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Hawthorne Publishing Announces Outstanding Small Indiana Libraries Awards

Twenty-five outstanding small Indiana libraries will be honored by Hawthorne Publishing with recognition and a programming award starting January 18. The Carmel publishing company has a special focus on Indiana’s smaller libraries and has recognized them with book awards and publicity. The last award was in 2017 to twenty-five small libraries.

This year twenty-five different small libraries are again spotlighted. Hawthorne researches the libraries online and authors who have visited these branches or town libraries look for lively reading activities, town civic and in-library representation, and staff innovation and programming.

“It is in these small buildings, often still Carnegie libraries, that small-town life often centers,” says Nancy Baxter, Senior Editor at the Carmel Company. “They provide access to new trends and thoughts through their flow of new books, education of the community through programs both live and now virtual, children’s activities featuring hundreds or thousands of books and reading circles, and book clubs which meet to discuss ideas and many other innovative activities.

The last set of awards was in 1917. The latest Hawthorne Civil War history book was donated by interested readers from clubs in Indiana who chose a personal favorite from a list of 50 libraries to honor their choices with the new Hawthorne book about Indiana’s home front during the war. News releases sent to newspapers in all the recognized communities reminded readers of that community’s Civil War participation and units specifically. Many of the small-town papers spotlighted the interest focus of the book and sent readers in to borrow it at the library to discover their local Civil War heritage.

This year Hawthorne’s recognition program focuses on a specific programming suggestion with its book donation and local publicity. The UN’s “International Women’s Day” Celebration 2021 is March 8. It centers on “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid 19 World.” The new release from Hawthorne is Priestess of Pompeii: The Initiate’s Journey by Sandra Hurt. It is a novel depicting the struggle for recognition of an historically known priestess who lived in Pompeii in Julius Caesar’s time. Ten author questions about women’s growing leadership place and challenges as reflected in the book and today have been sent to the libraries along with the book.

“We hope that libraries may have discussion groups or feature activities on this worthwhile topic,” says Baxter. “Any participating library may also choose three of our Indiana books to add as our gift to their collection.”

NEXT WEEK: The twenty-five outstanding small libraries on the Hawthorne list.