Author name: Jessica Stroud

poetry society of IN

Poetry Society of Indiana’s Young Voices Annual Poetry Contest

Indiana Poetry Contest For Grades 3 – 12

The Poetry Society of Indiana announces the 2023 Young Voices Annual Poetry Contest. First-place winners will receive public acknowledgment 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  • Original unpublished work only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

Deadline for submissions is September 20, 2023.

There is no fee.  Additional details are available on the PSI Young Voices Annual Poetry Contest page.

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).

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

INDOT Public Comment and Meetings for Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is in the process of updating the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to cover the years 2024-2028.  The STIP is Indiana’s five-year planning and construction document that lists all projects and project phases expected to be funded within the next five years using federal funding, as required per Title 23, United States Code (USC). The STIP also includes state-funded projects that have been deemed Regionally Significant. The current STIP (2022-2026) and draft version of the 2024-2028 STIP are available here.

The 2024-2028 STIP is available for review and comment until June 22, 2023.

Virtual Town Hall
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Session 1 1:00 – 3:00 pm (EST)
Session 2 5:00 – 7:00 pm (EST)


Wednesday, May 17
Session 1 1:00 – 3:00 pm (EST)
Session 2 3:45 – 5:45 pm (EST)
Marion Public Library
600 S Washington St
Marion, IN

Thursday, May 18
Session 1 1:00 – 3:00 pm (EST)
Session 2 5:00 – 7:00 pm (EST)
Broad Ripple Park Family Center
1426 Broad Ripple Ave
Indianapolis, IN

Wednesday, May 24
Session 1 1:00 – 3:00 pm (CST)
Session 2 4:00 – 6:00 pm (CST)
Dean and Barbara White Community Center
6600 Broadway
Merrillville, IN

Wednesday, May 31
Session 1 1:00 – 3:00 pm (CST)
Session 2 5:00 – 7:00 pm (CST)
Evansville Public Library Central
200 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Evansville, IN

Past and Current Presidents’ Statement in Response to SB12 

ILF logoIndiana Senate Bill 12 (SB12) is attempting to restrict communities’ access to relevant information resources by threatening to criminally charge librarians. The mission of the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) is to lead, educate, and advocate to advance library services for the benefit of all Indiana residents. As library professionals and leaders of ILF, it is our duty to advocate for free and open access to information reflecting the diverse communities we serve and represent. The Bill of Rights to the Indiana Constitution states in Article 1, Section 9, “No law shall be passed, restraining the free interchange of thought and opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print, freely, on any subject whatever.”

As degreed, trained, and experienced library professionals, we recognize that not all items in every library are relevant, suitable, or appropriate for all groups. However, for patrons under the age of 18, it is a guardian’s responsibility to guide a child’s reading journey, not a state government. Nor is it the right of one parent or guardian to restrict access to materials provided to other patrons. 

To build library collections, many factors are considered. The idea that providing quality, well reviewed materials selected by trained and certified professionals could result in felony charges is abhorrent. SB12 would make it possible to charge Indiana librarians with a level-6 felony, which is the criminal equivalent to auto theft and strangulation. Convictions of these types of crimes carry a sentence of up to 2.5 years in jail and fines up to $10,000. Library professionals should not face these charges for doing their jobs and creating spaces that uphold the First Amendment rights of all US citizens. 

Some supporters of SB12 are accusing libraries and librarians of providing obscene and pornographic materials to children. It is already illegal to provide access to obscene and pornographic materials to children in Indiana. We want to be very clear in saying that we are against providing obscene and pornographic materials to children. Materials provided in Indiana libraries by professional librarians do not meet the legal definition of obscene and pornographic. This is one of the many reasons why SB12 is unnecessary. 

We, the leaders of ILF, recognize that community standards may vary across our state. In those instances when materials need to be reconsidered for collections, we believe it is always more desirable to have local procedures in place than state- or federal-level control over those local standards. Providing the opportunity for local review of library materials has always been a part of basic library operations and practice. This is another reason why SB12 is an unnecessary and redundant bill. Collection development policies outline the process for community members to give voice to their concerns and challenge library materials. 

Both the United States and Indiana State constitutions guarantee free and unfettered access to information. While all individuals have the right to determine what is appropriate for their dependents and for themselves to read, no individual or group has the right to determine what is or is not appropriate for others. Indiana librarians protect this First-Amendment right and should not be threatened with criminal prosecution for providing relevant information materials to all patron communities. Therefore, we the past, present, and future presidents of the Indiana Library Federation, representing public, academic, and school libraries, vehemently oppose Senate Bill 12 and any other legislation that would restrict all Hoosiers’ freedom to read. To impede on this right is to irreparably damage the futures of Indiana citizens, our systems of education, librarianship as a profession, and the democratic principles upon which our country is built. 

Michael Williams, ILF 2022 Past-President 

Christopher Proctor, ILF 2023 President 

Diane Rogers, ILF 2024 President-Elect

“Saturday Spotlight” at the Frederick Porter Griffin Center: Women’s History Month

by Kathy Fisher, Head of Genealogy and Local History

March is a special month for many people.  It’s celebrated by basketball fans, Irish-Americans, appreciators of warmer and brighter days, and pie-eating math lovers maybe?  Another group that should garner attention this month is WOMEN… 

From its beginnings, Harrison County has been home to many important women.  Names such as Elizabeth Pennington, Polly Strong, Mary Bugher, Julia Fried Walker, Leora Brown Farrow, Matilda Boone Crosier, Jennie Griffin, and Georgia Stockslager Fisher represent just a few of the females that left their mark here.  You are invited to discover some of their stories (and more) at the Frederick Porter Griffin Center during this Women’s History Month.

Special programming will be offered between 10 am and 4 pm on Saturday March 11th and 18th.  Stop in to learn more!

(If you can’t make it in-person, be sure to view our other women-focused programming videos online.)

“Saturday Spotlight” at the Frederick Porter Griffin Center: Black History Month

by Kathy Fisher, Head of Genealogy

In July of 2006, a diverse group gathered at Corydon’s historic Leora Brown School to hear the remembrances of a special nonagenarian named Ethel Porter.  The location was appropriate, for Ethel was there to speak about her experiences growing up in Indiana’s segregated school systems.

The library staff was there to capture these stories and the recently uncovered video is now available to share.  You are invited to rediscover this program each Saturday during Black History Month.

Viewings will run on the hour between 10 am and 4 pm each remaining Saturday during February.  Stop in to learn more about Ethel, the Leora Brown School, Harrison County’s rich Black history, and more!

(Don’t worry if you can’t make it in person, the videos will be added to the library programming page on the website at the end of the month.)

Day of the Death Notices (and more!)

by Kathy Fisher, Head of Genealogy

During October, staff at the Frederick Porter Griffin Center have been diligently celebrating Family History Month.

Didn’t make it in to see us?  Don’t worry – you can continue the celebration anytime, any day by visiting the FPG Center for Genealogy and Local History page. 

Be sure to check out our newly-updated Master Obituary Index!  We’ve added over 100 pages of new entries spanning all years pre-1900 up to 2020, made many clerical corrections, and streamlined the “Unknowns” section at the beginning (so even if you have previously unsuccessfully searched for a person in the Index, be sure to check again)!  The improved “Disclaimer, Key, and Tips” at the beginning offers assistance to better navigate the document.

We also recently uploaded new digital content including Heth and Jackson Township Justice Dockets and Group Photos.

Coming Up Soon:  Keep an eye out for the next digital collection featuring Posey Township Teacher’s Registers from the early 1900s!

Keep digging!

Self-checkout station Corydon branch

Self-checkout station now available at Corydon Branch

The self-checkout station at the Corydon branch was made possible by a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Self-checkout station at Corydon
Click image to enlarge

Harrison County Public Library installed a user-friendly station near the entrance of the Corydon branch to enable users to check out their own materials.

To check out, simply:

  1. Scan your library card or user barcode in the HCPL app
  2. Scan the HCPL barcode on each item
  3. Scan the QR code provided to print your receipt

You’re all set!

HCPL staff are happy to help if you would like assistance using the self-checkout station, or if you would prefer that they check out your items at the circulation desk.

A few guidelines for using the self-checkout station:

  • You may use only your own card for self check.
  • DVD’s and hotspots must be checked out by staff at the checkout desk.
  • If you have available holds, please see the staff at the checkout desk so that they may pull them and check them out to your account.

Don’t yet have your Harrison County Public Library card? Apply for a library card or renew your existing card online or at your local HCPL branch.


SoIN Big Read Ella Enchanted

HCPL invites you to join us in the 2022 SoIN Big Read, “Ella Enchanted”!

Harrison County Public Library is partnering with the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana (AASI) and other regional partners in the SoIN Big Read, and you are invited to read along with us!

To kickoff the 2022 SoIN Big Read, Harrison County Public Library’s first event will take place this Saturday, October 15th, at the Corydon branch in the Children’s Activity Room at 105 N. Capitol Avenue with public showings of the movie Ella Enchanted (2004) at 10 am and 2 pm.

Free copies of the book will be available to pick up at any Harrison County Public Library branch starting Monday, October 17.


More Harrison County Public Library in-person and virtual book discussion events are coming soon.

“We are thrilled to kick off the SoIN Big Read with our partners, The Floyd County Library, Jeffersonville Township Public Library, Harrison County Public Library, Jeffersonville Public Art Commission, and Community Action of Southern Indiana,” said AASI Executive Director Brian Bell. “The SoIN Big Read will promote a regional community reading event of Ella Enchanted”

Over 1,000 copies of this beloved Newbery Honor-winning story that is sure to enchant readers new and old will be distributed at no cost at locations throughout Southern Indiana. Each SoIN Big Read partnering organization will host book-related programming, movie events, book discussions, workshops, and podcasts with the intention of fostering engagement and discussion of the book.

At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it’s to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate…

Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.

A tween favorite for 25 years, adults who remember the pleasure of discovering this fun fairytale themselves are now sharing this book with younger readers.

For more information about the SoIN Big Read, please click here.

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.

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