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"Stacks: A History of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library" Now Available from the Library Foundation

April 20, 2011

A new book that tells the story of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library’s evolution from its origin in 1873 and its role in the educational and cultural life of Indianapolis is now available from the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Stacks: A History of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library is a work commissioned by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation and written by S.L. Berry, a former staff writer for The Indianapolis Star who specialized in covering the visual and literary arts. Berry is the author or co-author of histories of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Herron School of Art and Design, and the Indianapolis Art Center. Additional contributions were made by local architectural historian and writer Mary Ellen Gadski. The 272-page book, filled with historic photographs and colorful imagery, was designed by local graphic designers Jim and Jon Sholly.

Stacks highlights the Library’s relationship with the community it has served for 138 years and describes how the Library has been a reflection of, and a counterpoint to, the various political, social, religious and economic forces affecting American society. It differs from a previous history of the Indianapolis library written by then IMCPL Associate Director Lawrence J. Downey published in 1991, A Live Thing in the Whole Town, which provided an internal look at the Library’s chronological history, staff and facilities through 1990.

A public unveiling of the book, which included remarks from the author and Library officials along with book sales and author signings, was held on April 14 at Central Library downtown. Stacks is available for purchase for $25 through the Library Foundation.