Giving Back: CASA of Monroe County

Imagine being a child with an unstable home life. Imagine being brought to court as adults decide your fate. Now imagine if you had your very own adult, who is not your parent, making sure your voice is heard and that your well-being is prioritized. That’s what court-appointed special advocates, or CASAs, do.

Our first donation as a company was to CASA of Monroe County, and we have decided to help them out again. CASAs do very important work behind the scenes of court cases where children are involved. These volunteers represent child victims in juvenile cases of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. They work with the child throughout the process so the child has stability and representation. They truly are advocates, and we are so lucky to have them as part of our community!

Monroe County Casa Logo

When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we donate to a local organization, and this past quarter, we have chosen to thank CASA of Monroe County. They do such important work in our community, and we’re honored to be able to donate to their cause.

If you find yourself in the position to give, consider CASA or the many other worthy organizations in your community.

Giving Back: Girls Inc. of Monroe County

Emma González. Naomi Wadler. Malala Yousafzai. Emma Watson.

Strong young women are our future. As they fight for a better world, they inspire us all.

In our own community in Bloomington, Indiana, we have a fantastic organization empowering young women: Girls Inc. of Monroe County. This nonprofit

inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. We equip girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and look toward a future where girls and women are empowered and part of an equitable society.

In a culture where kids are constantly connected and judged, Girls Inc. provides a place of stability and strength where young women can recognize their worth and power. They offer educational programs (everything from STEM outreach to media literacy to redefining beauty) and organized sports teams to help girls “develop the values and skills they need to become confident, productive, and responsible adults.”

When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we donate to a local organization, and this past quarter, we have chosen to thank Girls Inc. of Monroe County. They do such important work in our community, and we’re honored to be able to donate to their cause.

If you find yourself in the position to give, consider Girls Inc. of Monroe County or the many other worthy organizations in your community.

Prompts from the Interwebs

Happy March, everyone! It’s finally starting to feel like spring in Indiana. As you thaw out from the winter chill, check out these writing prompts from the depths of the internet, culled just for you.

This artist makes 3-D portraits from DNA found on gum, cigarette butts, and fingernails.

If you need a reason to make you write regularly, check out this program: Pen Pals for Seniors.

Giving Back: Boys & Girls Club

Being a single parent isn’t easy, especially when also running your own business around the holidays. Enter: the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington. This organization provides camps and programs after school, during holiday breaks, and over the summer, meaning Lesley and other parents in our community have a safe, fun option for their children. As their website states,

The Club supports single parents who need an affordable, structured, safe and measurable program that allows them to maintain employment, work longer hours, or further their education.

Our local branch serves 450 kids per day, and 2,600 youth are served through some form of programming throughout the year. That means 15 percent of all kids in our county benefit from this organization!

In addition, there are some amazing stats on their site:

Stats from the Boys & Girls Club

When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we donate to a local organization, and this past quarter, we have chosen to thank the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington. They do such important work in our community, and we’re honored to be able to donate to their cause.

If you find yourself in the position to give, consider the Boys & Girls Club or the many other worthy organizations in your community.

Giving Back: GlobalGiving for Puerto Rico

The devastation across our country from natural disasters has been unimaginable. Right now, we at Inkblot are particularly concerned for our 3.4 million US brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, where the destruction is nearly absolute. They are without food, potable water, power, or the ability to communicate with the rest of the world.

Fortunately there are organizations on the ground in Puerto Rico ready to help. One of those is GlobalGiving, which connects donors with local nonprofits to provide relief. They have a nearly perfect score on Charity Navigator and a vetted fund for Puerto Rico and Caribbean Hurricane Relief, meaning all donations to this fund exclusively support relief and recovery efforts.

by NOAASatellites via Flickr

When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we usually donate to a local organization, but this quarter, we haven’t been able to get the devastation in Puerto Rico out of our heads. Thus, we are donating to GlobalGiving. They do such important work, and we’re honored to be able to help their cause.

If you find yourself in the position to give, consider GlobalGiving or the many other worthy organizations helping with disaster relief across the United States.

Quick Guide to Printing Methods

To the author and editor, final files for books generally get handed off to a magician in the production department, and then the finished, printed books appear a few weeks later. But what happens in between? We’ve covered how books are bound, but what fairy dust is sprinkled to put words on pages?

There are three methods for printing that publishers can use: letterpress, offset, and digital.

via Wikimedia Commons

Letterpress

Letterpress is the OG of printing methods. You can read more about literal typesetting here. A letterpress uses metal or plastic plates of type or images; the user rolls sheets of paper over the inked plates to transfer the image to the paper. It’s like super fancy stamping.

These days, letterpress is used for art, very limited edition books, and places where no power is needed. (See this post from Oh So Beautiful Paper for an inside look at artistic letterpress printing.)

Offset

After letterpress came offset. Offset printing began with “the accidental discovery that an image transferred to paper by a rubber covered cylinder was actually sharper than the image from the original type. This offset image gave rise to the name offset printing” (Self-Publisher’s 5-Minute Guide to Book Printing Processes). So, differing from letterpress, in which paper touches inked plates, offset printing has a rubber roller in between, so the ink goes from the plates, to the roller, and then to the paper. This gives the plates a longer life.

Offset printing allows way more pages to be printed at once, especially when using signatures (as mentioned in our bookbinding post). Offset can also do full-color books and has cutting and binding machines at the end of the printing process, like an assembly line that spits out whole books.

Digital

Digital printing is technology’s answer to offset. While with offset you have to print the number of books you think you’ll sell up front, with digital, you can print only the number of copies you’ve already sold. They are made-to-order and come out glued, trimmed, and with a color cover. Digital printers are essentially like super-fancy home printers. Also, you don’t have to work within the constraints of signatures, so you can have exactly the number of pages you need without blanks in the back.

Unfortunately, digital printing has yet to overtake offset when it comes to clean color images that are affordable. Thus, publishers today often use digital printing unless they have a book that needs color throughout or has an odd trim size.

Printing is constantly evolving, and it will be interesting to see how the industry changes in the next decade. If you have any questions about printing books, find us on Twitter or Facebook!


Sources: BookBusinessTechTargetSelf-Publisher’s 5-Minute Guide to Book Printing Processes, Oh So Beautiful Paper

Giving Back: Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

Around 3 pm, I usually eat a snack because when I get hungry, I get cranky. Imagine how hard concentrating would be if I hadn’t had a square meal in a while and no chance for one in the foreseeable future? That’s where Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, a food pantry here in Bloomington, steps in for people of all ages. They “envision a community where everyone has equal access to nutritious food, waste is minimized, and all members are healthy, self-sufficient, and empowered to reach their full potential.”

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard believes that access to healthy food is a basic human right. In addition to housing a food pantry, they also offer two community gardens, nutrition education programs, and recipes. They constantly work to address the root causes of hunger and poverty in our community, including lunches where people can learn about building food self-reliance, registering to vote, and doubling SNAP benefits at our local farmer’s market. You can even rent gardening tools from them!

When we started Inkblot, one goal was to give back to our amazing community. Each quarter, we donate to a local organization, and this past quarter, we have chosen to thank Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. They do such important work in our community, and we’re honored to be able to donate to their cause.

If you find yourself in the position to give, consider Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard or the many other worthy organizations in your community.

Children’s Literature: From Instruction to Entertainment

Last Monday, I was fortunate enough to see part of the children’s literature collection at the Lilly Library here in Bloomington. The Lilly has an amazing collection of rare books, and it’s always fun to see the treasures they bring out for various events. This particular session was all about the evolution of literature for children who were seen as tiny adults needing life instruction to children who wanted to be entertained.

The earliest examples laid out for us were horn books with the alphabet on one side and key words like doghousehorse on the other. One mother even made instructional flash cards about the dangers of life.

As we got into the later examples of the literature—moving from straight instruction to entertainment—we were shown books like this Newberry edition of Mother Goose and this tiny boxed library set of stories.

My favorites, however, were seeing items like Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.

And the absolute best was seeing the original manuscript for Peter Pan. What a treat!

If you ever find yourself in Bloomington, Indiana, definitely stop by the Lilly! Not only will they be able to show you amazing gems from their collection, but you’ll learn a lot too.