Sunday, December 18, 2011

One's Swamp is Another's Paradise

Hoosier author and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924) wrote many books, but A Girl of the Limberlost (1909) may be her best.  The Library's very own feline roving reporter, Cauli Le Chat, reviews the book on her blog, Cat's Eye View @ MPL.  It's well worth a cursory perusal.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Microfilm, the 21st Century Way

The MPL Indiana Room has just acquired a digital microfilm scanner.  Now patrons will be able to scan high-resolution images of microfilmed documents, such as old local and county newspapers, magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post (where I once worked), county tax receipts, funeral home records, and other sundry historical documents.  The new gadget is a ScanPro 2000, and it comes to us thanks to a generous Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Indiana State Library.

ScanPro 2000 in Action

Too young to remember microfilm reels?  I've got that covered.  You can find pictures of anything on the Internet.

Typical Microfilm Reels

Microfilm consisted of miniaturized positive or negative images of photographed documents, such as newspapers, magazines, books, letters, or other printed matter.  These had to be projected onto a screen to make the readable, and even then they were sometimes illegible using the old-fashioned light-projection microfilm readers.

Old-Fashioned Light-Projection Microfilm Reader

Old microfilm reading machines shone light through the microfilm, projecting the images onto a screen.  The projections were usually sufficiently clear, but there were times when they were fuzzy, too dark, or too light.  That was just the nature of the technology, however.  One could print (black-and-white) screen images on paper, and these were sometimes blurry or, again, too dark or too light.  The machines had focus and dark/light printing controls, and these ordinarily worked moderately well.  Sadly, that was not always the case.  Again, this was no fault of the machine manufacturers or sellers; rather, it was just the limits inherent in technology that was developed, for the most part, half to three-quarters of a century ago.

Modern digital microfilm scanners take high-resolution digitized images that may be computer-enhanced and saved (in a variety of digital formats) to a computer drive, network drive, or portable USB memory device.  The ScanPro 2000 will capture impressively minute details of the microfilmed materials much more clearly than they may be presently printed on paper.  It will revolutionize the Library's historical and genealogical research using this storage medium.

Microfilm may be a soon-to-be century-old information storage technology, but it is still usefully functioning and has the advantages of long-term storage capabilities (longer and more reliable, perhaps, than digital computer files).  So don't discard your microfilms too soon, libraries out yonder.  Our patrons will be enjoying their research value for the foreseeable future.

As for our old microfilm reader, that's a museum piece.  There's value in that, too.

William R. Buckley
MPL Indiana Room Historian & Reference Coordinator

P.S.  My colleague, Cauli Le Chat, MPL feline roving reporter, has her particular viewpoint about the Library's new technological acquisition.  It's worth your time, as she's a lot funnier than I.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Flat" Dovydas on Video

"Flat" Dovydas Balčiūnas, our visitor from Vincas Grybas Gymnasium, in Lukšiai, Lithuania, has been enjoying his time visiting the Library and attending the Victorian Christmas celebration yesterday in downtown Mooresville, Indiana.

Like "Flat" Stanley of literary fame, "Flat" Dovydas travels the world in an envelope through the mails.  It is an exciting and imaginative way to see the world, and to have the world see you.

My library colleagues like to make videos for the MPL YouTube Channel, and so we decided that "Flat" Dovydas needed a video, or "promo trailer" as we call it.  (We also call them "program trailers" when they promote a library program.  We've got all kinds of names for our videos!)

Did You Miss Victorian Christmas?

If you missed the Victorian Christmas Celebration in downtown Mooresville, Indiana yesterday, my colleague, Cauli Le Chat, has taken some digital photographs, and you can see them in her blog, Cat's Eye View (at MPL).  Just click the hyperlinks below:

Our new Lithuanian friend, "Flat" Dovydas Balčiūnas, really enjoyed seeing all the sights, sounds, and excitement at the festivities.  Plus there was great food!  We all had great fun.

Remember to visit all the wonderful shops in downtown Mooresville, as well as all the businesses in town. You will be amazed at all the interesting things you can find.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Real Reindeer at the Library

Sammy the Toucan and Miss Jaymi, the MPL Early Literacy Specialists, have prepared a PSA (public service announcement) inviting you and your families to attend the Library's "Animals of the North Pole" program (courtesy of Silly Safaris) during the Victorian Christmas Celebration in downtown Mooresville, Indiana, on Saturday, December 3, 2011.

Who can resist such a cute invitation?  Hope to see you Saturday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October is Family History Month

Ten years ago, Congress enacted a resolution declaring October to be Family History Month.  Visit the Indiana Room at Mooresville Public Library to research your Hoosier roots, particularly from Morgan and Hendricks Counties.

We have several videos promoting family history, genealogy, and local history.  We hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Prepare to Be Scared Silly

Miss Suzanne, or Her Spirit?
 (Or Just a Blurry Photograph?)

Our favorite Youth Services Librarian, Suzanne Walker, is going to scare you out of your socks! On October 28, 2011, at Mooresville (Indiana) Pioneer Park (8:00-9:00 p.m.), join Miss Suzanne to hear some of the creepiest Halloween stories you have ever heard. These tales of terror will send chills down your spine!

This program is appropriate for grades 4 and up, along with their parents or guardians. It is NOT--repeat, NOT--suitable for younger children. We don't want any tears from tiny tots or early grade schoolers.
Join us, if you dare!  Please register online through our website calendar, or call the Library at (317) 831-7323.
Sharing Spooky Halloween Stories
In keeping with the haunted Halloween spirit(s) (just a little ghostly joke there), here's a book trailer of a true-life ghost story collection. Pretty scary!

Click play button (in middle of picture) to start book trailer

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2011 Taste of Mooresville Postponed

Bad news in today's Mooresville-Decatur Times: The 2011 Taste of Mooresville, about which I blogged earlier this month, "has been postponed until further notice due to scheduling conflicts."

The newspaper article continues:

"The Mooresville Kiwanis Club would like to thank the community for the support of this event, and we look forward to a future date for the Taste. For information concerning refunding of tickets sold, contact B.J. Pendill at 317-831-0056."

Monday, September 5, 2011

It Has Been a Great Four Years

A few days ago, this blog's readership passed 10,000 viewings.  Thanks to everybody who has made that milestone possible.  We appreciate your interest in what the Indiana Room at Mooresville Public Library (MPL) has to say.

On a personal note, yesterday marked my fourth anniversary working at MPL.  It has been a wonderful four years.  I've enjoyed it.  I hope we have served you well and will continue to do so.

I'd offer cake, but it would be of the cyber variety, which is rather dry and hard to swallow without a nice cool beverage.  Speaking of which, I'm off in search of refreshments.  Got any change for our vending machines?  All proceeds support library programs, which is a sweet deal all around.

Thanks for Following My Blog,

Bill Buckley
MPL Indiana Room Historian

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Taste of Mooresville is Returning Sept. 29

The seventh annual Kiwanis International Taste of Mooresville will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on September 29, 2011 at Jones Crossing Banquet & Event Center, located on the corner of State Road 67 and Allison Road.  The event is sponsored by Franciscan/St. Francis Health.

This is a huge culinary adventure for Mooresville, Indiana.  You get to sample the cuisine of over 15 local restaurants and bid on unique auction items.   Of course, the real reason for people to attend is to help raise money for local charities, such as Churches in Mission and community youth organizations.

Advanced tickets are $15; you pay $20 at the door the day of the event, so buy yours early and save.  Tickets are available at Citizens Bank, First Merchants Bank, HomeBank, M & I Bank, and Regions Bank.

Inside Jones Crossing

You won't want to miss this taste bud treat of the season.  If you like auctions, there will be many intriguing items upon which to bid.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three Years and Counting!

Today in Library History: On August 25, 2008, the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library in Zionsville, Indiana, became the first library to migrate its online catalog system to the Evergreen Indiana open-source ILS (integrated library system). Seventeen libraries followed by January, 2009, including my Library (in October, 2008). Today, Evergreen Indiana (E.I.) includes a consortium of over 90 public, school, institutional, or research libraries across the state. The E.I. online catalog encompasses over 6.2 million items for 821,000 Hoosier residents.
Happy third birthday, Evergreen Indiana!
To celebrate, here are a few of our E.I. promo trailers and parody videos.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mooresville Roots & Rhythm Festival (Saturday, August 27, 2011)

The Mooresville Roots & Rhythm Festival will be held this Saturday (August 27, 2011), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in historic downtown Mooresville, Indiana. Here is the basic info. You should attend if you can. It's a lot of fun!  Mooresville Public Library will have a booth, with lots of great giveaway stuff.

Event Dates: August 27, 2011 - August 27, 2011
Location: Mooresville, Indiana
5th Annual Roots & Rhythm Fest

LIVE American, Blues, & Roots Music
Delicious FOOD
Art & Artist Demonstrations
Games & events for the kids!

AUGUST 27, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
Downtown Mooresville, Indiana. (Main Stree & Indiana Street)

Various visual & performing artists, vendors, and food will be in the Hadley Mini-Park area.

Sponsored by The Mooresville Revitalization Group. Proceeds from the event benefit downtown revitalization efforts and events such as Victorian Christmas.

Contact Rosemary Rogers at 317.437.0102 for information about registration for cars for the event.

Contact Jeff Whitney at 317.441.1808 for information about registration for bikes for the event.

Monday, August 15, 2011

ALA Banned Books Week, Sept. 24 Through Oct. 1, 2011

The American Library Association (ALA) has slated September 24 through October 1, 2011, as Banned Books Week. Visit the ALA website for lots of interesting information about censorship and our freedom to choose what we read.  We have a promo trailer for this year's Banned Books Week:

MPL Promo Trailer, 2011 ALA Banned Books Week

We made a video last year for the 2010 event, which you might also enjoy.

MPL Program Trailer, 2010 ALA Banned Books Week

Visit your favorite library (or libraries) to check-out challenged or banned books. You might be surprised to discover some of the works that have been challenged or banned from libraries. It is well worth exploring.

William R. Buckley
MPL Indiana Room Historian

Monday, August 8, 2011

2011 Old Settlers Parade & Fair

We have some photos posted from the library's float in this year's Old Settlers Parade and from our booths at the Old Settlers Fair, which began as a picnic in 1870 but morphed into a festival during the 1960s.  Click here and here to see the pictures.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

What Do You Geek?

The Indiana State Library (ISL) has launched a Hoosier version of the promotional campaign.  Visit the ISL website for lots more information, and click to enlarge the image below.

Mooresville Public Library is participating in the excitement, as our promo trailer suggests.

You can get your geek on at MPL.  There is much to geek at libraries.  I geek local history, among other things.  What do you geek?  Let us know.

It Could Be You

Here is yet another reason to visit Mooresville Public Library's booth in the Community Organizations Tent at this year's Old Settlers Picnic and Festival (at Pioneer Park, Mooresville, Indiana) on August 7-9, 2011.  You could win this grand prize, if you sign-up there.

Win This Authentic Buggy Basket
(Includes Vehicle Items Shown--Click to Enlarge)
Sign-Up at the MPL Booth
at the Old Settlers Celebration
August 7-9, 2011

Sorry, but MPL employees, trustees, and their families are not eligible to participate.

Since signing up is free ("no purchase necessary"), then you should try your luck.  Somebody has to win; why not you?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wanda of the Golden Dawn

To help celebrate the 90th birthday of Wanda Potts, MPL Indiana Room Librarian Emeritus, we offer a poem, which we have made into a video (included on our YouTube Channel's Program Trailer playlist, among others).  Here's the "video poem."

Happy 90th, Wanda!  We hope you enjoy today's celebration at the Library to which your life's work has been devoted.

P.S.  Here are Bob Hope and Shirley Ross singing "Thanks for the Memory" (1938), from the motion picture The Big Broadcast of 1938.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Birthday Celebration for Mooresville's True Historical Treasure Trove

Next Saturday (June 11, 2011), Wanda Potts will be celebrating her 90th 29th birthday at a party hosted in the Community Room of Mooresville Public Library (Mooresville, Indiana).  It is open to the public.  Bring the gift of your questions for Wanda.  I'll explain presently.

Some of my readers may not know (or know of) Wanda, so allow me to elaborate.

MPL Indiana Room

The MPL Indiana Room and Wanda Potts are interchangeable.  Wanda was the Indiana Room Librarian from 1966 to 2002 (although a local newspaper article a decade ago said she started working in that position in 1967, but I think that's slightly off the mark). Virtually EVERYTHING contained in this collection, which is devoted to genealogy as well as state and local history, was assembled by Wanda, with the help of a few assistants and volunteers over the years.  Our Library has this material entirely because of her dedication and diligence in preserving the community's historical records. Quite simply, she is the town historian par excellence.  No living individual knows as much about the history of Mooresville, Indiana (and surrounding communities) as Wanda.

Wanda Potts (the 1998 Recipient of
the Mooresvillian of the Year Award)

Most of us have some detailed knowledge of our hometowns, especially when we were growing up.  But can you tell me what business occupied the southwest corner of a central downtown intersection in your hometown?  In 1938?  1913?  1882?  1968?  Pick any date you like.  Do you remember that level of detail about your hometown?  Wanda does.  She remembers more historical information about her hometown than most of us retain about our own lives. She is the living, breathing history of Mooresville, and that makes her an invaluable treasure.  How do you know where you are if you don't recall where you've been?

Wanda as "Sweet Rosie O'Grady"
(From the 1943 Movie Starring Betty Grable)

Movie Poster (1943)

I wonder if Wanda had Lloyds of London insure her legs for a million dollars, as was done for Betty Grable's legs?  I wouldn't be surprised.  Those are pretty nice legs, so a library colleague tells me.

How was I able to track down these historical tidbits?  You guessed it. Wanda's 3,000-plus vertical files in the Indiana Room Collection had the corroborating details.  You just have to know where to look.

Wanda's birthday party will be a joyous affair, with fond recollections of the good ol' days.  But we need your help!  We want YOUR questions about Mooresville history--questions that only Wanda could answer--to ask her at the celebration.  Email your questions to (please type "Questions to Wanda Potts" in the subject line).  If you visit the Library, we have a question box (using old-fashioned, but reliable, 3" x 5" note cards--Wanda would appreciate the low-tech approach) on the circular book display across from the new books (for adult readers) bookshelves.  Write down your questions and drop those cards into the box.  What could be easier?

We hope to see you at Wanda's celebration.  There will probably be some food--always a good reason to visit the Library--but, most importantly, you will be sharing the wisdom and life's work of a pillar of our community.  That, my friends, is well worth the price of admission, which is free, of course.  We are a public library, after all, and the information and research assistance we provide in our Indiana Room Collection is due entirely to Wanda Potts.  So, thanks are definitely in order.

Watch our program trailer (above) to see some of the photographs Wanda Potts safeguarded in our historical collections.

Here is another of our program trailers, this one promoting the Library's self-guided walking tour of downtown Mooresville, Indiana, made possible, once again, by Wanda's resources in the MPL Indiana Room.

In this program trailer (above), we learn why Wanda's work is so significant.

One of the number one records of 1939, when Wanda Potts graduated from Mooresville High School, was "Stairway to the Stars," performed by Ray Eberle (vocalist) and Glenn Miller and his Orchestra (recorded June 26, 1939).

William R. Buckley
MPL Indiana Room Historian &
Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Tremendous Marketing Force for Public Libraries

Fans of Tober, the Thorntown (Indiana) Public Library Cat, may have noticed that his blog viewership has now surpassed 80,000.  That is an amazing audience for a public library serving a community whose population is well under 5,000 (according to the 2009 estimate, it was 1,627; it was 1,520 in the 2000 U.S. Census).  Residents of western Boone County served by TPL certainly have a fabulous library facility, resources, and staff available.  But, then, the same could be said for public libraries in general.  What makes TPL stand above others is Tober.

Tober the Thorntown Library Cat
promotes a recent booksale
(photo courtesy of Tober's Blog)

The most famous American library cat,  Dewey Readmore Books (1988-2006), late of the Spencer (Iowa) Public Library, has millions of readers worldwide, thanks to several bestselling books about Dewey written by librarian Vicki Myron.

Library felines attract a following, which makes them a potent marketing force.  They are patron favorites who can promote library programs, events, resources, and activities as effectively, if not more so, than even local or regional human celebrities.  As a goodwill ambassador, Tober has no equal in Hoosier public libraries.  Tober's online postings are a must-read for his many blog followers.  "He" writes clever, imaginative articles that subtly advertise the library and its resources.

Of course, most public libraries do not have resident felines or canines, although reading programs such as Paws to Read have effectively joined patrons and pets to boost reading and literacy.  Many public libraries, however, have other types of resident animals, including birds, fish, rodents, lizards, amphibians, and others.  These animals, too, could "write" blogs or tweets designed to inform and entertain library users.  For instance, Morgan the Library Bunny, at Morgan County (Indiana) Public Library, blogs, tweets, and posts to Facebook.

Public libraries without resident animals may also invoke this critter marketing technique.  Cauli Le Chat, feline roving reporter at Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library, has her blog, even though she doesn't live inside the library (rather, she hangs around outside and lives in a nearby neighborhood).

In an age of declining revenues, libraries need innovative strategies to educate and inform the public about their community value.  Resident (or non-resident, affiliated) animals may lend their voices, faces, and personalities to charm patrons and advertise library initiatives.  Ask yourself:  Who would you rather visit at your public library?  Tober or a human library representative, such as, say, me?  Well, that's not a fair comparison--Tober clearly wins, paws-down--but I think we might all agree that library cats, dogs, rabbits, parrots, or other wildlife would be clear preferences.

Congratulations, Tober, on reaching the 80,000 blog readership mark.  I can only dream of having so many blog followers.

William R. Buckley, J.D.
MPL Indiana Room Historian & Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Thirty-Nine Steps at IRT (Read the Book, Too!)

The 39 Steps, the Tony Award-winning play adapted by Patrick Barlow, based upon an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, began its run at the Indiana Repertory Theatre on April 20 and will be playing through May 13, 2011.  Remaining show dates include May 6, 10, 11, 12, and 13.  It is billed as a combination of Alfred Hitchcock, who directed the 1935 movie version, and Monty Python's Flying Circus (BBC Television series, 1969-1974).  That should deliver plenty of laughs and excitement.  If you have never seen a stage production of this mystery/suspense story, now is your chance.  Don't miss it.

Sarah Nealis as Annabella in The 39 Steps, now playing at IRT

Did you know that The Thirty-Nine Steps was first a novel before its stage and screen adaptations?  Scottish writer John Buchan presented his mystery/suspense novel The Thirty-Nine Steps in 1915, during World War I's first years.  Buchan wrote the book while bedridden--recovering from a duodenal ulcer--and its success skyrocketed the author to the heights of literary popularity.  It was the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an action-adventure character whose aplomb, pluckiness, and ingenuity enabled him to escape a continuous series of difficult situations.

Buchan characterized 39 Steps as a "shocker" novel, in which the story's events were so improbable that readers would have to be willing to suspend disbelief and engage the adventure.  Readers were certainly willing and able to join the fun.  The book was eventually adapted for plays, motion pictures, and television programs. The most famous movie adaptation was undoubtedly director Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll.  The movie helped define the thriller genre and introduced a new generation to Buchan's work.

Our book trailer gives a hint of what to expect.

The novel is nearly a century old, but it holds up well and delivers sufficient excitement, adventure, and intrigue to keep the reader turning pages until the end.

If you have an Evergreen Indiana library card, you may place a hold on the book.  Click here or here for copies in the E.I. catalog.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Revised MS-PowerPoint Slideshow for E.I. Conference Workshop on May 6, 2011

For my upcoming workshop at the 2011 Evergreen Indiana Conference, I have revised my MS-PowerPoint slideshow to include an Evergreen Indiana promotional holiday video created by North Webster (Indiana) Community Public Library.  To download a free copy of this slideshow, click the hyperlink below.

 This hyperlink above will take you to the Media Fire website.

Look for a yellow box to start the download procedure.  It looks like this:

Once you have clicked the yellow box link, this window should pop-up:

Select either "open with [Microsoft Office PowerPoint (default)]" or "save file," depending upon which choice you wish to make.

When you attempt to run the MS-PowerPoint Show, this security alert will probably pop-up:

There are Macros and ActiveX controls in the PowerPoint slideshow, so you should choose "Enable the content" and click the OK button.  Otherwise, the slideshow may not display properly.

In the slideshow, if the embedded video boxes appear with X's on the PowerPoint slides, this indicates broken hyperlinks. However, the titles of each video (as shown on the slides above the X boxes) are also hyperlinked, so clicking the titles should open a pop-up window playing the videos. Active textual hyperlinks should appear in blue or purple.

Please email the presenter should you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your interest.

National Historic Preservation Month

May is National (and Indiana) Historic Preservation Month.  To learn more about efforts to preserve our historic buildings, places, cemeteries, and cultural resources, please visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.

North Webster (Indiana) Community Public Library has an ingenious approach to spotlighting the importance of historical cemetery preservation.  Each year the library holds a cemetery tour, in which personators portray deceased residents by their gravestones.  It personalizes the cemetery walk and hammers home the realization that the memories of these folks' lives are a significant weave to the fabric of our collective historical experiences.  It is a wonderful way to promote family history and preservation of vital historic sites such as cemeteries.  Please enjoy these videos from the 2010 cemetery walk courtesy of North Webster Community Public Library.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Video/Online Social Networks" Workshop at E.I. Conference--PowerPoint Slideshow Now Available to Download

Click the hyperlink below to download the MS-PowerPoint slideshow presented during the "Video/Online Social Networks to Promote E.I. & Your Library" workshop at the Evergreen Indiana Conference sponsored by the Indiana State Library on Friday, May 6, 2011. The presenter, William R. Buckley, of Mooresville Public Library (Mooresville, Indiana), has uploaded the slideshow (in MS-PowerPoint Show format) for the convenience of attendees (and others interested) who would like to have a viewable copy with active hyperlinks.

 This hyperlink above will take you to the Media Fire website.

Look for a yellow box to start the download procedure.  It looks like this:

Once you have clicked the yellow box link, this window should pop-up:

Select either "open with [Microsoft Office PowerPoint (default)]" or "save file," depending upon which choice you wish to make.

When you attempt to run the MS-PowerPoint Show, this security alert will probably pop-up:

There are Macros and ActiveX controls in the PowerPoint slideshow, so you should choose "Enable the content" and click the OK button.  Otherwise, the slideshow may not display properly.

In the slideshow, if the embedded video boxes appear with X's on the PowerPoint slides, this indicates broken hyperlinks. However, the titles of each video (as shown on the slides above the X boxes) are also hyperlinked, so clicking the titles should open a pop-up window playing the videos. Active textual hyperlinks should appear in blue or purple.

Please email the presenter should you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your interest.