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2023 Indianapolis library Summer Reading Program by the numbers

Indianapolis Public Library sign. (WISH TV)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Public Library’s 104th Summer Reading Program ended 30 days ago, and the library’s public relations specialist on Monday released some details about the 2023 program.

Keshia McEntire shared the information by email:

  • 22,073,465: Minutes spent reading. That equates to more than 91,660 days. The goal was 16 million minutes of reading.
  • 27,000+: Number of kids, teens and adults who participated.
  • 12,100: Participants who signed up as part of a group and read alongside their friends in local summer schools and summer camps.
  • 143%: Increase in participation in adult summer reading program, apparently over last year’s program.
  • 60%: Increase in registration adult summer reading program, apparently over last year’s program.

News release

“Participants Logged More Than 22 Million Minutes of Reading During the Indianapolis Public
Library’s 2023 Summer Reading Program

“More than 27,000 kids, teens, and adults took part in The Indianapolis Public Library’s 104th
Summer Reading Program, which ended on July 29. Readers devoted 22,073,465 minutes to reading
while earning prizes generously donated by community sponsors, far surpassing our goal of 16
million minutes read.

“Throughout the summer reading program, kids and families dropped off new and gently used books
at book donation bins at each Library location. This allowed participants to give back to the
community by donating over 2,000 books to Brightlane Learning, a local organization that fights
homelessness with the transformative power of education.

“‘The summer reading program inspires children to maintain their reading and learning habits
throughout the summer months. Interactive events, such as live animal presentations and art
workshops, draw children to the libraries and keep them involved in reading all summer long,’ said
Shael Weidenbach, area resources manager of youth services with IndyPL. ‘Our activities
encourage participants to explore new interests and meet new people, inspiring lifelong learning

“More than 12,100 of this year’s summer reading program participants signed up as part of a group
and read alongside their friends in local summer schools and summer camps. For the fourth
consecutive year, kids kept track of the amount of time spent reading instead of the number of
books read. This allowed participants of all reading levels to have an equal opportunity to earn
prizes such as passes to the Children’s Museum haunted house, tickets to Indianapolis Indians
games, Eiteljorg Museum passes, a free pizza from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, and, of course, books.
Prizes were earned at milestones of reading for 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 15 hours, and 20 hours.
Participants were entered into drawings for grand prizes including one of two $529 CollegeChoice
CD savings accounts.

“The Adult Summer Reading Program joined in the fun by tracking minutes read this year and
contributed 35% (5.69 million) to the reading goal of 16 million minutes read. The Adult Summer
Reading Program also experienced a 60% registration increase and a 143% increase in participation.
The Library had 1,554 participants complete activities such as visit a seed library, attend a CBLC
program, or listen to an episode of our new podcast, ‘More Than a Place.’ All the activities
focused on bringing patrons back into the branches or experiencing a service The Library provides.
This year, adult participants who completed challenges and activities could enter to win themed
prize bundles that reflect popular hobbies, like coffee, gardening and local exploration. Many of
the prize bundles highlight local businesses and organizations, including Bottleworks Hotel,
Haughville Honey, and Helm Coffee.

“‘We are thankful to the donors who have made The Library’s summer reading programs for youth
and adults possible,’ said Roberta Knickerbocker Jaggers, president of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. ‘They played a role in bringing the community together and nurturing a love of
reading at every age.’

“The Summer Reading Program is presented by Friends of the Library through gifts to The
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. Major Sponsors include 92.3 WTTS, Alice and Robert Schloss
Donor Advised Fund, The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, Indianapolis Indians Charities, Dr.
Sherri Lauver and Dr. Kevin Biglan, Lilly Endowment Inc., and Mary Frances Rubly & Jerry Hummer.
Supporting Sponsors include Citizens Energy Group, CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan, Corteva
Agriscience, FORVIS, The Fort Ben Branch Design & Construction Companies: RATIO, The Skillman
Corporation and Davis & Associates, Inc., Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Office of the
Lawrence Township Trustee Steve Talley, and OneAmerica.”

News release issued at 9:55 a.m. Aug. 28, 2023, from Keshia McEntire, public relations specialist of communications, The Indianapolis Public Library