Hear a story in the gardens

Sam Householder : August 9, 2018 1:59 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature


Throughout the summer families are invited to a special story time held outside in the Wellfield Botanic Gardens.

At 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, join an Elkhart Public Library storyteller for Stories in the Garden. Bring a blanket to the English Cottage Garden for an evening of stories and music and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Wellfield Gardens.

Dates for Stories in the Garden are June 19 | July 17 | Aug. 21 | Sept. 18

< < Check out the Story Walk while you’re at Wellfield > >

Stories in the Garden are free and open to the public. No registration necessary, just show up and enjoy some outdoor family time. If it’s raining, come anyway – Wellfield will have a tent for shelter.


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1,000 success stories – getting kids ready to read

Administrator : August 5, 2018 8:18 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Reading books to children at an early age gives them a jump start on learning how to read. Studies indicate it’s positive preparation for school, too.

Children’s author Mem Fox once said, “If every parent and every adult caring for a child read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.”

inside1000With “1,000 Books by Kindergarten,” Elkhart Public Library wants to do exactly that. The early literacy initiative, part of the library’s strategic plan, encourages parents and supports children to start reading as soon as possible.

“It sends a strong message to parents that reading is important and that it can start at any age,” says Allison McLean, who leads Young People’s Services at the downtown library. “Children are never too young to be read to.”

Parents who want to make sure their children are prepared to go to school should prioritize reading aloud.

“Reading together develops vocabulary and comprehension, nurtures a love for reading, and motivates children to want to learn to read,” McLean says. “Reading aloud to children is the best way to prepare them for school and for learning how to read.”

Three-year-old Graham Steffen is in the program, a continuation of what parents Laura and Wes already were committed to doing for their two boys.

“Graham’s always liked reading,” Laura Steffen says, “but just by reading to him, he’s able to retell stories, and he’ll often incorporate the stories into when he’s pretending.”

When she finds him reading on his own, Steffen is amazed to find that what he’s saying is often close to the actual book. Every day, she and her husband read one-on-one with each of the boys.

“Reading is just part of our daily routine,” she adds, “so it’s nice that we just get to spend time with them.”

Graham has about 300 books to go in the program. Laura Steffen already is looking beyond 1,000 books, as her boys take on new opportunities with reading.

“I’m always putting books on hold that I think they’ll enjoy,” she says. “I’m just looking forward to keep on reading together.”

In Elkhart Public Library’s “1,000” program, parents and children get incentives for every 100 books read. At the finish line, children completing the program will receive two books to take home.

“Children need books of their own to have easy access to reading, and we are glad this program is one way to get those into their homes,” McLean says. “We make a big deal of their accomplishments. … I love making reading a fun and positive experience for families.”

Nearly 150 children have started on their 1,000 books, and nearly one-third have completed the first 100. Families can sign up at any of the five Elkhart Public Library locations, and for record keeping, kids color in numbered train cars as they complete each book along the way.

“I hope to see more and more families participate and continue expanding the program,” McLean says, “by taking it to partnering organizations (such as Head Start and Triple-P Parenting) to reach families who might not be coming to the library right now.”

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Rock your reading from anywhere this summer

Sam Householder : August 1, 2018 5:04 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

overdriveGetting access to your reading and listening materials is easier than ever as the summer wraps up and school starts back up.

OverDrive, the ebook and audiobook provider, has some recommended books for young readers and adults alike. Access OverDrive through or by downloading their app and entering your library card information.

The books are available for free for library users using their library card or a student ecard. This way there’s nothing to return and plenty of great books to read.

< < Find out more about Summer Reading at EPL > >


OverDrive has a wide variety of both ebooks and audiobooks to choose from, ranging from a juvenile collection all the way up to adult, so there is something to satisfy everyone in the family.

It also allows Kindle compatible materials to fit all your devices.

With OverDrive, that won’t be an issue, offering plenty of titles right at young fingertips so that a book is just a click away.



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Secretary of State to educate citizens on investment fraud

Sam Householder : July 23, 2018 12:16 pm : Elkhart Public Library

bingoIndiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson will be at the Elkhart Public Library for a variation of the game BINGO to educate the public about securities and investment fraud.

The session begins at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, July 31 at the downtown branch of EPL.

According to a press release, the game is designed to educate citizens about avoiding scams and fraudsters. The event is free and will include prizes and refreshments.

“Research shows that Americans lose billion a year to investment fraud,” said Lawson. “Our goal is to give Hoosiers the tools they need to avoid falling prey to scammers and fraudsters. Bringing our MoneyWise BINGO tour to communities around the state helps us spread the word in a fun way to citizens of all ages.”

Attendees should RSVP to Mikaela Malott at or 317-977-2206, extension 120.

Citizens can report suspected securities or investment fraud to the Secretary of State’s office at 317-232-6682. For more information on the MoneyWise BINGO tour or on investor protection, visit


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From books to the big screen: Adaptations coming this summer and fall

Sam Householder : July 18, 2018 4:34 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Avid readers will have plenty of new TV shows and movies to say “the book was better” about this fall.

Several popular books are coming to the small and the big screen.

A new EPL book club coming this fall will give you a chance to read and discuss some of those books before the movies debut. The club will meet at Old Style Deli on Sept.

Which one are you most looking forward to? Which one do you think will lose the most by going from book to screen?

Crazy Rich Asians – An Asian-American woman travels to Thailand with her boyfriend to visit his wealthy family and she becomes immersed in the ultra-rich and ultra-drama filled life of the Asian continent. The movie debuts Aug. 17 and stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding.

Meg – Coming out Aug. 10, a new shark horror movie to terrify anyone from swimming again, a large prehistoric shark terrorizes a cast that includes Jason Statham and Ruby Rose.

to_all_the_boys_ive_loved_beforeTo All the Boys I Loved Before – Hitting Netflix on Aug. 17, the Jenny Han story is about a girl whose secret notes to all her crushes are sent to them and the wrench they throw into her life. This will be the first book for the new EPL book club, Young at (Elk)Hart, in September.

The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters historical thriller is about a doctor visiting a house where the patients are haunted by their pasts. The film comes out Aug. 31.

The Darkest Minds – In this Alexandra Bracken book, children develop superpowers after a disease kills 98 percent of the population and they are sent to a camp. The movie comes out Sept. 14.

The House with a Clock in its Walls – John Bellairs’ book about a boy who goes to live with his uncle and finds out he’s a witch comes to theaters Sept. 21 with Jack Black and Cate Blanchett.

Boy Erased – The movie, based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, tells the author’s story of going to gay conversion therapy after being sent by his baptist preacher father. The film is set to star Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton and debuts Sept. 28.

The Hate U Give – A girl sees her best friend get killed by a police officer and it pushes her to activism. The movie, based on the book by Angie Thomas, comes out Oct. 19. This will the Young at Hart’s book for November.the-hate-you-give





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