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

“Saturday Spotlight” at the Frederick Porter Griffin Center: MARCH MANIA!

We’ve made it! Even as February tossed an extra day at us, March has finally, well… marched right on in. It sure is packed with exciting moments to commemorate. It’s a special month for many people. It’s celebrated by band kids (who march forth on the 4th ). Soon will be time to “Spring Forward” with Daylight Saving Time (10th ). Basketball fans love their brackets; Irish Americans look for luck. Be sure to grab a slice on 3.14 for Pi Day, and so on…

After a brief winter hiatus, the Frederick Porter Griffin Center is ready to reenter the madness with Saturday Spotlight programming all month long. The public is invited to drop in and join the Head of Genealogy, Kathy Fisher, to celebrate multiple aspects of notable March-related holidays and presentations. Kathy stated, “March is fun! There’s something that just about anyone can get excited and learn more about. Researchers of all levels are welcome! You can get creative with it, too. Stop in and see us; maybe you’ll even spot a leprechaun.”

Each Saturday during the month will offer something different. Featured topics include:
March 9 – President William Henry Harrison’s Inauguration
March 16 – St. Patrick’s Day,
March 23 – Women’s History Month
March 30 – National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Saturdays don’t work for you? The FPGC staff is always on hand to answer questions during regular hours throughout the year. Any and all of the resources at the Genealogy Library, including free use of microfilm, books, family files, the Community News collection, and library editions of databases such as Ancestry, Fold3, and Newspapers.com are available.

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

Pete the Cat Visits Corydon Elementary School

Library mascot Pete the Cat visited Corydon Elementary School on Tuesday as a reward for CES being the top school in this year’s Read to Feed Harrison County Winter Challenge.  Eden Ransdell, Youth Services Manager, read and sang Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, while Pete acted out the story and showed off his dance moves.  Corydon Elementary students read 6,194 books in the month of January 2024, helping to raise $2,700 for Harrison County Community Services.  Way to go, CES!

HCPL app

The HCPL app is now functioning!

After a few months of waiting, the Harrison County Public Library app is working again! The HCPL app (and many other libraries’ apps) went dark in late October due to unforeseen issues with the contracted app developer.

The HCPL app prioritizes a library user’s needs and places the Harrison County Public Library virtually in their hands. One can quickly see the items that they have checked out or on hold, search the entire online catalog that now includes digital content from OverDrive and hoopla. Library users can view, listen or download titles directly from the app.

The app offers one-stop access to browsing and registering for library activities for all ages, all HCPL eResources, current HCPL news, and links to social media. The app also features a handy virtual library card to present to library staff when checking out items.

“By using the library app, a person only has to look in one place for everything—they don’t have to go to separate websites or browse multiple apps. The app gives users easy access to HCPL services and resources wherever they are whenever they need them,” said Alisa Burch, Library Director. “If you have a phone or mobile device you can easily borrow eBooks and electronic audiobooks, stream movies and locate and reserve traditional print books and DVDs all from one app.”

If you have a question about the app, please visit www.hcpl.lib.in.us and click on “Contact Us”, or call your local HCPL branch.

Total Solar Eclipse Programming at HCPL

Are you ready for the Total Solar Eclipse?  Come to one of HCPL’s eclipse events to learn everything you need to know for April 8, 2024.  Attendees at each event will receive 1 free pair of solar glasses, as supplies last.
Programs for Kids:
Nature Club (ages 4+) – 4 pm Wed., Feb. 28 at Corydon – Learn about the science of eclipses and make a solar viewer to take home.  Please bring 1 cereal box per child (the library has some extra if you do not have one available.)
Eclipse Crafts (all ages) – 2-4 pm Mon., Mar. 25 at Corydon and 1-7 pm Thurs., Mar. 28 at Elizabeth – Make a variety of eclipse-themed crafts and viewing tools.  Please bring 1 cereal box per child if you would like to make a solar viewer.
Pinwheel Festival (all ages) – 11 am-2 pm Sat., Apr. 6 at Bicentennial Park – Stop by the library’s booth to get your face painted and pick up information about the eclipse.
Presentations for Adults and Families: Learn how to safely and successfully view April’s total solar eclipse.
Corydon Presbyterian Church6 pm Thurs., Feb. 29
Palmyra United Methodist Church6 pm Thurs., Mar. 14
Harrison County Community Foundation6 pm Tues., Mar. 19
Can’t make it to one of HCPL’s events?  Here are some resources to help teachers and families prepare on their own:
Totality, Minute by Minute – HCPL has prepared this handout to remind you which phenomena to look for at each stage of the eclipse.
Cereal Box Viewer instructions – This viewing method is safer for children than solar glasses, as they will be observing the eclipse with their backs to the Sun, so there is less chance for injury.  Highly recommended project for school groups.
NASA Punch Pinhole Projector – This site has in-depth explanations of how pinhole projection works and how to apply it to the eclipse.
Safe Solar Viewer (SSV) instructions – An SSV is an excellent way for a group to safely view and photograph the eclipse at the same time, and even see sunspots.  This project can be built for as little as $5 and would work well for school viewing parties.
Path of Totality Map – The Sun’s corona, 360° sunset, and other exciting phenomena will only be visible on the path of totality.  Most of Harrison County is only at 99% – and even 1% of the Sun’s disc is enough to drown out the corona.  You MUST be at 100% to view the corona.  This map shows the timestamps and percent eclipsed for any location.
NASA Exploratorium – If you cannot make it to the path of totality, NASA will be livestreaming the event here.
Useful Apps:
Solar Eclipse Timer by Foxwood Astronomy (free for practice mode, $2 to unlock each eclipse) – This app will time the eclipse for you and give audio prompts to remind you what phenomena to look for at each moment.  It will even calculate the best times to take photographs.
Totality by Big Kid Science (free) – Click anywhere on the map to see how long totality will last for that location, and what time each phase will occur.
Stellarium Mobile (free, with optional in-app purchases) – This astronomy app helps you identify stars and other celestial objects. You can set it to the day and time of the eclipse to simulate what you will see. On eclipse day, it can help you identify the stars and planets that appear during totality.

Who’s Awesome! Jessica Stroud – January 2024

Jessica Stroud, Head of Information Technology, is HCPL’s January winner for Who’s Awesome! There were 20 nominations for the honor this month.

Kelly Powell, business manager, nominated Jessica stating, “Jessica always has a smile on her face and is always willing to help. She takes work phone calls on her time off and comes in whenever needed. She has helped me with so many little silly things, I should have been able to fix myself and never complained. She is a person you can count on 24-7. I love working with her and think she is a great asset to the library.”

Jessica first joined HCPL’s staff on July 23, 2001, as a library assistant. She quickly advanced to serve as IT support, administrative assistant to the director and assistant circulation manager. She was network and systems administrator before being named head of information technology.

Jessica has received multiple nominations over the months—too many to fit on this page. In December, Debi Strubler had this to say about Jessica, “Jessica always answers every IT question I have, so that I understand the answer. She always has compassion for me, since I did not touch a computer until I was 40. It does not matter what I ask her, she stops what she is doing and gives all of her attention to my question. I walk away not feeling stupid, and a bit more savvy about computers.”

In November, Alisa Burch, library director, wrote, “As head of IT Jessica is integral in keeping the library’s tech up and running. She leads the way in investigating new technologies and stays on top of purchases, outages, patron and staff issues, database renewals, hotspots and more. She also handles social media posts and issues, creates library marketing materials, sends out eBlasts to library users and lends help to anyone who needs it. Jessica is Awesome!“

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in January include Amanda Applegate, Corinne Burton, Liz Dennis, Lisa Griffith, Diana Lasky, JoBeth Mathes, Pam Nemeth, Bob Ohlrich, Eden Ransdell, Debi Strubler, Trevor Smith, Tiffany Thieneman, Ellie Tucker-Brown, and Savannah Wallace.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director

Who’s Awesome! Eden Ransdell – December 2023

Eden Ransdell, youth services manager, is HCPL’s December winner for Who’s Awesome! Eden was one of 12 staff members nominated for the honor this month.

Nikki Esarey, the Palmyra lead circ associate, nominated Eden stating, “Eden is always extremely efficient and helpful. I really appreciate how she just jumped right in and helped me carry and set up all of the tables and materials for the painting class at the main. It was awesome and so is she!”

In August of 2012, Eden joined the HCPL youth services staff. She has taken on many different tasks and excelled at each. Eden has created fun educational programming such as Nature Club. She uses puppets and plays her guitar in programming at the library and when she visits preschools. Eden was promoted to youth services manager in January 2023.

In October, Eden received an anonymous nomination which read, “Eden has been doing a wonderful job making the children’s floor more inviting with signage and shelf organization. She has staff excited about the changes. Library users have noticed the changes and have been very positive. She has made these modifications with little cost to the library by repurposing existing materials. Eden is awesome!” Savannah Wallace, youth services, had this to say about Eden in June, “Eden had a great microscope program for her Nature Club kids! She is so good at getting the kids excited about nature. She is also working hard to make the library’s book collection the best it can be!”

In February, Eden received two nominations. Diana Lasky, administrative assistant, nominated Eden writing, “Great job taking over the Winter Reading Challenge and making it a huge success in 2023. Wonderful recognition to the HWES school students!” An anonymous nomination stated, “Eden did a fantastic job rocking with the students at Heth Washington during the Pete the Cat visit. She played the guitar and sang the Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes book to five classrooms creating a blister on her thumb. She gave each classroom a certificate indicating the number of books they contributed to the Winter Reading Total making their school the high reading school. Eden is doing great things in the youth services department and is an asset to the library.”

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in December include Vee Colantonio, Amanda Embrey, Nikki Esarey, Megan Grindle, Diana Lasky, Sandy Maschino, Debbie McClanahan,  Steven Schificar, Jessica Stroud and Heather Wyss.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director

Read to Feed Harrison County 2024

This New Year, make a resolution to give back to the community.  Monday, January 1 is the first day of #WinterRead2024 – READ TO FEED HARRISON COUNTY! The challenge is open to all ages, January 1 – 31.  The goal is to read 10,000 books as a community. If the goal is reached, Harrison County Community Services will receive $1,000 from Duke Energy, $1,000 from Lucas Oil, $250 from Eckart Supply, and $200 from REMC. Canned food will be collected at all library branches.

During the Winter Reading Challenge, everything counts! Books, eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines can be used from any source, both library and personal. Check out free books and audiobooks from Overdrive or the Libby app, and enjoy digital materials without wait times on Hoopla. Track your reading with Beanstack to earn badges and explore activities inspired by the book Where We Come From by Diane Wilson. You are challenged to read at least 10 books in the month of January to unlock the badges.

If you have participated in a reading challenge with us before, you already have a Beanstack account. The library will assist you if you have any difficulties logging on. If you do not want a Beanstack account, the library will be happy to log your reading for you. Just stop in at any library branch to pick up a Winter Read bookmark. HELP READ TO FEED HARRISON COUNTY!

An HCPL space to bring out the maker in you!

Foreground L-R: Sharon Mathes, HCPL Board Vice-president; Kathy Crimans, HCPL Board President; Pamela Bennett Martin, HCPL Board member at large; Kelly Powell, Business Manager; Barbara Smith, HCPL Board Secretary; Alisa Burch, Library Director; Jessica Stroud, Head of Information Technology; Trevor Smith, Systems Administrator; Heather Wyss, Makerspace Specialist

Make | Learn | Explore | Share

The Harrison County Public Library Makerspace Ribbon Cutting took place at the Lanesville branch on Friday, December 1, 2023, and an Open House was held on Saturday, December 2. According to Alisa Burch, HCPL Director: “Our vision as a public library is that all residents will have access to a library with free resources to increase their knowledge and with space for recreational and educational programming. A makerspace is a place where people in our community can come together to create with technology.”

The makerspace will be open during the same hours as the Lanesville branch, but appointments are required for training and operating the equipment. Please click here to request an appointment and to reserve equipment, and please note that staff must confirm the appointment/reservation. Click here to download the HCPL makerspace policy and liability waiver. We ask that users please note the age restrictions and that a copy of the printed waiver must be signed and handed to a makerspace staff member before operating equipment.

Use of all equipment is free–the only costs associated with makerspace projects are the supplies used. A fee schedule is available in the HCPL makerspace policy.

Makerspace Specialist Heather Wyss said that she is excited to help users with their creative projects and to share new techniques.

HCPL’s Makerspace hosts a variety of equipment [click here for full descriptions]:

  • Epilog Laser Engraver/Cutter
  • Brother 680W 6-Needle Embroidery Machine
  • Brother CS5055 Sewing Machine
  • Brother 1034D Serger
  • Roland SG3-300 Large Format Printer
  • Elegoo Saturn 8K SLA Printer
  • BambuLabs X1 Carbon FDM 3D Printer
  • Cricut Explore Air 2
  • Elgato VHS Digitizer
  • ION Tape Express Tape-to-MP3 Converter
  • Eyesen 8mm / Super8 Film Digitizer


Who’s Awesome! Kelly Powell – November 2023

Kelly Powell, business manager, is HCPL’s November winner for Who’s Awesome!  Kelly was one of 19 nominations for the honor this month.

Diana Lasky, administrative assistant to the director, nominated Kelly stating, “Kelly has a magic touch with decorating. The front of the building looks awesome for Christmas and when she sets her hand to food items for library receptions or an open house, everything looks polished and professional. Being able to see the inner workings of the library, I can appreciate her work on making sure payroll is on time and bills are paid. Thanks for being awesome!”

An anonymous nominator added, “Kelly is the library’s go-to person for outdoor decorations. Each year she comes up with a new way to bring the magic of Christmas to HCPL. This year she added Grinch elements. She also helped demolish the old coffee bar in the library and helped with that area’s new furniture arrangement. She is a hard worker and gives 100 percent to the projects she takes on. Kelly is awesome!”

Kelly received two other nominations this month. Savannah Wallace, youth services, wrote, “Kelly did a fantastic job decorating the front of the library! I especially love all the Grinch decorations she used. Great job, Kelly!” And JoBeth Mathes, reference, said, “She is always ready to lend a helping hand. She also decorates for Christmas outside of our library branch.”

Kelly joined the HCPL staff as business manager in January of 2005. For more than 18 years she has handled payroll, insurance, accounts receivable and payable and HR functions for the library. In 2021, after the Pandemic she came up with the idea to form a “Fun Committee” to boost employee camaraderie and morale.

Diana Lasky also nominated Kelly in May stating, “Kelly is very patient. She is positive, helpful and willing to stop and answer questions or help me resolve an issue, no matter how busy she is. I recently overheard that she is the “go-to” person in certain situations because she intuitively knows how to approach people in a non-threatening, positive manner. This is so important in human resources, which falls under her umbrella, even though she is really the business manager. Thanks, Kelly for all of your help and positivity.”

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in November include Ann Allen, Amanda Applegate, Amanda Embrey, Connie Gresham, John Kunsman, Diana Lasky, Debbie McClanahan, Pam Nemeth, Donna Seewer, Jessica Stroud, Kaitlyn Taylor, Savannah Wallace, Kelli Witsman, and Heather Wyss.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director

Scroll to Top