Friday Focus

Friday, September 4, 2015 . . . vol. 3, no. 4

Friday Focus is a quick digest of news and notes for members of the Indianapolis Public Library Shared System.

You Know Who You Are! Important Form - All Library Staff Must Sign and Return

Thank you to the 16 library managers who have sent in forms. Still waiting on 12 more. Please be sure to have all staff in your libraries fill out the Integrity of Library Assets form on the SharedNet here (you have to be on a library computer connected to the VPN to open) and return them to me via library box mail. (For those of you who are new, simply put them in an envelope addressed to me and drop them in a blue tote.) We are still short five of the Shared System agreements.
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ICAN Joins Shared System, Begins Reading Campaign

The Indiana College Preparatory School opened in the building formerly occupied by Andrew Academy. Along with lots of great classroom space, they inherited the library, which has been part of the Shared System since 2004. Ronald Cunningham, their dynamic Dean of Student Learning and Instruction, wants to re-open the library in conjunction with a school-wide reading campaign. The photos above are of teachers at the school (top left, Raymond Szparagowski, middle school math teacher; top right, Nicolette Whittington, middle school ELA teacher; bottom left, Deon Whittington, third grade teacher (and Nicolette's brother, how cool is that?); bottom right, Aries, one of Ronald's pit bulls who will be the literacy mascot for younger students to get them excited about reading. Ronald hopes he can have Aries deliver books to students every so often.


Special thanks to the East 38th Street Library's Shanika Heyward, manager, and Patty Wallace, children's librarian, for providing financial, moral and hands-on support to ICAN as they reopen their new library!


Welcome, ICAN readers! And a special welcome to Aries! We can't wait to hear more about the literacy mascot!

IndyPL Teen Scene Blog Saves Adults Time!

There's lots in the IndyPL Teen Scene Blog to appeal to teens. And some of it could save parents, teachers and librarians of middle school and high school teenagers a lot of time! THAT'S certainly appealing!


Posts include book reviews by staff and Teens, readalike recommendations, what’s new in teen NF, what’s new in teen Fic, what’s new in Teen ebooks, the top 10 books in the system that teens are reading, various author interviews, and tech tips.


There's also a link to library programs targeting teens. How about "Knitting for a Cause" at Pike where you can learn to knit and donate your work to Horizon House? Or, at the other end of the spectrum, "Teen Gaming @ Decatur," Minecraft at College, or Anime at Brightwood?


But wait, there's more! Just this morning, Michelle Frost, librarian at the Southport branch, added links to a slew of AP Study Guides available through IndyPL.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Join the Friends of the Library

(They take credit cards - even American Express!) There's a booksale coming up in September. Be first in line on Friends' Night Sept. 11th!

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  • It’s eResource Friday! Every week Michael Perry, our eResource librarian, profiles a database or electronic resource for you to explore and enjoy! This week, he's writing about Morningstar, an investment database that might be of interest to your finance staff or students! Check his post out on the IndyPL Facebook page. I wanted to focus on some big changes Michael announced over the summer to IndyPL staff. It's all good!


All IndyPL Library cards with fines can now access all of our electronic resources. Even if the cards have fines or are in debt collect, they will still work for accessing all of our online products. That includes eBooks, downloadable audiobooks and streaming video on OverDrive, music and video downloads on Freegal, magazines on Zinio, and of course, our large collection of databases through the www.ilibrary.org website.

Why did this change? For two good reasons (plus several more connected to the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan):

  • There is no risk of fines or lost item charges for patrons who have fines!
  • We want to reduce barriers for patron access where we can, and we want to increase use of our collections.


OverDrive has listened to librarian and patron feedback and has made a small change that will really make your (and your patrons’) eBook checkout experience better and easier.


Simply put, when users borrow a title, they are no longer taken automatically to the Bookshelf on the OverDrive website so they can download the book. Instead, now users will stay on the current search results page and will see a notification confirming that they have successfully checked out the item.


In comments and feedback, OverDrive found that users and librarians alike wanted to STAY on the search page and borrow several books at the same time. Think “I want all the available audiobooks by my favorite author” or “I want to borrow all of the newest available books in my favorite genre” and the like. Before this change, users were directed to the bookshelf to download the title. Then, users would have to redo the search to get the search results again, so they could checkout the next item in the search. This loop was time-consuming and frustrating to users who just wanted to check out more than one title at a time.


We are excited about this change from OverDrive. Not only does it improve a patron’s experience, we’re expecting an increase in the number of checkouts from our users and hopefully some positive comments, as well.

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