Celebrating Diverse Voices

Everyone has a Story

A Note from the Director

Our community is passionate about our Library. You see us as a catalyst for growth and well-being, envisioning the Library as a public space that invites and embraces community support. Our 2021–23 strategic plan centers around diversity, inclusion, and respect. In support of this, we plan to facilitate discussions and provide resources that enrich our community.

Traditionally, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day on at the Library. Each year we invite you and our local partners to join us in honoring the tremendous life and accomplishments of Dr. King. It is also an opportunity to address racial inequities and become a more compassionate and inclusive community.

While we can’t gather in person this year, we hope you’ll join us virtually on MLK Day and beyond as we expand our focus on diversity. 

 

“Everyone Has a Story” Reading Challenge

We’ll start with “Everyone Has a Story”, our new all-ages reading challenge! Running January 15–February 28, the game challenges you to discover stories told by and about different people, dive into what it means to be antiracist, and learn about authors and people seeking to eliminate social injustices. Learn more and register for the challenge.

 

MLK Day Special Event with Wonderlab

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities

Join WonderLab educators and our librarians on MLK Day for Science Storytime! We’ll share the book Martin’s Big Words then learn how light interacts with transparent, translucent, reflective, and opaque objects by exploring stained glass windows, which are beautifully illustrated in the book. Then, librarians will read the picture book Happy in Our Skin, looking at our own skin and, using Venn diagrams, the groups we are in. These activities are designed for people ages 3–6, but all are welcome. Please register on the WonderLab website to attend.

For children ages 6–12, learn how to conduct at-home chemistry experiments at MLK Day Special Event with WonderLab: Science Explorations! Use your own materials or pick up a Free Safe at Home Chemistry Kits at the library or WonderLab as supplies last. Each kit includes materials for writing secret messages and growing crystals, and an introduction to four notable Black chemists. Kits are not necessary to attend the program and all are welcome. Please register with WonderLab to attend.

You can also pick up a MLK Jr. Day Take and Make Kids Activity Kit! In each grab-and-go kit you’ll find a peace dove craft, themed coloring and other activities, tips for talking about race, and more. These are available at the Main Library, Ellettsville Branch Library, and on the Bookmobile beginning January 14. Learn more about our Take and Make activity kits and programs.

 

Black History Month Bingo

Black History Month Bingo

Now through February 28, children ages 5–12 can play Black History Month bingo! The game facilitates discussions on race, features acts of kindness, and offers opportunities to learn about Black visionaries, leaders, and artists. When you complete five in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), you’ll earn a prize! Download your game board or pick up a paper copy at the Main Library and Ellettsville Branch.

 

Monroe County Field Notes

Monroe County Field Notes

As we address systemic racism and the role that we all play in it today, we can also work to diversify our county’s history. Monroe County Field Notes is a virtual dig to uncover stories about 19th-century landmarks and people, from 1816–1876. With Field Notes, we’ll make it easy for you to showcase local history, piecing together stories and facts––and maybe even solving the mystery of Monroe County’s connections in the Underground Railroad. Watch this video to learn more, then join the dig at fieldnotes.mcpl.info!

 

Advancing Racial Equity

Celebrate Diverse Stories

We strive to provide resources and information to help individuals seek knowledge which can lead to greater understanding and compassion. We recently received two grants in support of this mission.

Our Advancing Racial Equity Collection was made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities with funds from Lilly Endowment Inc. The collection’s goal is to help our community think, read, and talk about racial injustice and systemic racism. It contains juvenile book club kits and juvenile storytime kits featuring books to help children understand experiences different from their own.

Building on the Advancing Racial Equity Collection, a second recent grant from The Wahl Family Charitable Trust will be used to purchase 100 ebooks, eaudiobooks, and physical books for all ages focusing on titles that promote diversity, inclusiveness, and antiracism.