So, what does the Indiana State Library actually do?

“So, what is the Indiana State library?” As the communications director at the State Library, this is a question I often hear at conferences immediately after the person who asked the question realizes that we’re not the Indianapolis Public Library. It’s a fair mistake. After all, not many cities are privileged enough to have two large downtown libraries. More importantly, though, it’s a great question. What do we do here at the Indiana State Library? Predictably, the answer to that question is “a lot.” All libraries do a lot. However, the Indiana State library functions a little bit differently than a public or academic library.

The Indiana State Library from W. Ohio St.

For starters, the Indiana State Library is a state government agency. Yes, we are all government employees of the State of Indiana, which is why we all have cool badges with our pictures on them. As a state agency, the library operates using a two-pronged approach. One prong is public services, the side of the library which, as the name implies, serves the citizens of Indiana and preserves the state’s history. The other prong is statewide services, the side of the state library which supports libraries throughout the state. Our mission statement sums up these two operational divisions: “Serving Indiana residents, leading and supporting the library community and preserving Indiana history.”

The Indiana State Library from Senate Ave.

Public Services
On the public services side, we operate in a similar fashion to a public library. A special research library, the Indiana State Library is a beautiful Art Deco building, opened in 1934, that sits on the Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis near the Indiana Historical Society, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Indiana State Museum. Two of the library’s four floors are open to the public. However, we differ from a traditional public library in that the majority of our materials are Indiana-related. We do not carry many of the latest popular fiction and nonfiction titles – unless they are Indiana-related – but we do have the largest collection of Indiana newspapers in the world. In the state, our genealogy collection is second to only the Allen County Public Library in terms of size, and our collection is one of the largest in the entire Midwest. We also house the Indiana Young Readers Center, the only young readers center within a state library in the country. The center is modeled after the Library of Congress Young Readers Center and features Indiana authors and illustrators, including Jim Davis, Meg Cabot, Norman Bridwell and John Green. The state’s Talking Book and Braille Library is also part of the Indiana State Library. TBBL provides free library service to residents of Indiana who cannot use standard printed materials due to a visual or physical disability. TBBL also operates Indiana Voices and hosts the biennial Indiana Vision Expo.

Letters About Literature workshop in the Indiana Young Readers Center

On the subject of events, in addition to Vision Expo, the state library also hosts the annual Indiana Poetry Out Loud finals, Letters About Literature, the Genealogy Fair and Statehood Day. Furthermore, the library offers INvestigate + Explore summer programming for children; Genealogy for Night Owls; monthly one-on-one DNA testing consultations with the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group; various history and genealogy lectures and programs, highlighted by our recent lecture series; and even the occasional art opening in our Exhibit Hall. Yes, we even showcase fine art when our many display cases throughout the library aren’t already put to use featuring some of the wonderful items in our collection – which are often featured in this blog.

Dolls created by the Work Projects Administration in 1939 for the Indiana Deaf History Museum on display as part of the “Welcome to the Museum!” exhibit in the library’s Exhibit Hall.

Wait, there’s more! The Indiana State Library is a DPLA hub via Indiana Memory, a collection of digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, maps and other media. Indiana Memory is a collaborative effort between Indiana libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions. The library also maintains its own digital collection, covering a wide range of topics such as the arts, environment, sports and women.

We participate in the Federal Depository Library Program and serve as the congressionally-designated regional depository of Indiana. As the regional depository, the library is required to collect all content published by the U.S. government. The library is also the home of the Indiana State Data Center. State data centers across the country assist the Census Bureau by disseminating census and other federal statistics. The data center provides data and training services to all sectors of the community including government agencies, businesses, academia, nonprofit organizations and private citizens.

The Indiana Center for the Book is a program of the Indiana State Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The center promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries and Indiana’s literary heritage by sponsoring events and serving as an information resource at the state and local level.

The Martha E. Wright Conservation Lab

The Martha E. Wright Conservation Lab is the center for all things preservation and conservation at the Indiana State Library. Preservation and conservation services aims to improve and ensure long-term, ongoing access to the cultural and historical collections of the Indiana State Library. The department, staffed by one full-time conservator as well as volunteers and occasional interns, fulfills this primary goal by providing conservation treatments of collections items and implementing preventive care and administrative policies.

Finally, our Ask-a-Librarian service offers an opportunity for anyone to, well, ask a librarian a reference or research question. Questions may be submitted 24/7 to Ask-a-Librarian and all questions will be answered within two business days.

All of these services come courtesy of our divisions: Genealogy, Indiana, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Catalog, Talking Books and Braille and Reference and Government Services.

Pretty simple, right? Shall we move on to statewide services?

Statewide Services
Nearly every single library patron in the state of Indiana has benefited from the Indiana State Library’s statewide services. While some programs and services are offered directly to Indiana residents, the vast majority of statewide services could be considered behind-the-scenes. Not many patrons ponder how their interlibrary loans travel from one location to another or how librarians keep up with their required continuing education, but statewide services makes them possible. Statewide services consists of two divisions, the Library Development Office and the Professional Development Office, or LDO and PDO, as they are known to many library employees throughout the state.

LDO supports the improvement and development of library services to all Indiana citizens. The aforementioned Indiana Memory, Hoosier State Chronicles – which is Indiana’s digital historic newspaper program with nearly a million digitized Indiana newspaper pages – and INSPIRE are three programs freely available to Indiana residents that are maintained by LDO.

Hey, that’s us!

INSPIRE, also known as “Indiana’s virtual library,” is a collection of vetted databases provided to the residents of the state at no cost. INSPIRE offers a diverse collection of reference materials, such as free access to level one of Rosetta Stone in 30 languages, a small business resource database, the latest issues of Consumer Reports and much more. If you attended high school or college in Indiana in the last 20 years and needed online resources, there’s a good chance you’ve used INSPIRE.

Hey, that’s us, too!

Let’s get to the behind-the-scenes stuff from LDO. The Library Development Office administers over $3 million of LSTA grant money each year. This federal funding, distributed from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as part of the Grants to States program, is intended for projects that support the Library Services and Technology Act signed into law Sept. 30, 1996. The purposes and priorities of the LSTA include increasing the use of technology in libraries, fostering better resource sharing among libraries, and targeting library services to special populations. While the Indiana State Library does set aside an allotment to be awarded directly to libraries as competitive LSTA sub-grants, the majority of the funds are funneled into services meant to benefit the entire state.

Remember those interlibrary loans? Well, they travel from library to library via a combination of SRCS, Indiana Share and InfoExpress. SRCS, Indiana’s Statewide Remote Circulation Service, links together catalogs of over 150 libraries containing over 30 million items. These materials are delivered to your library using the InfoExpress courier service. Indiana Share also allows libraries to request interlibrary materials though the Indiana State Library.

In addition to LSTA-supported programs, LDO supports E-rate, the discount telecommunication program available to schools and libraries from the federal government; the PLAC card program, which allows an individual to purchase a Public Library Access Card, thus permitting them to borrow materials directly from any public library in Indiana; and Read-to-Me, a cooperative effort between LDO and the state’s correctional facility libraries to enable incarcerated parents an opportunity to share the joys of reading with their children.

The complete list of services provided by the Indiana State Library and administered by LDO are far too expansive to cover in a single blog post, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that LDO also provides consultation to libraries across the state in the areas of library finance, management, planning, evaluation, grants, board training, trustees, expansion, library standards, certification, statistics, new director information and unserved communities.

PDO supports the advancement and development of library staff in all Indiana libraries for improved services to the citizens of Indiana. The Professional Development Office includes specialists in the areas of programming, children’s services and continuing education. The four regional coordinators and the children’s consultant travel the state to provide support for library employees in Indiana.

Staff working at Indiana public libraries who spend at least 50% of their time on professional library work are required by law to be certified; they gain and maintain certification by earning a certain amount of library education units, also known as LEUs, every five years. PDO frequently oversees, creates or produces these webinars, which cover a wide range of topics. “So, You Want to Start a Library Podcast,” “Serving Adults with Disabilities” and “Teaching iPad and iPhone to Seniors” are just as few examples of recent webinars. Additionally, PDO assists librarians in locating other sources of continuing education outside of the state.

Legos!

The Professional Development Office provides five types of kits for use by youth librarians across the state: book club kits, LEGO kits, DUPLO kits, storytime kits and Big Idea storytime kits. PDO also maintains the wildly-popular VR kits. The kits are shipped to schools and libraries via InfoExpress and may be kept for a specified duration of time.

Connect IN, the program that provides free high-quality and functional websites to public libraries without a current online presence, and to those having difficulty maintaining their existing site, is managed by PDO. Connect IN provides a modern and high-quality website, tech support and training, content management system training, free website hosting and free email for library staff.

The 2019 The Difference is You conference

In addition to the daily consultation and educational support offered by PDO staffers, the department spearheads larger initiatives throughout the year to honor and develop current library employees. These initiatives include the Indiana Library Leadership Academy and the The Difference is You library support staff and paraprofessional conference. Whether it’s working with individual librarians or entire gatherings, PDO puts the continuing education of Indiana librarians at the forefront of all they do.

Does your local library use the Evergreen catalog? That’s also a service provided to more than 100 Indiana libraries from the Indiana State Library that falls under the statewide services banner. Evergreen is funded by the Indiana State Library through LSTA monies and participant membership fees. The services provided by the State Library include purchasing and maintaining the central servers, personnel costs in operating the system, training, software development, data conversion and other related expenses.

The Indiana Historical Bureau and the Statehouse Education Center
The Indiana State Library has within its walls the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Statehouse Education Center. In 2018, the Indiana Historical Bureau, previously its own agency, merged with the Indiana State Library. The historical markers you might see while travelling the state are part of the Indiana Historical Marker Program administered by the bureau. Additionally, the Indiana Historical Bureau regularly publishes a detailed history blog, digitizes many historical items, organizes the Hoosier Women at Work conference and produces the award-winning podcast Talking Hoosier History. In 2017, the 120th Indiana General Assembly passed HB1100 mandating that the Indiana Historical Bureau “establish and maintain an oral history of the general assembly,” leading to the Indiana Legislative Oral History Initiative. Also, keep an eye out for a re-vamped shop opening in the near future on the first floor of the state library.

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Bureau

The Statehouse Education Center is a project of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, a commission that was assembled to spearhead the strategic plan behind the celebration of Indiana’s 2016 bicentennial. As part of the Statehouse Tour Office under the Indiana Department of Administration, the center sees thousands of students, families and individuals each year who learn how state government works for them through interactive exhibits on voting, urban versus rural landscapes and the architecture of the statehouse.

Thank You
Hopefully, I’ve given you a sense of the many services the Indiana State Library provides publicly and behind the scenes. Everything the library does would not be possible without our many volunteers and employees, the Indiana Library and Historical Board, the Indiana State Library Foundation, the General Assembly, our financial office and the work of our many committees, including the INSPIRE Advisory Committee, the IMDPLA Committee and the Resource Sharing Committee… just to name a few. Indeed, we all do “a lot.”

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director.

Returning this year… summer programs for kids!

We are thrilled to announce that the Indiana State Library will again provide free youth programming this summer through the Indiana Young Readers Center! June and July are going to be packed with fun and engaging workshops for kids to INvestigate + Explore.

Join us this summer for six exciting programs combining Indiana investigations and explorations of cool themes like art, culture and history. Programs are open to children who have completed third grade up through middle school and require advanced registration. Read below for more information and learn how to register for our programs. All programs will take place at the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis. Attendees may also enter through the door at 140 N. Senate Ave. Public registration is limited, so act fast!

Next Great Architects | Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | History Reference Room
Kionna Walker will show children how to use problem solving and their imaginations to explore architectural planning processes. Kids will also learn about the design and construction of the Indiana State Library. Register here.

Gifts from the Earth: Native American Effigy Pottery | Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Artist Robin McBride Scott will lead children in creating an effigy vessel they can take home after they learn about treaties. Participants will also see the library’s own copy of St. Mary’s Treaty. Register here.

The Writerly Life | Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Julie Patterson will lead children in applying strategies for developing ideas into stories that others want to read. Children will also decorate notebooks so they can practice the writerly life at home. Register here.

Jazz Drum Dialogues | Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Children will learn about the rich history in the Indiana Avenue corridor and learn the basics of jazz drumming from local musician Lawrence Clark. Register here.

Comic Creation | Monday, July 16, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Jingo de la Rosa will lead children in drawing comics after they learn about some of Indiana’s great illustrators like Norman Bridwell, Jim Davis, Ben Hatke, Keiko Kasza and Troy Cummings. Register here.

Sitting Still Like a Poet | Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Indiana Authors Room
Julie Patterson will help children quiet their minds and pay attention to the “story worthy” material around them. Children will also learn about different types of poetry and Indiana poets. Register here.

INvestigate + Explore is funded by the Indiana State Library Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Each program is partially facilitated in partnership with Arts for Learning Indiana.

Please contact Caitlyn Stypa at (317) 232-1401 or via email, with any questions.

This blog post was written by Caitlyn Stypa, Indiana Young Readers Center program coordinator, Indiana State Library.

Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 news

It’s never too early to being thinking about Summer Reading! That’s a good thing, because the roll out of Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) 2018 has begun.

All CSLP materials have shipped

All CSLP 2018 manuals have been shipped to all public library directors in Indiana. If you are a librarian in charge of planning summer reading at your library, make sure you check in with your director in early December if they have not yet given it to you. The manual, which is on a flash drive, and other materials will arrive in a padded envelope. These envelops were primarily sent via InfoExpress, but a few were mailed via USPS or will be hand-delivered by your Indiana State Library (ISL) regional consultant.

Also of note: You can access the manual online this year! It is improved over last year with some additional search options. It can be reached via the CSLP website. Full instructions for accessing it can be found on the card included with the manual flash drive.

CSLP 2018 training opportunities

I’ve prepared a slate of trainings at libraries around the state so I can share information about the 2018 “Libraries Rock!” theme, artwork and manual. The training will include a roundtable discussion of program ideas for all ages. Please see the bottom of this post for a complete list of locations, including a newly-added location in southwest Indiana.

Can’t make it to an in-person training? No problem! There will be a set of webinars:

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018
10 a.m. EST – CSLP 2018 Webinar – Early Literacy/School Age
2 p.m. EST – CSLP 2018 Webinar – Teen/Adult

Both webinars will be recorded and will be made available for viewing by the end of January.

Teen Video Challenge

The Indiana State Library and the Collaborative Summer Library Program are once again thrilled to announce our annual Teen Video Challenge!

What: A 30-to-90 second video, created by your 13-18 year old patrons, centered around their interpretation of the CSLP 2018 slogan “Libraries Rock!”

How: Start with these forms, found on ISL’s website:

When: Videos are due to me, via YouTube link, by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. All originals of the paperwork should be sent to me via InfoExpress or USPS and postmarked no later than Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

Why should we participate? Your teens will learn so much! They’ll gain technical skills like writing, planning, shooting and editing and they’ll learn incredibly important social and emotional skills like working in groups, communicating and thinking creatively. Plus, it’s fun!

Is there a prize? This year the creator of one Indiana entry will win $100 and the teen’s public library will receive a prize worth $50 from Upstart. Indiana entries competeonly against each other, which increases the chances of winning. Tell your teens about it today!

Complete list of CSLP in-person trainings

All trainings can be signed up for via ISL’s Events Calendar and all trainings are from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

Friday, Dec. 8, 2017
New Carlisle-Olive Township Public Library
408 S. Bray, New Carlisle, IN 46552

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017
Ohio Township Public Library – Bell Road Branch
4111 Lakeshore Dr, Newburgh, IN 47630
(Note: Newburgh is on Central Time; training will run 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. Central/11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Eastern)

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017
Huntington City-Township Public Library
255 W Park Dr, Huntington, IN 46750

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018
Madison-Jefferson County Public Library – Main Branch
420 West Main Street, Madison, IN 47250

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018
Washington Carnegie Public Library
300 West Main St., Washington, IN 47501

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018
Johnson County Public Library – White River Branch
1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood, IN  46142

Friday, Jan. 26, 2018
Kokomo-Howard County Public Library – Main Branch
220 N. Union St., Kokomo IN 46901

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Morrisson-Reeves Public Library
80 North 6th Street, Richmond, IN 47374

Monday, Feb. 26, 2018
Vigo County Public Library – Main Branch
One Library Square, Terre Haute, IN 47807

Friday, March 16, 2018
Pulaski County Public Library
121 S. Riverside Dr., Winamac, IN 46996

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

Indiana State Library welcomes new public libraries and federal programs consultant

The Indiana State Library welcomes Angela Fox as the new public libraries and federal programs consultant. As liaison to the IMLS public library programs, she’ll be fielding questions on LSTA grants and the annual public libraries report. Additionally, she’ll work in conjuncture with others in the LDO to provide training to public library staff.

Angela has a vested interest in public libraries, having spent the last fifteen years as an employee with the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. She’s worked a variety of jobs within that system, most recently as the children’s and teen librarian at a large branch location. When she’s not getting lost in the tunnels beneath the state library, she enjoys reading narrative nonfiction, walking the world’s sweetest dog and trash-talking opponents in her fantasy-football league.

Angela can be reached via email or by calling (317) 234-6550.

This blog post by Jen Clifton, Library Development Office director.