Friends of EPL Fall Book Sale

Administrator : September 19, 2014 12:22 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

SL-Friends-02Open to Friends of EPL:

Thursday, October 9, 2014
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
(membership may be purchased at the sale)

Open to the public:

Friday, October 10, 2014
9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday, October 11, 2014
9:00 am – 1:00 pm

All items will be priced from $0.10 – $1.00

The sale will be held at the
Main Library  • 300 S. Second St. • Elkhart, IN

Opportunities to speak with members of the organization and/or join the group will be available throughout the sale.

The Friends are looking for volunteers to help with book sale promotion, set-up and take-down, planning of programs and marketing of the Friends organization. Anyone interested is invited to contact the group via email:

 Be a Friend

The Friends the Elkhart Public Library is a group of generous volunteers who raise funds to provide the Library with resources that would not otherwise be affordable with our limited budget. Among their contributions are programming, equipment, support for children’s Summer Reading, and special events throughout the year. We appreciate our Friends, and thank them for all they do to enhance the Library experience in our community!

friend your library-400Would you like to be a part of this? An annual membership can be purchased for as little as $10.00 a year ($5.00 for seniors and students).
Pick up a membership application at EPL, or download a printable form:

Friends of the Elkhart Public Library Membership Application

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Homework Help

Administrator : September 19, 2014 12:21 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature, Kids, Teens


Homework Assistance at All EPL Locations

Homework Assistance is available to all students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. National Honor Society students from Elkhart Central and Memorial High Schools will be on hand to help in many different subjects, and on a first come, first served basis.

Students should bring their assignments, as well as needed materials and supplies.

Times and Locations:

Homework Assistance is offered from September through early May. For more information, feel free to give us a call.

EPL Links and Online Resources

  • Kid Links
    • Go to
    • Hover your cursor over Research & Homework on the purple bar
    • Select Links from the drop-down menu
  •  Teen Links
    • Go to
    • Hover your cursor over Research & Homework on the blue bar
    • Select Links from the drop-down menu
    • OR select from the quick links list on the right side of the page
  • Online Resources (EPL cardholders)

For more information, or assistance in using the EPL website, call 522-KNOW (522-5669)

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Learn a New Language FREE through Elkhart Public Library

Administrator : September 9, 2014 11:17 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature


You may not be visiting a pirate ship anytime soon, but if you do, Mango Languages can help you learn the lingo.* Mango is an online language learning system that teaches practical conversation skills for more than 60 languages. All you need is a high-speed Internet connection and your Elkhart Public Library card. Headphones and a microphone will enhance the experience. Best of all, it’s FREE with your library card!

* Arr, me hearties! Hit t’ bottom o’ this post fer info on our Mango Talk Like a Pirate Day demo.

To access Mango Languages from the Elkhart Public Library website:

  • Go to
  • Scroll down and select Language.
  • Click on +Mango Languages.
  • Create a profile. You will be asked to sign in each time you use Mango, so you can track your progress;
    • OR Click the Quick Start button to use Mango without creating a profile.
  • Select a language course.

Just need to translate a word or two? Click the blue button on the header :
MangoTranslate-01This tool uses Google Translate to help you get the gist of conversations.
MangoTranslate-02But don’t forget, humans still reign supreme when it comes to accurate translations.

 Go Mobile

Take your language learning everywhere you go with the Mango free app for your iPhone/iPod or Android. To use the app, you must first have a Mango account set up through the Library. Download the app, log in, download a course, and start learning at your own pace, with or without an Internet connection!


Arr! Ye won’t want t’ miss this, matey!

Experience Mango Languages at our Talk Like a Pirate Day Celebration Friday, September 19 • 11:00 am in the Main Library Computer Training Center.

Golden Beats

As a lead-in to Talk Like a Pirate Day, Golden Beats will be at the Main Library on Thursday, September 18. [Learn more]



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Golden Beats

Administrator : September 8, 2014 4:07 pm : Elkhart Public Library

SL-Golden Beats

The Golden Beats are coming! They will bring their percussive passion to the Main Library on Thursday, September 18, at 2:00 pm. If you have not yet experienced this high-energy group, you’re in for a treat! Their show will be pirate-themed as a lead-in to Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is Friday.

For a sneak preview, here is a snippet from last year’s performance:



Arr! Ye won’t want t’ miss this, matey!

Experience Mango Languages at our Talk Like a Pirate Day Celebration Friday, September 19 • 11:00 am in the Main Library Computer Training Center.

[Learn more about Mango Languages]


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Board Meeting Minutes 2014 07

Administrator : September 3, 2014 12:50 pm : Board Minutes, Elkhart Public Library


The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Elkhart Public Library was called to order by Janice E. Dean, President, at 5:30 p.m.

Members present: Krystal Anderson, Brian Byrn, Renee’ Cocanower, Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, Jennifer Nielsen, and Scott Troeger.
Others present: Deborah L. Stewart, Director; Jane A. Garoutte, Business Manager.
Staff or Guests present: Marsha Eilers, Tina Erwin, Diana Gill, Elizabeth Layman, Gwen Robison, and Marjorie Schaphorst.


Adoption of Consent Agenda.

Renee’ Cocanower moved THAT the Board adopt the Consent Agenda as presented.
Mary E. Davis seconded. Motion: Carried.


Review Elkhart Public Library By-Laws

The By-Laws of the Elkhart Public Library were reviewed by the Board of Trustees, and, hearing no objection or concerns, the By-Laws remain unchanged.

Director Introduction Committee

Janice E. Dean, President, suggested that the Board plan a formal event to welcome Lisa Guedea Carreño to the Library and to introduce her as director to the community. She suggested an open house be held in September, with similar guest list to the one held after the Main renovations. Mary E. Davis agreed to head up the Board planning committee, along with Jennifer Nielsen. Deb Stewart will assign a staff planning committee to assist and invite the Friends of the Elkhart Public Library to participate.


Additional Items to Director’s Notes

Deb Stewart reminded the Board of the Staff picnic Saturday, July 19, at Bonneyville Mill Park in Bristol and invited Board members and their families. She also reported several open time slots for coverage of the Library booth at the Elkhart County Fair next week. Board members interested in either should speak with Marge Schaphorst.

Department Report

Tina Ervin, Head of Circulation, reviewed the process of collecting overdue fines and fees. The Library engages Unique Management Services, Inc., a collection agency working solely with libraries and using a patented “gentle nudge system,” which is a series of letters and phone calls designed to help libraries recover overdue materials and retain patrons. Tina reviewed outstanding fine and fees being reported in Polaris, the balances currently with Unique Management, and presented multiple changes the library might make to encourage patrons to return materials and pay off outstanding fines in a timelier manner.

Tina shared policy changes being discussed by Staff and the likely effect these changes could have on the receivable balance, retaining patrons in good standing, and material recovery. These changes include

  • Lower the maximum patron overdue balance from $10 to $5 or less,
  • Reduce internal timeline for overdue notices before sending accounts to Unique Management,
  • Lower threshold for accounts sent to Collections from $50.

Tina reported that the current Polaris receivable balance contained balances carried forward from pre-Polaris patron records and that Diana Gill with the Director is working on removing these records. Those which had been sent to the collection agency will be removed from Unique as they are removed from the Polaris database. A formal recommendation for changing the fines and fees policy will be forthcoming.


Phase II Renovations

Deborah Stewart indicated that the Elevator project and related General Obligation Bond issue was temporarily on hold. No action was taken.

Strategic Planning / Long Range Planning

Marsha Eilers reported that the Long Range Planning committee have identified four preliminary goals, which were submitted to Donna Fletcher, Strategic Planning consultant.

  • Seek additional funding sources and raise community awareness of the Library
  • Life-long learning
  • Quiet, comfortable seating arrangements
  • Enhanced collection

Marsha and Deb Stewart, Director, reviewed these with Ms. Fletcher, who indicated that some were considered core competencies, not major goals. She suggested splitting life-long learning into two specific goals: Early Literacy and Life-long Learning for post high school patrons. The Consultant will present a Strategic Plan for the Board’s review and adoption after the new Director is in place. No official action was taken on this agenda item.

Elkhart/Goshen Library Consortium

The Director explained that although the agreement to establish a Resource Sharing Consortium and integrated library system (ILS) between the Elkhart Public and Goshen Public Library was approved at the June 17, 2014, meeting, additional copies with original signature were required. Signatures were obtained.

Jury Duty Policy

The jury duty policy was presented. Procedural elements were removed from the original policy. The policy remains essentially unchanged, with the exception of a limit to the number of weeks the library agrees to pay for longer trials.

Jennifer Nielsen moved to accept the Jury Duty Policy as presented.
Bryan Byrn seconded. Discussion followed.

Scott Troeger raised concerns over item C.2., specifically the implications of establishing a limit to the number of weeks the Library would continue to employ with no loss of wages, and the Board agreed that the policy needed more revision. No action was taken.

Dunlap Land Sale

Deborah Stewart reviewed the information received regarding the process and cost involved in selling real estate, and property values in the area. Bill Kuhns at FM Stone had provided, in 2005, an appraisal of the same property, and he told Jane Garoutte that property values have not increased appreciatively. He also estimated the costs of required appraisals and title work could cost around $9,000. The cost to maintain the property is an annual mowing of $300-$350. Both recent inquiries were as to whether or not the Board was interested in selling the property, and neither made offers.

Based on the estimated property value and the costs to sell, Deb Stewart recommended the Board retain the property.

Scott Troeger moved THAT the Library retain the property at Dunlap Branch.
Krystal Anderson seconded Motion: Carried


2015 Budget Priorities

Jane Garoutte presented Income and Budget Comparisons showing preliminary budgets for 2015, based on actual receipts and expenditures from January 2010 through June 30, 2014. Preliminary budget considerations included a 3% salary increase for qualified employees, 11.2% employer contribution to PERF, 10% increase to employee insurance premiums, increases to books and other library materials to maintain percentage of budget necessary to meet Indiana State Library standing. Jane reported Certified Assessed Valuation numbers would likely be received August 1. She explained that the preliminary budget of $6,979,348, was based on 2014 budget increased by the growth quotient of 2.7%.

Deb Stewart asked the Board for feedback regarding areas they would like to see budgeted differently. She reported that she and Jane Garoutte would be attending the Budget Workshop with the DLGF Field representative on Thursday, July 24.

Selection Policy

The Selection Policy was presented. Janice E. Dean made comments regarding the tone and language of the policy and made some suggestions for revision. The policy will be reconsidered after revision by the Selection Committee.

Resolution for Indiana State Library Consortium for Public Library Internet Access and Connectivity Grant

Deb Stewart, Director reviewed our participation in the State Library consortium, the connectivity grant, and how this benefits the Library.

Krystal Anderson moved THAT the resolution to join the Indiana State Library Consortium for Public Library Internet Access for Funding Year July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, be approved.
Mary E. Davis seconded. Motion: Carried

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests



The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 6:35 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be on August 19, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Room #1 of the Main Library.


The Board of Trustees met in executive session as provided for by IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(5), Item 6: To receive information about contract negotiations. The executive session adjourned at 7:30 p.m. The Board of Trustees will meet again in executive session on July 29, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Room #1 of the Main Library.

Krystal Anderson, Secretary

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