Covid-19 rates force Library to stop in-branch children’s programming

The Indianapolis Public Library will end its in-branch children’s programming on Monday, Sept. 20, until further notice. Said Library officials in an email announcement, “We were looking forward to hosting storytimes and our extensive offering of toddler and preschool programs this fall, but due to the increase of Covid-19 infections and positivity rates in children within Marion County, we have made this decision to help protect our youngest patrons, who are ineligible to be vaccinated.

The Library officials cited reports of a shortage of hospital beds at Riley Children’s Hospital as well as entire classrooms undergoing quarantine due to Covid-19 outbreaks. “We do not want to add to risks that might cause a child to miss school, and we do not want to contribute to rising case numbers,” they said.

Patrons can still use the Library by:

* Coming in and browsing the shelves for books, movies, and music.

* Using a computer station.

* Selecting materials for curbside pickup

* Attending one of the Library’s virtual programs on Youtube or Facebook.

* Downloading or streaming thousands of books, movies, and music for free online.

* Learning a language, exploring a new craft, or discovering something new through the Library’s online resources.

* Attending one of the many online Zoom programs for kids.

At this time, the Library is not canceling teen or adult in-branch programming, although staff  still will require face masks at all times within libraries. The Library will be offering vaccine clinics at some of the branches. “We urge you to get vaccinated if you have not already,” Library officials said. For those already vaccinated, the Library will also be hosting blood drives at many of the locations.