Get the kids inspired to create awesome art

Administrator : July 23, 2017 9:38 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Summer reading is winding down, which means the “Build a Better World Art Contest” deadline is here.

artKids can bring art projects downtown by the end of the day Tuesday, July 25, to get entered. Fabulous works are already on display, and the judges certainly will have a difficult time deciding the winners this year.

The final decisions will be made during the Ice Cream Delight – 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 31. In the meantime, pick up a book that celebrates art in children’s lives!

Sky Color
Author: Peter Reynolds
Marisol loves to paint. So when her teacher asks her to help make a mural for the school library, she can’t wait to begin! But how can Marisol make a sky without blue paint?

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More
Author: Karen Beaumont
A mischievous toddler makes quite a mess in this fun rhyming story. When the walls have all been painted, what will he paint next? His own body of course!

Maybe Something Beautiful: How art transformed a neighborhood
Author: F. Isabel Campoy
Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, this story starts with a neighborhood where everything is gray. Then one day a muralist arrives with his paints and brushes and brings color, joy, and togetherness. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

The Noisy Paint Box: The colors and sounds of Kandinsky’s abstract art
Author: Barb Rosenstock
When Russian artist Vasya Kandinsky was a child he received a box of paints. When he opened it he not only saw all the bright and beautiful colors, he heard them too!  He fell in love with painting and became an artist but it took great courage to paint what he wanted to – music!

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Board Meeting Minutes 2017 06

Administrator : July 21, 2017 11:29 am : Elkhart Public Library


The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Elkhart Public Library was held June 20, 2017, at the Main Library and called to order at 5:32 p.m. by Janice E. Dean, President.



Members present:   Brian Byrn, Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, Jennifer Nielsen and Clarence Thomas.  Renee’ Cocanower and Carlos Esteves were unable to attend.

Others present: Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director and Jane A. Garoutte, Business Manager.

Staff present:  Erin Brousseau, Human Resource Generalist; Diana Gill, Computer Services Department Head; Jeanne Glanders, Popular Materials Department Head; Marianne Kruppa, Circulation Department Head; Allison McLean, Young People’s Services Department Head; Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor; Chuck Pieri, Branch YPS Librarian; Jim Reynolds, Facilities Department Head; Rachel Rice, Outreach Services Department Head; Gwen Robison, Support Services Assistant Director; Mary Beth Schlabach, Reference Services Department Head; Mark Van Lummel, Technical Services Department Head; Trevor Wendzonka, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.


Guests: Judge James W. Rieckhoff (retired, Elkhart Superior Court) and former Elkhart Public Library trustee.  Melissa Burkhead, Elkhart resident.


The consent agenda was presented.  There being no objections, Brian Byrn moved

THAT the Consent Agenda be adopted; and that recommended investments and corporate resolution authorizing new signers for bank accounts be approved.

Jennifer Nielsen seconded                                                      Motion: Carried.


EPL Board Member Appointments

Janice E. Dean announced the appointment of Judge James W. Rieckhoff (retired) by the Elkhart County Council as replacement for Brian Byrn.   Judge Rieckhoff’s first term begins July 1, 2017 and will run through June 30, 2021.

She also announced that the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners reappointed Jennifer Nielsen to a second term effective July 1, 2017 through June 20, 2021.

Both James Rieckhoff and Jennifer Nielsen took the oath of office.

Board Officer Nominations and Elections

Nominating committee chair, Jennifer Nielsen nominated the following for Board officers for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018:

President                     Janice E. Dean

Vice President              Renee’ Cocanower

Secretary                     Jennifer Nielsen

Treasurer                     Jane A. Garoutte (EPL Business Manager/non-Board member)

Janice E. Dean, President, called for a vote to elect the slate as presented.  The vote was unanimous.

Board packet distribution timing

Janice E. Dean reported that Carlos Esteves had suggested additional time to read materials under consideration for Board action.  The Board agreed that would be beneficial.  It was therefore decided that Administration would send the packet in stages.  The Director’s report and those items requiring action would be sent by the Wednesday before each Board meeting, two days earlier than current practice.   It is understood that certain financial reports will be sent separately, no later than the Friday before the Board meeting.

Retiree Recognition

Janice E. Dean expressed the Board’s thanks and appreciation of the long years of service for two staff retiring at the end of May.  Sue Lantz, Dunlap Branch Supervisor was with the library for 17  years and five months.  Marta (Moxie) Robinson, Marketing Department Clerk retires with 23 years and five months of service.



Department Report

Allison McLean, Young People’s Services Department Head reported that EPL was one of 75 U.S. public libraries selected to receive resources, training and support through NASA@My Library, a STEAM education initiative that will increase and enhance STEAM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEAM education.  She described STEAM as an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century.

In addition, two Tinkerlab kits were purchased by the Friends of EPL and have been well received.  The ‘Hour of Code’ program held last December was attended by 14 children.  An eight-week coding course for kids ages 8 – 12 years is being planned for this fall.


PTO Policy Revision

PTO [Paid Time Off] Policy which will replace the PTO [Paid Time Off] Policy dated January 1, 2017, was taken up again.  Under the leadership of Erin Brousseau, a task force proposed the second set of revisions to EPL’s PTO Policy.  (The first set of revisions was adopted in December 2016 and effective January 2017.)  Task force members are Diana Gill, Lorene Harneck Erica Moore, Laura Holland, Debbie Lynn and Board members Renee’ Cocanower, Mary E. Davis (2016), and Jennifer Nielsen (2017).

The Management Advisory Council made six recommendations to the Task Force.  These were incorporated in the policy as presented to the Board at the May 17 meeting.

A Board committee consisting of Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, and Renee’ Cocanower met June 12 to discuss the policy as presented along with the re-wording and technical suggestions made by an attorney consulted by management.  The committee agreed with those changes and the technical revision was approved by the Board as moved by Mary E. Davis and seconded by Brian Byrn.

The committee had four additional substantive changes it recommended to the Board as presented by Mary E. Davis, who verbally outlined and explained them as follows:

  1. Item B. 1. Defining “family” for the purpose of using sick time: Omit “siblings” and “grandparents” from the list.
  2. Item C. 1. Category A. Number of personal days per year (for full-time staff): Change to 2 or 3 days.
  3. Item C. 1. Category B. Personal time for part-time employees: Eliminate personal time for employees working less than 30 hours per week. (Retain pro-rated PTO for medical reasons for part-time employees working 20 hours or more per week.).
  4. Item C. 4. a. Carryover of medical hours from one benefit year to the next: Change from 80 hours to 40 hours, with the remainder going into the employee’s Long Term Sick Bank.

The Board consentsually agreed to consider these changes at the July Board meeting.  No further action was taken.


New Job Description: New Media Marketing Specialist

Erin Brousseau, Human Resource Specialist, presented a job description for a new position in the Marketing Department that will replace the Clerk position held by Moxie Robinson (retired).  Clarence Thomas moved

THAT the job description for New Media Marketing Specialist be approved as recommended.

Jennifer Nielsen seconded                                                                  Motion carried

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests


The meeting was adjourned by Janice E. Dean at 7:00 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees is July 18, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. at the Main Library, 300 S. 2nd Street, Elkhart, IN.

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Download and go: Audiobooks, magazines and eBooks now accessible in one app through RBdigital

Administrator : July 20, 2017 2:16 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

For the first time, Elkhart Public Library and RBdigital are offering audiobooks, eBooks and magazines in one convenient app.

img_1900Available with iOS and Android devices and Kindle Fire, RBdigital makes it easy to search for content on the go. The app is a combination of the old OneClickdigital and Zinio for Libraries and can be accessed by Elkhart and Goshen library users with a library card from either system.

The new app is ready for download at any time. Starting Aug. 1, the current Zinio app will prompt an update if that hasn’t yet been done – the final cut-off will be Sept. 8, according to RBdigital, when the Zinio app will cease to function. For users already with an account, username and password remain the same.

The newly added audiobook collection is rich with popular authors like Diana Gabaldon, J.D. Robb, Janet Evanovich and more. All of the magazines previously on Zinio are still available for view.

Elkhart Public Library also offers additional eBooks and audiobooks through Overdrive and Hoopla.

Questions regarding online services and these new updates can be answered at the EPL Reference Desk, 574-522-5669 or via email.

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See how the police put technology into action

Administrator : July 16, 2017 7:53 am : Elkhart Public Library

Meet Cpl. Chris Bella and members of the Elkhart Police Department as they demonstrate their robot at Elkhart Public Library’s downtown location.

img_1785The presentation at 5 p.m. Monday, July 17, is part of the library’s 2017 summer reading program.

Bella is a bomb technician and evidence tech for the department. This STEAM-education program is open to all ages, and kids attending may have time to construct their own robot or security device after the program.

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Board Meeting Agenda 2017 07

Administrator : July 14, 2017 1:08 pm : Elkhart Public Library




  1. Adopt Agenda
  2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
  3. Business Manager’s Report and Finances
    • Financial Reports –June 2017
    • Claims-to-be-paid –June/July 2017
    • Projected Summary of Cash –July/August 2017
    • Cash Flow & Investment Recommendation – July 2017
  4. Personnel Changes Report
    • Review of Board Bylaws
    • Department Report – Marianne Kruppa, Circulation
    • PTO Policy Revision (third reading)
    • Job Description: Bookkeeper (revision)
    • Resolution – Commitment to join Indiana State Library Consortium for public library internet access for funding year July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019
    • Resolution to Establish Cash Accounts (revision)
    • PLAC Report



  1. Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests



NEXT SCHEDULED BOARD MEETING: August 15, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Dunlap Branch Library.

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