Support the Lillian Childress Hall Scholarship Endowment!

Posted on October 06, 2023

Lillian Haydon Childress Hall (1889-1958) was Indiana’s first Black librarian. In 1915, she graduated from the Indiana Public Library Commission’s Summer School for Librarians at Butler University. In 1921, she joined The Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) to organize the Paul Laurence Dunbar Branch at Indianapolis Public School 26. In 1927, she moved to the public library at Crispus Attucks High School, where she served as manager until 1956. She attended national library conferences and was an active civic leader.

In celebration of IndyPL’s 150th anniversary, we invite you to honor Hall’s legacy as a student, practitioner and mentor by contributing to the Lillian Childress Hall Scholarship Endowment. This permanent fund will provide scholarships for IndyPL employees working toward their master’s degrees in library science. The selection criteria will prioritize candidates who are, like Hall was, of diverse backgrounds and underrepresented in the library profession.



Why are you creating this scholarship?

This scholarship will build diversity within IndyPL’s librarian staff by helping employees from under-represented groups pursue their master’s in library science degrees. The more diverse the staff, the better equipped IndyPL will be to serve Indy’s diverse communities through relevant collections, services and programs.

How are you incorporating representative stakeholder input?

We convened an Advisory Committee to make recommendations on nearly all aspects of the award, including eligibility, selection criteria, selection process and expectations of recipients. The Advisory Committee members are:

Three members (Allensworth, Lane and Parker) earned their master’s in library science degrees while working at IndyPL.

When will you award the first scholarship?

After the Advisory Committee completes its work during the fall of 2023, IndyPL’s HR Department will convene a Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will inform all staff when applications are open. We expect the first scholarship to be awarded during the spring of 2024.

How much scholarship money will be available?

We have already raised enough start-up funding to offer $1,000/year in 2024, 2025 and 2026. We are raising the Lillian Childress Hall Scholarship Endowment to sustain the scholarship after the start-up funding ends.

How will the Library Foundation use my gift for the Lillian Childress Hall Scholarship Endowment?

We will place your gift in a permanent endowment. The endowment’s earnings will fund the scholarship in perpetuity. Please note we may use up to 15% of the earnings to support fundraising and gift stewardship costs.

How can I learn more about Lillian Childress Hall?

We recommend the following resources:


This list will be updated monthly.