Friday Focus

Friday, May 13, 2016 . . . vol. 3, no. 35

Friday Focus is a quick digest of news and notes for members of The Indianapolis Public Library Shared System.
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Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls

From Michael Perry, eResource Librarian: We all know that you don't learn everything you need to know at school. And that sometimes you need to hear things more than once to really learn them. IndyPL has been looking for just the right learning platform to offer to people who want to learn something new, review what they are learning in school, or continue their education independently.

We are testing four candidates:

Atomic Training -
offers technical training at all skill levels. More than 150 courses in topics such as web development.

Gale Courses- more than 300 courses in topics such as Accounting, College Readiness, and Teacher Professional Development. Includes online discussion areas. - thousands of courses at all skill levels. Offers courses on everything from 3D animation to how to use a video camera. Closed captioning, too!

UniversalClass -
more than 500 courses ranging from babysitting 101 to the very technical. Courses are monitored by live instructors if you need help, and CEUs are available.

The login information for all of the trials is on the SharedNet, so you will have to be behind the VPN to get to it. There is a lot here to take in! Please just look at one resource/section at a time. Take notes. What works? What doesn’t? Would you and/or your students, teachers, parents use this?

We’ve included extra marketing links and a review of what each offers as the vendors made them available. Some of the trials have more than one login so you might have a more personalized one-on-one experience.

Please note that our Library has until midnight on Monday, May 23rd for you to explore all four trials. If there is a person on your staff that you’d like to share this with, please do so. We would ask that you offer feedback, comments, usability, applicability to patrons and to the mission of the library and any other points you’d like to make. You can give us your feedback by answering a survey that will be sent shortly.

While the price is certainly a factor, we may license one or two of these products. We really need your feedback to find the right fit for our communities.

Thanks for your help. Enjoy exploring!!!

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Many of you already know and use CQ Researcher with your patrons. For those of you who don’t, CQ Researcher is an eResource available on and explores issues in depth on topics ranging from teens to environmentalism as well as health, education, science, and technology. Every 15,000 word report is written by an experienced journalist and features research data and further research along with comments from experts, lawmakers, and citizens on all sides of an issue. CQ Researcher is a Marion County Internet Library database. It’s paid for with a grant from the CICF Library Fund and is accessible at our public library locations, through remote authentication with a library card AND on-site at registered eligible school and academic libraries.

Previously, this eResource only had a 10 year rolling collection. That means that this year, we would have access to reports from 2006-2016. Next year, the collection would roll forward to 2007—2017 and we would lose access to the information in 2006. This would include losing articles like “Rebuilding New Orleans” and “Treatment of Detainees” (referring to Guantanamo Bay and more).

We have been looking for a way to transition CQ Researcher to a more complete historical research resource for our patrons. With that in mind, we have been negotiating for the archive purchase for the entire CQ Researcher database. In late April, we were finally successful.

This means that our patrons can now access CQ Researcher from 1923 to the present. Now your patrons can get well-researched articles from authenticated sources about both historical and current issues. Historical examples include the “Federal Public Works Program” from 1929, “Anti-Semitism in the United States” from 1942, “Television in Education” from 1951, “World Food Shortages” from 1965 and the list goes on.

We hope that you all enjoy this expanded database when you are working with your patrons for their reference needs.

If you have a questions, please let me know. Suggestions, comments and the like are always welcomed.

Enjoy exploring CQ Researcher and have a great day!

Closing Up Shop and Getting Books Back

Thanks to Marsha Erickson at DHS for watching the video and doing the mail merge on the blocks reports at DHS. She reports that she was successful! We realized that the reports don't have email addresses on them, but we'll have that included next year. Have you tried to merge your reports yet?

Use the Horizon Items and Borrowers Blocks reports available on the SharedNet so you can let people know what titles are still outstanding. You should look at books checked out, overdue and lost. These reports do NOT overlap!

You'll use a Word document that imports students' names and book titles from a spreadsheet that you can create from these Horizon reports. I know it sounds complicated, but I video taped instructions for you! The link to those instructions is on the Downloads and Installations page on the SharedNet, so you have to be connected to the VPN to view them. You can hit pause, go do the step you just learned, and then go back and hit play!

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about things to think about as you close up shop. I just updated it for you. You can find it on the extranet here.

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The 2015-2016 Eliot Rosewater winner has been announced:

We are so excited to announce the 2015-2016 Rosie winner and honor books! This year we had over 2700 students participate in the Rosie program—thank YOU to promoting this program in your schools, libraries, and communities!

Our winner this year is Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley!

Our two honor books (“second and third place”) are The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas!

But wait, there's more! More winners!

The 2016 Children’s Choice Book Awards winners are:


The Little Shop of Monsters
by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Marc Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group)


I’m Trying to Love Spiders
by Bethany Barton (Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)


Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
by Judd Winick (Random House Books for Young Readers)


All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven (Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

Happy reading!

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Summer Reading Idea: Ebooks Everyone Can Read at the Same Time

Does your school have all the rising sophomores read the same book? If you have teachers scrambling for enough copies of summer reading titles for their students, we can help! IndyPL owns more than 300 titles that can be borrowed for simultaneous use. (That is ebook publisher speak for any number of people can check it out and read it at the same time.) Here is the link to a Google spreadsheet listing the titles we own. Since you can’t edit the spreadsheet, I would recommend copying and pasting the whole thing into your own spreadsheet so you can sort it any way you like. This one is sorted by broad subject area and then by title. I included a column showing how many times each title has been checked out. You might use this as an indication of popularity!

Pay attention to the format in the spreadsheet! OverDrive Read means the title can be read in your browser, which means you have to be connected to wi-fi. All other formats are downloadable and should be readable on just about any device. OverDrive has a great help page on downloading if you need it!

And remember the public library has wi-fi, and we'll be open all summer!


To open the proprietary intranet, click here


To open the informational/operational/social intranet, click here.