IndyPL and YMCA to Provide Books to Children of Essential Workers

The Indianapolis Public Library is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to help parents whose jobs are deemed essential during the COVID-19 crisis by delivering books to their children ages 5 – 12 who are receiving day care at various YMCA centers.

The centers are using the Library’s Bunny Book Bags that consist of board books focusing on early learning concepts such as ABCs, numbers, colors and shapes, along with picture books of various stories that highlight diversity. Also provided are chapter books that cover all reading levels and interests. The materials are part of the Library’s existing collection being made available for checkout to the facilities.

YMCA centers receiving Library resources are the Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby Street; Benjamin Harrison YMCA, 5736 Lee Road; Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay, 430 S. Alabama Street; and Jordan YMCA, 8400 Westfield Boulevard. All except the Benjamin Harrison YMCA are new sites that the Library will incorporate into its ongoing schedule of locations where it provides books for children. The Library is also providing books to YMCA affiliate locations at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center, 2055 N. Senate Avenue (for IU Health staff); and the Traders Point Christian Church Downtown, 1201 N. Delaware Street (for Eskanazi and EMS staff).

Ariana Adams (foreground) of the Benjamin Harrison YMCA received the first delivery of materials from the Library’s Outreach Services Manager Maggie Ward that will help young children of essential workers with their reading and early literacy skills

“Books and reading inspire creativity and confidence among our youth, and it’s a privilege for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to partner with The Indianapolis Public Library to provide safe and easy access to resources for the children of our community’s essential workers,” said Derrick Stewart, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.

In addition to books, the Library has an array of online resources that can engage children, including picture book read-alongs, educational games, streaming movies, and e-books and e-audiobooks for children of all ages.

To comply with safety standards during the current health crisis, Library staff will thoroughly clean each book with disinfectant wipes and check for damage before it is sent back out for use. While at the YMCA, children are assigned to small groups of no more than ten.

To learn more about the Library’s free resources, visit Individuals can also call the Library hotline at 317-275-4184 or text at 317-333-6877 to receive help from a Library information specialist. Personal assistance is also available through the contact link on the Library’s website. In addition, for information on essential childcare services at the YMCA, click here.

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