Register now for the 2024 Difference is You Conference

The Professional Development Committee of the Indiana State Library has a mission to support all libraries – academic, public, special and school – and offers events for library workers at every level to learn, teach, share and to make connections with others in the library world of Indiana.

The theme of this year’s Difference is You Conference is “Grow Your Garden” and we hope you can develop and cultivate what you learn at this event and that you can expand upon this knowledge at your own library. Friday, Sept. 20 is the date of the conference and it will run from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Eastern Time at the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis.

The Difference is You Conference is the only statewide conference designed especially for library support staff and non-MLS librarians, but all are welcome. Come get inspiration and motivation, as well as several ideas for programming. Consider registering your staff as a group as a team-building outing.

The cost is $30 per person, which includes a boxed lunch. There will be a variety of options, including meat and vegetarian. A total of five LEUs are available for the conference, if you take the Indiana State Library tour.

Click here to register before Friday, Aug. 9. Payment is due by Aug. 23. Your library will be invoiced. Full session descriptions and presenters biographies are found on the Difference is You Conference page.

Conference Schedule
Registration
– 9-9:30 a.m. Great Hall desk.
Welcome – 9:30-9:45 a.m. Jacob Speer, Indiana State Librarian and announcement of DIY Award Winner.
Keynote – 9:45-10:45 a.m. “Artificial Intelligence in Libraries,” presented by Amanda Papandreou and Cassandra Jones-VanMieghem.
Session 1 – 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

  • “Building Relationships with Local Officials and Organizations,” presented by Vanessa Martin and Julie Wendorf.
  • “Communicating Across Generations,” presented by Amanda Stevenson-Holmes.
  • “Teen Mental Health – Taking Action and Sharing Resources,” presented by Jason Murray.

Lunch and Indiana State Library Tour – 12:15-1:15 pm – Meet at the Great Hall desk.
Session 2 – 1:30-2:30 p.m.

  • “Welcoming People with Disabilities to the Library,” presented by Jessica Minor.
  • “Services from the Indiana State Library,” presented by Paula Newcom.
  • “Teaching Technology to Your Community,” presented by Beth Gaff.

Session 3 – 2:45-3:45 p.m.

  • “Immigrants in Indiana: Data, Needs and Resources,” presented by Bekah Joslin.
  • “Emotional Intelligence,” presented by Amanda Stevenson-Holmes.
  • “State Data Center and Grant Data,” presented by Katie Springer.

This is a program of the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Committee.  Committee members include: Paula Newcom and Kara Cleveland, co-chairs; David Eisen; George Bergstrom; Holley Nickell; Jenny Hughes; Jenny Kobiela-Mondor; Kimberly Brown; Lacey Klemm and Susie Highley. Special thanks to Courtney Brown.

Pro tips for attending conference:

  • Make sure you dress in layers, as some rooms are warm and others cooler.
  • Bring these items if needed – a water bottle, notebook and tote bag.
  • Make sure to bring your parking voucher in with you so it can be validated at the registration desk.

Click here for a map to the parking areas.

We hope you can attend this year’s Difference is You Conference. It is a wonderful way to network with staff from libraries across the state and to be able to explore the beautiful historic Indiana State Library.

This post was written by Northeast regional coordinator Paula Newcom of the Indiana State Library Professional Development Office.

The Rock House

The striking Rock House on State Road 252 in Morgantown, Indiana catches the eye of many a passer-by. It started life as a home for a local businessman and his very large family. Construction on the house began in 1894 and was completed two years later. James Smith Knight, the builder and owner, used cement blocks more than a decade before they became widely used in construction. He then embedded them not only with rocks and geodes, but also colored glass, keys, coins, dice, pottery, marbles, seashells and even doll heads. Most of the rocks came from nearby Bear Creek. Knight’s name, as well as that of his first wife Isabelle, were embedded into the house using small black stones. A side porch contained a block with a tusk of a wild boar that Knight had killed. The interior of the home included a dumbwaiter, laundry chutes and a bedroom designed for the delivery of Knight’s 22 children born between 1891 and 1932. The second story of the round tower was intended for the upkeep of Isabelle’s plant collection. The total cost of the construction was $9,000 or around $328,000 today.

The Rock House, courtesy of morgantown.in.gov.

There are several legends associated with the Rock House. Family lore holds that Knight was friends with the father of John Dillinger, and that Dillinger himself stayed in the house for a night along with a friend. Some of Knight’s children claimed that another man on the run from the law was hidden in the attic for several years. Certain versions of the story state that the man was driven out from his hiding place after he accidentally set a small fire.

James Smith Knight and his first wife Isabelle with their six oldest children: Fred, Regina, Charles, Inez, Nadene and Garnet, in 1903. Pallas Houser Collection, Genealogy Division.

Knight married Myrtle Settles after the death of his wife Isabelle in 1915, and they lived in the Rock House until James’ death in 1943. More information about Knight and his family can be found in the Pallas Houser Collection in the Genealogy Division.

This post was written by Laura Williams, genealogy librarian at the Indiana State Library.

Save Woodruff Place

On Sept. 18, 1953, residents of Woodruff Place were invited to attend a town hall meeting via a flyer proclaiming that “time is of the essence.” The flyer – a copy of which can be found in the Small Broadsides Collection at the Indiana State Library – provides a glimpse into the hard-fought battle that ultimately resulted in the annexation of Woodruff Place into the city of Indianapolis.

Now a near-east side neighborhood, the town was established in the 1870s by James O. Woodruff, best known for creating the city’s water system, and it remained an independent town within city limits after it was incorporated in 1876. Councilman J. Wesley Brown introduced the annexation ordinance multiple times in 1953 before it was passed in September, but it was formally enacted only after nine years of protests and legal battles. The final blow to resistant Woodruff Place residents came in February 1962 after the Supreme Court decided not to review the case, the next logical step after the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the annexation the previous year. At the time of annexation, it comprised around 1,700 residents.

The reason for annexation cited by the city was the need for Woodruff Place residents to pay their share of taxes, though the incorporated town did already pay the city fees for trash, sewage, education, police, fire and the General Hospital. Residents cited concerns over losing zoning power – which was eventually addressed – amid increased industrialization of the surrounding area and control over the features that typified the area, such as the iconic fountains. The debate was often heated, with one resident in the Sept. 4, 1960 issue of the Indianapolis Star comparing the city’s views on their right to annex Woodruff Place to “what the Russians think about the people of Hungary.” The press could also be critical of Woodruff Place in turn. In an Indianapolis Star op-ed supporting annexation in Oct. 22, 1953, for instance, the author likened the city to a Roman town, referring to both as “tombs of entanglement.”

One of the fountains in Woodruff Place. From the Indiana State Library’s Oversize General Photograph Collection.

In 1954, amid a drastic increase in service fees levied after annexation was initially challenged by residents, the town agreed only to pay for fire and for a period the city was only served by county sheriff’s office. Later, after it was determined that the Indianapolis treasury could not be used to fight the legal battle, Woodruff Place residents raised the money via donations from both resident homeowners and renters. This fund was referred to as a “War Fund” in the press.

With many residents now only ever knowing Woodruff Place as a charming neighborhood, it is now perhaps best know for its flea market, which has taken place the first week of June as a neighborhood fundraiser since 1975.

This post was written by Victoria Duncan, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor.

Indiana resource sharing update – May 2024

A lot of positive things have been happening in resource sharing these past few months, so we wanted to provide an update on how books are currently moving around the state.

InfoExpress courier service
We are pleased to report that the InfoExpress Courier Service, currently operated by Indianapolis’s NOW Courier, has almost completely recovered, and over 90% of expected stops are being made weekly. The Indiana State Library truly appreciates everyone’s patience and willingness to help with the recovery process, whether it was reporting missed stops, or visiting the Indianapolis warehouse to collect items.

The renewal period is open for participation for the 2024-2025 service year, with registrations being due June 1. Claims for lost materials are still being collected for any materials that were lost last summer during the courier transition. Indiana State Library staff encourage any libraries with extra shipping bags to return those to the State Library at their convenience, as supplies are running low. Finally, please let the InfoExpress coordinator know if your library will be closed for any portion of the summer.

Discovery to Delivery Conference
Plans are underway for this year’s Discovery to Delivery Conference, tentatively scheduled for Friday, Oct. 11, 2024. Two big changes this year will include a change of venue – Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington – and a new virtual attendance option for many sessions. State Library staff are happy to be working with members of ALI and their Resource Sharing Committee on plans for the conference. A save the date announcement will be shared widely soon, as well as a call for proposals for conference sessions for anyone interested in presenting.

SRCS
The current SRCS contract with Auto-Graphics, Inc. expires Sept. 30, and the Indiana Department of Administration is currently completing the request for proposals – also known as an  RFP –  process for the continuation of the service which is required to be bid out periodically. A committee of State Library staff and volunteers from public and academic libraries statewide have reviewed the proposals, have participated in product demonstrations and have submitted recommendations to IDOA. The results of this RFP are still forthcoming, and the State Library will notify libraries about any upcoming changes to the service or its providers as soon as they are known.

Evergreen
Evergreen Indiana continues to grow, most recently welcoming the Morrisson-Reeves, Jasonville and Owensville Public Libraries, for a total of 132 of Indiana’s 236 public libraries sharing a catalog and transiting materials between each other.

The consortium also welcomes Courtney Brown, previously the Indiana State Library’s Southeast regional coordinator, as the new Evergreen Indiana Consortium director. We truly thank Ruth Davis for all her years of service and dedication to the consortium and Resource Sharing Committee, and wish her well in Virginia!

This blog post was written by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office.

10 years of the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award

On Oct. 1, 2014, the Indiana Center for the Book announced their new Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award in the Indiana State Library’s weekly newsletter, the Wednesday Word. Later in 2015, the first book to win the award was announced. In the first year of the award, over 1,200 Indiana children ages 0-5 voted on one of eight books nominated by Indiana librarians and selected by the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Committee as being worthy of consideration for this award. The first year, the book “Don’t Push the Button!,” written and illustrated by Bill Cotter, took home top honors and won the award. Each year since, a different book has won the award, based on votes from Indiana children, ages 0-5.

Some things about the award have changed. Starting in the second year, only five books appeared on the ballot, as it was determined that young children could more easily choose from a group of five books versus a group of eight. During the pandemic, remote voting was added. Also, starting in 2018, the Firefly Committee began creating program guides to go along with the award, providing parents, caregivers, teachers and librarians with dozens and dozens of developmentally appropriate activities to support each title appearing on the ballot. The program guide is what sets the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award apart from other state book awards.

This year’s program guide includes songs, book lists, rhymes, magnet boards, full-body activities, fine-motor activities and much more to support the program and encourage parents and caregivers to not just read the books, but to immerse their children in activities about the books.

Since the award’s inception, over 27,000 votes have been cast for the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. This year, the committee is hoping for another crop of votes from young children, ages 0-5 to usher in the next 10 years of the award. Of course, it is assumed that children ages 0-5 will need assistance in casting their ballots. Some libraries provide voting programs where children each get a bean bag that they put directly on the cover of their favorite book. Other libraries provide ballot boxes that parents can use to log their child’s vote. No matter what book wins, everyone wins when they participate in the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. Why? Because it’s just the cutest book award in the land.

Voting for this year’s award is now open. Votes can be submitted online through the remote voting form or can be submitted through any local library in Indiana that is participating in the award.

The 2024 nominees are as follows:

  • “Bear Has a Belly” by Jane Whittingham.
  • “Firefighter Flo!” by Andrea Zimmerman.
  • “Let’s Go Puddling!” by Emma Perry.
  • “I Was Born a Baby” by Meg Fleming.
  • “One, Two, Grandpa Loves You” by Shelly Becker.

For more information about the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award, reach out to Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.

INLLA 2023 is a wrap!

The Indiana Library Leadership Academy recently held their final check-in meeting to celebrate the accomplishments of the participants in 2023. Participants shared how their projects were progressing and how many of them are a work in process. Several of the INLLA participants also shared that they have been promoted to branch managers, assistant directors and directorships in the past year.

It is always hard when INLLA ends, but friendships and having a network of library leaders across the state is invaluable and, because of that, the magic of INLLA doesn’t have to end. I would like to share some of the projects initiated by the 2023 participants.

First up is Elyssa Everling, Adult Services librarian for the Trafalgar branch of the Johnson County Public Library, who wanted to do more outreach to share with community members the many services that the Johnson County Public Library offers.

“For my INLLA project, I created a program and presentation called ‘JCPL 101: An Introduction to Your Library.’ I did this in hopes of introducing people to more of the services that JCPL offers,” Everling said. “I’ve noticed that so many people have no idea of the breadth of services, programs and events that we offer. They think we’re still just dealing in books. The PowerPoint highlighted several areas, including Project Prom, LitLoot, Authors @ JCPL, JCPL on Wheels, as well as smaller things we offer such as wireless printing and notary services.

“I first presented this at the local school during the teacher’s wellness day. I had several people interested in resources, as well as two new library users. I then took it to the local JobCorps. All the kids got library cards and will have monthly visits to our branch, as well as visits from our JCPL on Wheels. For my final presentation, I went along with another librarian to the twice monthly book discussion at the juvenile detention center. I talked to two groups of teens about all the cool things the library does and resources they can use once they are no longer there. Overall, the program was successful, and I look forward to taking it to other groups as needed.”

Next is Wynn Zetterberg, programming director at the Sheridan Public Library, who offered a description of his INLLA project in addition to a new program started recently.

“My project was to establish outreach at the Sheridan Public Library. We now have two outreach stops within the Sheridan community and each month the program continues to grow with more patrons using the services,” Zetterberg said.

“While I was establishing outreach, I was also working with our local Greek’s Pizzeria and The Farmers Bank to create what we called The Sheridan Public Library Reading Challenge. Students in our community in grades K-5 with an active library card can read for 20 minutes a day 20 times throughout the month and earn a free pizza. This program promotes literacy and creates partnerships in our community. We are hoping to expand it in the future to different age groups and into other library communities, too.”

Finally, Carmen Clark, Adult Services team leader for the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, took her passion for readers’ advisory and created a toolkit to guide others to deliver great readers’ advisory services.

“The idea for my project sprouted from my experience and affection for readers’ advisory. I had been writing book reviews for Booklist and Library Journal since 2020 and I joined the American Library Association’s Reading List Committee in February of 2024. The focus of the project is to provide library staff with resources, training and tools in an effort to make providing readers’ advisory more approachable, thus creating a cohesive knowledge base and team atmosphere between reference and circulation staff. This project will continue to grow and develop, broadening to affect collection maintenance and access, marketing strategies and the library’s ‘What Should I Read Next’ program,” Clark said.

Stay tuned for more 2023 INLLA project updates in the future.

This blog post was submitted by Kara Cleveland, Professional Development Office supervisor at the Indiana State Library.

Have you heard about Twin Vision Books?

Did you know that the Indiana Talking Book Library has a robust collection of Twin Vision braille books? The Talking Book Library houses hundreds of Twin Vision braille books for you to enjoy, but what exactly are Twin Vision braille books?

Here is just a small example of the many Twin Vision books we have in house.

In 1960, Jean Dyon Norris had the idea to create a way that blind children could read with their sighted parents, or blind parents could read bedtime stories to their sighted children. Norris found a way to create books that contained print with pictures along with the same text in braille.

Two book in the collection: “Stack the Cats” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

“I heard this blind mother talking about her children,” Norris recalled. “She said, ‘My children just don’t understand why I can’t read books to them.’” She went home that night and dug out a copy of a book her son had loved as a child, “Fuzzy Wuzzy Puppy.” Using a slate and stylus, the most labor intensive of braille transcribing methods, she created the first Twin Vision braille book (Colker, 1990).

The interior of “Stack the Cats.”

Norris started creating Twin Vision braille books on her kitchen table and distributing them to friends that needed them. Her work grew into creating libraries that included Twin Vision books. Eventually, the National Federation of the Blind and the National Library Service followed her lead and started manufacturing these books.

The interior of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” with the braille overlay pulled up so it is visible.

All this history leads us to today, and our collection. We have the old classic Twin Vision books, as well as newly-published books for kids and adults alike to enjoy together.

If you are interested in any of our twin vision books, give us a call at 800-622-4970.

This post was written by Abby Chumin, librarian in the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library.

Colker, D. (1990, March 29). “Once more, with feeling: Twin vision translates classic children’s stories into Braille.” Los Angeles Times.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Preserve Your Family Treasures’ at the Indiana State Library

The Indiana State Library is celebrating Preservation Week this month by holding a conservation clinic and encouraging guests to stop in – and to bring their family heirlooms with them. A team of experienced conservators will be on hand at “Preserve Your Family Treasures: The Indiana State Library Public Conservation Clinic” to show individuals how to best care for antiques and artwork.

Conservators Seth Irwin of the Indiana State Library, Valinda Carroll of the Indiana Historical Society, Meghan Smith of the Indiana State Museum, Sharon Battista of S D Battista Paintings Conservation and Doug Sanders of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields will advise attendees on the best methods to store and preserve their documents, photographs, maps, textiles, paintings and small wood and metal pieces.

“A public conservation clinic is a great opportunity for people to interact with professional conservators, attain information about their valuable pieces and learn how to better preserve those pieces for the future,” Irwin said.

“Preserve Your Family Treasures” will take place in the Indiana State Library’s History Reference Room on Monday, April 29 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free and parking will be validated for those who park in the Senate Avenue garage, directly across from the library. The Indiana State Library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

This event is designed to dispense advice on the preservation of objects. No monetary evaluations or appraisals will be conducted. Appointment and registration are encouraged, but not required.

The conservation clinic will also be available to attend online via Zoom. The in-person event is eligible for one LEU for Indiana library staff. The online version of the event is eligible for up to four LEUs for Indiana library staff based on the login attendance report. Click here to register for the in-person event and click here to register for the online event.

Please contact Seth Irwin, conservator at the Indiana State Library, with any questions about “Preserve Your Family Treasures: The Indiana State Library Public Conservation Clinic.”

This blog post was submitted by John Wekluk, communications director. 

Census Bureau director Robert L. Santos visits Indiana State Library

Last month, on Feb. 23, the Indiana State Library had the honor and privilege of welcoming Census Bureau director Robert L. Santos. He was here to visit the Indiana State Data Center and to listen to the Indiana SDC network of economists, librarians, GIS practitioners and other community partners share experiences about supporting the public with census data.

Director Robert Santos, Katie Springer and Jennifer Dublin on the stairs leading to the Great Hall in the Indiana State Library.

Director Santos grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He attended the University of Michigan, where he earned his graduate degree in Statistics, which spurred him toward a 40-year career as a statistician. He has served at many reputable institutions across the nation, including two here in the Midwest: the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

During his visit, we were happy to share with him the history of the Census Bureau’s State Data Center Program as it relates to Indianapolis. As Jeff Barnett, a former Indiana State Data Center manager, wrote in Indiana Libraries in 1986, the Census Bureau’s Indiana Census Users Service Project was started here as an experimental program to gauge the needs of Indiana data users. In the spring of 1976, ICUSP staff visited over 150 Hoosier organizations to gather information on local census data usage from data users across the state. Libraries, universities and other community organizations participated in providing information to the Census Bureau. This was the framework for what would become the national State Data Center program in 1978. State Data Centers in four other states – the “prototype” SDCs according to Jerry O’Donnell of the Census Bureau – were the first to sign agreements with the Bureau in the late 1970s, as described by Michele Hayslett in Reference & User Services Quarterly in 2006.

Over the past four decades, this national network has grown to include State Data Centers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. We work in collaboration with the Census Information Centers to provide data access and training to communities who need us.

Director Robert Santos facilitates a discussion with the Indiana SDC Network at the Indiana State Library.

At the heart of the SDC-CIC program is the data user – who they are, what they need, how they work and what they’re thinking. We perform outreach face-to-face, by phone and online, reaching data users where they are. Here at the Indiana State Data Center, we hold our monthly Indiana Data User Group – known as IN-DUG – meetings and issue our quarterly newsletter, DataPoint. We keep the conversation going among our many partners on Listservs and social media. The State Data Center is open during State Library hours, five days per week and on one Saturday per month. The library is also available for data requests 24/7 through Ask-A-Librarian.

As Santos pointed our during his visit, actively and consistently engaging with diverse stakeholders for the best quality statistics is a continuous process throughout the decade. Data users need assistance in real time using census data that holds value for them. The SDCs and CICs are the bridge across the divide between expert and user. We help you locate, analyze and map the key data to feature in your story about your community. Ask us!

This blog post was written by Katie Springer, reference librarian and director of the Indiana State Data Center. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services Division at 317-232-3678, or submit an Ask-A-Librarian request.

County histories in the Indiana State Library’s Historical Print Collection

For the genealogists and local historians out there, think about what your research would be like if you didn’t have those huge county histories published from the 1870s to the 1910s. Those over-800-page-books are packed with biographical sketches, early history, lists of names, events, schools… the list goes on! Think about how much we have gathered from them. Beginning in the 1990s, new updated county histories were published, as well as new book series with photographs and postcards.

But wait, what happened between the 1910s and the 1990s? Probably a lot, and that time period is the focus of the Indiana Division’s biggest digitization project – filling in the gap between those old county histories and the newer ones. The Indiana Division began to re-focus its digital county history collection a couple of years ago with a mission to fill in the gap from the 1920s to at least the 1960s. It’s going to take some time, but we hope will be worth it.

Our Indiana Historical Print Collection not only contains the odds and ends items that don’t fit into any of our specified categories, but it’s also morphed to become our focal point for the county histories.

So, what can you find? We’ve focused on travel brochures, chamber of commerce pamphlets and publications that were created for centennials and celebrations of small towns and communities across Indiana’s 92 counties – just to name a few. Here are some examples.

From Benton County, here is the first annual meeting of the Old Settlers Association from 1914. These associations were popular in the 1910s and 1920s and gathered information about the earliest settlers in the county.

How about the town of Bourbon in Marshall County? They celebrated “one hundred years of progress” in 1953. There are a lot of these types of pamphlets for small towns and communities. They were usually published with centennials. We’ve added several of these types of publications for several counties.

Down south, you can learn about Perry County with “A Tale of Tell City” and “Cannelton: What to See, Where to Go, What to Do.” These general information pamphlets, brochures and booklets were published to attract businesses and newcomers to the county.

You can also find smaller – fewer than 100 pages – telephone and county directories. Many of these are the old telephone books that were printed on the really thin paper, so it helps to preserve the originals. But, some are also city directories that can’t be found anyplace else online.

The print collection also includes our mineral springs collection.

At the time of this post, we’ve added materials for about 54 counties, with plans to keep adding more. You may also see the huge county histories in there as well, but they will be leaving since the are often easier to use on Internet Archives and/or Google Books. Don’t worry, you can still find links to those huge county histories online through our county history holdings guide, as well as our city directories and telephone book guides. Additionally, we have a telephone directory inventory.

If there seems to be very little for a county you are researching, please check back as we make our way through the 92 counties.

This post was written by Christopher Marshall, digital collections coordinator for the Indiana Division at the Indiana State Library.