Pick out a tree, help the library

Administrator : November 16, 2017 4:01 pm : Elkhart Public Library

The third Trees, Trees, Trees event began Tuesday and runs through Saturday, Dec. 2. The silent auction features 11 uniquely decorated two-foot Christmas trees, all prepared by volunteers, available for bid in the front lobby of the downtown library.

Bidding sheets are available on the computer kiosks near the tree displays.trees-trees-trees-03

According to Friends of EPL secretary and treasurer Gayle Windsor, the money raised from the auction will go to support the efforts of the Friends, which provides EPL with grants.

< < Find out more about the Friends here > >

“We’re looking forward to everyone seeing the trees,” said Windsor.

The trees all have themes, she said and gave each a name based on its decor:

-Go Cubs Go tree by Gayle Windsor

-Homespun Christmas by Chris Kinnard

-Out of this World by EPL Children’s Department

-White Christmas by Susan Arneand

-Queen’s Tree by Pam Eggers

-Christmas Morning by Eggers

-Holiday Baking by Windsor

-Sweet Treats by Amanda Morgan

-Christmas Songs by Phyllis Hostetler

-Wise Christmas by Tammy Waugh

-Christmas Stories by Pamela Klingtrees-trees-trees-02

Patrons may also vote on a “People’s Choice” tree, said Windsor. She said that the bidding may be followed online on the Friends of EPL Facebook page.

The Friends are still looking for sponsors for three other $25 prizes. For more information or to become a sponsor for a prize, contact the Friends by emailing

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Suggested Reading: If you like NaRae Lee…

Administrator : November 16, 2017 4:00 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

The librarians here at EPL love data and love pouring over that data to make the experience of the library better for our patrons.maximum-ride

We looked over the data from the past month to see which authors were the most popular.

In the Young Adult group, the author with the most titles in circulation was NaRae Lee, who adapted James Patterson’s ‘Maximum Ride‘ series into a graphic novel.

For those that have finished that series or enjoyed it but want to find something else to enjoy, we plugged Lee’s series into NoveList, a great tool to find author, title and genre read-a-likes and have pulled some suggested titles available at EPL.

Other Graphic Novels

‘The supernaturalist’ by Eoin Colfer – A graphic novel about a teenager that escapes an abusive orphanage and joins a group that all have the ability to see ‘parasites’ invisible to most humans.

‘A Wrinkle in time’ by Hope Larson – Another graphic novel adaptation of the sci-fi classic by Madeleine L’Engle, a girl gets involved with unearthly beings as she searches for her father.

‘Legend’ – Leigh Dragoon – Two teens from opposite backgrounds are brought together to fight evil.

Other Authors

Joss Whedon – Whedon created several TV series, including ‘Firefly,’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.’ He’s written several graphic novels based on those universes which are available through EPL’s collection and online resources.

Gerry Duggan – Duggan has written several comic series including ‘Deadpool‘ and ‘Star Wars.’ His latest book was a ‘Dr. Strange‘ story.

Brian K. Vaughan – Vaughan has had a hand in several Marvel and D.C. titles, including co-creating ‘Runaways’ and has written several ‘Ex machina’ volumes and Y: The Last Man series.


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Can you beat the clock?

Administrator : November 15, 2017 2:56 pm : Elkhart Public Library

mkt-171115-minute-100Come race against the clock and your friends during the Minute It to Win It program Tuesday.

Beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, teens are invited to try their hand at nine mini games that will be set up around the room.

No registration is required for the event.

According to Young People Librarian Lori Walsh, minute to win it involves small tasks, that the contestants working in teams, must complete, such as stacking plastic cups or sorting candy in 60 seconds.

“It’s a fun group activity,” she said. “Bring friends and come and challenge each other.”

Walsh said that points will be awarded to winning teams in each of the games and prizes would be awarded to the first, second and third place teams.

“Bring your friends and bring your energy,” she said.


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Wellfield program finds winter home at EPL

Administrator : November 14, 2017 4:11 pm : Elkhart Public Library

As the winter weather approaches and animals and trees go into hibernation, so too will the Wellfield Gardens Lil’ Sprouts program, which spends the winter months inside the warm and cozy EPL.wellfield-logo

From Nov. to March the environmentally focused education program for preschool aged children will be held at the downtown branch, according to Jodie Papandrea, manager of volunteer and guest services for Wellfield.

“We’re so grateful for the library to partner with us, otherwise we couldn’t hold it through the winter months,” she said.

According to Papandrea the first session will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 21.

She said the hourlong program uses stories, music and activities to teach children about the environment. The next session will focus on recycling, she said.

“We usually have a story, a craft or activity, hands on learning and a couple different activities,” she said.mkt-171115-sprouts-100

The dates for the Lil’ Sprouts programs that will be held at the library, in addition to next week’s are:

Dec. 19

Jan. 16

Feb. 20

March 20

According to Papandrea, the Dec. program is planning an author visit with a story in addition to an activity.

Preregistration for the program is requested so that enough materials can be provided she said. Registration is available on the Wellfield’s website or by calling the gardens at 574-266-2006.


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Saluting service: Veterans Day books

Administrator : November 10, 2017 9:49 am : Elkhart Public Library

Saturday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and the perfect time to stop, reflect on the service of all those that served in the armed forces and thank them.

While many people have never served, there are plenty of good reads out there to get an understanding of the courage and bravery of those that served.

Those that have served face challenges as they return to civilian life.

Below are a selection of books to give readers an idea of what service is like as well as books to help veterans transition to college or filing medical paperwork.

To all the veterans: thank you for your service.

Voices of War

Author: Library of Congress, Tim Weiner

An oral history of the themes of war provides letters, photographs, and sketches, from from U.S. veterans’ that have fought in World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf.

Wounded Warrior Handbook

Author: Janelle Hill

The typical wounded soldier must complete and file twenty-two forms after an active-duty injury. To soldiers and their families coping with the shock and reality of the injuries, figuring out what to do next–even completing tasks that seem easy like submitting paperwork–can be overwhelming and confusing. The second edition of this popular resource guide has been thoroughly revised to reflect new policies, additional benefits, updated procedures, and changes to insurance, including traumatic injury insurance and social security disability insurance.

Heart of a Patriot

Author: Max Cleland

A searing memoir of recovery and triumph by one of America’s finest patriots, detailing his remarkable journey from smalltown Georgia to Vietnam to a U.S. Senate seat, his trajectory serving as scaffolding for a withering critique of the Bush administration’s handling of September 11.charlie-mike

Charlie Mike 

Author: Joe Klein

The story of two decorated combat veterans linked by tragedy, who came home from the Middle East and found a new way to save their comrades and heal their country. This is one of the most hopeful stories to emerge from Iraq and Afghanistan–a saga of lives saved, not wasted.

From Army to College

Author: Jillian Ventrone

Today’s soldiers are highly motivated to serve, but face numerous challenges, especially considering the sacrifices they have made over the past decade of war. As the service branches face budget cuts and draw downs, soldiers need to be aware of the resources and options available to help make them more competitive for promotion or more credible for potential civilian-sector employers.


Author: Dan Simmons

The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn’t care: they’re addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom’s wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he’s lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Purple Hearts & Wounded Spirits

Author: Brian Moore

In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, Christian educator Brian Moore found himself unable to quiet the horror and rage in his heart. When his unit of the Army National Guard deployed to Iraq about a year later he gladly took up his gun, prepared to seek justice for his country. Yet from his first step into a battle-zone in the Middle East it became clear that his expectations of Iraq, its people, and war in general would be challenged.

Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace

Collected by: Maxine Hong Kingston

This poignant collection, compiled from Kingston’s healing workshops, contains the distilled wisdom of survivors of five wars, including combatants, war widows, spouses, children, conscientious objectors, and veterans of domestic abuse. Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace includes accounts from people that grew up in military families, served as medics in the thick of war, or came home to homelessness. All struggle with trauma – PTSD, substance abuse, and other consequences of war and violence. Through their extraordinary writings, readers witness worlds coming apart and being put back together again through liberating insight, community, and the deep transformation that is possible only by coming to grips with the past.portraits-of-courage

Portraits of Courage

Author: George Bush

Growing out of President Bush’s own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11–and whom he has come to know personally.

For Love of Country

Author: Howard Schultz

A celebration of the extraordinary courage, dedication, and sacrifice of this generation of American veterans on the battlefield and their equally valuable contributions on the home front. Because so few of us now serve in the military, our men and women in uniform have become strangers to us. We stand up at athletic events to honor them, but we hardly know their true measure. Here, Starbucks CEO and longtime veterans’ advocate Howard Schultz and National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post offer an enlightening, inspiring corrective. The authors honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an Army sergeant who repeatedly runs through a storm of gunfire to save the lives of his wounded comrades; two Marines who sacrifice their lives to halt an oncoming truck bomb and protect thirty-three of their brothers in arms; a sixty-year-old doctor who joins the Navy to honor his fallen son.

Soldier Girls

Author: Helen Thorpe

In Soldier Girls , Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home…and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have illicit affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again.

Tough as They Come

Author: Travis Mills

Thousands of soldiers die every year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost–Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation.<br>  <br> Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter.<br>  <br> Travis struggled through the painful and anxious days of rehabilitation so that he could regain the strength to live his life to the fullest.  With enormous willpower and endurance, the unconditional love of his family, and a generous amount of faith, Travis shocked everyone with his remarkable recovery. Even without limbs, he still swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, and drives his daughter to school.


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