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.

Recommendations from Our Staff – March 2024

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.

2024 McFadden Lecturer Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland, dancer, author, and philanthropist will present the 45th Annual Marian McFadden Memorial Lecture at the Madam Walker Legacy Center, 617 Indiana Ave, Indianapolis on March 20.

While you are waiting, make a selection from our book lists Precision and Pain: The Fiction of Ballet and Black Ballet Dancers.

Puerto Rican Authors

On March 2nd, 1917, the Jones-Shafroth Act passed, granting Puerto Ricans US citizenship. Puerto Rico was a country colonized by Spain, and then taken by the US after the Spanish-American War in 1898. As a Puerto Rican librarian myself, it’s important to showcase the stories of strength and vibrant culture of my colonized country. Take a look at these deep dives, memoirs, cookbooks, and novels by authors from Puerto Rico and the diaspora.

Title - When I Was Puerto RicanTitle - Ordinary GirlsTitle - Las MadresTitle - The Crazy Bunch

Featured Recommendations for Women’s History Month

Disabled Futures

These novels and nonfiction works discuss or portray how disability is necessary in a thriving world. Join us on March 2 at Fort Ben for a Disability Resource Fair which will feature local resources for individuals with cognitive disabilities and their caretakers including local services, therapy options, and resource awareness. This event is free and open to the public and is made possible in partnership with the Lawrence Advisory Council on Disabilities.

Title - Against TechnoableismTitle - Disability PrideTitle - After Universal DesignTitle - True Biz

Culinary Book Club – Healthy Eating Cookbooks

Sometimes it is a struggle to eat a healthy and nutritious meal. These cookbooks help to alleviate that struggle by providing great recipes that are flavorful and healthy. Register to join us on March 9 at Lawrence to discuss healthy cookbooks.

Title - Cook Smart, Eat WellTitle - Macro Cooking Made SimpleTitle - Eating From Our RootsTitle - 30-minute Meal Prep

A Conversation with Christopher Paolini

Register to join us virtually on on March 14 for a conversation with international bestselling author Christopher Paolini about his return to the World of Eragon with Murtagh, a stunning continuation of the epic fantasy series.

Black Hair

Check out these adult and young adult titles on the history, culture, beauty, and art of Black hair. Register to join us March 23 for My Divine Natural Hair Book Signing with in the Center for Black History & Culture at Central Library. Shelia Burlock and her daughters Sylvia and Melissa are a writing trio from Indianapolis devoted to spiritually healing hair hurt experienced by women of African descent.

Title - Black HairTitle - My Beautiful Black HairTitle - TwistedTitle - The Other Black Girl

Actors On Tops of Trains

From the beginning, Hollywood has been fascinated by trains. The romance, the intrigue, the adventure. Trains carry bandits, secret agents, murderers, and even young wizards. What could make it more exciting? Having someone climb on top of the moving train! Calling all train enthusiasts (and train curious) of all ages! Join us March 30 for Fort Ben’s Model Railroad Train Show to learn about trains and see elaborate model train set-ups!

Title - The Rare BreedTitle - Silver StreakTitle - SpeedTitle - Emperor of the North

Fiction about Baseball

America’s pastime will return on March 28th for its 2024 season! To get you ready, here are all sorts of fiction books about Baseball. You’ll find some romance, some mystery, books for young adults, fantastical books, and a little bit of everything in between.

Title - Miko KingsTitle - Sayonara SlamTitle - Play for MeTitle - The Art of Fielding

2024 Libby Awards

Here are some finalists for the inaugural Libby Awards! The Libby Awards recognize titles that are well-acclaimed and popular on their app. Here are some of those titles!

Title - Birnam WoodTitle - When Crack Was KingTitle - The Secret HoursTitle - Shubeik Lubeik

Forgotten Best Picture Winners

The Academy Awards will air on March 10th, and what better way to commemorate than watching past Best Picture winners. Here are some winners that might or might not be on your radar. See also our book lists Let’s Get Animated at the Oscars and A Night to Remember: Historic Oscar Winners.

Title - ArgoTitle - The ArtistTitle - CrashTitle - Out of Africa

Grocery Shopping & Eating on a Budget

When you go to the grocery store, do you get overwhelmed by WHAT those labels mean? And how do you eat well when you’re tight on funds? Join MCPHD Nutrition Services to learn about these things – and pick up a read or stream something awesome to stretch your dollars! Register to join us March 12 at Haughville for the Nutrition Education Class – Label Reading, Where to Start.

Title - Good and CheapTitle - Supermarket HealthyTitle - Cook More, Waste LessTitle - 100 Days of Real Food on A Budget

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.

Hooray for Birds!

Birds are so much a part of our every day lives that sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate them for how cool they are! These are some of my favorite picture books about birds. If you have a kid who likes birds, give these a try! Register to join us online for Reading Ready Time – Hello Birdy on March 6. Children 3-6 are invited to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people!

Title - Hooray for Birds!Title - Mel FellTitle - Bird HouseTitle - I Spy in the Sky

Talking Hands with ASL

According to the American Society of Deaf Children (ASDC), “Research shows that reading and signing stories together helps promote essential literacy skills for ALL children: deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing.” Just click on a book cover to enjoy these video read alouds in American Sign Language. Also, register to join us online on March 20 for Reading Ready Time – Talking Hands with ASL Interpreter Hilari Vrgo.

Fruit Salad Story Time

Fruits are tasty and good for you! They make the best snacks! Here are some great books for a fruit-themed story time or display! Register to join us online for Reading Ready Time Fruit and Veggie Yoga. Children 3-6 are invited to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people!

Title - Avocado AsksTitle - Big Book of Colorful FoodsTitle - Counting to BananasTitle - Eating the Alphabet

Celebrating Ramadan

Resources to help you learn about the season of Ramadan or to celebrate the holiday with the children in your home. Ramadan moves dates each year. Sometimes it’s a spring holiday, sometimes a fall holiday or it can be a summer or winter holiday. This makes it different from a lot of other holidays. No matter when Ramadan falls, how it is celebrated remains the same. This list features materials both about Ramadan and Muslim culture in general.

Title - A Moon for Moe & MoTitle - The Gift of RamadanTitle - Under the Ramadan MoonTitle - Hannah and the Ramadan Gift

B is for BUNNY!

What’s fluffy, cute, and hops all over? These fun picture books!

Title - How to Catch the Easter BunnyTitle - Big BunnyTitle - Bunny BusTitle - Bunny in the Middle

Harold and the Purple Crayon

The power of imagination and drawing play starring roles in these titles. Some are wordless, some are gorgeous, some are funny and hopefully some will become new favorites with your young reader. Is your child ready to create? We have several upcoming programs for children to enjoy! Register for: BabyArtsPlay, Paper Art Portraits, Art Deventures with Mr. Jeremy, and Creative Writing and Drawing with Professor Watermelon.

Title - JourneyTitle - The Carrot SeedTitle - The Red BookTitle - Arlo Draws An Octopus

Rhythm & Dance

Looking for picture books that make you want to move? These books will get your kids clapping, stomping, and dancing to the rhythm of words! Register to join us for Dance with Me and Wiggle and Bounce Storytime!

Title - Tanka Tanka Skunk!Title - Jazzmatazz!Title - I Got the RhythmTitle - Max Found Two Sticks

Sheroes and Girl Power: Books for Kids

Newer biographies that celebrate the efforts and genius of women. Success in different fields and talents and the long reach and effort to continually push towards “justice” for all are just the tip of the list here.

Title - Born ReadingTitle - Go Forth and TellTitle - The Oldest StudentTitle - Coretta

Stormy Books for Stormy Days

Boom! Crash! Whether your little one looks forward to storms lighting up the sky, or needs help handling big, scary emotions during big, scary storms, this list has the book for you.

Title - StormTitle - Storm WhaleTitle - The Legend of the Storm GooseTitle - The Longest Storm

How to Lose: Kids Books About Being a Good Sport

It never feels good to lose a game or come in last place. Learning to lose (and win) graciously can be a lifelong challenge for those of us who love to compete. Check out these titles to help kids process their feelings of disappointment and learn to have fun whether they win or lose.

Title - The Big CheeseTitle - Callie Cat, Ice SkaterTitle - Number One SamTitle - Evie

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.

Reading Recommendations for Teens – February 2024

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!

The Winter 2024 Anime Season Guide

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but these shows are so delightful. Yes, I know, Christmas has passed but the Winter anime season is now upon us in full force. There are lots of new and returning titles on offer this season which means plenty of cozy reading opportunities. Here’s a list of the manga and light novels of this season’s shows.

Title - Delicious in DungeonTitle - A Sign of AffectionTitle - Solo LevelingTitle - The Witch and the Beast

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: Graphic Novel Club
  • Date & Time: Saturday, March 02, 2:00pm
  • Location: Lawrence Branch
  • Description: Join the Tween Graphic Novel Club’s first meeting as we share our thoughts on this month’s read, “Four Eyes” by Rex Ogle and Dave Valeza. Children ages 9-12 are invited to attend.
  • 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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  • Event: History On Stage
  • Date & Time: Saturday, March 02, 2:00pm
  • Location: Wayne Branch
  • Description: Experience a live performance from two historic ladies: Madam CJ Walker & a Sales Associate, Madam CJ Walker & Ida B. Wells, or Ida B. Wells & Harriet Tubman. After a 45 minute presentation they will answer your questions for 15 minutes.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: History On Stage
  • Date & Time: Monday, March 04, 6:00pm
  • Location: Spades Park Branch
  • Description: Experience a live performance from two historic ladies: Madam CJ Walker & a Sales Associate, Madam CJ Walker & Ida B. Wells, or Ida B. Wells & Harriet Tubman. After a 45 minute presentation they will answer your questions for 15 minutes.
  • No Registration Required.

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.

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 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: Storytime at Spades Park
  • Date & Time: Thursday, February 29, 10:30am
  • Location: Spades Park Branch
  • Description: Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and an adult are invited to join us for stories and more every Thursday in the Community Room followed by socialization time for children and caregivers.
  • 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.

Reading the words Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left behind, thinking about them and talking to others about them, is one way to honor him on January 15, 2024, the day commemorating his birth and legacy.

Dr. King’s writings include not only books, but masterful speeches and many letters. Below is a selection of his books, his speeches and one letter, which is regarded as one of the most important documents of the Civil Rights Movement. These featured writing selections are available to you for reading or listening online, or for check out with your IndyPL library card. You can take just ten minutes to read a letter, 20 minutes to listen to one of his speeches, or several days to do a deep dive into one of his books to learn about, re-connect with, remember, or re-commit to his messages about community, equality, and social justice.

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968, delivered less than 24 hours before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Five Speeches

I Have a Dream
Delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963. Read and listen to audio of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Our God is Marching On
Delivered in Selma, Alabama after the march to Montgomery, March 25, 1965. Read or listen to audio of his “Our God is Marching On” speech.

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence
Delivered at Riverside Church, New York City, April 4, 1967. Read or listen to audio of his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” speech.

The Other America
Delivered at Grosse Pointe High School, March 14, 1968. Read his “The Other America” speech.

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop
Delivered in Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968, one day before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Read his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.

(More Fascinating featured documents can be found at the Stanford Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute.)

One Letter

Letter From a Birmingham Jail
Written April 16, 1963 from the Birmingham jail where Dr. King was held for participating in a nonviolent demonstration against segregation. The letter was written in response to a letter called “A Call for Unity” published on April 12, 1963 by eight white religious leaders of the South who took issue with the demonstration.

Six Books

Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958) Dr. King’s first book, it tells the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott from the early strategic planning to pushback from the white community to the eventual success of establishing a desegregated city bus service. print | print | e-bookaudiobook

The Measure of a Man (1959)
A collection of meditations and prayers written 10 years before the civil rights leader was assassinated. print

Strength to Love (1963)
This is a collection of Dr. King’s iconic sermons. print | print | print | e-book

Why We Can’t Wait (1963)
His argument for equality and an end to racial discrimination that explains why the civil rights struggle is vital to the United States. print | print | e-bookdownloadable audiobook | audiobook CD

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
The book in which he outlines the trends in the African American struggle during the sixties, and calls for peaceful coexistence between the African American and white communities. print | e-bookaudiobook | audiobook CD

The Trumpet of Conscience (1968)
A collection of five lectures from 1967 that address racial equality, conscience and war, the mobilization of young people, and nonviolence. print | e-book

Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library

You can check out Dr. King’s books and many more at the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC), a space at Central Library dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots. The CBLC’s collection includes specially selected literature, music, movies, and artwork highlighting the contributions of black icons, specifically those with Indiana roots.

Black Biopics

Biopics are films about historical figures and events. While directors and producers often take dramatic license in these films, at their core these films help audiences learn, become inspired, and share in the emotional journey of the characters. Below are biopics depicting Black stories and people.

Title - RayTitle - HarrietTitle - 42Title - RespectTitle - King RichardTitle - Hidden FiguresTitle - SelmaTitle - The Woman King

Books for Kids to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, here are 25 books for children that highlight Dr. King’s life and legacy fighting for justice.

Title - The Words of Martin Luther King JrTitle - Only Light Can Do ThatTitle - AinTitle - Martin Luther King Jr. DayTitle - Martin & AnneTitle - MartinTitle - Threads of PeaceTitle - Good Night Martin Luther King Jr

The Racial Equity Collection

The Racial Equity Collection makes it easier than ever for Library patrons to access antiracism and social justice resources. The Library purchased thousands of new materials including books, e-books, audiobooks, DVDs, and Blu-rays. The materials span a wide range of genres, with titles suited for children, teens, and adults. See the collection online.

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New Year’s resolutions- many of us love to make them but very few of us actually complete them. Perhaps it is because we set unrealistic goals or just lack follow through, or maybe it is because we set good intentions without knowing how we can actually achieve our goals and resolutions? This year, set yourself up for success by taking advantage of all the free resources your Indianapolis Public Library offers for a new year, new skills. If your goal is to master sourdough baking or perfect your knife skills, we have classes and books for that. Want to become a runner? We can help with that too! Want to learn a new language, discover a new craft, develop a reading habit, or learn to code? We can help you with all of those things as well. All you need is a resolution and your Library card!

Learn Computer Skills at the Library

We offer a variety of computer, technology, and mobile skill classes. You can also learn how to download and stream with your Library card and get a variety of tips and tricks on our blog at tech & mobile skills.

  • Event: Career Center at Garfield Park
  • Date & Time: Thursday, February 29, 10:30am
  • Location: Garfield Park Branch
  • Description: Adults and teens needing help with creating a resume, searching for a job or career online, or filling out an online job application are invited to receive free one-on-one assistance.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Introduction to Microsoft Excel
  • Date & Time: Thursday, February 29, 10:30am
  • Location: Southport Branch
  • Description: Learn how to create spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel Online, the free online version of Excel. Join us for a three-part introduction to Excel Online. Level 1 – Layout, Navigation, and Files. Level 2 – Formula Basics and Formatting. Level 3 – Working with Data – Filter and Sort.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Career and Computer Help Center at Eagle
  • Date & Time: Thursday, February 29, 3:00pm
  • Location: Eagle Branch
  • Description: Do you need help with resume writing, job searching, or job applications? Or are you interested in learning new computer skills? Join us for this weekly drop-in program for one-on-one assistance.
  • No Registration Required.

Learn a New Craft or Hobby

We offer both free in-person classes and crafting activities and online tutorials through Creativebug. Learn everything from a new painting technique, how to use that Cricut you haven’t gotten out of the box yet, 3D printing, and so much more in the style you prefer!

  • Event: Paper Art Portraits
  • Date & Time: Friday, March 01, 4:00pm
  • Location: Haughville Branch
  • Description: Creating a family or friendship portrait is one of many ways to celebrate special people around us! Paper artist Shelley Hanmo will help you create a portrait using repurposed materials and simple paper cutting techniques to capture the unique characteristics of a special someone. Ages 5 and up.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Paper Art Portraits
  • Date & Time: Saturday, March 02, 2:00pm
  • Location: Michigan Road Branch
  • Description: Creating a family or friendship portrait is one of many ways to celebrate special people around us! Paper artist Shelley Hanmo will help you create a portrait using repurposed materials and simple paper cutting techniques to capture the unique characteristics of a special someone. Ages 5 and up.
  • Register Here

Level Up Your Reading, Listening, or Watching Game

Did you resolve to read more pages, explore audiobooks for the first time, watch a documentary a week, or explore a new genre in 2022? We can help you with all of your reading, watching, or listening resolutions. You don’t need a Spotify, Audible, or Amazon Prime subscription; all you need is your Library card! Looking for a reading challenge to start off the new year? Join our #WakeUpIndy challenge now!

Take an Online Course

Did you know that with your Library card, you have free access to Great Courses through Kanopy? The Great Courses cover Finance, Health, Hobbies, Food and Wine, History, Literature and Language, Math and Science, Music and Fine Arts, Philosophy, Professional and Personal Growth, Travel, Programs for Young Learners, and more. Start learning.

Learn a Language

¿Hablas español? Sprichst du Deutsch? If the answer to either of these questions is no but you would like to, try Mango Languages. Mango is a free language learning website that can also be used on a smartphone as an app. Learn or master a new language without having to pay for Duolingo! Get Started with Mango Languages

Start a Garden

Did you know that we have a seed library? From March-September, you can check out seeds from any seed library location and you don’t even have to return them or the wonderful plants you will grow. We also offer books, classes, and tips to help you develop a green thumb!

Start or Expand a Workout Routine

The most popular New Year’s Resolution is to start or grow an exercise routine. The Library might not be the first place you think about for physical fitness unless you think about lifting heavy books as weights, but did you know that we have hundreds of exercise classes available to check out on DVD or to stream online? We also have a Fit Lit Book Club, Tai Chi classes, and expert staff members who have compiled their favorite exercise information for you.

Cook Something

Explore new recipes, food or beverages from different cultures from around the world or a different region of the United States, check out a food magazine online or even take a plant-based cooking class.

Explore Your Genealogy

Whether you are a first-time family tree maker or an expert researcher, we can help you explore your family heritage through our numerous databases and services. Within our branches, you can access Ancestry Library Edition for free and from anywhere, you can access research databases, newspapers, or even a video course from Kanopy on how to get started learning about your background or Get Genealogy Classes & Research Help.

Get Organized

From Marie Kondo to the Flylady system, organization can take many shapes and forms depending on what your personal style is. Learn about these systems and more ways to clear the clutter for good by picking up one of our staff recommended reads on organization.

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Improve your digital creativity skills at The Library! Learn to edit photos, video, and audio, make a presentation look professional, find new ways to display your work, learn to use a 3D printer, and much more.

Digital Creativity Workstations

Looking to edit photos, video, audio, or make a new graphic design? Digital Creativity Workstations are available for reservation at Central Library and East 38th Street.

On these workstations you can practice the skills learned during a class, work on an existing project, or pursue self-paced learning with LinkedIn Learning or Adobe’s Built-in Tutorials. The workstations have specialized software to support multimedia projects including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Vegas Pro Video Editor, and more!

A reservation is required.

Improve your skills in one of our classes!

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  • Event: Adobe Photoshop Basics
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, March 05, 5:30pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Get started editing images and photos. Discover how to transform images to match your artistic vision. Explore the basic tools you will need and gain hands-on experience.
  • Register Here
  • Event: 3D Printing at Central Library
  • Date & Time: Monday, March 18, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Adults ages 18 and up are invited to learn the basics of 3D printing from concept to creation using Tinkercad, the S5 Ultimaker, and other 3D printers.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Exploring Canva
  • Date & Time: Friday, March 29, 2:30pm
  • Location: Garfield Park Branch
  • Description: Learn how to use the free online graphic design tool Canva. Create a custom digital design for greeting cards, business cards, flyers, and more. Share your designs online or by printing them.
  • Register Here
  • Event: 3D Printing at Central Library
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 29, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Adults ages 18 and up are invited to learn the basics of 3D printing from concept to creation using Tinkercad, the S5 Ultimaker, and other 3D printers.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: 3D Printing at Central Library
  • Date & Time: Monday, May 20, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Adults ages 18 and up are invited to learn the basics of 3D printing from concept to creation using Tinkercad, the S5 Ultimaker, and other 3D printers.
  • No Registration Required.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Bring your creative projects to life with the help of Adobe Creative Cloud, an innovative provider of 20+ creative apps, web services, and resources in photography, UX design, drawing, social media, painting, graphic design, video editing and more, brought to you with newly enhanced AI features.

Title - Photoshop Elements 2022Title - Photoshop ElementsTitle - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic for DummiesTitle - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic

Getting started with a Cricut Machine

Cricut machines can cut, write, and score, making it possible to create a wide variety of projects out of all kinds of materials. Learn how to use your machine to its full potential and try out some of these suggested projects!

Title - The Unofficial Book of Cricut CraftsTitle - Cricut for BeginnersTitle - Cricut for BeginnersTitle - Cutting Machine Crafts With your Cricut, Sizzix, or Silhouette

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

January 17
Book Clubs (Kris Gould, Keshia McEntire)


Indy Now Book Club Archive

2023

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

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 Wayne – First Monday Book Club
  • Date & Time: Monday, March 04, 6:30pm
  • Location: Wayne Branch
  • Description: The book to be discussed is “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb. Adults are invited to this monthly book discussion program, which is free and open to everyone!
  • No Registration Required.

We’d love for you and your family to come join us for holiday fun at The Library! Browse our shelves, enjoy a holiday concert, fine-tune your holiday cooking skills, and more. You can even meet an actual reindeer!

Looking for the Perfect Book Gift?

IndyPL Staff have selected their favorite reads of 2023. Select a category to browse lists of gift suggestions, each with an annotation to let you know what is special about the book. Gift giving made easy!

Adults

Kids & Teens

Need some holiday entertainment at home?

For screentime holiday fun browse our collection of holiday movies! You can check out DVDs or stream movies straight to your device with your IndyPL library card. Here are some staff recommendations to get you started looking for your next winter movie night feature. If you have never used one of our streaming services before, learn how to stream movies with your IndyPL library card.

Do you need to keep a house full of kids entertained for an afternoon? We’ve got streaming movies for kids too. Choose some to share with guests and some to watch during your child’s own downtime. Get started exploring our streaming movies for kids.

Shore up your “to read book stack” with one of these recommendations

For Adults:

For Kids:

Join us for a Holiday Concert, Meet a Reindeer, and More!

Change up your holiday cooking.

Would you like to to mix up your usual rotation of tried-and true holiday recipes? Join us for an upcoming cooking class or explore our collection of recipe books, e-books, and e-magazines. We can get you started exploring our recipe book collection. Get holiday cooking tips and culinary reading recommendations!

Get help with new technology gifts.

Do you need help learning how to use new technology gifts or apps? Bring your tablet or smartphone for assistance downloading and streaming using our services, including OverDrive, Hoopla, and Libby. See the schedule.

Holiday Fun for Kids Online – You Choose the Time Holiday Storytime!

Use the 5 skills of early learning – reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing to learn about Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. Enjoy several online video read alouds, songs, activities & more!

Browse our 2023 staff picks and top checkouts for adults, teens, and kids! Find your next great read, a good audiobook for your morning walk, a movie for a lazy winter afternoon, or holiday gift ideas for your favorite readers!

You can follow our staff’s reading recommendations all year long on What We’re ReadingWhat We’re Reading for Teens, and What We’re Reading Kids or on the library catalog home page.


2023 Top Checkouts

Click on a book cover to go to the catalog to make a request.

Most Checked Out for Adults

title - Sparetitle - Happy Placetitle - Lessons in Chemistrytitle - Fourth Wingtitle - The 1619 Projecttitle - Atlas of the Hearttitle - The New Yorkertitle - Atomic Habitstitle - It Ends With Ustitle - The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*cktitle - The Light We Carrytitle - I'm Glad My Mom Diedtitle - Top Guntitle - Someone Else's Shoestitle - The Coworkertitle - Hello Beautifultitle - I Will Find Youtitle - The Five-star Weekendtitle - The Last Thing He Told Metitle - Pineapple Street

Most Checked Out for Teens

title - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakestitle - A Court of Thorns and Rosestitle - The Hate U Givetitle - One of Us Is Lyingtitle - Witch & Wizardtitle - Uzumakititle - Divine Rivalstitle - Curtsies & Conspiracies

Most Checked Out for Kids

title - Diper överlödetitle - The Super Mario Bros. Movietitle - The Pigeon Has to Go to School!title - Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Seatitle - Cat Kid Comic Clubtitle - Mary Anne's Bad-luck Mysterytitle - Stealing Freedomtitle - I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900

2023 Staff Best of Recommendations

Best of Fiction for Adults

Here are a few of our staff members favorite literary and contemporary fiction selections of 2023– featuring complicated family dynamics, love affairs, theft, and more. If you’re looking for genre fiction (like romance, horror, and fantasy) please be sure to check out our other lists!

Title - YellowfaceTitle - What You Are Looking for Is in the LibraryTitle - The Heaven & Earth Grocery StoreTitle - The Bandit Queens

Best of Nonfiction for Adults

IndyPL Staff members have compiled their favorite nonfiction books of 2023 for those who are eager to learn more about our strange world. These books feature real life sea voyages, the rise of the KKK in Indianapolis, tales of the first women astronauts, a biscuit-specific cookbook and more. Find a new book you’ll love.

Title - Poverty, by AmericaTitle - The WagerTitle - Master Slave Husband WifeTitle - A Fever in the Heartland

Best of Biographies and Memoirs for Adults

Immerse yourself in someone else’s world with one of these Biographies or Memoirs, selected by IndyPL Staff Members. Dive deep into the lives of an astrophysicist, Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter, a queer hijabi woman, an intersex Texan, elite runners, and more.

Title - Hijab Butch BluesTitle - KingTitle - StarstruckTitle - The Talk

Best of Romance

Looking to add a touch more romance to your 2023? Check out these swoony recommendations from IndyPL Staff Members, featuring a queer farm commune, drunken emails, and sweet kindergarten teachers.

Title - Happy PlaceTitle - RosewaterTitle - That Time I Got Drunk and Saved A HumanTitle - Emma of 83rd Street

Best of DVDs for Adults

IndyPL Staff Members have shared their favorite films and TV shows of 2023. While 2023 has jokingly been referred to as “The Year of the Barbie Movie,” our staff members have found dozens of other fabulous watches.

Title - Spider-Man, Across the Spider-VerseTitle - Polite SocietyTitle - PreyTitle - Barbie

Best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy for Adults

Enjoy our staff members favorite scifi and fantasy reads of 2023. In between dragons and pirates and faeries, you’ll also find tales of grilled cheese and talking cats. We hope you find a new favorite magical read.

Title - To Shape A DragonTitle - Mammoths At The GatesTitle - The Adventures of Amina Al-SirafiTitle - Chain-Gang All-Stars

Best of Suspense, Mystery, and Horror for Adults

IndyPL Staff members have compiled their favorite suspense, mystery, and horror novels of 2023 for those who prefer a book that will unsettle them. These books feature cults, funeral home models, creepy puppets, true crime podcasts, mermaids, phone scam revenge, and more. Find new books from your favorite authors or add a new favorite author to your shelf.

Title - All the Sinners BleedTitle - Our Share of NightTitle - House of CottonTitle - How to Sell A Haunted House

Best of Picture Books for Kids

Some of our favorite picture books that we read in 2023!

Title - Dim Sum PalaceTitle - More Than WordsTitle - Something, SomedayTitle - Mr. S

Best of Fiction and Graphic Novels for Kids & Tweens

We hope you will find something to share with the young readers in your life on this list. You will find early chapter books, fiction novels, and graphic novels that we liked that were published in 2023.

Title - Eerie Tales From the School of ScreamsTitle - A First Time for EverythingTitle - The Moth KeeperTitle - One Smart Cookie

Best Non-Fiction for Kids

Staff across The Library sent in some of their favorite non-fiction titles for kids. The list contains a few folk tales as well.

Title - MaryTitle - Ancient NightTitle - The Mona Lisa VanishesTitle - In Between

Best of for Teens

Our IndyPL Staff has selected their favorite teen reads of 2023. From queer love triangles to homecoming murders to a real life social media tale, these novels are sure to entertain!

Title - Warrior Girl UnearthedTitle - In LimboTitle - Belle of the BallTitle - The Black Queen

We hope you you find some great reading recommendations in our 2023 staff picks and top checkouts. We look forward to more reading and recommendations in 2024!

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: The Power…
Virtual Author Talk: 20 Years …
Virtual Author Talk: On Retell…
  • Event: Virtual Author Talk: On Retelling Greek Classics
  • Date & Time: Thursday, March 21, 7:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: You’re invited to a fascinating exploratory conversation with Madeline Miller, bestselling author of The Song of Achilles and Circe, as she chats with us about her body of work and her process in retelling Greek classics into modern epics in fiction.
  • Register Here
My Divine Natural Hair Book Si…
Adult Book Discussion at Centr…
  • Event: Adult Book Discussion at Central Library
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, May 28, 6:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Join us at Central Library as we discuss “Who Would Believe a Prisoner? Indiana Women’s Carceral Institutions, 1848-1920.”
  • No Registration Required.

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.