Donna D. Talley Legacy Celebrated With Renovated Library Story Theatre

November 7, 2013

Donna Talley Theatre ribbon cuttingA newly-renovated 272-square-foot children's programming area at the East Thirty-Eighth Street Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library, 5420 E. 38th Street, has been rededicated in the memory of a local woman who believed in reading as the key to unlocking a child's potential.

Library officials and community representatives joined young children from local day care centers on November 7 to cut the ribbon for the updated Donna D. Talley Story Theatre, a place where children can read, learn and play. Created in 2006 after a memorial campaign spearheaded by the Talley family, the newer area features a more open, vibrant and user-friendly layout for greater programming to foster essential early literacy skills. The story theatre was established at the neighborhood branch where Donna D. Talley volunteered and was passionate about sharing stories with children to encourage their love of reading.

The focal point of the children's area is a large custom tree along with a banner above the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre that designates its name.

"On behalf of our entire family, I am honored that my wife's legacy will continue to be recognized in this special area," said Steve Talley, District 11 City-County Councillor. "It will be especially impactful in this neighborhood which has one of the largest day care populations in Marion County, where nearly a quarter of those in the service area live in poverty, and where so many children are considered at risk."

An important component of the Library's mission is to help prepare children up to five years old for kindergarten. Its Ready to Read initiative features story programs, programming at faith-based and licensed home day cares, and Digital Littles, a technology-rich story experience. The new Discovery Storytime Series at the East Thirty-Eighth Street Branch also focuses on developing youth literacy.

These goals were boosted in 2012 with the establishment of the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund, a new endowment established by Councillor Talley through The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and managed by Central Indiana Community Foundation to create additional children's programming throughout the Library system.

The $26,000 renovation of the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre was made possible by Flaherty & Collins Properties, Friends of the Library, and proceeds of the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund.

To support the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund or learn more about children's programming at the Library, contact the Library Foundation at 275-4700 or visit