The Public Collection, a public art and literacy project in Indianapolis, announced a new milestone this week: The project has stocked more than 10,000 books since it launched in late August. Nine artist-designed book share stations are now open to the public in and around downtown Indianapolis.

So far the Indianapolis Public Library, a Public Collection partner, has provided the stations with 9,862 books, making weekly — and in some instances, daily — trips to restock them. In addition, 723 books have been donated to the project, a total of 10,585 books so far for the public to borrow freely and return at their leisure.

Rachel Simon — an Indianapolis artist, community leader and investor — conceived of and developed the project with the support of the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Central Indiana Community Foundation and Mindy Taylor Ross of Art Strategies LLC.

Since its launch, The Public Collection has received national and international attention from arts, design, literacy and community outlets, but it's the local appreciation, said Simon, that is most gratifying.

"I'm happy to see people responding with so much enthusiasm," Simon said. "It's just one example of how creative people, taking action together, can make a huge impact. We hope everyone in Indianapolis, residents and visitors alike, will come see the art and borrow a book."

The book share stations are located in outdoor community spaces such as Monument Circle, City Market, White River State Park and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, as well as in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Eskenazi Hospital and Horizon House.

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