‘Hoosiers at War!’ reception to take place at Indiana State Library

Visit the Indiana State Library on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., for a special open-house reception to coincide with the “Hoosiers at War! From the Homefront to the Battlefield” exhibit that is currently on display throughout the library.

Over 150,000 people from Indiana answered the call to serve when the United States entered the Great War on April 6, 1917. “Hoosiers at War! From the Homefront to the Battlefield” showcases publications, correspondence, diaries, photographs and other materials detailing the experiences of Hoosiers during World War I, both at home and abroad.

The installation process.

The library will present artifacts of every day Hoosier heroes from the Great War, as well as some specially-selected treasures from the library’s collections. Library tours will also be available and light refreshments will be provided. Click here to register for this free event. Registration is encouraged, but not required.

The library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. Parking is available in the Senate Ave. parking garage across from the library for $10 beginning at 4:30 p.m. The garage accepts credit cards only. No cash payments will be accepted. Street parking is also available.

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

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

Continuing education website gets a facelift

The Continuing Education portion of the Indiana State Library’s (ISL) website will be undergoing some changes soon. ISL’s Certification Program Director and Legal Consultant Cheri Harris and Professional Development Office Supervisor Suzanne Walker have been working through the website to identify instances where the same information is listed in multiple places, places where information does not match and pages that are confusing and wordy. “Our hope is to make the website more useful by making it easier to navigate,” Harris said. “In addition to streamlining the way the site is organized,” she added “we are also updating the language and content.”

The website will be updated gently in stages. A major overhaul to the archived webinar page has already been completed. The next phase will tackle the main menus and the initial landing pages and then more changes will spread out from there. The look of the site will mostly remain the same, but watch for a new menu for important forms, more ISL staff on the contact page and the changes to the Archived Webinar page.

“That’s what I’m most excited about,” Walker said. “Now people will have a much more visual experience with our archived webinars. They are now grouped by category with clickable tags to help the user find similar trainings. We have so many great trainings. We will easily hit fifty webinars this year. It is great that people can use the search box on the website to find them and the fact that they are now categorized and tagged makes it almost like a webinar database.”

Here’s a sample of what the old archived webinar page looked like:

Lots of text, arranged by date, with the newest webinars at the top and it linked out directly to YouTube.

Introducing, the new look:

Each webinar has a landing page where ISL can link to additional resources about the topic and each webinar has a category at the top of the block of text (Populations and Programming are shown here) that are color-coded and alphabetized.

Check back often to observe all of the updates.

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.

Barb Stahl “Skybridge” exhibit on display at the Indiana State Library

Compared to many of her previous paintings, often characterized with seemingly chaotic textures, drips, brushstroke and colors, “Skybridge” represents a moment of pause and reflection; a breath of calm in the middle of the storm. The “Skybridge” series, created over a period of six months, is the first group of paintings Stahl has created with the intention that they be viewed together in a particular order to allow the viewer to move through this achievement of calm with her. It portrays a reflection of the inner self: how we process and compartmentalize; how we meditate on our daily lives; how we release internalized anxiety; and, how, in the end, we find ourselves inside.

“Skybridge” on display at the Indiana State Library

“Skybridge” will be on display in the Exhibition Hall of the Indiana State Library from Thursday, April 13, 2017 to July 12, 2017. For hours of operation, directions and parking information, click here.

Artist Barbara Stahl

Born in Vincennes, Ind., Stahl moved to Indianapolis in 1992 after finishing her MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. While earning her BFA in painting from Indiana University in Bloomington, she received an Honors Division Research Grant to study in Florence, Italy. In addition to being an accomplished fine artist, Stahl is also the founder and owner of Stahl Studios Inc., which specializes in commercial and public art, through which she is perhaps best-known for the larger-than-life Indiana Pacers schedule wall near Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Her large-scale mural work always begins with a grid, enabling her to scale the original, smaller mural design to the massive size required for the wall. After many years, the concept of the grid has come to play an important part in her more abstract fine art pieces. For Stahl, this grid represents the connectivity of all matter, including all of us.

This blog post was written by Rebecca Shindel and Bethany Fiechter, exhibition chairs, 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.

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.

Ryan Brown interviews Ryan Brown

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Ryan Brown has been Communications Director at the Indiana State Library since November 10, 2014. February 24, 2016, will be his last day at the library. In this State Library exclusive, Ryan Brown interviews Ryan Brown. Let the fun and confusion begin.

RB: You have been at the Indiana State Library for over a year. What are a few of the highlights of your tenure?

RB: I’m glad that you asked. There have been many interesting projects I have worked on over the past year such as the new brochures, door coverings, banners, annual report, etc. One of my favorite partnerships that I developed was with the Indiana Department of Education. We shared a booth together at the Indiana State Fair last summer and distributed information about the services available at the library to thousands of Hoosiers from all over Indiana. It was great to get out into the community and tell people face-to-face about the awesome collections at the library, as well as our statewide services.

CaptureRB: What are some of those collections and services?

RB: The Indiana State Library has one of the largest genealogy collections in the Midwest. It also has a huge inventory of rare books and manuscripts, government documents, newspapers, large print books, as well as talking books and Braille. There are also many online services available to Indiana residents like INSPIRE.in.gov, Indiana Memory and Hoosier State Chronicles. All of these items and services are free to Indiana residents. If you have any questions about the collection or services, you can Ask-a-Librarian.

RB: Wow! That is a lot of stuff!

RB: We are starting to sound like a commercial.

RB: Nah, it’s just good PR.

[Ryan Brown looks at Ryan Brown in disbelief]

RB: Anyway…it seems like a year is not a long time to be at a job, why leave so soon?

RB: The main reason I took a new job was so I could eventually move to South Bend where my wife is originally from.

RB: South Bend?

RB: Yes. You are probably thinking, “It’s cold up there and you are not a Notre Dame fan, so why would you want to move to South Bend?”

RB: Exactly!

RB: Do you remember a few years back when you promised your wife that when you were ready to have children the two of you would make an effort to move to that area?12019970_1134785493213457_3248265130995280150_n

RB: Oh yeah, what was I thinking? [Chuckling]

RB: Well…the time has come.

RB: Wait a second; am I going to be a father soon?

RB: Not at the moment, but you were going to start trying.

RB: Ah yes…now I remember…what else?

RB: I would say overall that I have enjoyed my time here at the State Library. There are a lot of great people on staff and working here allowed me to practice many of the skills I learned at school. Plus, we had many accomplishments in that short time period. We saw significant increases in event attendance as well as use of our services like INSPIRE.in.gov.

RB: What are some of the challenges you faced at the library?

RB: One of the biggest challenges was getting the media interested in what goes on at the State Library. Though, we did have a ton of press about our partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

RB: Explain…

RB: The State Library acquired State Park passes from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that are available at local libraries so patrons may check them out. The program started in January and has been very popular amongst patrons and the media. Anyone interested in the park passes should contact their local library for more information.

RB: What is your favorite item or part of the Indiana State Library?

RB: That is a difficult question that you always ask people in interviews. I guess if I had to narrow it down to one item, it would be the original State Flag. I believe that the Indiana Historical Bureau will be taking the flag around the state to various locations this year for the bicentennial.Bicentennial_Logo_Color

RB: Bicentennial? What is that?

RB: Don’t you know? 2016 marks the 200th year Indiana has been a state.

RB: Oh yeah? What is the library doing to celebrate?

RB: The library has a bunch of projects it is involved with including the new Indiana Young Readers Center, Hoosier State Chronicles, Bicentennial Toolkits for Libraries, Bicentennial Manuscript Collection, and many more!

RB: Thank you for taking a few moments of your day and participating in this interview. It has been a pleasure speaking with you. Since Wednesday is your last day, how would someone contact the library if they need info about the Wednesday Word or any communications questions?

RB: It has been great interviewing with you Ryan. If you are a librarian or library needing to reach the communications department, please email the State Library at communications@library.in.gov.

This blog post was written by Indiana State Library Director of Communications Ryan Brown. Click here for more information on the Indiana State Library.

Never judge a book by its cover

But in honor of Valentine’s Day, at least let them entertain you.

Here is just a sampling of cover art that keeps the Talking Book staff entertained on a daily basis. There are hundreds more where these came from, all of which are available to borrow from the Indiana State Library!

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This blog post was written by Talking Books & Braille Supervisor Maggie Ansty. For more information about large print and talking books, please visit the TBBL website.

 

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes… Marriage Records?

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of genealogy is locating original records that document your ancestors’ lives. Finding original marriage records are no exception to this.

Unlike birth and death records, marriage records in Indiana date back to the establishment of each individual county. To this day, original marriage records are kept by the Clerk of Courts office in each of the 92 counties. If you know the date and place of your ancestors’ marriage, the research is easy: contact the county and request the record. What if you don’t know when or where your ancestors were married? What if the county where they got married doesn’t seem to have the record? Where do you go next? Continue reading

State Library bids farewell to Children’s Services Consultant Angela Dubinger

Angela Dubinger has been the Children’s Services Consultant at the Indiana State Library for nearly a year. As some of you may already know, Angela will be leaving to pursue a Angela_editnew position in Madison County. The following is an excerpt from our conversation discussing her time at the State Library and what she looks forward to in the future.

RB: Your last day is coming up on February 12th, does it seem like the last year has flown by?

AD: Yeah, it really does! I have so many emails to go through, kit requests, consultations and training requests that are a big part of what I do. So, it really fills up a lot of time when you add a sometimes heavy training schedule and you are out three times a week. I remember in September I booked way too many trainings, and you can’t know the first few months that you work here. Then here comes October and Indiana Library Federation Conference presentations and having to get those ready, but it was such a busy season. Continue reading

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.