Improvements and Changes to the Indiana Room

Indiana Room

About the Indiana Room

The Indiana Room is an essential part of Monroe County Public Library. It’s collection and services are intended to support research of genealogical and regional, historical interests. The Indiana Room space is a place for multipurpose and quiet study.

Assistance with Research and Using the Indiana Room

A training plan has been developed to ensure librarians and staff are available to provide introductory and research assistance any time the Library is open. The Library’s subject experts are available to provide in-depth reference and research assistance by appointment.

Indiana Room Collection

The Library is committed to supporting and building the Indiana Room collection. As such, recommendations in support of genealogy and local history research are being implemented. The Library’s Indiana Room subject experts have begun work to make the Indiana Room book collection non-circulating, ensuring all materials in the Indiana Room are always available for research. Most of the book titles currently found in the Indiana Room will continue to be found there. Duplicate copies of titles available for circulation are being moved into the general collection, as well as out-of-date versions of research titles and popular, mass-market nonfiction titles. These changes do not impact the scope or content of the Indiana Room’s current collection of maps, microfilms, yearbooks, directories, serials, or reference materials.

Moving the circulating copies of books will improve access to the collection and encourage discoverability of local resources outside the Indiana Room. The freed up space will also allow the Library to increase accessibility of the vertical file collection by moving it from behind closed doors into the public area of the Indiana Room.

The Indiana Room book collection is also being reorganized to be user-friendly and enable better discovery for patrons. Users have reported finding it difficult to discover and find materials with the current organization, which has genealogy materials separated out from the local nonfiction materials. The collection is being reorganized based upon the Dewey Decimal System. This familiar system will enable patrons to discover topically similar materials together on the shelf, leading to potential discovery of titles that previously would have been separated. Finding materials from catalog searches or by browsing the shelves will now be easy and straightforward.

Indiana Room Services

As the population of Monroe County grows, demographics change, and community needs evolve, so does the Library. The Library’s collections, resources, services, and staff are continuously assessed and improved to stay relevant and meet the greatest needs for information and resources in the community. This is as true for the Indiana Room as it is for all other areas of the Library.

This past year a group of management and staff were asked to assess the current usage and needs of the Indiana Room and make recommendations to ensure a long and sustainable future of quality assistance and service. The staff surveyed users of the Indiana Room, looked at similar spaces in other Indiana public libraries, and analyzed usage data as part of their research. Their recommendations to maintain and improve services in the Indiana Room are now being implemented as part of a larger initiative to provide better customer service at the Main Library.

A training program has been developed to facilitate having more staff available to provide Indiana Room services. Our subject experts will train staff on genealogy, local history, and the specialized equipment in the Indiana Room.

In addition, subject experts will be available for in-depth assistance by appointment. Librarians will also continue to develop and deliver programs related to genealogy and local history.

Monroe County Bicentennial

The Library has made a great investment in supporting the Monroe County Bicentennial. The Library is major partner in celebrating the bicentennial, along with the Monroe County History Center, City of Bloomington, Monroe County Council, County Historic Preservation Board, Chamber of Commerce, Visit Bloomington, and others. The Library has designated a librarian and allocated resources in support of the bicentennial celebration.

More than four years ago, in anticipation of the bicentennial, the Library allocated resources for development of the Monroe County Timeline. The timeline has been developed to be the authoritative and popular index of our county's historical and curiously interesting events. Local schools, longtime researchers, and all Monroe County residents will find the timeline indispensable as our County celebrates its bicentennial in 2018.

Improvements to the Indiana Room

As part of a large investment in improving customer services and wayfinding on the second floor, the Library will be making improvements to the layout of the Indiana Room. Our subject experts are also developing better wayfinding aides and new resource guides to help customers discover and use high demand resources in the Indiana Room. The Library is improving access to the Indiana Room collection by moving the vertical files into the public area. The Library also continues to support the digitization of resources of local value and interest.