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 Haughville
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:30am
  • Location: Haughville Branch
  • Description: Adults 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: Career Center at Haughville
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:30am
  • Location: Community Location
  • Description: Adults 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: Career Center at Lawrence
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 12:30pm
  • Location: Lawrence Branch
  • Description: Career Center is a program for adults to get assistance with creating resumes and cover letters, searching for jobs, and filling out job applications. Laptops are provided but patrons are encouraged to bring their own if they have one.
  • 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: Art Adventures with Mr. Jeremy
  • Date & Time: Thursday, April 18, 10:30am
  • Location: Franklin Road Branch
  • Description: Make tissue paper flowers with Mr. Jeremy and watch your child’s creativity bloom! This hands-on program with Jeremy South of Ripple Mobile Arts will foster artistic expression, fine motor skills, and a deeper connection to the beauty of nature.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Teen Printmaking
  • Date & Time: Thursday, April 18, 4:00pm
  • Location: Spades Park Branch
  • Description: Carve your own image into a linoleum block, ink it up, & print! Learn the basic elements of printmaking with Jager Palad!
  • 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: Cricut Design Space for Beginners
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 23, 2:00pm
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: This class will guide you step-by-step through Design Space, the software for designing Cricut projects. Explore the Design Space canvas and the functions and tools bringing your designs to life. Learn about the material prep screen and unloading and assembling a beginner-level cut project.
  • 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: Adobe Photoshop Basics
  • Date & Time: Saturday, May 11, 2:30pm
  • 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, 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.
  • Event: 3D Printing at Central Library
  • Date & Time: Monday, June 10, 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

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!

  • Event: 7th Annual CBLC Book Fest & Juneteenth Celebration
  • Date & Time: Saturday, June 15, 11:00am
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: The Center for Black Literature & Culture’s (CBLC) 7th Annual Book Fest & Juneteenth  Celebration will offer a glimpse into African American Art, literature, and storytelling. 
  • No Registration Required.

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!

A long, cold December night is a great time to share favorite Christmas stories! There are many holiday classics to choose from to get your family into the holiday spirit. You can listen to a video read aloud of the favorite, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, by Anna Dewdney, right now! More free video read alouds are listed below along with printable activities and Christmas favorites you can check out with your IndyPL library card. It’s Christmas storytime online! Have a wonderful holiday!

Talk!

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

  • What does your family like to do during the holidays? Which thing is your favorite?
  • Does the llama on the cover look happy? Sad? Worried?
  • Have you ever had to wait a long time for something you were excited about? Was it hard to wait? Were there any things that you did to help pass the time?
  • Would you rather go to a quiet holiday event or a noisy and crowded holiday event?
  • Why is llama happy at the end of the story?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Christmas at any of our locations, or cheeck out Christmas 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 Christmas video read aloud stories right now! It’s Christmas 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 - Charlie and the Christmas Kittytitle - A Christmas Wish for Corduroytitle - Clark the Shark Loves Christmastitle - Goodnight, Mangertitle - Ho Ho Homeworktitle - How the Grinch Stole Christmastitle - Llama Llama Holiday Dramatitle - Memoirs of An Elftitle - Merry Christmas From the Very Hungry Caterpillartitle - Merry Christmas, Mr. Mousetitle - The Nutcracker in Harlemtitle - Merry Christmas, Splattitle - Peppermint Posttitle - Merry Pinkmas!title - There's An Elf in your Booktitle - When Santa Came to Stay

Favorite Christmas Stories to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - Favorite, Classic & New Christmas Stories for KidsThere are many holiday favorites to get your family in the holiday spirit from illustrated versions of the Bible to stories about family traditions to the silly antics of favorite book characters celebrating the holiday in their own unique way. Can Bad Kitty even get on Santa’s nice list? There are 25+ in all. That oughta last ya!

Sing!

Sing along with Abby, Elmo, a horse, and even some snowballs!

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!

Instead of “Simon Says” play “Santa Says.” Practice the names of body parts and left and right.

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: Reading Ready Time – The Little Farm
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:00am
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Children 3-6 are invited to a virtual Library visit! Join us from home to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people. Come with us to visit a farm in Broad Ripple.
  • 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.

Hanukkah in Alaska, by Barbara Brown and winner of the 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award, is the story of what Hanukkah is like for a little girl living during a long, cold Alaskan winter. For her, daylight only lasts for five hours each day and she doesn’t have squirrels or rabbits in her backyard, she has a moose! Can she convince the moose to leave her trees and swing alone by sharing a Hanukkah treat? You can listen to Hanukkah in Alaska right now, read aloud by Molly Ephraim. Enjoy Hanukkah storytime online!

Talk!

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

  • What animals do you think live in Alaska?
  • Why do people in Alaska have to look out for moose? What should they do if they come across one?
  • There is only five hours of daylight in Alaska in the winter. Would you like it to be dark that much?
  • What do they call everywhere else that is not Alaska?
  • What does the moose do in the backyard?
  • What things does she try to get the moose to leave?
  • What holiday is the family celebrating?
  • What do they see up in the sky?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Hanukkah at any of our locations, or check out Hanukkah 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 Hanukkah video read aloud stories right now! It’s Hanukkah 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 - All-of-a-kind Family Hanukkahtitle - Antlers With Candlestitle - Biscuit's Hanukkahtitle - Meet the Latkes

Stories for Hanukkah to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - 8 Nights of Bedtime Stories for HanukkahHere are 50+ wonderful Hanukkah stories – so many you can read more than one each night! These selections come from The Sydney Taylor Book Award that recognizes the best Jewish children’s books each year, as well as the PJ Library, and the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Sing!

Join Robert and the Theatre Troupe at the Miami Children’s Museum to learn about Hanukkah traditions, “the festival of lights”, and the dreidel – then sing along with them to celebrate!

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 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!

Make a glowing pathway to lead visitors to your Menorah, build a Lego dreidel and play a game with your friends or family, or make this DIY Menorah Craft Using Cardboard.

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: Reading Ready Time – The Little Farm
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:00am
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Children 3-6 are invited to a virtual Library visit! Join us from home to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people. Come with us to visit a farm in Broad Ripple.
  • 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.

Kwanzaa is a celebration that honors African heritage. Observed from December 26th to January 1st, it includes a feast on December 31st called Karamu. Kwanzaa celebrations include singing, dancing, storytelling and African drums. To learn more about the holiday’s roots in ancient African customs and how it is celebrated, watch the PBS Learning Media video All About the Holidays: Kwanzaa and this Sesame Street video during which a family shares how they celebrate together.

Listen together as author Ibi Zoboi reads aloud, The People Remember, with illustrations by Loveis Wise. It uses the seven principles of Kwanzaa called Nguzo Saba, to share the history of African descendants in America from the time their ancestors arrived in America to the present day. The seven principles are:

1. Umoja (Unity)
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
3. Ujima (Responsibility)
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)
5. Nia (Purpose)
6. Kuumba (Creativity)
7. Imani (Faith)

You can also listen to author Donna L Washington read Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa, a story that introduces the holiday and celebrates its true meaning – coming together to help others.

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.

Books for Kids About Kwanzaa and Nguzo Saba to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

Use your IndyPL library card to check out e-books, audiobooks, and other streaming content about Kwanzaa from home, right to your device. See our digital Kwanzaa collection from OverDrive Kids, or come visit us! Below is a selection of books for kids to help you get started!

Title - The Night Before KwanzaaTitle - KwanzaaTitle - Celebrating KwanzaaTitle - The People RememberTitle - KwanzaaTitle - Seven Spools of ThreadTitle - My First KwanzaaTitle - Habari Gani? WhatTitle - KwanzaaTitle - LiTitle - Kwanzaa KaramuTitle - The Sound of Kwanzaa

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.

If you like mysteries, browse these tips and tricks for finding your next mysterious read. There is a huge amount of variation within the genre from true crime to the supernatural, thriller or romance. A mystery fits any reading taste!

1. Read an award winner.

The Agatha Awards celebrate traditional mysteries, a genre defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence. To place convenient requests in our catalog, browse all of the Agatha Award winners in our collection browse all of the Agatha Award winners in our collection.

The Anthony Awards for mystery writers are announced at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. To place convenient requests in our catalog, browse all of the Anthony Award winners in our collection browse all of the Anthony Award winners in our collection.

2. Borrow e-books or downloadable audiobooks.

Use mystery lists from OverDrive to find e-books and downloadable audiobooks. If you have never borrowed from OverDrive before, both OverDrive app directions and OverDrive browser directions are available as well as an OverDrive video tutorial and Overdrive 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.

Click on a featured book list to get mystery reading recommendations. Browse all our staff mystery lists or see our If You Like Cozy Mysteries recommendations.

IndyPL Staff Picks 2023- Best of Suspense, Mystery, and Horror

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 HouseTitle - None of This Is TrueTitle - DonTitle - Dark CornersTitle - Let It Crow! Let It Crow! Let It Crow!

4. Make a selection from this list of mystery authors.

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

Find mystery reading recommendations, read-alikes, series lists, reviews, and lists of award-winning mystery books on Novelist Plus. First, login, then choose the “Mystery” category from the list on the left. Choose from categories like like “Standalone Mysteries,” “Police Procedurals,” “Historical Mysteries,” and more! Read a brief description, see a star rating, and select “Check Availability” to see if the book is available to borrow from IndyPL.

6. Look online for more reading suggestions.

Our staff suggests these sites for mystery readers.

  • Novelsuspects.com is great for fans of mysteries, thrillers, and true crime. There you’ll find book lists, essays, reviews, and more.
  • On Mysteryfile.com read daily reviews of both books and media.
  • On Stopyourekillingme.com browse reviews or thousands of authors sorted by series or explore by setting or the sleuth’s occupation.
  • Crimereads.com really lets you drill down to your mystery flavor of choice: noir, suspense, legal thriller, etc.

7. Subscribe to the mystery newsletter from NextReads.

Receive mystery reading recommendation in your inbox monthly. Book suggestions are linked to our catalog for easy requesting. It’s FREE! See a sample issue and Subscribe to NextReads!

8. Find a book discussion near you!

You are invited to join in one of our many in-person or online book discussions that take place several times each month. In our book discussion groups we read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books. We express our opinions (both likes and dislikes!) with other avid readers in the city.

  • Event: Virtual Author Talk: Power, Love, and Art
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 8:00pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: We cannot wait for you to join us as we chat with award-winning and bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez about her newest novel “Anita de Monte Laughs Last.”
  • Register Here
  • Event: Adult Book Discussion at Beech Grove
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: Join us as the group discusses the book “Roman Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Adults are invited to this monthly book discussion.
  • No Registration Required.

In Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar, Binny’s class is learning about different holidays. It is Binny’s turn to share, and she is planning to talk about Diwali, a festival of lights Binny’s Hindu family celebrates. When it is Binny’s time to speak…she can’t! She is so nervous she can’t remember what she wanted to say! Everyone laughs and stares, but Binny manages to find her words anyway! She talks about diyas and jalebis and pedas. Do you know what those are? Watch this video to listen to the story and learn about Diwali, just like the kids in Binny’s class. After watching the video you can learn more from Binny’s printable learning sheet, The Diwali Story. Enjoy Diwali storytime online!

Talk!

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

  • What did Binny have for breakfast instead of cereal on her special day?
  • What advice did Mr. Boomer give Binny to help her relax?
  • How many days do people celebrate Diwali?
  • Can you think of another holiday when kids are allowed to carry sparklers?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Diwali at any of our locations, or check out Diwali 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 Diwali video read aloud stories right now! It’s Diwali 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 - It's Diwali!title - Lilu's Bright Diwali

Help kids celebrate/learn about Diwali – The Festival of Lights.

Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It is the most important holiday of the year for the millions who celebrate it. The dates change every year, but it usually falls between mid-October to mid-November. If you are interested in learning more about it, here are just a few of many books that you can share.

Title - ItTitle - Diwali Lights Read-alongTitle - BinnyTitle - Shubh Diwali!Title - Celebrate DiwaliTitle - Archie Celebrates DiwaliTitle - Diwali in My New HomeTitle - Amma, Tell Me About Diwali!

Sing!

Sing along with The Let’s Go Club to find out all about Diwali.

Write!

Find some crayons or makers to color a Diwali picture or find Diwali words.

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!

Spend an enjoyable afternoon learning how to Make Your Own Diwali Candle or Make Diya Streamers.

Watch this video to see children crafting paper lanterns to celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights called Diwali and then Make Your Own Diwali Lantern.

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: Reading Ready Time – The Little Farm
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:00am
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Children 3-6 are invited to a virtual Library visit! Join us from home to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people. Come with us to visit a farm in Broad Ripple.
  • 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.

There are a wide variety of books published by Indigenous authors that share Indigenous perspective for both adults and children. We can help you find them!

Read an award winner by an Indigenou author.

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

The Indigenous Voices Awards were established in 2017 to support and nurture the work of Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada. “The awards honour the sovereignty of Indigenous creative voices and reject cultural appropriation; to be eligible for the Indigenous Voices Awards, authors must be Indigenous and must make a declaration of Indigenous identity.”

The American Indian Youth Literature Award “identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity.” Categories include Best Picture Book, Best Middle Grade Book, and Best Young Adult Book.

Browse our e-Book & Streaming Indigenous author collections.

We have thousands of books, audiobooks, movies, and tv shows for kids, teens, and adults to download or stream instantly with an IndyPL Library card.

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.

Get reading recommendations.

Finding Indigenous authors for adults & teens.

Browse suggested viewing and reading from The Eiteljorg Museum. Their author selections range from history to science fiction, to autobiography, horror and poetry. See some of their recommendations linked to our catalog for easy check out. In addition, the museum has a Spotify playlist of the diverse sounds of Indigenous Peoples. You can get a preview of what you might see visiting the Eiteljorg Museum. Look at some of items in their collection of Native American Art in their online collection.

In addition, First Nations publishes a list of essential reading for anyone interested in learning about the Native American experience.

Many of us here – as Native Americans, avid readers, activists for improving Native American economies and communities, and as direct participants in the Native American experience – believe that we are uniquely positioned to suggest this reading list. We attempted to include many facets of the Native American experience, as well as books and research reports that would be of interest to a broad variety of readers.” ~ First Nations President & CEO Michael Roberts.

First Nations indicates on the list which titles are especially good ones to start with. Here are a few of their selections or browse the full First Nations list.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

“Eloquent, heartbreaking, and meticulously documented, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee follows the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown’s work highlights the voices of those American Indians who actually experienced the battles, massacres, and broken treaties.”
print | e-book (OverDrive) | audiobook (OverDrive)

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

“Historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire. Dunbar-Ortiz challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them.”
print | e-book (OverDrive) | audiobook (OverDrive)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer

“Treuer, an Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist, answers the most commonly asked questions about American Indians, both historical and modern. He gives a frank, funny, and personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway.”
print

“All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

“Dunbar-Ortiz shows how myths about Native Americans are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and are tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. All the Real Indians Died Off challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.”
print | e-book (OverDrive) | audiobook (OverDrive)

Finding Indigenous authors for children.

Finding Indigenous books for children has been made easier since 2006 when Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo) began her website, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL). Dr. Reese provides American Indian Children’s Literature Best Books Lists each year to help parents and teachers find great books for kids! Browse many of these titles in our catalog.

Additional lists of best Indigenous books for children can be found at:

Use your IndyPL Library card to login to Novelist Plus

On Novelist Plus you’ll find recommendations, read-alikes, series lists, reviews, and lists of award-winning books by Indigenous authors. Browse the Indigenous Lives category.

Here is a sample listing from Indigenous Lives to show a star rating and the option to “Check Availability” to see if it is available to borrow from IndyPL.

Indigenous Authors

Here are some of our favorite books to share with kids in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. You and your child can learn about the history of Thanksgiving and learn about Thanksgiving from an American Indian perspective. Additionally, you can read prayers and songs of gratitude from different religious and cultural traditions, learn to draw iconic Thanksgiving symbols, or laugh out loud at what Thanksgiving dinner might be like for monsters. Garlic is OK for a recipe ingredient, but not eyeballs! Laugh again when you find out what happens when someone (everyone!) forgets to bring their dish to Thanksgiving dinner! Enjoy Thanksgiving storytime online!

Watch the video read aloud below, Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano. Turkey is in trouble! It’s almost Thanksgiving… and he’s the main course! But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t LOOK like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many funny attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

Talk!

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

  • Why is this book called “Turkey Trouble”?
  • What do you think it would be like to be a turkey before Thanksgiving?
  • Why did Turkey keep changing his disguises?
  • Did Turkey stay out of trouble?
  • Keep your eyes peeled during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to see if you can spot a favorite book character! Some character balloons we have seen in the past are Curious George, Snoopy, Paddington Bear & Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Thanksgiving at any of our locations, or check out Thanksgiving 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 one of the book covers below to listen to more Thanksgiving video read aloud stories right now! It’s Thanksgiving 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 - Balloons Over Broadwaytitle - Don't Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Tabletitle - Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thankstitle - Turkey Trouble

Thanksgiving Books to Check Out With Your IndyPL Library Card

Consider supplementing your Thanksgiving reading with these great books recommended by AICL (American Indians in Children’s Literature).

Title - Bowwow PowwowTitle - Awâsis and the World-famous BannockTitle - First LaughTitle - Nimoshom and His Bus

Enjoy these favorite and new Thanksgiving picture books that cover the early history to turkey dinner to the gratitude of what it is to celebrate “plenty.” Also laugh out loud at some silly stories starring picture book friends – even vampires celebrate Fangsgiving!

Title - GrandmaTitle - Around the Table That Grandad BuiltTitle - KeepunumukTitle - Bad Kitty Does Not Like Thanksgiving

Sing!

Enjoy this song together about being thankful from Raffi. Thanks for the sun in the sky…thanks for the clouds so high!

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. Try Skiping. Can you gallop! Or do the turkey gobble with Elmo and Abby!

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: Reading Ready Time – The Little Farm
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:00am
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Children 3-6 are invited to a virtual Library visit! Join us from home to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people. Come with us to visit a farm in Broad Ripple.
  • 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.

Many American families gather for Thanksgiving, a day to share food, family memories, and gratitude for both. The arrival of early settlers and the colonization of North America is part of our shared history as Americans. It is important to learn and remember the full history of colonization and the reality that it included centuries of genocide, the theft of land, and oppression. As a result, Indigenous Peoples recognize Thanksgiving as a day of mourning. It is a time to remember ancestral history as well as a day to acknowledge and protest the racism and oppression which they continue to experience today. The following resources will help you learn more about Indigenous Peoples and Thanksgiving.

National Day of Mourning

Since 1970 there has been a gathering at the Plymouth rock historic site in Massachusetts on Thanksgiving Day to commemorate the National Day of Mourning. The United American Indians of New England will host the 54th Annual National Day of Mourning on November 23, 2023. Watch their website for livestreaming information on that day.

In this video from the National Museum of the American Indian, Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche) co-curator of the exhibit Americans, looks at why the Thanksgiving story is so important to the United States’ image of itself as a nation. Watch it to gain a better understanding of Indigenous Peoples and Thanksgiving.

Read books by Indigenous authors.

In our collection, two notable titles about Thanksgiving are, for adults, This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman, and for children1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki) and Catherine Grace O’Neill. (For more resources for kids see Talking to Kids About Thanksgiving.)

There have been a number of books published by Indigenous authors to share Indigenous perspective for both adults and children in a variety of topics. First Nations publishes a list of essential reading for anyone interested in learning about the Native American experience. To help you find these books in our collection, see our blog post Finding Books by Indigenous Authors.

Many of us here – as Native Americans, avid readers, activists for improving Native American economies and communities, and as direct participants in the Native American experience – believe that we are uniquely positioned to suggest this reading list,” said First Nations President & CEO Michael Roberts. “We attempted to include many facets of the Native American experience, as well as books and research reports that would be of interest to a broad variety of readers.

Take a deeper dive in our collection and online.

Learn about the people whose land you live on.

Native Land is an interesting interactive map. Enter your address and get an answer to “You are on the land of…” The map will tell you the name of the Indigenous People who once lived where you live. Besides curiosity, why would a person want to know this? The creators of the map hope to encourage discussion and increase awareness about Indigenous history and the diverse cultures of Native People. There is a teacher’s guide to go with the map which is also helpful.

Are you looking for ways to share with children the importance of family, community, and gratitude? Or trying to make sure talking to kids about Thanksgiving includes giving them an age appropriate introduction to history? A wonderful book to share is Keepunumuk Weeãachumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer (Mashpee Wampanoag) and Tony Perry (Chickasaw). Learn the story of Weeãachumun, who asked local Native Americans to show the newcomers how to grow food.

Watch this video to hear Alexis Bunten from the Bioneers Indigeneity Program share learning activities about sharing, valuing nature, and animal behavior. Alexis reads the story aloud, and then leads a discussion about talking to kids about Thanksgiving. A very helpful resource guide is available with all kinds of fun ideas to try at home.

You might also try If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving by Chris Newell (citizen of Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township). It comes highly recommended from American Indians in Children’s Literature, a site that provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books. Read their detailed review to find out why the book is so highly regarded, like this analysis “There are many sentences and passages in If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving that I wholeheartedly welcome. Here’s one from page 8: “The story of the Mayflower landing is different depending on whether the storyteller viewed the events from the boat or from the shore.”

Very young listeners might also enjoy Online Storytime: Thanksgiving to hear some of our favorite books to share in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Online Storytime will include experiences to talk, read, sing, write, and play. This makes fun stories and activities about Thanksgiving include important early learning skills!

Make a selection from one of these lists to enjoy a rich variety of stories to add to your annual Thanksgiving traditions.

Prayer Books for Kids – The Many Ways People Say “Thank You”

Here is a selection of prayers and stories for children to explore the prayer traditions in their own family or those of their friends and neighbors. After sharing one, talk about the ways the characters in the story prayed, or talked about the things they felt thankful for. How was it the same as how you talk about gratitude in your home? How was it different?

Title - A Family PrayerTitle - The Masjid Kamal LovesTitle - Salat in SecretTitle - A World of PraiseTitle - Standing in the Need of PrayerTitle - My Heart Fills With HappinessTitle - Sammy SpiderTitle - Thanku

Books by Indigenous Authors for Young Children

Learning about other cultures helps young children develop a better sense of themselves and the world around them. The books in this list are written by Indigenous authors, providing a look inside the traditions and values of their communities.

Title - First LaughTitle - Fry BreadTitle - We Are Water ProtectorsTitle - Bowwow PowwowTitle - KamikTitle - Zoe and the FawnTitle - You Hold Me upTitle - Thunder Boy Jr

Picture Books by Native Authors, Recommended by American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL)

Add to your Thanksgiving favorites with these great books recommended by American Indians in Children’s Literature.

Title - Bowwow PowwowTitle - Awâsis and the World-famous BannockTitle - First LaughTitle - Nimoshom and His BusTitle - ChickadeeTitle - KunuTitle - Whale SnowTitle - Fatty Legs

Looking for something fun to do or just the right book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night? Join us for some fall fun at The Library! Need a reading recommendation? Our staff is here to help!

Programs

Central Library
Saturday, November 18 from 12 – 4 p.m.

An afternoon for all members of the family! Interactive entertainment along with a poetry challenge for middle to high school students. This year’s dynamic speaker is actress and director, Kim Fields! Learn all the day’s details.

  • Captivating Carnivorous Plants for Kids
    Join 4-H to explore the mystery and wonder of carnivorous plants that eat insects and other small creatures. Through hands-on activities, learn what plants need to grow and how plants adapt to their environments. Take home your own decorated chia planter!

Halloween Storytime Online

Here are fun stories to help calm some typical Halloween fears….with laughing! You can listen to them right now. In Zombies Don’t Eat VeggiesMo is a zombie who loves to garden, growing his own vegetables. He likes to cook and eat them. Mo’s parents insist that he needs to eat better for his zombie health. He needs to eat things like “finger” foods…and they don’t mean snacks! They tell Mo, “zombies don’t eat veggies!” Mo IS a zombie and HE eats veggies. Listen along as Mo tries to convince his parents to give veggies a try. Enjoy Halloween storytime online! See more books that help turn Halloween fear into Halloween fun!

If You Like Horror

stacks of old books and a skull

If you are specifally looking for the extra terrifying, let us show you six easy ways to find your next horrifying read from horror award winners, to favorite authors, to a horror book newsletter delivered right to your inbox every month!

Looking for some mysterious or spooky fun? Try one of these book lists that feature favorite fall and Halloween reading genres, TV, and movies. Fall fun at The Library every day!

Fiction

  • AhOoooooh – Werewolves of Fiction – IndyPL_KaseyP

    Why do shapeshifters fascinate us so? Maybe it’s the transformational quality, or the idea that we’ve all got a little beast hidden inside of us. These stories of lycanthropy promise fear, fascination, and maybe a few howls at the moon!

  • Clowns: Scary or Not So Scary? – IndyPL_ChaseM

    Read through this list of clown related books and movies, to determine on a case-by-case basis if the clown or clowns are scary…or not so scary!

  • Crime-solving spooks – IndyPL_SarahS

    Sometimes, having been murdered is the best preparation for solving crimes. It’s a weirdly popular trope among cozy mysteries.

  • Deadly Games Movies & Books – IndyPL_RyanL

    Horror and thriller movies/books about deadly survival competitions and games that will leave you hearing the eerie phrase “Do you want to play a game?”

  • Dolls: Scary or Not So Scary? – IndyPL_ChaseM

    Pediophobia is the fear of dolls or inanimate objects that appear human, Examine these books and movies on a case-by-case basis to determine if dolls are scary…or not so scary!

  • Graphic Novels To Die For – IndyPL_ShainaS

    Within this spooky list, you’ll find some lesser known graphic novel gems spotlighted. But beware, their shadows are long and twisty. Muahaha!

  • The Little House Down the Lane – Haunted House Stories – IndyPL_KaseyP

    Be it a decrepit mansion, busted apartment complex, or secluded hotel, beware the building that looks back at you with hatred in its grubby windows! And never ever set foot inside…

  • Mysteries with a Paranormal Twist – IndyPL_MicheleP

    Things such as Tarot Cards, Angels, Psychics, Ghosts, Seances, Crystal Balls, and Talking Skeletons can be found in these mystery series. Throw off your disbelief for a short time and enjoy!

  • Sweet and Spooky Romances – IndyPL_RachelNW

    Celebrate the start of fall by reading these sweet and spooky paranormal romances. Read about werewolves, witches, ghosts, and vampires as they carve pumpkins and fall in love.

  • Witchy Mysteries – IndyPL_JessicaM

    Love mysteries and want to get in the mood for the spooky season? Enjoy these mysteries with witch protagonists and magical twists.

TV & Movies

  • A History of Horror Films – IndyPL_ChaseM

    October, more specifically the Halloween season, is a great time to celebrate horror movies and what scares us. This list explores how the definition of what scares us has changed and how culture and society influenced it.

  • If You Like Camp Upside-Down: If you like Stranger Things – IndyPL_KaseyP

    If you love this nostalgic horror phenomenon from Netflix, you know it makes 80s pop culture references galore! Here are some of the gems referencee, as well as Hawkins, IN adjacent goodies for all seasons.

  • If You Like Shaun of the Dead – IndyPL_KaseyP

    Horror Comedies can be done well. (Fair warning: Almost all of these carry an R-Rating. Please giggle responsibly.)

  • Octoberween // Books & Movies to Die For Part 2: The Spookening – IndyPL_ShainaS

    20 beloved favorites! OoooOoooooooo OOOOOOOoooooooooo

  • Terrifying Horror Films – IndyPL_JessicaL

    Beware, these films are not for the faint of heart. Perfect for having a fright night anytime of the year.

  • Zombie Comedy Films – IndyPL_TimothyV

    Some of these movies are classic. Others are classically bad. Either way, zombies can make us laugh even as they terrify us.

Extras

  • Halloween Cooking Fun – IndyPL_KathyH

    Whether you’re having a Halloween party or just want some fun treats to make for your friends or family, check out these fun Halloween cookbooks.

  • Halloween – It’s Not Just for Kids! – IndyPL_KathyH

    "There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch." Robert Brault #IndyPLAdults

  • Mr. & Mrs. Shelley: The Original Goth Couple – IndyPL_DanA

    When Percy was killed in a boating accident, Mary kept his petrified heart on her person and in her desk until the day she died. Learn more!

  • Spooky Scores – IndyPL_MarianneK

    Tingle your spine while tinkling the ivories with these classic chillers.

For Kids & Teens

  • Fall Into Autumn with These Wonderful Books – IndyPL_ShannonO

    Fall is here! Time to get into the spirit with some autumn-themed picture books! These are great titles for story times, displays, and more!

  • Spooky Graphic Novels for Kids – IndyPL_RyanL

    A small sampling of some spooky and fun graphic novels for kids. Just in time for Halloween.

  • Octoberween // Picture Books – IndyPL_ShainaS

    Here’s a third batch of creepy cute Halloween-y picture books to warm your chilly autumn nights!

  • Bats! Bats! Bats! – IndyPL_BarbaraOL

    Kids are fascinated by bats. This list includes some nonfiction books as well as imaginative picture books with tender and sometimes humorous stories to help young nature lovers explore the lives of these mysterious nocturnal creatures.

  • Books to Turn Halloween Fear into Halloween Fun! – IndyPL_Recommends_Kids

    Many small children don’t find Halloween fun at all! The masks, the jumping out surprises and all the ghosts, vampires & scary looking pumpkins can be too many surprises for little trick-or-treaters. Here are several stories that can help kids turn their Halloween fears into Halloween fun!

  • Dare I Say, This List Is Spoopy*? – IndyPL_ShainaS

    Collected in this monstrous list are a few picture books that I love, all featuring creepy-cute creatures and spooky shenanigans. The term “spoopy” means something that is cute/comical and spooky, rather than typically scary spooky.

  • If You Like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – IndyPL_CarrieS

    These books offer the same kind of suspense and thrills. This is a list of middle grade books for future Stephen King fans. If you get a thrill out of wondering what lurks in the closet after dark… These stories are for you!

  • Monsters Aren’t Scary – IndyPL_JessicaNS

    Not all monster books are scary! If your little one is afraid of monsters, these are some good choices to help with their fears. They’ll be laughing at monsters in no time.

  • Spooky Graphic Novels – IndyPL_ShannonO

    Get into the Halloween spirit with one of these spooky graphic novels!

  • Wholesome Halloween – IndyPL_JessicaL

    Enjoy the fun of Halloween with this family-friendly collection of videos!

  • Witchy Reads for Halloween – IndyPL_ShannonO

    Get into the Halloween season with these witch-themed books and graphic novels for kids and teens.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, browse Veterans Day reading recommendations from a variety of sources. A wide ranging number of books written by scholars, historians, and observers about wars, military strategy, and the experiences of both active duty and veteran service members are classic, best-selling, and highly awarded. Journalists embed with troops and report from all aspects of war from the military command to troop units on the ground.

Sometimes the authors of the recommended books listed are people outside military service, but more often the authors are fellow service members. What these titles share is the distinction of being recommended by service members. These are the titles they suggest to each other, as well as to those of who have not served.

By choosing one of the following lists of recommendations you can explore title choices thoroughly and read in-depth reviews written by service members. A selection of these recommendations are listed below linked to the catalog for easy check out.

Veterans Day Reading Recommendations

Are you a veteran? Do you have a story to share?

The Library of Congress invites you to participate in the Veterans History Project. The Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Sharing Veteran’s Day with Children

Photo Soldier Dad Reading to Child

Veterans Day is an opportune time to share what military service is with young children. Check out a book from Stories for Kids about Active Duty Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families for picture book and early reading tributes that illuminate the experiences of active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families. Titles range from community observances like Veteran’s Day to traditions celebrated in families to honor their own active duty or Veteran service members to the experiences of children whose parents serve.

Take at look at these recommended titles selected by the Military Times and the National Medal of Honor Museum. Each has selected books both old and new, fiction and non-fiction that cover history, memoir, women in combat, racism, rules of war, and more. What better way to honor a service member than to read their story, in their own words.

Title - Blaze of LightTitle - Summoned at MidnightTitle - War FlowerTitle - Race of AcesTitle - Beyond the CallTitle - You Are Worth ItTitle - The Warrior CodeTitle - Red PlatoonTitle - Black Hawk DownTitle - The New Rules of WarTitle - Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or DieTitle - Code Name: Lise

Here are fun stories to help calm some typical Halloween fears….with laughing! You can listen to them right now. In Zombies Don’t Eat VeggiesMo is a zombie who loves to garden, growing his own vegetables. He also likes to cook and eat them. Mo’s parents insist that he needs to eat better for his zombie health. He needs to eat things like “finger” foods…and they don’t mean snacks! They tell Mo, “zombies don’t eat veggies!” but Mo IS a zombie and HE eats veggies. Listen along as Mo tries to convince his parents to give veggies a try. Enjoy Halloween storytime online!

Talk!

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

  • What was Mo’s deepest, darkest secret?
  • What are some of the things Mo did NOT want to eat?
  • When Mo’s mom and dad tried his soup, what did they think of it?
  • What is the name of the dance Mo did?
  • What kinds of vegetables do you like?
  • Have you every tried something new that you thought you wouldn’t like…but discovered it was delicious?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about the Halloween at any of our locations, or check out Halloween 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 Halloween video read aloud stories right now! Keep the laughs coming by listening to Goodnight Goon, a parody of the childhood classic Goodnight Moon in which a child says goodnight to all of the things in his bedroom. In this Halloween version, a young monster says goodnight to all the things in his tomb…hairy claws and jaws and a pot full of goo and a werewolf hollering, “boo!” It’s Halloween 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 - The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Treetitle - Georgietitle - Goodnight Goontitle - Blank Entrytitle - Hey, That's My Monster!title - How to Make Friends With A Ghosttitle - I Need My Monstertitle - Vlad the Radtitle - Zombies Don't Eat Veggiestitle - Blank Entrytitle - Blank Entry

Join Ms. Linda from Brightly Storytime and six different authors for video storytime to celebrate spooky season! Download a printable activities pack.

Books to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card to Turn Halloween Fear into Halloween Fun!

List Cover Images - Books to Turn Halloween Fear into Halloween Fun!Many small children don’t find Halloween fun at all! The masks, the jumping out surprises and all the ghosts, vampires & scary looking pumpkins can be too many surprises for little trick-or-treaters. Here are several stories that can help kids manage their Halloween fears. If Arthur & Scaredy Squirrel can do it, so can your child!

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 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!

Try these outdoor games to play on Halloween from the National Wildlife Federation or these active Halloween games to play from Playworks. For fun in the kitchen try Babymouse’s Monstrous Monster Mash printable cupcakes recipe or these Magic Treehouse printable Halloween recipes.

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: Reading Ready Time – The Little Farm
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, April 17, 10:00am
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Children 3-6 are invited to a virtual Library visit! Join us from home to sing along, listen to a story, see new places, and meet amazing people. Come with us to visit a farm in Broad Ripple.
  • 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.

Through 150 years of service The Indianapolis Public Library has continued to grow and evolve because of the dedication, patronage, and devotion of its communities.

The Beginning

In 1870 Abram Shortridge, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, called together a group of leading citizens to draft legislation that would establish a Board of School Commissioners to govern the public schools and a public library. The Indiana General Assembly adopted that legislation in 1871. The Indianapolis Public Library opened its doors for the first time in April of 1873 at the Indianapolis High School. For the next twenty years The Library would have five Head Librarians and three different locations. In 1893 a City Library building was finally built to be its home.

Establishing Service

Head Librarian, Eliza Gordon Browning, led many significant changes during her time as Librarian. The most significant change being the opening of branch libraries. The first five branch libraries were established between 1896 and 1897. Because The Library was governed by the School Board, one of the primary responsibilities of The Library was to provide library services to the schools. During the 1890s Browning established small collections at each school. At City Library she saw the children’s collections separated into their own spaces, story hours established, and a section for school reference created. In 1907 she opened the stacks and card catalog to the public. By 1909 she had forged a connection with Andrew Carnegie which resulted in five new “Carnegie Library” branch buildings.

By the early 1900s The Library outgrew the City Library. The Board began making plans for a new Central Library by purchasing land. In 1911, after a land donation from James Whitcomb Riley, the plans for a Central Library were set into motion. Architect, Paul Cret, penciled designs for the new library from the trenches in France in 1914 during WWI. The new building opened in 1917 with a new Librarian, Charles Rush.

Finding Purpose

The Library underwent several fundamental changes in the 1920s including reorganization into departments, conversion to the Dewey Decimal System, and a promotional push to increase the use of The Library and its services. Cerene Ohr, Supervisor of Branches, made it a goal to have the circulation of adult materials be at least equal to that of children’s materials, strengthening The Library’s identity as more than just an extension of the Schools. In 1928 the new Librarian, Luther Dickerson, made his own mark on The Library and its services by promoting The library as an agent of social services and as more than just books. These attitudes led The Library to circulate more variety of materials, increase programming, and pursue efforts to establish The Library as part of the life of the community.

Growing Pains

In a post-war era, large population growth and expansion of the city created pressure to extend services that The Library could not staff. By 1945, when Marion McFadden became Library Director, The Library was ranked second in per capita circulation among cities of populations exceeding 200,000. To extend services The Library began Bookmobile services in 1952. In McFadden’s final report to the Board she emphasized that “for The library to truly serve its changing communities it will need to separate from the IPS School System”. This belief was grasped and forwarded by Harold Sander when he began his administration in 1957.

Building a New Identity

The rapid growth and annexation of Indianapolis in the 1960s was reflected in the growth and extension of The Library. The 1960s saw eight new branches established – more than any decade before or since. A Marion County Public Library (MCPL) was established in 1966 and the MCPL Board contracted with The Library to provide library services to county residents. In 1968 the Library officially separated from IPS and merged with the county library to form The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL). At that time the responsibility of providing library services in schools fell to each individual school.

After separating from IPS, The Library continued to provide some services to both public and private schools, but the separation significantly impacted how and what The Library could offer. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s and the creation of the Shared System that a working relationship between The Library and Indianapolis schools allowed The Library to formally meet the library needs of schools. In 1972 Raymond Gnat was appointed Director and at his direction The Library increased operating hours across the system by 135.5 per week, with 112.5 of those at the branches. During Gnat’s administration, from 1972 through 1990, system-wide circulation doubled.

Technology Leads the Way

In the 1980s and 1990s The Library and its services underwent a major evolution in large part due to new technologies and formats. Card catalogs were removed and replaced in the early 1980s by Online Public Access Catalog terminals. In 1996 The Library implemented a public internet access plan by installing public internet computers at each library location, which for the first time also allowed the public to access online databases. Changes to collection practices led to the increased circulation of DVDs and when combined with increased public internet usage libraries began to include more space for computers and entertainment media. The early 2000s kicked off a digital era for The Library which began to provide more digital resources starting with online archives, and downloadable audiobooks and ebooks.

A New Name for a New Era

The 2010s brought another significant change to the identity of The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) when it was rebranded as The Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL). Use of downloadable resources continued to rise and The Library began offering additional downloadable materials such as music, magazines, and video streaming services. With the addition of the Center for Black Literature and Culture, the Chris Gonzalez LGBTQ Collection, world language collections, and other specialized collections The Library continues to provide collections reflective of our diverse communities. In 2020 The Library continued to provide needed services through the COVID-19 pandemic with online access to digital materials and virtual programming. Since 2020 The Library has opened two new branches and has joined hundreds of other libraries across the country by no longer charging late fines.

Thank you, Indianapolis, for your love and support of The Library.

Learn more!

For more history about The Indianapolis Public Library check out these resources:

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