Novel Conversations

Novel Conversations is a free statewide lending library, loaning more than 700 titles, primarily fiction and biography, to reading and discussion groups all over Indiana, free of charge.

Novel Conversations

Novel Conversations is a free statewide lending library. Indiana Humanities lends more than 700 titles, primarily fiction and biography, to reading and discussion groups all over Indiana, free of charge. We also have books available in several other genres, including nonfiction, mysteries, plays, poetry and young adult.

Who can participate in Novel Conversations?

Indiana organizations such as public and school libraries, senior centers, churches, or formal or informal book clubs. Any Indiana resident can request a set of books.

How much does it cost?

It’s free, as long as books are either shipped to a public library via the Indiana State Library’s INfo Express service or picked up and returned at Indiana Humanities headquarters at 1500 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis.

How do I order books?

Click HERE to access the online reservation system.

Click HERE to download instructions for using the system.

How long may we keep the books?

You will have 40 days from the pickup date to the due date. The pickup date should be the date of the meeting when you want to distribute the books to your group; however, books may arrive before this date. The due date is the date when the library should send the books back to Indiana Humanities.

What if I have not collected all the books by the due date?

We ask that you return as many books as possible by the due date, even if you do not have all the copies back yet. For example, if you borrowed 12 books and only have 10 back by the due date, go ahead and send us the 10 copies because that may be enough to fulfill another group’s request.

How are books added to the collection?

Quite a lot of our newer books have been donated by libraries. We have also received special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library; and the Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation. If you’d like to receive news from Indiana Humanities, we will e-mail you about these acquisitions or with other news. Email Bronwen at to be added to the list.

Cautions, caveats, etc.
  • IMPORTANT: We ship books only on Wednesday and Friday. Orders received too late cannot be shipped until the following pickup date.
  • Remember, Novel Conversations is first-come, first-served. To ensure availability of the titles you want, make your reservations as far in advance as you can. Reservations will be recorded in our database, and the books will be shipped at the appropriate date. If they do not arrive when expected, please let us know.
  • The number of copies to be sent is not absolutely guaranteed. If another group loses a book or two, we may not be able to send the number requested although it should be reasonably close.
I want to support Novel Conversations. How can I help?

We are always looking for donations of paperback books (minimum of eight copies per title) or additional copies of books already in our collection. If you would like to donate books, suggest new titles or offer feedback about the program, please contact Bronwen. Finally, if you would like to provide financial support for the program, you can donate here.


Nonprofits interested in bringing an Indiana author to their community to speak to a public audience can apply for funds to cover speaking fees as part of Indiana Humanities’ Novel Conversations Speakers Program.

With support from the Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation, we’ll send current and past recipients of the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award to speak at 25 sites across the state.

Libraries, schools, museums/historical societies, community centers, art groups, prisons and other nonprofits are eligible to take part. If you’re interested, apply online using the link to the right. Applications must be submitted by October 12, 2018.

If we select you to take part, Indiana Humanities will assign you a speaker (you can list preferences on your application; participating authors are listed below), and we’ll pay the speaking fee. You’ll be responsible for contacting and scheduling the assigned speaker, paying any travel expenses (including mileage and hotel if needed), providing the venue and handling local publicity.

We’ll notify recipients in early November, and all author visits must be completed by June 30, 2019.

For more information, contact Bronwen Carlisle at 317.616.9103 or

2018-19 SPONSORS

Contact Bronwen Carlisle, 800.675.8897, extension 117, or email