An affiliate chapter of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Indiana Black Librarians Network (IBLN) was officially organized on October 13, 2001 at the Black Culture Center Library of Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. It is the first library association in Indiana created for African Americans. The purpose of the Indiana Black Librarians Network is “to provide an opportunity for black librarians to exchange and share ideas, collaborate on library-related projects, promote professional development activities, sponsor scholarship initiatives, serve as a network for the sharing of information between librarians and paraprofessionals throughout the State of Indiana, and to establish channels of communication between black librarians and paraprofessionals statewide.”
In the summer of 2005, the Indiana Black Librarians Network launched its website. It also launched its listserv. The Indiana Black Librarians Network gave its first conference presentation at the 2008 Indiana Library Federation (ILF) Conference in Indianapolis on November 19, 2008. The title of the presentation was “Always Here: History of Blacks in Librarianship in Indiana.” Also, in 2008, the Indiana Black Librarians Network became one of several supporting organizations for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) -funded Indiana Librarians Leading Diversity Fellowship Program (I-LLID). This fellowship program was established to educate and recruit minorities into the library and information science profession in Indiana. Several members of the Indiana Black Librarians Network signed on to serve as mentors for the students in the program.
By the fall of 2009, the Indiana Black Librarians Network had a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and a group blog on Black Librarian Nation, a social networking site founded by Marcellaus Joiner in 2008 for African American librarians. On October 14-15, 2011, the Indiana Black Librarians Network celebrated its tenth anniversary. The celebration was held at the Black Culture Center Library on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana --- the place where the Indiana Black Librarians Network was organized and held its first meeting. Roland Parrish, a Purdue alumnus and CEO/owner of Parrish McDonald’s Ltd., was the keynote speaker. A year earlier, Parrish gave a gift of $2 million to Purdue University’s Management and Economic Library (the library was re-named the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics – the first library on the Purdue campus to be named for an African American). Other speakers included Jos Holman (BCALA President, 2010-2012) and Pamela Goodes (associate editor for American Libraries Magazine).
In April 0f 2013, the Indiana Black Librarians Network held a meet-n-greet reception for African American attendees of the 2013 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference (held in Indianapolis). The reception was held at the Crispus Attucks Museum on the campus of Crispus Attucks High School. The program was informal, allowing attendees to network and meet other library professionals from across the country. Light refreshments were served. The reception was such a success that IBLN decided to plan one for the 2014 Public Library Association Conference (PLA).
In March of 2014, IBLN held a meet-n-greet at the Indiana State Library for African American librarians who were in town for the 2014 Public Library Association (PLA) Conference. The program was informal, allowing attendees to network and meet other library professionals from across the country. Light refreshments were served. Like the previous meet-n-greet, this one was also a success.
On Sunday, June 29, 2014, at the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Membership Meeting and Literary Awards Program held during the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Indiana Black Librarians Network received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Affiliate Chapter of the Year Award (the New York Black Librarians Caucus was the co-recipient).
As the Indiana Black Librarians Network looks to the future, it is hoped that the organization will continue to grow and evolve in its mission to serve, support, and encourage the African American librarians of Indiana.
Sources: "About." Indiana Black Librarians Network. Indiana Black Librarians Network, n.d. Web. 4 July 2014. ; Washington, Dorothy Ann. "Indiana Black Librarians Network." BCALA Newsletter 32.1 (2003): 29. Print. ; Dartis, Michelle. "Indiana Black Librarians Network Celebrates 10th Anniversary." BCALA Newsletter 39.3 (2012): 6. Print. ; "Indiana Black Librarians Network Marks 10th Year." American Libraries (Online). American Library Association, n.d. Web. 4 July 2014. ; Piotrowicz, Rebekah. "BCC to Host Indiana Black Librarians Network Conference." University News Service. Purdue University, 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 4 July 2014. ; Holliday, Deloice and Michele Fenton. "We Need Some Color Up Here: Educating and Recruiting Minority Librarians in Indiana." The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges. Eds. Andrew P. Jackson, Julius Jefferson, Jr., and Akilah S. Nosakhere. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2012. 143-146. Print. ; Freeman, Rodney. "A Snapshot of Indiana's Librarians Leading in Diversity Fellowship Participants After the Program Has Concluded." Indiana Libraries 33.1 (2014): 12-15. Print. ; Smith-Woodard, Marcia. "The Importance of Achieving Diversity in Libraries." Indiana Libraries 31.1 (2012): 50-53. Print. ; "ILF Member Elected as President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)." Focus on Indiana Libraries 64.9 (2010): 3. Print. ; Holman, Jos. "Making the Grade as an African American Library Director in a Majority Community." The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges. Eds. Andrew P. Jackson, Julius Jefferson, Jr., and Akilah S. Nosakhere. Ed. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2012. 143-146. Print. ; "Local Librarian to Be Recognized." Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) 30 Aug. 2014:n.pag. Web. 22 Sept. 2013. ; "2013 ILF Awardees." Focus on Indiana Libraries 67.9 (2013): 3. PDF. ; "Indiana Librarians Honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association." Focus on Indiana Libraries 67.9 (2013): 10. PDF. ; Page, John S. "BCALA National Conference Awards and Honors Recipients Named (Press Release)." Black Caucus, Inc., American Library Association 30 June 2013: 1-2. PDF. ; Alston, Jason. "BCALA Announces 2014 Presidential Awards Recipients (Press Release)." Black Caucus, Inc., American Library Association 19 June 2014: 1-2. PDF.