This photo from the Library of Congress shows the delivery of two turkeys to President Herbert Hoover in 1929. According to White House History, the tradition of sending a Thanksgiving turkey to US Presidents goes back many years. John F. Kennedy was the first President to pardon a turkey. A pardon means showing leniency, in other words, he didn’t eat it! Pardoning the turkey eventually became an annual event for United States Presidents. You might wonder what happened to all those pardoned turkeys? I found out they have gone to several different places including George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Disney World!

There have been many United States Presidents, more than 40, so there are a lot of oddball traditions and just plain funny stories about their quirky habits. There are even more stories about their pet projects and special accomplishments. Check out some of these books to find out behind-the-scenes stories that probably won’t make it on your social studies test!

Would you like to learn about how presidents get elected? Take a look at Elections for Kids to see books, databases, websites, and artifacts that will help learn more or do research to answer homework questions about elections.

You can start by looking at this voting machine that is an Artifact from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. It was used by voters in Indianapolis from the 1930s through the 1980 election. Look at more elections artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Collection.

Websites, Activities & Printables:

NoveList K-8: Stories about Elections is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home to learn about elections for kids. Login using your library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read about elections. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.

Unique Stories About U.S. Presidents

Unique often equals funny! All the astonishing accomplishments and silly details fit to print about which President sang with his pet parrot, which one took dancing lessons, which one got a speeding ticket on a horse, and which one ran down Pennsylvania Avenue (the street in front of the White House) chasing after a goat! Hint: the goat one is the President from Indiana!

Title - Teddy Roosevelt Was A Moose?Title - Abe LincolnTitle - JoeyTitle - Dancing HandsTitle - Hard Work, but ItTitle - Lincoln Clears A PathTitle - Close CallsTitle - TeddyTitle - Hanging Off JeffersonTitle - Who Named Their Pony Macaroni?Title - President Taft Is Stuck in the BathTitle - The President Sang Amazing Grace

Imagine Your Story! Close your eyes and picture yourself crawling through caves, climbing ocean cliffs, making the game winning basket, winning a singing competition, or outsmarting a fire breathing dragon! Stories can take you places you have never been to do amazing things. Sometimes the places have never really existed, like Hogwarts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have wonderful adventures there! For an afternoon of fun, try these imagination activities.

Listen to a Story

Dragons are a favorite character in many imaginary stories. They can be fierce, or funny, or loyal companions. Here are five favorite dragon stories you can read or listen to online as well as two more about magical, enchanting places and the adventures that happen there. Click on a book cover to read or listen to the story.

title - My Father's Dragontitle - The Dragon Machinetitle - When A Dragon Moves intitle - There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed A Knighttitle - How to Train your Dragon

My Father’s Dragon is the story of a boy who runs away from home to rescue a baby dragon. He can talk to animals, he travels to an exotic island, he battles alligators, and he hopes to take home a baby dragon! You can read My Father’s Dragon as an e-book or follow along below as it is read aloud.

Here are three more award winners about fantastical adventures in imaginary places. The Graveyard Book is about a boy raised in a graveyard by the ghosts who live there! Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is the story of a donkey who makes an unintentional wish, turning himself into a pebble. And Where the Wild Things Are is the story of a boy who takes a magical journey, all while stuck in his room after being sent there for being a wild thing! Click on a book cover to read or listen to the story.

title - The Graveyard Booktitle - Sylvester and the Magic Pebbletitle - Where the Wild Things Are

Imagination Activities

Try one of these online or printable activities at home to learn more about dragons. Imagine having a dragon for a friend. What kind of adventures would you have together? Imagine your own dragon story and then draw pictures to go with it!

Embrace Imagination and Curiosity

Here are some favorite books for imaginative and curious minds. These books invite us to look past our everyday lives, to ask questions about the world around us, and to open our minds to the fanstastical!

Title - The Midnight FairTitle - I WonderTitle - LiftTitle - The Year We Learned to Fly

Need 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.

We think outside the box and outside Library walls. The Library promotes the joy and power of sharing books by providing access to books and resources outside our buildings and electronically, 24/7.

“Monument” Art Installation and Book Share Station at Central Library

“Monument,” an art installation and book share station originally located at Monument Circle, is now located outside Central Library. “Monument” was created by Brian McCutcheon for The Public Collection, a public art and literacy project developed by Rachel M. Simon with support from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation. It was installed on Monument Circle between August 2015 and September 2019.

The art exhibit doubles as a book share station. The books are free and available to everyone. Borrow and return books supplied and stocked by The Library at your leisure. No library card is required.

Quote across the top, “A public library is the most enduring of memorials: the trustiest monument of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.” ~Mark Twain, 1894
The reinstallation was made possible by the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Buckingham Foundation, and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Ruckle Street Pocket Park Storywalk®

In partnership with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation, the InfoZone branch placed a StoryWalk® in the Ruckle Street Pocket Park as a unique way to encourage families to read and exercise together. Laminated story pages are available at various points along the path, following the natural progression of the story. Learn more about how to take a walk, and read a story as you go!

Download & Stream

Take us with you anytime, anywhere with millions of e-books, movies, music, and more to choose from! Download & stream instantly for free with your Library card!

Learn on Demand

Did you know the Library offers free on-demand video streaming classes and learning modules? Add a new skill, polish a skill that needs an update, or just try something for fun! Learn at your own pace. All you need is a Library card! If you have not explored these fantastic learning opportunities yet, get started right here! Don’t have a Library card yet? Find out how to get one here.

Research Databases

Do homework, research your project or hobbies, take an online class, or learn a language with our Research databases anytime, anywhere with your Library card!

It has always been true that the passing of information can go wrong, like the game “telephone,” in which a piece of information distorts the more times it passes from one person to the next. But sometimes information is false to begin with, or is purposely distorted to mislead an audience. Rising social and political upheaval make the importance of finding accurate news information with thorough, and timely information more vital than ever – in some cases, it can be literally life or death.

Since the rise of social media and the ease with which messages, photos, and videos can spread, it is more crucial than ever to develop skills for finding accurate information as well as spotting inaccurate information. There are some simple tools available to help you give what you see and hear an accuracy check. These skills are for all information consuming people from kids to adults. You can begin honing your information skills in three easy steps.

3 Steps to Improve Information Literacy Skills

1. Learn the Vocabulary

News stories and social media posts can fall in different places on a scale from “true but misleading” to” completely false.” Inaccuracies can be honest mistakes or deliberate attempts to spread false information. It is good to know the words that describe these differences. Knowing them helps us name the problem we see when we read something that doesn’t quite add up.

Some news stories are purposely written to mislead:

  • fake news: news stories that are untrue and never happened
  • disinformation: false information that is purposely made up and spread to hide the truth or spread a lie to make it seem like the truth
  • ommission: purposely misleading by leaving out important details

Some news stories mistakenly report false information:

  • misinformation: inaccurate information that is mistakenly reported and spread due to an error or mistake; there was no intention to mislead the audience
  • correction or retraction: when a news source admits an error and publishes an admission of that error, or a correction, if they have learned more accurate information

This video from’s Fake News Learning Hub is a great introduction to the concept of fake news.

2. Learn How to Spot Bad Information

Now that you know the different types of information mis-steps from honest mistakes to deceptions, now it’s time to learn how to tell the difference as you read and hear news stories. This infographic from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is a great checklist of 8 things to consider when deciding if a piece of information is reliable.

You can use this checklist to analyze a news story, facebook post, or youtube video yourself. Another way to verify a news story is to enter a search in one of these sites that specialize in tracking down source information to identify fake news, misinformation, and bias for information consumers. Each one specializes in certain types of information or information channels.

  • A reference source for researching urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.
  • A website that specializes in fact-checking journalism.
  • Get information about eRumors, fake news, disinformation, warnings, offers, requests for help, myths, hoaxes, virus warnings, and humorous or inspirational stories circulated by email.

3. Learn About Your Own Go-to News Sources

Another very helpful resource is the Interactive Media Bias Chart. You can look up most major newspapers, magazines, or television news channels and see how each rate for both bias and accuracy. You can also look up particular stories to see how individual stories rate.

The chart also helps you see how these news channels compare to each other. Really good advice is to get your news from a variety of sources. In order to get a well rounded understanding from more than one point of view, a good rule of thumb is to pick news sources that don’t sit right next to each other on the chart.

Finding Accurate Information – Dig a Little Deeper

The articles listed below are from libraries, universities, and other organizations who have published in-depth discussions about the challenges associated with being an informed listener and reader.

  • Center for Media Literacy (CML) works to help people develop critical thinking for the 21st century media culture. Their goal is to empower wise information choices.
  • Media Literacy Now An organization that wants to ensure all K-12 students receive media literacy education and skills.
  • National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) A non-profit organization dedicated to advancing media literacy education.
  • The News Literacy Project (NLP) Provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.
  • The Poynter Institute Promotes honest information in the marketplace of ideas.

To level up your skills finding accurate news sources even more read one of these more comprehensive guides and handbooks:

International Center for Journalists: A Short Guide to the History of ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation. (Also Available in Spanish or Czech.)

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization): Journalism, ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalism Education and Training (This handbooks is available in English full color or print friendlySpanishFrenchArabic, and many more. Just scroll down on the page to see the full list of languages.)

January is Data Privacy Month, an international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust. We invite you to several library events that will help you learn how to secure your own data.

See our full listing of computer and technology classes. Looking to improve more of your technology skills? A good place to start is improving keyboarding skills.

Keep It Private – Data Privacy

Everything you do online generates data. Discover how your data is used and steps you can take to control how it is shared and used. Gain an understanding of the privacy/convenience tradeoff around online data, how to manage your privacy online, and steps you can take to protect your online data.

Title - Beyond DataTitle - Algorithmic Rights and Protections for ChildrenTitle - The Fight for PrivacyTitle - 200+ Ways to Protect your PrivacyTitle - "I Have Nothing to Hide"Title - PrivacyTitle - Privacy, Data Harvesting, and YouTitle - Privacy Is Power

Join author Virginia Loh-Hagan as she reads aloud from her book PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year, a story about the traditional customs of the month-long celebration of Lunar New Year. It’s Chinese New Year storytime online!


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

  • Who is PoPo?
  • Where did PoPo travel from to come celebrate Chinese New Year?
  • What does PoPo say happens if you wash your hair on New Year’s Day?
  • Would you eat your noodles broken, or whole?
  • What two colors did Po Po use in the directions they made?


Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Chinese New Year at any of our locations, or check out Chinese New Year 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 a book cover below to enjoy four more video read alouds featuring stories by Grace LinDemiJi-li Jiang, and Virginia Loh-Hagan. It’s Chinese New Year storytime online, and more! 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 Empty Pottitle - Ling & Tingtitle - Ling & Tingtitle - Lotus & Feathertitle - PoPo's Lucky Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Books to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - Lunar New Year Books for KidsCelebrate Chinese New Year and learn about Chinese culture! Stories about the Zodiac animals, family traditions and the foods that surround the holiday.


Tasty dishes, good luck wishes, Happy Lunar New Year! Join Sesame Street at the Lunar New Year parade and sing along to this exciting Happy Lunar New Year song!


Here are some craft and pretend play ideas to enjoy during your Chinese New Year celebration.

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 books, databases, websites and artifacts on this page will help you do research and answer homework questions about elections. Explore Unique Stories of the U.S. Presidents as well as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Election Artifacts Collection.

Websites, Activities & Printables

Novelist K-8 Logo

NoveList K-8: Stories about Elections is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read about elections. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.

e-Books & Audiobooks

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

Need 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.

Elections and Voting – It’s a Big Deal!

Choose a book or two from this list to learn about the United States election process, who can vote, and the history of how each has developed over the last 200+ years. Find out the answers to some puzzling FAQs: What’s a ballot? What is a poll? What does suffrage mean? Why couldn’t Black people vote? Why couldn’t women vote? You can read a general history or focus on one issue, event, or person who made a difference. #indyplkids

Title - Black Voter SuppressionTitle - ElectionsTitle - The Voice That Won the VoteTitle - Stolen JusticeTitle - Give Us the Vote!Title - The KidsTitle - The WomanTitle - How Elections WorkTitle - One Person, No Vote : How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally, Ya EditionTitle - VotingTitle - WhatTitle - Fight of the Century

Recent events have produced frighteningly familiar fear and unrest due to a barrage of racist attacks on Black people around the country. We take a stand against the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dreasjon Reed and the many other Black lives that have been lost in our country.

As a public service institution, we owe it to our community to be introspective and address inequities that exist within our organization. Additionally, we are committed to using our position to help those seeking knowledge on these subjects to find understanding.

The Indianapolis Public Library has joined 163 (as of 6/2/2020) other public libraries across North America and signed on to the Urban Libraries Council Statement on Race and Social Equity.

Urban Libraries Council Statement on Race and Social Equity

As leaders of North America’s public libraries, we are committed to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. Our libraries can help achieve true and sustained equity through an intentional, systemic, and transformative library-community partnership. Our library systems are working to achieve equity in the communities we serve by:

  • Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies, and practices
  • Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion, and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
  • Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
  • Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
  • Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities

Libraries are trusted, venerable, and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in the movement for racial and social equity.

– Urban Libraries Council (ULC) Statement on Race and Social Equity

Our Commitment to Racial Equity

As part of our commitment to the spirit and intent of this statement, we want to share some additional actions we have recently taken and are committed to undertake in the near future:

  • Evaluating through an equity lens partnerships and community engagement, staff development, hiring practices, programs, collections, services, messaging, and organizational policies and procedures.
  • Working to execute the full recommendations of findings from the City of Indianapolis Disparity Study and implementing policies with our Board of Trustees as a result.
  • Offering racial equity and implicit bias training opportunities to staff.
  • Suspending the accrual of all fines and fees until further notice.

We recognize that we are in the beginning stages of addressing racial equity both within our organization and within our community. We acknowledge the work we must undertake to do more and to do better. We will work alongside our community to foster understanding and communication about systemic racism and white privilege and the deep impact they have had on all of us.

The Library’s mission is to enrich lives and build communities through lifelong learning. We achieve this through sharing, curating, and fostering environments for our community to absorb and utilize information.

We are compiling a list of books, websites, and resources to help the community process recent events, talk to children, and begin conversations whose goals are the actions that result in change and healing. We will continue to add resources in the coming days and weeks.

Booklists and Resources

To Learn More:

For Sharing with Children and Teens:

  • Resource: We Need Diverse Books “Imagine a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.” We Need Diverse Books is an organization that promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
  • Resource: We Stories We Stories engages White families to change the conversation about and build momentum towards racial equity in St. Louis.
  • Resource: EmbraceRace Resources to help raise a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race.

Beginning or reluctant readers ages 6 – 11 are often invited to read aloud to a registered therapy dog in our libraries – a dog who loves to listen to stories! Children register to read for a 15 minute paws to read session. Reading to a dog is a great way to improve a child’s reading skills and self-confidence. Children may read from any book they choose.

  • Event: Paws to Read at Spades Park
  • Date & Time: Saturday, July 20, 10:30am
  • Location: Spades Park Branch
  • Description: School-aged children who are beginning or reluctant readers are invited to read to Winston, a registered therapy dog, who loves to listen to stories. Sign up for a 15 minutes session in a non-judgmental setting. It’s a great way to improve a child’s reading skills and self-confidence!
  • Register Here
  • Event: Paws to Read at Fort Ben
  • Date & Time: Saturday, July 20, 11:00am
  • Location: Fort Ben Branch
  • Description: Children who are reluctant readers are invited to read to a registered therapy dog. This activity can help young ones improve their reading skills and self-confidence. Participants may sign-up for a 15-minute reading session by visiting the Fort Ben branch or by calling 317-275-4570.
  • Register Here
  • Event: Paws to Read at Glendale
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, July 23, 6:00pm
  • Location: Glendale Branch
  • Description: Beginning or reluctant readers ages 6 – 11 are invited to read to a registered therapy dog who loves to listen to stories. It’s a great way to improve a child’s reading skills and self-confidence. Register online or call the branch at 317-275-4410, ext. 4.
  • Register Here

If your child has never tried reading to a dog before and wants to learn a little about what that might be like to attend a paws to read session, listen below to the story, Madeline Finn and the Library Dog. Meet Madeline, who does not like to read. She doesn’t like to read books, magazines, or even the menu on the ice cream truck! Mrs. Dimple, the librarian, suggests Madeline read to a dog, and so Madeline meets Bonnie, who is beautiful, like a big snowy polar bear, and a very good listener! When Madeline can’t get the words right, Bonnie doesn’t mind. Madeline realizes it’s ok to go slow and keep trying.

Here are some more dog stories you can listen to, just click on a book jacket to hear the story!

title - Charlie the Ranch Dogtitle - A Greyhound, A Groundhogtitle - Harry, the Dirty Dogtitle - The Poky Little Puppytitle - R Is for Rocket

Websites, Printables & Activities:

e-Books & Audiobooks:

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

Looking for even more books to read about dogs? Try these recommendations from IndyPL staff:

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

La Princesa and the Pea

Fairy tale classics like The Princess and the Pea transform when they are set in a new place or told from a new point of view. La Princesa and the Pea is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, set in Peru. In it, a princess’s authenticity is tested by her ability to feel the presence of a single pea under the pile of mattresses she is instructed to sleep on.

There are lots of stories like The Princess and the Pea that kids can rattle off without even thinking very much – The Three Little PigsThe Three BearsCinderella, etc. Some of these stories are so commonly told that children all over the world know them. When the stories are told in different places, they take on interesting differences that reflect the land and culture where the story is being told.

The illustrator of La Princesa and the Pea, Juana Martinez-Neal, won the 2018 Pura Belpre Award for doing an outstanding job of communicating cultural identity through illustration. The award is given for the best work portraying the Latino cultural experience. In Juana’s Illustrations in La Princesa and the Pea, for example, you can see authentic Peruvian weaving like the weaving you see in these Peruvian artifacts from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

As you read the story, look closely at the illustrations to see all the steps that are required to make a weaving. As the story of the princess is revealed, so is the Peruvian setting and the experiences of a young lady living there. Classic tales told like this are wonderful opportunities for you to see your own culture reflected in a universal story or see the culture of someone different than yourself. Read more from the list below!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or text a librarian at 317 333-6877.

Here are some favorite classic tales and traditional stories told with details and cultural traditions of the American Southwest, Mexico, Central or South America.

Title - AdelitaTitle - Paco and the giant chile plantTitle - The Runaway TortillaTitle - La Princesa and the PeaTitle - The Pot That Juan BuiltTitle - The Three CabritosTitle - Rubia and the Three OsosTitle - The Three Little JavelinasTitle - Señorita GorditaTitle - The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden StirredTitle - Chachalaca ChiquitaTitle - The Party for Papá Luis

The Circulatory System moves nutrients to the cells of the body to feed them and help them fight disease. The main parts of this system are the heart, blood and blood vessels. Arteries carry blood and the oxygen in it from the lungs to all of the other cells of the body. Once the oxygen is used, veins carry the blood back to the heart. Inside the heart are four chambers. Each chamber is a little pump that pushes the blood through the body. It takes 1-2 minutes for blood to circulate all around your body.

Websites, Activities & Printables

Learn about other body systems:

e-Books & Audiobooks

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

Need 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.

Human Body Facts and Functions Revealed in Diagrams, Infographics, and Photographs

Books for kids that explore the digestive, circulatory, nervous, excretory, muscular, and respiratory systems. Learn the names of each body part and all the details about how they function together to keep us breathing, dancing, jumping and running.

Title - The Human BodyTitle - Why DonTitle - It Takes GutsTitle - The Good Germ HotelTitle - Bodies Are CoolTitle - Your Amazing Digestion From Mouth Through IntestineTitle - Artificial OrgansTitle - The Human BodyTitle - IllumanatomyTitle - See Inside the Human BodyTitle - Understanding Our MusclesTitle - Extreme Abilities