Focus on Indiana Libraries
March 23, 2020| Vol. 74 No. 6
How Indiana's Libraries Serve during the Pandemic
Each issue of Focus includes a section " Great Things " happening in Indiana's libraries, which didn't feel appropriate in these times. However, we are very proud of ways that our members are rising to meet the evolving needs during this crisis.

The most important ways libraries serve are to provide credible information and to follow the guidance by the CDC and our state officials. Indiana's libraries are highlighting new ways to deliver information, education, enrichment, and community.

School Librarians are supporting faculty, students, and parents as all adapt to eLearning. This includes coaching fellow teachers on online learning, various softwares, electronic resources, instructional techniques, and general support; discerning offers from vendors for "free" access during the crisis related to costs, ongoing support and privacy issues; providing activities, lessons, author readings, author permissions, and more. School librarians are especially concerned about impacts on our vulnerable children, children with special needs, and children who are responsible for caring for siblings at home.

Academic librarians , like school librarians, are supporting fellow faculty and many more students, as all in-person instruction is transitioned to online instruction.

The Indiana State Library , a special library, is providing Ask-a-Librarian. Indiana's virtual library, INSPIRE , is available to all Indiana residents.

Public libraries , while closed to the public in order to prevent community spread, are providing a range of services. Libraries are promoting their electronic resources for eBooks, eAudiobooks, downloadable music, games, and apps. Librarians are streaming storytime and author readings. And librarians are connecting with their community neighbors via direct outreach, community-wide streaming, and so much more.

Examples highlighted at left include:
  • Carmel Middle School librarian Carli Sauer connects with her students through a very active webpage, email, and Twitter feed.
  • Indianapolis Public Library is promoting, and explaining, its range of electronic resources, recorded read alouds, and more.
  • Vigo County Public Library promotes how Wi-Fi is available to the public in the parking lot to download, stream, pay bills, or fill out the 2020 Census.
  • Pulaski County Public Library is supporting other units of government by helping them with technology and software for online meetings.
  • Recognizing the toll the pandemic is taking on people's mental health, Pulaski County Public Library is streaming guided meditation to its community.
How ILF Serves Libraries
during the Pandemic
Indiana Library Federation (ILF) asserted leadership in convening libraries and is providing critical information and planning tools in response to the pandemic. This ILF COVID-19 resource page is updated daily, often multiple times a day. Knowing how you are overwhelmed with email and posts, we aim to consolidate information on one page and to be judicious in our email communications with you.

ILF is opening its Networking and Sharing opportunities to Indiana librarians and library staff, regardless of membership in ILF. Watch the ILF Calendar for more (click Month View for ease).
  • Public Library Directors Only (3/24, 3/26, 3/30)
  • Monday Meet-ups for School Librarians (3/23, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20)
  • Management - TBD
  • Marketing (3/27)
  • Public Services (ILL/Circ) (3/31)
  • Technical Services (4/2, 4/16)
  • Youth Services (3/23, 3/30)
  • If you have an idea for a topic-based meeting or learning to share, please contact us.

Here are some other ways we are serving you :
  • Leadership -
  • Libraries will resume services, though the impact of this pandemic will change the way libraries offer services. While you are in crisis, we are thinking ahead when sometimes you cannot. We have posted tools to help public library directors think about the phases from emergency closure to reopening. Look under the Public Library Resources on our COVID-19 resource page. We will navigate these phases together.
  • We are in regular contact with state officials about policy and programmatic issues. Look for information about these soon.
  • We have partnered with Purdue Extension Community Development and our fellow statewide associations representing units of government on this website and its content.
  • Professional Development - While we canceled our Regional Conferences through April, we are exploring ways to offer you some of the best content from those conferences via webinar. We also have micro training available on our website already. Check under Intellectual Freedom (ope to all) and Public Library Series (members only).
  • Communications -In working with our strategic communications consulting firm, we have already started to amend our strategies for 2020 in light of the pandemic and evolving services. Look for more information in the coming month.
  • Member services - We continue to support our members through member, mentor, and director connections. We also continue to place member volunteers throughout the organization. Watch for a new volunteer opportunity in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your support of Indiana Library Federatio n . And thank you for serving our Hoosier neighbors.