Blogs & Staff Picks

Written by Hamilton County Historian, David Heighway with special thanks to Lezli Davis for new information and much of the research on individuals Juneteenth Day is a unique and important day to recognize African Americans and their role in US history. Its roots lie in......

Let’s talk SHARKS!  They elicit such strong emotions-from fear to fascination. The media loves to villainize sharks by portraying them as evil creatures (Jaws, 47 Meters Down). I’ve heard countless tales of people watching these shows and then refusing to ever go into the water......

If you have visited or driven by our Fishers and Noblesville libraries lately, you have noticed the initial renovation work required to maintain our buildings into the future and improve access for all. Our libraries will remain open during regular hours throughout the construction unless......

Written by Ally Muterspaw Pride parades and festivals commonly take place in the United States during the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall Uprisings that occurred in New York City in June, 1969. To learn more about the Stonewall riots read The Stonewall Reader,......

A public library is so much more than a building. One big takeaway from the Covid-19 pandemic is that people continue to connect with their library even when they can’t come to the building. This summer HEPL will be out and about outdoors to make......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian Every Memorial Day, we look at various sites and objects that recognize the sacrifice of American soldiers. Here in Hamilton County, there is one site that is less noticeable and maybe doesn’t get attention like the monument at Veteran’s......

Are you planning a Library visit? Here are some things you need to know as we begin construction to improve access at both the Fishers and Noblesville libraries. The Fishers and Noblesville Libraries will remain open during regular operating hours. Any brief closures will be......

Whether it’s a story with animals, fun facts about birds and beasts, or a wild and fascinating tome, you’ll find something to enjoy with our summer reading recommendations. Incorporating something for almost everyone in this list, kids who participate in reading during summer can boost......

Join the HEPL community of readers this summer to log your reading during June and July, 2021! Enrolling in the Tails and Tales Summer Reading Program for Adults will earn readers a HEPL book tote. Teens, kids, toddlers and babies will earn a free book......

Enjoy these titles for all ages and learn more about sustainability and the small changes we can all make.  Search for one of these titles by visiting our HEPL website here or download the HEPL app and reserve your copy today. Digital versions are also......

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator If you are a genealogist, someone researching the history of your home, or a student researching a famous Hoosier, then you may already know that the Indiana Room houses a specialized collection of genealogical and historical resources. So what......

Celebrate Disability Awareness Month by exploring these books for all ages! For more Disability Awareness events and activities, click here.   Kids  Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari I Am Not a Label by Cerrie Burnell I Talk like a River by Jordan Scott Teens......

By: Danielle Acton March is Disability Awareness Month, sponsored by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. While HEPL’s events are virtual this year to ensure everyone’s safety during the pandemic, our goal is to promote awareness of disabilities, provide resources for caregivers, and......

By: Lori Holewinski Bedtime stories are a traditional way to help children transition into sleep after a busy day. The Mayo Clinic suggests that bedtime rituals, like reading, can help all of us ease from wakefulness into sleepiness. (Imagining a bear settling down with a good......

By: Lisa Glesil It’s time to have a fun, magical time in the kitchen. I have included two very cute and easy recipes which will make you feel like a wizard in no time. The first recipe is “Cheese and Pretzel Broomsticks.” For this recipe,......

By: Allison Kartman Magic awaits at our annual Harry Potter Book Night reimagined into a fully virtual week of everything magical and fantastical! Beginning on February 1 and continuing through Sunday, February 7, join us virtually for our Week of Wizardry and Wonderment. If you......

By: Pam Lamberger “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. When you think of civil rights in America, the first name that likely comes to mind is......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian An announcement was posted in the local newspaper, the Noblesville Plain Dealer, on December 26, 1850, which said: “NEW YEAR’S ADDRESS – Our patrons will receive a New Year’s address.  The money received for the address will be appropriated......

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator November’s genealogy roundtable was all about genealogy gratitude.  In keeping with HEPL’s Season of Gratitude celebration now through January 15, 2021.  I thought I would share some of the genealogy gratitude discussion with you. We are grateful for......

Celebrate National Aviation History Month By: Anders Arnold Look! Up in the sky. It’s a bird…it’s a plane…It’s…a plane. Seriously, we’re going to celebrate aviation this month and my blog is going to focus on some great children’s and teen books all about flight. Highlighted below are......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian I’ve been watching the discussion on how to have fun and stay safe on Halloween this year, and seeing the disappointment about not being able to get candy. It’s not the first time that we’ve had this kind of......

By: Julia Welzen With the autumnal weather guiding us to cozy activities, you may be curious about joining or starting a book club as a way to reflect on your reading and develop social ties. The format lends itself well to online get-togethers in a socially-distanced world, and can easily pivot......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian A topic that many people are discussing these days is the issue of African Americans and a number of apparently unjustified incarcerations. This blog does not comment on modern issues, but it’s interesting to find historic cases that bear......

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator Land records can be an invaluable resource for genealogists. At the August genealogy roundtable, attendees mentioned that land records are one of their favorite genealogy resources.  At the very least, they document your ancestor in a specific location......

Written by: Allison Zafiratos With the opening of HEPL’s Seed Library this past March, I began wondering how these seeds would be used in our community and home gardens.  It reminded me of times in our shared past when we have come together to grow food......

By: Missy Flanagin It’s nothing new that young students love unicorns. Unicorns are literally everywhere you turn. They can be found on the cereal box you may have in your kitchen or they can be on your pajamas you snuggle up in at night. So,......

By: Danielle Acton, Adult Engagement Coordinator and Christy Franzman, Teen Coordinator This fall, HEPL will introduce a new community read initiative—Books Build Bridges. HEPL serves two vibrant communities—Fishers and Noblesville. Our aim with Books Build Bridges and the two books selected (one for adult audiences, and......

Written by: Amy Norris Many of us in Hamilton County take for granted the quick 30-mile drive in the car to Speedway. Race fans from all corners of the globe spend several days traveling to Central Indiana each year during the month of May. We......

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator Although this is at the start of July, September is just around the corner with a special commemoration. On September 2, we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. My father and my......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933, his administration immediately created an overlapping “alphabet soup” of federal relief programs. It was recognized that artists needed to be supported as much as those in any other occupation, and......

By: Angela Dubinger Whether you are researching and learning for yourself or need resources and stories for your children, our library has gathered a list to help support your conversation about race justice in America. These resources are partly referenced from the School Library Journal......

By: Ally Muterspaw Are you wanting to engage with anti-racist literature and action, but don’t know where to begin? One of the most accessible ways we can engage with anti-racist conversation is through books! The topics on this list cover anti-Blackness, the criminal justice system,......

By: Christina Shields Are you missing library storytimes and your favorite songs? We are missing reading and singing along with you and your little ones, too! Happily, you don’t have to wait until we meet again to enjoy many of our regular storytime songs! You......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was known for many years, has always held a deep meaning for the people of Hamilton County. The county provided the first soldiers from Indiana to enlist in the Union army during......

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator Staying home due to the pandemic can be difficult, and you may be experiencing loneliness and boredom. While social distancing may make it hard to connect with loved ones in person, take this time to connect to your......

By: Heidi Herald Spring is a time of renewal. Many people choose this time of year to do spring-cleaning and get organized. Why not apply this same principle to organizing your reading lists? As a librarian, I often assist patrons who bring reading-log notebooks with......

By: Ally Muterspaw While we’re all staying at home, reading can be a little tough to focus on. Maybe you need an adventure that’s out of this world! Below is a list of books and comics available to you through Hoopla: some are magical, some......

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian With all of the discussion about the “new normal” because of Covid-19, it set me to thinking about common memory and natural disasters. For many years, discussion of the 1918 flu epidemic was actually regarded as obscure and esoteric.......

By: Jan Bridges Audiobooks and mysteries are a great combination. During this difficult time, having someone read to us can be very soothing. Here are three enjoyable listens that are available on Overdrive and the Libby app. Happy listening! The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Alicia......

Written by: Nancy Massey, Indiana Room Coordinator As soon as I received my invitation to participate in the 2020 census, I was online answering the questions. Why did I respond so quickly? Well, I legally have to respond! Secondly, I am a genealogist; I love......

By: Julia Welzen Spring is here, the weather is warming up, and the last frost date is fast approaching. Prepare for another gardening season by checking out the following titles! The library buildings may be temporarily closed, but all these titles are available virtually through......

By: Amy Coleman (Disclaimer: The true crime genre tends to be graphic in nature and sometimes includes explicit language and, therefore, may not be appropriate for all audiences. Discretion is advised.) The popularity of Netflix’s Tiger King demonstrates true crime’s draw. What is it about......

By: Lisa Glisel Making ice cream in a bag is a great activity for any age, even preschoolers! It’s a fun recipe that involves fine and gross motor skills. You can use this opportunity to discuss ingredients and nutrition, measurements, and the science behind making......

By: Allison Kartman Young children learn in many different ways, including through play! During National Library Week we are encouraging families to “Find the Library at Your Place.” Read through the following library-inspired pretend play ideas with your children and see what excites them!   Storytime!  ......

By: Christina Shields I am missing all of the creative families that attend our monthly Create, Color & Chill program at HEPL’s Noblesville location. As you may remember, Create, Color & Chill usually includes a fun, sensory station; a musical component; and a creative activity.......

By: Ally Muterspaw With so many of us spending more time at home, now is a great time to try out some new vegetarian and vegan recipes! Whether you already enjoy vegetarian and vegan cooking or if you’re simply looking for a way to get......

Ready, Set… Start Growing! By: Hella Rumschlag, Youth Services Assistant Early April is too early to put plants in the ground in central Indiana, but it’s never too early to start planning and dreaming of that bountiful summer garden. Imagine ripe, red tomatoes; crisp, green......