Valuing library support staff

Last week, on Friday, July 20, 2018, the Indiana State Library hosted a free, day-long conference for library support staff across the state called The Difference is You. I attend many conferences for my profession, but this is the one annual gathering that I won’t miss. This year’s theme, “Be Inspired” was fitting as The Difference is You is the most inspiring of all meetings I attend, which is why I’ve now participated for four years in a row. “Be Inspired” was a tribute to INSPIRE, the marvelous collection of databases that are provided, at no cost, to Indiana residents, available through this link. INSPIRE contains over 80 databases, organized by A-Z or by subject, and allows free access to information by way of articles from journals and magazines, which would otherwise require hefty fees. Additional resources include tools for operating a small business, resume help and career advice, foreign language lessons, news stories and videos, newspaper access, digital collections and much more. As Indiana citizens, we can’t take this access for granted! These resources are generally only available to university professors or students as part of tuition fees. We have open access to these resources as taxpayers. Explore INSPIRE now for more details about what you can find.

A full house.

Friday was an incredible day for teaching and learning! Sessions were filled with practical presentations that boosted our understanding about daily interactions and operations in the library. Conference presenters highlighted specific examples for problem-solving and conflict resolution. Plus, hands-on technology demonstrations and step-by-step training for online resources were offered. In my session after lunch, I overheard someone saying her brain was getting full.

Keynote speaker Lorelle R. Swader

The most inspiring part of the day was keynote speaker, Lorelle R. Swader, associate executive director of American Library Association (ALA) Offices and Member Relations, as well as associate executive director of the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). The ALA-APA is unique in that it focuses on both professional librarians and library support staff. ALA-APA provides library workers with tools and resources for their own professional goals and promotes occupational awareness, workplace wellness and fair salaries. I believe that libraries are unique in that they attract employees who support one another, share resources and work as teams to accomplish goals. The ALA-APA goes one step further and supports employees from outside of their organizations. Their current tagline is “Libraries work because we do.”

Conference organizer Kimberly Brown-Harden

By the end of the conference, while relaxing near the well-stocked snack table, I had a chat with someone who said they had really valued the conference. I was able to turn that statement around and say to them that we value you. The conference was organized by members of the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Committee, with assistance from state library staff. As a library worker for the past 14 years, I’m giving a special shout out to my colleague Kimberly Brown-Harden, who employs her own kind of magic to ensure this conference is a success. Thank you, Indiana State Library and IMLS, for making this conference a reality!

This blog post by Katie Springer, reference librarian. For more information, contact the Reference & Government Services Division at 317-232-3678 or submit an Ask-A-Librarian request.

The Difference is You: Be INSPIRED!

Want to connect with your peers in a beautiful, historic library? Want the opportunity to present on a topic you care about to your peers and friends? Want to learn about technology, youth services and other topics relevant to libraries and library staff? We have an opportunity for you! Join us for our annual support staff conference, the Difference is You: Be INSPIRED! This year our theme honors and celebrates the 20th anniversary of INSPIRE. The conference will be held at the Indiana State Library on July 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker is Lorelle R. Swader, director of the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).

The call for proposals is now open! Submit your program topics and ideas here.    Program proposals will be accepted until Monday, March 19, 2018. Registration officially opens Monday, March 26, 2018 at 8 a.m. Details about this year’s conference can be found here. We’re looking forward to seeing you for a day filled with networking, learning and fun!

This blog post was written by Kimberly Brown-Harden, northwest regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Kim.

Geekspotting 2.0

The annual Indiana Library Federation (ILF) conference is right around the corner which means it’s time to check-in with Alex Sarkissian of the Allen County Public Library and Jocelyn Lewis of the Indiana State Library to see what’s going on in the ever-changing world of pop culture. Join us Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at 1:15 p.m. for “Geekspotting 2.0: Building a Popular and Diverse Collection for Your Library.”

This year’s topic will focus on diversity and representation in pop culture. Diversity has been a major concept lately and the demand to include traditionally marginalized voices in comics, movies, TV and gaming has led to an explosion of material. We’ll help you sift through it all and make collection development recommendations that are sure to be a hit with your local community.

Registration for ILF 2017 is now open.

For those who can’t make it to ILF this year, we will also be offering a live webinar version of this program on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at 10 a.m. You can register for this event here.

Both presentations are LEU-eligible!

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.”

Hoosier Women at Work Conference recap

April 1, 2017 marked another successful Hoosier Women’s History Conference at the Indiana State Library. This year’s theme was “Hoosier Women in Science, Technology and Medicine.” The attendees heard talks about Indiana native Melba Phillips, who pioneered physics theories, studied under the famous J. Robert Oppenheimer and advocated for women’s place in science research. We listened to talks about Gene Stratton Porter, author and naturalist, and learned how Hoosier women continued to be at the forefront in one of the first public ecology movements, removing phosphates from laundry detergent.

Jill Weiss of the Indiana Historical Bureau speaks about Melba Phillips

In a fascinating lunch time presentation about the ways women’s bodies are ignored by science and industry in making products designed solely for women’s use, Dr. Sharra Vostral presented “Toxic Shock Syndrome, Tampon Technology, and Absorbency Standards.”

Keynote speaker, Sharra Vostral

There were sessions on women pioneers Dr. Edna Gertrude Henry, founding director of the Indiana University (IU) School of Social Work, and Dr. Emma Culbertson, surgeon and physician. The presentations covered how they overcame gender discrimination to practice and teach in the field of medicine. Speakers also told us about the many women who broke barriers at IU that had long blocked them from pursuing careers in medicine and public health. Dr. Vivian Deno, Purdue University, talked about Dr. Kenosha Sessions, the long-serving head of the Indiana Girl’s School and her mission to use scientific methods to retrain young women and Dr. Elizabeth Nelson, from the Indiana Medical History Museum, discussed how using technology in making a patient newspaper provided a forum for self-expression and promoted patient literacy and self-confidence.

Elizabeth Nelson of the Indiana Medical History Museum

Jessica Jenkins, from Minnetrista in Muncie, Ind., gave an interesting talk on the Ball family women and their fight for improvements in improving sanitation, hygiene and medical access, while Rachel Fulk told about the discrimination that African-American women faced in 1940s Indianapolis in obtaining medical information about birth control. Nancy Brown reminded us of Jeanne White’s fight to educate others about AIDS so her son Ryan could attend school while a group of women in Kokomo were also searching for scientific information about the disease to keep their own children safe. There were talks about the 19th and 20th century and “Scientific Motherhood,” using scientific and medical advice to raise children healthfully.

Kelsey Emmons of the Indiana State University Glenn Black Laboratory

Sessions also highlighted the fight of many to enter the fields of scientific study at Purdue University and the many unrecognized women in in the field of archaeology. Dr. Alan Kaiser, University of Evansville, gave an engrossing talk on how a noted archaeologist “stole” the work of Mary Ross Ellingson and published it as his own.

Alan Kaiser, University of Evansville

To cap the day off The Indiana Women’s History Association President Jill Chambers, presented IUPUI student Annette Scherber with a $500 prize for the best student paper presented at the conference, “Clean Clothes Vs Clean Water, Hoosier Women and the Rise of Ecological Consumption.”

Women’s History Association President Jill Chambers presents Annette Scherber with a $500 prize for the best student paper

Look for the third annual Hoosier Women at Work, Women’s History Conference next spring. The topic will be Hoosier Women in the Arts!

This blog post is by Reference and Government Services Division. For more information, contact us at (317) 232-3678 or send us a question through Ask-a-Librarian.