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Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Caroline Fraser – Fraser sheds light onto the gaps of Ingalls life through previously unpublished manuscripts, letters and more.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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Board Meeting Agenda 2018 04

Administrator : April 13, 2018 4:17 pm : Elkhart Public Library



1. Adopt Agenda
2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
3. Business Manager’s Report and Finances
a. Financial Reports – March 2018
b. Claims-to-be-paid – March/April 2018
c. Projected Summary of Cash – April/May
d. Cash Flow & Investment Recommendation – April through June
4. Personnel Changes Report
5. 1st Quarter PLAC Report

1. Director Evaluation

1. Informational Items
2. Department Report – Allison McLean, head of Young People’s Services


1. Job Description revision: Head of Circulation
2. Hoosier S.T.A.R.T. – Proposal/Resolution to Participate
3. Elkhart Public Library 457b Plan (Edward Jones/MG Trust) – Recommendation to phase out
4. Cash Accounts – Resolution to Establish

G. Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests

NEXT SCHEDULED BOARD MEETING: May 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the Cleveland Branch Library.

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Author Lewis talks new book, inspiration ahead of EPL visit

Sam Householder : April 9, 2018 3:31 pm : Elkhart Public Library

lewis_beverly1Author Beverly Lewis will share her love of books and give a glimpse into her writing process during a visit to Elkhart Public Library next week.

At 10 a.m. on Friday, April 13, Lewis will talk about her newest release, “The Road Home” and sign copies of it as well.

The author said in an email interview, that she enjoys interacting with her fans, hearing their stories and sharing her process with them.

“Connecting with the people who’ve read my heart on the pages of my books is one of my greatest joys,” Lewis said.

“I am eager to come to EPL and share my heart with the library patrons there, give them a glimpse into my writing process, research for this particular book, and to encourage writers, too.”

Her latest novel, “The Road Home” will be released April 3 and Lewis said that it is a story about grieving and longing for home and family.

The book follows Lena Rose Schwartz, who, after the death of her Amish parents, is separated from her nine siblings and her love. She consoles herself that her new life in Lancaster County, Pa. won’t be forever. Someday she will return to Centreville, Mich., and all she left behind. But even as Lena Rose holds on to hope for a reunion, she discovers that Lancaster holds charms of its own.

Lewis said that the themes are relatible for everyone.

< < RSVP to Beverly Lewis’s visit to EPL > >

“(These are) sentiments all readers can relate to. But, as Lena Rose declares later in the book: ‘Good things do come out of deep sorrow and great loss…at least in time,’ so “The Road Home” is a story-journey on the path of hope, and ultimate joy.”

Lewis said she draws inspiration for her novels from her own experiences growing up in Lancaster County, as well as family stories of her grandmother Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left the Old Order Mennonite church and was shunned by her family. She said she will also do deep research by spending time living with Amish families or sharing ideas with trusted Amish friends to make sure she’s accurately portrayed their way of life.

“Since my books typically are character-driven, it’s the authenticity of the cast of characters that builds my passion for their particular story-journey,” she said.

Lewis said she feels a level of familiar comfort when she visits Elkhart County, thanks to the prominence of the many Amish that live in the area. But she said there are differences.

“I’ve sensed a feeling of coming home, since the Amish here are similar, but not in all ways, to Lancaster County’s Amish communities,” Lewis said. “Some of the theological differences are unique and quite interesting and any time I can spend time near Amish farmland, what’s not to love?”

Lewis is already working hard on her next novel, which is set to be released this fall.


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Turn late fees into help during amnesty week

Sam Householder : April 9, 2018 9:06 am : Elkhart Public Library

food-for-finesThe Elkhart Public Library will be accepting food items in exchange for a reduction of late fees.

During regular hours between Monday, April 9 and Saturday, April 14, the EPL will accept non-perishable food items or toiletries, to be donated to the Church Community Services food pantry.

For every one item of food donated, [insert_php] echo do_shortcode("[blog_in_blog category_id='1' num='5']"); [/insert_php].50 of fines will be waived and for every toiletry item, will be waived. Only late fees can be reduced, not fines for damaged or lost items.


  • Only non-perishable food and toiletry items will be accepted
  • Only unopened packages and unexpired items will be accepted
  • Only undamaged items will be accepted
  • No homemade food items can be accepted
  • Goshen library items checked out through EPL are eligible as well

Items can be returned to any EPL branch location during the amnesty period. For the hours and locations of the branches click here.

Here are some of the items that CCS lists on their website as desired items:

  • Low sodium, hearty soups and stews
  • Low sodium canned vegetables
  • Low sugar canned fruit
  • Whole grain pasta and rice
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Personal care items: soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • Baby items: diapers, baby food

EPL partners with CCS year round, offering donation bins inside the lobby of every location to accept food and toiletry items. Last year EPL contributed 625 lbs. of food and other items for CCS.

This is a good opportunity to turn late fees into assistance for those that are less fortunate right here in the Elkhart community.

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Interlibrary loan gives access to millions of items

Sam Householder : April 8, 2018 11:55 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

ill-2When it just isn’t in the EPL collection, there are thousands of other collections to be tapped.

Interlibrary loan, the process in which books, CDs and other items can be borrowed from a network of libraries nationwide, is available to any EPL cardholder.

According to reference librarian Vonda Litwiller, interlibrary loan is used to get older items that may not be in the EPL collection.

“We don’t use it for new books, we’ll buy one if that’s what someone is looking for. But maybe our collection doesn’t have the paperback of a book or maybe it was taken out of circulation because it hadn’t been checked out in a long time. Those are the cases for interlibrary loan,” she said.

Large print books are a popular item for I.L.L., Litwiller said, because those are not often released in that easier-to-read style right away.

Patron Michael Garreffa visits the Pierre Moran branch a couple of times a week and uses I.L.L. to get large print materials.

“I need large print, my first choice is if the library has it (is to) to get it through them,” he said.

When the book he is looking for isn’t available in the EPL catalog, he has a librarian get it from another participating library.

“It is really unbelievable, you can get them from all over the United States,” said Garreffa.

The service is free for all EPL cardholders.

Other patrons use the I.L.L. program to listen to music and audiobooks.

Matt Miller, of Elkhart, said that he comes into the downtown branch weekly to get audiobooks and music.

“I can get music that the library doesn’t have,” he said of his use of I.L.L.

Miller said that he likes to try out bands and albums by getting them through the library. If he likes it, he might then buy it.

“I’ve been going to the music CDs in the library and see if I like it, sometimes I find bands I like and I buy them,” he said.

Miller, who is legally blind, said that the library’s audio collection and I.L.L resources help him to find the entertainment he needs.

“I listen to a lot of glam rock from the 1980s; Motley Crue, Poison,” he said.

Patrons are eligible to check out up to three items at a time through I.L.L. and must be in good standing on their library account. For more information on I.L.L., come in and talk to a librarian.


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