Library Awarded Matching Grant

Librarian and children on StoryWalk

Library Awarded Matching Grant

The Community Foundation of Boone County will match donations up to $20,000 given through Oct. 15.

HMMPL has been chosen as a recipient of a Community Foundation of Boone County (CFBC) Education & Development of Literacy matching grant. All donations given to HMMPL through Oct. 15 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by CFBC, up to $20,000. Funds raised throughout the matching grant period will be used for the Library’s Pathway to Literacy initiative at the Whitestown Branch currently under construction at 3601 S. Albert S. White Drive.

“We are so excited for this opportunity and really hope the community will donate to help us realize every dollar of the match,” said HMMPL Whitestown Branch Manager Ashtan Bennett. “The funds raised will help us add some wonderful features specifically designed to increase youth literacy.”

One of the main projects Bennett hopes to fund through the grant is a new StoryWalk® that will be installed along the current trail through the wooded area behind the new branch.  The multi-station exhibit will contain permanent structures that allow the Library to share a book page-by-page with visitors, similar to the HMMPL StoryWalk® located at Zionsville’s Elm Street Green. A new book will be featured on the StoryWalk® each month from March to October and additional copies of each book presented will be available for patrons to check-out within the Library.

Librarian, children and caregivers at Elm Street Green StoryWalk

A collection of nature and read-a-long books within the Youth Department is also on the wish list for the Library’s second location. If funding allows, a variety will be purchased, including large-print, nonfiction, easy reader books and others designed to encourage literacy through the exploration of nature. Included in the collection will be hundreds of VOX™ Books, which feature a permanently attached audio button that transforms a print book into an all-in-one read-along without the need for internet. Readers simply push a button and a narrated recording reads the story that follows the printed text in the book.

A stack of VOX Books, read-along books with integrated narration

“The VOX™ Books are a powerful tool for engaging children with books and developing the reading skills needed for success,” Bennett said. “They are also a wonderful support for non-traditional and reluctant readers and provide a multitude of benefits, providing young readers with independence, eliminating barriers around reading, and adding to the unique offerings and accessibility of books in the Library.”

Busy parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers will enjoy the added convenience of Pea Pod Packs funded through the grant. Pea Pod Packs include 10 board books prepackaged into a tote and ready for checkout. These packs provide families with young children the opportunity to begin exploring books without having to search the shelves of the Library to find board books.

Board books from a Pea Pod pack

To donate funds toward the matching grant program, visit the HMMPL website, or contact Kaki Garard at