National Library Week: Library Donation Spotlight

It’s National Library Week! Here at the Indiana Authors Awards, we’re big fans of our statewide network of libraries and love shining a spotlight on the important work they do for Indiana’s readers and writers.  

Last year, in addition to receiving a cash prize and one-of-a-kind hand-crafted limestone award, the winners of the Indiana Authors Awards were each given the opportunity to make a $500 donation to an Indiana library of their choice.  

Read to learn more about where each of those donations went and the important work the donations will help fund, and click on the authors’ names to watch a short video describing the donations:  

Melissa Stephenson, winner in the emerging category, chose to give the donation to her hometown library, the Bartholomew County Public Library in Columbus. The librarians there shared that the funds will go toward adult programming.  

Maurice Broaddus, winner in the genre category, selected the Indianapolis Public Library’s Center for Black Literature and Culture as the recipient of his donation. The librarians shared that his gift will “allow the Library to continue to offer resources and programs on the Black experience to the Indianapolis community.” 

Saundra Mitchell, winner in the young adult category, chose to give her donation to the Indianapolis Public Library’s Chris Gonzalez Collection, which will be used to “purchase materials on LGBTQ+ subjects to help grow that collection.” 

Both Eugene Gloria, winner in the poetry category, and Chris White, winner in the fiction category, gave their donations to the Putnam County Public Library in Greencastle, where they teach at DePauw University. The librarians there said, “Right now so many organizations and individuals are struggling with financial uncertainty in the coming years due to possible longstanding effects of COVID. We are very humbled to be chosen for such a gift that recognizes the many ways that our library serves and will continue to serve the Putnam County community, especially in difficult times.” 

Phillip Hoose, winner in the children’s category, selected the Speedway Public Library in his hometown of Speedway to receive his donation. The library shared that the money will help fund future children’s programming.   

James Still, winner in the drama category, opted to give his donation to the Working Men’s Institute in New Harmony. The library shared that they were “honored and humbled to be recognized by such an esteemed author as James Still,” and would use their funds for continued support of their mission.   

Ross Gay, winner in the nonfiction category, wanted to give his donation to one of the smallest libraries in the state, so he selected the York Township Public Library in Earl Park. The librarian there said, “As a small rural library working to develop an up-to-date, relevant collection for our community this generous gift will be a great help. We will use some funds to purchase non-fiction book selections and Grab-and-Go S.T.E.A.M. kits for children and adults.” 

From funding book purchases to collection development to dynamic programs, these donations from the IAA winners will help support the rich and diverse work at Indiana libraries. For more resources and information about National Library Week, visit the American Library Association’s website