Getting to Know Your Public Libraries

Published January 3, 2022

When you think of a public library, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably rows upon rows of hardcover books, right? But those books are just the tip of the iceberg. Public libraries—especially in Indianapolis—have so much more to offer. They’re truly dynamic institutions that bring you a surprising range of services and fun events. And best of all, those services and events are free-of-charge, just waiting for you to take full advantage of them. So, here’s a closer look at what our amazing Indianapolis Public Library system brings to the table.

Audio Books

Some studies show that we tend to absorb more information when we read the physical copy of a book. But reading a physical copy isn’t always possible. Sometimes you want to get lost in a good book while you’re stuck in traffic, out on a walk, or waiting in line. That’s where audio books really shine. The Indianapolis Public Library System offers several different apps where you can borrow and stream a huge catalogue of audiobooks for free.

This could also be a great way to get through to your reluctant readers—try checking out both the audio and physical books, so your kids can read along, or replace an hour of TV with audio book story time for the whole family. These apps can help your kids to fall in love with reading on their own terms.

Click here to learn more about audio books.


Everyone knows that the public libraries are a great source of information. But did you know that they’re also a great source of entertainment? The Indianapolis Public Libraries allow you to borrow and stream movies through an app called Kanopy. Download the app to your phone, computer, or TV streaming device, and you’ll have access to thousands of movies at the touch of a button. You’ll also help your kids broaden their understanding of what a library can be.

Click here to learn more about Kanopy.

Do you not have streaming capabilities at home? Not to worry! The libraries also have an extensive collection of DVDs that you can borrow. Search for a specific movie your family wants to watch, or take the kids to your nearest branch to browse the shelves for your next family movie night.

Organized Creative Activities 

The library aims to be a place where the community can express themselves creatively. So, they host a lot of different “meetup groups” where kids (and adults) can do exactly that. Check out their events page for more, but to give you some idea, the library hosts a coloring group for teens, a Lego club, and a Crochet-A-Long for all ages. No matter what your kids are into, the library provides a safe place for them to explore their imagination.

Click here for the Events page, then check Arts/Crafts/Hobbies under Event Type.

Teen Tuesdays 

Roughly twice per month, The West Perry Branch hosts “Teen Tuesdays,” which invite kids to gather together in a positive environment. From there, teens can use that time however they’d like. Some might socialize and play video games. Others craft. And others use it as a place to catch up on homework. However they spend their time, they’ll have a safe atmosphere to spend their “off hours” in a constructive way.

Click here to learn more about Teen Tuesdays. 


Looking to learn some new skills? The library regularly holds different workshops that help people of all ages expand their horizons. Their digital literacy class teaches kids the basics of using a computer. Their typing workshop helps kids get comfortable with the keyboard. And their science workshop gets kids excited about one of our most important disciplines. As your kids grow into young adults, they’ll benefit from classes on HTML, Powerpoint, and personal finance. Even as an adult, if you’re looking to learn, the library is ready to teach. When you visit the Library’s events page, you can filter by location, age group, and event type to find exactly what you need.

Click here for the Events page.  

Book Clubs

A lot of people love book clubs because they take a hobby that you mostly do alone—reading—and turn it into a fun way to spend time with other people. Many branches of the library host book clubs where readers of all ages can share their thoughts and discuss the book’s themes. There’s even a graphic novel book club for people who love reading and talking about comics.

Click here for the Events page, then check Book Discussions under Event Type.

Concerts and Special Events

The library puts on such a broad range of special events that you have to take a look at their calendar to see everything that’s going on. These events include family story times, trivia nights, a Q&A with a drone pilot, and live concerts by The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. People might think of libraries as a pretty quiet place, but there’s actually plenty of excitement for people of all ages!

Click here to see the Library’s calendar.

Career Center

Did you know that the library is even helping people apply for jobs? Their career center walks you through creating and polishing a resume, writing a cover letter, and applying for job opportunities. And while this service is more for adults, it’s a great resource for your teens to know about once they get old enough to start looking for a job. So, whether your kids are ready to apply for those first summer jobs, or you are looking to polish your resume, the library can help.

Click here to learn more about the Career Services.  

Other Services

There’s so much the library has to offer, we couldn’t begin to cover all of it in one short article! Do you own a small business that’s been struggling during the pandemic? The library can help. Want to learn how to plant a garden and need some seeds to get started? The library can help. Confused about how to download e-books, audio books, or movies? The library can help. Do you need access to adaptive technology for visually or audially-impaired members of your family? The library can help. The library can help with just about anything you need!

Click here to learn about all the Library’s Services.

The Indianapolis Public Libraries have always been your go-to resource for borrowing books. But if you stop there, you’re only scratching the surface. So, stop by your local library branch to take a class, participate in a book discussion, or see a concert. Because wherever your interests lie, a world of opportunity is only a library card away.