NEWS: Peabody Public Library receives grants to support exciting new offerings for the community



COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (September 14, 2019) – Peabody Public Library was recently awarded two grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLA) and the Indiana State Library (ISL) to provide new experiences, and expand offerings to community members.

One of the grants will help fund a new program offered by the youth services department, called “Wild About Wetlands.” Peabody Public Library is the only public library in the State of Indiana located on a wetland.

“The library sits on a beautiful 15-acre wetland, and we want to utilize this natural space,” said Peabody Public Library Youth Services Librarian Mary Graber.

The Wild About Wetlands program will encourage children who visit the library, to be explorers, spend time outdoors, and learn about the wetlands.

“Studies have shown that spending time outside strengthens mental health, improves conservation attitudes, academic achievement, and improves social skills and relationships,” said Graber. “We can offer children a space where they can explore a natural environment and learn about native wetlands.”

The library will host nature programs and organize educational activities for children. The awarded funds will provide tools for children such as: microscopes, compasses, binoculars, night vision scopes, tablets, an underwater drone and several more items.

Another grant was awarded to the library for preserving historical materials.

“With funding from this grant we’ll be able to digitize historical items such as: handwritten ledger books, board meeting minutes dating back to the library’s inception in 1901, photos, slides and more,” said Peabody Public Library Adult Services Librarian Katy Southern.

Prominent community members such as Thomas R. Marshall, former governor and Vice President of the United States, served on the library board of directors, and is mentioned throughout board meeting minutes.

The grant will fund: a large format graphics scanner, large format document scanner, two laptops, a mobile workstation and intern salary during the grant term.

“This will allow us to specifically preserve more women’s history locally as well,” said Southern. “Many women’s history collections have been lost over the course of time, because archivists traditionally deemed them less important.”

Want to stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Peabody Public Library? Visit and follow the library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library.”




The Peabody Public Library serves all individuals as a pathway to learning, culture and entertainment. The library has served individuals in Whitley County since 1901. In 1917, Simon J. Peabody donated lands and funds build Peabody Public Library on North Main Street in Columbia City, and it continued to serve the community well for many years. In 1999, the new state-of-the-art Peabody Public Library was built in Columbia City. The 29,688-square-foot facility located off Hwy 205, sits on 14-acres, and is the only library in the State of Indiana that is located on a wetland.



Mary Graber – (Peabody Public Library) 260-244-5541

Katy Southern – (Peabody Public Library) 260-244-5541