The Carmel Clay Public Library Announces New Programs and Sponsorship Opportunities
If you’re like my family, you have been more reliant on community amenities—libraries, farmers markets, etc.—this past year than perhaps ever before. The Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) and the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation found innovative ways to navigate through a pandemic and a move to a temporary location while the library undergoes major renovations. And the remarkable CCPL and foundation staff and volunteers pivoted ever so seamlessly—without ever having to completely shut down its services to its cardholders.
I spoke with the CCPL Foundation Director Elizabeth Hamilton and CCPL Communications Manager Christy Walker about some of the many workarounds that the library and foundation exercised throughout the last year, what they are planning for this spring and summer and ways that the community can give back to the library’s efforts.
Maintaining Engagement Efforts and Services
“During the pandemic, the library listened to the community and has offered it what it needed during this difficult time,” Hamilton shared. “From expanded online (e-book, audiobook, movie and magazine) offerings, to monthly ‘Take and Make’ activities for all ages, and we have increased our monthly home-bound delivery service. We now offer opportunities for patrons to request a book bundle or talk directly with a librarian for book suggestions.”
Hamilton also mentioned that the library has instituted a family movie night package (which includes some microwave popcorn) sponsored by Carmel Travel Company.
“In light of these program expansions, we are always in need of additional funding outside of the property tax support the library receives,” Hamilton expressed. “A list of support [sponsorship] opportunities includes
- Little Free Libraries—we have 10 scattered around the city, mostly in parks.
- Summer Reading Program—will begin in May and reaches the entire community. We typically have around 10,000 participants.
- Visiting Author Series—we hold two virtual events per month with New York Times bestselling authors from around the world.
- Coming up in the fall will be the Writers at the Pavilion event on Oct. 6 and the Guilded Leaf Luncheon on Oct. 7. Both will be held at the Ritz Charles, and we are hoping for in person this year but of course will be closely monitoring the COVID numbers.
- When the new building opens in 2022, there will be multiple opportunities for sponsorship: pavers outside, a donor wall inside, multiple program rooms, our Digital Media Lab, study rooms, etc.”
Another wonderful sponsorship opportunity is to sponsor a StoryWalk installation by the library. A StoryWalk is an innovative and delightful way for children—and adults—to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Pages from a children’s book are installed along an outdoor path. As readers stroll down the trail, they discover the next page in the story.
Walker added, “The StoryWalk program has been a blessing. I can tell you it was heartbreaking to have to close the doors of the Joyce Winner West Branch within months of its opening. And for the staff to pivot and create these wonderful story walks there in Harrison Park in the Village of WestClay has just been terrific. That’s one of the programs that we will be continuing and expanding. We will be doing a StoryWalk in River Road Park out on the east side of Carmel. And another one at Harrison Park in April.”
Coming Out of Hibernation and Re-engaging With CCPL
Walker shared some of the many engaging and FREE programs that will continue to be offered and/or are launching this summer.
“In the short term, we are continuing to do different live, online events and programs that we had to shift to early last year,” Walker said. “We’ve been able to experiment with doing story times on YouTube so that families can watch anytime they want to. And we’ve been able to do live Zoom events for all ages. The foundation is continuing its Visiting Authors events on Facebook Live.”
Walker shared that by offering livestreaming and recorded programs has been wildly popular with its cardholders as they can enjoy educational and engaging programs from where they are and when it’s convenient for them.
“We are continuing to offer ways for people to be connected to the library, safely and conveniently,” Walker emphasized. “Looking ahead, I can tell you that we’re starting to gear up for the Summer Reading Program that has shifted to a lot of online participation opportunities over the years, and this year, there’s a fun spin—we are partnering with the Hamilton County Humane Society! The program is for kids, teens and adults, and the reading that they do will count towards different donations of different things for the humane society.”
Additionally, CCPL is partnering with the City of Carmel to present three different animal-themed movies that will be featured in Midtown Plaza in Carmel.
“We’re looking for some outdoor opportunities for activities and programs,” Walker said. “We will be doing outside activities in local parks, and we’re looking at ways to expand what we’re offering but providing opportunities that are safe in the coming months.”
Walker concluded, “April is Citizen Science Month, and we’ve got online programs with great activities. We are putting together exploration kits that kids will be able to come check out and do Citizen Science Activities at home and outdoors. It’s hard for our library staff to not be face-to-face with our community as much as we want to be. But we want to continue to engage our community and serve them in a way that is safe and convenient.”
For more information about CCPL’s upcoming programs and how to become a sponsor or make donations to the CCPL Foundation, visit carmelclaylibrary.org.