Cracking the code to create art

Sam Householder : January 4, 2018 1:31 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Over the next eight weeks, art will be created using a computer at Elkhart Public Library.

mkt-170104-coding-art-02-100Starting at 4:30 p.m.  Thursday, Jan. 11, in the downtown library, kids taking part in Coding Art will begin learning how to use a computer to make animations, photo filters, interactive artwork and more . Coding Art also will show kids how computer programming is used in creating art and architecture.

<<<  Register now – space is limited  >>> 

Coding Art will take place every Thursday until the final afternoon on March 1.

Kids will build eight complete projects while they learn vital computer science concepts and techniques. Registration is expected to ensure enough computers are available for everyone. Participants are encouraged to commit to all eight weeks, otherwise they won’t be able to get the full experience.

“We hope kids will be excited about this opportunity to learn about coding,” said Allison McLean, head of the library’s Young People’s Services.

In addition to learning coding and exploring computer science, students will be able to learn more about how technology is used to make art in other mediums such as film or online.

Those signing up do not need any prior computer experience.  


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8 Things you didn’t know your library card gave you

Administrator : January 3, 2018 3:37 pm : Elkhart Public Library
An EPL card gives patrons access to the vast collection of materials inside the library, but it also does so much more.
library-cardNew library cardholders often don’t realize all of the benefits and perks available to them through EPL.
Here are our top things you might not realize can do with your library card:
  1. Stream media: Television shows and movies aren’t just on Hulu or Netflix. Hoopla digital has hundreds of shows and movies available, for free, with your library card
  2. Access the Goshen Public Library through our consortium
  3. Print from home. Out of ink? Printer jammed? No problem, the library has several options for getting your materials to a library printer for easy pick up. We also offer scanning and faxing services
  4. Genealogical, family and local history research resources.
  5. Ebooks, magazines and audiobooks: the library has services for getting digital reading materials onto your favorite device and it’s all free
  6. Paywall free newspapers
  7. A pass to the Wellfield Botanic Gardens that may be checked out
  8. Wi-Fi at all our branches and the Public Computer Center downtown

And of course, access to thousands of books, albums and movies

Look around, explore the downtown library and our branches and see what we have for you. Hopefully you will find something to educate, enlighten and entertain you. Welcome and thanks for joining us.
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Most popular EPL items of the year

Sam Householder : January 2, 2018 4:24 pm : Elkhart Public Library

With the calendar turning to 2018, EPL is closing the book (pun intended) on 2017.

adobe-spark-34We looked over the data of the 544,266 items that were checked out over the year and came up with the most popular. That included 283,063 books.

We took an even deeper dive into the 54,736 digital items that patrons also checked out through the digital resources offered at EPL.

Print circulations:

“Camino Island” by John Grisham had 216 circulations

“Hillbilly Elegy” by JD Vance had 141 circulations


“Never, Never” by Colleen Hoover was the top audiobook with 41 circs

“A Murder in Time” by Julie McElwwain was the top ebook with 76 circs


“The Getaway” by Jeff Kinney was the top ebook with 127 circs

“Moana Soundtrack” was the top music with 89 circs

“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly was the top audio and ebook with 85 circs


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Barney returns to be a reading partner for kids

Administrator : January 2, 2018 3:00 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Barney the St. Bernard is coming back to be a reading partner for kids this week.

The trained dog, who helps kids gain confidence in their reading, returns for the February Paws to Read session from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 17 at Elkhart Public Library’s downtown location.

mkt-171129-paws-screen-100Parents can sign up their children for the 15-minute sessions by calling 574-522-2223.

<<  Space is limited – call 574-522-2223 to get your child time with Barney >>

“The kids get to interact with something that loves unconditionally. He’s just a good listener – he absorbs every word and he doesn’t interrupt or correct or question them,” handler Renee Langdon says. “I’ve been blessed to be able to work with him and watch the children improve.”

Barney’s journey to become a therapy dog was difficult. Langdon rescued him eight years ago after he was abandoned near Wakarusa. He already was blind and had leg injuries consistent with abuse, she says.

“He had to learn to trust again,” Langdon says. “He couldn’t walk on a leash. You couldn’t put him in a car. The injuries to his front left leg weren’t anything that couldn’t be repaired, but it was a rough start.”

He eventually defeated his fears and became a good companion to Drew, Langdon’s first St. Bernard. Despite his blindness, Barney eventually passed the same exam required for certification as a registered Pet Partners therapy dog.

Pet-assistance therapy goes beyond guide dogs. They provide comfort at hospital entrances, Langdon says, and companionship at nursing homes. They have visited schools and libraries regularly, too.

Langdon has committed her volunteer time for years to working with children, particularly those challenged by autism or disability. She worked with Reins of Life for therapeutic horseback riding until, physically, she couldn’t meet the demands of mucking stalls and hauling hay bales.

She says she adopted a St. Bernard because she always wanted one growing up. During her first three years, Langdon volunteered several hours each week making visits. After Drew passed on and with Barney advancing in years, she’s had to scale back to schedule.

“I think this is best described as giving and receiving love. Barney takes it in and he dishes it out – it’s his job to love,” Langdon says.


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How to research genealogy (and the best places to look)

Administrator : January 1, 2018 11:03 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

When doing family genealogy research, it is easy to think that all of the information is online but backing that up with hard copy proof can be just as important.

EPL has hundreds of resources and the expert help to find the information that family history researchers need to verify or prove the pieces that they find online, according to reference librarian Amy Pfifferling-Irons.genealogy-02

“Many of these sites, its people just putting it on there, so then you want to go and check it,” she said.

“You want to have proof that, whatever it is, actually happened.”

That is where the books, magazines and in-house web resources of EPL come into play.

From Ancestry that can be accessed only inside the library to city directories and published obituaries stretching back to the 1860s, the items here can help set family history straight.

EPL has cemetery records and obituary indices going back over 150 years in some cases. Using an index, people can find the publication that an obit ran in and then using a microfilm machine, email it or save it to a thumb drive.

< < Check out all of EPL’s Genealogy links here > >

If a researcher is having trouble locating an item, the expert library staff is always on hand to point people in the right direction.

“There’s always somewhere here to help you,” said Pfifferling-Irons. “Coming here, we’ll help get them to the next step.”

Most help is free but if someone is outside of the area, for just $5 a librarian will do 30 minutes of research and email it to the person making the request.

Librarians can even help find other agencies that can assist, including foreign libraries.

“We can suggest another resource, another library,” she said.

As for advice, Pfifferling-Irons said Ancestry is a great place to start.

“The best thing for people to do is to come into the library and start out with Ancestry,” she said.

She also advises that when searching for the women in a family, land records are a great place to look.

“Finding the women in your family can be difficult,” she said. “Surprisingly it’s the land records because you would think ‘oh jus the men had to sign off on that’ but the spouse and the children all had to be documented on those items.”

EPL has thousands of land records, she added.genealogy-01

Links to check out:

Ancestry Library Edition: Accessible only inside EPL buildings but a fantastic starting point for genealogy

Heritage Quest:  A good place to find the military history of a family member, Pfifferling-Irons said.

Newspaper Archive: Billions of articles from the U.S. and around the globe

Local History Index: Search the library’s index of articles from the Elkhart Truth

Local Obituary Index: Search for Elkhart Truth obituary from 1921 to the present


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