Fun and games or secret career-building tool?

When an employee starts a new job, the amount of information that they must digest, learn and assimilate into their professional practices can be overwhelming. Learning all of the new employer’s policies and procedures, the flow of the new job, all of your co-workers’ names and a myriad of other details can seem overwhelming. Dealing with this information overload takes skills that are often times called soft skills; for example, communications, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving and teamwork to name just a few. The Society for Human Resource Management, and human resource managers themselves, often rank a lack of these soft skills as a deficiency in their new hires.1

It should therefore come as little surprise that academia has been struggling for the last few years to find ways to teach these soft skills.

Board games can be a great sneaky way to help with fostering these skills. In many modern games, especially Euro-games, the players must take in information, process it and make decisions based on the rules of the game and the information about the game at that moment. Players also must talk to each other, sometimes even working together to beat the game as a team, and often solve problems that the game presents to them. Whether players know each other or are strangers, the social interactions that are created can help those players improve their social skills. In some parts of the world they are even being used to help with loneliness and mental health problems.2 Games are now even being used as a replacement for golf in corporate America.3

Whether it’s students in a class picking up on the concepts of conflict management while playing a collective game like Pandemic or children practicing scope and sequence by playing a game like Leo Goes to the Barber, board games can help all of our patrons with the skills that many employers are desperately seeking, thus preparing them for the future. If you are an academic librarian who would like to learn more about how to implement these ideas in an instructional session or an outreach event; a public librarian who has already been using games and would like additional advice or one who is unsure of where to start; or a school librarian looking for ideas for an after school program I am here to assist you! Please feel free to send me you thoughts, ideas or questions.

This post was written by George Bergstrom, Southwest regional coordinator, Professional Development Office, Indiana State Library.

From the desk of the children’s consultant

If you stopped by my cubicle in the Professional Development Office of the Indiana State Library, you might notice a number of items on my desk related to upcoming trainings and projects relevant to youth services. You’d see:

  • Materials for my Collaborative Summer Library Program trainings and roundtables, which began on Dec. 3, 2018 and will continue through Feb. 1, 2019. By the way, for those of you who cannot attend an in-person workshop, don’t forget the webinar on Jan. 9, 2019. See the full list of dates and locations, along with the description, on ISL’s calendar of events

 
  • The outline for two-day long YALSA “Teen Services with Impact” training sessions for teen librarians. These sessions are slated to take place on March 26, 2019 at the Brown County Public Library and March 27, 2019 at Kokomo Public Library.  While the locations may require travel time for many librarians, these otherwise free workshops will be an amazing opportunity for teen librarians in Indiana to gather and discuss the future of teen services while gaining valuable training from an instructor who works for the Young Adult Library Services Association. These trainings are still in the process of being finalized; more details should be announced in early 2019. Until then, be sure to mark your calendars.

  • A press release announcing the Indiana State Library’s acceptance into the NASA @ My Library program’s Cohort 2. Along with 13 other state library agencies, ISL will receive resources, training and support, which we will use to assist public libraries in increasing and enhancing their STEM learning opportunities. We will also be given kits for circulation among public libraries; details on these kits and how to borrow them will be forthcoming. Read more about the NASA @ My Library program here.
  • A travel request to attend the National Learning Institute in Philadelphia in February. The Indiana State Library, along with the Indiana State Museum, Terre Haute Children’s Museum and Early Learning Indiana, was accepted to be a State Leader for the Franklin Institute’s Leap into Science program Cohort 2. Together, representatives from those four organizations, with me representing ISL, will be trained at the institute to offer train-the-trainer sessions to Indiana librarians, museum workers, early childhood programmers and other out-of-school time educators periodically over the next three years. These sessions will discuss how to integrate open-ended science activities with children’s books during programs designed for children ages three to 10 and their families. More details on how this will roll out in Indiana will be announced in spring or summer 2019. Read more about Leap into Science here.  
  • A map of the seven 2019 Every Child Ready to Read training locations – these locations were announced last month. The trainings will take place in March, April, May, August and October and are great for those new to doing story time, and for those looking for a refresher. You can register for them via ISL’s calendar of events.   

There is definitely a lot going on, and I look forward to sharing these trainings and projects with you in 2019!

This blog post was written by Beth Yates, children’s consultant for the Indiana State Library.

 

Reading is healthy: Introducing the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Reading Club

Book clubs and reading groups are staples of library outreach and literacy efforts. In these groups, people gather to discuss Oprah’s picks or the New York Times’ best-sellers in an effort to socially engage with literature and current events.

To help grow health-related literacy, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network has announced the launch of the NNLM Reading Club. The goal is to support libraries’ health literacy efforts and address local communities’ health information needs by celebrating important National Health Observances through the fun and intimacy of a book club.

Screen cap from https://nnlm.gov/all-of-us

Screen cap from https://nnlm.gov/all-of-us

The NNLM Reading Club offers a selection of three different book titles along with corresponding free, ready-to-use materials designed to help promote and facilitate a book club discussion on a health issue or topic. It’s easy to download the discussion materials and direct patrons to the library’s book holdings. However, the NNLM is offering an added benefit.

Beginning Nov. 1, 2018, participating NNLM libraries are making the quarterly reading club picks available in a free, handy and portable book club kit. This program-in-a-box format includes eight copies of each of the following items: the selected book, discussion guide, MedlinePlus.gov flier, NIH MedlinePlus Magazine, NIH All of Us Research Program brochure and additional materials in support of the selected health topic. All of these materials are tucked inside a handy library book bag and shipped to the requesting library.

Any U.S. library that is an organizational member of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is eligible to apply and to receive one NNLM Reading Club book kit from Nov. 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019. The good news is membership to the NNLM is free.  Due to the limited supply of federally-sponsored NNLM Reading Club book kits, libraries that support outreach to vulnerable populations receive priority status.

Click here to browse the November selections and download the ready-to-use materials or to order an NNLM Book Club kit from a participating region.

This post was submitted by Professional Development Office Supervisor Kara Cleveland.

Library services spotlight: Connect IN

As you probably know, public library standards require public libraries to have a functional website, but, are you aware that the Indiana State Library can host your library’s website for free?! The program is called Connect IN and it’s free for public libraries without a current online presence and those having difficulty maintaining their existing site.

Program participants receive these free services from the Indiana State Library:

  • Modern and high-quality website featuring:
    • An easy-to-use content management system (CMS), based on WordPress, that allows you to manage and update your website and easily create new web pages and online features.
    • Web editing software as simple as using a word processor.
    • Seamless and instant publishing to the web allows you to make instantaneous changes to your website.
    • Dozens of customizable templates to help you get the exact design that reflects your library and community.
    • Libraries interested in joining can review the Connect IN Checklist to gain a better understanding of the process.
  • Technical support and training
  • Content management system (CMS) training
  • Free website hosting
    • The Indiana State Library is contracting with IT experts to handle the complicated back end tasks and to save you time and money.
  • Free email for library staff
    • Get up to 20 email accounts for your library (i.e., yourname@yourlibrary.lib.in.us).
    • Email storage capacity meets industry standards.
    • Email is Microsoft Outlook compatible.
    • Manage account settings as an administrator.

If you’d like to learn more about the Connect IN program, click here. To utilize the program, contact your regional coordinator.

This blog post was written by Courtney Brown, southeast regional coordinator, Indiana State Library.

Discovery to Delivery VIII – The Bigger Picture: Resource Sharing with a Broader Brush

The Indiana State Library, in partnership with the Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI), hosted the eighth annual Discovery to Delivery conference (D2D8) on Friday, May 11, 2018. Discovery to Delivery is a yearly conference centered on resource sharing in the state and was attended by over 90 staff representing public, academic and special libraries.

The day kicked off with a welcome from State Librarian Jacob Speer. OCLC’s Tony Melvin then provided a list of the ten most-requested interlibrary loan titles in the U.S. and Indiana, as well as updates about changes to OCLC’s lending platforms including FirstSearch, WorldShare ILL and Tipasa, the replacement for ILLiad. Matt Straub, director of business development at NOW Courier, gave attendees an inside look at operations at the company that provides InfoExpress book delivery service. The morning wrapped up with a presentation from Debbie Hensler from Auto-Graphics, the company that provides SHAREit, which is the SRCS platform. Debbie shared information about new enhancements and a peek at the new platform, V6, anticipated for release in Q3 2018.

During lunch, participants were given the option to participate in a SRCS user group discussion for either public or academic libraries, an institutional libraries discussion or they could lunch on their own.

Following lunch, participants had the option to attend one of three breakout sessions:

  • Party Time: Resource Sharing Cataloging Shelf – Anna Goben, Indiana State Library – Participants learned about Evergreen Indiana’s success hosting catalog parties around the state in an effort to crowd source the cataloging of new member libraries.
  • Sharing Your Greatest Resource, You!: Developing and Hosting a Campus-wide Librarian’s Meet & Greet for Faculty & Staff – Courtney Block, Indiana University Southeast – Courtney discussed the importance of creating opportunities for access to the library’s greatest resource: the librarians themselves, and shared her experience hosting a “Librarian’s Meet & Greet” for faculty and staff.
  • Are Your Statistics Lying to You? – Larissa Sullivant, Indiana University, Ruth Lilly Law Library – This session summarized the Indiana University Ruth Lilly Law Library’s recent inventory process, their challenges and successes and the effect of the inventory process on the collection and catalog.

A second session was then held with the following choices of presentations:

  • Does (No) Discovery Lead to (ILL) Delivery? – Sherri Michaels and Rachael Cohen, Indiana University – This session presented the results of a study at Indiana University to determine the persistence of library users in obtaining known items.
  • 10 Months of Tipasa – Meg Atwater-Singer, University of Evansville – Meg discussed how UEL’s staff were trained by OCLC, the “good, the bad and the ugly” aspects of migration and how the migration has impacted department workflows.
  • Interlibrary Loan 101 – Holli Moseman, Indiana State University – Holli provided an introductory session that covered the basics of borrowing, lending, document delivery and copyright.

Since it was difficult to choose which session to attend during each breakout, plenary discussions and reports from each session were provided after both. The presentations are also posted on the conference program page.

The day wrapped up with a final plenary discussion and attendees returned to their home libraries, hopefully, having a better understanding of the bigger picture of resource sharing in Indiana and of the changes on the horizon.

The Indiana State Library would like to thank the Academic Libraries of Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, OCLC, NOW Courier, Auto-Graphics and members of the Resource Sharing Committee for their contributions to the day.

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

Mobile hotspot lending

Whether you live in an Indiana city or county, you may not be connected to the internet. It is estimated that 27 percent of the population has no internet access. We know that 27 percent disproportionately effects lower income individuals in the cities and the countryside. Opportunities to connect to the internet have been available in 236 public libraries in Indiana for some time. The internet access has been inside the library, but there is a need for access outside the library walls.

The landscape for internet connection has changed over time. People still visit the public libraries for internet use, but now they are bringing their own devices, such as cellphones, laptops and tablets. People can connect to the public libraries wireless network. There is now another service available in some libraries: mobile hotspots. This lending service permits citizens of Indiana to access the internet outside of the library on their own device. No longer are people limited to libraries hours, but have access 24/7.

Why is this service important? Because increasingly school assignments are accessed and completed with the internet, job opportunities are found online and many government services are on the internet.

Several libraries in Indiana have rolled out mobile hotspot lending programs. Numerous vendors offer the hotspots and libraries are encouraged to explore their options. Sprint is the vendor on state contract, so if you are interested in offering the devices in your library contact the Sprint government sales representative for state pricing. Here are the contacts:

Brian Ferguson
Public Sector/Business Solution Account Manager –MI/IN
Government/General Business – Business Sales
(260) 348-6096

Mark D. Smith
Enterprise & Public Sector – Indiana
(317) 438-3334

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie, library development librarian and eRate coordinator. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or via email.

SDC recap and the origin of the Public Library Annual Report questions

If you’ve had the “pleasure” of filling out the Public Library Annual Report on behalf of your library, you know it can feel like every question that could ever be asked about your library, short of carpet colors, is included. Weighing in at around 800 questions, it’s easy to assume that questions are added indiscriminately; easy, but wrong.

Turns out, those questions have been argued about, agonized over and analyzed down to the syllable. Discussions of semantics and statistics are at the heart of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Annual Meeting of State Data Coordinators (SDCs). For three days, SDCs from each state and American territory are invited to discuss the process and methodology behind the Annual Report in an attempt to maximize the value of the survey.

Functional and decorative; a tiny sample of notes from sub-group meetings

This year’s meeting of minds took place December 5th – 7th in sunny Phoenix – except it wasn’t all that sunny. The home-state SDC was more than happy to let the visitors know that the streak of 100-plus rain-free days ended with our arrival. After kicking off with a morning session aimed exclusively at SDCs hired within the last year, the meeting began in earnest with the afternoon arrival of the remaining SDCs. Introductions made and pens and laptops at the ready, the group settled in to listen to updates about the survey collection tool and forthcoming data element reviews.

And what reviews they were. From the 8 a.m. working breakfast straight through until 5 p.m. quitting time, breakout groups discussed problematic data elements. “Is it accurate? Is it relevant?” became our mantra. We threw back the coffee. What was unique about the data each question generated? Was it clearly understood? Was there more coffee? Did this question generate information used by librarians and stakeholders? Is there seriously only decaf left right now? Were we collecting what we thought we were? How is decaf supposed to help us get through this? When the dust cleared, we were left with mountains of compiled notes and a plan of attack for those who would ultimately decide which elements remained, which were eliminated and which needed tweaked.

Because our libraries are evolving, our survey needs to evolve to reflect the changing services. The SDC meeting is a direct response to the challenge. Those 800 questions aren’t as static as they first appear, we promise. Might I suggest coffee to help you get through it?

This blog post was written by Angela Fox, LSTA and federal projects consultant, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (800) 451-6028, or via email.

Libraries in World War I

During World War I both private organizations and public institutions mobilized the American people to collect and produce millions of dollars’ worth of resources and contribute thousands of hours of volunteer labor to the war effort. Libraries across the nation led drives to collect books and magazines to fill fort and camp libraries as well as to send to troops stationed in Europe.

Leading the effort was the American Library Association (ALA), which was granted oversight powers by the federal government to collect books and money. However, the ALA depended on state library commissions to do the heavy lifting. Indiana formed a special war council to handle the logistics, which, in turn, issued directives to the county libraries under its umbrella. Extensive instructions and guidance were sent out to all libraries. Individual counties were expected to raise a certain percentage of funds and books based on their population.To aid in this effort, a series of form letters were issued to libraries for them to mail out to solicit donations and support. Each letter was tailored to community leaders: Newspaper editors, church pastors and local politicians. Newspapers collaborated by printing column after column advertising book drives, requesting contributions and offering anecdotes from grateful soldiers.

Nearly all war efforts were framed as patriotic duty. Anti-war speech was discouraged. Libraries were also asked to restrict access to potentially “dangerous” information for the duration of the war.

In the space of two years, Indiana raised almost $3,500,000 and collected tens of thousands of books. But what to do with all these materials once the war ended? Rather than attempt to retain the books it had collected or return them to their original libraries, the ALA turned over ownership of the contents of all camp libraries to the federal government.

The Indiana State Library has a number of scrapbooks concerning the war effort in Indiana during World War I, both of counties, in general, and libraries, in particular. To browse all digitized materials related to Indiana in World War I, visit our War War I and the Hoosier Experience collection.

This blog post was written by Ashlee James, Indiana Division volunteer digitization intern and IUPUI Museum Studies graduate student.

Virtual reality (augmented reality): The next step in information evolution

From oral traditions to pictographs to manuscripts to mass production printing, humans have always looked for the best way to share stories with the most number of people in the most effective way. We have adapted to use different media to tell our stories and virtual reality and augmented reality are the next media platforms.

Libraries have long been a place to try out new technologies before they become household items. Remember when Bill Gates gave us all those PCs?

Immersive experiences can provide safe training spaces (imagine performing surgery without having to risk a patient), increase empathy (imagine literally viewing the world through the eyes of a person who is homeless) and let one travel without limits (imagine taking a field trip to the moon—walking in Neil Armstrong’s footsteps).

The HTC Vive is one of the first commercially available VR headsets and one of the most high-end platforms available. Because it’s more than just a headset, users experience more immersive activities because the handheld controllers are tracked as well as the head.

The following programs help to get a feel for what VR can be:

  • Tilt brush – 3-D art you can create and interact with
  • Google Earth – visit anywhere the Google cameras have been
  • The Body VR – learn about biological systems as if you were in the Fantastic Voyage
  • SoundStage – virtual sound equipment to create music

As patrons start to see VR depicted in more areas of life (“Ready Player One” hits theaters in March 2018), providing the unique experience of actually being a participant in VR will be an exciting opportunity for Hoosiers in every community.

The HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit is available for check out by libraries eligible for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants through the Indiana State Library (ISL), including school and academic libraries, as well as any public library that meets standards. The kit is available for a loan period of three months and will be delivered and set up by ISL staff who can train up to six staff members at the time of delivery. Libraries can return the kit to ISL after use or schedule a time for an ISL staff person to pick it up. The kit cannot be shipped through InfoExpress. Libraries are encouraged to develop programming around the kit to share with patrons. The HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit can be scheduled by contacting your regional coordinator.

HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit components:

  • 1 set of HTC Vive Virtual Reality equipment (including head set, 2 hand controllers, 2 light houses, and cables)
  • 2 tripods for the lighthouses
  • 1 computer (not wireless compatible)
  • 1 keyboard
  • 1 mouse

Funding for this project is from the Institute of Museum and Library Service under the provisions of the LSTA.

VR in libraries:
Public Libraries Online  – provides programming ideas
California’s Virtual Reality Experience  – installed VR systems in over half of the public library jurisdictions in underserved communities
Library Use of New Visualizaton Technologies – a blog post by MIT Information Science Graduate Research Intern, Diana Hellyar

This blog post was written by Wendy Knapp, associate director of statewide services. 

Lost book makes its way back to state library after 40 years

Recently, after a 40-year, 10-month and 27-day absence, a long-missing item was finally returned to the Indiana State Library. Arriving in a United States Postal Service (USPS) box, the package was postmarked from Arlington, Virginia. The book inside was well-worn and much-used. As you can see in the lower right corner it must have also moonlighted as a coaster at some point. With a due date of Aug. 23, 1976, we can only image what an overdue fine would be back then. Today, we charge 25 cents a day for overdue books, which would make the fine $3,735.25.

The book? William Bast’s 1956 James Dean biography, which was published a year after the native Indiana actor’s death in a California auto accident. Bast was also Dean’s roommate at UCLA.

For now, the book goes back on the shelf with a flag for our conservator to find at a later date for repair work. As for the overdue fine, if there was circulation pardon that I could bestow, this would earn it. However, it had been missing for so long there is no way to trace who had it. Let this serve as a reminder to us all that it is clearly never too late to return an overdue library book. Even though it was due six years before I was born, I’m glad to see it back.

This blog post was written by Stephanie E. Smith, circulation supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the circulation supervisor at stsmith3@library.in.gov