Library Personnel Connect at Indiana Library Federation Conference November 2015

The Indiana Library Federation connected library personnel for two days in November. The conference theme was “Strengthening Connections: Your Key to Success.” The keynote speaker, author Daniel Handler, emphasized his connections where he related his past experience reading local newspapers, and curiously reading unusual stories Not in Kansasthat may or may not be a lesson to the reader. The results are Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket stories, a “series of unfortunate events.” I give you a small sampling of fortunate events that started on Tuesday November 16, the first day of the conference.

“Arguing for Aristotle: Connecting the Evolution of Small towns and the Future of Public Libraries” by Zachary Benedict reinforced my belief in libraries as public spaces to make people happy, to assist the public with their inward development, where quality civic space and a good life are experienced. It was not all philosophical. 80% of libraries are in small towns of less than 25,000 people. So like Greek and Roman public spaces, public libraries need to be well designed and well intended.

This was followed by “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” a panel of library directors and technical service person discussed the implementation of broadband technology in their library spaces. Discussion began with what each library has in terms of technology infrastructure, what obstacles there are to overcome (more than money alone), what success looks like, and where to go in the future.

Wednesday, November 17, a packed room with a standing crowd enjoyed Laura Solomon presentation on “Absolutely Free (and Practically Unknown) Online Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed.” Some sites are for productivity but she closed the presentation with http://www.omnomnomify.com, an Internet tool to Cookie Monster your web pages. All of us need sites that can assist us in handling information but levity is good, too.

Participants laughed at themselves, recalled memories and experiences, and look to the coming year to implement what was learned in our conference connections.

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 statewideservices@library.in.gov.

Genealogy Librarians and Professional Development

Professional development is an important part of librarianship, so that librarians can keep up with innovations within the profession and thus provide the best possible service to the public. This is particularly important in specialized subject such as genealogy. With that in mind, two librarians from the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library attended the Indiana Genealogical Society’s (IGS) annual conference at Indiana State University earlier this year, where they attended several presentations by Judy Russell, author of the popular blog The Legal Genealogist. Russell’s lectures were both informative and entertaining. She spoke on visiting county courthouses for genealogical research in original county records, finding ancestors’ military and military pension records and the abundant genealogical information they can contain, and tracking our “black sheep” ancestors using court and prison records as well as other contemporary sources, such as newspaper articles.
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If you were unable to attend the IGS conference or if you would like to hear Judy Russell again, she will be speaking at the annual Genealogy and Local History Fair held at the Indiana State Library on October 24, 2015. Russell will be speaking on research methods for finding your “black sheep” ancestors and utilizing underused collections, such as prison records, to further that research. This free event is open to the public and registration is not required.

For those in the library or legal professions, these sessions have been approved for LEUs and CLEs.

This blog post was written by Crystal Ward, Genealogy Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm

Indiana’s Library Makers

PDO is in the process of creating a comprehensive map of library makers throughout the state of Indiana. It is no secret that many libraries in the state have already embraced maker culture. Unfortunately, there is currently no comprehensive list of these libraries in the state. Our goal for the map is to create a resource that will highlight libraries that have embraced maker culture, and to facilitate communication and resource sharing among libraries. The map will allow users to select specific institutions and learn about the resources and programs that they offer.

Map Key: Libraries with designated maker spaces are in red. Libraries with maker equipment are in dark grey

What is a makerspace?
A makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. Within libraries this can be anything from a digital creativity studio to an area that is designated for patrons to bring in their own projects to work on.

Who is a maker?
A maker can be anyone who demonstrates an interest in DIY culture. Although a lot of attention is given to makers who work with science, technology, engineering, or math; a maker can be anyone who embraces DIY culture as a hobby or a full-time job.

Why should libraries embrace maker culture?

  1. Heightened motivation and new forms of engagement through meaningful play and experimentation.
  2. Learning that feels relevant to patrons’ identities and interests.
  3. Opportunities for creating using a variety of media, tools, and practices.
  4. Co-configured expertise where educators and students pool their skills and knowledge and share in tasks of teaching and learning.
  5. An integrated system of learning where connections between home, school, community and world are enabled and encouraged.

In the future…
Later in the summer, PDO will open a survey to learn how libraries are embracing maker culture within their own organization. This survey will also help us to identify libraries with designated maker spaces as well as those libraries who are currently embracing maker culture and technologies. As we collect information on libraries who have embraced maker culture, we will add their location and offerings to the Maker map. The results of the survey and final version of the maker map will be released at the ILF annual in November.

This blog post was written by Amber Painter, Professional Development Librarian. For more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email statewideservices@library.in.gov.