent contractor? In addition to books, NOW Courier drivers also deliver office supplies, pharmaceuticals, payroll information and even mail shipped through DHL. NOW Courier even facilitates the delivery of vital organs and blood to hospitals, though those would never be on the same route as your books.

Following the meeting, NOW Courier Customer Care Manager Nick Brownlee showed us around their Indianapolis hub. In these pictures, you can see the book parcel sorting tubs and shelves for the various routes in Indianapolis and around the state. While the warehouse was quiet at 2 p.m, he said it’s a bustling place from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. as drivers work overnight to sort and prep the parcels for each route’s deliveries.

We hope you have enjoyed this peek into the logistics of shipping your books!

This blog post by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office director. For more information or questions regarding INfoExpress, contact David Michael Hicks at (317) 232-3699 or email dhicks@library.in.gov.

Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner announced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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