In response to IBJ’s April 26 editorial, “Simon could score for city library,” I thought it important
for your readers to know members of the Simon family have a long history of supporting Indianapolis’ public library
system and continue to be regular donors. In fact, based on their financial support, the American Library Association awarded
the Simon family the prestigious Major Benefactors Honor Award a few years ago, a recognition reserved for our nation’s
top library philanthropists.
Last year, The Herbert Simon Family Foundation made a major gift to the Library Foundation to support early literacy outreach, a primary component of the library’s strategic plan. Over the next five years, this funding will help the library expand numerous initiatives to prepare children under the age of 5 for a successful start in school and reading.
In 2003, Mel Simon and members of his family made a leadership contribution to the Library Foundation’s capital campaign for the renovation and expansion of Central Library, a vital resource that serves thousands of visitors daily.
In addition to these major gifts, family members make annual contributions to the Summer Reading Program. With more than 55,000 annual participants, our Summer Reading Program is among the largest in the country and would not be possible without the Simons and our other generous donors.
Indianapolis is a recognized center of learning, culture, commerce, recreation and entertainment. To maintain and build upon its world-class status, our community needs to leverage robust philanthropic and public resources to support diverse services and amenities that enhance our residents’ quality of life. This includes the financial support of the library by families like the Simons and our other donors for whom we will always be immensely grateful.
Danny R. Dean
President, Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation