Carmel Clay Public Library

Carmel Clay Public Library

Carmel Clay Public Library

Carmel Clay Public Library 55 4th Avenue Southeast Carmel, Indiana 46032

The Library was founded in 1904 by the Wednesday Literary Club. With the help of a school teacher named Luther Haines, the group began lending books from the street level room of the telephone company building on Main Street. That same year, an official board of trustees was formed to govern the Library. They appointed the first librarian, Miss Mabel Wells, on May 18, 1904.

In 1911, the library received a grant from the Carnegie Corporation for a library building. The new building became a reality a few years later, and was dedicated on June 6, 1914. The collection consisted of 5,847 books.

By the late 1960s, the Library had outgrown the Carnegie building. Ground was broken for a new building in October 1971, and in August 1972, the facility at 515 E. Main Street opened. More than 21,000 books were moved from the Carnegie building to the new facility by a group of volunteers who called themselves “The Book Brigade.”

It wasn’t long before the Library outgrew this building as well. By 1980, the collection had increased to 51,954 books and more than 1,600 recordings. The facility was expanded in 1986 to 34,000 square feet – doubling its size – and the name changed to “Carmel Clay Public Library” to reflect the entire service area of Carmel and Clay Township.

The library expansion was only a temporary solution to the space issue, and in 1996, plans were underway for a new building on a nearby site that was larger and could accommodate the ongoing needs of a growing community.

The planning process resulted in the current library at 55 Fourth Avenue SE, which opened on May 2, 1999. The new building is just west of the 1970s building and across Main Street from Carmel High School. It is 116,000 square feet, with shelving space for 300,000 books, 46,000 audiovisual items and 665 periodicals.

The new building was also designed to provide the latest technological tools for both patrons and staff. A high speed fiber optic backbone and Internet access enables users to access the information they need quickly. The Library introduced a wireless network in 2003, which has steadily increased in usage ever since.

In 2008, significant changes were made to the building to enhance service to the public. An early childhood literacy center and a “tween” area were added to the Children’s & Youth Services Department, individual study rooms were created in the Audiovisual area, a book club room was built into the existing Periodical Reading Room, and more comfortable seating areas and enhanced lighting were added throughout the building.

Outside, the public parking lot was remodeled for improved safety, while parking for physically challenged patrons was relocated to the front of the building for easier access. The circle island was enhanced by the addition of a sculpture and garden of flowers and shrubs.

In 2012, carpeting throughout the building was replaced and the terrazzo floor in the main hallway, lobby and staircase refinished.

In July 2015, CCPL debuted ccpl2go, its new mobile library.

With its philosophy of providing superior service, efficient access to information and relevant programming to the Carmel Clay community, the Library is positioned to meet and exceed the expectations of stakeholders well into the future.

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Upcoming Events at Carmel Clay Public Library

Past Events at Carmel Clay Public Library




Thu, Sep 19, 2019 6:30 PM – Thu, Sep 19, 2019 8:30 PM @ Carmel Clay Public Library

Join us on Thurs. Sept 19, 6:30 p.m. for the screening of WFYI film “Courage, Brains and Muscle: Our Environmental Champions.”  This engaging and uplifting documentary features Ms Judy O’Bannon traveling our state in search of environmental champions.  Judy was Indiana’s much loved “First Lady” during husband Frank O’Bannon’s governorship from 1997-2003.  Judy’s co-worker on the film and friend, Dr. Carol Johnston, will be with us in person to give us insights into the film and Indiana’s progress in caring for the environment.

Judy O’Bannon has travelled the world, and especially every corner of Indiana.  Wherever she goes, she often brings a video camera to capture the wonderful work people from all walks of life are doing to build up their communities.  She has co-produced (with Gary Harrison) some 78 documentaries, which have earned three regional Emmy awards.  She has also hosted the long-running WFYI series, “Communities Building Community.  Their latest documentary, “Courage, Brains, and Muscle: Indiana’s Environmental Champions,” has been nominated for yet another regional Emmy.

Throughout her life, Judy has served in a variety of leadership roles and received a host of honors and recognitions.  She was First Lady of Indiana for seven years.  She has been involved in numerous historic preservation projects, both nationally and in Indiana, and worked with the Indiana Main Street council to revitalize downtown districts.

Judy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Selected as a Rockefeller Theological Scholar, she was the first woman to attend the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Dr. Carol Johnston has taught environmental theology and ethics at Christian Theological Seminary since 1991.  She has worked for ecojustice for over thirty years, including serving on the original Ecojustice Task Force of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and locally on the board of Growing Places Indy.  Most recently she served as technical advisor for the documentary, “Courage, Brains, and Muscle: Indiana’s Environmental Champions.”

She is the author of the booklet, “And the Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations:  Biblical and Theological Foundations for Ecojustice” (available online), and of The Wealth or Health of Nations: Transforming Capitalism From Within.” She has taught adult-education courses in a wide variety of churches and lectured as far afield as Singapore on issues of economics and environment, justice, the Bible and nature, and the public roles of churches.

Johnston received her Ph.D. degree from Claremont Graduate School in California, M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City; and her A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, from Kalamazoo College.



There are so many things you can do to be an environmental champion at home, work, school, and place of worship!

Learn about how you can do your part through composting.  Green_with_IndyGreen With Indy, a local green business, will share the do’s and don’ts of composting. Green with Indy was formed in Indianapolis in 2009 and began as curbside compostable waste collection. GWI pioneered composting in Indianapolis and handles commercial and residential waste.


Tags: screening of WFYI film “Courage, Brains and Muscle: Our Environmental Champions”, Carmel Green Initiative





Wed, May 22, 2019 6:30 PM – Wed, May 22, 2019 8:30 PM @ Carmel Clay Public Library

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032


BrainardWhen it comes to sustainability, resiliency and climate change, Mayor Jim Brainard is a visionary leader who believes taking care of the environment is a non-partisan challenge we should all be concerned about.  Come hear the Mayor’s insights and takeaways from his travels to climate conferences around the world.  He will also talk about his plans for solar and the greenhouse gas inventory in Carmel.



Greg_KempfOur second guest speaker, Greg Kempf with Citizens Climate Lobby will  provide an update on legislation in Congress and talk about how putting a price on carbon would work.

Greg has volunteered with CCL for almost 2 years, serving as the Indianapolis chapter media coordinator.  Greg has authored several letters to the editor, op-eds, and articles on various environmental issues. He’s also written a novel on climate change and currently searching for a publisher.  Greg retired from General Motors as a mechanical engineer with 15 patents in automatic transmission and electric hybrid design.

Tags: Sustainable Living Seminar, Carmel Green Initiative, Carmel Clay Public Library





Thu, Feb 21, 2019 6:30 PM – Thu, Feb 21, 2019 8:30 PM @ Carmel Clay Public Library

Thursday, February 21, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032


Much environmental attention has been focused on decisions in the White House and the US Congress, but decisions made at the Indiana General Assembly matter greatly for Indiana’s environment, and for Indiana’s approach to agriculture, energy, and transportation.


Jesse Kharbanda, the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, will provide an overview of environmental-related developments in the 2019 Indiana legislative session and how you can actively take part.  Click here to see Hoosier Environmental Council’s current areas of focus for 2019.

Also, new districts for Congress and the state legislature will be drawn in 2021 and if nothing changes, politicians will control the redistricting process and once again, be allowed to pick their voters.  That creates a lot of problems, like non-competitive elections and elected officials who have to please party loyalists, not independent voters.


Our second speaker, Julia Vaughn, Policy Director for Common Cause Indiana, will let us know what is happening in Indiana to reform redistricting and how you can help pass legislation to put a bipartisan and diverse group of citizens in charge of drawing maps.  Click here to see Common Cause Indiana.

Tags: environmental-related developments in the 2019 Indiana legislative session, nonprofit, environment, Hoosier Environmental Council, Common Cause, Carmel Green Initiative, Carmel Clay Public Library





Wed, Nov 14, 2018 1:30 PM – Wed, Nov 14, 2018 7:00 PM @ Carmel Clay Public Library

Date: Wednesday, Nov.14, 2018
1:30-7 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032
Are you looking for ways to make your holiday shopping a little greener and earth-friendly? This holiday season, join us at the 2018 “Green Gift Shop” for green gift ideas that are local, organic, natural, recycled, reused or repurposed.  Local businesses will showcase green gifts for family and friends.
Here are some of the businesses that will be at the 2018 Green Gift Shop:
  • Oh Sew Cute
  • Felt Sew Good
  • WoodWorx
  • Home Town Sass
  • Mimi’s Mittens
  • Global Gifts
  • SewKnew Kreations
  • Living Green with Lindsey
  • Earth Rocks
  • Essential Wellbeings
  • Xchocol’Art
  • Spring Green Garden Club
  • Kaps for Kids
  • Land Goods LLC
  • Clean Evolution by Creative Wandering
  • One Earth Body Care

If you are interested in becoming one of our Green Vendors, please click on this link:

Vendor Information:

Along with the gift shop, visit the Carmel Clay Public Library Holiday Showcase. Did you know the Carmel Clay Public Library has hundreds of books and audiobooks filled with heartwarming holiday stories, money-saving ways to spruce up your holidays, simple to elaborate crafts for gifts, and mouthwatering recipes? Our Audiovisual Department has holiday classic movies and new releases, as well as CDs from your favorite artists. And for those hard to please teens, the library carries the latest graphic novels and most popular fiction. The Children’s Department offers an extensive holiday book collection and music and movies to delight your little ones. Books, movies, and music will be available for you to check out and take home to make your holidays brighter. Don’t have a library card? No worries, we will help you register.  Just bring some current ID and take home the best holiday gift you could give yourself, a new library card. There will be a craft for teens and children to make and take home, holiday music by pianist Julie Schlatinger, and delicious refreshments for all. Come and meet some of the dedicated library staff and learn more about one of the greatest assets available to you in Carmel, your library!

Tags: holiday shopping, green shopping, local, organic, natural, recycled, reused, repurposed





Thu, Sep 27, 2018 7:30 PM – Thu, Sep 27, 2018 9:30 PM @ Carmel Clay Public Library


We’re making it easy to go solar at a good price!

  • Save money and protect against rising electricity rates
  • Be energy independent and self-sufficient
  • Protect the environment
  • Protect the future for our kids and grandkids
  • Care for God’s Creation
  • Take advantage of the federal tax credit, net metering, and our group discount

Join us for this community education campaign to solarize Hamilton County. You’ll learn the basics about solar for your home or business. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk with solar installers offering a group discount for the campaign. To maximize the economic benefit of your solar investment, you need to have your solar installation done as soon as possible.

In May 2017, when Gov. Holcomb signed Senate Bill 309 into law, communities around Indiana launched solarize campaigns to help people understand the ramifications of this bill and make easy to go solar.  SB309 phases out net metering – a key financial component common in many states.  Solar installations completed before the end of 2017 qualify for full net metering rates until 2047; installations completed from 2018 to 2022 qualify for full net metering rates until 2032; but net metering will no longer be available for installations completed after 2022.

Thanks to the Solarize Hamilton County 2017 campaign, there are 25 new solar installations in and around Hamilton County.  And together, Solarize Indiana campaigns around the state facilitated 255 new solar installations!

CGI is partnering with cities and libraries in Hamilton County again for 2018!  We hope you can come to a solar workshop

Tags: Hamilton County, Solar, Carmel Green Initiative





Wed, Sep 12, 2018 6:30 PM – Wed, Sep 12, 2018 8:30 PM @ Carmel Clay Public Library

Join us for a lively discussion of Tony Seba’s video presentation Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation. Stanford University futurist, Seba spent the last decades studying technological disruptions such as computers and cell phones. He argues that electric vehicles, battery storage, and solar power are a perfect example of a 10X exponential process which will wipe fossil fuels off the market in about a decade. This seminar will have you rethinking the future of energy and transportation.

Tags: Tony Seba, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, Carmel Green Initiative, Film Screening


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