Mandy H.'s blog

Library Receives Digital Equity Grant for Meeting Room Cameras

Recover Forward Bloomington

The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department (ITS) awarded $50,000 in digital equity grants to support nine Bloomington-based nonprofit organizations in their efforts to bridge the digital divide for residents.

The Library received a $1,000 grant to purchase a Meeting Owl Pro 360-degree camera for public meeting room use. This easy-to-use device combines a camera, mic, and speaker, creating the experience of in-person participation for hybrid meetings. The new technology will provide patrons with a simple and accessible tool to bridge the gap between those who can attend meetings onsite and those who can't.

Big Library Read: "Five Total Strangers"

Five Total Strangers; Big Library Read, November 1–15, 2021; She thought being stranded was the worst thing that could happen. She was wrong. Libby, the library reading app.

From November 1–15, book lovers can read Five Total Strangers by New York Times-bestselling author Natalie D. Richards, as part of The Big Library Read, the world's largest digital book club!

The Big Library Read is available at over 21,000 libraries and thousands of schools around the world. During the event timeframe, library cardholders can download this page-turning YA thriller with no waitlist as an ebook or eaudiobook via the Libby app. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. Learn more about how to use Libby with your library card

Banned Books Week: September 26–October 2

Banned Books of 2020 Video

Books unite us. They reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, divides us and creates barriers.

One of our most important goals here at the Library is to provide free and equitable access to information and resources. Among the many implications of that word––access––is the notion of freedom: you are free to read, watch, play, or listen to whatever interests you.

For nearly 40 years, the American Library Association and other organizations who are committed to preserving the tenet of intellectual freedom have promoted Banned Books Week in late September. Libraries around the world celebrate this annual event by hosting author visits and book talks, special programs and book displays, and other initiatives to promote awareness of the many literary works that are routinely challenged and censored.

Indiana’s High School Equivalency Testing Changes

Preparing for the High School Equivalency Test

What is a High School Equivalency Credential?

In the United States, adults who leave high school before graduation have another way to secure a high school equivalency credential. Through testing, you can demonstrate you have the same skills and knowledge as a high school graduate.

The High School Equivalency (HSE) is a high school diploma alternative aligning to current Indiana high school academics, preparing you for continuing education or employment. The assessment is based on five subject areas: math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Workers with this credential earn an average of $10,000 per year more than those without, helping them create a whole new future.  

 

New Summer Reading Goal: 1 Million Minutes

Staff Filling Little Free Library Box with Books

You did it! The community-wide reading goal of 200,000 minutes was met on Saturday, June 13, just 13 days into the summer reading games! Congrats to Hoosier Hills Food Bank, who will receive a $2,000 check from the Friends of the Library.

Since then, you’ve far surpassed this goal and have made it all the way to 539,745 minutes, as of Monday morning, June 29! In fact, the Library now has a new goal for summer reading––1 million minutes! 

Should this goal be met, some staff members have pledged personal donations totaling $1,525 to various community organizations of their choice. The organizations these staff members have selected include:

The Gift of Reading

The Library offers a white elephant staff picks display with books patrons can surprise themself with.

By Chantal Cagle, Information Assistant

Last year, one night in December, a gentleman pulled up to the Downtown Library drive-up window to pick up his holds. I scanned his card and saw he had 13 books waiting for him.

"You have a lot to pick up!" I said.
"It's the best part of Christmas," he replied.

As I trundled back and forth between the shelves and the checkout counter with his books, I pondered his words. Surely he knew he had to return the books? I handed him back his library card.

"When you said it was the best part of Christmas, did you mean you have more time to read them, or did you mean giving the books?"
"The books are destined to be wrapped and deposited under the tree," he replied.
"You know you have to return them though, right?"
"Oh yes, that's part of the fun––not holding onto things," he laughed.

Library Receives Grant for Future Southwest Branch Teaching Kitchen

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) awarded the Library a grant for equipment, appliances, and supplies to establish a 600-square foot teaching kitchen as part of the construction of the forthcoming Southwest Branch Library. Scheduled to open in 2022, the kitchen will provide free, hands-on cooking and nutrition programs for all ages, increasing food security and advancing literacy, math, and science. The Library has hired an architect for the new branch and is currently investigating site options.

Library Wins State, Local Awards

Shannon Bowman-Sarkisian was selected as the winner of the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) 2019 Outstanding Library Staff Award for her work on increasing Library access for domestic violence survivors. 

After years of working in west coast bookstores and developing a specialty in rare books, Shannon is now studying to be a librarian at Indiana University and working as an Information Assistant at the Library. Shannon was awarded the Friends of the Library Pioneer Grant in February, which she used to start Creating Access for Violence Survivors (CAVS).

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