Eating Gluten Free in Indy

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It’s the Hoosier state! What’s a Hoosier? No one knows.

I went to grad school and lived in Indianapolis for a couple of years. I’m actually excited to be going back next week for ACRL 2013. I’ve made many friends in the area, and of course I am looking forward to seeing many of my librarian colleagues from around the country. There’s no shortage of guides of things to do or see in Indy. For a quick peek check out Meagan’s guide to Circle City Eats, Willie and Rhonda’s guide to shops, and John’s guide to walking and bike trails.

I’m going to put myself in the shoes of a conference attendee who probably won’t have access to a car, needs to find places to eat near the conference center, and wants gluten free options. Just so you know, there are a lot of chain restaurants in downtown Indy. For more unique and local fare, you’d probably have to leave the downtown area. However, if you’re starving and without a car, you can’t be picky. You just eat where you can that’s close enough and has options for your needs. I feel you, and I’m here to help. I also highly recommend following the Indy Food Truck Twitter, especially their list of all the food trucks in Indy. You can see who’s going to be downtown and where. It’s a great resource. On to the list:

Restaurants

India Garden – Meagan mentions this place in her guide. I just called them to ask about their gluten free options and they said that they did have them, then promptly hung up on me. Lots of vegetarian options too! It’s a buffet, the service is okay, and I’m totally going to eat there at least once. In general, I just avoid naan and deep fried stuff there. They do list ingredients on the dishes which is helpful.

Yat’s – If you are up for a little walk, this place has quick, good food. The gluten free options are the white chili chicken, and some bean and sausage dish. You can always ask, and make sure to tell them to leave the bread off your plate.

Scotty’s Brewpub – It’s a local chain, with burgers, beers, and a gluten free menu. Pretty good, I would recommend this place to anyone who is thirsty and wants something filling to eat. They’re really accommodating with the gf stuff.

Ram Brewery – They also have a gluten-free menu. The HackLibSchool meet-up is here on Friday April 12 from 7pm-? The food is okay, but it’s a big place that can hold large groups. Good for group dinners and meet ups.

PF Changs – Chinese-ish food that has gluten free options.

Chick-fil-a (in the Circle Center Mall) – Okay, I know, controversial; but they have gluten free choices. Generally speaking, the mall food court has a lot of fast food options. Not saying I recommend that everyone eat at the mall, or at a corporation that supports hate groups, but it is an option. Do what you will, I’m not judging.

Weber Grill – I’ve never eaten here, but here’s a gluten free menu.

Duo’s Food Truck – Vegan and gluten free options! The cafeteria is not so close to the convention center (it’s a short drive away), but they have a food truck that does come downtown. Follow their twitter feed to see where they’ll be.

ImageCaveman Food Truck – For you paleo and gluten free folks, I present this meat truck. From their site, “Caveman Truck  is one of the first paleo / primal food truck concepts in the nation.” Ron Swanson approved (probably). Follow them on twitter too!

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How about a drink with egg whites?

You guys don’t need help with where to drink, but I’m also going to give a shout out to The Libertine. Good, strong drinks. The cure for what ails you. Plus, all the bartenders look like the cast of Newsies, minus Christian Bale. Not bad right?

Visiting Indiana is not about being hungry. I hope this helps those who are gluten free, or just want to know what’s available to them. If anyone is going to be at ACRL next Tuesday (4/9) and is going to be at the convention center, I’ll be at the info desk, ready to provide tips on places to go. Stop by and say hi!

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ALA Annual 2012 Announcements

I’m gearing up and getting ready for #ALA12! This past week, we’ve had a bunch of posts over at HackLibSchool dedicated to prepping for Annual in case you missed it. Lots of fun events and chances to meet new people. I have a couple of fun announcements too in regards to this year’s conference.

First, I will be moderating the HackLibSchool Conversation Starter. This is the first year that ALA’s done this series so let’s see how that goes. I do hope that library school students, n00brarians, and veteran professionals can come together and do what librarians do best: share information! Also, this is the first library conference presentation that I’ve ever moderate/participated in. I hope it goes ok! Generally, conference presentations make me nervous but it always turns out fine in the end.

Second announcement: I have been asked by the ALA Basecamp group to help report out events and going-ons at the conference. I’ll be blogging about what I’ve seen, and give ALA the low down on all the cool stuff that’s happening. I’ve been asked to take pictures and interview folks too, so if I see you, don’t be surprised if I ask to talk to you for a brief moment.

Third: I volunteered to be a greeter for the NMRT Resume Review Service. I’ll be at the Placement Center from 11am-1pm. They’re also having an Open House from 10:30am-12:00pm, so you can come on down, have someone look at your resume and talk to potential employers.

In addition to all that – I will also be a photographer for Librarian Wardrobe! Please don’t be shy about me taking a picture of you and your awesome outfit. While I don’t proclaim to have awesome style, I do have a good eye for folks who know how to wear their threads and wear them well. With that, I leave you with this Felix da Housecat dance song, “Ready 2 Wear”: 

I’m really excited about going to Annual this year! If you are going and see me, please don’t run away from my camera. Say hi!

Joint Research Conference Recap

I recently attended a joint research conference with the university library and the school of library information science here at IUPUI. The conference mascot was the titmouse, a bird that was known for being able to survive because of it’s information sharing nature. It was really great to hear what library faculty and SLIS (School of Library Information Science) students were doing their research on, as well as their methodology. In our program, taking a research class is a core requirement, which is really good because as library and information professionals, we all deal with research one way or another, whether it’s helping a patron or conducting your own.

There were so many great ideas that I took from this conference, and the keynote speaker, Steven Bell, had a very provocative presentation on “Putting the Science back in Library Science”. He talked about the difference in how other disciplines approach research and how the librarians could try to incorporate those techniques into their own research. Here are some highlights from his presentation:

  • Doing research is good for the profession and should be good for the end user, the patrons. Don’t do research just to have something to put on your c.v., make sure it means something and can produce results for your library.
  • Get out from behind the desk and design studies that involve people. I know I have filled out my fair share of list-serv surveys and polls. Through reading academic articles, we’ve seen the bulk of library research is done is through this sort of passive means. Instead, we could look at how social science fields approach studies and experiments.
  • Library schools should incorporate design thinking into the curriculum. This point really stood out to me but I need to follow up on what he meant by this. He showed a brief clip of a interdisciplinary think tank who used creative techniques to solve problems. Perhaps, as LIS students, we need to learn how to think more creatively about our research approach and problem solving. A little more info this can be found here.
  • Reading from outside the LIS discipline helps us keep up with current trends. Then you can invigorate your own research by incorporating an interdisciplinary approach. It’s easy to stay within the same circle, but your information can get stale.

I was also very impressed with the students who went up to present their research. They all agreed that it wasn’t too difficult to get up and talk to all of us about what they have been working on. One presentation was a collaboration between a librarian and a SLIS student. It’s hard for students to take the initiative to do their own research because it might seem intimidating, so I thought it was wonderful that a librarian would be willing to find a student to work with, as opposed to another faculty member.

In general, I have found there to be a disconnect between the university librarians and the students in the program. I’d be interested to hear if other library school programs have a similar problem or if the university library and the library school program are more connected. Anyway, this research conference is an effort to bridge that gap. It was pretty awesome to see the SLIS professor who teaches an Intro to Research course ask one of the presenting librarians about her research methodology. Just from hearing their exchange, I saw the difference in academic culture, what the professor (who holds a PhD) thought about case studies and the librarian who is doing her first research project for publication. We’re all in the same building but it doesn’t mean we interact with each other on a regular basis, which was why this conference was so great.

After the conference, I thought about what a great opportunity this was for students to get the ball rolling on presenting. I had never been to a library conference before, so now I have an idea of what sort of things to expect . The professors are already encouraging students to think about doing our own research and presenting it next year. It would be a good way for students to develop their own professional interests, network and work with faculty members, and get experience talking in front of a lot of people.