New Tech and VR kit options from the Indiana State Library

Ch-ch-ch-changes. The Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office has updated our circulating technology and virtual reality kits! Tech and VR kits can be checked out for up to 30 days and be used in patron programming.

Tech Kit
The Tech Kits are filled with technology and robotics devices that can be used with your patrons. Reservations for the kits can be made online. Public libraries that would like to check out the Tech Kit need to complete the online Moodle course “Tech Kit Training.” The course can be taken at your own pace, is worth one TLEU and must be completed before reserving the kit. You’ll need to create a free Moodle account to access the training. Tech kits can be checked out for up to 30 days, will be sent through InfoExpress and will arrive in two clear totes.

Tech Kits contain one each of the following:

  • Bloxels
  • Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
  • Cubelets
  • Dash Robot
  • Dash Challenge Cards
  • Lego WeDo
  • Snap Circuits
  • Squishy Circuits
  • Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

VR Kit
The State Library now has Oculus 2 virtual reality equipment! The kit can be checked out for up to 30 days and can be used for patron programing. To check out the kit, you’ll need to contact your regional coordinator to schedule an in-person training when the kit is dropped off. You can learn more about the Oculus Quest 2 here.

The kit comes with:

If you’d like to learn more about the Tech and VR kits, as well as the NASA@MyLibrary STEM kits and Breakout Boxes, check out our Continuing Education website.

This blog post was written by Courtney Brown, Southeast regional coordinator from the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office. For more information, email Courtney.

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

Hartford City Public Library’s New Director Michele Ogle

Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom, and I recently visited the Hartford City Public Library and met the new director, Michele Ogle. Michele gave a tour of the building, a Carnegie library that has been remodeled and modernized. Patrons in the library were engaged in genealogy research while others browsed the book resources.

Michele Ogle_editI asked Michele about her journey to her present position. It is a return to her roots having grown up in Montpelier, Indiana. As a child she regularly visited the Montpelier-Harrison Township Public Library and as a teenager worked as a circulation clerk at the library. She also worked there in the summers between college terms, before deciding to pursue her Masters in Library Science.

Michele is excited about serving the population where she grew up. She finds it difficult to pick one favorite book but is partial to the Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Meeting non-famous people in history interests her, learning about how they lived and trials they faced. Other interests are playing videogames, gardening, all sorts of creative hobbies, and spending time with pets and her family.

This blog post was written by Karen Ainslie, Library Development Librarian and Professional Development Office Librarian. For more information, contact the Library Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email

Interview with Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom

Northeast Regional Coordinator Paula Newcom and I recently sat down and had a conversation about her first year working for the State Library. She and I have something in common – we both started working for the State Library last November. The following is an excerpt from our conversation.Paula Newcom 1

RB: It has been almost a year now that you have been working for the Indiana State Library. Tell me about how the year has gone and what the biggest differences are between your current job and what you did as a librarian in the public libraries…

PN: I think that the last year has been very good! I’ve had a lot of new challenges and have learned a lot, but I enjoy the freedom of being able to work at home as well as travel to my different libraries and often drive to the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis to attend meetings.

I have 60 libraries in my region – the Northeast region – and I think I have gone to almost half of them since I have been hired. I have been very blown-away by what I have seen with the different libraries in my area from the smallest to the biggest. They all seem to be doing something unique in each place. And a lot of libraries have had building/renovating projects which has pleasantly surprised me.

RB: Could you give me an example of that? Continue reading

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Bourbon PL Director, Heather Barron_webI recently visited with Heather Barron, Director of the Bourbon Public Library. Bourbon Public Library is a lively branch bustling with activities. During the visit, I chatted with Heather about the library and the unique challenges and opportunities of working in a small branch; while talking, I found out about a wonderful program, 1000 books before kindergarten that they are involved with. This program helps to establish reading habits and comprehension for young readers.   Continue reading