Are you looking for your next great read? We can help! Visit us in person, explore reading recommendations online, join an in-person or online book discussion, get recommendations on Facebook, tune in to our televised book club segments, and more. Get started here!

Sunday Nights on Facebook
Join us on Sunday nights at 8:30pm on Facebook for Currently Reading. Enjoy this hour during which book enthusiasts share favorite books and offer suggestion about what to read next. Find out about the books that have everyone talking.

Wednesday Mornings – Indy Now Book Club
The Library helps host a ‘book club’ on the Indy Now Morning Show with Ryan and Jillian on Fox59. Tune in at 10 a.m. every other Wednesday. Catch book recommendations and IndyPL program highlights from your own local librarians. Re-watch segments you have missed and see book lists of the books mentioned in each segment.

In-Person & Online Book Discussions
Do you love talking about books? Join one of our book discussions or book clubs available both in-person and online.

Online Reading Recommendations
NovelList and NovelList K-8 are online services that offer reading recommendations. Browse both fiction and nonfiction, read-alike suggestions, series information, reviews, and lists of recommended and award-winning books for adults, teens and kids. Learn how to start on this video tutorial. Also try Book Connections which includes a “find the right book for you” feature.

Would you prefer one-on-one help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email ask-a- librarian.

Make a selection from one of the book lists below created by our staff of avid readers. You can also follow our staff’s most recently published lists on the library catalog home page. Don’t miss our If You Like… suggestions that cover all the favorite genres like science fiction, graphic novels, romance, and more. Finally, don’t miss What We’re Reading Teens and What We’re Reading Kids.

An Evening with Tiffany D. Jackson

Teens and adults are invited to a talk and Q&A featuring New York Times bestselling and award winning author Tiffany D. Jackson on Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at Central Library. Jackson is a Coretta Scott King and John Steptoe New Talent Award winner as well as an NAACP Image Award nominee. She is the author of young adult books such as Monday’s Not ComingAllegedlyLet Me Hear A RhymeGrownWhite SmokeSanta in The CityThe Weight of Blood, and co-author of Blackout

Tiffany D. Jackson and similar authors

Jackson is a master of writing page turning, suspenseful books! She has tackled mystery, horror and romance – all with an eye on the community setting of the stories and social issues. Check out her fiction and other writers like her. Written for teens, but adults love them, too.

Title - MondayTitle - The Weight of BloodTitle - AllegedlyTitle - White Smoke

Virtual Author Talk: From Murder to Atonement

Virtual Author Talk: From Murd…

Join us online Tuesday, April 9 at 2 p.m. for a one-of-a-kind conversation with National Book Award winner Colum McCann as he is joined by Diane Foley, the inspiration behind the heartrending book American Mother. Register for the Colum McCann virtual author talk.

Asian American Romance Novels

Celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month with some serious study … of swoony storylines! This list features Asian American and Asian Canadian writers and main characters – find a new favorite!

Title - Fancy Meeting You HereTitle - Role PlayingTitle - Tastes Like ShakkarTitle - To Have and to Heist

Library Lover’s Edition

Can’t get enough of the library? Think we should stay open 24/7? Get lost in these fictional, fantastical libraries, and you’ll feel like you never left!

Title - The PlottersTitle - The Mystery of Henri PickTitle - The Book of Form and EmptinessTitle - The Invisible Library

National Financial Literacy Month

April is National Financial Literacy Month. Finetune your money skills with the latest advice from financial experts.

Title - Tightwads and SpendthriftsTitle - Simple Secrets to Becoming A Saving WhizTitle - Money for MillennialsTitle - Invest Like A Girl

Fiction Originally Written in Korean

The month of May marks Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Celebrate with these English translations of works that were originally published in Korean. Books on this list are in no particular order.

Title - Welcome to the Hyunam-dong BookshopTitle - The Good SonTitle - Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982Title - A Greater Music

Fiction Originally Written in an Asian Language

Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May with these titles that were originally written in an Asian language. Books on this list are in no particular order.

Title - Man TigerTitle - Convenience Store WomanTitle - The VegetarianTitle - The Memory Police

Diverse Poetry Collections From the Last Decade That Uses Poetic Form and Technique in a New or Interesting Way

For many, the word poetry does not produce a feeling of excitement for two main reasons. One, the outdated language makes some poems difficult to understand. Two, and perhaps the deeper reason behind negative perceptions of poetry, the majority of the poets (and authors) studied in middle and high school English classes belong to the literary canon. The Canon, as it is often referred to, includes authors and poets such as Mark Twain and William Shakespeare, and has, in the last few decades, come under scrutiny for almost exclusively being made up of older, white, able-bodied, straight, cisgender men. As such, their experiences are not relatable and their ideas on race, gender and gender roles, sexuality, mental health, etc., are outdated to much of the population today.

Title - Ink EarlTitle - Odes to LithiumTitle - Black RosesTitle - Black Oak

Virtual Author Talk – Power, Love, and Art

Virtual Author Talk: Power, Lo…

Join us Wednesday, April 17, at 8 p.m. as we chat with award-winning and bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez about her newest novel Anita de Monte Laughs Last. Register for the Xochitl Gonzalez virtual author talk.

Listen with Liz – April 2024

I love nonfiction audiobooks. This is a totally random list of titles I listened to in March 2024. Titles are listed in alphabetical order.

Title - BrutalitiesTitle - Chinese ProdigalTitle - Grief Is for PeopleTitle - I Heard Her Call My Name

Fiction by Malaysian Authors

If you’re looking to explore titles by Asian authors this Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, check out these fiction books by Malaysian and Malaysian American authors.

Title - Tale of the DreamerTitle - The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in WaterTitle - The House of DoorsTitle - The Fox Wife

Was it plagiarism?

There is nothing new under the sun. However, where is the line between homage and ripoff? When is something inspired by and when is something copied? Here are stories that have been alleged to be plagiarized as well as the original stories. Some saw their day in court, some got away with it, some are still argued over to this day.

Title - The Outer LimitsTitle - The TerminatorTitle - I Have No Mouth, and I Must ScreamTitle - In Time

Shakespeare Today: 21st Century Perspectives

This collection of new books focuses on Shakespeare’s influence on not just literature, but impact on our human understanding, culture, and thought. Whether you find yourself intrigued by the mysteries surrounding his identity, drawn to the intricacies of his works, or curious about his impact across the ages, this list is your gateway to exploring Shakespeare. And if you are here for some Shakespearean slang and insults, we’ve got those too!

Title - The Hollow CrownTitle - Stalking ShakespeareTitle - Shakespeare at WarTitle - The Making of Shakespeare

Are you looking for reading recommendations for teens? We can help! Visit us in person or online to get great ideas for your next great read. For one-on-one help call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations. You can also call, text, or email ask-a- librarian! Here are some more ideas to help you find what to read next.

  • Follow our staff’s most recently published book lists on the library catalog home page.
  • Don’t miss our If You Like… suggestions that cover all the favorite genres like science fiction, graphic novels, romance, and more.
  • Join us Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. on Facebook for Currently Reading where book enthusiasts offer their suggestions.
  • Tune in every other Wednesday at 10 a.m. to the Indy Now Book Club with Ryan and Jillian on Fox59 for reading recommendations and IndyPL program highlights from your own local librarians.
  • You can also get reading recommendations online from NovelList or Book Connections. Read book reviews, see “read alike” lists, browse starred reviews, and more.

Make a selection from one of the book lists below created by our staff of avid readers whose reading experiences and tastes cover about any interest you can think of!

An Evening with Tiffany D. Jackson

Teens and adults are invited to a talk and Q&A featuring New York Times bestselling and award winning author Tiffany D. Jackson on Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at Central Library. Jackson is a Coretta Scott King and John Steptoe New Talent Award winner as well as an NAACP Image Award nominee. She is the author of young adult books such as Monday’s Not ComingAllegedlyLet Me Hear A RhymeGrownWhite SmokeSanta in The CityThe Weight of Blood, and co-author of Blackout

Tiffany D. Jackson and similar authors

Jackson is a master of writing page turning, suspenseful books! She has tackled mystery, horror and romance – all with an eye on the community setting of the stories and social issues. Check out her fiction and other writers like her. Written for teens, but adults love them, too.

Title - MondayTitle - The Weight of BloodTitle - AllegedlyTitle - White Smoke

Amigurumi

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. I am fascinated by these little creations and wish I was crafty enough to make them. If you would like to learn how to crochet these adorable little creatures, check out one of the titles below.

Title - Flower Gnomigurumi: 12 Cute Amigurumi Gnomes To CrochetTitle - More Crochet Iconic WomenTitle - Creepy Cutie AmigurumiTitle - BABY BEASTS TO CROCHET

Graphic Novels with Few Words

This list features graphic novels that have sparse or no text for adults and teens. These titles prove that sometimes we only need to rely on a few words (or none at all) to tell a story. Each entry labeled with its intended audience.

Title - The SpectatorsTitle - 20 Km/hTitle - One Beautiful Spring DayTitle - Here

Time Travel Graphic Novels for Teens

Check out this selection of graphic novels and manga from our teen collection that feature elements of time travel. These graphic novels are filled with chances to change the past/future, bearing witness to historical events, jumping between realities, letters from a future self, and manipulation of space and time by powerful beings.

Title - DisplacementTitle - A Girl Called EchoTitle - The Knife at your BackTitle - Inkblot

Dungeon and Dragons Stories

This list is a look at some stories of dungeon divers, dungeon clubs, dungeon trainers and dungeons in general. Enjoy! See our full listing of Dugneon and Dragon upcoming programs.

Title - No Humans Allowed!Title - Warriors & WeaponsTitle - Lost in the Mushroom MazeTitle - The Dungeoneers

Knitting Pop Culture

It’s hot outside! If you’re staying indoors, binge-watching movies and tv shows, try knitting while you watch. This winter you could be wearing mittens inspired by Little Women, a hat inspired by The Great Gatsby, a knitted Princess Leia’s snow vest, a homemade knitted sweater of your favorite Disney character, or a Hogwarts house cardigan.

Title - Knitting MagicTitle - Knitting the GalaxyTitle - Knitting With DisneyTitle - Highland Knits

Teen Manga

Explore the teen Manga collection at IndyPL! Manga is a style of Japanese comic books, aimed at adults, teens, and children. If you’re new to the genre, you’ll find the first book of many popular teen series here. Click on the book to find the rest in the series!

Title - JojoTitle - BeastarsTitle - The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of GoodbyesTitle - Assassination Classroom

Teens in Peril in Space

Nothing spices up adolescence like killer aliens. Or hard vacuum. Or a sinister interstellar conspiracy.

Title - Brightly BurningTitle - Victories Greater Than DeathTitle - ToxicTitle - The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

In-Person & Online Book Discussions for Teens

  • Event: Tween Graphic Novel Club
  • Date & Time: Saturday, May 04, 2:00pm
  • Location: Lawrence Branch
  • Description: Join the Tween Graphic Novel Club as we share our thoughts on this month’s read, “The Do-Over” by Rodrigo Vargas & Coni Yovaniniz. Children ages 9-12 are invited to attend and new members are always welcome!
  • Register Here

Are you looking for reading recommendations for kids? We can help! Use these book lists created by our staff to find new and favorite books for kids of all ages covering a variety of topics and interests. Would you like to see more? Browse all of our staff recommendations for kids. Would you prefer one-on-one help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email ask-a- librarian. For next step reading suggestions you can also browse What We’re Reading Teens.

Total Eclipse and Sky Gazing For Kids

The skies have so much mystery, science, and beauty. Enjoy the list inspired by the total eclipse and the power of our universe. Since the dawn of time, humans have looked up and tried to figure out their place in the world. Let’s all “engage” and journey into space and beyond.

Title - A Few Beautiful MinutesTitle - EclipseTitle - Sky GazingTitle - Totality!

Would You Still Love Me If I Were a Worm?

Worms are fascinating and important creatures! Help little ones learn more about the wriggly, squiggly world of worms with these nematode-ally awesome books for kids. While the world of worms is diverse and expansive, most of these titles center on a general understanding of worms, and earthworms in particular.

Title - How to Say Hello to A WormTitle - DarwinTitle - Curious About WormsTitle - We Dig Worms!

Kids Explore Geology

What an amazing planet we live on! The books in this list will provide young scientists with vital information about how the Earth formed and help them explore geology through experiments, rock collecting, and more.

Title - GeologyTitle - Rock Collecting for KidsTitle - Geology Lab for KidsTitle - Rocks and Minerals

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

The 2024 MLB season begins on March 20 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres facing off in Seoul – but Opening Day proper is March 28 with all 30 teams in action. These children’s books will get you ready for Opening Day!

Title - The House That Ruth BuiltTitle - The Hero Two Doors DownTitle - We Are the ShipTitle - The Funniest Man in Baseball

Bugs! Insects! Spiders! Creepy Crawlies!

Kids are fascinated by bugs and other creepy crawlies. At Central Library’s Learning Curve we will be helping kids learn about insects, arachnids, and more during our Spring Break Open Activities: weekday afternoons from March 25 – April 5, 2024. Check our online calendar for details. Meanwhile, here is a list of just a few of the MANY books we have about the fascinating world of insects, spiders, and other creepy crawlies.

Title - WhatTitle - Insects by the NumbersTitle - Bug AtlasTitle - The Book of Brilliant Bugs

Hey Kids, Let’s Dance!

Try out some new dance moves with books about all different kinds of dance, from cha-cha to hip-hop and everything in between!

Title - The All-American Jump and Jive JigTitle - FirebirdTitle - Cha-cha-cha en la selvaTitle - Dance Is for Everyone

Historical Reads for Kids – Revolutionary War

Take a trip back to where it all started and learn about the Revolutionary War with these great books.

Title - An Inconvenient AlphabetTitle - A Parade for George WashingtonTitle - Rescuing the Declaration of IndependenceTitle - Gingerbread for Liberty!

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During the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 people on Earth will be able to see the Moon partially, or completely, block the Sun. The path of totality – the places where people can see the Moon completely block the Sun, happens to include Indianapolis! You can learn about solar eclipses online, by checking out books or movies from The Library, or by attending one of our programs. We have some great programs and books for kids too!

Pick up a pair of eclipse glasses.

Through a partnership with The Star Network Library, The Indianapolis Public Library will be offering free eclipse glasses to the public beginning March 15, while supples last.  Glasses are available one per person, per visit.

Learn why wearing these glasses is so important to protect your eyes:

Attend a program.

Escape the Eclipse…
  • Event: Escape the Eclipse
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 4:30pm
  • Location: Garfield Park Branch
  • Description: Legend has it that a solar eclipse happens when the sun and moon are fighting. To ensure the world is not encased in darkness forever, kids must work together to uncover clues while learning about solar eclipses during this escape room program. Will you be able to escape the eclipse? Ages 6 and up.
  • Register Here
Escape the Eclipse…
  • Event: Escape the Eclipse
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 23, 6:00pm
  • Location: Irvington Branch
  • Description: Legend has it that a solar eclipse happens when the sun and moon are fighting. To ensure the world is not encased in darkness forever, kids must work together to uncover clues while learning about solar eclipses during this escape room program. Will you be able to escape the eclipse? Ages 6 and up.
  • Register Here
Escape the Eclipse…
  • Event: Escape the Eclipse
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 30, 5:00pm
  • Location: East 38th Street Branch
  • Description: Legend has it that a solar eclipse happens when the sun and moon are fighting. To ensure the world is not encased in darkness forever, kids must work together to uncover clues while learning about solar eclipses during this escape room program. Will you be able to escape the eclipse? Ages 6 and up.
  • Register Here
Escape the Eclipse…
  • Event: Escape the Eclipse
  • Date & Time: Monday, May 06, 6:00pm
  • Location: Martindale-Brightwood Branch
  • Description: Legend has it that a solar eclipse happens when the sun and moon are fighting. To ensure the world is not encased in darkness forever, kids must work together to uncover clues while learning about solar eclipses during this escape room program. Will you be able to escape the eclipse? Ages 6 and up.
  • Register Here
Escape the Eclipse…
  • Event: Escape the Eclipse
  • Date & Time: Monday, May 13, 4:00pm
  • Location: Haughville Branch
  • Description: Legend has it that a solar eclipse happens when the sun and moon are fighting. To ensure the world is not encased in darkness forever, kids must work together to uncover clues while learning about solar eclipses during this escape room program. Will you be able to escape the eclipse? Ages 6 and up.
  • Register Here
Escape the Eclipse…
  • Event: Escape the Eclipse
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, May 21, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Legend has it that a solar eclipse happens when the sun and moon are fighting. To ensure the world is not encased in darkness forever, kids must work together to uncover clues while learning about solar eclipses during this escape room program. Will you be able to escape the eclipse? Ages 6 and up.
  • Register Here

Learn about solar eclipses and how to watch them.

Share the experience with kids.

PBS Kids: Read a Book – Solar Eclipse
Enjoy this video read aloud which tells the story of the British astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington who decided to test Einstein’s theory of general relativity by photographing the 1919 solar eclipse.

Exploratorium
Find out where to be and what to do for the eclipse experience of a lifetime.

NASA for Kids: What is an Eclipse?

The Planetary Society: Sharing an Eclipse with Kids

Reading Recommendations for Adults

Look to this list for some intriguing science fiction takes on cosmic disasters! These titles include tragic and/or triumphant tales where the threat of the Sun, the Moon, or another space feature impacting Earth causes global catastrophes, and their endings will probably leave you in some kind of existential and/or philanthropic state. Enjoy!

Title - The Twilight ZoneTitle - SunshineTitle - MelancholiaTitle - Life as We Knew It

Total Eclipse and Sky Gazing For Kids

The skies have so much mystery, science, and beauty. Enjoy the list inspired by the total eclipse and the power of our universe. Since the dawn of time, humans have looked up and tried to figure out their place in the world. Let’s all “engage” and journey into space and beyond.

Title - A Few Beautiful MinutesTitle - EclipseTitle - Sky GazingTitle - Totality!

tomatoes

The IndyPL Seed Library

Pick up free seeds to start your vegetable, herb, or flower garden free! The IndyPL Seed Library is available at all our locations during regular branch hours from late March through September.  One packet of each type of seed per household. In addition to free seeds, check out resources and attend workshops about growing and using plants from your seeds. We provide materials and programs to make gardening in Indianapolis a doable goal for beginners.

Tune in online for a a Gardening Storytime – a great way to read up on beginning gardening projects for kids. For kids, gardening offers a way to get messy and watch the payoff for their hard work, in the form of growing veggies and beautiful flowers. You can say, “Hey! I grew the thing! Look at the thing that I grew! Isn’t it pretty?” Imagine the Instagram fun!

Programs

Gloved hands planting a garden.
  • Event: Vermicomposting
  • Date & Time: Thursday, May 09, 12:00pm
  • Location: Garfield Park Branch
  • Description: Join Purdue Extension staff to learn about composting with worms! This is a great way to take your table scraps and turn them into food for your plants quickly!
  • Register Here
  • Event: Get Growing!
  • Date & Time: Saturday, May 11, 1:00pm
  • Location: Glendale Branch
  • Description: The last frost is done and it’s time to put those seeds in your garden! If you don’t have a plan yet, let’s make one! Soil preparation, light requirements and plant spacing will all be covered. What can you start from seed and what transplants should you get? We’ve got you covered.
  • Register Here
  • Event: West Perry Gardening Group
  • Date & Time: Friday, May 17, 10:15am
  • Location: West Perry Branch
  • Description: Gardens are essentially a place of sharing and gardeners know that we learn a lot from each other–whether you’re just starting or experienced. Sessions will feature seasonal discussions with a local Master Gardener, resources–like our Seed Library–and connections with other gardeners.
  • No Registration Required.

View on Demand

Learn on Demand Video: Seed Saving
Join Anika Williams from the Pike Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library as she harvests milkweed seeds on site and discusses the Seed Library available there.

Reading Recommendations from our Staff

Browse these featured staff book lists to help improve your gardening in Indianapolis skills. See all our gardening book lists here.

Gardening in Indianapolis Resources

Follow Purdue Extension, one of the best ways to learn about gardening in Indiana. Browse their recommended online resources:

Gardening for Kids

Subscribe to NextReads to receive Home, Garden & DIY reading recommendation in your inbox monthly. Book suggestions are linked to our catalog for easy requesting. It’s FREE! See a sample issue. Subscribe to NextReads!

In, The Easter Egg, Hoppi’s friends and neighbors are all working on creating eggs for an Easter contest. Each friend he visits is making a different kind of egg. It is fun to see the different ways Hoppi’s friends are making eggs. Some are predictable like the egg made of chocolate, but others are surprising, like an egg made of wood and a mechanical egg that has moving parts. Hoppi wants to make an egg to enter in the contest, but he gets sidetracked by kindness and becomes an Easter hero instead…at least mama Robin thinks so! You can listen to Hoppi’s story right now! It’s Easter storytime online!

Talk!

After listening to the story, talk about some of the things that happened in it.

  • What color was the egg Hoppi found?
  • Where do you think the egg was before Hoppi found it?
  • What was your favorite part of Hoppi’s story? Why?
  • Would you want to help hide Easter eggs?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Easter at any of our locations, or check out Easter e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device. If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Click on the book covers below to listen to more Easter video read aloud stories right now! It’s Easter storytime online! Did you like these? You can find more stories at Free Video Read Alouds and enjoy even more themed reading and activity fun at IndyPL’s DIY Online Storytimes at Home.

title - Blank Entrytitle - The Easter Eggtitle - Eggtitle - The Fuzzy Ducklingtitle - The Golden Egg Booktitle - Hatch!title - Home for A Bunnytitle - It's Easter, Little Critter!title - Rechenka's Eggstitle - The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Easter Favorites for Kids to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - Easter Favorites for KidsEnjoy these e-book and audiobook favorites for kids that highlight Easter traditions from family dinners, reading a child’s version of the Easter story in the Bible, or attending Easter services to dyeing and hiding Easter eggs.

Sing!

In this version of the traditional lullaby “Hush Little Baby” a father rabbit comforts his little baby bunny and keeps it safe. Listen to the music and sing along as the words appear on the screen. A tiny bunny hops along the words to help you with the rhythm. Based on the book Hush Little Bunny by David Ezra Stein.

Now singalong as Raffi sings “Five Little Ducks.” Would you like to make the sound of the mother duck? Raffi will sing “Mother duck says….” and you make the sound for him!

Write!

Find some crayons or markers to color an Easter picture, practice writing the letters in Easter words, or see if you can follow your way through a maze without getting stuck.

Play!

Here are six play ideas about rabbits from Kevin Henkes, the author of Little White Rabbit and Egg. Scroll to the section Moving, Making, and Playing for several ideas to get your little bunny jumping.

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: All Ages Sensory Storytime at Fort Ben
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 5:30pm
  • Location: Fort Ben Branch
  • Description: Spend time enjoying songs, rhymes, and stories, followed by Sensory Play, which includes sensory friendly toys, coloring sheets, and or a craft.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Storytime at Lawrence – Pajama Storytime!
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Lawrence Branch
  • Description: Young children and their caregivers are invited to join us for stories, songs, and fun. Stay after stories are finished for some literacy activities and play time.
  • No Registration Required.

Need Help?

Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. ~ Albert Einstein. It’s time to file your taxes! Many Library patrons rely on IndyPL for tax forms and filing instruction booklets.

In order to encourage more tax payers to file electronically, both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Indiana State Department of Revenue (DOR) are limiting distribution of paper forms and instructions. Here is what to expect if you come into a Library for tax documents.

  • We have preprinted packets of the most common tax forms and schedule forms for free to patrons – first come, first served and only one packet per patron. (Download PDF Packet)
  • You may use a Library computer to view tax instructions and booklets online, or you can print them on our printers. The first four black-and-white pages printed are free. Each page printed after that will be $0.15 per black-and-white page.
  • We offer a limited number of Federal 1040 and Indiana IT-40 booklets at some branch locations.
  • Library staff cannot help you select or fill out your tax forms.
  • See our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.

Links to printable tax forms online or by phone:

Tax preparation help:

  • The East 38th Street will serve as a Volunteer Tax Assistance Program location by appointment through the middle of April. Please call 317-275-4352 for more information.
  • Free Last Minute Tax Assistance
    East 38th Street Friday, May 15
    Call 317-275-4359 for more information or to schedule one of 30 in-person tax preparation appointments. Or, just walk in on May 17th with your documents for drop-off preparation with no appointment required. Note: This program happens AFTER the filing deadline.  If you expect you will OWE taxes, you will need to file form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension to File, by April 15th.
  • Garfield Park Tax Resources
    Friday, April 12 at 2:30 p.m. Register
    Come find out how to locate, print, and find resources to help prepare you to fill out your taxes. Plus, learn how to tell which websites are official government sites and which are not.
  • File Federal Taxes Free Online (if income under $79,000)
  • United Way provides MyFreeTaxes.com in partnership with the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help filers prepare their tax returns on their own or have their return prepared for them for free. You can also call MyFreeTaxes at 866-698-9435 Jan. 24 – Oct. 31.

FAQ Filing Taxes

How do I print documents at The Library?

You can print from indypl.org/printing using the URL of a file, or by uploading a file from your device. You can also easily print from Library computers, or ask a staff member for help.

Can I get free help filing my taxes?

Library staff cannot help fill out forms, but here are some links to local organizations that can help:

See our booklist for suggestions for learning more about filing income taxes.

Where can I find IRA Information?

Do you have a Roth or a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA)? Use these links to find the latest information on contribution limits and withdrawals.

Gardening is a great opportunity to practice some planning and organization. Tune in online for a a Gardening Storytime – a great way to read up on beginning gardening projects for kids. When the weather is right, you will be glad you did! For kids, gardening offers a way to get messy and watch the payoff for their hard work, in the form of growing veggies and beautiful flowers. You can say, “Hey! I grew the thing! Look at the thing that I grew! Isn’t it pretty?” Imagine the Instagram fun! And maybe enjoy a little reading too!

Making a connection between gardening and food is an important skill for small children. Where does food come from BEFORE it is in the grocery store? We can help you get started learning about where food comes from. Gardening can supplement any family learning from home opportunities. Get started with Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson.

Talk!

After listening to the gardening storytime, talk about some of the things that happened in the story.

  • Have you ever planted any seeds? Did the seed you planted grow? If they did, what did the seeds grow into?
  • Can you name any seeds that we eat?
  • Can you name the main parts of a plant?
  • How do bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds help plants?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about gardens at any of our locations, or check out gardening e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Click on the book covers below to listen to more video read aloud stories about gardening right now! It’s garden storytime online! Did you like these? You can find more stories at Free Video Read Alouds and enjoy even more themed reading and activity fun at IndyPL’s DIY Online Storytimes at Home.

title - Blank Entrytitle - Miss Maple's Seedstitle - Miss Rumphiustitle - Blank Entrytitle - La señorita Runfio

Gardening Books for Kids to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - How Does Your Garden GrowThis list contains stories and information books all about growing your own garden and then using what you grow…to eat!

Sing!

Watch how cooperation makes garden grow and sing along, “Together we can make a pretty garden grow!”

Write!

Find some crayons or makers to color a picture, practice writing the letters, or see if you can follow your way through a maze without getting stuck.

Play!

Take a walk and read a story, it’s gardening storytime on the go! We invite you to visit StoryWalk® in Ruckle Street Park at 3025 Ruckle Street. Stroll through the park and read a book displayed in mounted frames. Or Skip. Or gallop!

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: All Ages Sensory Storytime at Fort Ben
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 5:30pm
  • Location: Fort Ben Branch
  • Description: Spend time enjoying songs, rhymes, and stories, followed by Sensory Play, which includes sensory friendly toys, coloring sheets, and or a craft.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Storytime at Lawrence – Pajama Storytime!
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Lawrence Branch
  • Description: Young children and their caregivers are invited to join us for stories, songs, and fun. Stay after stories are finished for some literacy activities and play time.
  • No Registration Required.

Need Help?

Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Join our virtual author talks to enjoy conversation with the authors behind your favorite books from the comfort of home. What questions have you always wanted to ask? Submit your questions online. We will also take questions during the event and will cover as many questions as time allows! Browse our archive of past virtual author talks for even more insightful discussions

Virtual Author Talk: Genius, P…
Virtual Author Talk: A Murder …
Virtual Author Talk: Asian Ame…
  • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Asian American Representation in Literature
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, May 21, 7:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: We welcome you to register for a thrilling conversation with Rebecca F. Kuang (R.F. Kuang) as she chats with us about her bestselling novel, “Yellowface.” “Yellowface” grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media.
  • Register Here
Virtual Author Talk: For the L…
  • Event: Virtual Author Talk: For the Love of Mars
  • Date & Time: Monday, June 03, 2:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: You’re invited to come learn alongside Matt Shindell, National Air and Space Museum curator, as he introduces viewers to historical figures across eras and around the world who have made sense of the mysterious red planet Mars.
  • Register Here
Virtual Author Talk: Psycholog…
  • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Psychological Thrillers and the Queen of Twists
  • Date & Time: Thursday, June 13, 8:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Get your popcorn and take a seat as we pick the brain of the queen of twists herself, Freida McFadden! McFadden will join us to chat about writing psychological thrillers, her mega-bestselling hit The Housemaid series, in particular her forthcoming 3rd installment, The Housemaid Is Watching.
  • Register Here
Virtual Author Talk: Unpacking…
Virtual Author Talk: A Visit t…
  • Event: Virtual Author Talk: A Visit to Deckawoo Drive
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, July 09, 2:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Join us for a visit to Deckawoo Drive with everyone’s favorite adventure loving pig, Mercy Watson! Newbery Medal winning author Kate DiCamillo will be sharing the stories behind the creation of her early chapter book series, the original Mercy Watson, and the follow up series.
  • Register Here
Virtual Author Talk: Surviving…

Are you looking for your next great read?

We can help! Visit us in-person, explore reading recommendations online, join an in-person or online book discussion, get recommendations on Facebook, tune in to our televised book club segments, and more. Get started here!

Sunday Nights on Facebook

Join us on Sunday nights at 8:30pm on Facebook for Currently Reading. Enjoy this hour during which book enthusiasts share favorite books and offer suggestion about what to read next. Find out about the books that have everyone talkin

Wednesday Mornings – Indy Now Book Club

The Library helps host a ‘book club’ on the Indy Now Morning Show with Ryan and Jillian on Fox59. Tune in at 10 a.m. every other Wednesday. Catch book recommendations and IndyPL program highlights from your own local librarians. Re-watch segments you have missed and see book lists of the books mentioned in each segment.

In-Person & Online Book Discussions

Do you love talking about books? Join one of our book discussions or book clubs available both in-person and online

Online Reading Recommendations

NovelList and NovelList K-8 are online services that offer reading recommendations. Browse both fiction and nonfiction, read-alike suggestions, series information, reviews, and lists of recommended and award-winning books for adults, teens and kids. Learn how to start on this video tutorial. Also try Book Connections which includes a “find the right book for you” feature.

Would you prefer one-on-one help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email ask-a- librarian.

In 1987, Congress declared March National Women’s History Month. These resources shine a light on contributions and accomplishments, uncover untold stories, and help us learn how perseverance, strength, and persistence prevailed in the face of discrimination. In spite of centuries of obstacles women have made a profound impact on history and continue to shape contemporary society.

These books, videos, and online resources provide an engaging look back at the women who have come before, women today, and a hopeful look forward to the possibilities of the female changemakers and leaders to come.

Women’s History Month Reading Recommendations from Library Staff

The staff at IndyPL create book lists all year to help readers find just the right book. From female entrepreneurs to politicians to information about women’s heart health, here are several booklists that highlight women. You can browse all of our book lists featuring women for adultsteens and kids.

Women’s Hoops: The Essential Reading List

NCAA tournament season is almost upon us, and the WNBA opener is on the horizon. Get amped for all the action to come with new and classic reads about women’s basketball.

Title - Hoop MusesTitle - Full-court QuestTitle - Inaugural Ballers : the True Story of the First U.S. WomenTitle - Dear Black Girls

Women and Girls Make Amazing Music!

These compelling documentaries shed light on the lives and careers of women and girls working in a range of genres and musical settings.

Title - Sisters With TransistorsTitle - Tokyo idolsTitle - FannyTitle - Joan Baez

Women Make Amazing Art!

Invite the budding young artists in your life to explore art by women from around the planet!

Title - The Life and Art of Ningiukulu TeeveeTitle - We Are ArtistsTitle - Through GeorgiaTitle - Faith Ringgold

Women in Higher Education – United States

It took 200 years after the establishment of Harvard College before women had access to college education in the United States. Now many preside over institutes of higher learning. This list highlights history, important figures, areas of study, and current issues related to women in higher education, both nationally and locally.

Title - 37 WordsTitle - The ExceptionsTitle - SpeechifyingTitle - When Will the Joy Come?

Womanism Past and Present

Womanism, first coined by Alice Walker in her book “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens Womanist Prose,” takes the concept of feminism a step further to include Black women and other women of color. Alice’s Womanism theory can be defined in part as “A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility … and women’s strength. … Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist, except periodically, for health … Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit … Loves struggle. Loves the folk. Loves herself. Regardless. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.”

Title - In Search of Our MothersTitle - Black Feminist ThoughtTitle - Sensuous KnowledgeTitle - All the Black Girls Are Activists

Women in Comedy

These diverse women are making history as comedians and as authors. Read their stories to get know the women that make us laugh.

Title - Leslie F*cking JonesTitle - Legitimate KidTitle - Hello, Molly!Title - Ten Steps to Nanette

Josei or Women’s Manga

Check these titles out if you are looking for mature stories that center an older female audience. Josei covers genres from mysteries to slice of life romances to psychological horror – so you’re bound to find something for everyone! Please note that these titles will be found in both our adult and teen sections due to age-rating standards varying between Japan and the United States. I have indicated on each title whether it is found in the teen or adult section of the library.

Title - Blank CanvasTitle - ChihayafuruTitle - DonTitle - Even Though We

e-Books & Streaming

Several of our e-book and streaming platforms have collections specifically highlighting women.

You can download e-books or audiobooks, stream films, documentaries, and television shows free with your IndyPL library card. Detailed information about each of our services is available on our download and stream page. If you have never used our streaming services before, directions are available:

Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Websites & Online Portals

If you only have a minute or if you have the whole month, you can read, watch, or listen to fascinating stories about American women online.

Female Healers
This year’s Women’s History Month celebrates “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is featuring Early Indianapolis women healers. Learn more about the women who have made history in the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis!

#KnowHerStory
These quick looks at history are perfect for learning about some exceptional women in a small amount of time. #KnowHerStory is hosted by The National Women’s History Museum.

Because Of Her Story
This is an online collection from the Smithsonian that includes stories and objects from women who have shaped America. Explore the online collection of artifacts and then read the stories about why the objects are significant.

Girlhood (It’s complicated)
This website is a unique look at women’s history from the perspective of young girls from The National Museum of American History. It explores the concept of girlhood and how girls have changed history.

National Poetry Foundation
The National Poetry Foundation provides this opportunity to read poems that explore women’s history and women’s rights by several female writing icons.

Kids of all ages can learn about more than a dozen trailblazing women in science, art, law, politics, and sports by listening to these video storytimes. Our featured story is called Equality’s Call, by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Magdalena Mora. It is the story of the history of voting rights in the United States from our nation’s founding until today. The story is read by National Women’s History Museum Ambassador, actress Logan Browning.

To hear even more stories about amazing women, just click on a book cover to listen to another one!

title - Althea Gibsontitle - Drum Dream Girltitle - The House That Jane Builttitle - Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitostitle - Game Changerstitle - Hidden Figurestitle - Joan Procter, Dragon Doctortitle - Kamala and Maya's Big Ideatitle - Separate Is Never Equaltitle - Shaking Things uptitle - Turning Pagestitle - When Harriet Met Sojournertitle - The Youngest Marcher

e-Books & Audiobooks

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about trailblazing women at any of our locations, or check out books about trailblazing women e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Find more FREE online reading at Free Video Read Alouds or try storytime at home!

Need help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Websites, Activities & Printables

Women’s History for Kids

Fun books to help kids learn about women’s history and get inspired to make a difference!

Title - NinaTitle - Red Bird SingsTitle - BaseballTitle - 2017 Women

Women and Girls Make Amazing Music!

These compelling documentaries shed light on the lives and careers of women and girls working in a range of genres and musical settings.

Title - Sisters With TransistorsTitle - Tokyo idolsTitle - FannyTitle - Joan Baez

Game Changers: 25 Books About Female Athletes Who Took the Lead

Listed here are more stories about trailblazing female athletes. “Stories, both real and imagined, show what girls can do. The stories of women’s lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience.” ~National Women’s History Project

Title - Breaking ThroughTitle - I Am A PromiseTitle - Girl RunningTitle - Anybody

Women Make Amazing Art!

Invite the budding young artists in your life to explore art by women from around the planet!

Title - The Life and Art of Ningiukulu TeeveeTitle - We Are ArtistsTitle - Through GeorgiaTitle - Faith Ringgold

The Library is thrilled to help host a book club on the Indy Now Morning Show with Ryan and Jillian on Fox59. Tune in at 10 a.m. every other Wednesday to catch book recommendations and IndyPL program highlights from your local librarians. Enjoy the most recent segment or browse the listing of past shows that highlight a variety of reading suggestions. You can also use the featured books links for easy borrowing.

Current Segment

March 13
Books About Self-love and the CBLC Programs (Bryanna Barnes)


2024

February 28
Joyful Books by Black Authors
(Keshia McEntire and Alton Parks)

February 14
Meet The Artists
(Jaquelyn Green)

January 17
Book Clubs
(Kris Gould, Keshia McEntire)

January 3
Books to Support New Years Resolutions
(Rachel Wood)

Indy Now Book Club Archive

2023

December 20
Graphic Novels and Arts Programs (Kelsey Abernathy)

December 7
Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (Natasha Hollenbach and Jyoti Verderame)

November 8
Fall Fest (Jacquelyn Green)

October 25
Books for Chess Players (Jordan Hunt, Charlie Cain)

September 27
Indy Cinema Series (Jason Davis)

August 30
Small Business Series (Alexandra Loewen)

August 16
Digital Creativity Work Stations (Dawn Hawkins and Stephanie Flood)

August 2
Disability Representation (Keshia McEntire)

July 5
Foraging Outside (Anika Williams)

June 21
More Than a Place Podcast (Sakura Fuqua)

June 7
Summer Reading Program (Emily Thomas)

April 12
Sci-Fi Books (Kirsten Weaver)
Featured Books: Sci-Fi Books

March 29
Dia del Nino (Emily Thomas)
Featured Books: Dia del Nino

March 15
Making a Positive Difference in the Community (Leah Kim)
Featured BooksBooks for Hoosiers Hoping to Make a Difference

February 15
Romance Novels for Valentines Day (Kirsten Weaver)
Featured BooksRomance Novels for Valentines Day

February 15
Romance Novels for Valentines Day (Kirsten Weaver)
Featured BooksRomance Novels for Valentines Day

February 1
Meet the Artists (Kimberly Brown)

January 18
Biographies and Memoirs (Liz Schoettle)
Featured BooksBiographies & Memoirs

January 4
Computer and Technology Classes and Resources (Marianne Mackenzie & Charlie Cain)
Featured BooksDigital Skills for the New Year

2022

December 21
Holiday Book Recommendations for Families (Devery North)
Devery’s segment starts at 22:20.
Featured BooksCelebrate the Holidays Through Books

December 7
Fall Fest & Slammin’ Rhymes Challenge XVI (Kim Ewers)
Featured BooksFall Fest & Slammin’ Rhymes

October 27
Center for Black Literature & Culture 5th Anniversary (Amira Malcom)
Featured BooksCBLC’s Fifth Anniversary

October 20

Book Recommendations (Rachel Wood)

September 28
Introduction to Kadir Nelson (Shael Weidenbach)
Featured BooksKadir Nelson

August 31
Let’s Get Down to Business (Alexandra Loewen)
Featured BooksBooks About Business

August 17
Book Clubs Available at the Indianapolis Public Library (Sakura Fuqua) We offer a variety of in-person and online book discussions for adults, teens & kids.
Learn more!

August 3
Good Reads About Money (Rachel Nevada Wood)
Featured BooksGood Reads About Money

July 20 Books with Indiana Ties (Shelby Graam-Pavan)
Featured BooksBooks with Indiana Ties

July 6 Pick Up a New Hobby (Chris Hogsett)
Featured BooksPick Up a New Hobby

June 22 Summer Love Reading Recommendations (Keshia McEntire)
Featured BooksSummer Romance

June 8 Summer Reads: Pride Month (Liz Schoettle)
Featured BooksPride Reads

May 25
Adult Summer Reading Sports Reads (Rachel Wood)
Featured BooksSports Reads

May 1
Adult Summer Reading Program (Leah Kim)
Featured BooksBooks for Busy People

April 27
Graphic Novels (Chris Hogsett)
Featured Books
Graphic Novels for Kids

April 13
Spring Reads: Dystopian Fiction (Kirsten Weaver)
Featured Books
Dystopian Reads

March 31
Local Black Authors (Keshia McEntire)
Featured BooksLocal Black Authors

March 16
Music Related (Rachel Wood)
Featured BooksMusic-Related Reads

March 2
True Crime (Shelby Graam)
Featured BooksTrue Crime and Thrillers

February 16
Love Stories for February (Kirsten Weaver)
Featured BooksYA Love Stories

February 2
Book Club Kick Off (Rachel Wood)
Featured Books: Books by Black Authors

Find a book discussion near you!

  • Event: Adult Book Discussion at Beech Grove
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: Join us as the group discusses the book “Roman Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Adults are invited to this monthly book discussion.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Zine Salon
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 23, 6:00pm
  • Location: East 38th Street Branch
  • Description: Join us for this special-interest book club focused on zines.  Select from our collection, or bring your favorites.  We’ll spend the first hour reading, and then share and discuss what we’ve read.
  • Register Here

The Library’s Spring 2024 Nonprofit Program Series at Central Library offers free, in-person workshops on a variety of nonprofit management topics including starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, developing a board of directors, strategic planning, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, planning effective programs, and writing successful grant proposals. Workshops are led by local nonprofit experts. We also offer training on using Foundation Directory, a prospecting tool for researching grant funders as well as how to find evidence-based research for grant proposals. These sessions are led by librarians on our Nonprofit Team at Central Library.


Nonprofit Program Series at Central Library Schedule & Registration:

Starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization

This workshop will help you assess whether starting a nonprofit is right for you. Learn what a nonprofit organization is, and the steps required to start one. See our book list: Starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization.

Presented by Josh Abel, Legal Counsel at Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.


Developing an Effective Board of Directors

This workshop will help you understand the basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards and identify methods for improving board effectiveness. See our book list: Developing a Nonprofit Board of Directors.

Presented by Falicia Brewer, President of Brewer & Associates.


Intro to Foundation Directory Online (FDO): Finding Grant Funders

Learn to use Foundation Directory Online, a research tool that can help 501(c)(3) nonprofits find grant makers most likely to fund their projects.

Presented by Leah Kim and Charlie Cain, Librarians on the Nonprofit Team at The Indianapolis Public Library and Foundation Directory Certified Trainers.


Planning Effective Programs

In this workshop, you’ll discover the main components of a solid program plan that will allow your organization to provide quality services to your community.

Presented by Gail Thomas Strong, Local Nonprofit Expert.


Successful Grant Proposals

In this workshop, you’ll learn about the grant application process and assess whether your organization is ready to apply for grants. See our book list Resources for Writing Successful Grant Proposals.

Presented by Gail Thomas Strong, Local Nonprofit Expert.


Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

A strategic plan enables your nonprofit to look ahead and make plans for the future. Learn when and how to create an effective plan to guide your organization. See our book list: Strategic Planning for Nonprofits.

Presented by Alyson Parham Small, President and Founder of the Partec Consulting Group.


Evidence-based Research for Grant Proposals

This workshop will introduce you to resources for locating data and evidence-based research for your nonprofit organization’s grant proposals and answering critical needs statement questions.

Presented by Jordan Hunt, Public Services Librarian at The Indianapolis Public Library.


Volunteer Recruitment, Retention, and More

Learn best practices and proven methods to recruit and retain volunteers. Participants will receive tools to help guide the development of a strong and lasting volunteer workforce. See our book list: Volunteer Recruitment and Management Resources for Nonprofit Organizations.

Presented by Wendy Johnson (MPA, CVA), Volunteer Resource Supervisor at The Indianapolis Public Library.


Fearless Asking: How to Build an Individual Giving Program

An individual giving program is an important part of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. This workshop will help you understand the current fundraising environment and show you how to overcome your fears so you can ask confidently for the support your nonprofit needs. See our book list: Fundraising for Nonprofits.

Presented by Theresa Browning (CFRE)​, Major Gifts Officer at the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and Bethany Warner (CFRE) President of Blue Pen Consulting.

Saturday, March 23 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Register for Fearless Asking: How to Build an Individual Giving Program


What’s Working? Utilizing Program Evaluation to Improve Service Delivery and Outcomes

This session introduces basic program evaluation strategies and activities to help you understand if your program is meeting goals, operating effectively, and making an impact in your community.

Presented by Roxy Hui, Director of Evaluation at the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy.


Find Your Stats in a Flash!

This workshop will introduce you to Indiana State Data Center resources and give specific examples for finding data for grant proposals.

Presented by Katie Springer, State Data Center Coordinator at the Indiana State Library


Questions about the Nonprofit Program Series at Central Library? Email or call Central Library and ask to speak with a librarian on our Nonprofit Team.

Not able to attend one of our workshops? Watch one of our recorded sessions from our Spring 2021 workshop series available on The Library’s YouTube channel.

For more information, resources, funding tips, and helpful tools see our blog post Nurturing the Nonprofit Organization.

Made possible by Meridian Foundation through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

– President Gerald R. Ford, officially recognizing Black History Month, 1976

There was a time in our nation’s history when learning about the achievements and good deeds of Americans included pertinent facts about almost every group of people living in the United States. The notable exception was people of color, and more specifically, African Americans. Present-day, during the month of February, we celebrate Black history and African American accomplishments, including contributions by our teachers, historians, lawyers, doctors, political activists, writers, engineers, dancers, athletes, musicians, artists, and so much more.

Black History Month

Portrait Carter G. Woodson
Carter G. Woodson

Did you know that observance of Black History Month began in 1976 back when President Gerald Ford was at the helm? Prior to this, African American history was actually observed during the second week in February as “Negro History Week,” which began in 1926. Negro History Week was the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson-PhD and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), founded in 1915 as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Woodson reportedly settled on the second week in February because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln (U.S. National Archives: Emancipation Proclamation) and Frederick Douglass (African American Civil Rights Activist). Learn more about Carter G. Woodson as well as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Several books on Woodson’s life and legacy for adults and kids can be found in IndyPL’s catalog.

It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America. It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.

President Barack Obama, 2016

The Library has books, music, movies, and digital collections related to African American history. If you are in need of suggestions for what to check out next, here are some great ways to get started – re-read a classic or favorite, find out about an author you have never read, reflect on what you remember, or discover a piece of history you didn’t know.

Attend a Black history program at The Library.

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Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library to explore our collection.

The Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) is home to our largest collection of materials by Black authors. Take as long as you’d like to browse this collection that features authors whose work impacts local, national and global culture in literature, sports, business, politics, science and music. Also don’t miss the CBLC’s website, The Power of Black Voices. This online collection includes artifacts, photographs, and articles across many categories.

Our knowledgeable staff and the resources available to you at The Library and online can help you get started from primary sources and portals to biographies, artifacts, photographs, and more.

Center for Black Literature & Culture

Share Black history with kids.

If you are looking for Black history resources for kids, read through history by browsing our Racial Justice Timeline, 1954-1968. Listed here are important events of the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for racial justice. For each event a few books are listed, both fiction and non-fiction, that bring the events and people to life.

Books written for children are also great introductions to history for adults. These selections designed for kids often include excerpts of primary sources, charts, graphs, and high quality photographs from digital archives. These selections make thoughtful reads for adults as well.

Read Black authors.

Here are six tips to help you find books written by Black authors, including a convenient clickable list of authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books or audiobooks. Find compelling history and historical fiction, biographies, and memoirs by both contemporary and classic authors.

You can also get reading recommendations from our staff. Browse these featured recommendations.


Listed below is a Black history timeline of important events of the civil rights movement. These events led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The fiction and non-fiction books listed bring the events and people to life. Take a book walk through history to learn about these determined, brave people who stood together so no one stood alone.

Ruby Bridges

At the age of six Ruby Bridges became the first Black child to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. This Is Your Time is a new book for kids written by Ruby herself and is a great introduction to one of the key moments in the Black history timeline. It is a letter she has written to children today, more than 60 years after her historic first, to share her story and share her thoughts on what children can do to effect change. As Ruby says, “what can inspire tomorrow often lies in our past.”

This Is Your Time includes many historical photos, some from Ruby’s private collection. I especially enjoyed learning about Ruby’s first grade teacher that year and the photo of Ruby and her teacher at school, as well as the recent picture of the two of them together.

The image on the book’s cover is “The Problem We All Live With,” a 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell that shows Ruby being escorted to school by four US Marshals. In 2011 President Barack Obama arranged to borrow the painting from the Norman Rockwell museum. He had it hung outside the Oval Office and invited Ruby to come see it. Watch this video carefully to hear President Obama say something important:

“I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together.”

Ruby Bridges visits with the President and her portrait

He said something very similar during his campaign for the presidency in 2007.

“I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.” ~Speech, Selma Voting Rights March Commemoration in Selma, Alabama, March 4, 2007

Black History Timeline

The books suggested in the Black history timeline below make great selections every day, but are especially meaningful on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, and on January 18th, the National Day of Racial Healing. On these days we turn our attention to specifically remember history and re-commit to the goal of racial justice.

1954

Brown v. Board of Education was a very important United States Supreme Court case. The Court decided state laws that separated Black students from white students in public schools were unconstitutional. In other words, the Court said this separation of students was not legal. The decision by the Court was unanimous (9–0). Unanimous means all of the supreme court justices agreed.

title - When the Schools Shut Downtitle - Remembertitle - Brown V. Board of Education : A Day That Changed Americatitle - Brown V. Board of Education

1954

The Murder of Emmett Till – Accused of offending a white woman at a grocery store, Emmett was a 14-year-old Black boy lynched in Mississippi in 1955. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted highlighted the long history of violent persecution of African Americans. Like Ruby Bridges, Emmett became an icon of the civil rights movement.

title - Choosing Bravetitle - Ghost Boystitle - In the Name of Emmett Tilltitle - A Wreath for Emmett Till

1955-1956

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a protest against segregated seats on the public buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Back then Black people had to ride in the seats at the back of the bus, and if the seats were all full and a white person got on the bus, a Black rider would have to give their seat to the white person. A boycott a tactic people use to point out something they think is not right. They stop buying something or stop using something to draw attention to the problem. In this case, people boycotted the buses; they stopped paying to ride them.

title - Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotttitle - Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvintitle - Sweet Justicetitle - Rosa

1957

The Little Rock Nine was a group of Black students who signed up to go to Little Rock Central High School. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court had already said it was not legal to separate Black students from white students in public schools, officials blocked these Black students from entering the school. President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne and the Arkansas National Guard to escort the students to school.

title - The Little Rock Nine Challenge Segregationtitle - March Forward, Girltitle - Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Ninetitle - The Lions of Little Rock

1960

The Greensboro Sit-ins were nonviolent protests against segregated seating in restaurants. The sit-ins began in Greensboro, North Carolina when four Black men sat down in the white section of a restaurant. No one would take their order because they were not sitting in the “right” seats. They sat quietly until the restaurant closed. Because they were sitting in the seats, white people could not sit in the seats and make an order. The next day more people came and did the same thing, filling up the seats. More people joined each day at more restaurants and in more cities. The restaurants did not make any money. Eventually, the restaurants changed their segregation rules so that they could do business again.

title - Lunch Counter Sit-institle - The Greensboro Lunch Countertitle - Freedom on the Menutitle - Sit-in

1960

Ruby Bridges was the first Black student to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. Four federal marshals escorted Ruby and her mother for the entire school year.

title - Ruby Bridges Takes Her Seattitle - I Am Ruby Bridgestitle - Ruby Bridgestitle - This Is your Time

1961

Freedom Riders were people who rode on buses to protest segregated seating. The United States Supreme Court had already ruled that it was illegal to separate Black people from white people on public buses. The authorities did not enforce the law. To protest this, groups of people, both Black and white, rode the buses together to challenge the rules. The riders drew attention to the states that were not following federal law.

title - The Story of the Civil Rights Freedom Rides in Photographstitle - Night on Firetitle - Twelve Days in May

1963

The Birmingham Children’s March was a march by hundreds of school children in Birmingham, Alabama. The children left school and walked downtown to talk to the mayor about segregation. Authorities used fire hoses and police dogs to try to stop the march. Many children were arrested. This event inspired President Kennedy to publicly support federal civil rights legislation and the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

title - We've Got A Jobtitle - The Youngest Marchertitle - Let the Children March

1963

The March on Washington took place in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. At the march, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The march helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

title - More Than A Dreamtitle - Unstoppabletitle - A Song for the Unsungtitle - March On!title - A Place to Landtitle - I Have A Dream

1963

The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday, September 15, 1963 killed four little girls and injured 22 other people. Three Klansmen were thought by the FBI to be responsible and were eventually prosecuted for the crime, but not until 1977, 2001 and 2002. A fourth man died before he could be prosecuted. The bombing contributed to support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

title - Birmingham, 1963title - Birmingham Sunday

1964

The Civil Rights Act enacted on July 2, 1964. It is a landmark law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

title - The Civil Rights Act of 1964title - Glory Betitle - All the Days Past, All the Days to Cometitle - Freedom Summer

1965

The Selma to Montgomery Voting Marches were three protest marches along a 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama, to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery. Black citizens who were being prevented from exercising their constitutional right to vote organized the marches. The marches contributed to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

title - Because They Marchedtitle - Lillian's Right to Votetitle - Turning 15 on the Road to Freedomtitle - The Teachers March!

1968

Dr. Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. While his death silenced his own voice, it did not end the civil rights movement. The movement continues to this day as people work to ensure and preserve opportunities for racial equity, inclusion, justice, and peace.

title - Martin Risingtitle - The Cart That Carried Martintitle - Chasing King's Killer

To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

Explore Indianapolis’s local Black history by browsing through these online portals, digitized newspapers and documents, photo galleries, artifact collections, images, documents, and more.

Digital Indy Archive

  • Crispus Attucks High School Year Books
    In 1927, Crispus Attucks High School opened its doors as Indianapolis’ first and only all-Black high school.
  • Black History, Indianapolis History
    Black history has a long presence in Indianapolis and makes up the very fabric of the city. Six years after the founding of Indianapolis, out of the 1,066 total residents 55 were African American (source). There is no history of Indianapolis without Indianapolis’ vibrant and diverse Black population.
  • Indianapolis Public Library African American History Committee
    Find information here about past AAHC events, lectures, and exhibits. View posters, programs, news items, and compilations of African American authors and illustrators.

Encyclopedia of Indianapolis

To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

Local Black History – Indiana

Indiana Historical Bureau
Being Black in Indiana
Highlights the Ordinance of 1787, Article XIII of the Indiana Constitution of 1851, and 1816 Constitution and the impact on fleeing enslaved people and black settlers in the state of Indiana.

Indiana Historical Society
Early Black Settlements by County
Explore Early Black Settlements by County including the town of Bridgeport (Sunnyside or Westview), located in Wayne Township in Marion County.

Indiana Historical Society
Mark A. Lee LGBT Photo Collection
Explore the Indiana LGBTQ Collecting Initiative and Digital Image Collection containing various oral history interview excerpts and photographs featuring some of our local Indy African American residents.

Indiana Landmarks
Black Heritage Preservation Program: Combating Erasure of Black History with Eunice Trotter (Slide Presentation)

Indiana Memory Hosted Digital Collections
Urban Displacement and the Making of a University IUPUI (1964-1990)
“You will find correspondence related to property purchases, campus planning documents, assessments of home and business values, abstracts of title, oral histories, and a few items collected by administrators that show community discontent.”

Indiana University’s Portal to Professional Education
Indianapolis African American Heritage
This is a self-paced FREE online course. Credit: None. If you don’t have an IU account, create a free IU Guest account to enroll in the course. The course content is offered under a Public Domain.

Indiana Humanities
Drag Resistance and Worker Solidarity on Indiana Avenue
During the jazz era, Indiana Avenue became the epicenter of Black life for Indianapolis. Emerging research into this local history reveals a queer nightlife and culture moving through and amongst Indiana Avenue and Indianapolis’ Black community with visibility in the jazz clubs and city sidewalks just outside the clubs.

IUPUI ScholarWorks
The Female Impersonators of Indiana Avenue: Race, Sexuality, Gender Expression, and the Black Entertainment Industry (1911-1980s)

National Trust for Historic Preservation and Indiana Landmarks
Preserving Black Heritage in Indiana and Beyond with Tiffany Tolbert (Slide Presentation)

WRTV
Black History in Indiana

Stories of Black Hoosiers living and working in Central Indiana: Clip highlights Lockfield Gardens.

Local Black History – Indianapolis

African-American Hospitals and Health Care in Early Twentieth Century
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1894-1917 by Norma B. Erickson (2016): Study – Master Thesis: African American nurses, doctors, and images of African American hospitals (Ward’s, Lincoln, and Sisters of Charity) in Indianapolis.

Hoosier State Chronicles
Digitized African American Newspapers

Indianapolis at the Time of the Great Migration, 1900-1920
Originally published in August 1996 (No. 65) Black History News & Notes, a newsletter of the Indiana Historical Society. Highlights the movement of African Americans from the South to Indianapolis and the different infrastructure, job opportunities, residential segregation, and other inequalities they encountered once they arrived in the city.

Indy Parks
Pride of the Parks Honoring Black Culture Through Indy Parks
List of parks honoring Black Indianapolis residents, contributions, and culture through Indy Parks. View the Pride of the Parks brochure.

Indy Pride
2023 Black History Month LGBTQ+ Community Spotlight
Reflect on the contributions, challenges, and history of our Black and African American community members and celebrate the achievements of activists today who continue to lead, create, and envision a better future amidst the ongoing racism in our country.

Invisible Indianapolis
Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City
Explore a brief history of African American doctors and public health in Indianapolis during the 20th century.

A Neighborhood of Saturdays
Highlights African American and Jewish community history on the Indianapolis Southside, redlining and I-70.

The National Day of Racial Healing is on the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation collaboration with the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation community partners. It is an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge racialized wrongs that have detrimental consequences. Racial healing is about repairing that damage and creating a more just and equitable world. Learn more about the Foundation and its work.

“The National Day of Racial Healing is a time to contemplate our shared values and create the blueprint together for #HowWeHeal from the effects of racism. Launched on Jan. 17, 2017, it is an opportunity to bring ALL people together in their common humanity and inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world.”

Conversations about race and racism can be difficult and uncomfortable. Do you know someone you would like to talk to about racism but haven’t known how? Books have always been great conversation starters. You can help start a conversation on racial healing in your own family, neighborhood, workplace, church, or community by using these resources developed by the Foundation and their community partners.

Conversation Guide

Reading Lists & Book Discussion Guides

Three themes are available from the American Library Association (ALA) for book clubs or group readings in a church, school, neighborhood, or family. Each theme includes reading lists and discussion questions. Here are the recommended titles linked directly to our catalog as well as a link to each theme to locate the corresponding discussion questions.

Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past

Finding Your Voice: Speaking Truth to Power

Growing Up Brave on the Margins: Courage and Coming of Age

Recommendations from IndyPL Staff

Just a few books for all members of your family with themes that can spark conversation with your community about racial healing. Together, we can bridge divides to transform our communities for our children and future generations.

Title - Rising Out of HatredTitle - BiasedTitle - The Racial Healing HandbookTitle - Healing Racial TraumaTitle - AmericaTitle - StampedTitle - The Rose That Grew From ConcreteTitle - Born A Crime

More Resources for Talking About Race:

Talking About Race is an online portal from the National Museum of African American History & Culture designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture. The online portal provides digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles and more than 100 multi-media resources tailored for educators, parents and caregivers—and individuals committed to racial equality.

Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project offers more than 100 lists of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators.

EmbraceRace supports parents to raise children who are brave, informed and thoughtful about race. Their site has a variety of articles for parents and caregivers.

WeNeedDiverseBooks has compiled resources from members of their community on race, equity, anti-racism, and inclusion. They offer an extensive list of resources for children, teens and adults including book recommendations, links to online articles, and a list of black owned book stores by state.

The Snowy Day, published in 1962, has been a wintertime favorite for more than 50 years. It is the story of a small boy exploring his neighborhood on a snowy day. The story captures all the wonderful things experienced with all five senses when we wake up to a snow-covered morning. In the city, in the country, on a school day, or a snow day-off day, fresh snow is a thrilling experience! You can listen right now to this animated version of The Snow Day expertly and wonderfully read aloud by composer, poet, and artist, Napoleon Maddox. You can learn more about this storytime classic in A Poem for Peter: the Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of the Snow Day. Enjoy winter storytime online!

Talk!

After listening to the winter storytime online, talk about some of the things that happened in it.

  • When Peter went out into the snow, what were some of the things he did to have fun?
  • What happened to the snowball that Peter put in his pocket to save for the next day?
  • When Peter went to sleep, what did he dream? Did his dream come true?
  • If there was a snow storm here, what would you like to do?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about winter at any of our locations, or check out winter e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Click on the book covers below to listen to more winter video read aloud stories right now! It’s winter storytime online! Did you like these? You can find more stories at Free Video Read Alouds and enjoy even more themed reading and activity fun at IndyPL’s DIY Online Storytimes at Home.

title - Just Snow Already!title - Baby Penguins Everywheretitle - Blank Entrytitle - Henry Holton Takes the Icetitle - Hoot and Peeptitle - Blank Entrytitle - Little Owl's Snowtitle - Max and Marlatitle - The Mittentitle - The Night Before the Snow Daytitle - Snow Much Fun!title - The Snowy Day

It’s Cold, But It’s Snow Much Fun! Winter Favorites for Kids to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - ItIt’s true, there’s no day like a snow day! Go out and play, and then cuddle up with some hot chocolate and a stack of these favorite winter tales.

Sing!

Enjoy this sing along from Laurie Berkner. Use her pattern to make a monster mask to sing and play along! “I’m the biggest monster that you’ve every seen! My eyes are yellow and my teeth are green!”

Write!

Find some crayons or makers to color a picture, practice writing the letters, or see if you can follow your way through a maze without getting stuck.

Play!

Take a winter walk and read a story as you go! We invite you to visit StoryWalk® in Ruckle Street Park at 3025 Ruckle Street. Stroll through the park and read a book displayed in mounted frames. Try skiping. Can you gallop? Or explore the IndyPL Pinterest Board: Winter – lots of ideas for crafts and activities!

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: All Ages Sensory Storytime at Fort Ben
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 5:30pm
  • Location: Fort Ben Branch
  • Description: Spend time enjoying songs, rhymes, and stories, followed by Sensory Play, which includes sensory friendly toys, coloring sheets, and or a craft.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Storytime at Lawrence – Pajama Storytime!
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Lawrence Branch
  • Description: Young children and their caregivers are invited to join us for stories, songs, and fun. Stay after stories are finished for some literacy activities and play time.
  • No Registration Required.

Need Help?

Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.