The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation has received a $140,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand the library’s collection of high-demand materials that explore the issues of race and racial equity. The grant will allow for the purchase of 4,000 copies of 180 fiction and non-fiction titles in various formats, including books, e-books, audiobooks and videos for children, teens and adults. A majority of titles will be adult non-fiction.
All of the new materials are available to students and teachers with library cards, and some physical books will be given to 100 school media centers, including Indianapolis Public Schools, that participate either in the library’s shared catalog system or the Axis 360 Community Share initiative, which provides access to tens of thousands of e-books and audiobooks for children.
The Library Foundation is one of two organizations to receive funds from Lilly Endowment for enhancement of racial equity resources, joining Indiana Humanities, which received funding to distribute individual grants of $1,000 to at least 100 statewide organizations. The grant to the Library Foundation is already allowing IndyPL to meet the demand for these popular and relevant materials and reduce hold times when they are placed on reserve.
The list of titles developed by library staff and local educators was specified in the grant request. Among the most popular titles are How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
“We thank Lilly Endowment for helping The Indianapolis Public Library, and indeed public libraries throughout Indiana, respond to Hoosiers’ growing demand for racial equity resources. We are honored to support our patrons on this vital learning journey,” said Roberta Knickerbocker Jaggers, president of the Library Foundation.
In addition to making electronic items available for checkout at indypl.org, each Indy Library location will receive a core, “non-floating” set of titles for display and checkout at that particular site. When searching the online catalog, patrons can discover these materials by searching “racial equity grant,” which distinguishes this collection from the wide array of other library materials on this subject.
These newer materials have been ordered and will be added to the library’s collection as they arrive in the next few weeks.
To discover more booklists, reading recommendations and other resources that address issues of race and racial equity, visit the library’s blog at indypl.org.