I am a graduate student in library science at Indiana University Bloomington. When the time came to complete an internship, I decided to learn about government documents by applying to intern with the Indiana State Library – our regional depository of federal documents. The Indiana State Library joined the preservation steward program early. This program asks libraries to commit to keeping and preserving government documents of their choice. As their intern, I had the opportunity to sort through a large collection of oversized documents in order to add them to ISL’s preservation stewardship agreement.
The best part about working with large, old documents is that they are full of beautiful maps, drawings and other images.
The documents I handled were all from 1965 or earlier. The oldest document that I handled was the Laws of the United States of America printed in 1796.
In addition to working on the stewardship program, I worked on lists of documents posted to the Indiana Needs and Offers Database. These are documents that a library wants to remove from their collection, but first offers them to the regional library, then other libraries. The Indiana State Library will claim any document posted to these lists that is not currently part of their collection. My job was to find these items on the shelves – easier said than done! I spent hours hunting down public document call numbers and checking shelves to ensure that the library did not miss a chance to add new documents to the collection.
Finally, I learned about digitization, a critical skill for a new librarian as libraries all over the country have ongoing digitization projects. I digitized a series of Indiana state elections results from 1960 to the 1980s. It is great to be a part of the preservation of Indiana history.
My internship at the Indiana State Library has been informative and given me important experience with the everyday work of government documents librarians. Thank you to all of the talented librarians who took the time to teach me over the last few months!
This blog post was written by Rachel Holder, a graduate student in library science at Indiana University Bloomington and the Federal Documents Intern with the Reference and Government Documents Division.
Many, or perhaps even most, public librarians in Indiana know that forms for filing for a divorce in Indiana are available at the Indiana Supreme Court Self-Service Legal Center. The forms are divided into four categories: with children with an agreement on all issues, with children without an agreement on all issues, without children with agreement on all issues and without children without an agreement on all issues. But, did you know resources for a number of other legal issues can be found on the Indiana Courts’ website, either at the public courts portal or at the self-service web page?
In addition to divorce, the Indiana Courts web pages also provide helpful information about child support guidelines. Furthermore, parenting time guidelines, a calendar and a child support calculator are available. The Self-Service Legal Center also contains sample forms for expungement and links to help with mortgage foreclosures. A page on small claims court provides a video to watch before making a decision to go to small claims court without an attorney, as well as a link to Marion County Small Claims Court (damages limited to $8,000) rules and forms and a handbook on how to handle small claims court cases outside of Marion County. Information on how to apply for a marriage license is also available.
When you share these resources with patrons seeking assistance with legal research, remember to steer clear of practicing law. Avoid telling the patron your opinion or what you think they should do by using an appropriate disclaimer such as “I can’t offer you any advice. You would need to see an attorney to get legal advice on your individual situation.”
Indiana Child Support Hotline
Automated payment information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customer service representatives are available from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
Indiana Parenting Time Helpline
Help is available from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Staffed by licensed attorneys who can provide education about parenting time guidelines, information about visitation questions and relevant referrals for assistance.
This blog post was written by Cheri Harris, certification program director/legal consultant, Indiana State Library. Cheri can be reached by email.
Sledding in Broad Ripple Park, circa 1900.
This time of year usually brings snow and ice, an overindulgence of baked goods (sugar cream pie, anyone?), tax refund shopping – and hopefully, spending quality time with family and friends. Perhaps you’ve had a conversation with a relative about whether or not to keep Grandpa’s letters from the Korean War? Maybe you opened a couple moving boxes and wondered if you should trash high school photographs?
Think about it.
You are a key part of defining Indiana’s history and culture. Help us preserve it by donating your collection to the Indiana State Library. As the season of spring cleaning quickly approaches, contact us if you find yourself in a dilemma. For more information on what we collect, visit the library’s Donating Manuscripts page.
This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”
The Indiana State Library (ISL) participates in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), serving as the regional depository for the state of Indiana. Being the regional depository means ISL collects all titles published by the Government Publishing Office (GPO). In addition to collecting titles, ISL employs a federal documents librarian to assist both patrons and fellow librarians with government information requests. Government information is considered a niche field within the library community due the lack of courses offered on the topic in most library science programs. Luckily, GPO created the FDLP Academy as a resource to offer additional training and learning opportunities.
GPO has made strides in presenting and hosting free hour-long webinars on various topics relating to government information. Hosted through FDLP Academy, GPO provides numerous webinars and webcasts designed to educate and promote government information. Topics vary from instructional tutorials of FDLP procedures to in-depth talks on government agencies and everything in-between. Webinars are hosted by GPO staff, as well as from the government information community. Visit the FDLP Events Calendar to see upcoming webinars and events.
The goal of the FDLP Academy is to provide educational information relating to government information and to also illustrate the procedures and requirements of depository libraries. The images above and below display the various services offered from GPO. Most webinars offered through the FDLP Academy are an hour in length, and are eligible for one library education unit (LEU). Additionally GPO offers an eight week Coordinator Certificate Program that provides a more in depth discussion with weekly readings and assignments. The program offers the most intensive option of learning FDLP requirements and basic competencies from GPO. All of the services offered are free to access.
Here’s an additional learning opportunity upcoming with Government Information Day 2018 (GID18):
Plug time! On Thursday, May 24, 2018 the Indiana State Library will host the third Government Information Day. The theme for this year’s one-day conference is Advocacy, Research and Collaboration. The event will feature several speakers discussing topics relating to local, state and federal government information. The keynote speaker for GID18 will be GPO’s Laurie Beyer Hall, superintendent of documents. Registration to GID18 will be posted before the end of the month and the conference is free to attend. Librarians can earn up to four LEUs toward their certification. For any questions, please contact Federal Documents Librarian Brent Abercrombie via email or at (317) 232-3733.
This blog post was written by Indiana State Library Federal Documents Coordinator Brent Abercrombie. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”