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

July 3
Quick Reads Collection
(Deb Lambert)


2024

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

February 14
Meet The Artists
(Jaquelyn Green)

January 17
Book Clubs
(Kris Gould, Keshia McEntire)

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

Indy Now Book Club Archive

2023

December 20
Graphic Novels and Arts Programs (Kelsey Abernathy)

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

November 8
Fall Fest (Jacquelyn Green)

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

September 27
Indy Cinema Series (Jason Davis)

August 30
Small Business Series (Alexandra Loewen)

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

August 2
Disability Representation (Keshia McEntire)

July 5
Foraging Outside (Anika Williams)

June 21
More Than a Place Podcast (Sakura Fuqua)

June 7
Summer Reading Program (Emily Thomas)

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

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

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

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

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

February 1
Meet the Artists (Kimberly Brown)

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

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

2022

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

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

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

October 20

Book Recommendations (Rachel Wood)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find a book discussion near you!

  • Event: One State / One Story: “All That She Carried” by Tiya Miles
  • Date & Time: Monday, July 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Online
  • Description: Explore a poignant story of resilience and of love passed down through generations of women against steep odds. “All That She Carried” honors the creativity and fierce resourcefulness of people who preserved family ties even when official systems refused to do so.
  • Register Here
  • Event: One State / One Story: “All That She Carried” by Tiya Miles
  • Date & Time: Monday, July 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: Explore a poignant story of resilience and of love passed down through generations of women against steep odds. “All That She Carried” honors the creativity and fierce resourcefulness of people who preserved family ties even when official systems refused to do so.
  • No Registration Required.

In Mommy’s Khimar, a young girl’s mother has a closet full of beautiful flowing scarves called khimars. A khimar is a veil or scarf worn in public by some Muslim women. The little girl in the story likes to play dress-up with her mom’s beautiful khimars. While dressed in them she uses her imagination to be a queen, a superhero, and her mom! She feels her mother’s love in each scarf as it covers her. You can listen to this story below read aloud by the author, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. Enjoy Mother’s Day storytime online!

Talk!

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

  • If you look at the page that shows mommy’s closet full of khimars, which one is your favorite?
  • Which khimar is the little girl’s favorite?
  • Do you like to play pretend? What kinds of things do you like to pretend to be?

Read!

Below are several more stories about amazing mothers. Each is a video read aloud, just click on a book cover to hear more Mother’s Day storytime online!

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

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

title - Are You My Mother?title - Heather Has Two Mommiestitle - I've Loved You Since Forevertitle - Just Me and My Momtitle - Llama Llama Misses Mamatitle - Make Way for Ducklingstitle - Mama's Bellytitle - Mommy's Khimartitle - Owl Babiestitle - Soccer With Momtitle - Stelalunatitle - Welcome to the Partytitle - You're All My Favoritestitle - Blank Entrytitle - Blank Entry

Books for Kids that Celebrate Amazing Mamas to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - Books for Kids that Celebrate Amazing MamasFrom poignant to laugh-out-loud these picture book tributes to all kind of moms leave no doubt as to the true definition of unconditional love – mamas themselves. Perfect stories for Mother’s Day and every day.

Sing!

Enjoy this sing along from The Laurie Berkner Band. “Everyone knows there’s nothing quite like a hug from their mom. In this sweet and cheery tune, Laurie Berkner lets kids in on the secret that for all the mothers, mamas, mommies, and moms out there, there’s nothing quite like a hug from their children, either!”

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.

Try the Are You My Mother? online memory match game. Try it set to easy, medium, or hard. Find more fun activities and home made gift ideas on the IndyPL Pinterest Board full of Mother’s Day Ideas.

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

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

Need Help?

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

The Library’s Fall 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.


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.


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.


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, September 21 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Register for Fearless Asking: How to Build an Individual Giving Program


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.


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.


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, Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at Black Onyx Management


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.


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.

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

Pick up a pair of eclipse glasses.

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

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

Attend a program.

Learn about solar eclipses and how to watch them.

Share the experience with kids.

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

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

NASA for Kids: What is an Eclipse?

The Planetary Society: Sharing an Eclipse with Kids

Reading Recommendations for Adults

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

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

Total Eclipse and Sky Gazing For Kids

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

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

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

Talk!

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

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

Read!

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

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

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

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

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

Sing!

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

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

Write!

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

Play!

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

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

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

Need Help?

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

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

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

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

Links to printable tax forms online or by phone:

Tax preparation help:

  • File Federal Taxes Free Online (if income under $79,000)
  • United Way provides MyFreeTaxes.com in partnership with the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help filers prepare their tax returns on their own or have their return prepared for them for free. You can also call MyFreeTaxes at 866-698-9435 Jan. 24 – Oct. 31.

FAQ Filing Taxes

How do I print documents at The Library?

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

Can I get free help filing my taxes?

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

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

Where can I find IRA Information?

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

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

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

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

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

Black History Month

Portrait Carter G. Woodson
Carter G. Woodson

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

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

President Barack Obama, 2016

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

Attend a Black history program at The Library.

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

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

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

Center for Black Literature & Culture

Share Black history with kids.

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

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

Read Black authors.

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

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


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

Ruby Bridges

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

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

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

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

Ruby Bridges visits with the President and her portrait

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

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

Black History Timeline

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

1954

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

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

1954

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

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

1955-1956

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

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

1957

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

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

1960

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

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

1960

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

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

1961

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

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

1963

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

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

1963

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

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

1963

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

title - Birmingham, 1963title - Birmingham Sunday

1964

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

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

1965

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

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

1968

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

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

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

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

Digital Indy Archive

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

Encyclopedia of Indianapolis

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

Local Black History – Indiana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WRTV
Black History in Indiana

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

Local Black History – Indianapolis

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

Hoosier State Chronicles
Digitized African American Newspapers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conversation Guide

Reading Lists & Book Discussion Guides

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

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

Finding Your Voice: Speaking Truth to Power

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

Recommendations from IndyPL Staff

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

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

More Resources for Talking About Race:

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

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

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

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

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

Talk!

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

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

Read!

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

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

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

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

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

Sing!

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

Write!

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

Play!

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

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

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

Need Help?

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

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.

calendar graphic

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, July 18, 10:30am
  • Location: Garfield Park 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: Summer STEM + More
  • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 1:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Come join the Learning Curve for summer fun! Children, families, and groups are welcome to check out some of our technology, games, and activities or do a cool summertime craft! Children under 12 should be accompanied.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Introduction to Microsoft Word
  • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 2:00pm
  • Location: Warren Branch
  • Description: Learn how to create documents with Microsoft Word Online, the free online version of Word. Join us for a three-part introduction to Word Online. This series will demonstrate all skills using Word in Chrome Web Browser on a Windows 10 computer.
  • Register Here

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: Build It!
  • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 10:30am
  • Location: West Perry Branch
  • Description: Let’s get building! Participants learn basic woodworking skills – how to measure, mark, and use tools safely. Each participant starts with raw materials and leaves with a sense of accomplishment, pride, and a functional finished project! Closed toe shoes are recommended.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Build It!
  • Date & Time: Thursday, July 18, 2:00pm
  • Location: East 38th Street Branch
  • Description: Let’s get building! Participants learn basic woodworking skills – how to measure, mark, and use tools safely. Each participant starts with raw materials and leaves with a sense of accomplishment, pride, and a functional finished project! Closed toe shoes are recommended.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Adult Coloring at Beech Grove
  • Date & Time: Saturday, July 20, 11:00am
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: Adults are invited to experience the latest trend in relaxation and fun: coloring! Enjoy socializing with others while coloring on pages designed for adults. Coloring supplies are provided or bring your own.
  • No Registration Required.

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 Workstation

Looking to edit photos, video, audio, or make a new graphic design? A Digital Creativity Workstation is available for reservation at East 38th Street.

On this workstation 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 workstation has 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: Saturday, July 20, 1:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • 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: Adobe Photoshop Basics
  • Date & Time: Saturday, July 27, 1:00pm
  • 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, July 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: Cricut Design Space for Beginners
  • Date & Time: Saturday, August 03, 2:00pm
  • Location: West Indianapolis 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: Cricut Design Space for Beginners
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, August 07, 12:00pm
  • Location: Southport 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, August 19, 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, September 16, 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 - Easy Cricut CraftsTitle - Cricut Made Easy With Sweet Red PoppyTitle - The Complete Cricut Machine HandbookTitle - The Unofficial Book of Christmas Cricut Crafts

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: Opening Reception: 4th Annual Women of Color Art Exhibit
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, September 10, 5:00pm
  • Location: Central Library
  • Description: Join us for the opening reception for the 4nd Annual Women of Color Art Exhibit at Central Library in the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC). The exhibit is available for viewing at Central Library September 3 – October 6, 2024.
  • 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!