Think of our Friends for Giving Tuesday

Administrator : November 24, 2017 12:16 pm : Elkhart Public Library

friends-of-library-01As the holidays come around, people’s minds often turn to giving.

There are many, many worthy charities to donate, one that is often overlooked is the Friends of Elkhart Public Library.

The Friends are a network of library supporters, mostly volunteers, working to support and make the library better.

President of EPL Ken Clayborn said the seven-year-old group has around 140 members.

“The Friends raise money for grants that the library can use to buy things that are not in their budget,” Clayborn said.

Many of the items that the Friends purchase are items used as giveaways and prizes in various programs but they also provide equipment to library departments, such as a book binder for the technical services department to assist with book repairs, Clayborn said.

The Friends hold several fundraisers a year that they use to fund the grants they give.

Currently they have their third Trees, Trees, Trees event going on, which ends Saturday, Dec. 2. Stop in and bid on uniquely decorated two-foot Christmas trees inside the lobby at the downtown branch.

< < Learn more about Trees, Trees, Trees and how to bid here > >

The Friends also host a monthly book sale at the downtown library as well as offering books for sale near the circulation desks at every branch during regular daily hours.

Plans are underway for a trivia fundraiser in the early part of next year.

In addition to supporting the Friends through these fundraisers, anyone can become a friend as well. The sign up form is available at the circulation desk of any EPL location or can be downloaded from our website.

< < Learn more about the Friends and how they support EPL > >

This Giving Tuesday, consider giving to your Friends and help support the programs and events that make EPL great.


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Be a gift-giving pro with these Black Friday searches

Administrator : November 24, 2017 7:33 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

If you're feeling overwhelmed by shopping choices, keep reading to find out how our online resources can help.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by shopping choices, keep reading to find out how our online resources can help.

Be a gift-giving pro this holiday season with help from Elkhart Public Library.

Two of the library’s online resources, NoveList and Consumer Reports, connect shoppers with recommendations and reviews to find the right gifts for everyone on their lists.

NoveList makes recommendations based on hundreds of search criteria: author, genre, subject, readalikes and many more. NoveList recently added nonfiction and audiobooks to go along with fiction searches.novelist

Think of it as a searchable “customers who liked this also liked …” list available on shopping or streaming media websites.

“It helps in giving the gift of a book, if you need help picking out the right one,” said EPL reference librarian Celine Maciejewski.

Beyond books, Consumer Reports offers library cardholders a way to find the best of just about anything before making holiday purchases.

Consumer Reports offers their thoroughly tested ratings on everything from frozen waffles to tires and of course many gadgets and electronics that are gift options.

Maciejewski said patrons being able to access Consumer Reports from anywhere allows them to look up ratings and recommendations while standing in the store or adding items to their online cart.consumer-reports

“This supplements their print source, they can access it in the store if they have their library card on them,” she said. “You can take the library with you on the go.”

For helping accessing NoveList or Consumer Reports watch this short video.


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Need last minute Thanksgiving cooking help?

Administrator : November 20, 2017 4:47 pm : Elkhart Public Library

It’s Monday, Thanksgiving is Thursday and maybe you’re panicking because you promised to cook the big meal but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve never cooked a turkey and want to give it a try but would like some expert reinforcement?thanksgiving-101

EPL has the books to help. Don’t rely on some unproven internet blogger, check out these expertly written cookbooks.

No time to get to the library? No problem, our electronic resources let you access cookbooks from home so you can make a last-minute side that’s sure to impress.

We also have loads of magazines and plenty of other cookbooks for sides, desserts and everything else.

Thanksgiving Cookbooks

“The pioneer woman cooks: a year of holidays” by Ree Drummond.

Recipes for every holiday, including a killer Thanksgiving with all the sides and fixings.

“Fine cooking Thanksgiving cookbook” 

This book covers how to cook a turkey, starting with breaking down the different types and how to make everything at the meal from start to finish.

“The Thanksgiving table” by Diane Morgan

From the traditional meal to vegetarian alternatives and craft and centerpiece ideas, this book covers all aspects of the fourth Thursday holiday.

“Thanksgiving 101” by Rick Rodger

This one covers everything from traditional recipes to new takes on the old standbys and regional flavors such as Cajun and Italian, this book is sure to have what you’re looking for.

“How to cook a turkey”

This book will surely help cooks of all skill levels, whether they need a refresher or are starting from square one. It also has dessert and side recipes.

If it’s side dishes you’re after, we have that to. A good one is start with is “Smashed, mashed, boiled and baked and fried too” which contains hundreds of potato recipes.

Electronic Resources:

“The Neely’ celebration cookbook down home meals for every occasion” by Patrick Neely Available via Overdrive: Everything to cook not only for Thanksgiving but also any other holiday. It also contains new takes on old classics.

“Thanksgiving” by Weldon Own via Hoopla: Over 50 recipes, both contemporary and traditional.

“Cool Thanksgiving Dinner: Beyond the Basics for Kids Who Cook” by Lisa Wagner via Hoopla: A number of kid-friendly recipes for children who like to cook and want to help out in the kitchen.

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Learn survival skills with Elkhart County Parks Monday

Administrator : November 17, 2017 4:38 pm : Elkhart Public Library

Get hands on with history and learn how our ancestors lived and thrived during Adventure: Native Americans with Elkhart County Parks Monday.adobe-spark-31

Starting at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20 at the Downtown library, Krista Daniels, interpretive naturalist for Elkhart County Parks will lead hands-on active lessons about the Potawatomi native tribe lived.

“We’ll talk about what life would have been like then, how it’s different now,” she said. “We talk about how they survived.”

< < Register for the Adventure here > >

Daniels said that the program is great for children that learn through participatory activities.

“It’s a good one for kids that needs that active piece in learning,” she said.

“We think it’s really important to have that hands-on.”

If the weather allows, Daniels will lead the group outside to demonstrate fire-starting techniques.

She said that the class is a good way to way to get children learning about the history of their local area.

“It helps introduce the history of our area in a general way,” she said. “They get to hear part of our history in a different way.”


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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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