FAQs about the The Indiana State Park Centennial Annual Pass Library Check-Out Program

2016 IN State Park Pass Annual Entrance Permit

The Aurora Public Library District is excited to announce The Indiana State Park Centennial Annual Pass Library Check-Out Program, a partnership with Indiana Public Libraries, the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Parks.  2016 is an exciting year combining the Indiana Bicentennial and the Indiana State Parks Centennial.  The two state organizations visioned 2016 as a year to encourage and introduce Indiana residents to our beautiful state parks.  The Indiana State Library purchased one Annual Entrance Permit, referred to for this program as the Park Pass, and distributed the Park Pass to each public Library.  Libraries were able to purchase additional Park Passes to make the passes available to patrons at each building in a Library District.  The Aurora Public Library District today makes the Annual Pass available for patrons to check out.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Who developed this program?

This is a partnership between the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Parks, a division of the DNR, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, in honor of the Indiana State Bicentennial and the Indiana State Parks Centennial.

Why was this program developed?

To encourage Hoosiers to visit their public Library and the state parks. State Librarian Jacob Speer said, “The State Library is excited about its bicentennial partnership with Indiana State Parks. The partnership gives library patrons an opportunity to explore the many beautiful state park locations across Indiana simply by using their library to check out free passes.”

What does the program do?

The program provides access to Indiana State Parks and Indiana State Forest Recreation Areas by using the pass for gate entrance fees between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

How many passes does my Library have available?

The Indiana State Library purchased the first Library Park Pass for our Library District (APLD). The APLD purchased passes so that the passes would be available at the Aurora Public Library, The Dillsboro Public Library and the Local History Library @ the Depot.

If the APLD Park Pass is not available, how much will it cost me to visit a state park?

The fee is $7.00 a day for a non-commercial vehicle with an Indiana license plates, every day including holidays. The fee admits the driver and passengers. This applies to all State Parks and state-managed lakes, excluding Falls of the Ohio State Park’s Interpretive Center.

Where can I use the pass?

The pass can be used at the following properties:   Brookville Lake, Brown County State Park, Chain O’Lakes State Park, Charlestown State Park, Clifty Falls State Park, Fort Harrison State Park, Hardy Lake, Harmonie State Park, Indiana Dunes State Park, Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber and Cataract Falls SRAs), Lincoln State Park, McCormick’s Creek State Park, Mississinewa Lake, Monroe Lake, Mounds State Park, O’Bannon Woods State Park, Ouabache State Park, Patoka Lake, Pokagon State Park and Trine SRA, Potato Creek State Park, Prophetstown State Park,  Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon SRA), Salamonie Lake, Shakamak State Park, Spring Mill State Park, Summit Lake State Park, Tippecanoe River State Park, Turkey Run State Park, Shades State Park, Versailles State Park, Whitewater Memorial State Park, Deam Lake SRA, Ferdinand State Forest, and Starve Hollow SRA.

I heard that parks don’t have someone at the gate all year round so when are gate fees required at state parks?  Is it all year or just in the summer?

The Indiana State Parks website says: Operation of entrance gates varies from park to park and season to season. Generally speaking, gates are operated full-time from April through October and on weekends the rest of the year but that may not always be the case if the park is hosting a special event or other feature where a controlled gate is important. It is best to call and check before visiting if there is a question.

I heard that seniors can get a free pass. Can you tell me about this?

For Indiana residents who are at least age 65 years or are a resident eligible for Social Security disability payments under 42 U.S. C. 401 (proof of eligibility must be presented at time of purchase and disabled individual must be present in the vehicle at time of use) can purchase a $25.00 Golden Hoosier Passport which admits a noncommercial vehicle, driver and passengers. Good from January 1 until December 31 of year issued. The price is 1/2 the Resident Annual Entrance Permit Fee.

I want to purchase a pass for me to use this year.  Where do I get it?

You can purchase a 2016 Annual Entrance Permit at a State Park or online at the IN State Park Store.

What programs are available at the Indiana State Parks to celebrate its centennial anniversary?

The Indiana State Parks system was a gift to the people of Indiana in 1916 in celebration of the state’s centennial. Read more about activities that are part of the State Parks Centennial Celebration at INStateParks100.com

Exciting New Author Chris Colfer

Land of Stories The Wishing Spell

If you are looking for a wonderful juvenile fiction author to encourage youth to read as I was, Chris Colfer has a series called The Land of Stories. In this series, a brother and sister fall into a book of action-packed adventure. I was totally hooked after reading the first book and could not wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happens next with Alex and Conner. Characters such as Mother Goose, Fairy God Mother, Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Snow White, Jack, Froggy, Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming will take you on an adventure like nothing you have read before.

The Land of Stories is a children’s fiction series written by actor and singer Chris Colfer. The first title, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, was released on July 17, 2012. The second, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns was published on August 6, 2013. The third book, “The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning”, was published on July 18, 2014. The fourth book, “The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms”, was published on July 7, 2015. The books are described by Colfer as a “modern day fairy tale,” following twins Alex and Conner Bailey as they fall from the real world into a world full of fairy tales they have only ever read about before.

Parents need to know that The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, by Glee‘s Chris Colfer (who plays Kurt Hummel), is warm and heartfelt, as well as imaginative. Twins Alex and Conner are transported to the world of fairy tales, in which they meet such characters as Goldilocks, Cinderella, and Snow White, all living new lives and playing a role in helping the kids get home. There’s some fleeting danger to the kids at the hands of assorted villains, from wolves to the Evil Queen, and a number of wicked characters come to a violent but not graphically described end. (Review from Common Sense Media)

What’s the Printz Award?

We have recently highlighted the winners of the 2016 Caldecott and Newbery Medals. You may be surprised to learn there is a similar award for Young Adult books. The Michael L. Printz Award is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was passionate about literature for teens. It’s a relatively new award, first given in 2000, while the Newbery and Caldecott Awards have been around over 75 years.

The Printz Award recognizes the best books written for ages 12-18 and published within a calendar year. All forms of writing are eligible including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories or others forms. The 2016 Michael L. Printz Medal was given to:

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, the story of an abduction in a Midwestern town. As you can see from the book cover, Bone Gap was also a National Book Award Finalist.

Bone Gap


The Printz Committee selected two Honor Books for 2016.

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick. Sedgwick won the Printz Medal in 2014 for his book Midwinterblood and received a Printz Honor in 2011 for Revolver.

Ghosts of Heaven


The second Printz Honor Book is Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez.

Out of Darkness

Read any of these Printz books and you’ll see why so many adults are checking out Young Adult literature. These are exceptional stories with complex characters and thought-provoking themes.

News from the Local History Library at The Depot about the Depot

Did you know that Aurora’s train depot is not the original structure? Why did the railroad spur line go down Third Street? What did the old “Aylor and Meyer Feed Mill” have to do with the train depot?  The answers to these questions are at the Genealogy and History room at the depot. For nearly twelve years the Aurora Public Library has offered the “Talk About Aurora”, series of talks and discussions that answer these questions and more.  On the fourth Tuesday @6pm of March, May, July and September we meet with your friends, neighbors and others interested in history. Many visit the talks just to listen, but many join in and share their knowledge of the current subject.  The first talk of the 2016 series is “The History of the Train Depot-1854 to Present”.  The first train to  Aurora was in 1854.  Its next stop was Cochran, theimg468

end of the line.  Another three years elapsed before the tracks were laid to the Mississippi River. Stop by and hear the rest of the story.

The winner of the 2016 Caldecott is…

Finding Winnie

Finding Winnie: the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Blackall has illustrated over 20 children’s books, but this is her first Caldecott Medal. You can read about her creative process for this book on her blog. Start with this blog, but make sure you also go to her other blogs about Finding Winnie. Remember the Randolph Caldecott Medal goes to the illustrator of the book, not to the author.

The Caldecott Committee named 4 Caldecott Honor Books for 2016. The Honor Books for this year are divided evenly between story books and picture book biographies. All are wonderful reads to share with the young people in your life.

Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier. As noted in a previous blog post, this is Collier’s fourth time to receive the Caldecott Honor award.

Trombone Shorty

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

Voice of Freedom

Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson. In addition to a Caldecott Honor, this book won the Newbery Medal for author Matt de la Pena.


Newbery Surprise!

Sometimes the predictions turn out to be right on target, and sometimes the Newbery Committee surprises everyone! The big surprise from this week’s Youth Media Awards was definitely the decision to award the 2016 John Newbery Medal to the author of a picture book. Although certainly not required (the target audience can be up to fourteen years old), this prize has traditionally been given to the author of a chapter book for children. Yes, we’ve seen the Newbery won by a handful of poetry or non-fiction books, but not by a picture book.

So congratulations to Matt de la Pena, author of the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature, published in 2015. The official Newbery citation states “CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him.  CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom.  Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.” De la Pena is best known as an author of Young Adult books, although he also wrote an excellent picture book biography, A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.


The Newbery Selection Committee also named three books as 2016 Newbery Honor Books. These are not shown in any particular order; Honor Books are all viewed as equal in rank by the committee.

The War that Saved My Life

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. There was no surprise with this choice. Bradley, originally from Fort Wayne, is well-known for writing excellent historical fiction, and this was a popular choice for all the “Newbery Guessers.”

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan – another favorite of book critics and readers. This has been described as a “genre-defying tour de force.”  Ryan merges fairytale elements with historical fiction as she explores the power of music. This is definitely on my list to read!


Roller Girl, written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. This is the only one of the Newbery selections that we do not currently have in the library, but one was ordered shortly after Monday’s announcement. Let us know if you would like your name put on a waiting list for this title. This graphic novel would be perfect for tweens who are experiencing the awkwardness of moving away from a circle of childhood friends while reaching out for new friends who share your interests. I’ll be very excited to see this when it arrives!


5 Resume Tips + Additional Reading Resources

resumetipsIn today’s job market you have to have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Resume’s are one of those documents that you are never finished editing and tweaking. If you are starting your job search or just polishing up your resume this post will help you get on the right track. People who are looking at your resume are typically busy, only spending a couple of seconds glancing over your resume before moving on. If your information isn’t clear and easy to read or your qualifications hidden, your resume won’t get the time it deserves. Get your resume ship shape with these 5 tips.

Make it clear where the contact can reach you at.

It doesn’t help you get a job if the person trying to reach you has to search for your number or your email address. Also, along these lines make sure your contact information is up to date.

Keep the design simple and classic.

This is definitely a less is more situation. Don’t crowd your text with graphics or fluff. Let the words you’ve written about your experience shine.

Don’t lie.

This is the worst thing you can do on your resume. Be truthful about your experience and skills. Your future employer will see through a lie on your resume and it will do nothing but set back your job search and hurt your chance.

Make it unique for each job you apply for.

Tailor each resume for the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a management position be sure to highlight the activities at past jobs that you would apply to the new management position.

Use action words in the description.

Google action words for resumes. It strengthens the wording in your job descriptions and highlights your skills.

If you are looking for additional Resume help the Library offers several books and online resources to help patrons.



The Resume Makeover, Jeffery Allen


How to say it on your resume : a top recruiting director’s guide to writing the perfect resume for every job, Brad Karsh


The Resume Handbook, Rosenberg, Arthur

An Online Resource 

The Library also has an online resource that can help patrons from their home or the computer stations in the Library. Tutor.com offers help with resumes among other services for adults. They also offer homework help to kids, parents, and teachers. Have your Library card handy to log in and use this online resource.


Inspire is a collection of databases provided by the Indiana State Library. Searching the Inspire database returns all kinds of resources to help you with writing or updating your resume including academic journals, eBooks, and newspaper articles.

It is Perfect Soup Weather


Today, with it’s chilly temperatures and fresh snowfall it is the perfect time to enjoy a great bowl of soup! January is National Soup month in case you missed it on our Events Calendar, check it out now and see the soup cookbooks we featured.  Fix a family favorite or if you are looking for a new soup to put together come into The Library or visit our Digital Downloads to check out a cookbook.

Make a new family tradition by reading and then try your hand at Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert or by making Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. Both of these soups are tried and true and certainly bring a lot of soup to the table.

We look forward to hearing from you sharing your soup making adventures by commenting to this post!


At Least It’s Snowing in Books!

We still haven’t had enough snow to throw the first snowball of the season, so I’m turning to books for my snow-fix! Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite snow picture books.


Oh! by Kevin Henkes. What could be sweeter than a book by Kevin Henkes?


The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats. This Caldecott Medal classic is widely considered to be the first full-color picture book featuring an African-American child. Keats perfectly captured the universal delight of children exploring a new snowfall.


Snow by Uri Shulevitz. (I know – not the most imaginative titles today!) Will it snow today, or not?


Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee. What could have made the small tracks in the woods?


100 Snowmen by Jen Arena – lots of counting fun!


The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler. What a fun read-aloud that also speaks to the themes of cooperation and family relationships. Enjoy this one now, and check out Cuyler’s The Bumpy little Pumpkin in the Fall.


Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. When choosing books for your little ones, remember we have great books that are informational picture books. When you read this one, make sure to check out the additional information about animal adaptations in the back of the book.


Finally, for kids of all ages, take a look at Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. This picture book biography is about a scientist who taught himself to take photographs of snowflakes.

Written by Peggy Dean


Crazy About Caldecotts!

For picture book illustrators, the Holy Grail of Awards is the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The 2016 Caldecott Awards will be announced on Monday, January 11, 2016, along with the Newbery, the Coretta Scott King Awards and a host of other children’s book awards. For the illustrator, winning a Caldecott Medal virtually guarantees that your book will be in publication for a very long time. For parents and educators, the Caldecott Medals are a great way to start conversations with children about different art styles and types of illustrations. I’ll write about that again when we learn the 2016 winners!

For now, here are the current popular favorites we may hear announced from the podium on Monday. Some of the illustrators represented here are perennial favorites, not because the committee is skewed to established illustrators, but because these artists are just that good!


Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Elizabeth Bird compared these illustrations to the work of Ezra Jack Keats: high praise indeed!


In a Village By the Sea, illustrated by April Chu.


Waiting, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes. Henkes won the 2004 Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon. In addition, as an author, he has two Newbery Medal Honors books.


Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier. Collier has had three books previously named as Caldecott Honor Books: Martin’s Big Words, Rosa, and Dave the Potter.


Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall.


Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, illustrated by Rafael Lopez. Lopez has won many awards for his book illustrations, including the 2010 Pura Belpre’ Award for Book Fiesta. Could this be the year, he earns a Caldecott?