September 2022

Indiana statehood day

‘Living IN Indiana’ Statehood Day essay contest accepting submissions

The Indiana Center for the Book is hosting an essay competition to commemorate Indiana’s 206th Statehood Day. This year’s theme is “Living IN Indiana.” The Statehood Day Essay Contest takes place annually in the fall and is open to all Indiana fourth graders.

Essays should be well organized and reflective of the theme “Living IN Indiana.” Judges will accept a wide interpretation of the theme. Thematic ideas include Indiana’s people, seasons, landforms, plant and animal life, social and cultural groups and even food and fun activities.

Winners of the essay contest will be honored on Friday, Dec. 9 or on Monday, Dec. 12 at an in-person ceremony at one of four participating locations: the Indiana Statehouse, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana State Museum or the Indiana Historical Society. The winners will be expected to record their essays as well.

This year’s contest features increased prize amounts. The first-place winner receives a CollegeChoice 529 deposit of $529, the second-place winner receives a CollegeChoice 529 deposit of $250, the third-place winner receives a CollegeChoice 529 deposit of $200 and the fourth- place winner receives a CollegeChoice 529 deposit of $150.

The essay contest rules are as follows:

– The competition is open to any Indiana fourth grade public, private or homeschooled student in the 2022-23 school year.

– A panel of judges, including Indiana State Library staff and volunteer educators, will choose the first, second, third and fourth place winners.

– Essays must range from 100 to 300 words; handwritten or typed and must be submitted with an entry form.

– Individual entries should use the 2022 individual entry form and class sets should use the 2022 group entry form. The following information should be included on each essay for class sets: student name, teacher name and school name.

– All entries may be mailed or emailed and must be received by Friday, Oct. 21, 2022.

– Mailed entry forms can be sent to: Indiana Center for the Book Indiana State Library 140 N. Senate Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204.

– Emailed entry forms can be sent to this email address as an attachment.

Click here for more information about the 2022 Statehood Day essay contest, including lesson plans for teachers, and to view the 2021 winning essays.

Please contact Suzanne Walker, Indiana Center for the Book director, with any questions.

Banned Books Week 2022

Banned Books Week | September 18-24, 2022

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.

The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities.

Click here to view and register for virtual events
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Talk Like a Pirate Day

Brush up your sea-farin’ vocab, Monday is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy, mateys! Grab yer eye patch, bandana, frilly shirt and favorite parrot or tiny monkey–and break out Treasure Island or Pirates of the Caribbean (movies and books for each title are available at HCPL)!

Practice your pirate conversational skills using Mango Languages, available for free to all HCPL cardholders. If you don’t have a library card, you can apply online or at your local HCPL branch, or request a Digital Access Card that allows access to all HCPL eResources.

PSA: Though this is a day to mimic pirates, you are strongly encouraged to not pillage, steal or brawl.
Instead, may we recommend that you don your pirate garb and do the fun activities below.

Copies are also available to pick up at any library branch.

pirate word search
Click to download
pirate name generator
Click to download


library card sign up month

Library Card Sign-up Month 2022

Tony Award-winning performer, actress, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist Idina Menzel and her sister, author and educator Cara Mentzel, have been named honorary chairs of Library Card Sign-Up Month. This September, Idina and Cara will join the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to sing the praises of a library card. Also in September, the sisters’ debut picture book, Loud Mouse, about a little mouse named Dee who loves to sing very loudly, will be released by Disney Hyperion.

As honorary chairs, Idina and Cara will remind everyone that one of the best places to find your voice is at the library. And during Library Card Sign-Up Month, they want you to explore all the library has to offer, like new children’s books, access to technology, and educational programming. 

“It’s a little card that goes a loud way. Let your imagination sing at the library,” says Idina. 

Cara adds, “The library is where your imagination sings. Get your library card and ‘check it out’ today.”

You can apply for an HCPL resident library card or renew your existing card online, or visit your local HCPL branch to sign up for your card today.
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