Local libraries are a popular summer hangout for families. But did you ever consider going to a library as a destination all its own? Check out these four interesting Indiana libraries:
Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne
If tracing your family roots is important to you, the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne should definitely be on your summer destination list. The library’s Genealogy Center offers more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. In addition, a cooperating partnership with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City means that family roots seekers can access more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical and historical records.
For the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center’s operating hours, click here.
Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Central Library
The Central Library is the hub of the IMCPL system. After a long renovation process, the Central Library re-opened in downtown Indianapolis in December 2007. The blending of the rich, historic old library with a new, state-of-the-art addition makes this library a must-see destination for visitors to the state’s capital city.
I could spend hours sitting in the soaring and sun-soaked atrium. But there is much more library to discover. The Simon Reading Room is exactly what I think of when I think about stately old libraries.
Families with children and teens will want to check out The Learning Curve. A high-tech, hands-on “playground,” the Learning Curve gives children access to an entire “tool box” of high-tech resources: laptop computers, digital cameras, programmable robotics and a variety of multimedia software.
For the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Central Library operating hours, click here.
If mystery intrigues you, head to Indiana’s southwest corner to do a little ghost hunting at Evansville’s Willard Library. It is widely believed that Indiana’s oldest public library is home to at least one ghost. The Grey Lady ghost is believed to have been first seen by a library custodian in the late 1930’s.
According to Willard Library’s website, unexplained occurrences attributed to the ghost include water being turned on or off, smell of perfume, feeling of cold, noises, books and furniture found moved, feeling of touch on hair and earrings, and odd items found in the library. Every October, library staff conduct Ghost Tours.
For more information about Willard Library and its normal — and paranormal — offerings, click here.
The Wabash Carnegie Public Library opened in 1903, thanks in large part to a $20,000 donation from the Carnegie Foundation for library buildings.
Built on Indiana limestone with 36-inch walls, the building is a Neo-Classic design with Grecian lines and is one of the oldest Carnegie libraries in the state.(There were originally more than 40!) Inside the library, six 20-foot pillars stand under a multi-colored stained glass dome protected on the outside by copper.
So, whether you’re tracking down ancestors or tracking a ghost, whether you’re interested in gorgeous architecture or you want to experience a historically significant library setting, Indiana has several libraries waiting for you.