Pop up libraries coming to McNaughton Park

Sam Householder : June 18, 2018 12:09 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

elf-lerner-01While residents are out enjoying the summer weather, they can check out our materials and browse the collection with our pop-up library program.

From 11 a.m. to noon, library materials and staff will be available on select Fridays at McNaughton Park, 701 Arcade Ave. in Elkhart this summer.

Come by and check out the materials, including CDs, DVDs and books, update or sign up for a library card and learn more about the libraries programs. Patrons can also return items to the pop-up library.

Dates are:

June 8

June 22

July 6

July 20

August 3 – Canceled 


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EPL goes wild as it welcomes Silly Safaris

Sam Householder : June 11, 2018 2:49 pm : Elkhart Public Library

22310237_1485657094805397_8865629893951354556_nThe library is going wild Thursday as Silly Safaris brings their fun and educational animal show to the downtown Elkhart Public Library.

At 1 p.m. Silly Safaris will be showcasing a variety of animals that fit in with the Reading Rocks theme of the summer reading program during their exciting program.

Amazon John, of Silly Safaris, said that he couldn’t reveal what kind of animals will be in the show, he said that it will fit in a theme of nature in music.

< < RSVP for Silly Safaris here > >

“We always travel with a couple of mammals, a bird, a lizard and a bug,” he said. “Come see your favorite animals with feathers, with scales and with fur.”

According to John, the mission of their fun, participatory program is to promote positive interactions between humans and animals.

“Our style is not a show and tell, it’s a high energy, comedy way to show animals, there’s a lot of audience participation and volunteers from the audience that get to help us with what we do,” he said.


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Turn a book into a performance

Sam Householder : June 4, 2018 4:24 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

readers-theaterTake a book to the stage during Readers’ Theater this summer at the Cleveland Branch.

At 4 p.m. on Thursdays in July (session two), children will pick out a book to read and turn into a performance, making everything from the props to the sound effects.

On the last day, the show will be performed for friends and family.

Click here to register for Session Two: 4 p.m. Thursdays July 5, 12, 19, 26

This is a great program for readers and aspiring performers alike. Registration is required.


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Summer Reading prize includes Taylor Swift tickets, Nintendo Switch

Sam Householder : June 3, 2018 8:21 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

The 2018 Summer Reading program will offer exciting prizes that live up to the “Reading Rocks” theme.

summer-reading-taylor-swift-cropTwo grand prize winners will win tickets for them and a guest to attend Taylor Swift’s Indianapolis show on Sept. 15 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Hotel accommodations provided by Edgerton Travel are included as well. A third grand prize winner will win a Nintendo Switch. In addition to the grand prizes kids and teens will have a chance to win other prizes – including Elkhart County 4-H Fair wristbands and ukuleles.

Summer Reading begins May 21 at all locations and

There will be plenty of fun activities at all EPL branches around the summer reading program including karaoke, live music, crafts and more.

According to Children’s Librarian Chuck Pieri, summer reading is important for young readers to avoid the ‘summer slide,’ that loss of knowledge that occurs over the long summer break from school.

“Reading every day is an important part of education and brain development and kids sometimes read less in the summer, so this will give them an incentive,” Pieri said.

< < Click here to see the Summer Reading website > >

Summer reading will kick off with Eric Litwin’s appearance at Elkhart Community Schools May 15-17 and culminate with a celebration and awarding of the Taylor Swift prize packs on Thursday, July 19 at the Pierre Moran branch.

Kids and teens can participate in summer reading by reading as many books as they can. To enter the grand prize drawings they can submit a written or video book review as often as every week.summerreadingposter

To encourage reading every day, kids will also have the chance to track their reading progress with reading chains. Earn a bead for every day you read!

According to Children’s Librarian Allison McLean, summer reading is a win-win because it allows to kids to read what they want while still keeping up on their literacy skills.

“When kids have a choice of what they want to read, they read more and are more excited about it. Summer is a great time to read whatever you want just for the fun and joy of reading,” she said.

Keeping children engaged in reading is an important part of developing a lifelong love of reading to continue development and education.

The grand prizes and fun activities are sure to make this summer one to remember.

“It’s going to be a rockin’ summer,” said Pieri.


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Jeanie B brings music, fun to EPL

Sam Householder : May 21, 2018 8:00 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

jb_pk_1For music teacher and performer Jeanie Bratschie, it’s all about sharing her love of music with children.

Bratschie, who performs under the name Jeanie B., will host two shows on June 6, at 4 p.m. at the Dunlap Branch and at 6 p.m. downtown.

Bratschie said she has been performing since she was 15 years old and became a children’s performer in 2003.

“I fell in love with the whole concept and the first time I performed for a class I said ‘this is it, this is the job for me,'” she said.

Bratschie said that the excitement and energy from her audiences is her favorite part of performing.

“I love the smiles on the kids faces and I love the pure joy that I elicit from children,” she said.

“I love the part of engaging children with music and teaching kids through music.”

She said she spends the school year teaching music in Evanston, Ill. as well as working at inner city Chicago schools to bring music education to schools without music programs. Bratschie said she is currently working inside of five schools.

During the summers she hits the road and performs at libraries and schools.

“My library show will often have songs about reading and interactive songs about books and reading,” Bratschie said.

“I try to entertain and educate while letting children have lots of fun and interact with the music.”

She said that she keeps her shows high-energy by making them as interactive as possible, with lots of movement and participation.

“It’s all interactive music, there’s very little sitting and listening to music, I like to keep kids moving,” she said.

Bratschie said that she has a new album out called “I Love Music.” For more information visit her website


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