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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Public Library announced that beginning Sept. 20 all in-branch children’s programming will be canceled until further notice.

The library stated this decision was made due to rising COVID-19 infections and positivity rates in children throughout Marion County.

“We have made this decision to help protect our youngest patrons, who are ineligible to be vaccinated,” the Library said in a statement, citing recent events like shortages of hospitals beds in Riley Hospital and the high number of students missing school due to outbreaks.

“We do not want to add to risks that might cause a child to miss school, and we do not want to contribute to rising case numbers.”

The library stated kids could still use the library in numerous ways including:

  • Coming in and browsing their shelves for books, movies, and music
  • Enjoying one of their computer stations
  • Selecting materials for curbside pickup
  • Attending one of their virtual programs on their Youtube or Facebook
  • Downloading or streaming thousands of books, movies, and music for free online
  • Learning a language, exploring a new craft, or discovering something new through their online resources
  • Attending one of their many online Zoom programs for kids

In-branch programming for teens and adults will continue, but face masks will be required at all times within libraries.

The library announced they will also be offering vaccine clinics at some of their branches and urged the public to get vaccinated if they have not already.

“We want to remain open to serve our entire population including children, vulnerable populations, and those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical conditions. We want to protect our front-line staff, who has been diligently working throughout the pandemic to provide support and help to our community. Like many of you, we long for the day when Covid-19 is behind us and we can provide our full range of services, but unfortunately, we are unable to do that at this time.”

Indianapolis Public Library