Featured Events

2018 McFadden Memorial Lecture features Jeff Kinney!

Jeff Kinney

Families and individuals of all ages are invited as Jeff Kinney, the acclaimed author and illustrator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series for children and teens, presents The Indianapolis Public Library's 2018 McFadden Memorial Lecture on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street. Kinney will discuss his development of the award-winning series and conduct a book signing for attendees following the program. There will be a limit of one book signed per person.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid highlights the struggles of a boy named Greg Heffley as he tries to fit in at middle school. It has been a fixture on national bestseller lists, including the New York Times since 2007 when Kinney's first book was published. The books are currently available in 61 editions in 52 languages, and its online version is typically read by more than 70,000 children a day.

Described as a satirical and realistic fiction comedy novel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has won two Children's Choice Book Awards and six Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Book. Four movies based on the series have grossed nearly $300 million worldwide. In addition, Time magazine has named Kinney one of the most influential people in the world.

Beginning his career as a comic strip creator who was unsuccessful in getting syndicated, Kinney spent six years developing ideas for Diary of a Wimpy Kid before it found a home online in daily installments. In 2006, Kinney signed a multi-book deal with Harry N. Abrams, Inc. to turn his project into a print series.

Kinney is also the creator of Poptropica, named one of Time magazine's 50 Best Websites. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C. area and moved to New England in 1995. He currently lives in Massachusetts where he, his wife and two sons own a bookstore, An Unlikely Story.

The 41st annual McFadden Memorial Lecture, made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, has featured many of the nation's leading authors, including John Irving, James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., David McCullough, Patricia Cornwell, Jacqueline Woodson, Bob Woodward, Neil Gaiman, Khaled Hosseini, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and in 2017, Junot Díaz.


An Evening with Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas

Teens and adults are invited as popular young adult author Angie Thomas discusses her New York Times bestselling book, The Hate U Give, on Tuesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

Her powerful novel has remained on the New York Times bestseller list since its debut in 2017. The book is about an ordinary 16-year-old girl who moves between two worlds, the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. The book addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart and unflinching honesty.

Thomas was born in Jackson, Mississippi and grew up near the home of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers. When she was six years old, Thomas witnessed a shootout, following which her mother took her to the library to show that the world wasn't totally like what she had seen. This inspired Thomas to begin her writing.

Book sales provided by Kids Ink and autographing will follow the presentation. Seating in Central Library's Clowes Auditorium is limited to 350, with overflow seating available elsewhere in Central Library.

Call 317-275-4099 for more information about this free Library program.


Meet the Artists XXX! - Shades of Pearl Showcase

One of the city's premier cultural events will showcase the accomplishments of 11 prominent African-American artists when The Indianapolis Public Library's Meet the Artists exhibit celebrates its 30th anniversary with works on display from January 30 - April 1 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St.

This year's "Shades of Pearl Showcase" pays tribute to those visual artists whose past participation in Meet the Artists was instrumental in furthering their careers. On display will be works by Bing Davis (color photography), D. Del Reverda-Jennings (mixed media), James Pate (charcoal), Kevin West (acrylic), LaShawnda Crowe-Storm (quilts), Mason Archie (oil), Michael Jordan (Alkemi) (acrylic), Roderic Trabue (oil), Samuel E. Vasquez (mixed media) and Lobyn Hamilton (vinyl). Work from the late Joe Holiday (pastel & oil) also will be featured.

In addition, works from other visual artists will be exhibited in the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. These include Chrystopher Burns (acrylic), Kimberly Winfrey (quilts) and Omar Rashan (acrylic). Also on display will be youth art from students at Art With a Heart and IPS Floro Torrence School 83.

Another Meet the Artists XXX activity will occur at "First Friday," on March 2 from 6 - 9 p.m. at Central Library. The public is invited to celebrate the fifth anniversary of this event that includes activities for the entire family. There will be tours of the Meet the Artists XXX exhibit, painting demonstrations by participating artists, youth workshops, author book signings, and more.

In addition, those viewing the works of art on display during Meet the Artists XXX are invited to join a facilitator-led discussion entitled, "Conversations On Race," regarding issues inspired by the various works. These free sessions will be held on February 11, 18 & 25 and March 4 & 25 from 12 noon — 2 p.m., and on March 14, 21 & 28 from 6 — 8 p.m. Participants are encouraged to view the art before attending the conversation programs to be held in the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library.

The Meet the Artists XXX exhibit is available for viewing during regular Central Library hours.

Meet the Artists XXX programs are presented by the Library's African-American History Committee in support of the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library and made possible by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Dr. Michael R. Twyman Endowment Fund and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

For more information about these free Library events, call 317-275-4171.


Hot Jazz for Cool Kids!

Families with children of all ages are invited for the seventh season of popular performances by Indy's leading jazz musicians during the series, "Hot Jazz for Cool Kids!" at Central Library in the Clowes Auditorium, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

This family-friendly series is intended to introduce children to jazz music in a live concert setting that is both fun and educational.

This year's "Hot Jazz for Cool Kids" lineup of free programs begins with a performance on Sunday, January 21 at 3 p.m. by the Farrelly-Markiewicz Jazz Quintet. From bebop to pop, the band will show what makes jazz swing. Led by saxophonist Jim Farrelly and drummer Gene Markiewicz, this group of jazz pros will demonstrate a variety of jazz styles to describe how rhythm, melody and improvisation combine to form the foundation of jazz music. Their repertoire will include several "jazzed up" familiar favorites.

The series continues on Sunday, February 18 at 3 p.m. with a performance by Clifford Ratliff and the Indy Jazz Company. Growing up with jazz greats such as Wes Montgomery and Freddie Hubbard, trumpeter Clifford Ratliff has become part of Indianapolis' jazz legacy. He has contributed his talents to the local jazz scene while playing with Jimmy Coe, Pookie Johnson and many others. His band, the Indy Jazz Company, will introduce young people to the rich jazz heritage of Indianapolis.

Concluding the series on Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m. will be a performance by the Tucker Brothers Group. Representing Indy's younger generation of jazz musicians, Joel and Nick Tucker will show that their musical passion, inspired by teachers such as David Baker, is helping them carry on the tradition of local jazz excellence. Their collection of songs will pay homage to the most influential and innovative jazz musicians born and raised in Indianapolis.

"Hot Jazz for Cool Kids" is presented by the Learning Curve at Central Library in association with the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Indy Jazz Fest.

Call 317-275-4222 for more information about this free Library program.


Indy Library Store Booksale: Always a Bargain!

Individuals can buy new and used books and other items at discount prices during the "Indy Library Store Booksale" on April 6 & 7 and April 12 - 14 at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian St.

Friends of the Library Preview Night is Friday, April 6 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Friends of the Library memberships will be sold in the lobby of the Library Services Center at the Friends signup table. The Booksale opens to the public on Saturday, April 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and continues on Thursday, April 12 from 12 noon – 7 p.m. Half-Price Day will be on Friday, April 13 from12 noon – 7 p.m. The Booksale concludes with $7 Bag Day on Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Most books, including paperbacks and hard cover, range from $.25 to $4. DVDs are $2. CDs and LPs are $1. Items in "Miriam's Corner," comprised of collectibles and antiquarian materials, are individually priced. Proceeds from the Booksale support Library programs and services sponsored by The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Dates to remember:

  • Friday, April 6 – Friends Preview Night from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 7 – Public Booksale from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 12 - Public Booksale from 12 noon - 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 13 – Half-Price Day from 12 noon - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 14 – $7 Bag Day from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For more information about the Booksale or becoming a Friend of the Library, call 317-275-4700.