New library standards to enhance online access

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Hoosiers will have more access to the Internet and to public library materials across the state under a new set of standards adopted by the Indiana State Library and Historical Board, library officials said Monday.

The Board unanimously approved the new requirements on Jan. 15 this year, and they will take effect Jan. 1, 2011, pending approval from the governor and attorney general.

The standards center on giving patrons more access to the Internet, requiring libraries to have a set number of computers determined by the size of the population they serve.

"Many people in all areas of the state, whether it be rural or urban, don't have access at their home," Drew Griffiths, spokesman for the State Library, said Monday. "They rely on their public libraries to access the Internet."

Libraries are also required to maintain a Web site and online library catalog accessible from any computer connected to the Internet.

Deputy State Librarian Jim Corridan said this requirement was potentially the most costly of the standards but that the State Library would provide free software to offset costs.

Public libraries can get a free Web site through the State Library. Corridan said the State Library would cover the cost of hosting and training, while the libraries would maintain the sites.

The State Library also provides free software to help libraries build a required online catalog. Evergreen Indiana is an automated system that allows libraries to put their catalogs online. It automatically tracks catalog information at all Evergreen libraries. Corridan said about 70 libraries — nearly a third of the state's public libraries — are already using Evergreen. They system allows patrons to check out materials from any Evergreen library and return them to any network library.

The new requirements have three levels of compliance, resulting in basic, enhanced, and exceptional designations. Griffiths said more than half of the state's libraries already meet the new criteria, while many others required only minor changes.

Library Director Laurel Setser said the Avon-Washington Township Public Library meets the new standards, mostly at the enhanced level. She said the goal was to eventually reach the exceptional designation, but that she was worried about how that will happen financially.

"I think the flip side will be the money issue, and the financial resources it will take to reach some of those exemplary levels," Setser said. "I think we're all concerned about what the revenue will be in the next couple years, so there may be some tough decisions that will have to be made whether we can meet exemplary goals."

Griffiths said the aim of the new standards was to standardize and maximize the services provided to Hoosiers.

"Basically, the goal is to have equitable access at public libraries throughout the state in terms of library services," he said. "Indiana's already known as one of the best in terms of library services. This sort of just ensures that we continue to be among the nation's best."


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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.