Featured Events

Celebrating 100 Years of Central Library!

Paul Cret

The entire community is invited to commemorate the illustrious 100-year history of Central Library with special programs and opportunities for individual involvement beginning September 1 and continuing through mid-October.

Located on land donated by beloved Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, the original limestone building at 40 E. St. Clair Street was designed by Paul Cret and dedicated on October 7, 1917. It arose from the need to expand beyond the crowded and inadequate conditions at a building the Library had occupied at Ohio and Meridian Streets since 1893.

The Cret Building, whose architectural features are highlighted by its classic Greek Doric exterior and interior ceiling mural painted in oil on small canvases, received acclaim from such national publications as Architectural Forum which, in 1918, proclaimed Central Library as "the most beautiful secular building in the United States, if not the most beautiful secular building produced in modern times."

Central Library expanded in 2007 with a six-story glass and steel-framed addition designed by Evans Woollen that gently embraces the Cret Building and provides a complementary bridge between the traditional and modern library. In 2016, Elle Decor magazine included Central Library in its list of the "50 Best Libraries in America."

Individuals of all ages will have a variety of opportunities to participate in Central Library's 100-year anniversary. Activities taking place between September 1 - October 15 include:

Penny Gates Collection
The Learning Curve - Level 2
Children and families are invited to roll their pennies down the Penny Racer to join a 100-year tradition honoring James Whitcomb Riley. The wrought iron gates at the south entrance of the Cret Building, known as the Penny Gates, were made possible through the donation of pennies by children and bear the description, "The gates are the gift of the children of Indianapolis in loving remembrance of their friend James Whitcomb Riley." All proceeds collected from the Penny Racer will go to the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation in support of Library programs and special projects such as the restoration of the Penny Gates.

Facebook 1917
6th Floor
Imagine what the comments might have been when Central Library opened in 1917! Children and individuals of all ages will be able to post a comment on an interactive analog wall as a Library patron from 100 years ago.

Kids Activities
The Learning Curve - Levels 2 & 3
A number of activities engaging young ones about Central Library's history will include a 1917 storytime, a craft program during which they will design their own time capsule, and a Centennial scavenger hunt.

Building Architecture Tours
Saturday, September 16 & 30 at 11 a.m & 2 p.m.
Atrium - Information Desk
Individuals of all ages are invited to experience the many renowned architectural features of the Cret Building that opened in 1917, as well as those that comprise the modern glass and steel framed addition designed by Evans Woollen in 2007.

Sunday Afternoon Salon
Sunday, September 17 at 2 p.m.
Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room - Level 6
Individuals of all ages are invited to discover the history of the Central Library building that was described in 1918 by Architectural Forum as "one of the most distinctive and admirable contributions to architecture that have been made in America." Presenter will be Dr. William McNiece of the Marion County Historical Society. The program will feature a live trio playing songs and sounds of the 1917 era. Refreshments will be provided.

Sunday Afternoon Salon
Sunday, September 24 at 2 p.m.
Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room - Level 6
Re-live the "Headlines of 1917" during this presentation by Bill Beck and Dr. William McNiece of the Marion County Historical Society. Refreshments will be provided.

Sunday Afternoon Salon
Sunday, October 1 at 2 p.m.
Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room - Level 6
Individuals of all ages are invited to explore the life of James Whitcomb Riley through Central Library's special collections of letters, photographs and objects. Enjoy a live trio playing sounds and songs of the 1917 era, as well as conversation and refreshments.

100 Years of Hauntings at Central Library
Thursday, October 5 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Central Library's Clowes Auditorium
Individuals of all ages are invited to learn what paranormal investigators have discovered from spending the night in the Library, where ghost tales are as old as the building and part of the Library's lore. Learn once and for all what is real as investigators from the Paranormal Investigators and Observations Team will share stories, findings, video and more from their adventure inside Central Library after dark.

Centennial Concert and Commemorative Program
Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m.
Simon Reading Room
Individuals of all ages are invited to performances by a quintet from the Philharmonic Quintet of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Children's Choir, along with a special presentation by the Mayor's Office and unveiling of a 100-year time capsule implanted during the Library's construction.

Central Library Centennial Celebration
Saturday, October 7 from 12 noon - 2 p.m.
Simon Reading Room and East Reading Room
Individuals of all ages are invited to enjoy a variety of activities. There will be family-oriented programs, period characters, souvenirs, historic exhibitions and birthday cake!

Photo Contest
September 11 - October 15
Photographers ages 13 and up are invited to compete in this contest juried by the Riviera Camera Club. There will be teen and adult prize categories that include a $500 Evans Woollen Best of Show award. Prints from prize category winners and selected additional entries will be exhibited in Central Library's South Display Hall and Simon Reading Room. The Evans Woollen Tribute and Award Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, November 7 at 6 p.m. at Central Library .Photo entries should be submitted through a public post using the hashtag #indycentral100photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. For complete entry rules, click here.

The Cret Building at 100
October 7 – December 31
Simon Reading Room
This special exhibit celebrates the architecture, people and stories of the Library's Cret Building that played an integral part in defining the city's character 100 years ago and remains vibrant and culturally significant today. Sixteen full-color, illustrative and interpretive panels designed by RLR of Indianapolis showcase over 50 images and artifacts from Central Library's Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room. "The Cret Building at 100," made possible by a generous grant from Katz, Sapper & Miller, will be unveiled during the Central Library Centennial Celebration and will be on display around the balcony of the historic Simon Reading Room during regular Central Library hours.

"Celebrating 100 Years of Central Library" is made possible by Buckingham Companies and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. For more information on these free Central Library Centennial activities, call 317-275-4099 or visit the Library on Facebook and Twitter.


Center for Black Literature & Culture Opens on October 21!

CBLC Epicenter

A new and unique space for Indianapolis that celebrates the rich heritage of those with African roots will be unveiled during the grand opening of the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) on Saturday, October 21 from noon to 3 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. The entire community is invited to attend.

Made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc. through a $1.3 million grant to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, the 3,990-square-foot Center, located in Central Library's R.B. Annis West Reading Room, will be a focal point for exploring the black experience in Indianapolis and beyond. Interactive displays, engaging programming and a large collection of books and materials will showcase those who have transformed the world through their courage, talents and activism. Visitors can learn about such Hoosier black heroes as writer Mari Evans, musicians Wes Montgomery and Kenneth "Baby Face" Edmonds, journalist Amos Brown, actress Vivica A. Fox and basketball star Oscar Robertson. New program and display themes will be added regularly.

The Center also will support the work of the Library's long-standing African American History Committee, which plans major cultural programming at the Library.

"The goal for the Center is to shine a light on the brilliant works of black icons who have influenced not only American but world culture, especially those with Indiana roots," said Nichelle M. Hayes, Special Collections Librarian who will manage the Center. "The Center will feature a robust collection of materials and an array of dynamic programs, ranging from author talks to special exhibits, to inspire individuals of all ages."

The space, conceived by the experiential design firm of RLR Associates Inc. of Indianapolis, creates a "third place" away from home or work to gather and explore ideas leading to a greater awareness of black culture and heritage. The CBLC's design, construction, artworks and interpretative elements will be available to the general public free of charge when visiting Central Library.

Roland Martin

"This will add an entirely new dimension of Library service to the community," said IndyPL CEO Jackie Nytes. "Thanks to Lilly Endowment, the Center will provide a unique learning and entertainment experience that all in Indianapolis can benefit from."

Following opening ceremonies at 12 noon, the grand opening event will feature a keynote address and book signing by journalist and political commentator Roland Martin at 12:30 p.m.

For more information about the CBLC and grand opening event, call 317-275-4100 or visit www.indypl.org/cblc.


An Evening With Laura Numeroff

Laura Numeroff

Individuals of all ages are invited as New York Times bestselling children's author Laura Numeroff discusses her works and career during "An Evening With Laura Numeroff" onWednesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Library in the Clowes Auditorium, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

Numeroff is best known for the series based on her book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, which was first printed in 1985 and is now in its 60th printing. The fourth book in the series, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, was on the New York Times Children's Bestseller list for five months and enjoyed the number one listing for nine weeks. In 2000, her If You Give a Pig a Pancake was on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for over a year. The series has sold over 4.5 million copies, printed in fourteen languages and won the prestigious Quill Award in the picture book category.

An avid animal lover, Numeroff had always wanted to write a book about service dogs. In 2016, with co-creator Sean Hanrahan, she released the first book of a new children's series, Raising a Hero, that supports Canine Companions for Independence and represents all those, human and canine, that help individuals with disabilities and special needs.

In addition to her work with service dogs and children with disabilities, Numeroff donates a portion of her book royalties to First Book, a non-profit organization that provides new books to children who otherwise would not have access to them.

Book sales, provided by Kids Ink Bookstore, and autographing will occur after the presentation.

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


Fall Fest `17 featuring Robb Armstrong!

Robb Armstrong

Individuals of all ages are invited for an afternoon of cultural enrichment and inspiration during "Fall Fest `17" on Saturday, November 18 from 12 noon - 4 p.m. at Central Library in the Clowes Auditorium, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

With the theme, "Becoming Agents of Change," this year's event features a presentation (2:15 p.m.) by Robb Armstrong, cartoonist and creator of the "Jump Street" comic strip. Armstrong is one of just four African-American syndicated cartoonists in the United States. His comic strip, which first appeared in 1988, currently appears in more than 300 newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and Chicago Sun-Times.

"Jump Start" focuses on the fictitious Cobb family in Philadelphia. Its basic theme surrounds the trials and tribulations of a regular middle-class black family. Armstrong himself is a native of West Philadelphia, where he and four siblings were raised by a single mother. He attended Syracuse University and began honing his craft as a artist there. Armstrong, who lists "Charlie Brown" creator Charles Schulz as one of his main influences and heroes, currently resides in Los Angeles.

"Fall Fest `17" also will feature winners of the teen Slammin Rhymes Challenge XII. Teens can participate by submitting the text and digital recording of their original poem to the Fountain Square Branch, 1066 Virginia Avenue, or online at indypl.org (via the Library's Teen Scene or Facebook sites). Entry deadline is October 30, 2017.

The afternoon will include performances by Washington Park's Young at Heart Senior Line Dancers (12:10 p.m.), Magic Mike Ray (12:35 p.m.), DJ'ism (1 p.m.), Headbangers Kick-Boxing Academy (1:25 p.m.), and the Phoenix Rising Dance Studio (1:50 p.m.).

"Fall Fest `17" is made possible by the Talley Story Theatre Fund and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

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


Fall Children's Programs at IndyPL

Throughout the fall, toddlers and preschoolers are invited to the Library for a variety of fun and educational activities at The Indianapolis Public Library. As part of the Library's Ready to Read initiative, many of the programs are intended to enhance literacy skills, stimulate creativity, and prepare young ones for school.

Fall programs for children include:

African Dance
Preschoolers are invited to journey through the regions of Mali, Senegal, Gambia and Guinea while learning cultural traditions of song and dance along the way. Be ready to move your body! This program is presented by Ronne Stone. Registration is required.

Colors & Numbers & Magic, Oh My!
Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to join Magic Don for an interactive show featuring special participation magic tricks which encourage learning and reinforcement of colors, numbers and movement. No registration is required.

I Like Myself: Preschool Art Workshop
Preschoolers are invited to celebrate the unique and wonderful YOU with a multimedia workshop led by the Art Lab. They'll listen to a story and create their own masterpiece! Registration is required.

O Pato!
Preschoolers are invited to act out the story of a duck and friends in this Portuguese folk song with live violin performance presented by Cathy Morris. Coming together in a circle, children will take turns participating in singing, dancing and acting while learning cooperation. Registration is required.

Indiana Backyard
Preschoolers are invited to join Silly Safaris to learn about the animals that live their own backyard. They can visit with LIVE animals! No registration is required.

Zany Zoo
Preschoolers are invited to join Express Kids for an imaginary train ride with animals on board all smiling and singing. They'll enjoy marching, matching, singing, and of course, sign language. Registration is required.

For more information about these or other free Library programs for children, call 317-275-4099, visit the Library on Facebook or Twitter, or go to indypl.org.