Friday Focus

Friday, October 9, 2015 . . . vol. 3, no. 9

Friday Focus is a quick digest of news and notes for members of the Indianapolis Public Library Shared System.
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City History Comes Alive with Recorded Interviews

IndYPL's Digital Library just added an oral history collection called Families Talk: Indianapolis Public School Oral Histories. Stretching back to the 1920s, the stories families tell the interviewer are particularly powerful when it comes to the subject of race, busing and civil rights. (The photograph above is from a 1964 Shortridge High School yearbook - now a Shared System member!) These interviews will be excellent primary sources for middle school and high school social studies. Go ahead - open one up and start reading one yourself. It's hard to stop!

The interviews are available as audio files, and as text. The text files are searchable. It might be interesting to have the page flip view open on a projector, and have another computer playing the audio file of the interview.

Here's a sample from an interview with Charles Bonsett, Aresenal Tech, Class of 1939 (This would have been in the days before school libraries!) :

She [his teacher] recognized the interest that we had in other things and when we would finish our assignments early, and we had time left over, she would let me go out in the hall alone to where the encyclopedia was stacked. That was a big cabinet of books. Usually nobody was there, just a place to sit and read. And she would let me spend my time there.

JB: What did you like to read about?

Insects, primarily.

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¡La Biblioteca EstÁ Celebrando Este Mes!

Elementary schools will receive some free bookmarks next week about HIspanic Heritage Month programs. I will be sending copies in Spanish to schools where I know you have lots of Spanish speaking parents. High schools, this would be great to share with your Spanish teachers as an extra credit assignment! I have artwork if you need to print your own copies!

(Repeat from last week)Families and school-aged children are invited to meet award-winning author and illustrator Yuyi Morales, whose books include "Niño Wrestles the World" and "Viva Frida." The first 100 children in attendance will receive a free book, while supplies last. Book sales and autographing will follow the program. Questions ? Please contact: Central Library 275-4100

Sat, Oct 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm
School Age (6-11) & Families
Central Library

Click here to find information about art programs being held at branch libraries related to Hispanic Heritage Month and Yuyi Morales. There's information there in Spanish, too, for you to convey to families.

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“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” he murmured. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.

“What a stupid lamb,” I sighed.

“What a sick, masochistic lion.”

a "favorite quote" from Twilight stolen from the internet

The 10th anniversary edition of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, which includes a bonus – Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, is available! Want to place a hold on it? See bib# (aka Exact Horizon number) 1613422!

Want to read more? USA Today has an article. The Guardian in the UK has an interview with Stephenie Meyer about the gender swap retelling of the original story included with the 10th anniversary edition.

Happy Reading!

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I’m very pleased to tell you that the Big Library Read started today on our OverDrive website! Through October 21, we are offering unlimited copies of two great Teen eBooks on our Library's OverDrive site. Be sure to check out your copy today! You can find them here:

The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley is a collection of stories about the last mortal kingdom and the uneasy truce with Faerieland. This Newbery winning author brings you in, and gives you another take on some familiar stories, as well as two original stories. Great for ages 10 and up, but the writing is dense - around a 7th grade reading level - so the title will appeal to older readers as well as strong younger readers.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters takes place in 1918, the year of the World War and the deadly Spanish Flu. Everyone is scared and confused. Mary Shelley Black falls in with desperate mourners and has to consider the issues of life and death. And ghosts. Recommended for upper grades.

Be sure to read the reviews available on NoveList (one of our online databases you should already know about!) so you can find just the right student who will enjoy these Big Reads this month!

Join the Friends of the Library

(They take credit cards - even American Express!) And they would make a great teacher gift, too! Suggest that to your principals and school families!

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Please Be Diligent about Pull Lists

Every day, every week, I learn something new from our friends in IT. This week, I learned that requests travel down an ordered list of library locations - Shared System locations are at the bottom of the list. That being said, they are still in order because that's how Horizon works.

Let's say Mrs. Robinson, your kindergarten teacher, requests a book that is owned only by Shared System schools. Horizon sends that request down the list, down past all the IndyPL branches, till it hits that first school that has a copy on the shelf. If the library manager at that school gets busy, the request just sits there - it does NOT (as I had thought) - move down the list to the first school that opens a pull list report! Mrs. Robinson's request, and then anyone else's behind her, will be in limbo till the pull list at the first school gets pulled.

Think about asking for help with pulling your pull list. Sarah Lucas at Holy Cross Central calls it a treasure hunt and gives pages of the pull list to students. She said it's a great way for them to get to know the library and what's in it. Knowing Sarah, she probably gives them prizes for having fun with her treasure hunt. (Notice, she doesn't call it "help" or "volunteer" or "pull list.")

Ask me! If you're in deep, I love to visit and spend an hour on a treasure hunt. It helps me, too, get to know you and your collections better!

Speaking of being in deep...

Tammy O'Neal Powell is the processing assistant who handles almost all of the work done for schools. When you send in a tote for cataloging, Tammy opens it, labels it and figure out which cataloger to send it to. After the cataloger decides where everything in the tote belongs in the catalog, it gets sent back to Tammy. Tammy then goes through each tote, puts a barcode on each item, looks up the Exact Horizon number specified by the cataloger, and adds the barcode to the title information. She also adds all the necessary codes, like what kind of item is it, what part of the collection is it in, and she inputs the call number assigned by the cataloger. Then she prints a spine label for the item, attaches it to the book, puts a protective cover over it, and checks it off the packing list.

Now, Tammy's been doing this job for a long time, and she's really good at it. She's also really good about organizing her workflow so she can get to what she, her manager and I agree are the priorities. These days, Tammy is trying to strike a balance between getting new titles back to schools who have started spending money, getting items back to a school for a clean-up job we did on their call numbers over the summer, and getting items back to two schools that either had no catalog or a scanty catalog when they joined the Shared System. She's also fitting in call number changes, and equipment adds from the forms she receives from some of you online.

Here's how you can help: If you have been waiting for a tote that you KNOW a teacher needs, please don't hesitate to let me know so we can bump that up to the top of her list. If you send in a tote, and you KNOW a teacher needs it by a certain date, please put that date on a post it note on the packing slip and we can let you know whether it's achievable! If you just want new stuff for your kids to read, maybe request a tote or two of titles to tide them over.

Thanks for your patience! She'll be caught up soon!

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