Both of Jackson County’s public libraries have been selected to receive the Next Indiana Bookshelf set, a collection of 13 titles designed to spark conversation during the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2016.

In a competitive application process, the local libraries were chosen to receive one of 55 sets awarded in 42 counties across the Hoosier State.

The Next Indiana Bookshelf was created by Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Center for the Book and is designed to encourage thinking and discussion about the present and future of Indiana, according to a news release about the project.

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The collection features 12 books, including Hoosier classics like “Raintree County;” the writings of Kurt Vonnegut; the poetry of Etheridge Knight; and contemporary books like “The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf” and “Invincible, Indiana.”

Additionally, the libraries will receive a poster of “The Indiana Chant,” written for the bicentennial by South Bend-based children’s author April Pulley Sayre.

Teachers and librarians are encouraged to use the chant for readings and performances in the weeks and months leading up to Statehood Day on Dec. 11, 2016.

Michelle R. Owens, youth services specialist with Brownstown Public Library, said library officials thought the project was a good fit there since the county and Brownstown also are celebrating bicentennials in 2016.

“We thought it was perfect for everyone,” Owens said. “We are going to use them (the set) for some of our programs related to the bicentennial, including books discussions.”

Janet Hensen, information services assistant at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour, said the books in that library’s Next Indiana Bookshelf collection have already begun circulating but also will be incorporated into book discussions, other library programs and displays about the bicentennial in 2016.

On the Web

To learn more about the Next Indiana Bookshelf, visit indianahumanities.org/our-programs/next-indiana-bookshelf.

The Next Indiana Bookshelf is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library.

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at indianahumanities.org.

About Indiana Center for the Book

The Indiana Center for the Book is a program of the Indiana State Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries and Indiana’s literary heritage by sponsoring events and serving as an information resource at the state and local level. Learn more at in.gov/library/icb.htm.

About local libraries

Brownstown Public Library: www.brownstown.lib.in.us

Jackson County Public Library: myjclibrary.org

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.