The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund

It has awarded more than $23.3 million since its inception to increase literacy, information literacy, and information access for Marion County residents. The Library Fund is a field-of-interest fund of The Indianapolis Foundation (a CICF affiliate).

Eligible libraries make use of the fund for innovative programs like these:

  • IUPUI’s University Library and its Center for Service Learning are using a $30,594 grant to engage college students in family literacy programs for low-income and Hispanic residents on the Near Westside of Indianapolis.
  • The Franklin branch library, as well as the high school libraries of Arsenal Tech, Beech Grove, Roncalli, and Southport, used small grants to test new programs encouraging youth to read.
  •, with an annual grant of more than $500,000, provides free access to print resources not otherwise available at any school or library building in Marion County, and to anyone who has a public library card in Marion County. Resources include newspaper, journal, and magazine articles; information from standard library reference sources; and collections of resources designed to enhance student learning and achievement.

The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund will be accepting applications twice a year to support projects from libraries in Marion County. Priority consideration will be given to those libraries that are able to present a compelling case for support based on need, request support that is not a part of general operating budgets, and has predetermined desired outcomes explicitly stating how resources will impact the Marion County community, our residents and/or students. All high school libraries are encouraged to apply for a Media Center Enhancement Grant.

Grant Programs

The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund has three primary grant programs:

1. Library Fund competitive Grants 

The Library Fund accepts general applications from all eligible libraries, including all Marion County high schools and their respective libraries, to support innovative programs that have the potential of demonstrating impact.

Geographic Restriction: Marion County

Funding Restriction: The Indianapolis Public Library; any high school library (public/private/charter) in Marion county; and academic libraries at IUPUI, Marian University, and University of Indianapolis

Grant award range: Varies

Grantmaking schedule:

Applications accepted
staff review
 Board Review
Oct. 1, 2021-Nov. 30, 2021 Dec. 2021-Feb. 2022 March 2022

2. High School media center enhancement Grants

High school libraries are also encouraged to submit a grant application to support high-quality collections and resources. While all high schools may apply for a general Library Fund grant, the high school development grant program is specifically focused on improving collections, technology and access to resources for high school students.

Geographic Restriction:  Marion County

Grant Award Range: Varies depending on high school enrollment, the strength of articulated outcomes and capacity of staff to carry out the project.

Funding Restriction: Any Marion County High School Library
Marion County high school media centers with at least one full-time media specialist are eligible to be considered for Library Fund grants. Please note that “full-time” means assigned to the media center full-time. The proposed development of your school’s collections must have proper oversight in the implementation and use of funds. If your high school’s media specialist has classroom teaching responsibilities, then your high school media center may not be eligible for this grant.

The 2020-2021 grant report is due June 1, 2021. DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE

3. Minde Browning Professional Development Fund

The purpose of the Minde Browning Fund is to provide small professional development grants to professionals serving in any of the eligible Marion County libraries.

Grant Award Range: Up to $1,000

Geographic Restriction:  Marion County

Grantmaking Schedule: Minde Browning applications are accepted throughout the year and decisions are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Please submit the request a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the start of the activity in which the grant request will fund.

DOWNLOAD THE Minde Browning Professional Development Fund APPLICATION here