IndyPL Announces Major Grants for New Projects

Posted on October 03, 2016

IndyPL Announces Major Grants for New Projects

Grants totaling nearly $3.3 million dollars have been awarded to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation for individual Library projects that will preserve Indianapolis history, establish a new collection highlighting African-American culture, and improve the Library experience for immigrant residents in the community.

A $3.1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will fund two major Library projects over the next five years. In preparation for the city of Indianapolis’ bicentennial in 2020, IndyPL will digitize and make available for free online access a significant portion of the histories of the Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department. More than one million pages of records, 150 3-D objects and 400 films would be digitized, supplementing an abundance of existing digitized records from various local arts organizations found at The project underscores a Library priority in its strategic plan to digitize community records which could be lost to time or neglect.

The Lilly Endowment Inc. grant also will create by the fall of 2017 the Center for African-American Literature and Culture at Central Library, a place to study the works of local African-American writers and discover the rich heritage of Black authors from Indiana and beyond. IndyPL will provide programming, including author talks and author fairs, to highlight the collection and showcase the African-American experience in Indianapolis. The work of the Library’s African-American History Committee also will be highlighted. Curated by a dedicated librarian with an initial collection of 10,000 volumes, the Center will ensure that the Black experience is not only remembered but that its materials are easily accessible to inspire others.

The Library is also the recipient of a two-year grant totaling $192,200 from The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund’s Innovation Fund for a “global village project” to reach immigrants and non-native English speakers in the community. The grant will allow the Library to partner with the Immigrant Welcome Center in Indianapolis to have Natural Helpers from the Center assist individuals with Library card applications, basic searches for materials and activities at select IndyPL locations. The grant also will provide for the addition of approximately 5,300 new printed books to the Library’s collection of world language books, launch a new eBook platform for Spanish language books, provide cultural sensitivity training to Library staff, and help translate IndyPL promotional materials into more languages.

These and other grants obtained through The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation enable IndyPL to provide important programs and services to the community without relying on Library operational tax dollars.


The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund is a field of interest fund of The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). The Library Fund was created by an anonymous donor in 1989 with a $13 million bequest to The Indianapolis Foundation. CICF is a $700 million public foundation that was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Legacy Fund, serving Hamilton County since 1991. For more information about CICF or any of its funds, visit, or call 317.634.2423.