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December 6, 2018

Time sure flies when you are having fun!

This will be my last column as President of Indiana Library Federation.  As I look back at the past year, I am very proud of everything we’ve done.  From the hard work on the school library census and development of the final report, the Virtual Exchanges and Regional Conferences in the spring, the summer focus on services to students and other youth culminating in an excellent Youth Services Division conference, our fall advocacy work, and to cap it all off a fantastic Annual Conference, it’s been an active year.  I really believe the learning and connections we’ve made over the past year have moved the needle on fulfilling our mission to lead, educate, and advocate to advance library services to benefit Indiana residents.  Thank you to all of our members and volunteers.  Without your passion, persistence, and just plain hard work, none of these things would be possible.  Fear not, however. There is still much to be done and many opportunities for engagement and action by all of us as we prepare for 2019. 

Indiana needs libraries!  I couldn’t agree more with Al Hubbard in his recent op-ed (IndyStar, 12/2/18) about the importance of reading for children’s success in school, work and life. The research is clear: access to books is critically important, especially from children living in poverty and children of color. For many children and adults, the library is THE only place to access books, articles and programs. With one of five Hoosier children living in poverty, it is critical that we continue to support strong library programs in our schools and communities. Our children’s literacy and future success depends on it.  This is great context for us as we move into 2019, a budget year for our Indiana General Assembly.  It is important for all of us to be able to articulate for decision-makers how libraries of all kinds play a critical role in the education and workforce issues that are important to them. 

I am very much looking forward to working closely with our incoming President, Susie Highley and our President-elect Leslie Sutherlin.  These two have boundless energy and enthusiasm for libraries, understand the essential role of libraries and committed library staff and supporters, and will be fantastic leaders as we continue to work to fulfill our mission.  We will all continue to tell the story of libraries of all kinds and how we create lifelong learners, an informed citizenry, and improve the overall quality of life for people in our state.    


I deeply appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve as your President.  Thank you.  


November 8, 2018

Happy November everyone. On Election Day, I was at a meeting with Kristi Howe from Vigo County Public Library. As many libraries do, their central location serves as a polling place, and she was checking in regularly on social media to see how it was going. VCPL has been a polling location for years, but they have really stepped up their efforts in the last few years to create a welcoming, friendly, vibrant atmosphere for folks coming in to vote. The library proper opens at 6:00am along with the polls, and patrons can vote, read a magazine, pick up a hold, or ask a question all on the same visit. VCPL staff fire up their popcorn machine and think about what kinds of activities or distractions they can provide to make long lines less vexing. The clever ideas VCPL staff have come up with and the way they have turned what could be stressful into a great library experience is a fantastic example of the impact of thoughtful, innovative libraries on a community. This is just one way that libraries are more than just books. As we all think about the various roles our libraries play in our schools, our communities and on our campuses, what are some ways we can enhance the experience of our users? Is there a process or event that is challenging? Is there a way the library can make it better? These are questions that we can all ask ourselves as we look for ways to make connections, elevate our libraries, and ensure we are essential to the people we serve. Our Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference next week will be a great opportunity to talk more about the wonderful things that are happening in our Indiana libraries with over 750 of our colleagues and supporters. I hope to see you there!

October 11, 2018

Happy fall, Y’all!

Each year in October, as thoughts turn to pumpkin spice everything, Halloween, and changing leaves, here at ILF our thoughts turn to the upcoming legislative session.  Super exciting, right? 

 Last week on October 4, ILF held our annual Fall Forum to talk about what’s important to us as members, ILF leaders, and librarians.  We revisited the progress and accomplishments we’ve made since last fall when we met and took a deep dive into what’s important to us.  At that time, we established a long-term, multi-year vision for policy work around libraries at the local, state and national level.  This year, we reminded everyone of the issues we identified last year, and gave folks the opportunity to share what may have changed or moved up in concern.  We talked through the ins and outs of public library funding and how that relates to what is happening right now with our state legislators.  Local Income Tax (LIT), where most public libraries get a good chunk of operating funding, is currently a focus for the general assembly, and we worked on understanding it better so we can be prepared for any changes or discussions that come up in this 2019 budget session.   For more information, check out the advocacy section on the ILF website, and follow the updates that will come weekly during the session. 

The second half of the day focused on advocacy.  We broke into groups organized by legislative districts and talked though who we knew, what relationships we had, and how to build new ones.  Amy Cornell, our new rep from Bose Public Affairs, was great.  She reminded us that our elected officials are people, and the best way to make a connection is to ask questions and learn about what we have in common.  Find out what your elected officials care about and think about how that relates to what you care about.   The biggest takeaway for me was that the secret to advocacy is NOT talking and crafting the perfect message.  It’s listening.  As librarians (and library supporters!), we know that carefully listening and asking follow up questions is the best way to find out what someone really wants and what will meet their true need.  The same is true for our legislators, decision-makers, and influencers.

As we move into the 2019 legislative year, look for opportunities to listen to your local officials and learn about them as people.  Bond over a shared love of dogs, stock car racing, or cherry cobbler.  The more we see each other as people, the more open we are to working together and finding those areas of commonality that allow for a place to start when we need our advocacy messages about the library to resonate.

I’m looking forward to listening to what YOU care about at our ILF Annual Conference in November.  Registration is still open—I hope to see you there!

September 13, 2018

September is National Library Card Sign Up Month. Each year, libraries all over Indiana and the US pull out all the stops to get cards in the hands of as many new people as possible. There are giveaways, stunts, prizes, photo ops, and benefits galore. It’s a fun time, and a great opportunity to remind everyone of the fantastic benefits that come with your library card every month and day of the year. A library card opens doors to opportunity, essential services, learning, discovery and wonder. It’s an all-access pass to information, expertise, safe and civil spaces for inquiry and debate, and as many stories and experiences as there are books in our stacks. It’s truly the most important card in your wallet, on your keychain, or saved in your phone.

One of my favorite Library Card Signup Month stories is from years ago when a patron came to me and asked for their National Library Card, thinking that in September we gave away a single card that would work nationwide. Wouldn’t that be something? #LibraryGoals, right? Until then, let’s keep working toward getting every kid, parent, new immigrant, new resident, long-time resident, elected official, neighbor, firefighter, teacher, EVERYONE a library card and open up a world of possibility.

To get a flavor for how different libraries are celebrating and promoting their cards, check out #LibraryCardSignUp and #LibraryCardSignUpMonth on Twitter. Personally, I like #GetCardedinSeptemberJ Tag me @edrawaterman with the fun ways you are telling your story and engaging your community!

August 14, 2018
I recently attended the Inspire 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Indiana State Library.  It’s simultaneously hard to believe that Inspire has been with us for 20 years and that there was a time we didn’t have access to this incredible resource.  It was interesting to hear about the history of Inspire, the role of INCOLSA (there’s a blast from the past!), the State Library and of Indiana Library Federation in the implementation, promotion and eventual State funding of this essential service to Hoosiers.  The collaborative effort that went into starting Inspire, back when the World Wide Web was new, and in maintaining and expanding it over the years to meet the needs of students of all ages, Hoosiers of all backgrounds, businesses of all types, and every kind of library is nothing short of amazing.   Might I even say Inspire-ing?  

As we at ILF pursue making our strategic vision a reality, it is clearly imperative that funding continues for Inspire.  The history we revisited at the anniversary event makes it clear that Inspire funding is not guaranteed.  As we gear up for the 2019 Legislative session (a budget session) we will all need to be ready to lead, educate and advocate to advance library services for the benefit of Indiana residents.  One specific way we can do this is to talk about this incredible resource.  Let’s take every opportunity to demonstrate, explain and promote Inspire to our patrons, our Boards, our students, our elected officials, and our communities.  Ensuring Inspire funding remains in the Indiana Biennial budget is mission critical and far from a sure thing.  Let’s all work together to make it happen.  

July 10, 2018
First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who responded to me last month.  I appreciate and honor all of the work that is being done by our creative Indiana librarians.  Keep up the good work, and feel free to drop me a line any time.

I just returned from ALA in New Orleans, and I guar-an-tee it was HOT!  Fortunately, the convention center was cool and chock-full of new ideas and new directions paired with reminders of the importance of our core values. 

There was a ton of focus this year on retooling ALA itself to be a more effective, streamlined, reflective-of-the-membership organization.  Sound familiar?  I am extremely proud of our own Lucinda Nord, who has been tapped to work with ALA on this effort as a member of the ALA Organizational Effectiveness/Governance Review Steering Committee.  I am likewise incredibly proud of the hard work that you as ILF members have done over the last two years, led by Lucinda, resulting in our new strategic vision for the future of libraries in Indiana.  We have a great deal of work ahead of us, but we are well positioned with our broad and inclusive strategic goals to create partnerships and find a variety of opportunities to advance our cause across the state and across types of libraries. 

Another theme from ALA that resonated for me and I hope will for many of you, is a renewed focus on the critical importance of libraries in ensuring that people understand how to evaluate sources and determine for themselves what is fact and what is fiction.  Libraries have been teaching our patrons/students/users to be critical thinkers and how to find authoritative sources since long before Facebook, the Internet, and “Fake News.”  These days, however, it is more of a challenge than ever.  Speaking of evaluation, there were many useful sessions on the importance of evaluating our services and measuring our impact, a critical part of telling our stories to voters, elected officials, and potential library champions. 

As always, I returned from ALA inspired and reinvigorated with a renewed respect for the profession and the important work we do every day.  I look forward to our own Annual Conference this fall, where each and every one of us can experience the same kind of renewal and inspiration just down the road in Indianapolis.  Did you know registration was already open?  I hope to see all of you there!  


June 2018
Can we get real for a minute?  Yes, I’m looking at you, the one alone at the desk, buried under tasks, carrying a full load of programs/classes/lesson plans/research projects.  The one without a minute to spare, who pours their heart and soul into making their library welcoming, productive, and relevant.   Who worries about LEUs and CEUs, getting the “right” degree, whether tenure is ever going to happen, or how in the world they are supposed to get an MLS when a BA seems impossible while balancing a full-time job and a family.  The one who works two part-time circulation jobs to make ends meet, works to create exceptional library service in six different school buildings, and the newly minted graduate now director of their hometown library trying to figure out how in the world LIT income works.  The volunteer who straightens shelves, the library trustee who attends every meeting, and the Friend who sorts mountains of library discards and donations.  I see you.  

As I have traveled around the state for regional conferences and other meetings, I have seen some of the fantastic and creative work that is happening in libraries, and I want more!  I really mean it when I ask you to drop me a line or send me a tweet.  So this is me, just a person who loves what libraries do, (virtually) standing in front of another library lover, asking you to share your story.  I want to exclaim over your story time, get excited on your behalf about a form or process you’ve streamlined to make things easier for your patrons/students/customers.   I want to hear about your conversation with the Commissioner who thinks libraries are great, and about the local representative who wants to know what we are going to do with our empty buildings since everyone just reads books on their Kindle.  What is the best thing happening in your world, and what is the hardest thing you’ve made it through?  I want you to know, the work you do in and for your library is valued, important, and worthy of praise.   We all have our vital role to play in advancing library services to benefit Indiana residents.  

I was at the Indiana Library Leadership Academy this week waiting to have my parking validated, and when I said, “I need to be validated” one of the participants turned to me and said “I think you are doing a GREAT job.”  It’s my turn now.  Blow me away!
@edrawaterman on Twitter


May 2018

Reflections from the President’s Chair:

Looks like we jetted right past Spring into Summer!  A giant tip of the hat to our Indiana public libraries gearing up for Summer Reading, our busiest time of the year, and often a time of adjusting to new ideas and new approaches to this long-standing library tradition.  

There are as many ways to plan summer reading as there are libraries, and I’ve been in countless meetings where “let’s try something new this year” collides with “we’ve always done it this way” or “we tried that five years ago and it didn’t work.” 

Reflecting on how these discussion went and how different folks navigated these choppy waters reminds me that our ability as a profession to evolve, lead, and manage change is critical to our future.  

Change is a constant.  It cannot be avoided forever by clinging to the past, but it can really be hard, especially if it’s been avoided as much as possible.   Change is a muscle that is developed though use. It’s really painful at the beginning, but the more you exercise it, the less it hurts and the better it works.  

So where do we start?  Here are a few suggestions (you know I started my career working in mental health, right?)

• Smile – It is amazing how a smile will help create a feeling of openness and welcoming, whether it is to a person, a situation, or a new idea. 
• Keep an open mind - While our natural inclination is to resist change or tell that newbie that their idea would never work here, sometimes solutions become more apparent when we approach each situation with “tell me more” rather than “are you crazy?”
• Try it – Sometimes, we need to embrace that precocious 5-year-old version of ourselves to try something, even if we fail. Experiment with that new software—you won’t break it.   Move that big table over by the outlet, move the new books over where the light is better, try rewarding patrons for attending programs or events in addition to reading books!
• Q-TIP – Quit taking it personally.  If something we started or have done for years needs to change, it’s not a judgment about us as human beings.  Circumstances or needs shift.  It’s not personal, it’s business.   We have to learn to be like Elsa, and Let it Go.  

I would love to hear from you!  Share your approach to change with me. Email me a story of how you embraced change, tried something new (even if you failed) or let something go.  What worked for you, and what didn’t?  I can’t wait to hear your stories.  


April 2018

I’m writing this column in my office watching the snow pile up in the grass, wondering where the heck spring went.  What a weird year.  

One sign of spring we can count on, however, is that ILF regional conferences are popping up all around the state.  The first two, at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne and Lake County Public Library in Merrillville will be in the books by the time you read this. There are still three more scheduled in New Albany 4/20, Terre Haute 5/15, and Kokomo 5/18.  If I didn’t see you at Allen or Lake Co, please consider registering for the remaining conference closest to you!   If you are already registered, I’ll see you there. 

As I was greeting attendees at the Fort Wayne conference, I was also greeting library patrons as they came in and answering lots of questions about what we were doing in their library (having a librarian conference), were the bottles of water free (unfortunately, no, they were for attendees, but there were drinking fountains in the library), and could they have a piece of chocolate (of course!).  People were curious, mostly friendly, and observant.  The brief interactions I had all ended with a smile.  I thought little of it until after the keynote. 

Our keynote speaker at ACPL—also keynoting at our remaining conferences, Dr. Godwin Charles Ogbeide, provided a fantastic spin on how we think about serving our patrons.  We’ve been talking about customer service in libraries for years, but what if we think about hospitality?  How is it different, and what could that mean?  I started thinking about my time greeting people at the conference and the brief, friendly interactions that resulted in whole new light.  More on that after you’ve all had the chance to hear Dr. Ogbeide for yourselves.

Other sessions on cyber security and hands-on computer training as well as an opportunity for public library directors to weigh in on the future of Indiana public libraries will be held at all of the conferences as well, so don’t miss it.  Pick your location and hit the road.  You won’t regret it.  


March 2018

Happy (soon to be) Spring, everyone!


Thanks to everyone who was able to join ILF at the Statehouse on February 20. It was a great opportunity to get face to face with our legislators, experience the beauty and history of our Indiana Statehouse, and to show off the nifty tools in use in libraries to build STEM skills and foster engagement. The legislators that stopped by were intrigued and interested in how libraries are evolving beyond books. In my brief conversations with my own legislators, I was challenged to respond to the question of how the library remains relevant in a fast-paced world of eBooks and co-working spaces. Why, my legislator asked, do we still need so much space in libraries when the books will fit on a smartphone?


Where to begin, right?


Conversations such as this are not uncommon. We in libraries are fortunate to have an extremely high approval rating. We are a trusted and beloved institution. But, as they say, who wants to live in an institution? These warm feelings toward the library are holding us back as much as they are supporting us. When my legislator asks why we need libraries, he’s not saying he doesn’t have those warm feelings or happy memories. Quite the opposite. He’s saying I know libraries are about books, but that the needs of a 21st century world go beyond that. In fact, this legislator is a huge advocate for workforce development. And he had no idea that libraries are filled every day with people using our space and resources for exactly that: meeting tutors, connecting with business partners, attending computer classes to get better jobs, getting their high school equivalency, using our WiFi and computers, checking out wireless hotspots, and yes, even checking out books.


We need to get better at telling our story and showing our work. Until everyone understands that libraries matter, that our spaces and services are of critical importance to ensuring an informed citizenry and that what we do directly affects education, economic development and quality of life, we will be at risk. Not of no longer being trusted or beloved, but at risk of being thought a quaint and old-fashioned holdover from the past that a government with limited resources can no longer afford to include in discussions of funding, dedicated spaces, or the need for professional staff.


My call to action is this: get involved. Take every opportunity to get in front of elected officials, community leaders and active citizens. Say yes to partnerships, collaborative efforts, and look for ways the library can demonstrate all the ways in which we leverage our spaces, our accomplished staff, and our services to directly impact and support the goals and objectives of the communities we serve. Whether that community is a K-12 school, a city, a county, a college, or a university, the library is an essential partner in success. We want to move beyond being everyone’s favorite nostalgic childhood memory to being one of the first resources listed when tallying community assets. Will this be easy? No. But it is fundamental to the future of libraries. We’re already doing fantastic and critical work. Let’s go out and show it. 


February 2018

I recently returned from ALA’s Midwinter meeting in Denver, where I was honored to represent ILF as your elected president.   Libraries all over the country are facing many of the same challenges that we in Indiana are experiencing.   From funding concerns to the threat of losing our school librarians, to working to define the future of librarianship as a profession.  


One of the opportunities I had along with our ALA Chapter Councilor Beth Munk and ILF Board Member Tara White was to get all kinds of librarians together in a room and talk about what message we all agree is important to advocate for.  Overwhelmingly, we all started with the absolute need to advocate for better awareness of the value of libraries to schools, students, communities, elected officials, businesses, etc. etc.  We all agree on the importance of the work libraries do, the environments we provide, and the library’s role in the development and encouragement of critical thinking, curiosity, and connection. However, we agree that we can do this work better as a strong and cohesive single voice for libraries of all types. 


Indiana Library Federation, in representing ALL types of libraries, is enviably positioned to make a real impact.  ILF leads, advocates and educates to advance library services for the benefit of Indiana residents.  Our Board is made up of people with varied backgrounds and experiences with public, academic, and school libraries and of strong library supporters and advocates such as library trustees.   I encourage all of you to look around your local community and reach out to your fellow librarians in the public library, the school library, and the academic library.  Get to know their work, their challenges and their successes, and look for ways to make connections, build understanding, and create partnerships.  Like a choir made up of different voices, the impact of our advocacy message is richer, deeper, and more effective when we sing together.  



January 2018
New year, new ILF

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you are all recovering from the holidays and are ready for a great year.  2017 was a busy year for our Indiana Library Federation, culminating in a new vision and mission that will guide us as we hit the ground running in 2018. 

Our Advocacy committee is working diligently to follow legislation that may affect libraries and librarians of all types.  Stay tuned for more information on Library Legislative Day at the Statehouse, and consider making your voice heard as part of that event.  I encourage all members to read ILF’s Advocacy Updates, and feel free to reach out to the office or any committee member with questions or comments.  

Our new, streamlined committee structure is up and running, with many opportunities for everyone to find their niche.  Be sure to take the opportunity to read through ILF e-mails and newsletters for callouts and information on how to get involved in something you are passionate about.  We need you!

Our 2018 Call for Programs is posted on the website.  2018 is the first year we are using a single form for all of our conferences, and we are very excited to see what kind of feedback we get.  We not only have a traditional program proposal form, but you can share names of suggested topics or presenters as well.  This gives ILF staff guidance when reaching out to potential presenters on topics of great interest to our members.   Send feedback early and often!  

I am deeply honored and grateful to be your 2018 ILF President.  I look forward to an exciting and productive year of leading, educating, and advocating to advance library service in Indiana!



Dr. David Peter - 2017 ILF President

December 2017

To the members of the Indiana Library Federation, the Board of Directors, Executive Director, and Office Staff.

And here we are.  The end of the 2017 Indiana Library Federation Year. Stopping to review this year, I can only be pleasantly surprised. Some of the key events for this year have moved us to adopt a strategic plan, and update our mission and vision statement. This was truly a year for and of great change. But it's been needed change, to ensure that the Indiana Library Federation is a viable federation that is responsive to changes in the library landscape, regardless of public, school, academic, special collection. Our strength lies in our common mission and vision. 

Our mission reflects our common focus, to lead, educate and advocate. We have been advocates at the Statehouse and at the Federal Level. We continue to meet with the key stakeholders and make the case to fulfill out mission, for the benefit of Indiana residents. We continue to stress our vision, where Indiana residents have the knowledge and skills to thrive. Even in the midst of restructuring our bylaws and governing documents, our mission and vision have always been at the forefront of each and every opportunity.

While some would voice a need to slow change down, it is imperative, at this time in our State, to continue to boldly seize the initiative. Meetings with Governor Holcomb, and grant opportunities have given us access to the key decision makers. These opportunities would not have surfaced if we were not bold in our undertakings. We have finished a very successful and engaging CYPD conference, IPLA conference, Fall Legislative Forum and Annual Conference. These successes are due in no small part to you and your participation. Truly, we continue to build on our successes.

But we are not content to rest. Boldly stepping forward to strengthen our finances, we have, with the astute insight of Lucinda Nord, our Executive Director, streamlined our day to day expenses. Through the wonderful efforts of the Indiana Library Federation office staff, David Cochran, Tisa Davis, Brittany Snow and Megan Zanto the administrative operations, business and financial operations, communications, and special projects have exceeded expectations. 

And now, with a new board of directors poised to assume the mantle of leadership of our Indiana Library Federation, I know that we will continue to grow and position ourselves to lead, educate and advocate to advance library services for the benefit of Indiana residents. To Robyn Young, Past President, know that it was truly an honor to serve with you. Your insight and knowledge have been key, in my opinion, to positioning us with the new Strategic Vision. To the board members who will be continuing, your professionalism and dedication will provide the support and voice for us to continue. To those who will end their term on the board, I can say unequivocally that I have been the better for having known you. 

It has been been my joy to participate in the seemingly continuing meetings. While it has been, roughly 570 hours of board meetings, committee meetings, both in person and via telephone, I can say that I have a new found appreciation for each and every one of you. I have been impressed by the members of the Legislative Advocacy Committee, who carefully and deliberately ensure that our advocacy plan represents us, the Indiana Library Federation. Special thanks to Jos. N Holman and MacKenzie Ledley who served as co chairs this year. Your leadership with this committee has aided greatly in keeping our advocacy plan focused, relevant and moving.

Throughout this year, I have visited public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries. At each library I've visited, the library staff (professional, paraprofessional and support) have shared the stories of their libraries, their patrons. You have no idea how fulfilling that has been for me to hear the stories, and then share those stories with others. And, not to forget our Indiana State Library, I have the utmost respect for Jake Speer and his wonderful staff. They all have been so helpful when ever I've stopped by.

To Edra Waterman, Indiana Library Federation President for 2018, I have enjoyed this year, listening to your wonderful vision for libraries. I rest in the knowledge that you will continue to propel our Indiana Library Federation forward, accepting whatever opportunities may be present, and engaging the membership across the state. I will look forward to taking the seat on your left, as Past President.

Reflecting back on this past year seemed to echo the opening lines of Dr. Seuss' "Oh the Places You'll go!" ... I have truly been to great places, and the year has been a study in motion! Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken," gave me my personal mission for this year "I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."  I end this year as I started, honored and humbled to serve you as President of the Indiana Library Federation.

I would leave you with this quote from Robert K. Greenleaf's monograph, "Servant As Leader:"

“Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams. Much more than a dreamer is required to bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first.” 

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. David M. Peter
Indiana Library Federation President 2017
ILF Member
ALA Member
Friend of the Vigo County Public Library


November 2017
Post Conference Reflection

WOW! Where do I begin? There are so many different memories of the Annual Conference, each one that has added to my overall experience ... from bag pipes, to Maggie ... to Awarding and Honoring the stellar libraries and librarians .... to the wonderful conversations here and there ... to renewing old friendships, and making new friends ... to presenting the Legislative Advocate Award to Rep. Brown ... each of these was made possible by YOU! YOU are the heart and soul of the Indiana Library Federation. 

So, with that as my introduction ... let me say how thankful I am for each and every member, for the passion and dedication they bring to the libraries and patrons all around this state. 

Let me offer a great thanks to the members of the Indiana Library Federation Board of Directors ... you go above and beyond all expectations to provide the leadership and representation that collectively make this THE largest state library federation, period. 

And to the wonderful and responsive ILF Staff ... you continue to amaze me with your exemplary professionalism at each and every moment. I am so thankful for all of the support and assistance you have given me this year. You are the KEY to our success!

Thanksgiving will be here sooner than expected .... at this time of year, I ask each of you to give thanks for all that we have, all that we serve, and all the potential of tomorrow. Tell those at your libraries, and around your tables, how thankful you are for each and every one of them. The simplest words that we can share with people are "Thank you" .... go ahead, it's really easy to do. Who knows, you'll feel good, and you'll brighten the day of those around you.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 
― Marcel Proust

Until next time,



October 2017

Well, here it is. October. Where has this year gone? If you stop and think for a minute, your Indiana Library Federation has been exceptionally busy!  We have approved our new strategic vision, with a new mission and vision. Thanks to your tireless support, ILF is better poised to meet any new opportunities and challenges that come our way. We are stronger fiscally due to the policies and office practices of the staff. We are streamlining many of the office practices. We are so much better thanks to the office staff and our Executive Director, Lucinda Nord.


I am looking forward to seeing you all at Annual Conference. Oh, and we are ALWAYS in need of volunteers.  You make the difference in all we do.


So, what are you reading? This is a perfect opportunity to read Edgar Allen Poe. Or perhaps The Wizard of Oz. Remember it was a book before it became a movie. Or perhaps some Arthur Conan Doyle? The Hound of the Baskervilles is always a scary read. 


Setting here at the table with the rest of the board,  I listen to the musical sounds of the voices, sharing ideas and chatting with this group of friends. These are strong friends of Indiana libraries. Their voices, from the public libraries, school libraries and academic libraries join together.


Hope to see you next month at annual conference! I am looking forward to just catching up and hearing the wonderful ways you and your library are improving the lives of Hoosiers!


Until next month,




September 2017 - While ILF President Dr. David Peter was away, Special 

Edra Waterman, 2018 ILF President

Columnist Edra Waterman, ILF President Elect filled in.

Over the last several months, our Indiana Library Federation Board has deliberated important questions about the best way to organize our work to advance libraries in Indiana.  ILF surveyed members, facilitated conversations, listened with our hearts and minds, and we learned. We have spent hours of extra board meetings in passionate debate shaping our mission, vision and work plan for the future.

In August, the ILF Board approved a five-year Strategic Vision and a more detailed, focused Work Plan. We placed a stake in the ground about what we want to achieve for libraries, for library staff and for all residents of Indiana. We outlined specific measurable goals in six areas. Part of our plan is to strengthen our organization internally to be more effective and nimble and to operate by nonprofit best practices. 

In the coming days, you will receive information and a ballot to change our by-laws to comply wi
th nonprofit law and best practices. 

On behalf of the ILF Board, I call on every member to please support these by-laws changes with your vote. To all of our stakeholders, I invite you to pick a favorite goal area in the Vision, get involved, and help ILF advance library services for the benefit of all Indiana residents. 
Thank you for your support of Indiana Library Federation.

-Edra Waterman, ILF President Elect


August 2017 - August, and the start of school

School is starting, or has started. Getting into the normal routines is so important. Another routine to get into is reading. I’ll confess that I’ve been a reader for a long time. I can remember going to the public library and checking out two books, taking them home and reading them, and then returning them the following week. Reading has just been a part of my life. I’ll say that reading has given me opportunities to grow and learn. I’ve traveled around the world of literature, been witness to countless episodes of history, and explored the vast universe. Books, and the love of reading, have made me what I am today.
I’m working on several genealogical projects. I’ve visited the Rockville Public Library, Plainfield-Guilford Township Library, Knox County Public Library, and the Vigo County Public Library. I’ll also go to the Indiana State Library. The wonderful librarians are always ready for any question, and will search to answer a question from me. They’re always very interesting individuals, and when I’ll stop and just talk with them, it’s easy to see and celebrate the role that librarians play in our daily lives. Oh, and yes, I’ve got a list of libraries to visit!
To the librarians who introduced me to books many, many years ago I can say with confidence, “You have opened my eyes to the wonderful world of books.” And to the librarian at the State Library who helped me to find another resource for my genealogical journey, thank you. It’s so easy to say, “Thank you,” to the librarians in our lives. They are the so important to our daily lives.
See you in the library!
Dr. David M. Peter
ILF President 2017


 July 2017 - Summer of Change and Opportunity

As I’ve now entered a new season of life, retirement, I’ve been anxious to do things I’ve just not been able to do. I was always a reader, but due to the requirements of the job, I just didn’t feel like I was able to read enough. I visited the Vigo County Public Library to download the Libby app for my iPad. After some wonderful assistance from the Reference Librarian I was ready! Spent some time browsing the online catalog and have now downloaded Kevin Gutzman’s “Thomas Jefferson-Revolutionary,” and A. W. Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God.” To think how technology has grown and rapidly changed to give us access to an untold collection of books makes me so thankful. Change in technology has impacted and transformed our lives. 

Regardless of whatever season we may find ourselves in, we know that change is an inevitable part of our lives. We can embrace change, or reject the unstoppable change. As I’ve been downsizing, I donated many physical books that I’d collected over the years. Many I had read maybe once, and a few had been read more than one time. Limited space limited my physical collection. And now, I’ve got “books” on my iPad. And, I can even read my local newspaper on my iPad as well. 
So, a Summer of change is upon us. What changes are you making? Oh, I think I’ll spend some time reading today. It’ll be a great day!

Dr. David M. Peter
President, Indiana Library Federation

June 2017 - Classic summer reading
Well, I was asked a question the other day that gave me opportunity to stop and think. Think about books that I’ve read and re-read multiple times. These books have made an impact on me, and I have and continue to find them good reads even now. Yes, I have several of them in paperback, the remains of a college class years ago.

Robert M. Pirsig, from 1974, Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance
Robert James Waller, from 1992, The Bridges of Madison County
William Peter Blatty, from 1994, The Exorcist
Richard Adams, from1972, Watership Down

These were some of the authors who have died this year.  And their books have no doubt been read, and have made an impact on the lives of the readers.  As Summer is on the brink of beginning, find a book, an old book and read it. Granted, some of them have not been made into a movie, yet. Nor have they been serialized for quick and easy consumption.  These are books that you can read in bits of time.  Read one as the next few months pass. You’ll be better for the classics. If not, you will at least be an interesting conversation starter at backyard gatherings.

Until we meet again,
Dr. David M. Peter
President, Indiana Library Federation

May 2017 -  Things to do this Summer
So, Summer is almost here! I’ve always looked forward to Summer. Reading. Catching up on things I’ve started to read, but haven’t finished reading. I attended a friend’s graduation from Law School. Walked around the campus, wandering through libraries … libraries have been a place for exploration, for inquiry, for reflection, for growth and for so much more. 
We are all library champions. We support the libraries and the librarians. I’d ask you to be more than a champion. Become an advocate for your library. Write a letter to your local newspaper, sharing the role and importance the library has on you, your family, and your community. Attend library board meetings. Attend city and county government meetings. Share your voice and your story. We are fortunate to live in a place where our voice, our collective voices can be heard. Together, we have added our voices and the biennial state budget reflects the importance of libraries. Send a thank you to your state representatives for their support of the budget! 
This Summer, read a book. Share that book. Become a library advocate. Share your library story!
Dr. David M. Peter
President, Indiana Library Federation

April 2017 - In acknowledgement of our volunteers

Albert Schweitzer is quoted as saying, “Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don't live in a world all of your own.”
With each act of volunteering, you are helping someone who needs you. Granted, you may never know the measure of your impact, but know this: you are valued, and your contributions of your time and your talents help make the Indiana Library Federation the fulfill the role of promoting all libraries in Indiana and fostering the professional growth of our members.
Thank you may seem like just two words, but know that it conveys much more … 
Thank you for your time and your talents,
Dr. David M. Peter
Indiana Library Federation President 2017

March 2017 - March Message
March has come roaring in … with the wild weather we have seen the first several days of the month, I hope that the month ends like a lamb (in light of the Farmer’s Almanac). Bills have “crossed over” between the House and Senate, so we are past a major milestone! It’s been very good to read and click through the links in the Legislative Update from ILF. I’m looking forward to Library Day at the Statehouse on March 14. We are extremely fortunate to live in a country where we are given opportunities to speak with our elected representatives, and let them know what is important to each of us. After living overseas, and traveling in the Army, and later as a Contracted Employee, I can assuredly say that the rights we have, freedom of speech, of assembly, of the press and of religion are unique and are so interwoven into the fabric of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights that we must exercise these rights! Speak up and speak out!  
The Strategic Vision day was such a resounding example of thinking and looking forward. It’s always a challenge to think strategically, but it is so necessary to sustain the federation, and to affirm and reaffirm the value of libraries to our city, county, state and nation.
I finished reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. The book is cleverly divided into three books; the first, resistance, second, combating resistance, and third, beyond resistance. For me, Pressfield helped me identify what was standing in the way of change. He then provides ideas and simple strategies to overcome the resistance. Ending with ways and strategies to move beyond, and perhaps above, resistance to see more opportunities than obstacles. 
Next on my list is Jorge Luis Borges’ On Mysticism
We are getting ready to start District Conferences. Make it a priority to attend (if you’re able) and meet, learn, collaborate, connect and grow with your peers. 
As always, if you have any concerns, or ideas feel free to reach out. I am here.
Until next time,
David Peter
President of the Indiana Library Federation

February Message 2017 
Sorting and sifting through my notes from ALAMW, I noticed several themes that emerged. First, the future of libraries is a constant theme for many people. Everyone is looking for some sort of guidance and insight on how to position themselves to be viable for the patron of tomorrow. From looking at libraries as entrepreneurial centers, to innovation centers, everyone is seeking their unique place in their community. Second, there were three sub themes for the Symposium of the Future of Libraries that were extremely interesting and relevant for us all. Positioning our library as a seat or center for social innovation asks us to truly think of our core functions differently: how we connect to our patrons, how we build patrons, and how can we change patrons all ask us to reflect inward and look outward to see how we can create, or recreate, ourselves as social places (more, I  believe than Ray Oldenburg’s notion of the “Third Place” from The Great Good Place, 1999). Civic innovation may for some be a bit more distant to grasp for our libraries. It’s easy for us to talk about the access we provide, but do we do more? Do we inform, engage, connect AND empower our patrons? Do we provide space for diverse ideas? Do we challenge our time-honored traditions as we look towards the future? And finally, looking at libraries as seats of educational innovation may give us ways to continually improve our services. Do we provide those skills necessary for employment? Have we taken our literacy programs and expanded them to focus on skill development and enhancement?
It was truly a wonderful time in Atlanta. A lot of time to listen, talk, think, and reflect on libraries in general, and look deeper at the future of libraries. Sorting through my notes on “Sustainable Thinking for the Future of Libraries,” and will work on a synopsis of those notes.
In closing, as I review notes from Finance Committee Meetings, Legislative Committee, Awards, Honors and Scholarship Committee, Annual Conference Committee, and Board Meetings, I can report that this organization, YOUR Indiana Library Federation, works hard and tirelessly to continue to promote all libraries in Indiana and foster the professional growth of you, our members. 
Until the next time,
Dr. David Peter
Indiana Library Federation President 2017

January Message 2017 
So here we are, January has quickly made us all aware of the unpredictable Indiana weather! This is always a good time for me to get caught up with my winter reading. I maintain a stack of books to read, a wide range of topics and representative of the changes in the library landscape. The Indiana Library Federation is off to a fast-paced start of the year. With the Indiana General Assembly opened we are watching to see how the landscape of and for Indiana libraries may change. Our Legislative Committee is to be commended for watching and engaging our elected officials. Next on the landscape for us is the Strategic Visioning Day on February 3, 2017. Around 70 of our members, leaders, and key individuals will meet and spend the day looking to the future.

We are definitely off to a fast and intentional start to the year. The semester has started for all, and we are now seeing more students and patrons. I'm always glad to see students in the library. It's my hope that the start of this semester brings to each of us promise and potential: the promise we made not only to ourselves, our patrons, but to our vocations ... we promise to serve, to provide the best service to each and every question, and make people, help people to realize that the library is there for all; the potential to contribute to the success of each student, each patron. 

Do stay in touch with your Indiana Library Federation. Find a way to get engaged with us all this year. We are delighted to see you, enriched by your conversation and contributions of your time and your talents. 

It's my promise to you that I will stay in touch, posting here and sharing what I see with you. I'll let you know what I'm currently reading.

Take care,

Dr. David Peter
Indiana Library Federation President, 2017

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