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Central Library: A Civic Place for Meetings and Events

April 01, 2013

A new events staff and in-house café at Central Library downtown represent a renewed emphasis of The Indianapolis Public Library's role as not only a source for information services but as a gathering place for civic activity.

Whereas many Indianapolis residents recognize the Library's value as a provider of books, cultural programming, free computer access and online digital services, growing numbers of individuals are taking advantage of Central Library's public spaces for their professional and personal space needs. Since the transformed Central Library reopened at the end of 2007, it has hosted over 700 community meetings, including weddings and special events.

Central Library is now showcasing new and enhanced technology in the 300-seat Clowes Auditorium, three large meeting rooms and other unique locations for business conferences and retreats. These areas feature satellite/Internet capability, drop-down screens, ceiling-mounted projectors, plug-and-play podiums for laptops, tinted/black-out shades and listening devices for the hearing impaired. Many of these features have been added since the beginning of 2013.

Mandolyn Rentschler and Emily Cordes"Central Library is a unique resource compared to other venues," according to new Events Manager Emily Cordes, whose experience includes managing events for CIBUS, LLC at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "The Library offers many value-added amenities that restaurants and hotels can't match in a downtown environment."

Cordes is joined by new Events Coordinator Mandolyn Rentschler, formerly with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. "We're already spoiled by the beauty of Central Library," said Rentschler. "It's encouraging that once people visit the Library, it's not a hard sell to meet their needs."

Private events may be held in a variety of spaces after Central Library public service hours, including the Clowes Auditorium, the 13,000-square-foot Atrium, the outdoor East Garden, and areas on the Library's 6th floor which provide breathtaking views of the downtown cityscape. Organizational and business gatherings may be booked as well in any of the Library's meeting rooms or Clowes Auditorium during Central Library hours.

Preferred catering for after-hour events is provided by two local companies, Ritz-Charles and Thomas Caterers of Distinction. For patrons during regular hours, the Library's café is now operated by Chef Dan's Southern Comfort, which offers traditional and southern comfort menu items. Chef Dan's Southern Comfort is also available for breakfast and luncheon catering.

For more information on Central Library's events offerings, including photos of the Library's many available venues, visit www.indypl.org and go to "About Your Library" and "Event Spaces," or call 275-4200.