Libraries turn to unconventional means to attract visitors

The Indianapolis Public Library has turned in part to Animalia...

Animals and big events are attracting families to a place better known for learning. It's the busiest time of the year for your nearby public library branch.

In this time of modern technology and e-books, it would seem as though libraries are in need of ways to stay relevant. It appears they are finding them.

The Indianapolis Public Library has turned in part to Animalia, a summer program that introduces children to animals and how to sketch them.

Three-year-old Grayson Morgan likes to come to the Carmel library to participate in story time and to check out some 10 to 15 books a week. "Clifford" is Grayson's favorite at the moment.

He is not alone. In fact, nearly 10,000 persons are signed up for summer reading programs, and 8,000 of those are children. You get a sense of that popularity when you scan the empty strollers full of books.

"I much rather like e-books because that is more convenient but for her I like to bring her into the library so she can touch the books, figure out which one she likes and you just can't have that experience on the computer," said Danielle Thompson.

"We have programs for all ages. Even adults and people love it," said Beth Smietana, Carmel Clay Public Library.

The crowded parking lot is testimony to the popularity of the programs. It's not a bad problem to have.

A few hundred adults are enrolled in summer reading programs and around 2,000 teens have opted for the volunteer program.

Contact your local library to find out about programs in your community.