East 38th Street Branch Library

5420 East 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46218


About East 38th Street Branch Library

The Emerson Branch Library opened in October, 1957, in a frame house at 3642 N. Emerson Avenue. Books and people quickly crowded the house and the need for a larger building was immediately apparent.

A new 7,500 square foot bulding in the same location opened in March, 1962. Over the years, space was needed for the addition of computers that reduced the number of study tables. This branch served the community until 2003.

In mid 2003, a well-worn Emerson Branch Library closed its doors and reopened as the East Thirty Eighth Street Branch Library at 5420 East 38th Street. Located on three acres, the East 38th Street Library has 16,000 square feet and over 60 parking spaces. The building has a unique triangular shape and an open design with windows on all three sides.

One-half acre of the three-acre site is designated as wetlands. Over 300 butterfly plants are planted on the perimeter of the wetlands. Current plans include the development of a boardwalk through the wetlands with informational signage and additional plants along the boardwalk.  

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