Indianapolis Public Library

The Indianapolis Public Library (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 23 branch libraries spread throughout the county. The library attracts over four million visitors each year and circulates nearly 16 million items.[citation needed]

Central Library (The Indianapolis Public Library)
Biblioteca central, Indianápolis, Estados Unidos, 2012-10-22, DD 01.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)
ArchitectPaul Cret; Borie and Medary Zantzinger
NRHP reference No.75000045[1]
Added to NRHPAugust 28, 1975

Central LibraryEdit

The Central Library building was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret (with Zantzinger, Borie and Medary) and completed in 1917.[2]

In 2001 the Indianapolis-based architectural firm of Woollen, Molzan and Partners was commissioned to renovate the historic building. The planned $100 million project also included replacing a five-story addition with a new, six-story curved-glass and steel facility and atrium that connected to the Cret building. Construction problems caused construction to be temporarily halted in 2004; however, the renovated Central Library and its new atrium addition opened on December 9, 2007, ending the controversial, multi-year construction project, which cost $150 million.[3][4][5]

Indianapolis Special Collections RoomEdit

Nina Mason Pulliam Special Collections - Reading Room in October 2007

The Central Library also houses the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room containing 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.[6]


Besides the Central Library, The Indianapolis Public Library also operates twenty-three branch libraries and provides bookmobile services.[7] 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 library system on June 1, 2016.[8]

Indianapolis Public Library in 1898 from Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

In 2014 the library board received approval from the Indianapolis City-County Council to begin issuing $58.5 million in bonds to renovate and relocate existing branches and construct new ones.[9] As of February 2018, the Southport, East Washington, and Warren branches had been renovated,[10] with renovations at the Wayne and Lawrence branches scheduled for 2019 and 2021, respectively. The Eagle branch will be relocated to 3905 Moller Road in 2019,[11] the Brightwood branch will be relocated to 25th Street and Sherman Drive,[12] and the Glendale branch to a new location in 2022.[13] Groundbreaking for a new branch at 6201 Michigan Road was held on November 3, 2017, with completion expected in 2018.[14] New branches in Perry Township and in Lawrence will open in 2019 and 2020.[15][16]

Central Library is the hub of Indianapolis Public Library's 23-branch system.
Irvington Branch Library
Branch Name Year Est. Street address (source[17])
Beech Grove Branch (effective June 1, 2016) 1951 1102 Main Street, Beech Grove
Brightwood Branch 1901 2435 N. Sherman Drive
College Avenue Branch 1924 4180 N. College Avenue
Decatur Branch 1967 5301 Kentucky Avenue
Eagle Branch 1960 3325 Lowry Road
East 38th Street Branch 1957 5420 E. 38th Street
East Washington Branch 1911 2822 E. Washington Street
Flanner House Branch 1967 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street
Fountain Square Branch 1896 1066 Virginia Avenue
Franklin Road Branch 1969 5550 S. Franklin Road
Garfield Park Branch 1918 2502 Shelby Street
Glendale Branch 1930 Glendale Town Center
6101 N. Keystone Avenue
Haughville Branch 1896 2121 W. Michigan Street
InfoZone Branch 2000 3000 N. Meridian Street
Inside The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Irvington Branch (replaced the Brown Branch) 1903 5625 E.Washington Street
Lawrence Branch 1967 7898 N. Hague Road
Nora Branch 1971 8625 Guilford Avenue
Pike Branch 1967 6525 Zionsville Road
Southport Branch 1967 2630 E. Stop 11 Road
Spades Park Branch 1912 1801 Nowland Avenue
Warren Branch 1974 9701 E. 21st Street
Wayne Branch 1969 198 S. Girls School Road
West Indianapolis Branch 1897 1216 S. Kappes Street


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-08-01. Note: This includes Lawrence Downey (July 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Central Library (Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-01. and accompanying photographs.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Woollen, Molzan and Partners website project page [1] Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Central to Our History: Indianapolis Special Collections Room, n.d., brochure, Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library.
  7. ^ [2] Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  8. ^ "Indy Library Board approves merger of Beech Grove Library". April 28, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Warburton, Bob (December 14, 2014). "Indianapolis Approves $58 Million in Bonds for Libraries". Library Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "New Buildings". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  11. ^ "Eagle Branch". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "Brightwood Branch". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  13. ^ "Glendale Area Branch". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  14. ^ "Michigan Road Branch". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  15. ^ "Perry Township". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  16. ^ "Fort Benjamin Harrison". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  17. ^ "Locations & Hours". Indianapolis Public Library. Retrieved 10 March 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit