Book selections for Presidents Day

Trevor Wendzonka : February 16, 2018 11:50 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

When I changed my major to political science after my freshman year of college, friends wished me luck in the field my degree would allow me to pursue: construction.

Several large loans and interesting professors later, I emerged with a piece of paper and a neverending interest in perspectives on the U.S. presidency. Eventually, despite what my friends said, my employment choices gave me an opportunity to get paid while seeing each of the last three presidents speak.

None of this, of course, makes me an expert. Maybe you’ll quit reading here. But I do have a bookcase full of great books – and some clunkers – about most of those guys represented between the numbers 1 and 44. (I live in the moment on 45.)

On Presidents Day 2018, here is a six-pack (plus one!) to get you through the weekend.


presidents-day-2An  assassin’s bullet! The probing dirty fingers of physicians! Alexander Graham Bell inventing a metal detector! Read Candice Millard’s “The Destiny of the Republic” about James Garfield, and keep in mind that – really – it wasn’t that long ago this all went down.

The Making of the President

I have the whole collection of Ted White’s historical recaps of mid-20th century elections. But I think the best inside baseball campaign book ever written is David Plouffe’s “The Audacity to Win.” All politics aside, the first 150 pages of this thing should be required reading for anyone trying to organize and execute an idea.

presidents-day-1A Comedy of Errors

“Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72” also should be required reading, for so many different reasons. In my perfect world, Hunter would have lived long enough to write a sequel in 2016.

The Original “Fake News”

Journalist gets story. Journalist publishes story. White House gets evasive. White House launches campaign to discredit journalist. And people couldn’t even share it on Facebook, because it was 1893. “The President is a Sick Man” by Matthew Algeo volleys Grover Cleveland’s own words back at him: “Tell the truth.”

Always an Adventure

Teddy Roosevelt was larger than life in lots of ways, but his post-White House exploration of the Amazon chronicled in “River of Doubt” nearly killed him. (And, PS, that’s two on this list of six by Candice Millard. She must be good at what she does.)

Wise Men Working Together

It’s not surprising political animus can drive a wedge between the current leader and his predecessor. But few understand the intricacies of the job, and the commander-in-chief has been known to rely on the counsel – and, sometimes, salesmanship – of presidents past. “The Presidents Club” helped recast my perspectives on the complicated role of former presidents.


presidents-day-3Probably due to the popularity of “American Lion,” my favorite biography on Andrew Jackson often is overlooked. H.W. Brands’ work was the first I read on Ol’ Hickory, and it’s a thorough study of a complicated man







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Make and taste foods at EPL Wednesday

Sam Householder : February 15, 2018 1:54 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Taste test items or use science to make a treat during two food activities Wednesday.

my-post-5At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Osolo branch, children and teens will have an opportunity to make homemade ice cream in a bag using a little science at STEM in a Bag. It’s a great, fun experiment that can be replicated at home.

< < Click here to register for STEM in a Bag > >

Later, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the downtown branch. teens are invited to taste the difference between generic brand and name brand snack foods. It’s a great opportunity to get some free food and see if there really is a noticeable difference in the foods. Chips, cookies and soda are just some of the items that will be up for tasting.

< < Click here to register for Teen Taste Testers > >

Ice cream making is a simple way to demonstrate the library’s commitment to STEM learning and how science applies in every day life. Plus it’s just delicious!

Registration for both events is required so that the proper number of materials can be provided.


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Board Meeting Minutes 2017 07

Administrator : February 12, 2018 4:04 pm : Elkhart Public Library

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Elkhart Public Library was held July 18, 2017, at the Main Library and called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Janice E. Dean, President.


Members present: Renee’ Cocanower, Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, Carlos Esteves, James W. Rieckhoff and Clarence Thomas. Jennifer Nielsen was unable to attend.

Others present: Jane A. Garoutte, Business Manager/Treasurer.

Staff present: Erin Brousseau, Human Resource Generalist; Diana Gill, Computer Services Department Head; Jeanne Glanders, Popular Materials Department Head; Kevin Kilmer, Branch Operations Manager; Marianne Kruppa, Circulation Department Head; ; Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor; Chuck Pieri, Branch YPS Librarian; ; Rachel Rice, Outreach Services Department Head; Gwen Robison, Support Services Assistant Director; Mary Beth Schlabach, Reference Services Department Head;;Paula Watson, Administrative Clerk; Trevor Wendzonka, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.

Janice E. Dean named Mary E. Davis as acting secretary for this meeting.


The consent agenda was presented. There being no objections, James W. Rieckhoff moved

THAT the Consent Agenda be adopted; that recommended investments be approved.

Carlos Esteves seconded Motion: Carried.


Review of Board Bylaws

Janice E. Dean started discussion about the time which board meetings are held. Discussion was held regarding meeting date and time. No change was recommended at this time. The by-laws were approved by consent to include revisions made at the May 2017 Board meeting.


Department Report

Marianne Kruppa, discussed her first year as Department Head of Circulation. She reported the Circulation Department was actively working to respond to patron requests more positively. An example is the change made November 2016 to the Library Card Policy to allow patrons to use alternative identification in lieu of a library card once in a 30 day period.


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 June 21 meeting.

A Board committee consisting of Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, and Renee’ Cocanower met July 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.

Four substantive changes were recommended by the committee at the June meeting.

Mary Davis moved

THAT Item B. 1. Be defined “family” for the purpose of using sick time: Omit “siblings” and “grandparents” from the list.

Seconded by Renee’Cocanower Motion: Carried

James Reickhoff moved

THAT further consideration of the PTO Policy be tabled for further discussion.

Seconded: Clarence Thomas Motion: Carried


Revised Job Description: Bookkeeper
Erin Brousseau, Human Resource Specialist, presented a revised job description for Bookkeeper. James Reickhoff moved

THAT the revised Bookkeeper job description be approved as recommended.

Carlos Esteves 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 August 15, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. at the Dunlap Branch Library, 58485 County Road 13, Elkhart, IN.

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Extension Services takes the library outside its walls

Sam Householder : February 8, 2018 8:56 am : Elkhart Public Library

craig-02Craig Cheney knocks on the door and opens it a crack, announcing his presence.

“Norma, it’s Craig,” he calls.

After hearing his welcome he walks in and is greeted warmly by Norma Wisoleek, an elderly library patron that is unable to leave her home, whom Cheney brings 10 books about every two weeks through Elkhart Public Library’s homebound program.

The homebound program is one of the offerings of EPL’s Extension Services, which brings the library and its items to outside locations through stops at retirement communities, daycares or to patrons that cannot leave their home, such as Wisleek.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Wisoleek, who has been participating in the program for around three years.

Wisoleek, who can read over 20 books a month, in large print format, said she especially likes Danielle Steele but will read just about anything Cheney brings.

“He brings me anything and most all of them I like,” she said. “If he brings a good book, I can read it in a day.”

Patrons enrolled in the homebound service are eligible for visits on a regular basis and one of EPL’s Extension Services librarians will stop by and bring several books for the patron to read.

Cheney said that the visits are his favorite part because of the relationships that get built.

“They don’t have a lot of people around, so the visits are pleasant,” he said. “I like connecting them to the library.”

Cheney said that Wisoleek is a prolific reader and he enjoys chatting with her during his stops there.

“Norma is very sweet, she’s like a grandma, she normally gets anywhere between 14 and 20 books every two weeks,” he said.

To get someone enrolled in the homebound program, call Extension Services at 574-294-2619 or ask about it at one of EPL’s branches.


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Read up during Black History Month

Sam Householder : February 5, 2018 8:00 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

February is Black History Month and now is a great time to pick up some books and read some of the thoughtful, inspirational and funny books from African-American authors.

These are just a selection of the titles in the EPL system, so stop in and pick out a book.

black-history-1General books:

< < Click here for information on the Underground Railroad program Feb. 12 > >




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