Explore Free Research Resources with INSPIRE

By Mary Hammons,

Are you looking for ways to learn and grow? Find resources at your fingertips through INSPIRE. INSPIRE is a collection of online databases provided by the state of Indiana and is available free of charge to all Indiana residents. INSPIRE includes full-text magazines, journal articles, websites, pamphlets, images, almanacs, historic newspapers, multimedia, library catalogs, and much more. Some of the resources available are Consumer Reports, Academic Search Premier, Biography Reference, Explora, LitFinder, and TOPICsearch. 

This is a great source for homework and projects. It contains useful information for biographies, Indiana history, hobbies and crafts, home improvement, news and culture, consumer reports, genealogy, and more. It has the option to search by subject or search by exact database.

One unique feature of INSPIRE is the access it provides to Rosetta Stone, which allows users to learn a foreign language. Dozens of languages are available and all levels of Rosetta Stone are available until June 30, 2020.

Another especially helpful feature during this time is test preparation assistance. Individuals preparing to take the SAT or GRE can find helpful prep work for free through INSPIRE. INSPIRE also offers resume preparation tools. These are found under the “Test and Resume Preparation” tab on the INSPIRE homepage.

New Castle-Henry County Public Library director, Winnie Logan, hopes to see INSPIRE be utilized more often. She shared, “This is the hidden gem that we have in Indiana. It’s a really great resource that the Indiana legislature has provided for us. It’s in the state budget to provide all these resources to Hoosiers. I wish that more people would become familiar with it and be able to use it because there is so much information out there for people.”

For more information, visit https://inspire.in.gov/

Beat Boredom with Niche Academy

By Mary Hammons,

Feel like your brain could use a little pick-me-up? No need to worry! The New Castle-Henry County Public Library offers an online tool to save your brain–Niche Academy. Niche Academy provides several tutorials and online learning tools across a variety of topics.

While the library building is closed, eBooks and movie streaming services are available. If you’ve never used an eBook app or website before, it can be a bit confusing at first. Niche Academy offers tutorials explaining exactly how to use library resources. These resources include eBook apps such as Libby or Hoopla, language learning tools from Rosetta Stone, the movie streaming website Kanopy, and research databases such as Reference USA.

If social distancing is starting to feel lonely, use social media apps to stay connected with friends and family. Still a novice when it comes to social media platforms? That’s okay, Niche Academy also offers social media tutorials for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-In and Goodreads.

Are you suddenly finding you have a lot of down time during the day? Try learning a second language while you are home. Niche Academy not only has language learning tools like Rosetta Stone, but also “survival Spanish.” You will find common/important phrases and words that will help you understand the gist of a conversation.

Want to sharpen your work skills? There are also courses to help you learn Microsoft Office, Windows, Gmail, Google GSuite, and even interpersonal skills in the workplace. 

Niche Academy is available on the library’s homepage. Look for the orange tab on the right hand side of the page that says “Tutorials”.

If you have any questions on how to use the tutorials, please don’t hesitate to email us at info@nchcpl.org. Happy learning!

Library staff ready to answer your questions

By Mary Hammons,


While the library building isn’t currently open, the staff at the library are still available to help answer your questions. The reference team is knowledgeable about a variety of topics and if they don’t know the answers, they can help you find them. 

Our reference staff will be available Monday through Friday 2 pm to 5 pm by phone or email. Call 765-575-4550 or email reference@nchcpl.org. The reference team can assist with finding homework help, community resources, genealogy topics, or locating an ebook or other online resource. 

“When the library is open, we’re available to help answer questions, and that hasn’t stopped just because the library building isn’t open,” noted Janet Twigg, Reference Librarian. “We want our community to know that we will have actual human beings available to answer questions and help them as much as we can.”

Library staff is also available to answer questions about library accounts. If you have questions about your library account, email info@nchcpl.org or call to leave a voicemail for circulation staff at 765-529-0362, option #1. 

Explore Your Roots Using These Resources

By Mary Hammons,

Most people are interested in their family’s history. What if you could use this time to find out more about your family and your ancestry? Your New Castle-Henry County Public Library has resources available to help!

Heritage Quest is one of the largest genealogy databases in the country and includes access to census data and the ability to perform advanced searches. It is loaded with books under “Place Histories” and “People Histories.” You will need your library card to access this information but it can be accessed from home. The library has a helpful tutorial you can watch to learn more.

Free and accessible from home, FamilySearch gives you the opportunity to discover your family history with records spanning billions of names across hundreds of collections.  This program has about the same sources as Ancestry and works in the same way.   It includes an efficient Site Map and help is available on  “Get and Give Help” , including a Research Wiki, and Research Help. There is also access to digitized books and other records that have not yet been indexed. You are able to build your family  tree on this site.  If you are a paper person the site has lots of charts and forms. The library has a helpful tutorial you can watch to learn more..

American Ancestors supported by The New England Historic Genealogical Society allows you to explore a wealth of resources and research tools from the nation’s oldest genealogical organization. Establish a new account or use guest access to find information on this site. 

Interested in local history? The library also provides access to over 46 thousand entries from Henry County newspapers which are available as a searchable index of digital images. The papers up until 1928 have been indexed and a random selection of more recent years,  You can also search the Indiana Magazine of History, one of the nation’s oldest historical journals. 

Need to ask a question? Our reference staff is available to help you answer questions by phone from 2-5 pm Monday through Friday. You can also send an email to our genealogist: kathiew@nchcpl.org

“There’s never been a better time to explore your family history,” noted Janet Twigg, Reference Librarian. “Not only are there many online resources available, you can also connect with some of your older relatives in the search by talking with them on the phone or sending letters with questions.”

Don’t have a library card to access genealogy material? You can get a temporary digital card here: https://evergreen.lib.in.us/eg/opac/register  Enter “New Castle-Henry County PL–New Castle” as your home library. A staff member will be in contact with you.

Library Cards Bring Stories To Life

By Mary Hammons,

In the popular “Toy Story” movie series, toys come to life and share stories and adventures together. Likewise, a library card can help readers bring stories to life. The New Castle-Henry County Public Library, along with the American Library Association (ALA), celebrates Library Card Sign-up Month in September.

The community is encouraged to apply for a free library card and pick up a gift at New Castle-Henry County Public Library. Adults and teens who sign up for a card will get a tote bag, courtesy of Friends of the Library, and children will receive a special “Toy Story” sticker.

Resources such as streaming video and music, and access to print and e-books are available to anyone with a library card. Additionally, cardholders at New Castle-Henry County Public Library can access many other “Evergreen” libraries throughout the state.

This year, the characters from “Toy Story” are the Library Card Sign-up Month’s honorary chairs, helping to promote the value of a library card and bring attention to the many ways libraries and librarians transform lives and communities through education. During September, the New Castle-Henry County Public Library will host several activities, including an antiques appraisal on September 14, Adult Spelling Bee on September 19, and a Noteworthy Concert on September 26. Find out more by visiting www.nchcpl.org and clicking on the Events link.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure each member of the community signs up for their own library crd. For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit the New Castle-Henry County Public Library at 376 S. 15th St. or find more information at www.nchcpl.org/about/get-a-library-card.

2019 Summer Reading Program: the Complete Guide

By Mary Hammons,

Summer reading at the library starts June 1 and continues through July 27. There’s a program for children, teens, and adults both at the library and on the bookmobile. This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories” and features many space-related events. Find specific event details under the Events link on the home page. Here’s some information you may want to know:

Events Open to All Ages

Kickoff Event- June 1, 1-3 pm
Enjoy a planetarium, sno-cones, and space activities.

Movie Theater Nights- June 12, 6:30 pm; July 10, 6:15 pm
Watch movies on the big screen in the auditorium at 6:30 pm while enjoying popcorn.
June 12— Hidden Figures     July 10— The Martian

Stargazing At Summit Lake State Park- June 21, 9:30 pm AT SUMMIT LAKE STATE PARK
On Friday, June 21, at 9:30 pm, the Muncie Astronomy Club will set up professional telescopes and share what we’re viewing. First ten families get free entrance to the park.  Register here or call 765-575-4557.

Movie Under The Stars- June 28, 8:30-10 pm AT MEMORIAL PARK
Watch the classic Teenagers from Outer Space (1959: Horror, Sci-Fi). Popcorn and water provided. Attendees will need to bring their own chairs/blankets to sit on.

TeenCon19- Saturday, July 20, 10 am-3 pm
This mini-comic con is open to the community! Cosplay contest, vendors, panels, Magic: The Gathering Tournament and raffle drawings every 30 minutes.

End of Summer Celebration- July 27, 1-3 pm
There will be a bounce house with a slide that empties into a pool, sno-cones, and lots of water games and activities. Plan to get wet!

Special Activities on the Bookmobile

Teen Crafts with Krystal
June 11, 1:15 pm– Locust Grove– Galaxy In A Jar

July 9, 1:15 pm– Locust Grove– Make-It: Telescope

Kidsongs And Storytime With Keegan
June 10/July 8, 10:30 am– Lewisville
June 12/July 10, 2:30 pm– Mt. Summit

June 13/July 11, 2 pm– Mooreland

Kid Crafts With Jordan
June 24/July 22, 10:30 am– Lewisville

June 25/July 23, 1:15 pm– Locust Grove

June 25/July 23, 2:30 pm– Straughn

June 26/July 24, 2:30 pm– Mt. Summit

June 27/July 25, 2 pm– Mooreland

For Children… The Program

This year’s summer program is for both reading and writing. Log minutes reading or writing on the Beanstack app or pick up a paper log.  Receive a small prize and a raffle ticket for the prize baskets when you reach 400 minutes (half-way) and 800 minutes (completion). Those who complete 800 minutes will also get a book. Continue reading and writing to earn more raffle tickets.

For Children… Event Highlights

Marvelous Mondays- June 3-July 22, 2-3 pm
Featured events:
June 10th Silly Safaris will be bringing “ALIEN” animals.
July 8th Pretty Fun Balloons will use balloons to display the planets, demonstrate the physics of rockets, and how balloons have played a role in the history of flight. Each guest will be able to bring home a balloon sculpture.
Other Marvelous Mondays include: space games, astronaut camp, space drive-in, space mini-golf, Star Wars Day, and a scavenger hunt.

Discovery Tuesdays- June 4-July 23, 2-4 pm
Each week a different planet will be featured as we make crafts and do STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities.

Free Movies- Wednesdays, June 5-July 24, 10 am
Movies are either space- or book-related. (Treasure Planet, James and the Giant Peach, Space Jam, Charlotte’s Web, WALL-E, Mary Poppins, Muppets from Space, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World)

Free Lunches- Wednesdays, June 5-July 24 (not July 3), noon- 1 pm.
Meals are free for children 18 and under. Adults can buy a lunch for $3.50.

Family R.E.C. (Read Eat Create)- Thursdays in June (June 6-27), 10 am-noon
We’ll provide a book, snack and craft for you to share with your child

Family Storytimes- Thursdays in July, (July 11-25), 10-11 am

Junior Writer’s Workshop- Saturdays, June 8-July 20, 10-11 am
Early and upper elementary children will be given various writing activities so they can log some writing minutes.

Second Saturday STEAM- June 8 and July 13, 2 pm
June’s theme is Gravity and July’s theme is Rocks.

For Teens… The Program
Log your minutes on Beanstack (be sure to download the app for super-easy logging) and earn badges and prizes. The 2019 Teen Summer Reading Grand Prizes are a Telmu Telescope and a Samsung Galaxy J2 phone!

For Teens… Event Highlights

Make It! Galaxy Sheet Graffiti- June 6, 4 pm
Decorate a black sheet to look like a galaxy. Our galaxy will be on display in TeenScape for the rest of the summer.

Nebula in a Bottle- June 13, 4 pm
What is a Nebula anyway? Find out, and then create a Nebula in a bottle.

VR: Space Travel- June 20, 4 pm
Explore space as if you were there IRL via our Oculus Go Virtual Reality Headsets.

Make It! Space Video- June 27, 4 pm
Shoot some video in front of a green screen and then edit the videos in the computer lab (bring a flash drive or your email address).

Make it! Telescope- July 11, 4 pm
Discover how telescopes work as we make our own using magnifying lenses, duct tape and paper towel rolls.

Make it! Edible Constellations- July 18, 4 pm
Make constellations using marshmallows and pretzel sticks.

For Adults… The Program

Log your minutes on Beanstack (nchcpl.beanstack.org) to earn badges and prizes. Earn raffle tickets for prizes in one of three ways: by reading for 100 minutes, attending a library program, or writing a review. This year’s grand prizes are a Telmu F40070M Telescope and a Star Wars Gift Bundle.

For Adults (18+)… Event Highlights

The Stars & Beyond- Tuesday, June 4, 6 pm
Is the universe expanding? Are galaxies moving away from us? Dr. Edward Rhoads leads us through an exploration of space.

Out of this World: Storytime for Adults- June 14 & July 12, 2 pm
Listen to a space-themed story and enjoy a snack and craft. This event is for all adults but aimed in particular for those with special needs.

Astronomy Apps- June 25, 6 pm
Explore different astronomy apps and learn how to use them.

Telescope Instruction- July 16, 6 pm
Get hands-on experience setting up one of the library’s telescopes….before you check one out! (That’s right… we’re going to have telescopes available to check out!)

Model Rocket- Tuesday, July 23, 6 pm
Under the supervision of an engineering teacher, we are making our own model rockets.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack

By Mary Hammons,

“Should she be baptized and accept the Dark Lord’s final blessing… or should she go to the pep rally and after-party with Harvey?”

This isn’t the Sabrina Spellman you remember.

Most of us are familiar with the TV sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch that aired during the 90’s until the early 00’s. When we think of Sabrina we remember her comedic talking cat Salem, spells that go wrong and turn people into pineapples, and her relationship with her school crush Harvey Kinkle.

This comic gives us everything that the TV sitcom gave us, but with a dark veil draped over it. Sabrina Spellman will discover she is a witch on her sixteenth birthday, but it won’t be by surprise. She will be asked to sign Satan’s book to join his coven as the rest of her family did before her. Salem will be present but rather as a demonic entity that has taken the form of a cat to protect her in the coven. In exchange for her signature, Sabrina will become a powerful witch but she will be asked to give up her mortal life – including Harvey Kinkle. Will she do it?

Do yourself a favor and read this graphic novel if you love horror, psychological thrillers, witches, or the Netflix adaption. The form of graphic novel also gives an atmosphere unlike any other since all the scenes are visually drawn out for the reader.

P.S. Fans of the Archie comics may notice a few familiar faces if they look hard enough.

Review by Austyn B., Circulation Assistant.