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Indianapolis Public Library Board Meeting Highlights - January 2024

Indianapolis Public Library Board Meeting Highlights - January 2024
Indianapolis Public Library Board Meeting Highlights - January 2024

Highlights from the January 2024 board meeting.

The Library and Local Literacy Rates

iRead-3 is an assessment of foundational reading skills for third graders. In Marion County, IRead-3 pass rates are below the state average. The Library has programs and services that help support local literacy. Here are a few highlights.

On The Road To Reading: The Indianapolis Public Library’s On the Road to Reading program improves students' early reading skills before they start kindergarten and elementary school. Itty Bitty bookmobiles visit child care centers and preschools around Indianapolis delivering bags full of age-appropriate books, providing storytimes, themed kindergarten-readiness kits, and resources to parents and childcare providers. We visit 60 locations each month and reach over 1,130 children. This program aims to impact local educators. We target childcare centers and homecare centers that are on levels 1 and 2 of Paths to QUALITY, Indiana’s Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement System. These are childcare centers where health, safety, and environmental needs are met but struggle to provide an educational curriculum to early learners.

The four levels include:

Level One: Health and safety needs of children met

Level Two: Environment supports children’s learning

Level Three: Planned curriculum guides child development and school readiness

Level Four: National accreditation (the highest indicator of quality) is achieved

The Library has four program associates who visit our 60 locations each month for storytimes. Their goals include helping local educators develop an educational curriculum.

“They are modeling for the teachers how to read a book and how to choose a good book. Every time they visit they leave materials that the teachers can use to build upon what they did as well as materials to send home to families so parents can take part,” said Shael Weidenbach, area resource manager of Youth Services, during the board meeting.

Indianapolis Public Library to Share Parking Lot with New Direction Church

New Direction Church has expanded its congregation over the past several years and has run out of room for parking on the property owned by the church. The Indianapolis Public Library’s East 38th Street Branch will allow New Direction Church to utilize its parking lot on Sunday mornings.

“New Direction Church contributes quite a bit to the East 38th Street Branch’s food pantry and librarians frequent their facility to provide direct Library services. It's a great relationship,” said Adam Parsons, director of facilities, during the board meeting.

Given the location of the Branch immediately to the east of the Church and the fact that the Branch is closed on Sunday, the church’s use of the Branch parking lot on Sundays was a perfect solution for expanded parking. No fee is being charged to the Church to use the parking lot.

Holladay Construction to Renovate Pike Branch

Holladay Construction Group was awarded a general construction services contract for the Pike Branch Renovation Project.

The Pike Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library is currently closed for renovations. The Branch is expected to reopen with a renovated entrance, updated restrooms, group study rooms, a comfort room adjacent to the children's area, a podcast recording studio, a dedicated teen zone, increased access to outlets for device charging, and updated mechanical and lighting systems. In addition, the Pike Branch will be seeking LEEDv4 Silver Certification for energy and resource conservation.

The architect’s estimate for the work as bid was $3,550,000. The project will be funded by the 2023 Bond Fund (Fund 489.). The Library hopes to reopen the Pike branch in the first quarter of 2025.