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Outside Academics: Exploring the Library for Fun & Personal Enrichment

Listed here are public library resources that can extend your access to books, movies and films, and databases beyond Butler's academic collections.

Step 1: Getting a Library Card

If you are a student at Butler University, you qualify for an Indianapolis Public Library Card through
Marion County and should follow the following steps. If you are a faculty or staff member, please check
with your local library. 

Step One: See If You're Eligible

In order to apply for a new library card, you must:a

  • Be enrolled in Butler University OR live in Marion County, Indiana (except Speedway).
  • Be over 18 OR have a parent or guardian's signature.

Step Two: Apply for Your Card

To apply, you can either fill out an application in person at your library branch or online.

Please Note: In order to complete an online application, you must:a

  • Have a phone in your name and address.
  • Have a valid email address.

Step Three: Pick Up Your Card

You can receive your card by visiting any Indianapolis Public Library location and bringing an acceptable for of identification (Driver's License, State ID, Passport, Student ID)

Closest Locations to Butler University

 College Avenue (Approx. 7 minute drive from campus)

  • 4180 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46205
  • 317-275-4320

Central Library (Approx. 11 minute drive from campus)

  • 40 East Saint Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • 317-275-4100

Renewing Your Library Card

You can either renew your library card in person at your local branch or online.

Step 2: Searching a Book

To search for a material, go to the Indianapolis Public Library website, and enter your query into the search bar.

After you search, results for the library's catalog, events, blog, site results and digital Indy archives will appear. The catalog will more than likely have what you are looking for. Once you click into the catalog, you will have the ability to select a number of limiters to make your search easier including, but not limited to:

Limiters for your Catalog Search
  • Format (Book, E-Book, Large Print, Audiobook, DVD, Streaming Video)
  • Content
  • Audience
  • Genre
  • Topics
  • Author
  • Languages
  • Published Date
  • Rating
  • Reading Level

Once you have found the material you would like, you will see what formats are available. As you can see, this material is available at a Local Branch as well as in an E-Book format.

Step 3: Using E-Books

If a book has an E-Book option like the one listed above, you will click on the E-Book link listed next to the query and then will have the opportunity to checkout. To checkout, you will need your library card to login. Once you have logged in, depending on the format, you will be able to download the book directly to your device or read it online. The material will disappear automatically when it is due.

Alternate Step 3: Finding a Physical Book in the Library

If you are wanting a physical copy, you can choose to either place a hold on a book or attempt to locate it in your branch on your own. To locate it, you can use the call number. In the example listed above, the call number is "J791.4375 BAK." So, when you go the library, you will look for the section that has that call letter "J," or it could be sorted by genre and author. In this case, you would look in children's fiction under "R" for "Rowling." If you are struggling to find your book, a librarian should be available to assist you at the library's help desk.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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