Elkhart Education Foundation partners with EPL for student success

Sam Householder : April 23, 2018 2:01 pm : Elkhart Public Library

eff-logoWhen author Eric Litwin comes to town in May, it will be one more chapter in the story of how the Elkhart Education Foundation has invested in the success of local students.

Since August 2015, when the foundation board hired its first employee, Elkhart teachers and supporting organizations have received more than 0,000 in grants to support discovery and technical programs, educational field trips, and more. The goal is to make Elkhart “a highly sought-after destination for young families” as students here “discover their ‘spark,’” according to the foundation’s mission.

“Elkhart Community Schools can and will be that system,” says Ashley Molyneaux, executive director of EEF since August 2015. “The ‘One City One Mission’ movement helps EEF fund extracurricular programming, innovative teaching grants, and special programs that will enhance the educational experience for all students in Elkhart Community Schools.”

The foundation supplements Elkhart Community Schools’ annual operating budget and supports projects, activities and initiatives going beyond the normal classroom experience. The group also organizes the Summerscape Day Camp and annual back-to-school pep rally.

For more information on the Elkhart Education Foundation, visit


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Take a walk, read a book at Wellfield

Administrator : April 23, 2018 2:00 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Visitors to the Wellfield Botantic Gardens can enjoy the beautiful flora and get a great story during Story Walk.

story-walk-08The ongoing program pieces out a children’s book onto stands around the gardens where visitors can walk up and read them as they make their way around the grounds.

The current book is “My Garden” by Kevin Henkes, which is a book about a girl who helps her mother in their garden and then daydreams of her own garden with candy growing.

According to Wellfield Gardens Visitors Cottage Manager Nina Cunningham, the program has been a successful partnership between the library and the gardens.

“It’s been really successful, the way that we’ve been able to measure that is that the books we order for the shop have sold out,” she said.

She noted that the books have been re-ordered and that all three of the books from Story Walk, “Best in Snow” by April Pulley Sayre“Kite Day: A Bear and Mole Story” by Will Hillenbrand and”Shh! We Have a Plan” are all available at the Vistors Cottage.

“We’ve really enjoyed the collaboration with the library,” Cunningham said. “I feel like we’ve really taken it to the next level with the storyboards.”

The library and Wellfield have also worked together on the summertime Stories in the Gardens program and the Little Sprouts program during the winter months.

Wellfield Gardens is a non-profit created with help from the Elkhart Rotary Club on land leased from the City of Elkhart. The 36-acre site comprised of 25 themed gardens, event space and more. For more information visit their website.




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Board Meeting Minutes 2018 03

Administrator : April 18, 2018 11:19 am : Board Minutes, Elkhart Public Library


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

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

Staff present: Erin Brousseau, Human Resources Generalist; Susan Eller, Dunlap Branch Supervisor; Mary Ann Kempa, Cleveland Branch Supervisor; Kevin J. Kilmer, Assistant Director of Branch and Extension Services; Allison McLean, Young People’s Services Department Head; Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor; Charles Pieri, Branch Young People’s Librarian; Jim Reynolds, Facilities Department Head; Gwen Robison, Assistant Director of Support Services; and Paula Watson, Administrative Clerk.

Guest present: Michael Jozwiak


Regular Board of Trustees Meeting was called to order at 5:32 p.m. by Janice E. Dean


The consent agenda was presented. There being no objections, Carlos A. Esteves moved

THAT the Consent Agenda, including investment recommendations, be adopted.

James W. Rieckhoff seconded Motion: carried


Janice E. Dean, President, reported that Director’s Evaluation would be starting in April and would be done by Renee’ Cocanower and James W. Rieckhoff.


Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, reported that she was pleased with the 14.4% increase in attendance at Library Programs in 2017.

Department Report

Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor, reported on the success of Osolo’s Book Club. She explained the three steps they take in choosing books for the Club. She also reported on several other successful adult programs offered over the past year.


Job Description: Branch YPS Librarian

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented proposed revised Job Description for Branch YPS Librarian. Carlos A. Esteves moved

THAT the Job Description for Branch YPS Librarian be approved as presented.

Jennifer Nielsen seconded Motion: carried

Organization-Wide Expectations for Job Descriptions: Addition

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented a proposed addition to the Organization-Wide Expectations for Job Descriptions

Renee’ Cocanower moved

THAT the proposed addition to the Organization-Wide Expectations for Job Descriptions be approved as presented.

James W. Rieckhoff seconded Motion: carried

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests

Clarence Thomas thanked staff at all branches for always being so helpful. There was discussion about a book challenge by a patron. Renee shared that she had called Mary Beth Schlabach about the policy for handling challenged books. Lisa described the procedures and policy that are being followed with the current book challenge, for which staff is recommending the questioned book remain in the Library collection.


The regular Board meeting was adjourned by Janice E. Dean at 6:06 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be April 17, 2018, at Main Library, 300 S. 2nd Street, Elkhart, IN.

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Lawyers to cover parenting rights in English and Spanish

Sam Householder : April 16, 2018 9:01 am : Elkhart Public Library

ilbaThe Indiana Latino Bar Association will be at the Pierre Moran library next week to discuss parental and guardianship rights to both Spanish and English patrons.

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at the Pierre Moran branch, attorneys will be discussing visitation rights for custodial and non-custodial parents that are part of “parenting time guidelines.”

The attorneys will be Heidi Cintron, staff attorney at the Center for Legal Justice, Sergio Lopez, staff attorney at the Indiana Department of Child Services and Rudy Monterrosa, attorney, Monterrosa Law Group.

All of the information will be provided in English and Spanish.

< < RSVP for the ILBA event here > >


Programa de los leyes familiares sobre la tutela de los hijos

martes, el 24 de abril, 2018

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Sucursal Pierre Moran

2400 Benham Avenue (detrás de Sears)

Presentado por la Asociación de Abogados Latinos de Indiana

Los abogados hablarán de las pautas para tiempo de crianza de los hijos, que gobiernan los derechos de visita de los niños de padres custodios y no-custodios en Indiana.

Se ofrecerá la información en español e inglés.


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Read, hear the Pulitzer Prize winners at EPL

Sam Householder : April 16, 2018 8:59 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

The Pulitzer Prize is among the most prestigious awards in literature and music.

The 2018 winners were announced yesterday and EPL has them for you to enjoy for free. These are the pieces of work that everyone will be talking about, so don’t miss out on them.


“Damn” by Kendrick Lamar – Lamar is the first non-jazz or classical musician to win a Pulitzer in music. The album is also available on Hoopla.

< < Learn more about EPL Digital Resources such as Hoopla > >


“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer – EPL has three copies of this novel, which is about a struggling writer’s journey around the world while dealing with love.


“Locking up our own: Crime and punishment in Black America” by James Forman – The book, written by a former public defender and current Yale scholar, dives into the tragic roles that African Americans, as judges, police chiefs, voters and judges, played in the war on crime.


“Half-Light: Collected poems 1965-2016” by Frank Bidart – Collected poems from the American poet.


“Prairie Fires: The Life and Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Caroline Fraser – Fraser sheds light onto the gaps of Ingalls life through previously unpublished manuscripts, letters and more. She also debunks long held rumors of ghostwriting from the beloved pioneer writer. Available as both a book and an ebook through Overdrive.


“The Gulf: The making of an American Sea” by Jack E. Davis – Davis explores the historical connection between man and nature while looking at all angles of the history of the Gulf of Mexico and what it means to America, beyond just hurricanes and oil spills. He also dives into how its history can forge its path ahead in times of climate change.

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