When it was first proposed that I do a weekly column, I nearly said no because I was worried I’d never be able to come up with something new to write each week.

Yet, here I am still chugging along over eight years later. That’s due in large part to the fact I’ve had access to the wonderful collection of books and documents in the Indiana Room of the Noblesville (Hamilton East) library.

As an avid reader and former librarian, I’ve been in a lot of libraries. I can honestly say HEPL’s Indiana Room has one of the best collections of Indiana materials I’ve ever seen. If you’re doing any research on Indiana history, especially Hamilton County history, our Indiana Room is THE place to go.

Yes, some of the information found there is available online now, but most of it isn’t, like many of the books on local history. Some of those are out of print and difficult, if not impossible, to find anywhere else.

Also in the collection are books by Hoosier authors, city directories, old phone books, NHS yearbooks, county histories and various maps.

If you’re into genealogy, a visit to the Indiana Room will have you thinking you’ve died and gone to heaven. I happen to know people from all over the country have used the Indiana Room’s resources to trace their family trees.

Among the genealogical holdings: WPA indexes of birth, death and marriage records; census records; cemetery records; an obituary file; bound family histories and the family history vertical files which contain donated copies of family histories and genealogies.

Most of my time in the Indiana Room the last few years has been spent looking through microfilm of the old local newspapers. Even though my library card now grants me access at home to the oldest newspapers through newspapers.com, I still go to the Indiana Room whenever I need to look up something more recent than 1963.

Another important source of information for me is the vertical file. You’d be amazed at what you can find in there. It’s not simply a bunch of old newspaper clippings. There are pamphlets, programs for various events and all kinds of other ephemera you won’t find anywhere else.

I wanted to remind everyone what a valuable resource the Indiana Room is, and how much of the material in it is irreplaceable, because the powers that be at HEPL are finally asking for public input regarding the future of the Fishers and Noblesville library facilities.

Since the Noblesville library has already been physically torn apart for months and literally half our materials (and therefore, thousands of our tax dollars) were tossed into recycle bins long ago, I’m feeling a little wary about this sudden desire for public opinion. I can’t see that there’s much left to change  . . .  except the Indiana Room.

If you value the Indiana Room and want it kept as is, now would be a really good time to let library officials know.

You can do that by attending one of the public input sessions scheduled for May 15 or May 16 at 6 p.m., or by contacting the library board. The email address of the current board president, John Dierdorf, is dierdorf@bdmd.com. (Sessions for Fishers’ library are slated for May 8 or May 9, also at 6 p.m.)

I should note that registration is required for these public input meetings, although I don’t know why. If they’re truly serious about wanting public input, why not simply open the doors to anyone who walks in?

But, hey, maybe they’ll explain that when you register.

As for me, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to hear my opinion of the changes at HEPL.

-Paula Dunn’s From Time to Thyme column appears each Friday in The Times. Contact her at younggardenerfriend@gmail.com