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.

Local Book Influencers Share Their Favorite Reads of 2024 (So Far!)

Folks who are on social media may already be aware that platforms like Instagram and TikTok are an excellent source for anyone who is hungry for more book recommendations. Accounts can be dedicated to entire subgenres (like cozy fantasy!) or can read widely. The list contains recommendations from 10 different Indiana based bookstagrammers and booktokers (plus 4 bonus recommendations!). Dive in and find a new book to read and new accounts to follow!

Title - Before I Let GoTitle - As Long as the Lemon Trees GrowTitle - You Dreamed of EmpiresTitle - The Bear and the Nightingale

Inspired by "The Bear"

If you devoured the show The Bear you might find yourself craving an Italian Beef, making people say “yes chef” in all of your home kitchen interactions, or contemplating how to make the perfect donut. This list will give you suggestions to keep the show alive while you are waiting for season 3 to drop on Hulu and Disney+.

Title - The Noma Guide to FermentationTitle - Tartine BreadTitle - Beyond BasketballTitle - Cooking at Home

You Are Worth It: Rest as a Form of Resistance

At a time when most all of us are pressured to constantly be on the go and burning out, taking the time to slow down and care for ourselves can be a powerful act. Here are some books on the idea of rest as a form of resistance against oppression, capitalism, and the societal pressure to outperform ourselves at every turn.

Title - Laziness Does Not ExistTitle - Rest Is ResistanceTitle - Living ResistanceTitle - Real Self-care

A History of Fairs and Festivals

The Indiana State Fair is coming up, so get into the celebrating spirit with these titles on the history of fairs and festivals around the world!

Title - Broken IcarusTitle - Handmade Renaissance Faire FashionTitle - American OzTitle - Fair Foods

Animal Themed Crafting for Adults

Animals have been our muses since the dawn of time. If you’re looking to get creative, why not let our furry, feathery, and scaly neighbors spark some inspiration? This list is comprised of all kinds of activities for any and all skill levels. Pick up a book on your current hobby or try something new!

Title - Origami ZooTitle - Quilled AnimalsTitle - Knit your Own PetTitle - Knit your Own Zoo

If You Love Alexis Nikole @blackforager

This bubbly internet educator guides viewers on Instagram and TikTok through the wonderful world of foraging wild food and the mysteries of plants. Alexis Nikole Nelson has a TED Talk, and is the newest host of Crash Course Botany on YouTube. She also won a Daytime Emmy in 2023 for an episode of “Eat This with Yara ” titled ‘The Awful Truth About ‘No Trespassing’ Signs”! Check out her videos, and these book recommends based on her content. And as Alexis’s tagline goes, perhaps we can find “Happy snacking! Don’t die!”

Title - Title - Midwest ForagingTitle - Title - The Forager

Graphic Novels by Nonbinary Creators

Celebrate International Nonbinary People’s Day on July 14th by reading a graphic novel from a nonbinary creator. Some titles on this list are non-fiction and memoirs, highlighting the stories of nonbinary people. Other titles are fiction created by nonbinary authors and artists.

Title - A Quick & Easy Guide to They/them PronounsTitle - Turning JapaneseTitle - MealTitle - Spirit World

Mysteries for Dog Lovers

Dogs as working companions or just beloved pets are featured in these mystery books and series.

Title - Dog on ItTitle - Gun ShyTitle - Dead Canaries DonTitle - This Dog for Hire

Slow Paced Alien Stories

Why do so many alien movies and video games have to be shoot-em-up explosion fests? Maybe, the reason why we haven’t made first contact is because real aliens have become afraid of us. This list is for those who are tired of those kinds of stories. What if the encounter was more suspense than, explosions and the pew pew shootings? Included in this list are stories that do not have a neat little explanation. It is like an unfinished puzzle and you can decide if you have solved it, or if there even is a solution. World UFO day is July 2nd

Title - Stories of your Life and OthersTitle - Roadside PicnicTitle - AnnihilationTitle - The Seep

They’re Watching!

In honor of Surveillance Day, here is a list of teen dystopian / big brother fiction. These books question things like how much privacy are we willing to give up in the name of security? What are the government and companies really doing with our digital devices and internet searches? I started with the classic, 1984. If a book is part a series, I will only link to the first book, but will provide the titles of the remainder of the series in the annotation.

Title - 1984Title - 1984Title - The GiverTitle - Feed

Train Your Pet!

Is your dog, cat, bird, small mammal or fish in need of wrangling? Find guidance for training them to be the best they can be! (Okay, maybe not the fish.)

Title - Zak GeorgeTitle - DonTitle - The Puppy PrimerTitle - The Trainable Cat

Jaws

they satisfy the fear and fascination with the ocean’s most misunderstood creature. Pair your next Jaws viewing with another shark-themed film, or read about the importance of sharks in our ecosystems!

Title - JawsTitle - SharkTitle - A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the WorldTitle - The Shallows

Summer Gothic Literature

Get eerie in the summer time with these gothic novels!

Title - Cicadas Sing of Summer GravesTitle - Mary and the Birth of FrankensteinTitle - PiñataTitle - My Summer Darlings

Nick Cave

While we await the August 2024 release of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 18th studio album ‘Wild God’, I hope these albums, concert films, documentaries, feature films, memoirs, biographies, novels, and web resources inspire you to explore Cave’s complex, ever evolving life and work.

Title - Faith, Hope and CarnageTitle - GhosteenTitle - Lovely CreaturesTitle - The Firstborn Is Dead

Coffee Brewing 101

I am definitely a coffee nerd, and kinda snobby. But I also love sharing information and I’m hoping this list gets you thinking about coffee basics, and excited to attend a Coffee Brewing workshop.

Title - The New Rules of CoffeeTitle - BrewTitle - The Little Coffee Know-it-allTitle - Craft Coffee

Pets With Jobs

My favorite pets with jobs are the TSA dogs at the airport. Especially the German Shorthaired Pointers! Read about some inspiring and hard working pets in the titles below.

Title - Finding GraceTitle - Dogs Who WorkTitle - The truffle huntersTitle - Good Dogs of Service

Cats

A librarian doing a list on cats – nothing could be more cliché I know. I have tried to include lots of cat and feline related books.

Title - The Good Cat ParentTitle - Amigurumi CatsTitle - Bake Me A CatTitle - The Book of Catitudes

Eggs and Chickens

My friends got a few chickens for their urban backyard and it is fun to get fresh eggs when I need them. Learn more about backyard farming, chickens and egg recipes.

Title - The Backyard Chicken KeeperTitle - Chicken Keeping Pure + SimpleTitle - LetTitle - Under the Henfluence

Mysteries are the Cat’s Meow

Mysteries that feature cats as sleuths and sidekicks.

Title - A Cat on Stage LeftTitle - Double Booked for DeathTitle - The Cat Who Ate Danish ModernTitle - Tall Tail

Tension- Filled Historical Romances to Read in Honor of Bridgerton Season 3

Bridgerton Season 3 is less than a month away from being released! However, for those who can’t wait that long (especially after watching all the press of Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton), we’ve compiled a list of books to tide you over.

Title - Romancing Mister BridgertonTitle - A Lady for A DukeTitle - UnlockedTitle - Pleasure for Pleasure

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!

Teen Graphic Novels by Nonbinary Creators

Shine a light on nonbinary creators for International Nonbinary People’s Day this July 14th. Read a graphic novel from our teen collection by a nonbinary author or artist.

Title - Across A Field of StarlightTitle - HomebodyTitle - The Baker and the BardTitle - Mall Goth

Teen Books that Touch on America as a Nation of Immigrants

The tapestry of the United States is constantly shifting with colorful and vivid immigration happenings, stories, events, and news. Here is a fantastic book list for teens abounding with fantastic and fascinating stories that catch a rich glimpse of what it’s like being a modern-day immigrant in the United States.

Title - Everything Sad Is UntrueTitle - Learning to FlyTitle - Ashes of RosesTitle - All My Rage

LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels

Graphic novels where LGBTQ+ characters and themes are relevant to the plot.

Title - Fun HomeTitle - Bingo LoveTitle - My Lesbian Experience With LonelinessTitle - Batwoman

Star Wars and Star Wars Adjacent Books for Teens!

May the fourth (the unofficial holiday celebrating the Star Wars movie franchise) is right around the corner and to celebrate we have curated a list of Star Wars and Star Wars adjacent books just for you! We hope you enjoy these books and may the force be with you.

Title - QueenTitle - AetherboundTitle - Star Wars AhsokaTitle - Star Wars

100 Books Before Graduation

Read 100 books before graduating from high school and receive prizes as you work toward your goal. Prizes will be awarded after reading 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 books! Most importantly, students will expand their mind, vocabulary, critical thinking, and test scores! This program is for students in grades 7-12. Learn more about 100 Books Before Graduation and register.

Turtles All the Way Down

John Green’s last (as of April 2024) YA novel is being adapted into a movie coming out on MAX on May 2nd. Popular with both teens and adults, “Turtles” deals with themes of OCD, Anxiety and friendship. Listed are some further books that explore the same topics through engaging characters.

Title - Ariel Crashes A TrainTitle - Whisper to MeTitle - This Story Is A LieTitle - When We Collided

Horror Comics for Tweens and Teens

Ghosts and ghouls and vampires, oh my! Here at the Library, we enjoy a good scare anytime of the year. Check out these frightening horror comics and manga series which are sure to give you a good fright! And don’t forget to celebrate Free Comic Book Day on May 4th, 2024 with The Indianapolis Public Library! Stop by any Indianapolis Public Library branch to pick up a free comic book from our selection for all ages, while supplies last, May 4th only.

Title - SquadTitle - Something Is Killing the ChildrenTitle - Chilling Adventures of SabrinaTitle - Stranger Things

Queer YA Romance

Ahhh young love… These love stories are for the LGBT+ community and anyone who wants a book that will make them blush.

Title - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseTitle - They Both Die at the EndTitle - HeartstopperTitle - She Is A Haunting

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

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

Adult Fiction Written by Autistic Authors

Disability Pride Month is every July. This list incorporates merely a taste of the many amazing books written by authors who have autism.
Featuring disabled, neurodivergent, and LGBT+ characters alongside unique author perspectives, experience a story from a new point of view. Science fiction, horror, fantasy, mystery and, of course, romance are all included.

Title - The Framed Women of Ardemore HouseTitle - An Unkindness of GhostsTitle - The Secret Service of Tea and TreasonTitle - Act your Age, Eve Brown

Unleash your imagination June 1 – July 31!

Participate in the Indianapolis Public Library’s Summer Reading Program to explore great stories and earn prizes for reading! Prizes are earned at 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 15 hours, and 20 hours of reading. Plus, earn a bonus prize when you complete seven Discover Activities. Prizes can be redeemed at any Indianapolis Public Library location. Go to the Library, show your progress, and choose your prize. Registration is now open!

Parents, don’t miss out on the fun! We’ve got an Adult Summer Reading Program that is just for you!

Picture Books My Cats Would Recommend

…That is, if my cats could read books and then talk about those books. I’ve got two tabbies: Moose (18 lbs of pure teddy bear, sits in the bathtub and screams, hates wet food) and Marble (sits in front of the garage door and screams, often somehow gets on top of door frames, loves wet food). Here are some books I think they’d recommend.

Title - Zap! Clap! Boom!Title - Take your Pet to School DayTitle - Bear Came AlongTitle - Inside Cat

Animal Themed Crafting for Kids

Get inspired by your favorite animal friends! Each entry comes with a list of materials needed to get started with your chosen activity, though extras may be needed depending on the project.

Title - Pet CraftsTitle - Easy Animal OrigamiTitle - Origami PetsTitle - Fingerprint Animals

Bow Wow!!

This list contains picture books that feature dogs.

Title - Before You Were MineTitle - One PupTitle - Bark, GeorgeTitle - Dog

Check Meowt!

“Pets” is the theme for IndyPL’s Summer Reading 2024! The list below has both fiction and non-fiction cat-related offerings to satisfy your cuteness curiosity for the eventual long hot days ahead.

Title - Blue EthelTitle - CometTitle - Meow!Title - Cat Knit

Kids Love Tongue Twisters!

Do your kids love tongue twisters? The items in this list are bursting with amazing tongue twisters they can share with friends or even tell a librarian at any of the IndyPL branches. That’s one of the Discover Activities kids can complete to earn bonus prizes during Summer Reading Program this year. We look forward to discovering which tongue twisters your kids’ love to say.

Title - Belly Laugh Totally Terrific Tongue Twisters for KidsTitle - Lots of Tongue Twisters for KidsTitle - She Sells Seashells and Other Tricky Tongue TwistersTitle - Six Sick Sheep

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

It’s a hard, hard thing when a beloved pet passes on.

Title - StayTitle - The Invisible LeashTitle - The Goodbye BookTitle - Remembering

Pet detectives

Many of the world’s greatest detectives have four legs and a cold, wet nose. Meet these crime-solving animals who, sometimes assisted by their human allies, crack the toughest of cases.

Title - WoofTitle - Play DeadTitle - Ra the MightyTitle - Who Stole Mr. T?

Pets With Jobs For Kids

Everyone loves their pets! Some pets are more than just a cute face and best friend, some pets have important jobs in the community. Find out more about these special pets and their jobs.

Title - Top DogsTitle - Service DogsTitle - Therapy HorsesTitle - Search and Rescue Dogs

Picture Books in Paris

Baguettes, gargoyles, fashionistas, ballerinas and the Eiffel Tower, …ooh la la! Petit enfant, meet the City of Lights.

Title - MadelineTitle - A Walk in ParisTitle - Chasing DegasTitle - Everybody Bonjours!

Picture books about cats!

Lovely books featuring felines of all kinds!

Title - A Kitten TaleTitle - Cat KnitTitle - Black Cat, White CatTitle - Matilda

Purrrrrr-fect Kitty Cat picture books

Don’t cats have the friendliest and funniest picture books (and videos)? Check out these fresh feline reads!

Title - Catside Up, Catside DownTitle - Kitty & CatTitle - Lost Cat!Title - Meow!

Shelter Pet Love

These stories will encourage you to visit a shelter, to consider volunteering, or even to consider taking home a new member of the family.

Title - Felipe and ClaudetteTitle - Madeline Finn and the Shelter DogTitle - Found DogsTitle - I Want A Dog

We Love Pets

May is National Pet Month! There are so many wonderful picture books about adopting and taking care of pets. Here you can find a list of titles on pet dogs, cats, and more! These make great titles for story times and displays!

Title - All Cats WelcomeTitle - Can I Be your Dog?Title - DoggieTitle - Found Dogs

Robots are SO MUCH FUN!

Do your kids want to learn about robots? The books in this list can get them started. If they want to get their hands on robots they can build and code (or if they’d like to try out other STEM activities), bring them to Central Library during Explore STEM + More on Wednesdays and weekends. Check the IndyPL website for dates and times. While you’re in the Learning Curve, be on the lookout for the new Robot display in one of our ‘portals’ on the 2nd floor.

Title - The MakerTitle - Animal-inspired RobotsTitle - 30-minute Robotics ProjectsTitle - Robots

We’re Here to Burgle Your Turts!

Turtles, tortoises, terrapins = totally terrific toddling entities. Don’t be shellfish, check out this list! And slap me some fin if you agree that turts are totes, like, righteous, dude. The list below has both fiction and non-fiction turtle-related offerings to go completely shell over fin for during the eventual long hot days ahead.

Title - AlfieTitle - TurtlesTitle - Turtle and Tortoise Are Not FriendsTitle - The Turtle of Oman

Lost Pets and the Enduring Human-Animal Bond

Our neighbors at FACE (The Foundation for Animal Care and Education) created a list of some children’s books they have read with their families or friends about pets who get separated from their humans. The pets try to find their way back to loving humans through adoption or clever letter-writing campaigns.

Title - Title - This Story Is Not About A KittenTitle - Can I Be your Dog?Title - Can I Sit With You?

Kindergarten Jitters

Starting school for the first time can be scary or overwhelming! Covering topics from leaving parents and siblings at home, to riding the school bus, to meeting new classmates and eating lunch in the cafeteria, these picture books help new students understand what to expect on their first day, and teach them to cope with nervousness or anxiety.

Title - LenaTitle - Butterflies on the First Day of SchoolTitle - Mr. OuchyTitle - It

Central Library hosts an annual small business series of free, in-person workshops and a legal clinic for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.  This year workshops will cover essential business topics such as financial statements, law, marketing, certifications, and intellectual property.  Browse our list of business book recommendations that will inform, inspire, and instruct you, no matter how new or established your business may be.

Questions about the Small Business Series at Central Library?  Call Central Library and ask to speak with a Business Librarian. 

Walk-ins are welcome but registration is preferred. Registration opens on Monday, July 22, 2024 at 9 a.m.

Made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

2024 Small Business Series

  • Event: Data Axle Training
  • Date & Time: Monday, September 09, 3:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: In this workshop you will learn how to use Data Axle Reference Solutions – a database available free through the library – to identify new sales prospects, create marketing lists, identify key business contacts, gather competitive business intelligence, and more.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Start Strong
  • Date & Time: Monday, September 16, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: This presentation is geared towards aspiring entrepreneurs and those just starting their small business. We’ll cover basic information about Indiana business taxes: how to register to collect and remit taxes, an overview of common tax types, and how to file and pay business taxes correctly.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Stay Strong
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, September 17, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: This presentation is for small business owners who are just starting out or growing their business and have more complicated questions about their state tax requirements.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Small Business and Intellectual Property Legal Clinic
  • Date & Time: Monday, September 23, 4:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Do you have questions about the legal aspects of starting a business or intellectual property such as trademarks and patents? Drop by the Legal Clinic to meet one-on-one with an attorney.
  • No Registration Required.
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Children Ages 0 to 5 Vote!

Every child in Indiana, aged 0-5, may vote one time for the Indiana
Early Literacy Firefly Award. Children will need the help of a parent,
a librarian, a teacher, or other caregiver adult to circle one of the
titles. Ask the child to point to their favorite. Once their vote is
circled, turn this ballot in to your local Public Library or voting
location. Libraries will then email their totals to the Indiana Center
for the Book. The last day to report votes is July 31, 2024. Print the ballot.

Add to the fun with activities prepared by Indiana Center for the Book and the Indiana State Library as well as this Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award activity sheet.

Research shows that reading aloud to young children can significantly improve their chance for success in kindergarten and beyond. You can also help kids enjoy books and stories by joining 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. Caregivers log books and receive incentives for reading outloud to kids. At 1000 books, every child receives a hardback picture book. Or check out a Bunny Book Bag, grab-and-go bag of 15-20 books for caregivers on the move. Are you in the mood from some stories right now? Enjoy online storytime at The Library!

Reading Ready is an Indianapolis Public Library early learning initiative that encourages the five practices that help children get ready to learn how to read: reading, singing, writing, talking, and playing.

June and July hold annual reminders of the history of independence and freedom in the United States. See our staff recommendations that will give you a variety of perspectives on pivotal events that have shaped our views.

July 4, 1776
Independence Day

Independence Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The declaration announced the separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain. The declaration says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

January 1, 1863
Emancipation Proclamation

But for America’s Black population, these words did not apply. They remained enslaved for nearly 100 more years until US President Abraham Lincoln declared in the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 that “All persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.

June 19, 1865
Juneteenth

It took more than two years for this news of independence and freedom to travel throughout the country. On June 19, 1865 Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and declared “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Juneteenth reminds us that the process of ending slavery, of extending independence and freedom to everyone, was not a single moment in time, but multiple moments.

In his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. referenced this ongoing fight for freedom “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

July 2, 1964
Civil Rights Act

It took another 100 years for President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act in 1964 outlawing racial discrimination in the United States. The process continues to this day.

President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. “By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come but the distance we have to travel.” He continue “After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning. To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we have to continue toward that promise because we’ve not gotten there yet.

Slave Narratives: The Stories that Abolished Slavery

Today slave narratives are seen as first person stories about one of the darkest times in United States history, but when slave narratives were being published in the 1800s they were a powerful tool used in the fight for their own freedom. Through their stories they were able to contradict the slaveholders’ favorable claims concerning slavery. Through these narratives they could tell the horrors of family separation, the sexual abuse of black women, and the inhuman workload. The narratives helped show the humanity of the most dehumanized people in the country.

Title - Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassTitle - The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah EquianoTitle - Twelve Years A SlaveTitle - William Wells Brown

    Picture Book Stars to Celebrate Independence & Freedom

    Learn about the 4th of July, Juneteenth, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Thirteenth Amendment, and more! Read stories about family and neighborhood traditions all over the country from parades to fireworks to noodles to pie. #indyplkids

    Title - The Night Before FreedomTitle - Revolutionary Prudence WrightTitle - Her Name Was Mary KatharineTitle - Let

    Photograph of Frederick Douglass.

    Hoosiers Reading Frederick Douglass Together

    The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities started the program, Reading Frederick Douglass Together, to encourage families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to gather to read and discuss “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglas to help shape our understanding of freedom in American.

    Douglass first gave the speech on July 5, 1852 at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln would not issue the Emancipation Proclamation until 1863 and the 13th amendment that freed enslaved people did not pass until 1865, so he delivered this speech well before either of those milestones. His words in The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro, continue to resonate with Black citizens after more than 150 years for pointing out at the time that not all were free. The speech says in part,

    “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” And he asked them, “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?”

    Resources

    If you are unable to attend a reading, you can find the text here. There is a printable tip sheetdiscussion guide, and page of helpful resources. Watch this short video of five descendants of Frederick Douglass read excerpts from his famous speech which asks all people to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 but then grew up to became a human rights activist, gifted public speaker and author. He also started a newspaper, was a U.S. Marshal, and at the 1888 Republican National Convention became the first African American to receive a vote for President of the United States at a major party’s convention. (Benjamin Harrison, from Indianapolis, went on to win the presidency in 1889.) He lectured on civil rights and abolition and also supported Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Susan B. Anthony in their fight for women’s suffrage. He published his first autobiography (he wrote three altogether) called Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in 1845. It it the first hand account of his childhood as a slave. You can read it here.

    More Reading:


    Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library to find and check out books that affirm and celebrate the Black experience.

    The CBLC includes a section just for kids. Every book taken off the shelf, both fiction and non-fiction, features Black characters or historical and contemporary people that highlight the Black experience, history, or biography.

    The Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library

    The Central Authors Engraving Project – Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was an extraordinary leader and abolitionist who escaped slavery to become one of the greatest orators in modern history and was instrumental in the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Check out the items on the following list by or about Dougalss to learn more about this great man.

    Title - Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassTitle - My Bondage and My FreedomTitle - Life and Times of Frederick DouglassTitle - The Heroic SlaveTitle - Frederick DouglassTitle - Frederick DouglassTitle - Frederick DouglassTitle - Frederick Douglass

    Major life changes can be difficult to experience alone. Are you experiencing a transition and need guidance? Join us at one of our upcoming Community Resource Fairs at The Indianapolis Public Library! Meet more than 100 local community resource organizations at various branches throughout summer and fall. Learn about services related to homeless resources, employment, medical screenings, mental health, substance abuse, and teen & youth services.

    The fairs are organized by The Library’s Social Service Action Committee, which was established in 2021 to form partnerships with community organizations and provide quality programming, resources, connections with services, and outreach for people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis.

    Meet us at a Community Resource Fair near you!

    Join us for our 2024 Community Resource Fairs! This free and open to the public event brings together community members from all backgrounds to receive support with medical screenings, mental health, housing, employment, substance abuse recovery, and teen & youth needs. Stop by to connect with local providers who are committed to helping you. 

    Take home a free emergency kit while supplies last. Drop in and discover the resources available to you in Marion County in one convenient place. 

    Our Library’s Social Work office is available to help you year-round. Learn more about Social Services at The Library.

    Learn about providers committed to helping you with the following needs:

    • Medical Screenings
    • Mental Health
    • Housing
    • Employmnet
    • Substance Abuse Recovery
    • Teen & Youth Needs

    If you can’t make it to a fair, check out these resources compiled by Library staff:

    Explore these additional community resources.

    June 19th is Juneteenth, a day set aside to commemorate the day Texas slaves first learned about emancipation. More than two years after President Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation! Union army general Gordon Granger made the announcement in Galveston on June 19, 1865. His announcement made Texas the last state to hear the news. Juneteenth is a crucial piece of the complex series of announcements, documents, and events that lead to the passage of the 13th amendment.

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Juneteenth National Independence Day is a United States federal holiday. It was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday June 17, 2021. Listen to Opal Lee, the activist known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” reflect on her efforts that are credited with the day being officially recognized. In 2017 at the age of 89 Lee walked from Fort Worth to Washington D.C. to call attention to her quest. To learn more about Opal check out Opal Lee and What It Means To Be Free.

    Annual Indy Book Fest & Juneteenth Celebration

    The Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) hosts an annual Juneteenth celebration at Central Library. The event will take place Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    This year’s author presentation is showcasing African Americans & the Arts. We will be asking our authors to highlight works inspired by different representations of art in the African American community. The day will include performances by Poet Laurent Januarie York, a feature film showing from IU Bloomington Black Film Center & Archive, African Drumming by Siteaw Inc, a music performance by Jamie Johnson, DJN4Red, and a Photo 360 photobooth.

    Our featured speaker will be NY Times Bestselling & USA Today top 100 Author JaQuavis Coleman who will come and talk about his new book, answer a few Q&A, and have an hour for book signing and purchases

    Remembering the History of Emancipation

    In the NPR interview What the Emancipation Proclamation Didn’t Do, Lonnie Bunch III, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History, said the following about remembering the history of emancipation:

    “Well, I think that on a very specific notion, I would love people to realize that African-Americans were agents in their own liberty. I think that that’s an important piece, rather than simply the notion, if you look at the movie “Lincoln,” it seems as if Lincoln freed the slaves, rather than it’s part of a complicated nuanced puzzle that led to emancipation.

    But, I think the other part that’s so important to me about this moment is this is a moment for Americans to remember that you can believe in a change that you can’t see. That the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was something that everybody knew was going to exist forever except for a few fanaticals. But suddenly the Emancipation Proclamation began America on a trajectory that ultimately led to a fundamental change in citizenship and equality. And so what I hope is that people would realize that they have a right to demand and effect change because change is possible in this country.”

    Learn more about Juneteenth

    Watch:

    • Our streaming service called Kanopy has a curated collection of films that commemorate Juneteenth. If you have never borrowed from Kanopy before directions and a video tutorial are available.
    • Watch the online exhibition Slavery & Freedom from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History. It highlights stories behind some of the museum’s most compelling objects.
    • Blacks and the Vote This online discussion from the CBLC includes the importance of voting, inspired poetry from local performers, and a moderated panel discussion about what voting means in today’s America.

    Listen:

    Read:

    Take a Deeper Dive:

    The Juneteenth Table: Putting the Twist on Tradition

    Celebrate Juneteenth with culinary creations, both traditional and modern! Each title contains recipes that call back to African heritage, African-American history, and long-held traditions of eating red foods for health, happiness, and celebration. Add something new to your Juneteenth table with these delicious offerings below. Happy Cooking!

    Title - Watermelon & Red BirdsTitle - My AmericaTitle - Ghetto Gastro Black Power KitchenTitle - Black Food

    Storytime with Dad is a great way to spend part of Father’s Day! Listen together to Hair Love, a story about a daddy daughter duo who work together to come up with the perfect hair style for a special day. They don’t know at first exactly which hair style will work, but as they try each one, they know which ones won’t! Follow along as they keep their cool and don’t get discouraged as they try and try again. You will also find below more free online read alouds, e-books, and online activities. It’s Father’s Day Storytime Online! Don’t miss our list of favorite books to check out for Father’s Day!

    Talk!

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

    • Why was Zuri so excited about her day? Why was it important to her to have her hair done?
    • How would you have felt if you couldn’t get your hair ready for a special event?
    • Have you ever had a hard time combing your hair? How did you feel when you were struggling with it? Did you ask for help?
    • Why does Zuri look at her ipad?
    • What ae some of the things that Zuri and her dad did do to figure out how to style her hair?
    • How did Zuri feel when her mother saw what they had done.

    Read!

    Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Father’s Day at any of our locations, or check out Father’s Day 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 Father’s Day video read aloud stories right now! It’s Father’s Day 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 - And Tango Makes Threetitle - Big Papa and the Time Machinetitle - Brick by Bricktitle - Blank Entrytitle - Hair Lovetitle - How to Cheer up Dadtitle - I [heart] Dad With the Very Hungry Caterpillartitle - Jabari Jumpstitle - You Made Me A Dadtitle - Blank Entrytitle - Blank Entrytitle - Blank Entry

    The Best Dads in Picture Books to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

    List Cover Images - The Best Dads in Picture BooksThey teach, play, protect, tease, feed, and adventure from dawn to dark. These picture book dads show how it’s done from sweet to ornery to laugh out loud! They are great fun for Father’s Day and every day!

    Sing!

    Enjoy this sing along from Miss Linky. “Dads are special and they deserve some love on Father’s Day. Sing this song for your daddy and practice the moves to let your him know that he means the world to you!”

    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 with your dad 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.

    Find Ways to Play with Dad! searchable activities database from PBS Kids Results include printable activities, crafts made with things found around the house, online games, recipes, experiments, and more. You can search by age, favorite PBS kids show character, or by keyword.

    Join Us for In-Person Storytime

    • Event: Camp Stuffie Drop Off
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:00am
    • Location: College Avenue Branch
    • Description: Drop off your stuffie for Camp! Drop off your favorite stuffed animal to Camp Stuffie at the reference desk. Your friend will enjoy a couple days of camping fun in the library. Reunite with your stuffie friend on Saturday at Camp Stuffie Storytime!
    • No Registration Required.
    • Event: Act It Out Storytime
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:30am
    • Location: Irvington Branch
    • Description: Children ages 3-6 will join React Kids to act out classic fairytales and nursery rhymes! Can you be a snake or a bunny? After reading the story, act it out!
    • Register Here

    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.

    " "

    Here are five tips to help you explore voices of the LGBTQ+ experience as well as a convenient clickable list of LGBTQ+ authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books and audiobooks. If you need help finding books by LGBTQ+ authors, we can help!

    1. Read an award winner.

    Make a selection from some of the most distinguished honors in literature.

    2. Borrow e-books or downloadable audiobooks.

    Browse OverDrive’s LGBTQIA+ collections of e-books and downloadable audiobooks.

    If you have never borrowed from OverDrive or the OverDrive Libby app before, both browser directions and app directions are available as well as a video tutorial and Overdrive/Libby Support.

    Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. Additionally, 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.

    3. Get reading recommendations from IndyPL staff.

    Featured Book List: LGBTQ+ Historical Fiction

    LGBTQ+ people have always existed, and these stories prove it. Here are some historical fiction novels from various places and time periods.

    Title - Up With the SunTitle - After SapphoTitle - Lavender HouseTitle - My Government Means to Kill MeTitle - All of You Every Single OneTitle - Siren QueenTitle - KaikeyiTitle - GreenlandTitle - The MerciesTitle - The Sweetness of WaterTitle - The Queer Principles of Kit WebbTitle - Swimming in the Dark

    4. Use your IndyPL Library card to login to Novelist Plus.

    Novelist Plus makes finding books by LGBTQ+ authors easier. Browse recommendations, read-alikes, series lists, reviews, and lists of award-winning books all by LGBTQ+ authors on Novelist. Browse the LGBTQIA category to see sample and see listings that show a star rating and the option to “Check Availability” to see if a book is available to borrow from IndyPL. When you click on a book you can read a brief description and get ideas for read alikes.

    5. Subscribe to the Rainbow Reads newsletter from NextReads.

    Subscribe to NextReads to receive reading recommendation in your inbox monthly for help finding books by LGBTQ+ authors. Book suggestions are linked to our catalog for easy requesting. It’s FREE! See a sample issue and Subscribe to NextReads!

    LGBTQ+ Adult Authors

    LGBTQ+ Teen Authors

    LGBTQ+ Childrens Authors

    Kids love dogs. Our librarians do too! When asked which book dogs are their favorite for storytime, Harry the Dirty Dog and Bark, George won by a landslide! Harry is the story of a pooch who doesn’t want to take a bath. George is about a puppy whose mother can’t seem to teach him how to bark. “Meow,” says George! Watch the video of Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog right now! It’s Dog storytime online!

    Talk!

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

    • What does Harry look like?
    • What does Harry do to avoid taking a bath?
    • Why does Harry decide to leave home?
    • What did Harry do to show his family who he was?

    Read!

    Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about dogs at any of our locations, or check out Dog 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 starring dogs right now! It’s dog storytime online! Did you like these? You can find even more stories at Free Video Read Alouds and IndyPL’s DIY Storytimes at Home.

    title - Charlie the Ranch Dogtitle - Blank Entrytitle - A Greyhound, A Groundhogtitle - The Night I Followed the Dogtitle - The Poky Little Puppytitle - R Is for Rockettitle - Some Dogs Do

    Picture Books for Kids in Puppy Love to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

    List Cover Images - IndyPL Librarian Picks: Picture Books for Kids in Puppy LoveKids love dogs. Our librarians do too! When asked which book dogs are their favorite for story time, Harry the Dirty Dog and Bark, George won by a landslide! Here are some suggestions from them for little readers who can’t get enough puppy love. E-books and downloadable audiobooks are available.

    Sing!

    Are you ready for a PAW Patrol sing along? PAW patrol is on a roll with this compilation of PAW Patrol nursery rhymes!

    Play!

    Take a 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. Or Skip. Or gallop!

    Set up an outdoor hunt, but instead of Easter eggs, hunt for dog bones! Or, instead of “Simon Says” play “The Dog Trainer Says” so kids can sit, bark, stay, and fetch – just like their favorite dog storybook characters!

    Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

    • Event: Camp Stuffie Drop Off
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:00am
    • Location: College Avenue Branch
    • Description: Drop off your stuffie for Camp! Drop off your favorite stuffed animal to Camp Stuffie at the reference desk. Your friend will enjoy a couple days of camping fun in the library. Reunite with your stuffie friend on Saturday at Camp Stuffie Storytime!
    • No Registration Required.
    • Event: Act It Out Storytime
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:30am
    • Location: Irvington Branch
    • Description: Children ages 3-6 will join React Kids to act out classic fairytales and nursery rhymes! Can you be a snake or a bunny? After reading the story, act it out!
    • Register Here

    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.

    May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. According to the Pew Research Center, “Asian Americans trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics.”

    Heritage months like this one are annual reminders to acknowledge the experiences of various marginalized people and to elevate their contributions that are too often ignored. These months are also celebrations of their culture. This year, you can use this time to immerse yourself in the diverse histories, cultures, and traditions of people of Asian-Pacific ancestry.

    Graphic Novel Memoirs Featuring Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors

    A memoir is a narrative book, written from the perspective of the author, that tells about a particular portion of their life. Memoirs give individual perspective and share what a person felt during a particular experience. A memoir may or may not begin in childhood as an autobiography often does, whose purpose spans the author’s life time. Memoirs instead focus on a particular moment or influential experience that has shaped the author. Memoirs create empathy and understanding at a deeper level beyond the facts. The story is told as the author remembers it. The author is the only one who can tell the story. Our staff have selected several graphic novel memoirs to recommend during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month.

    For even more reading ideas see our guide to Finding Books by Asian and Pacific Islander Authors.

    American Born Chinese by Gene Luen

    American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is made up of three seemingly unrelated stories blending modern day issues with a beautiful old Chinese myth to tell a story about racism, identity, and acceptance. It won the 2007 Best Book Award from The Chinese American Librarians Association, the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award, and the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album. In addition, it was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. IndyPL_KristenF

    The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

    In the graphic novel memoir The Best We Could Do, Thi Bui tells the story of her family, starting with the birth of her son and then working back in time. She chronicles the lives of her parents through the ever shifting turmoil in Vietnam and their escape to the United States. Through it all, she questions whether or not she will be as strong as her parents and if she is worthy to even be a parent. Bui’s book was an American Book Award winner, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, and an Eisner Award finalist in reality-based comics. IndyPL_MarianneK

    They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

    Finally, you may know George Takei from his performance as Sulu on the TV show Star Trek and from his wonderful social media presence. What you might not now is that when he was a child during World War II Takei spent time in an internment camp for people of Japanese descent. Takei sheds light on this dark part of American history in his emotional memoir They Called Us Enemy. It’s a story of legalized racism, the love of family, and perseverance. Takei’s book won the 2020 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Literature Award, the 2020 American Book Award, and the 2020 Eisner Award. IndyPL_KristenF

    Browse More Asian American Memoirs

    This is a list of memoirs celebrates the unique and varied voices of Asian American authors. It provides representation for the different countries and cultures that make up the Asian American experience.

    Title - Beautiful CountryTitle - Biting the HandTitle - Crying in H MartTitle - Eat A Peach

    Movies

    Set aside an evening or two to enjoy a movie feature from one of our streaming movie services. Kanopy features collections of Chinese CinemaIndian CinemaJapanese CinemaKorean Cinema, and Thai Cinema. In addition, Hoopla feature an Asian Cinema collection.

    Poetry

    Enjoy the online National Poetry Foundation portal Asian American Voices in Poetry. This collection is intended to introduce readers to Asian American poets. Simply click on a poet’s name to learn about them and read selections of their work.

    Online Sources

    Yamato hasedera digital file from original print

    To take a deep dive online, visit the PBS site, Ancestors in the Americas, which provides a comprehensive list of resources related to Asian American heritage or explore this comprehensive web portal that is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    For a look at local history, explore the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis articles featuring ChineseFilipinoJapanese and Asian Indian histories in Indianapolis. You can also browse the Indianapolis Sister Cities International Digital Collection which features the Sister Cities Taipei, Taiwan, and Hangzhou, China and Hyderabad, India.

    Especially for Kids

    Enjoy these online read alouds featuring stories by Grace LinDemiJi-li JiangVirginia Loh-HaganMinh , and more. You can also listen to stories read aloud in Mandarin brought to you be Scholastic Treasures.

    To find even more great titles for kids, children’s book author Linda Sue Park has created and manages a site called KiBooka that highlights kids’ books by Korean Americans.

    title - Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragontitle - Amy Wu and the Perfect Baotitle - Cora Cooks Pancittitle - Danbi Leads the School Paradetitle - Drawn Togethertitle - The Empty Pottitle - Eyes That Kiss in the Cornerstitle - Ling & Tingtitle - Ling & Tingtitle - Lotus & Feathertitle - 'Ohana Means Familytitle - PoPo's Lucky Chinese New Yeartitle - The Sound of Silence

    Here are five tips to help you find books written by Asian and Pacific Islander authors, including a convenient list of authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books or audiobooks.

    1. Read an award winner.

    Make a selection from some of the most distinguished honors in literature. 

    2. Get reading recommendations from IndyPL staff.

    Click on a book list to get started! 

    Featured List: Asian American Romance Novels

    This list features Asian American and Asian Canadian writers and main characters – find a new favorite in this selection of swoony storylines!

    Title - Fancy Meeting You HereTitle - Role PlayingTitle - Tastes Like ShakkarTitle - To Have and to HeistTitle - SeoulmatesTitle - The Emma ProjectTitle - One Last WordTitle - Sorry, Bro

    Featured List: Mysteries and Thrillers from AAPI Authors

    Do you like murder-mysteries? What about psychological thrillers? Find your next page-turner in this list of mysteries and thrillers from Asian American and Pacific Islander authors. I’ve made note of any titles that are a part of a series if you want to keep the thrills coming!

    Title - Arsenic and AdoboTitle - City of OrangeTitle - The CartographersTitle - When We Fell ApartTitle - KismetTitle - Death DoesnTitle - CounterfeitTitle - IQ

    Browse more of our staff created lists:

    3. Discover a new author by browsing through a literary magazine. 

    Literary magazines are an excellent way to acquaint yourself with new literary communities. Check out the literary magazines below and if you find an author you like, see if they have additional work in our catalog.  

    • Lantern Review is a literary journal dedicated to Asian American poetry. While the journal stopped publishing in 2022, their past issues are still available for folks to read online.  
    • Bamboo Ridge Press is a literary journal that publishes fiction and poetry related to the people of Hawai’i. While current issues are available for purchase, the archives can be browsed on the University of Hawai’i’s website for free. 
    • Jaggery, named after an unrefined dark brown sugar used throughout the South Asian diaspora, publishes poetry, fiction, and essays by South Asian authors.   
    • The Margins is a literary magazine published by the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. They feature “poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, critical essays, reportage, translations, interviews, and experimental and hybrid-genre work.” 

    4. Use your IndyPL library card to log into Novelist Plus

    On Novelist Plus you’ll find recommendations, read-a-likes, series lists, reviews, and lists of award-winning books. You can search books by the author’s cultural identity, including Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Hmong or dig a little deeper and search by nationality, like Indian or Vietnamese. Be sure to use the “Check Availability” feature to see if a specific book is available to borrow from IndyPL!  

    5. Asian & Pacific Islander Authors

    Ali, Monica
    British Bangladeshi

    Cho, Zen
    Malaysian

    Chu, Wesley
    Taiwanese 

    Davenport, Kiana
    Hawai’ian

    De la Cruz, Melissa
    Filipina American

    Han, Kang
    South Korean

    Hoang, Helen
    Vietnamese American

    Hosseini, Khaled
    Afghan American

    Kaur, Rupi
    Indian Canadian

    Khaw, Cassandra
    Malaysian

    Kuang, R.F.
    Chinese American

    Lee, Chang-Rae
    Korean American

    Lee, Min Jin
    Korean American

    Manansala, Mia
    Filipina American

    Mikhail, Dunya
    Iraqi American

    Milan, Courtney
    Chinese American 

    Murakami, Haruki Japanese

    Murata, Sakaya
    Japanese

    Nafisi, Azar
    Irani

    Nhat Han, Thich
    Vietnamese

    Ondaatje, Michael
    Sri Lankan Canadian

    Rushdie, Salman
    American British Indian 

    Satrapi, Marjane
    French Iranian 

    Sattouf, Riad
    French Syrian 

    Shamsie, Kamila
    Pakistani British

    Sutanto, Jesse Q
    Chinese Indonesian

    Taleb, Nassim Nicholas
    Lebanese American 

    Tan, Amy
    Chinese American

    Thomas, Sherry
    Chinese American

    Upadhyay, Samrat
    Nepalese American

    Vaite, Celestine
    French Polynesian

    Vuong, Ocean
    Vietnamese American

    In the month of May in Indianapolis attention is focused at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or less formally, “The Brickyard,” or as we simply call it here at home, “the track.” It is time for the Indy 500!

    If you sit outside in Indianapolis on a spring day in May and the wind is just right in relation to where you are, you can hear the distant high-pitched hum of cars practicing, careening around the track. On race day you can see other signs that something big is happening. If you look up you can see the Goodyear blimp floating above the city giving the world a birds-eye view, or at start time, watch the fighter jets fly in formation over the city, both traditions leading up to “Drivers, start your engines!”

    While you wait for this year’s race, have fun learning about the history, physics and amazing records of the greatest spectacle in racing – the Indianapolis 500! The Spectacle is a complete history of the Indianapolis 500. It includes a hundred year’s worth of memories from legendary drivers and details about memorable races. It’s like you were in the pits yourself watching the drama unfold. Listed below are online activities and books about the Indy 500 you can check out with your IndyPL library card. You can even learn how to draw or build a race car of your own!

    Websites, Printables & Activities

    e-Books & Audiobooks

    Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about car racing at any of our locations, or check out car racing 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.

    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: Learning …
    • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Learning the Power of Poetry
    • Date & Time: Tuesday, July 23, 2:00pm
    • Location: Online
    • Description: You’re invited to learn about the power of poetry with Elizabeth Acevedo! In this exciting author conversation and Q&A, Acevedo will provide a short reading from her National Book Award winning and New York Times bestselling novel-in-verse, The Poet X serving as the backdrop to this amazing chat!
    • Register Here
    Virtual Author Talk: Graphic N…
    • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Graphic Novels are Life!
    • Date & Time: Tuesday, July 30, 2:00pm
    • Location: Online
    • Description: Join this year’s winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Dan Santat, as he inspires tweens and teens to tell their own stories through graphic novels.
    • Register Here
    Virtual Author Talk: Behind th…
    • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Behind the Scenes at the Space Station
    • Date & Time: Wednesday, August 07, 2:00pm
    • Location: Online
    • Description: You’re invited to virtually step inside one of the greatest international achievements with a behind-the-scenes guide to space exploration with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Jennifer Levasseur.
    • Register Here
    Virtual Author Talk: The Golde…
    Virtual Author Talk: An Explor…
    • Event: Virtual Author Talk: An Exploration of Friendship, Reckoning, and Hope
    • Date & Time: Wednesday, August 21, 7:00pm
    • Location: Online
    • Description: We invite you to join us as we chat with the amazing New York Times bestselling author Shelby Van Pelt about her beloved novel “Remarkably Bright Creatures.” You don’t want to miss this deep-dive exploration of friendship, reckoning, hope, and so much more!
    • Register Here
    Virtual Author Talk: Capturing…
    • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Capturing the Human Drama Through History
    • Date & Time: Tuesday, September 10, 2:00pm
    • Location: Online
    • Description: Join our next virtual author talk! An expert at capturing the human drama, Garrett Graff will speak about his body of work with particular focus on his oral histories, The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 and When the Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day.
    • Register Here
    Virtual Author Talk: Living wi…
    Virtual Author Talk: A Deep Di…
    • Event: Virtual Author Talk: A Deep Dive in Character Development
    • Date & Time: Saturday, September 21, 7:00pm
    • Location: Online
    • Description: Join us as we chat with mega-bestselling author Liane Moriarty about her newest novel Here One Moment. Moriarty’s Here One Moment is a brilliantly constructed tale that looks at free will and destiny, grief and love, and the endless struggle to maintain certainty and control in an uncertain world.
    • Register Here

    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.

    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: Teen DIY Plant Pets
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 3:00pm
    • Location: Franklin Road Branch
    • Description: Embark on a journey of creativity and nature. Create and decorate your very own plant pet and learn how to grow plants at home with Purdue Extension.
    • Register Here
    • Event: West Perry Gardening Group
    • Date & Time: Friday, July 19, 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.
    • Event: Teen DIY Plant Pets
    • Date & Time: Saturday, July 20, 2:00pm
    • Location: Wayne Branch
    • Description: Embark on a journey of creativity and nature. Create and decorate your very own plant pet and learn how to grow plants at home with Purdue Extension.
    • Register Here
    • Event: Teen DIY Plant Pets
    • Date & Time: Tuesday, July 23, 2:00pm
    • Location: Lawrence Branch
    • Description: Embark on a journey of creativity and nature. Create and decorate your very own plant pet and learn how to grow plants at home with Purdue Extension.
    • Register Here
    • Event: Cover Crops
    • Date & Time: Wednesday, July 31, 3:00pm
    • Location: Michigan Road Branch
    • Description: Planting cover crops in your garden is a very easy way to improve your soil’s health. Join Kevin Allison to learn about soil health, cover crops, and receive free cover crop seeds as you think toward fall.
    • Register Here
    • Event: Cover Crops
    • Date & Time: Thursday, August 01, 3:00pm
    • Rescheduled Date & Time: Wednesday, July 31, 3:00pm
    • Location: Michigan Road Branch
    • Description: Planting cover crops in your garden is a very easy way to improve your soil’s health. Join Kevin Allison to learn about soil health, cover crops, and receive free cover crop seeds as you think toward fall.
    • Register Here

    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!

    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: Camp Stuffie Drop Off
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:00am
    • Location: College Avenue Branch
    • Description: Drop off your stuffie for Camp! Drop off your favorite stuffed animal to Camp Stuffie at the reference desk. Your friend will enjoy a couple days of camping fun in the library. Reunite with your stuffie friend on Saturday at Camp Stuffie Storytime!
    • No Registration Required.
    • Event: Act It Out Storytime
    • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:30am
    • Location: Irvington Branch
    • Description: Children ages 3-6 will join React Kids to act out classic fairytales and nursery rhymes! Can you be a snake or a bunny? After reading the story, act it out!
    • Register Here

    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.