Indiana Library Leadership Academy 2023 wrap-up

The Professional Development Office, along with the Professional Development Committee, recently wrapped up the 2023 Indiana Library Leadership Academy. We had 13 participants and five coaches this year. Our facilitator for the Academy was Cathy Hakala-Ausperk, who has written several books about library leadership. She also teaches for the iSchool at Kent State University in Ohio.

The five coaches shared their library leadership journey with the participants and gave tips for growing as a leader. The 13 attendees will be working on and completing a project they have chosen to help their library and community. There will be three check-in meetings with the coaches and attendees where they can share their progress as well as ask for advice, if needed. The attendees were divided into groups and each group worked with one coach. These relationships will be ongoing as they work on their projects throughout the year. I feature the projects in additional blog articles as they complete them as well as our Indiana Library Leadership Academy webpage. The projects are due by May 2024.

The Indiana Library Leadership Academy participants come from all over the state of Indiana and allow valuable networking experience, not only with their coach but also the other INLLA participants. These relationships last and the benefits to the Indiana library community are great as they grow in their career. We have had several participants go on to be library directors or managers and the ripple effects and benefits of the Indiana Library Leadership Academy continue long after the program is finished.

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

Statewide library courier service update

A new statewide library courier contract began on June 26. Over these past two months, the Indiana State Library has received feedback on the new service from the entire library community, including everyone from library patrons to directors and deans of academic libraries. Unfortunately, the new company was unable to keep up with the volume and complexity of Indiana’s public library routes. While their administration was capable and communicative and some promising progress was made during the two months, the impact on libraries was felt widely. Many deliveries were made in error or not at all, mostly due to staffing and driver issues. For these combined reasons, the Indiana State Library will be pivoting back to the previous courier service to carry out the current contract. NOW Courier will assume ownership of all library materials currently in transit on Sept. 1. They will utilize the week of Sept. 4 to sort materials received, and then begin delivering to library locations the week of Sept. 11.

In an effort to help the new courier start smoothly, resource sharing in state – including Evergreen Indiana, SRCS and Indiana Share – will be paused temporarily. Evergreen patrons may still borrow in person from all member libraries and place holds, but interlibrary transits will not be occurring until Sept. 17. Evergreen users will also have full access to the Indiana Digital Library eBooks and audiobooks during that time.

While not all details are known at this time (e.g., how long it will take resource sharing to return to normal), Indiana State Library staff will communicate these to library staff when known. Libraries are encouraged to make sure their contact information in InfoExpress is up to date, as well as subscribe to the InPubLib or INLibraries listservs. Unfortunately, this new contract will result in added expenses for the state library and subscribers. The Indiana State Library will assume the additional costs for the remainder of the 2023-24 service year, and State Library staff will communicate next year’s rates as soon as they are known.

Please note that there will be no InfoExpress pickups and deliveries the week of Sept. 4. Please enjoy the Labor Day holiday and continue to communicate any known issues with State Library staff via email.

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

Get your Sammy fix with poets laureate and Indiana children’s authors

Sammy the Interviewing Toucan, who works out of the Indiana Young Readers Center, is back with a whole load of content for all the Sammy fans out there patiently waiting for more of this sassy bird. Sammy was hard at work this summer catching up with all kinds of literary types. The corduroy puppet has put together two series of videos. The first features five of Indiana’s poets laureate, including current Poet Laureate Matthew Graham and the second showcases five Indiana authors who write for children.

First to hit the airwaves will be five interviews with the poets laureate available on the Indiana State Library’s YouTube channel the morning of Sept. 5. When asked what it was like to talk to poets, Sammy said, “Of course I was delighted. I especially liked the fact that so many of them talked about birds. Except Matthew. He talked about James Dean, but that was cool too. James Dean is about as famous as I am, so there’s that.”

Then on Sept. 11, five more videos will be released featuring Indiana authors who write for children including an interview with award-winning Margaret Peterson Haddix. “That was just a dream come true,” Sammy said. “I mean, MPH is legendary in children’s literature. And it was great getting to talk to so many authors about how reading books – all kinds of books – is great for kids!”

When asked what’s next for this busy bird, Sammy said, “Oh, I’m going to be the star of some Escape Rooms that my staff is working on. They’ll be available for Indiana librarians to check out starting sometime in 2024. There’s always something keeping me flying!” Mark your calendars and tune in to catch up with Sammy, authors and the poets laureate of Indiana.

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

Indiana’s Dutch roots

The names Banta, Demaree, Terhune, Voris and Van Arsdal are familiar to many Hoosiers. The roots of these names lie in an intrepid group of pioneers who immigrated from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in the late 18th century. The group was led by Hendrick Banta, who was seeking to form a colony that would preserve Dutch culture, language, and religion.

Hendrick Banta was descended from Epke Jacobs, who came to the then Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1659 from the village of Minnertsga in the Friesland province of the Netherlands. He was accompanied by his wife, Tietske Dircksdr (also spelled Sistske Dirksda), and five young sons. After first setting in what is now Flushing, Queens, the family had relocated to Bergen County, New Jersey. The first recorded instance of the surname Banta came in 1696, as the family had previously followed the Dutch tradition of patronymic naming. For example, Epke Jacobs was Epke, son of Jacob. After the British gained control of the Dutch colonies in America, settlers adopted the practice of hereditary surnames. It appears that “Banta” was the name of the farm in the Netherlands owned by Epke Jacobs’ grandparents.

New Netherland, 1600s. Courtesy of the New York State Library Digital Collections.

Epke’s great-grandson, Hendrick, or Henry, was born in Bergen County in 1718, and married Rachel Brouwer, or Brower, in 1738, with whom he had six children. Rachel died in 1749, and Hendrick married Antjin, or Ann Demarest, in 1751. The couple went on to have 13 surviving children. Hendrick’s concern that the Dutch community was being influenced by other cultures led him to move his family first to Somerset County, New Jersey, and then onto Conewego outside of York, Pennsylvania.

By the 1770s, the area that we now know as Kentucky was opening to settlement. However, getting there was far from easy. Settlers faced two treacherous options. The first involved crossing the Appalachian Mountains via the Cumberland Gap. The second used the Ohio River, and this was the route taken by Henrick Banta and his travelling party. The group included 12 of his 19 surviving children and 19 of his grandchildren, many of whom were younger than 12-years-old. As well as Hendrick’s immediate family, representatives of the Van Arsdale, Demaree, Riker, Westervelt, Voris and Dorland families were part of the travelling party. The first part of the journey began in late 1779 with a 200-mile trek to the source of the Ohio River near what is now Pittsburgh. They traveled in canvas covered wagons drawn by horses or oxen, also transported sheep, cattle and hogs. Here they constructed flatboats, which they then used to float down the river to the Falls of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky. The journey was nearly 600 miles through dense forest and took about nine days to complete. The Banta party arrived on April 6, 1780.

A flatboat floating down the Ohio River. Engraving by Albert Waud.

They first settled near the Ohio River, in many cases using the lumber from the flatboats to build cabins. However, the Native Americans in this area were hostile to European settlers, and the group moved southeast to Harrodsburg in Mercer County. In 1786, Squire Boone, brother of Daniel, sold over 12,000 acres of land in Henry and Shelby Counties to the Dutch. This became known as the Low Dutch Tract. Individual families were given 200 acres of land, but the entire tract was held collectively by the Low Dutch Company.

The Old Mud Meeting House, Harrodsburg, KY.

Despite Hendrick’s best efforts, members of the Dutch colony began to intermingle with settlers of other backgrounds and religion. In 1795, he and other elders of the community wrote to the leadership of the Dutch Reformed Church with a plea for a minister to be sent out to them. Indeed, two of Hendrick Banta’s sons became Baptist preachers, and others joined the burgeoning Shaker movement.

Hendrick Banta died in 1804, and in the following years large numbers of settlers left the original Low Dutch Tract, including many who moved to southern Indiana as well as Johnson County. One of the many descendants of these settlers was David Demaree Banta, who was the first dean of the Indiana University Law School.

To learn more about Indiana’s Dutch roots, please contact the Genealogy Division at the Indiana State Library. They can be reached at 317-232-3689 or by using the Indiana State Library’s Ask-a-Librarian service.

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

The Academy Girls

They called themselves “The Academy Girls.” This group of graduates from The Old Academy in Franklin, who at a May 26, 1905 meeting at the house of Mrs. Sarah Briggs Sloan, elected Sarah Deitch Sibert their president and Martha Coleman Johnson, nicknamed Mattie, their secretary and treasurer. Their mission was to organize reunions of classmates and friends to reminisce about their school years.

Built in the influence of Greek Revival, The Old Academy in Franklin lasted only twelve years, from 1858 to 1870, when it was sold and used as a furniture factory until it burnt down. However, the boys and girls of the Old Academy continued to gather and remember their years there. The boys organized first, but by 1905, the girls had started to their own reunions.

In our Digital Collections at the Indiana State Library, we recently added “USM U.S. Mail Composition Book no. 702,” used as a scrapbook to organize and document the history of The Academy Girls reunions from their first in 1905 up to 1914. You will see on the inside cover a newspaper article with a sketch of The Old Academy followed by general notes from their first meeting. It is here that we learn that their first reunion, “an all day affair” would be held at the Greenwood Park on June 6, 1905. Total attendance would be 36 members, a number that would rise and dwindle over the years following their first reunion.

You can read the article that appeared in an unknown newspaper about the reunion. It recounts their activities, meeting and help of the chivalrous old academy boys in the organization of this first event. The scrapbook contains letters, newspaper clippings and ephemera such as ribbons.

The Academy Girls continued to meet me many years after, at least until the late 1920s as the group began to shrink. The venues included Garfield Park and the Old Academy grounds on Monroe Street in Franklin. The Franklin Evening Star recounted the history of the Old Academy and their reunions in an article on Nov. 12, 1963.

This scrapbook is a part of a larger collection called Education for Women. This new collection has materials as early as the 1850s about the various academies and school across Indiana.

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

‘In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer;’ the saga of a government publication

Publishing a book is normally a very lengthy and complex process. Texts must be read thoroughly, proofread, checked for accuracy and edited accordingly. Printing machinery must be calibrated and prepped with enough ink and paper. In the pre-internet era, instant publication of important information in print form faced many hurdles.

The Government Printing Office has always been accustomed to confronting this dilemma. Founded in 1861 as the official publisher of all federal government materials, the GPO has a considerable amount of experience in quickly churning out print materials for consumption by the American public. However, in June of 1954 they faced a particularly difficult challenge. The physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was undergoing a hearing in front of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. At the heart of the hearings was whether Oppenheimer, the man who was selected by the U.S. military to helm the top-secret laboratory at Los Alamos where the atomic bomb was developed, should continue to hold a high-level security clearance and have access to the country’s most sensitive data on atomic weapons. Oppenheimer’s war record, post-war activities and the events leading to his hearing with the AEC in 1954 have been discussed in greater detail elsewhere. In summation, the hearing involved testimony from several dozen witnesses, many of whom were prominent men in political, military and scientific fields. This was not a public hearing and all witnesses were assured by the AEC that their statements would remain confidential.

Logo of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

The chief instigator of the hearings was the chair of the AEC, Lewis Strauss. For a variety of political and personal reasons, Strauss had developed an intense dislike of Oppenheimer and displayed an obsessive fixation on removing him from a position of decision-making power. Concerned that Oppenheimer enjoyed too much public goodwill due to his part in developing the first atomic bombs and helping end the war, Strauss desperately wanted to portray Oppenheimer in as negative a light as possible. The result of the hearing was a foregone conclusion: Oppenheimer’s security clearance was going to be revoked regardless of any testimony for or against it and Strauss felt that making the hearing public would help show the American people that Oppenheimer was not the “atomic age” hero they all believed him to be.

Op-ed from the June 8, 1954 issue of The Indianapolis Star in support of Oppenheimer. From the article: “Dr. Oppenheimer is one of America’s most brilliant scientists. His country owes him a tremendous debt for his work on perfecting the atomic bomb, and later the hydrogen bomb. Certainly America owes him the greatest possible consideration for his services. Certainly we must bend over backward, even to the point of taking some risk, to uphold him now.” This is an example of the kind of sentiment Strauss was desperate to quash with the release of the transcripts.

Sometime shortly after June 11, 1954, Strauss strongly urged, and was able to convince, other members of the AEC to publish the transcripts of the hearings in their entirety and to do it as soon as possible. The AEC desperately tried to reach each witness and alert them that statements they had made under the assurance of confidentially would shortly become public knowledge and fodder for the press.

The transcript of the hearing ended up comprising a whopping 3,000 pages. Much of the discussions held within revolved around confidential national security issues and therefore someone would need to read through everything very carefully and redact any information deemed too sensitive for public consumption. Someone else would need to go through the entire transcript and perform basic editing. The final product, titled “In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” ended up comprising 993 pages and was officially released on June 15, 1954, mere days after Strauss convinced the AEC to go ahead with publication. It was no small feat that the GPO was able to produce this massive volume so quickly and thus make important information available to the American public.

The final product from GPO. Note the date stamped in the upper corner. The volume was released June 15, 1954. The Indiana State Library received their copy several weeks later on July 8, 1954.

The release received a front page headline in the Indianapolis Star.

Ultimately, the swift publication of the hearing did not have the affect Strauss wanted. Instead of damning Oppenheimer in the mind of the American public, many were alarmed at what they perceived as governmental bullying since parts of the hearing veered into salacious aspects of Oppenheimer’s personal life. Others noted that most of the security-related objections to Oppenheimer were well-known prior to his war work on the Manhattan Project. Essentially, the government had known most of the information released in the hearing and still trusted him to oversee the largest top-secret military project in history. The motivation to remove him from playing any role in the further development of atomic weapons was deemed political and petty and would eventually factor into Strauss’s own political downfall several years later.

The full unredacted transcript of the hearing was declassified in 2014 and is available in its entirety from the U.S. Department of Energy here.

In 2022, the decision to revoke Oppenheimer’s security clearance was officially vacated. The full text of the decision made by the Department of Energy is available here.

Curtis, Charles P. “The Oppenheimer case: the trial of a security system.” New York: Simone and Schuster, 1955. (ISLM QC16.O62 C8)

Schlesinger Jr., Arthur M. “The Oppenheimer case.” The Atlantic, October 1954.

Stern, Philip M. “The Oppenheimer case: security on trial.” New York : Harper & Row, 1969. (ISLM QC16.O82 S69)

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. “In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: transcript of hearing before the Personnel Security Board.” Washington, D.C. Government Printing Office, 1954. (ISLM p.d. 925 O62i)

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.”

A day in the life of the Talking Book and Braille Library staff members

The following details the general day-to-day workings in the basement level of the Indiana State Library where the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library conducts its circulation operations. Those who work in this department help many people who are unable to use standard printed reading material – and may not be able to use the library – gain access to library materials. This allows hundreds of people to take part in the Talking Book and Braille Library every day.

The process begins in the basement of the Indiana State Library, where hundreds of books are circulated to and from patrons. The basement is like nearly any other part of the library’s stacks, with the small exception being that all items are a part of the Talking Book and Braille Library and each item being circulated is a different form of an accessible book. From large print books to audio books to braille, every day there is an ebb and flow of accessible reading material sent out and returned, and here is how it works:

The day starts with requested large print books being pulled from the shelves in the stacks of the basement. They are then checked out to be sent through the InfoExpress courier service to the requesting libraries to be held for their patrons. From there, these books are transferred to the State Library’s circulation desk where they are processed by circulation staff and sent on their way via the courier service. Any incoming books are brought down and checked back in as well.

TBBL staff opening the returned mail to check in the talking books cartridges.

Next, large print and braille books are mailed directly to patrons through the Talking Books and Braille Library. These books are pulled from shelves in the same manner as the other books, as well as checked out, but rather than being sent to circulation, these books are bagged up along with their associated mailing cards and set in mail tubs to be sent out later in the day through the United States Post Office. The cases used for the braille books are tough, black, Velcro-enclosed boxes that help in the safety of the books during transportation. All these books are mailed as “free matter for the blind,” and no postage is paid by the library or the patrons.

After all the outgoing physical books have been finished, next comes the audio book duplication. Audio books are distributed through the Talking Book and Braille Library via Duplication on Demand. USB drives that are larger than traditional drives, and are easier to manipulate, are then placed inside a small machine connected to a computer known as Gutenberg. While connected to Gutenberg, books that have been assigned to patrons are copied onto the USB drives and within a few minutes are ready to be sent out. The cartridges are pulled from the machine, causing their mailing cards to be printed along with the books contained on the device. The cartridges are placed inside their special blue mailing cases, along with their card for the destination, and sent along with the rest of the mail. Every day, anywhere from 100 to potentially upwards of 500 of these are sent out, with each USB containing anywhere from one to around 10 books.

A mail tub with outgoing talking book cartridges.

Alongside the Duplication on Demand cartridges, digital players must be sent out as well for patrons to be able to listen to these books. Players are held on to, often for years at a time, so the amount of players circulating each day is far lower than the amount of cartridges. They are kept waiting on shelves ready to be sent out as needed. Headphones are occasionally sent along with these players and are kept in the same area. Mailing cards are printed for all requested devices and they are checked out in KLAS, and sent out as well. This marks the end of the outgoing materials from the basement section of the Talking Book and Braille Library.

Talking book players are stored here until they are either sent to a patron or sent to the repair shop for evaluation and cleaning.

Next comes the incoming material. Every day, just as hundreds of books split between the three types go out, a similar amount comes in. Mail tubs arrive in the middle of the day at the loading dock. Mail is separated and sorted, and then the process of checking everything in starts. Books are checked back in, making them available to be borrowed again. Duplication on Demand cartridges are separated from their cases and scanned to become available to be overwritten with new books the following day. Players are marked to be refreshed or repaired and placed on holding shelves where they will be sent to the repair group in Fort Wayne. The repair group is a volunteer organization that works with talking book players from the Indiana State Library, as well as a few other states. Once at the repair group they will be checked for any issues, fixed of any that are found, and returned later to become available for circulation once again. Alongside these returned materials from patrons, repaired machines could arrive with this mail as well.

Hopefully, this look into the day-to-day operations of the Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library has been informative and insightful.

This post was submitted by Derrick Fraser, Indiana Talking Book and Braille Library. 

Love found and lost in the Hoosier State

One of the tasks I have as a librarian with the Indiana State Library is fact checking the Indiana Legacy’s Indiana Marriages Through 1850. I fact check the marriage index by searching the Indiana marriage records that are available through the Family Search Affiliate Library database.

When searching for the marriage of Columbus C. Pease and Rachel Conger in Dearborn County, I found supplemental material; a poem written by Judge A. J. Cotton, the judge that solemnized the marriage.

In this gay world of fruits and flowers

There’s nought that some will please

But twill be seen this damsel fair

At least is fond of PEASE

I believe the poem came naturally to Judge Cotton, as he seems particularly inspired by observations in his community as demonstrated by his published book of poetry, “Cotton’s Keepsake: Poems on Various Subjects; To Which Is Appended a Short Autobiographical Sketch of the Life of the Author, and a Condensed History of the Early Settlements, Incidents, and Improvements of the Country, From the Early Settlers Themselves.”

When it came to adding a little something extra, it seems that Indiana marriage officiants in the 1800s couldn’t help themselves. When searching for the marriage of Samuel H. Owen and Mariah L. Hitchcock of Floyd County, I found the Reverend B. H. Hickox drew love birds as an addition to the marriage seal.

Close-up of the love bird seal.

Sometimes, it was a spouse who took creative liberties. A rhyming notice from David Andrews appeared a few times in The Western Sun and General Advertiser newspaper during the month of May 1840.

Historically, when a woman deserted a marriage, a husband could claim that he was not financially responsible for anything the wife may purchase by credit. David was sure to notify all that he was not responsible for any of Maryann’s debts.

In Knox County, Indiana on Sept. 13,1825, a David Andrews and a Mary Ann McFadden were married, this very well may be the same couple that had marriage woes in 1840.

David seems to have had trouble with his whole family as there appeared ads in the same newspaper for a David Andrews and a George Andrews that had runaway, however these ads did not rhyme.

This blog post is by Angi Porter, Genealogy Division librarian.

“Cotton’s Keepsake: Poems on Various Subjects; To Which Is Appended a Short Autobiographical Sketch of the Life of the Author, and a Condensed History of the Early Settlements, Incidents, and Improvements of the Country, From the Early Settlers Themselves” by A.J. Cotton, Indiana State Library, call number: ISLI 977.201 D285c 1977.

“Cotton’s Keepsake. Poems on Various Subjects”
“Our Land Our Literature” – Alfred Johnson Cotton
“Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry” – Alfred Johnson Cotton
“Wiggles and Squiggles”

2023 National Book Festival – Indiana’s involvement

The Library of Congress is once again presenting the National Book Festival, and Indiana is excited to be part of it. The 23nd running of the festival will take place in-person on Aug. 12 at the Washington Convention Center. A selection of programs will be livestreamed, and videos of those presentations can be viewed online after the festival concludes. The theme for this year’s festival is “Everyone Has a Story.”

Indiana is participating in the festival in a variety of ways. The Indiana Center for the Book will staff the Indiana booth in the Roadmap to Reading area of the festival, and two books by Indiana authors are being highlighted at the festival as part of the Great Reads from Great Places initiative. “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty is the selection for adult readers and “Grace and Box” by Kim Howard is the selection for youth readers.

The Indiana Center for the Book is partnering with Indiana Humanities to host a program with Tess Gunty in-person on July 17. You are welcome to join Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Authors Awards for a conversation between National Book Award winner Tess Gunty and Indiana author Susan Neville at the Indiana Landmarks Center on Monday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. The event is free but registration is required.

“Grace and Box” won the Indiana Authors Award in the Children’s category in 2022 and was also nominated for the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award in 2022.

In addition to these two authors, Indiana author Chasten Buttigieg will also be at the festival in-person. Buttigieg’s book “I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults: A Memoir” is featured in a program guide put together by Indiana Humanities and Indiana Center for the Book. Use the program guide to participate in the festival. Explore the writings of one of the authors. Learn more about the Library of Congress, our national library. Listen to a podcast interview in a group and discuss it afterwards. Above all, enjoy connecting with Hoosier literary heritage.

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

Service animals in public accommodations

The Indiana General Assembly wrapped up its 2023 session several weeks ago. Many new laws were passed including HEA 1354. HEA 1354 modifies a few things in Indiana law regarding service animals and also codifies some of the longstanding principles regarding service animals in public establishments. HEA 1354 is effective as of July 1, 2023.

HEA 1354 narrows the definition of service animal to just dogs and miniature horses. Previously, Indiana law was pretty open and recognized any animal that was trained as a hearing animal, guide animal, assistance animal, seizure alert animal, mobility animal, psychiatric service animal or autism service animal. HEA 1354 requires public accommodations to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability.

In determining whether reasonable modifications in policies, practices or procedures can be made to allow a miniature horse into a specific facility, a public accommodation must consider the type, size and weight of the miniature horse and whether the facility can accommodate these features; whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse; whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and whether the miniature horse’s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.

A public accommodation may charge the handler for damage caused by the service animal if a public accommodation normally charges an individual for damage the individual causes. A public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if the animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it or if the animal is not housebroken. If a public accommodation excludes a service animal for reasons permitted by law, the public accommodation must give the person with a disability the opportunity to obtain services without having the service animal on the premises.

It was already the case that service animals in training are entitled to access public accommodations, but HEA 1354 adds that the service animal in training must be under the control of its trainer at all times while on the premises of the public accommodation. A service animal must be under the control of its handler at all times as well, while on the premises of a public accommodation. A service animal must have a harness, leash or other tether, unless the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether; or use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks in which case the service animal must be under the handler’s control by other effective means, such as the use of voice control or signals.

HEA 1354 declares that a public accommodation is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal. Further, a public accommodation cannot ask about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. The public accommodation may ask whether the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

A public accommodation cannot require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained or licensed as a service animal. A public accommodation also may not make inquiries about a service animal’s qualifications when it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

An individual with a disability is permitted to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas of a place of public accommodation where members of the public, program participants, clients, customers, patrons or invitees are allowed to go.

A public accommodation cannot ask or require an individual with a disability accompanied by a service animal to pay a fee for access to the public accommodation or comply with other requirements not applicable to a person without a service animal.

An individual with a disability is defined as an individual:

(1) who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities:

(2) who has a record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or

(3) who is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

A public accommodation is defined as an establishment that caters or offers services, facilities or goods to the general public.

This blog post was written by Sylvia Watson, library law consultant and legal counsel, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Sylvia.