Indiana cookbooks and gastronomical morsels

Over the years, the Indiana State Library’s Indiana Collection has come to include many unique cookbooks, usually with some sort of Hoosier connection. While browsing the closed stacks, the titles of three cookbooks caught my interest. It is useful to mention that the word “receipts” is old terminology for what we now call recipes. So if you are ever searching library catalogs, digitized newspapers or online materials for old recipes, you might want to try “receipts” as a keyword instead.

Published in 1876, “The Household Friend; A Practical Domestic Guide for Home Comfort” by Mrs. S. C. Jennings, includes cooking receipts, medical remedies and housekeeping hints. Mrs. Jennings of Lafayette, Ind. wrote that the receipts (recipes) included had been thoroughly tested by both herself and her friends. The pie crust and custard pie recipes were from Mrs. Jennings’ personal collection.

Sadly, the publisher included an obituary notice stating that the author died shortly after completing the book. Mrs. Jennings’ memorial and a photo of her tombstone appears on Find-A-Grave.

The next cookbook even uses the term “receipts” in its title. “Brides’ Favorite Receipts: Indianapolis” was published around 1909 by the Glisco Company and a complimentary copy was presented to each new bride in Marion County by Leonard Quill the County Clerk. The introduction explains that the merchants of Indianapolis took out paid advertisements in the book, with some even including coupons in the back. The state library’s copy came as a donation, and consequently, some of the coupons were used. After the recipes, other household cleaning hints are included, such as how to make ostrich plumes fluffy.

The title alone of the last book was intriguing. “The Stag Cook Book, Written for Men by Men” was compiled by Carroll Mac Sheridan in 1922. It includes favorite recipes from notable American men including Indiana author, politician and diplomat Meredith Nicholson. I wanted to find out a bit more about the book and consequently discovered The New York Herald’s Books and Magazine section on Nov. 5, 1922 carried a review of “The Stag Cook Book” entitled “Justifiable Homicide.” While the title of the review refers more to the introductory pages than to the recipes, the reader is left to question if the book is meant for humor or for serious cookery. The entire book was digitized from the New York Public Library’s copy and can be viewed on Google Books. I’ll let you decide if it’s a real cookbook or not.

While these cookbooks are much different than the slick photo-laden volumes that celebrity chefs publish today, the three are certainly noteworthy for their historical context. Anyone can virtually search and browse the Indiana Collection through the state library’s online catalog.

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” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

2017 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award ballot announced

As the co-director of the Indiana Center for the Book (with the esteemed Christy Franzman of the Indiana Young Readers Center as the other co-director), I delight every January in working with other members of the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee to finalize the ballot for the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. In its third year, the Firefly Award strives to present a balanced ballot of high quality picture books that appeal to our youngest book enthusiasts; children ages 0-5.

This year, I’m particularly excited that two books by Indiana authors are included: “Race Car Count” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and “Best in Snow” by April Pulley Sayre. Both these books are quintessentially Indiana in two very different ways. Dotlich’s counting concept book covers the exciting Indy-centric topic of motor sports, while never directly stating anything specific to the Indy 500. A fun addition is the back matter, where she introduces the reader to her cast of characters, a remarkably diverse cast, considering they are race cars. Sayre’s book, the only nonfiction book on the list, is illustrated by crisp photographs of Indiana wildlife and landscapes draped, frosted and dusted with snow. “Best in Snow” continues Sayre’s work of introducing science and nature concepts to young children in rhyming chant.

Along with the two Indiana books, the 2017 Firefly ballot is rounded out by animals, music and interactivity. “Grumpy Pants” by Claire Messer shows children that even if they wake up feeling grumpy, they can be the boss of their own emotions and take actions to turn their feelings around. “Don’t Wake Up Tiger!” by Britta Teckentrup is an invitation to interactive play, as children are invited to pet, stroke and sooth Tiger to keep her asleep. “Music Class Today!” by David Weinstone is the most diverse book on the list, picturing a mustachioed male guitar player leading a group of racially-diverse children and their care-givers in a rousing session of music class complete with rhythm and repetition.

I want to encourage libraries in Indiana to collect these five books, present them to children ages 0-5, and their caregivers, and give the children a chance to vote on their favorite. Voting information can be found here and can be done in a variety of ways. Some libraries create little voting booths for this program and others just have the children vote by a show of hands.

All library systems in Indiana will receive 15 copies of the ballot courtesy of TeachingBooks.net and are welcome to make more copies as needed or to print off additional copies of the ballot from the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award website. TeachingBooks.net has also partnered with us to collect some resources for each book to assist in programming and sharing.

It’s an exciting time for the Firefly Award! Now begins the long wait through spring to see which book will win.

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, supervisor of the Professional Development Office at the Indiana State Library and co-director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

Do you know who I am?: A look at political biographies

When people think of political biographies they generally think of ones for people like the presidents, and presidential candidates and we definitely have plenty of these types of materials. Including Turning Point: a Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age by former President Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton as They Know Him: an Oral Biography by David Gallen, and Crashing the Party: How to tell the Truth and Still Run for President by presidential candidate Ralph Nader. We also have the VHS tapes of a series called The Presidents by the American Experience, for those of us who still have those archaic mechanical devices.

There is more to political biographies and even politics itself than just the main cast of characters. The variety of people and their participation in politics is as wide and varied as the complex political system itself. For example there is August Belmont who was the party chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 1850’s, August Belmont: a Political Biography by Irving Katz; Helen Bamber who has been a central force in Amnesty International, Helen Bamber: a Life Against Cruelty by Neil Belton; Gerda Lerner who is a grass roots political activist who has campaigned for among other things an interracial civil rights movement, Fireweed: a Political Autobiography by Gerda Lerner; and Simas Kudirka who is one of the many who have sought political asylum in the United States, For Those Still at Sea by Simas Kudirka and Larry Eichel.

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So, do you know who they are? Come learn more about them and others from the world of politics, their stories may give you more of an insight into the depths and variety of the people who work so hard for all of us.

This blog post was written by Daina Bohr, Reference and Government Services Librarian. For more information Ask-A-Librarian at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

Victorian Era Christmas Books at the Indiana State Library

Prior to the 19th century, Christmas as a holiday was not quite the celebration it is today. We can thank many of our modern Christmas customs to the Victorian era of British history. Decorating Christmas trees, purchasing commercially manufactured gifts to wrap and place under said trees, exchanging holiday-themed greeting cards and reviving older traditions such as the singing of carols are all aspects of the season which were popularized by the Victorians.

Not surprisingly, the 19th century also saw a rise in the publication of books about Christmas as writers and publishers alike saw an opportunity to capitalize on the burgeoning Christmas market. The Indiana State Library has several examples of such books in its collection.

One of the earliest Christmas books in the ISL collection is a collection of carols entitled Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London, Richard Beckley, 1833). Some famous carols that made their first appearance in this book include “God rest you merry, gentlemen”, “The first Noel”, “I saw three ships”, and “Hark the herald angels sing.”Carols

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Indiana Young Readers Center Coming in 2016

The Indiana State Library will be opening a Young Readers Center in 2016! The idea was inspired by the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The Indiana Young Readers Center will be a place for kids to learn about the talented authors and illustrators from Indiana and about our great state itself.

The first step in creating this space was building a collection. The Indiana Young Readers Center collection includes materials written or illustrated by Indiana authors and books about Indiana for kids and teens. A portion of this collection is already circulating and available to check out. The Center also houses special, non-circulating collections of autographed books by Indiana authors and illustrators and Indiana state book award winners for children and teens.

The Indiana Young Readers Collection includes books by Hoosier authors Jim Davis, John Green, Meg Cabot, Norman Bridwell, and many more!

The Indiana Young Readers Collection includes books by Hoosier authors Jim Davis, John Green, Meg Cabot, Norman Bridwell, and many more!

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Recovering the Classics: Give a fabulous makeover to a literary masterpiece

Recovering the Classics is a collaborative program between the White House, the New York Public Library and the Digital Public Library of America. Its goal? To allow artists,rtc_A+Tale+of+Two+Cities_Alexis+Lampley graphic designers and anyone else who is interested a chance to design a cover for a classic work of literature which is currently in the public domain. All designs are sold as prints, apparel or other items with proceeds going to the artists.

Of further interest to libraries is a chance to exhibit 50 book covers as part of the program’s 50×50 campaign which seeks to “showcase 50 classic book covers in all 50 states, and nurture communities of book-lovers in the process.”

If you are interested in contributing or if you would like to host an exhibit, more information can be found at http://www.recoveringtheclassics.com/.

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalogue Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.

Ebooks & Interlibrary Loan

It is undeniable that libraries today are devoting increasing amounts of time and resources to building and expanding access to electronic resources. Patrons want this access and libraries have done an admirable job providing it for them. However a fact that often gets lost in the discussion of e-resources is that it limits the ability of institutions to share materials with each other. Interlibrary loan has long been an essential component of library services, allowing libraries to lend items to each other to fulfill patron requests. Such lending worked very well with print materials but due to the licensing restrictions that often are inherent to electronic resources, it is almost impossible for libraries to share digital items. But it is equally impossible for libraries to purchase all the materials that could possibly be requested or needed by their patrons so resource sharing between institutions is still as essential as it has always been. Continue reading

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Bourbon PL Director, Heather Barron_webI recently visited with Heather Barron, Director of the Bourbon Public Library. Bourbon Public Library is a lively branch bustling with activities. During the visit, I chatted with Heather about the library and the unique challenges and opportunities of working in a small branch; while talking, I found out about a wonderful program, 1000 books before kindergarten that they are involved with. This program helps to establish reading habits and comprehension for young readers.   Continue reading

An Interview with Sullivan County Public Library Director Jordan Orwig

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Sullivan County Public library and meet new director, Jordan Orwig. He was kind enough to allow me to interview him for the library blog.  OrwigPic_editAre you from the area? If not, where are you from originally?

Yes, I have lived in Sullivan my entire life except for a short stint as a college student at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Living in another town was a great experience, but it was nice to move back home, get involved, and reinvest in the town where I grew up.

When I was a child my parents actually looked into buying the house that currently houses the library administration offices. Obviously they didn’t purchase it, but it seems like one way or another I was always meant to be in it.

What inspired you to work in libraries?

Books and reading have been passions for me for as long as I can remember. After college, I started working at a local newspaper. I was there for a number of years, and then I heard about the possibility of a job opening at the library. After looking into getting my MLS, everything just seemed to click. The Sullivan County Public Library was actually my first employer, too. I worked as a page all through high school, so I think it’s fitting that I get to come back to the same library where I entered the working world.

What is your favorite thing about working for your library?

Besides being surrounded by books every day? I am involved in a number of organizations that serve our community. Working at the library is just one more opportunity that I can utilize to make the county I grew up in a better place. I love the fact that libraries can mean different things to different people. While one person might come in to check out books every week, someone else might only come in once to send in a job application. It’s humbling to consider that the library can help people on many different levels.

What is your favorite book?

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville It was actually assigned to my wife in one of her college courses in 2008. I’d never heard of the guy, but she thought that I’d like it since I was into sci-fi and fantasy, so she gave it to me after the class wrapped up. I fell in love with everything about it immediately. I am not exaggerating when I say that it changed my life and changed how and what I read. Ever since then, I’ve read almost everything he’s written and haven’t shut up about him.

If you could have dinner with any three famous people in recorded history, who would they be and why?

I would be lying if I didn’t include the aforementioned Miéville in that group. I think my answer above should explain why. The other two would have to be Andrew Carnegie and Matthew McConaughey. Carnegie because – come on, this is a library blog, I pretty much have to pick him! In all seriousness though, I’d love to hear his thoughts about his affect on this nation and its libraries. I’d pick McConaughey because of an interview I heard with him on NPR’s Fresh Air program. He’s definitely a guy who knows who he is, where he came from, and what his place is in the world. If you haven’t listened to it, go check it out and I bet you’ll want to meet him, too.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

My wife and I are pretty avid bicyclers. We also discovered obstacle course racing this year and have already completed a Tough Mudder, with several other races planned yet this year. They are absolutely insane, fun, and worth trying. I have also played bass in a band with my wife and friend for about two years now. We play country music, but faster and louder than what you usually hear on the radio.

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

Libraries, Scholarly Journals and Star Wars: A One-on-One with Justin Davis

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A One-On-One Conversation with ISL Librarian Justin Davis
By: Ryan Brown

After an extensive tour of the Indiana State Library, Indiana Division Librarian Justin Davis was gracious enough to sit down with me for a brief interview. My mind was blown by the amount of historical items located at the ISL. There were numerous books, newspapers, maps, directories, and photographs positioned throughout the multi-level building. Everywhere I turned, Justin was showing me another item from the collection. I highly recommend that all Hoosiers come and visit the ISL — you will NOT be disappointed. Continue reading