Libraries, schools, universities and nonprofit organizations across Indiana are receiving grants to purchase highly sought-after books, digital materials, and films addressing racial injustice in America to add to circulating collections in their communities. Ancilla College in Donaldson is one of the 150 libraries receiving a grant funds for materials addressing racial injustice.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and ensuing protests, many libraries were overwhelmed by requests for materials, and library patrons faced long wait times for the most popular books and other resources related to racial equity. Indiana Humanities’ Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development Grants—ranging from $290 to $1,000—will go to 150 nonprofit organizations in 60 Indiana counties to enable them to meet increased demand for materials to circulate in their communities. (A full list of grant recipients follows.) The project was made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
“It is encouraging to know that so many Hoosiers have turned to literature, history, commentary and other products of the humanities to wrestle with the systemic racism facing our nation,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We’re grateful to Lilly Endowment for recognizing this need and providing us with funds to help our state’s libraries address this demand and equip Indiana residents with additional resources that can catalyze and contextualize our conversations.”
Schools, community organizations and libraries across Indiana were invited to apply to Indiana Humanities for funds to add digital or physical resources addressing systemic racism, inequitable policing and/or protest through a humanities lens. Indiana Humanities worked with the Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) Collection Management Team to develop the list of eligible resources. Also consulted were the Central Indiana Community Foundation’s “Tools for Accountability” and resource lists provided by Booklist (a publication of the American Library Association). The list was also reviewed by IndyPL’s Diversity & Inclusion and Center for Black Literature & Culture staff, Indiana Humanities staff and humanities scholars.
Lilly Endowment provided Indiana Humanities with a grant to distribute $134,264 to libraries and add books to the Indiana Humanities Novel Conversations statewide lending library. Lilly Endowment also awarded IndyPL $140,000 to purchase titles about racial equity for libraries within its system.