Indianapolis Public Library

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Indianapolis Public Library
The Indianapolis Public Library Logo.jpg
American Legion Mall - panoramio.jpg
Central Library, the Indianapolis Public Library's main branch
Established1873; 149 years ago (1873)
LocationIndianapolis, Indiana, United States
Branches24
Access and use
Circulation7,077,479 (2020)[1]
Population served952,389 (2019)[2]
Other information
Budget$60,087,318 (2019)[2]
DirectorNichelle M. Hayes (Interim CEO)[3]
Staff600+[4]
Websiteindypl.org

The Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL), formerly known as the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library, is the public library system serving the citizens of Marion County, Indiana, United States and its largest city, Indianapolis. The library was founded in 1873 and has grown to include a Central Library building, located adjacent to the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, and 24 branch libraries spread throughout the county.

History[edit]

Memorial Presbyterian Church (ca. 1873), site of Rev. Edson's sermon ignited the movement for a public library in Indianapolis.
Postcard depicting the Indianapolis Public Library's location at Meridian and Ohio streets (ca. 1902–1903).

The Indianapolis Public Library system attributes its beginnings to a Thanksgiving Day, 1868, sermon by Hanford A. Edson, pastor of the Memorial Presbyterian Church (which would later become Second Presbyterian Church), who issued a plea for a free public library in Indianapolis. As a result, 113 residents formed the Indianapolis Library Association on March 18, 1869. In 1870, under the leadership of the superintendent of public schools, Abram C. Shortridge, citizens drafted a revision of Indiana school law to provide public libraries controlled by a board of school commissioners. The bill passed the Indiana General Assembly, allowing school boards to levy taxes for the purpose of establishing and maintaining public libraries.[5]

In 1872, the public library committee of the school board hired Cincinnati librarian William Frederick Poole to begin a collection for the new library and appointed Charles Evans as the first librarian. Indianapolis' first public library opened in one room of the Indianapolis High School building at the northeast corner of Pennsylvania and Michigan streets on April 8, 1873.[6] Upon opening, the library's collection numbered 13,000 volumes and registered 500 borrowers. By the end of its first full year of operation, some 3,000 patrons borrowed more than 100,000 books.[6] Later, as the need for more space grew, the library moved to the Sentinel Building on Monument Circle (1876–1880) and the Alvord House at Pennsylvania and Ohio streets (1880–1893).[5]

Evans served as librarian until 1878, and again from 1889 to 1892. Evans' successors were Albert B. Yohn (1878–1879), Arthur W. Tyler (1879–1883), and William deM. Hooper (1883–1889). Eliza G. Browning succeeded Evans in his second tenure, holding the position from 1892 to 1917. During her leadership, the library moved to the first building constructed solely for its purpose, located on the southwest corner of Ohio and Meridian streets in 1893, and opened its first library branch opened in 1906 on Clifton Street in the Riverside neighborhood.[6] Between 1910 and 1914, another five library branches were built with $120,000 donated by Andrew Carnegie.[6] As of 2020, two of these libraries—East Washington and Spades Park—are still active branches. Prior to her resignation, Browning initiated work on a new Central Library located partially on land donated by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley in 1911.[5][6]

Charles E. Rush succeeded Browning, serving as librarian from 1917 until 1927. His successors were Luther L. Dickerson (1927–1944) and Marian McFadden (1944–1955). During this period, eight new branch libraries were opened, and the system's collections expanded to include films, newspapers on microfilm, and phonorecords. Additionally, bookmobile service began in 1952.[5]

Harold J. Sander, who served as director from 1956 to 1971, presided over the opening of ten new branch libraries and undertook a reorganization of the Central Library in 1960 that departmentalized services. Prior to 1966, the library system served only those areas of the city under the jurisdiction of Indianapolis Public Schools, leaving more than 200,000 Marion County residents without access to free public library services. From 1966 to 1968, the newly formed Marion County Public Library Board contracted with the Indianapolis Public Library for service to county residents. In 1968, the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners relinquished responsibility for library service, allowing the city and county library systems to merge. This established the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library as a municipal corporation serving all Marion County residents, with the exception of Beech Grove and Speedway.[5]

Raymond E. Gnat succeeded Sander as library director in 1972. Essential library services were computerized between 1982 and 1991. By the early-1990s, the public library system encompassed 21 branches and three bookmobiles. In 1991, some seven million items were circulated among 470,000 registered borrowers and 3.4 million inquiries were answered. At this time, the library collection contained nearly 1.7 million materials staffed by 410 full-time employees.[5] Ed Szynaka served as director from 1994 until 2003, presiding over capital improvements to eight branch libraries, including the relocation of the Broad Ripple Branch to the Glendale Town Center.[7] The Glendale Branch opened in 2000 as the first full-service library at a major shopping center in the U.S.[8] Laura Johnston served in an interim role from 2003 to 2004 until the appointment of Linda Mielke, who served from 2004 until 2007.[7] She was succeeded by Laura Bramble.[7] Following the Great Recession and a successful state ballot measure to cap property taxes in 2008, the Indianapolis Public Library faced a budget shortfall of $4 million in 2010.[9][10] After considering closing six branches, officials decided to reduce branch hours by 26 percent, layoff 37 employees, and increase fines.[7][11][12][13]

Jackie Nytes served as the chief executive officer from 2012 until 2021, when she stepped down from her position.[14][15][16] During Nytes' leadership in 2014, the library board received approval from the Indianapolis City-County Council to issue $58.5 million in bonds to renovate and relocate existing branches and construct new ones during the following decade.[17][18] In April 2016, the boards of the Indianapolis and the Beech Grove public libraries voted to merge, with the Beech Grove library becoming the 23rd branch library of the Indianapolis system on June 1, 2016.[19] John Helling was named interim chief executive officer at the August 23, 2021, board meeting until a search for a new CEO is completed.[20]

In 2021, the Indianapolis Public Library terminated its late fee policy, waiving fines for more than 87,000 accounts for overdue items.[21]

Services[edit]

Website and digital holdings[edit]

The library website provides access to the library's catalog, online collections, digital archives, and subscription databases. The Bibliocommons catalog allows users to search the library's holdings of books, journals, and other materials. It also enables cardholders to request books from any branch and have them delivered to any branch for pickup.

IndyPL gives cardholders free access from home to thousands of current and historical magazines, newspapers, journals and reference books in subscription databases, including EBSCOhost, which contains full text of major magazines, the Indianapolis Star (1903–present), and the New York Times (1851–present).[22]

The Indianapolis Public Library Digital Archives (Digital Indy) is a freely accessible database of over 200,000 digital images and recordings of cultural and historical interest. The collections in this archive highlight Indianapolis schools, arts organizations, neighborhoods, governmental institutions, and other groups.[23]

The library offers the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, a free-access, web-based encyclopedia providing comprehensive social, cultural, economic, historical, political, and physical descriptions of Indianapolis. The updated Encyclopedia of Indianapolis was created in partnership with The Polis Center of Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and several other major historical and cultural institutions and builds on the information featured in the original print encyclopedia published by The Polis Center in 1994.[24]

Shared System[edit]

The public library offers library services to Indianapolis schools and museums through its Shared System services. The system allows members and students to use their IndyPL library cards to borrow materials from their own library as well as IndyPL's collection through the library's catalog. Local museums and special libraries sharing the catalog include the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indiana Medical History Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the BJE Maurer Jewish Community Library, and Riley Children's Hospital.[25]

Central Library[edit]

Central Library (Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library)
Biblioteca central, Indianápolis, Estados Unidos, 2012-10-22, DD 06.jpg
Front of Central Library from the American Legion Mall
Indianapolis Public Library is located in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Public Library
Indianapolis Public Library is located in Indiana
Indianapolis Public Library
Indianapolis Public Library is located in the United States
Indianapolis Public Library
Location40 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates39°46′42″N 86°9′24″W / 39.77833°N 86.15667°W / 39.77833; -86.15667Coordinates: 39°46′42″N 86°9′24″W / 39.77833°N 86.15667°W / 39.77833; -86.15667
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1917
ArchitectPaul Cret; Borie and Medary Zantzinger
NRHP reference No.75000045[26]
Added to NRHPAugust 28, 1975
South elevation architectural render of the Central Library from 1913.

The Central Library building was designed by Philadelphia-based architect Paul Philippe Cret (with Zantzinger, Borie and Medary).[27] The original Central Library building was constructed in Greek Doric style architecture, faced with Indiana limestone on a Vermont marble base. Central Library opened to the public on October 8, 1917.[5]

Central Library contains a number of distinguished architectural design elements. The main reading room 100 feet (30 m) by 45 feet (14 m) inside the main entrance has two flights of Maryland marble stairs, two 30 feet (9.1 m) diameter bronze light fixtures, and an ornamental ceiling designed by C. C. Zantzinger. The ceiling includes oil-on-canvas medallions and printers' colophons accompanied by a series of bas-relief plaster plaques depicting early-Indiana history. Reading rooms at the top of each staircase have wood paneling above oak bookcases and large leaded glass windows.[5] Central Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 28, 1975.

Central Library has undergone a number of expansions and renovations over the years. A 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) annex to the Central Library was completed in 1975 and restoration of historically significant architecture was completed in the 1980s.[5] In 2001, Indianapolis-based architectural firm Woollen, Molzan and Partners was commissioned to renovate the historic building, expand with a six-story addition, and incorporate an underground parking garage. The new curved-glass and steel facility and atrium would connect to the Cret-designed building, replacing the annex built in the 1970s. The $104 million project doubled the size of the library but proved controversial due to a number of design and construction flaws.[7] The renovated Central Library and its new atrium addition opened on December 9, 2007, two years behind schedule and over budget.[28][29][30]

Indianapolis Special Collections Room[edit]

The Central Library houses the Indianapolis Special Collections Room, named for newspaper executive Nina Mason Pulliam. The collection contains a variety of archival adult and children's materials, both fiction and nonfiction books by local authors, photographs, scrapbooks, typescripts, manuscripts, autographed editions, letters, newspapers, magazines, and realia. The collection features Kurt Vonnegut, May Wright Sewall, the Woollen family, James Whitcomb Riley, and Booth Tarkington.[31]

Other special collections[edit]

The 3,800-square-foot (350 m2) Center for Black Literature & Culture opened in 2017, provided by $1.3 million in grant funding from the Lilly Endowment. The center houses some 10,000 books, magazines, DVDs, and e-books with plans to q­ruple the collection to 40,000 items over the next five years. The center's window banners pay tribute to local Black figures, including former Indiana Fever basketball player, Tamika Catchings, poet and playwright, Mari Evans, and Congresswoman Julia Carson.[32] Phase II of the project commenced after an Indianapolis City-County Council committee issued $5.3 million in bonds for facility upgrades and projects in July 2020.[33]

In 2019, the Indianapolis Public Library, in partnership with Indy Pride and others, dedicated the Chris Gonzalez Collection, named for LGBTQ activist and Indiana Youth Group co-founder Christopher T. Gonzalez. The collection of 7,000 items relating to local and national LGBTQ+ history and culture were merged with the Central Library collection.[34][35]

Branches[edit]

Besides the Central Library, the Indianapolis Public Library system operates 23 branch libraries and provides bookmobile services.

Eagle and Martindale–Brightwood branches relocated to new buildings in 2019 and 2020, respectively, while the Michigan Road Branch opened in 2018 (replacing the closed Flanner House Branch).[36] Fountain Square Branch was closed in 2020.[37] The newest branch library is West Perry, which opened in July 2021.[38] As of August 2022, two new branch libraries were under construction: Fort Ben in Lawrence, Indiana and Glendale in Washington Township.

Name Est. Built Township Notes Image
Beech Grove 1951 1953 Perry The branch is located in the city of Beech Grove. It was absorbed by the Indianapolis Public Library in 2016. Indianapolis Public Library Beech Grove Branch.jpg
College Avenue 1924 2000 Washington Until its relocation in 2000, the library was named the Broadway Branch. Indianapolis Public Library College Avenue Branch.jpg
Decatur 1967 1990 Decatur Until its relocation in 1990, the library was named the Marwood Branch.
Eagle 1960 2019 Pike Indianapolis Public Library Eagle Branch.jpg
East 38th Street 1957 2003 Lawrence Until its relocation in 2003, the library was named the Emerson Branch. Indianapolis Public Library East 38th Street Branch.jpg
East Washington 1911 1911 Center Established as Indianapolis Public Library Branch No. 3, it is one of two Carnegie library buildings in Indianapolis still used for its original purpose. Indianapolis Public Library Branch No. 3.jpg
Fort Ben 2023 2023 Lawrence As of August 2022, the branch was under construction. The branch will be located in the city of Lawrence.
Franklin Road 1969 2000 Franklin Until its relocation in 2000, the library was named the Wanamaker Branch. Indianapolis Public Library Franklin Road Branch.jpg
Garfield Park 1918 1965 Center Until 2011, the library was named the Shelby Branch.[39] Indianapolis Public Library Garfield Park Branch.jpg
Glendale 1949 2000 Washington The library was established as the Broad Ripple Branch, adopting the Glendale name when it relocated to a storefront at Glendale Town Center in 2000.[40] As of August 2022, a new standalone library branch was under construction. Indianapolis Public Library Glendale Branch.jpg
Haughville 1896 2003 Wayne Indianapolis Public Library Haughville Branch.jpg
InfoZone 2000 2000 Center The branch is located in The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Irvington 1903 2001 Warren The branch was established at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center. It was known as the Brown Branch from 1956 until its relocation in 2001. Indianapolis Public Library Irvington Branch.jpg
Lawrence 1967 1983 Lawrence Indianapolis Public Library Lawrence Branch.jpg
Martindale–Brightwood 1901 2020 Center Until its relocation in 2020, the library was named the Brightwood Branch. Indianapolis Public Library Martindale-Brightwood Branch.jpg
Michigan Road 2018 2018 Washington Indianapolis Public Library Michigan Road Branch.jpg
Nora 1971 1971 Washington Nora-library-1998.jpg
Pike 1967 1986 Pike Until its relocation in 1986, the library was named the Westlane Branch. Indianapolis Public Library Pike Branch.jpg
Southport 1967 1974 Perry Indianapolis Public Library Southport Branch.jpg
Spades Park 1912 1912 Center Established as Indianapolis Public Library Branch No. 6, it is one of two Carnegie library buildings in Indianapolis still used for its original purpose. Indianapolis Public Library Spades Park Branch.jpg
Warren 1974 1974 Warren Indianapolis Public Library Warren Branch.jpg
Wayne 1969 1983 Wayne Indianapolis Public Library Wayne Branch.jpg
West Indianapolis 1897 1986 Center Indianapolis Public Library West Indianapolis Branch.jpg
West Perry 2021 2021 Perry Indianapolis Public Library West Perry Branch.jpg

Notes[edit]

1.^ This is based on the 2019 population estimate of Marion County, Indiana, subtracting the populations of the Town of Speedway, Indiana. Residents of Speedway are ineligible to be cardholders of the Indianapolis Public Library as the town maintains its own public library.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2020 Annual Report" (PDF). Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "2019 Annual Report" (PDF). Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "Our Leadership". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "Work at the Library". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bodenhamer, David J.; Barrows, Robert G. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 789–791. ISBN 0-253-31222-1.
  6. ^ a b c d e Butsch Freeland, Sharon (March 22, 2016). "HI Mailbag: Indianapolis Public Library". HistoricIndianapolis.com. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e McLaughlin, Kathleen (May 5, 2011). "Next library CEO faces great expectations". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Shuey, Mickey (August 17, 2020). "Library planning to buy former school for new $10.2M Glendale branch". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  9. ^ Russell, John (August 14, 2020). "Methodist Hospital expansion exposes tax tensions". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  10. ^ Jarosz, Francesca (October 7, 2010). "Ailing library eyes new funding source". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  11. ^ McLaughlin, Kathleen (April 8, 2010). "Marion County library may close six branches". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Library slashes hours, to close main branch on Thursdays". Indianapolis Business Journal. September 14, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  13. ^ McLaughlin, Kathleen (November 4, 2010). "Library cuts 37 employees in effort to reduce deficit". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  14. ^ "City-County Councilor Nytes named library CEO". Indianapolis Business Journal. October 17, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Our Leadership". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  16. ^ Library, Indianapolis Public (January 15, 2022). "CEO Jackie Nytes and Indy Library Board…". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  17. ^ McLaughlin, Kathleen (October 17, 2014). "Library plans $59M in new branches, upgrades". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  18. ^ Warburton, Bob (December 14, 2014). "Indianapolis Approves $58 Million in Bonds for Libraries". Library Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "Indy Library Board approves merger of Beech Grove Library". WISHTV.com. April 28, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  20. ^ August 23, 2021 Regular Board Meeting Documents-NEW Indianapolis Public Library, retrieved January 15, 2022
  21. ^ "Indianapolis Public Library will no longer charge late fees, waives previous fines". The Indianapolis Star. January 12, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  22. ^ "Research". Indianapolis Public Library. January 15, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "Explore the Indianapolis Public Library's Digital Archive". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis". Indianapolis Public Library. January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "Shared System". Indianapolis Public Library. January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  27. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved August 1, 2016. Note: This includes Lawrence Downey (July 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Central Library (Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library)" (PDF). Retrieved August 1, 2016. and accompanying photographs.
  28. ^ Megan Fernandez (June 2010). "The Pillar: Evans Woollen". Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis, Indiana: 73. Retrieved December 18, 2017. See also: "Biographical" Sketch in Woollen, Molzan and Partners, Inc. Architectural Records, ca. 1912–2011. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 2017.
  29. ^ Woollen, Molzan and Partners website project page [1] Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Swiatek, Jeff (December 21, 2007). "Storybook ending?: Next chapter in Central Library saga could yield a commercial boom for surrounding area". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  31. ^ Central to Our History: Indianapolis Special Collections Room, n.d., brochure, Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library.
  32. ^ Bahr, Sarah (October 23, 2017). "Indianapolis Public Library Debuts New Center For Black Literature And Culture". Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis: Emmis Communications. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  33. ^ Quinn, Samm (July 22, 2020). "City-County Council committee approves $5.3M bond for library upgrades". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  34. ^ "Indianapolis Central Library unveils LGBTQ+ exhibit". WRTV. Indianapolis. November 15, 2019. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  35. ^ Library, Indianapolis Public (January 14, 2022). "Special Collections". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  36. ^ Wilkinson, Kelly (December 13, 2018). "New library on Michigan Rd. meets neighborhood needs". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  37. ^ Orr, Susan (February 11, 2020). "Deal between Indy Reads, library would relocate bookstore to Fountain Square". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  38. ^ Mack, Justin (July 16, 2021). "Go inside Indianapolis Public Library's new West Perry branch, opening July 17". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  39. ^ Reason, Betsy (March 2, 2014). "'Mayor of Garfield Park' Margie Nackenhorst dies at age 94". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  40. ^ Pak-Harvey, Amelia (October 8, 2021). "Indianapolis library branch openings delayed by COVID-19-related price increases". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  41. ^ "Get a Library Card". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved August 7, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]