Young Voices Poetry Contest For Grades 3 – 12

Indianapolis, IN: Poetry Society of Indiana announces the 2024 Young Voices Annual Poetry Contest. First place winners will receive public acknowledgement on the PSI website and social media platforms. The poems may be published in the annual anthology Ink to Paper.

Contest Guidelines:

Open state-wide to public, private, and homeschool students in grades 3-12

Recommendation by a teacher required

Original unpublished work only

One poem submission per student

30-line limit (including blank lines)

No submission fees

Contest Categories:

Category 1:  Grades 3 & 4

Category 2:  Grades 5 & 6

Category 3:  Grades 7 & 8

Category 4:  Grades 9 & 10

Category 5:  Grades 11 & 12

PDF: PSI Young Voices Annual Contest Guidelines and Submission Form

Deadline for submissions is September 20, 2024.

There is no fee. Additional details are at this link:

PSI Young Voices Annual Poetry Contest (


About Poetry Society of Indiana: Poetry Society of Indiana (PSI), founded in 1941,

is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and encouraging poets in Indiana. PSI seeks to unite poets in friendship and understanding while recognizing cultural heritage and linguistic contexts.

Prior to 2016, Poetry Society of Indiana was known as Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs (ISFPC).

CONTACT:  All questions should be directed to, with “Young Voices contest” in the subject line.

Who’s Awesome! Shawnda Mosson – May 2024

Shawnda Mosson, Palmyra Library Assistant, is HCPL’s May winner for Who’s Awesome! There were eight nominations for the honor this month.

Megan Grindle, also a member of the Palmyra Branch staff, nominated Shawnda stating, “Shawnda is so polite and nice to staff and patrons, always going above and beyond to be helpful. I always appreciate working with her as she finds solutions to any inquiry or issue. You can’t help but smile when around her because she is usually laughing about something and her happy demeanor is contagious.”

Library Director Alisa Burch had this to say about Shawnda, “Shawnda offers great readers’ advisory at the Palmyra Branch. I have witnessed her helping patrons find books that they will enjoy. She has broad knowledge of the collection and shares that daily. Shawnda also created fun decorations for the summer reading challenge Adventure Begins at Your Library. She is a practical joker and full of fun. Shawnda is awesome!”

Shawnda interned with HCPL before joining the staff in March of 2010. She has worked at the Palmyra Branch for more than 14 years. In addition to providing great readers’ advisory and customer service, she does youth storytime, hosts the monthly “Not Your Mother’s Book Club,” and leads teen and family painting classes.

Nikki Esarey, the Palmyra lead circ associate and Shawnda’s immediate supervisor, nominated Shawnda in March of 2024 writing, “Shawnda has been so much help with the escape room. Escape room week can be crazy, but she has been amazing at multitasking—along with circulation, shelving, weeding and customer service, she has been making reminder calls, resetting the escape room, repairing props, hosting programs, and handing out eclipse glasses. She is so awesome!” Nikki also nominated Shawnda a year ago saying, “I really appreciate that Shawnda takes time every work day to shelf read and straighten. Her self-motivated efforts create a more welcoming environment for our patrons. She is awesome!”

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in May include: Amanda Applegate, Sandy Harbeson, Eden Randsell, Steven Schifcar, Jennifer Schroering, Debi Strubler and Heather Wyss.


Article by Alisa Burch, Director

Shakespeare on the Corydon Capitol Square a Hit

Friday evening, May 10, was a beautiful weather day for the library to host the kick-off of the SoIn To Shakespeare Tour 2024 of The Tempest at the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site lawn and gazebo. Attendance was 155 with many late comers.

Co-director Martin French welcomes the crowd.
The youth actors on a ship in a storm

The family-friendly play was shortened by James Thompson to be accessible and clear. The youth in the audience were added as cast members and were able to take the stage 3 different times. The children helped begin the play as seafarers (with pirate hats) and were tossed side to side on the ship during the storm. Then the cast took over as the tempest continued.

The tempest tosses the ship.
Miranda, Prospero and Caliban
Apparitions (youth) created by Ariel torment and scare Alonsa and Anonette

The crowed covered all generations. Comments were all positive about the play. location and weather. One set of parents stated that their children had “caught the acting bug” and other families all had positive comments about their children’s experience. Overall, a great time was had by all.

Cast List:
Prospero – Clara Burton
Alonsa – Susan Brooks
Miranda/Trinculo – Kaila Gelback
Caliban/Boatswain – Hayley Ginger
Gonzalo/Stephano – Bryce Woodard
Ferdinand/Antonette – Brayli Temple
Ariel – All actors

Co-director/Producer: Martin French
Co-director/Script Adaptation: James Thompson

The actors and youth take a bow
Cast ends with s sea chanty

If you missed the program, click on the link for more dates of the SoIN To Shakespeare Tour 2024.  2024 Shakespeare Spring Tour Poster

Who’s Awesome! Bethany Banet – April 2024

Bethany Banet, head of technical services/cataloging, is HCPL’s April winner for Who’s Awesome! There were 18 nominations for the honor this month.

Diana Lasky, administrative assistant, nominated Bethany stating, “Bethany was extremely helpful to collaborate with Debbie (McClanahan) and me to help sort out cataloging options for the new Leadership Harrison County PICKS. We were able to present what we hoped to accomplish and she was able to implement the cataloging required to make it easy for customers to find the books in the catalog as well as a solution for the circulation staff. In addition, when carpooling was arranged for the regional conference, Bethany was flexible to make multiple changes, and did so with an upbeat attitude. Bethany, you’re awesome! ”

Bethany began volunteering for the library in 2002 and joined the staff in December of that year as HCPL’s cataloger. As the library grew she became head of the technical services department.

In February, Alisa Burch, library director, nominated Bethany writing, “Bethany very quickly supplied the numbers I needed for the State Board of Accounts Annual Financial Report to record the costs of weeded books in the capital assets section as soon as I requested them. Later when I discovered I needed information from previous years as well she was able to get what I needed in a very short amount of time. I appreciate her thoroughness and quick response time. Bethany is awesome!”

Last summer Bethany was nominated by Eden Ransdell, youth services manager, and again by Diana Lasky.  Eden wrote, “Bethany is very thoughtful and a great person to brainstorm with!” And Diana said, “As Lanesville is weeding heavily in anticipation of construction, the weeded materials have been piling up. When new space was needed for more, Bethany not only offered to store the books until the Friends could look through them, but helped move 30 boxes and offered to prep the boxes with the labels for shipment. It cut my work load in half.“

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in April include, Corinne Burton, Amanda Embrey, Nikki Esarey, Megan Grindle, John Kunsman, Diana Lasky, Debbie McClanahan, Pam Nemeth, Steven Schifcar, Trevor Smith, Leo Stiner, Jessica Stroud, Debi Strubler, Kaitlyn Taylor and Tiffany Thieneman.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director


Do you have interesting (identifiable) local photographs of grandpa’s business, your ancestral home, street scenes, interesting people, parades, or other historic images just sitting around in a shoebox or basement?  Share them!

Every year in May, preservation groups, historical societies, businesses and civic organizations across the country celebrate Historic Preservation Month.  This year is no different.  Presented through a series of “Scan-a-thon” events, the Frederick Porter Griffin Center is joining forces with the Historical Society of Harrison County to promote the importance of preserving local history.  As part of an ongoing collaborative project with The Corydon Democrat, the Historical Society is seeking to collect “Scenes From Yesteryear” photographs from the public.

During each scan-a-thon, Historical Society President Karen Schwartz and FPGC staff will look through photos, record details, and make high-resolution scans while you wait.  All documents will be carefully handled and immediately returned to the owners.  (**If owners wish to receive digital copies of their contributions they must provide their own flash drives at the event**) Karen stated, “This is a great opportunity to preserve your photos and information for posterity.  Please join the Historical Society of Harrison County in our mission to preserve, protect, promote and interpret the rich history of Harrison County!”  Any images and information collected may be published in the newspaper and may be featured in the Library’s Digital Archives Collection.

Subjects desired include photographs, postcards, and the like, of all eras (up to the present) that the owner can positively identify of Harrison County houses, farms, businesses, schools, churches, bands, clubs, transportation, or interesting people; including portraits of prominent or pioneer residents, people participating in activities, or great snapshots of everyday life.  Help commemorate Historic Preservation Month!

Scan-a-thon Dates

Thursday May 2 (10-3) *Note the early ending – Happy Thurby!
Monday May 6 (10-4)
Wednesday May 15 (10-4)
Tuesday May 21 (10-4)
Saturday May 25 (10-4)
Friday May 31 (10-4)

The Frederick Porter Griffin Center for Local History and Genealogy is located in the county’s original Carnegie Library building directly behind the Corydon branch of HCPL at 117 West Beaver Street, Corydon.  For more information, call 812-738-5412.

Article by Kathy Fisher


Harrison County Public Library will recognize and thank valuable library volunteers during a recognition reception on April 25 from 1 – 2:30 PM. The reception occurs during National Volunteer Week, which is celebrated annually during the third week of April. It is a time to spotlight volunteers, provide an opportunity to say thank you and help inspire others to volunteer their time and talents.

HCPL has dependable and energetic volunteers who offer a variety of experience and expertise. Harrison County Public Library values each of the 20 volunteers who provide service to the library and help HCPL better serve the community.

The library board of trustees are volunteers appointed by local elected officials: the county council, the county commissioners and the school boards. HCPL’s seven board members serve four-year terms and oversee the finance, policy and planning activities at the library.

Thank you board members for your dedication of time, talent and expertise:
Kathy Crimans – President
Sharon Mathes – Vice-President
Barbara Smith – Secretary
Derrick Grigsby – Treasurer
Members at Large – Jon Howerton, Roger Windell & Pam Bennett Martin

Behind every successful library is an active Friends of the Library group. The Friends of Harrison County Library, Inc. raises funds through book sales for programs, activities and supplies. Along with monetary funding, the Friends will lend a hand at special events. They sponsor the prize books given to the youth during the summer reading challenge. The Friends meet every other month beginning in January and host a book sale on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at the Book Box. The Book Box is the building in the library’s back parking lot. The Friends also raise money through membership. An individual membership is $5.00.

Thank you Friends of the Library for your time and support:
Cyndi Voyles – President
Cindy Daily – Vice-President
Christine Pendleton – Treasurer
Susan Isbell – Secretary
Active Volunteers – Lynne Schipp & Karen Eves

Though many adult programs are provided by librarians, others are led by volunteers who bring quality programming through their expertise in specific areas such as book discussion, photography, painting, manga & anime, and English as a Second Language.

Thank you volunteer programmers for your dedication and expertise:
Gary Pope – Memories and Memoirs Book Club
Gabriele Williams – Through the Lens – photography
Aaron Blackman – Manga and Anime Club
Jamie Babcock – Painting with Jamie
Elizabeth Redding – English as a Second Language tutoring

The general public may not realize that a small group of volunteers repairs and cleans library materials. Think of it as a book hospital where trained volunteers care for damaged materials. Library users should not attempt to make book repairs at home. If there is a tear or rip in a book’s page or a binding becomes loose, the library volunteers can repair it with glue or a binding machine. Inside each CD case is a paper to note issues or disc problems.

Thank you cleaning and repair volunteers:
Christine Pendleton – Book repair
Lynne Schipp – Book repair
Walter Ryan – DVD cleaning and repair
Jessica Fulk – Clean and shelve juvenile books

Happy National Volunteer Week!

Tell us how you “library” to win!

Hey library lovers, it’s that time of year again—National Library Week! We need your help spreading some library love by sharing what you appreciate most about the services and resources your library provides.

Do you love getting lost in the stories of the library’s summer reading program, storytime, or book club? When you walk through the library’s doors, are you looking for a quiet nook to study or a makerspace to harness your creativity? What’s your favorite thing to check out—books, movies, cake pans, seeds? Do you attend programs to enrich your mind, meet local authors, or find support from your community?

We want to know how YOU library!

Participating is easy:

  1. Snap a pic or shoot a video showcasing your favorite thing about your library.
  2. Post to Instagram, X, Threads, or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page with the hashtag #HowILibrary.
  3. Don’t forget to tag Harrison County Public Library!

What’s in it for you?
In addition to the gratification of supporting libraries, there’s also a chance to win great prizes.

  • Grand Prize (1 winner): A VISA gift card ($150.00 value) and choice of one ALA Graphics poster.
  • Second Prize (3 winners): Choice of one ALA Graphics poster.

So, let’s see those book stacks, creative reading spots, and all the adventures that libraries take you on! If you don’t have a photo to share, check out the Library Elements graphics at The promotion starts Sunday, April 7, at noon CT and ends Friday, April 12, at noon CT.

Join the #HowILibrary movement, and let’s make this the best National Library Week ever! Official Rules (PDF)

Follow your library, ALA, and I Love Libraries on social media.

Be sure to follow HCPL on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss out on all we have to offer.
Post one of our available graphics to your social media account and join the conversation by using the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek.


National Library Week 2024: Ready, Set, Library! featured on the ALA website

Who’s Awesome! Teresa Douglass – March 2024

Teresa Douglass, genealogy specialist at the library’s Frederick Porter Griffin Center for Local History and Genealogy, is HCPL’s  March winner for Who’s Awesome! There were 19 nominations for the honor this month.

Kathy Fisher, genealogy head, nominated Teresa stating, “This month, Teresa was “accidentally awesome” in addition to her being overall awesome. She directly influenced two of the March Mania programs. I had forgotten that Roots Tech was going on until I noticed Teresa watching it. Boom! The Livestream Spotlight event was tacked on to the Mania last minute. She also thought ahead and had created a Women’s History Month document about some of the county’s influential ladies who had not previously been profiled. I used her work to create a PowerPoint presentation for that Spotlight. And both of those great ideas can be reused for future programming!”

Teresa joined HCPL’s staff in June of 2010 as a part-time assistant in the youth services department at Corydon. She transitioned to full-time genealogy specialist in June of 2016 where she can utilize her Masters in History to help visitors find information on their ancestors, share historical facts about early Harrison County and digitize important historical artifacts.

Teresa received two nominations this month. The second nomination read, “Teresa is a great asset to the FPGC. She is knowledgeable and has a great interest in the history of Harrison County. She has taken on the responsibility of digitizing the library’s historical records. In addition, Teresa is a caring individual volunteering with the community’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. She is attentive and professional. Visitors to the genealogy center have reached out to say Teresa has offered them excellent service. Teresa is awesome!”

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in March include, Ann Allen, the Corydon Circulation Department, Amanda Embrey, Nikki Esarey, Kathy Fisher, Connie Gresham, Lisa Griffith, Eve Kopsalias, John Kunsman, Diana Lasky, Shawnda Mosson, Bob Ohlrich, Leo Stiner, Debi Strubler, Ellie Tucker-Brown and Heather Wyss.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director

SHAKESPEARE ON THE SQUARE – 6:30 pm Friday, May 10, 2024 – THE TEMPEST – FREE EVENT – Corydon

The Harrison County Public Library will bring the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana 2024 SoIN TO SHAKESPEARE TOUR to Corydon at 6:30 pm, Friday, May 10, 2024, at the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site gazebo. Martin French and James Thompson will direct the free outdoor performance of The Tempest on Corydon’s beautiful town square. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for this family-friendly evening. In case of inclement weather, the play will move to Hayswood Theatre.

The Tempest involves a powerful sorcerer, Prospero (the former Duke of Milan) and his daughter, who live on a deserted island after being banished by the King of Naples, Alonso, and Prospero’s brother Antonio, the Duke of Milan. Prospero wields a storm to shipwreck his enemies, including the king’s son. The survivors are scattered across the island and the plotting begins. This Shakespeare comedy includes revenge, scheming, romance, forgiveness and redemption.

The Arts Alliance 2024 SoIN TO SHAKESPEARE TOUR will also feature presentations at Jeffersonville, New Albany and Charlestown.

Two Corydon-based actors, Jason Jones and Hayley Ginger, are a part of The Tempest troupe. Heather Rapp, who has family ties to Elizabeth, Indiana, designed the promotional artwork. Co-director Martin French, who is originally from Ireland and now lives in Southern Indiana, has worked internationally and locally for years. French co-directed last year’s SoIN To Shakespeare production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and recently directed Hayswood Theatre’s The Crucible. During Banned Books Week last October, French gave a book talk at HCPL on The Crucible and censorship.  On April 23, he will host a celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday at HCPL with an overview of Shakespeare and The Tempest. French will also offer a behind-the-scenes look at The Tempest at Harrison County Arts on April 25.

Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday at Harrison County Public Library – 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 – Corydon branch, 105 N. Capitol Avenue. Co-director Martin French will give a broad overview of who William Shakespeare was and how he became the unofficial first playwright of the United States. French will then talk about The Tempest. Birthday cake will be offered during this 90-minute program.

Insight to the Process: Shakespeare – 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 – Harrison County Arts, 113 E. Beaver Street, Corydon. Shakespeare enthusiasts and those interested in a behind-the-scenes look get an up-close experience with the cast presenting the SoIN To Shakespeare Tour. A public rehearsal (preview) of parts of The Tempest will feature actors from the play along with an opportunity to see the development of a scene between the actors and co-director Martin French. In addition, the actors expect to rehearse a complete scene followed by a Q&A session. This 90-minute program presents an opportunity to see the backside of play development. Contact Harrison County Arts for specific details about this program at 812-738-2123.

For information, contact the library at 812-738-4110 or visit the website for a calendar of events @

Thank you to our community partners for this event:
Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana – sponsor of the SoIn To Shakespeare Tour
Corydon Capitol State Historic Site – venue
Hayswood Theatre – rain location
Harrison County Visitor Center – restrooms
Harrison County Arts – host of rehearsal program
Main Street Corydon – fliers in wine walk bags
Downtown merchants – displaying posters and fliers

Who's Awesome winner February 2024 Connie Gresham

Who’s Awesome! Connie Gresham – February 2024

Connie Gresham, youth services, is HCPL’s February winner for Who’s Awesome! There were 15 nominations for the honor this month.

Debi Strubler, circulation clerk at Corydon, nominated Connie stating, “Connie is a most appreciative employee. She loves her job, jumps in and does what needs to be done, and is so glad to be a part of our staff. I was so glad when Connie was hired.” Debi added, “She was always so kind to my boys at the dentist office… She is imparting that same kindness to all the children at our library. ”

Connie has worked in the HCPL youth services department in Corydon as a library assistant for more than a year joining the staff on January 20, 2023, after years of service to Dr. Jamie Mull’s orthodontic practice.

Another February nomination read, “Connie made a great Pete the Cat. She was also super helpful at the solar eclipse presentation. She is a big asset to the youth services department. Connie is awesome!

As a library assistant in the youth services department, Connie interacts with families helping them find materials, she shelves books, assists with youth programming, helps prepare materials for programming and crafts and generally does anything that is needed.

In November, Connie’s supervisor, Eden Ransdell, wrote, “Connie is always busy working on something and always ready to help. She is great at supporting her co-workers in every way!” In June co-worker Savannah Wallace said, “Connie did an amazing job helping at the Bubble Party! I really appreciated having her there to help. She is very hard-working and always willing to help out in any way possible!”

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in February include Bethany Banet, Liz Dennis, Teresa Douglass, Nikki Esarey, Kathy Fisher, Diana Lasky, Jo Beth Mathes, Kelly Powell, Eden Ransdell, Leo Stiner, and Ellie Tucker-Brown.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director

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