The Friends of Elkhart Public Library provide more than just financial support for the library, they are a network of volunteers and donors committed to making it better for the community.
According to Friends of EPL president Ken Clayborn, the group is seven years old and boasts around 140 members and they provide tremendous assistance to the library system in the city.
“The Friends raise money for grants that the library can use to buy things that are not in their budget,” Clayborn said.
Many of the items that the Friends purchase are items used as giveaways and prizes in various programs but they also provide equipment to library departments, such as a book binder for the technical services department to assist with book repairs, Clayborn said.
He said that the Friends do several fundraisers throughout the year, the biggest of which is the monthly book sales, as well as the ongoing book sale shelves at all EPL branches.
By the end of the year, Clayborn said that the Friends will have awarded $16,000 in grant money to the library and various programs.
Over the last two years they’ve purchased furniture, a LEGO table, a software, tablets, FitBits and community chess boards, according to Clayborn.
Members of the Friends said their service and commitment to the group came from their passion for libraries.
“I love libraries, I think they’re very important for the health of a community, not just the emotional and mental health but encouraging some of the things like we do with the FitBits, the walking, the people outside playing chess, some of those communal aspects of libraries can bring people together,” Clayborn said.
Friends member Gloria Taylor echoed that idea of community.
“I think it’s important for the city to have a public library and I want to do whatever I can to keep it going and make it better place for the community,” she said. “I think through things that the friends do, the community can see what’s available at the library.”
Clayborn said that the Friends are always looking for new members and that people can be as involved as the y want, simply paying dues, volunteeringor becoming an active board member.
“People don’t realize how many resources are available at the library and in a way being a Friend of the Library is a way of paying that back,” he said.
The Friends have a couple of fundraisers coming up.
Plans are underway on the Trees, Trees, Trees events, which will have decorated trees available for silent auction at the beginning of November at the downtown library, Clayborn said.
A trivia fundraiser is currently being planned for early 2018, he said. Book sales are the first Saturday of every month, with the next one scheduled for Nov. 4.
For more information on the Friends or to get a membership application click here.
ELKHART –Stop, drop or roll in to the downtown library for a fire safety program Monday, Oct. 16.
Keeping children and families safe is the first priority for Fire Prevention Week and the Elkhart Fire Department will help families plan during the program.
Starting at 4:30 p.m., downtown, the fire safety course will educate children about what firefighters will wear when they rescue them and what they should do to stay safe and get out if there is a fire.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the message of this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Hear a beep where you sleep,” emphasizing the importance of working smoke detectors in bedrooms.
During the program Elkhart firefighters will try to alleviate some of the stress children can feel during a disaster by preparing them for the worst case scenario.
Families will be encouraged to check their smoke detectors and come up with a plan for how to escape their homes in the event of a fire and coming up with a meeting spot.
The NFPA says there should be two escape routes from every room planned.
Come to the program and look out for the big red fire truck, everyone in the family is sure to enjoy and learn something to stay safe.
Retiring is supposed to be easy but signing up for Medicare is often difficult or confusing for many new retirees.
Thankfully, Medicare 101 is here to help.
On Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m., the free educational program will be presented by the office of Rep. Jackie Walorski at the downtown library.
According to Walorski Constituent Liaison Jan Faker, the program will go over the basics of signing up for and coverage for all types of Medicare parts: A, B, C and D.
Faker said that a representative from the Indiana State Health Insurance Program will be on hand as part of the presentation as well.
“I always say that Medicare arrives like a baby: it doesn’t come with a match,” said Faker.
Since it is a purely educational program, Faker said that attendees can ask questions and get help from impartial sources.
“No one is marketing anything, no one is selling anything,” she said.
For more information on Walorski’s sessions visit walorski.house.gov/medicare/.
With October underway it’s the season of spooky, scary and fun and the Elkhart Public Library has a number of activities for Halloween fans of all ages.
From stories of the paranormal to costume making and pumpkin launching, the library has you covered this season.
Here are the activities happening this month:
- Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m., the Osolo Branch will be hosting a STEM program where pumpkin towers will be built and candy pumpkins will get launched
- Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4:30 p.m. the Pierre Moran Branch will host a mask making party for teens
- Saturday, Oct. 21, from 12 t0 2 p.m., the library will be participating in the Trunk or Treat event at Island Park
- Thursday, Oct. 25, at 5 p.m., the downtown library will host Creepy Tales and First Hand Encounters with the BSR Paranormal team
- Friday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m., the downtown library will host a haunted gingerbread house making event
- Monday, Oct. 30, at 4:30 p.m., the Pierre Moran branch will host a Halloween party with treats, games and more
- Monday, Oct. 31, at 10 a.m., the downtown library will host a Halloween parade for kiddos in costume, stories and a craft
- Monday, Oct. 31, at 4:30 p.m., the downtown library will host a Halloween party with games, a craft, prizes for book-themed costumes and much more
As always for the full list of activities check out our events calendar.
ELKHART — A paranormal investigation team will share stories of chasing Sasquatch, Dogmen and other unexplained phenomenon during a special program for Halloween.
At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, members of the BSR Paranormal group, which has Elkhart and Fort Wayne chapters, will speak at the downtown location.
According to group founder Jennifer Jacobs, the group travels around the region exploring reports of hauntings and creatures such as Sasquatch, Mothman and Dogman, among others.
“We investigate all aspects of the paranormal,” she said. “We’re going to discuss the history of Halloween and we’ll go over our experiences and others’ experiences,” said Jacobs
She said she will share tales of time she was attacked by “something” at the Ohio State Reformatory Prison and stories from a ghost hunt at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
Following the presentation, the group will answer questions. She said patrons can expect to learn what happens at an investigation; how they do it and that it’s all right if they have a paranormal encounter of their own.
“They are not alone if they have experienced anything,” Jacobs said.