Author name: Diana Lasky

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 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

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

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

Veterans Day honoring all who served

Veterans Honored at the Library

Hero Tree featuring veteransHero Tree 2 honoring veteransWith respect, honor and gratitude the Harrison County Public Library celebrates veterans this November 11. The library thanks all veterans for their service and shows gratitude by displaying two Hero Trees at the Elizabeth Branch. Sara Deatrick, the Elizabeth lead circulation associate, stated, “There are more than 150 ornaments of past and present Harrison County veterans on our trees.” Sara invites the community to bring in a photo to be scanned and placed on the Hero Tree. Photo ornaments are saved and used on future trees.

veteran JuliaThe library has two staff members who are veterans. The first is reference assistant Julia Phipps. Phipps is a 6-year veteran and was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California from 1989 to 1995. She served as an Air Force security police officer for the base during her first three years and trained to become a base paralegal for her last three years of service.

veteran RobertOur second veteran is circulation associate Robert Ohlrich. Ohlrich enlisted in the Navy in 1972 and was a gunner’s mate during his 4-year service on the U.S.S. Guadalcanal. The helicopter carrier housed 2,500 Marines along with a Navy crew of 307 and was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Ohlrich was trained on surface-to-air missile systems. In 1976 he helped evacuate civilians from Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. Ohlrich returned to service for one year in 1986 as a Navy chaplain on the U.S.S. Forrestal.

Thank you Julie, Bob and all veterans! You are honored with gratitude for your service to keep our lands safe and our country free.

Veterans Day book display

The public is invited to celebrate Veterans Day by visiting the Frederick Porter Griffin Genealogy branch to research veterans and family history, viewing the Hero Trees at the Elizabeth branch or exercising your freedom to read by checking out a book of your choice from any of the HCPL locations or downloading an eBook with the library app from your favorite app store.


Who's Awesome October winner Amanda Applegate

Who’s Awesome! Amanda Applegate – October 2023

Amanda Applegate, patron services, is HCPL’s October winner for Who’s Awesome! Amanda was one of seven nominations for the honor this month.

Tiffany Thieneman, public services manager, nominated Amanda stating, “Amanda is always willing to help in any way she can! From carrying chairs and tables up and down stairs, to helping with programs, to answering any questions I may have – she always offers to help in whatever capacity is needed. I appreciate how she offers assistance to other employees and patrons regardless of the situation. Thank you for being awesome!”

An anonymous nominator added, “Amanda has been very active with the Fun, Staff Training Day and Employee Appreciation Luncheon committees. She is always positive and friendly with all staff and public.”

Amanda has been with the library for 24 years joining the youth services and circulation staffs in January of 1999. She then transitioned to patron services where she works handling the recovery of overdue and damaged materials. Now she also co-hosts the adult programs—Just Desserts and Cookbook Club.

Amanda has received multiple nominations over the months. In July another anonymous nominator wrote, “Amanda Applegate went above and beyond to make sure everyone at HCPL had a great Shark Week. She made shark-shaped blue-tinted Rice Krispie Treats for all staff and secured gummy sharks for a combo celebration of Shark Week/National Gummy Worm Day. Amanda always gives her all to Fun Committee activities, keeping the snack boxes filled and counting the money. She has a great attitude greeting all staff every morning and pitching in at public service desks when needed. She has taken on additional responsibilities helping with adult programming. Amanda is a team player and is eager to help anyone. Amanda is awesome!”

In May, Amanda was nominated by Kelly Powell, business manager, and Eden Ransdell, youth services manager, Kelly wrote, “Amanda does a great job with the fun committee. She always makes things look special when they are put out for staff, and she goes around to tell people what fun things are happening for the day.”  Eden said, “Amanda is always super nice and positive! I love seeing her every morning!”

Each month a winner is selected by random drawing. Other staff members nominated in October include Julia Phipps, Nikki Esarey, Bob Ohlrich, Alisa Burch and Eden Ransdell.

Article by Alisa Burch, Director

Certificate of Appreciation presented to Suetta Tingler


Long-time library board member Suetta Tingler’s term ends October 31.  A reception was held on Thursday, October 19 at Kent Java to honor Harrison County Public Library Board of Trustee Suetta Tingler as this was her last day of service as a trustee.  Tingler was given a plaque recognizing her active service and a Zimmerman glass bowl.

The plaque stated, “The Harrison County Public Library Board of Trustees and staff wish to express our sincere gratitude to Suetta Tingler for her years of dedicated and active service to the Harrison County Public Library as a member of the Board of Trustees.”

Suetta Tingler was appointed to the HCPL Board of Trustees by the Harrison County Commissioners and has served two full terms. A term on the library board lasts for four years and the board meets monthly. Since her first board member meeting in February 2016, Suetta has held positions of vice president, secretary and assistant treasurer. Tingler stated, “Every time I sat at the board table, I felt it a privilege to be a part of such a special group of dedicated, talented and hardworking individuals who love their library.”

Director Alisa Bruch said, “She (Tingler) was integral in decisions made to replace the windows at the Main branch and selecting fabrics to recover the computer chairs at Main and the chairs in genealogy.”

When asked about her accomplishments on the board she was proudest of her work on the “windows of all things!” She responded, “I first began educating myself about seals, tilt, grills, reflective value, UR blockage, warranties, installation, costs and more. I researched and visited vendors locally as well as across Louisville.” After research, she brought two companies before the board for selection approval. Tingler’s time investment in the project ensured that the library received quality window replacements.

When asked if there was anything that she would like to share, Tingler stated, “The Harrison County Public Library is truly a community “hub” for welcoming all people as it works to provide information, education, entertainment and general hospitality.”  She continued, “Great things have come to the Harrison County Public Library and will continue to do so. It’s a library to be proud of as it works to keep up with the changing times that have included going “fine free”, working to improve the arts/cultural climate of the county, providing “hotspots”, programs tailored to all ages, the Storywalk along the trail, the upcoming Makerspace and much, much more.”

Burch added, “Suetta invested her time for the benefit of the library including attending Trustee training in Indianapolis and the Board of Governance training at the Harrison County Community Foundation. Suetta has been a very active and devoted member of the library board of trustees and will be missed. The library wishes her good health, happiness and continued success.”


Within the walls of the Frederick Porter Griffin Center for Local History and Genealogy family history is celebrated all year long, but during October, it gets highlighted. Visit the FPGC each Saturday of the month for special programming focused on Family History topics. Researchers of all levels are welcome!  Any and all of the resources at the Genealogy Library, including microfilm, books, family files, Community News collection, as well as the library editions of Ancestry, Fold3, and (and much more!) will be available.

The public is invited to drop in and join the head of genealogy Kathy Fisher to uncover some of the family legends hidden within our collection. Kathy stated, “Helping people discover their stories is our bread and butter. October is the perfect time to get more people interested in their own personal history. I hope we can aid in taking someone’s research beyond just names and dates. You can get creative with it, too.”

As an “extra special surprise” during Glasstoberfest, the FPGC will be featuring a video on the Zimmerman Family and Glassblowing History. Originally presented in 2013 as a Historical Society program, the Genealogy Library will be offering two showings on October 21 at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

If Saturdays don’t work for you, the FPGC staff is always on hand during regular hours throughout the year to answer questions and to give suggestions for getting past those brick walls.

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, Head of Genealogy


Poe Escape Room

Poe Escape Room

The 2024 SoIN Big Read library programs have been a big success. Poe journals, raven paintings, card making and a Poe escape room have been a part of the creative fun. It’s not too late to register to make a Poe-inspired raven wreath, grab your camera/phone and bring it to Poe-tography or join a book discussion.  The Poe-tography group will venture through downtown Corydon to take Poe-inspired pictures and/or macabre photos. If you missed the Escape Room, it will return to the Corydon Branch in December. Visit the library calendar and choose adult or youth events to register for programs.

Don’t forget to pick up a FREE copy of Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe at a local library branch.

Poe Cards
Raven Painting
Poe Journal

Remaining scheduled Poe events:

6 p.m. Tuesday, October 17 – Palmyra Branch – POE PAINTING. Create a Poe-inspired gothic painting
of a raven. Register online at or call 812-364-6425. (Adult)
5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 26 – Corydon Branch – POE-INSPIRED RAVEN WREATH. Make a wreath
inspired by the Poe poem The Raven. Register online at or call 812-738-4110. (Adult)
6 p.m. Monday, October 30 – Corydon Branch – POE-TOGRAPHY. Bring your camera (or phone) to take
some Poe-inspired photos. Participants will meet at the Corydon Branch to discuss ideas and then walk
around downtown Corydon to take Poe-inspired and/or macabre photos. Register online
at or call 812-738-4110. (Adult)
6 p.m. Thursday, November 16 – Corydon branch – BOOK DISCUSSION of Great Tales and Poems of
Edgar Allan Poe. An open book club style gathering will focus on the discussion questions from the
book.  Registration not required, bring a food item or snack to share. Contact Diana at 812-738-4110
with questions. (Adult)
November 17 – Elizabeth Branch Cooking Academy Take & Make – PUMPKIN “POE”-NUTS. Make
purple pumpkin donut holes to celebrate Edgar Allan Poe and the SoIN Big Read.  Call the Elizabeth
branch to pre-register at 812-969-2899. (Youth)
November 18 – Lanesville Branch Cooking Academy Take & Make – PUMPKIN “POE”-NUTS. Make
purple pumpkin donut holes to celebrate Edgar Allan Poe and the SoIN Big Read.  Call the Elizabeth
branch to pre-register at 812-952-3759. (Youth)
Tuesday, December 19 through Saturday, January 6 – Corydon Branch – ESCAPE THE HOUSE OF POE.
Follow clues and spine-chilling puzzles to escape the House of Poe before time runs out, or you’ll
nevermore be seen again. Contact the youth services department at the Corydon Branch 812-738-4110
to schedule your time slot. (Family)

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