Featured Events

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Díaz to Present 2017 McFadden Memorial Lecture!

jdiaz2017.jpgThe entire community is invited as award-winning author Junot Díaz presents The Indianapolis Public Library's 2017 McFadden Memorial Lecture on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street. Diaz will discuss his career as a writer and social activist during this presentation moderated by local journalist Raphael Sanchez and conduct a book signing following the program.

Díaz is best known for his short story collection, Drown (1996), and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), which also earned the National Book Critics Circle Award. His second short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her (2012), was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O Henry Award. Díaz was selected as one of the 39 most important Latin American writers under the age of 39 by the Bogotá World Book Capital and the Hay Festival, and as one of the 20 top writers for the 21st century by The New Yorker magazine.

Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Díaz has been a critical voice on immigration policy in the United States and the deportation of Haitians and Haitian-Dominicans by the Dominican government. He is the co-founder of the Voices of Our Nation Workshop and honorary chairman of the DREAM project, a non-profit education involvement program in the Dominican Republic.

In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the title character is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who, from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister, dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. The book provides an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere, and risk it all, in the name of love.

This free lecture is made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

For more information, call 317-275-4099 or visit indypl.org.


Programming for Kids at IndyPL!

Throughout the spring, preschoolers and school-age children are invited for a variety of fun and educational programs at The Indianapolis Public Library. Many programs are part of the Library initiative,"Ready to Read," intended to enhance young children's literacy skills and prepare them to be school ready. Programs for older children are designed to stimulate their creativity.

Spring programs for children at the Library include:

Sing Along With Miss Bobbie
Preschoolers and their families are invited to join Miss Bobbie for a live, interactive music experience. Attendees will dance, sing, laugh and have fun together. No registration is required.

Shake, Rattle and Roll: Infant and Toddler Music Class
Infants and toddlers along with an adult are invited for an interactive program involving music, action songs and movement with Bongo Boy Music Center. Young ones love to hold instruments and respond to music. Instruments such as maracas, bells, hand drums and gathering drums are used, as well as colorful scarves for visual tracking and movement. The program's core intention is to use rhythm, music and movement to create a caring, connected rhythmic community. Registration is required.

Healthy Snacking
Preschoolers and an adult are invited to join the Marion County Health Department for some tasty fun as they learn about healthy snacking options. Registration is required.

Preschool Art Workshop: Owls
Preschoolers are invited to explore sculpture, simple shapes, and drawing and painting with The Art Lab. They will listen to a favorite owl story, hand-build a mixed media sculpture, and draw and paint their creation using watercolor and crayons. Registration is required.

Parent and Preschooler Yoga
Even young children can enjoy the health benefits that yoga can offer. Preschoolers and an adult are invited to join certified yoga instructors from the Greater Indianapolis YMCA for a 45-minute yoga program. Registration is required.

Duct Tape Craft Class
Children ages 6 and up are invited to create their own hip clutch or billfold out of duct tape during this program presented by Art With a Heart. Registration is required.

Foil Art Class
Children ages 6 - 12 are invited to use a variety of materials to create their own work of art. Then they can add a frame to finish it off! Registration is required.

Tribute to Dr. Seuss Magic Show
Children of all ages and families are invited to dive into the world of magic and Dr. Seuss during this show presented by Don Miller of FamilyTime Entertainment. No registration required.

For registration and other information about these free Library programs, contact your local branch or visit indypl.org.


Writing Your Own Autobiography

Adults are invited to a seven-part series that will provide literacy ideas for creating a book of personal stories entitled Writing Your Own Autobiography, beginning March 1 and continuing through May at the East Thirty-Eighth Street Branch, 5420 E. 38th Street.

Presenter will be Toria Sanders, a 25-year language arts specialist in the Indianapolis Public School system who now operates a tutoring center to assist students.

Writing Your Own Autobiography will feature the following series programs:

Orientation and Registration"
Wednesday, March 1 from 4 - 5 p.m.
This program will lead off the series and focus on an explanation of the six-step writing process.

Getting Started
Wednesday, March 15 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn how to construct topic sentences to open their writing and how to capture the reader's imagination by creating great openers to encourage their interest.

Word Choice
Wednesday, March 29 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn to replace overused boring words with colorful and flavorful vocabulary by using synonyms and the Thesaurus.

Express Yourself
Wednesday, April 12 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn pointers on using expressive details to arouse the reader's visual mind in describing scenery, mood, characters and settings.

Wednesday, April 26 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn to let their stories flow with order by grouping sentences that go together and to begin using paragraphs by the correct use of transition words.

Ending Your Story
Wednesday, May 10 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn how to come to a closure without leaving readers hanging, confused or wondering.

Wednesday, May 24 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Attendees will learn to add pictures, photos and drawings to bring their stories to life. This program also will describe the publishing process.

Registration is required for this free Library program by calling 317-275-4352.


Grammy Winner Bill Harley at Central Library!

Bill Harley with GuitarTwo-time Grammy Award-winning master storyteller Bill Harley, described by "Entertainment Weekly" as "the Mark Twain of contemporary children's music," will perform his unique blend of music and humor for those of all ages on Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

Harley is a nationally-touring, critically-acclaimed singer, songwriter, author, musician and monologist considered by fans and peers alike to be one of the best storytellers in the country for his celebrations of commonality and humanity through comic narrative songs and confessional spoken works. In slice-of-life vignettes about school and family life, Harley uses humor and a fine-tuned sense of the ridiculous to illuminate compassionate truths, even while inspiring belly laughs.

Adults absorb Harley through a double filter of past and present. Children respond from the immediacy of their own lives as he examines human foibles, flaws and embarrassments, common fears and simple pleasures.

Harley's twenty-eight albums include song and story collections for adults and a diverse mix of world music, reggae, blues, folk, rock, jazz and do-wop. He has authored eight picture books for children and two novels for preschoolers. Among his theater projects are "My Sarajevo," a full-length play set during the Bosnian war, and "Strickeen," a retelling of stories from the life of naturalist John Muir.

A resident of Seekonk, Massachusetts, Harley graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, in 1977 with honors and a religious studies degree. He found his calling in community service, not the seminary, leading a program in conflict resolution with families and educators and co-founding with his wife and others a community-based adult education platform.

Book sales and autographing will follow this program, presented in partnership with Storytelling Arts of Indiana as part of the Library's celebration of National Library Week, April 9 - 15.

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


Meet the Authors of All American Boys

Jason Reynolds - Author of All American BoysTeens, tweens and readers of all ages are invited for an evening with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, award-winning co-authors of All American Boys, on Monday, April 10 at 7 p.m. at Central Library in the Clowes Auditorium, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature, All American Boys focuses on two teens, one black and one white, who grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and ultimately the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

Reynolds is the author of the critically-acclaimed When I Was the Greatest, for which he was the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. His book, As Brave as You, was a Time Book of the Year and winner of the Kirkus Award. Ghost, his first book in his middle grade Track series, was a National Book Award finalist.

Kiely's debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in ten languages, was selected as one of the American Library Association's Top Ten Fiction for Young Adults in 2015, and was a Kirkus Reviews selection for Best of 2014. He is also the author of The Last True Love Story.

Following the authors' presentation, there will be book sales, courtesy of Kids Ink, and autographing.

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

Brendan Kiely - Author of All American Boys