Board Meeting Minutes 2017 07

Administrator : February 12, 2018 4:04 pm : Elkhart Public Library

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Elkhart Public Library was held July 18, 2017, at the Main Library and called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Janice E. Dean, President.


Members present: Renee’ Cocanower, Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, Carlos Esteves, James W. Rieckhoff and Clarence Thomas. Jennifer Nielsen was unable to attend.

Others present: Jane A. Garoutte, Business Manager/Treasurer.

Staff present: Erin Brousseau, Human Resource Generalist; Diana Gill, Computer Services Department Head; Jeanne Glanders, Popular Materials Department Head; Kevin Kilmer, Branch Operations Manager; Marianne Kruppa, Circulation Department Head; ; Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor; Chuck Pieri, Branch YPS Librarian; ; Rachel Rice, Outreach Services Department Head; Gwen Robison, Support Services Assistant Director; Mary Beth Schlabach, Reference Services Department Head;;Paula Watson, Administrative Clerk; Trevor Wendzonka, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.

Janice E. Dean named Mary E. Davis as acting secretary for this meeting.


The consent agenda was presented. There being no objections, James W. Rieckhoff moved

THAT the Consent Agenda be adopted; that recommended investments be approved.

Carlos Esteves seconded Motion: Carried.


Review of Board Bylaws

Janice E. Dean started discussion about the time which board meetings are held. Discussion was held regarding meeting date and time. No change was recommended at this time. The by-laws were approved by consent to include revisions made at the May 2017 Board meeting.


Department Report

Marianne Kruppa, discussed her first year as Department Head of Circulation. She reported the Circulation Department was actively working to respond to patron requests more positively. An example is the change made November 2016 to the Library Card Policy to allow patrons to use alternative identification in lieu of a library card once in a 30 day period.


PTO Policy Revision

PTO [Paid Time Off] Policy which will replace the PTO [Paid Time Off] Policy dated January 1, 2017, was taken up again. Under the leadership of Erin Brousseau, a task force proposed the second set of revisions to EPL’s PTO Policy. (The first set of revisions was adopted in December 2016 and effective January 2017.) Task force members are Diana Gill, Lorene Harneck Erica Moore, Laura Holland, Debbie Lynn and Board members Renee’ Cocanower, Mary E. Davis (2016), and Jennifer Nielsen (2017).

The Management Advisory Council made six recommendations to the Task Force. These were incorporated in the policy as presented to the Board at the June 21 meeting.

A Board committee consisting of Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, and Renee’ Cocanower met July 12 to discuss the policy as presented along with the re-wording and technical suggestions made by an attorney consulted by management. The committee agreed with those changes and the technical revision was approved by the Board as moved by Mary E. Davis and seconded by Brian Byrn.

Four substantive changes were recommended by the committee at the June meeting.

Mary Davis moved

THAT Item B. 1. Be defined “family” for the purpose of using sick time: Omit “siblings” and “grandparents” from the list.

Seconded by Renee’Cocanower Motion: Carried

James Reickhoff moved

THAT further consideration of the PTO Policy be tabled for further discussion.

Seconded: Clarence Thomas Motion: Carried


Revised Job Description: Bookkeeper
Erin Brousseau, Human Resource Specialist, presented a revised job description for Bookkeeper. James Reickhoff moved

THAT the revised Bookkeeper job description be approved as recommended.

Carlos Esteves seconded Motion carried

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests


The meeting was adjourned by Janice E. Dean at 7:00 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees is August 15, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. at the Dunlap Branch Library, 58485 County Road 13, Elkhart, IN.

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Tax resources at EPL

Sam Householder : February 9, 2018 2:46 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Taxes are as certain as, well, you know.

tax-formsWith tax season ramping up, a lot of people are looking for where to go to get assistance and forms for their taxes.

Elkhart Public Library has a limited amount of tax forms from the federal government and Indiana.

The government has limited the number of forms they are distributing, so once the library runs out, they are unlikely to get more.

Forms are available on the first floor of the downtown library, behind the large print books, near the elevator.

The forms available are:

  • Indiana state 2017 tax instruction booklet
  • Federal government 2017 tax instruction booklet
  • Federal 1040A forms
  • Federal 1040EZ forms
  • Indiana state forms

Links to other IRS tax forms are available through the Public Computer Center at EPL and can be printed for [insert_php] echo do_shortcode("[blog_in_blog category_id='1' num='5']"); [/insert_php].15 per sheet or [insert_php] echo do_shortcode("[blog_in_blog category_id='1' num='5']"); [/insert_php].30 per double-sided sheet.

EPL staff CANNOT give tax advice of any kind OR tell which form someone may or may not need. EPL staff are NOT tax professionals and do not know which form is needed.

EPL reference staff can direct patrons to available books about filing taxes but cannot help fill out forms. That is the sole responsibility of an individual.

For real help filing taxes and filling out forms, please check out these links:

Businesses: 800-829-4933

TTY/TDD for people with hearing impairments: 800-829-4059

Salvation Army of Elkhart – call 211 to schedule an appointment

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Extension Services takes the library outside its walls

Sam Householder : February 8, 2018 8:56 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

craig-02Craig Cheney knocks on the door and opens it a crack, announcing his presence.

“Norma, it’s Craig,” he calls.

After hearing his welcome he walks in and is greeted warmly by Norma Wisoleek, an elderly library patron that is unable to leave her home, whom Cheney brings 10 books about every two weeks through Elkhart Public Library’s homebound program.

The homebound program is one of the offerings of EPL’s Extension Services, which brings the library and its items to outside locations through stops at retirement communities, daycares or to patrons that cannot leave their home, such as Wisleek.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Wisoleek, who has been participating in the program for around three years.

Wisoleek, who can read over 20 books a month, in large print format, said she especially likes Danielle Steele but will read just about anything Cheney brings.

“He brings me anything and most all of them I like,” she said. “If he brings a good book, I can read it in a day.”

Patrons enrolled in the homebound service are eligible for visits on a regular basis and one of EPL’s Extension Services librarians will stop by and bring several books for the patron to read.

Cheney said that the visits are his favorite part because of the relationships that get built.

“They don’t have a lot of people around, so the visits are pleasant,” he said. “I like connecting them to the library.”

Cheney said that Wisoleek is a prolific reader and he enjoys chatting with her during his stops there.

“Norma is very sweet, she’s like a grandma, she normally gets anywhere between 14 and 20 books every two weeks,” he said.

To get someone enrolled in the homebound program, call Extension Services at 574-294-2619 or ask about it at one of EPL’s branches.


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Read up during Black History Month

Sam Householder : February 5, 2018 8:00 am : Elkhart Public Library

February is Black History Month and now is a great time to pick up some books and read some of the thoughtful, inspirational and funny books from African-American authors.

These are just a selection of the titles in the EPL system, so stop in and pick out a book.

black-history-1General books:

< < Click here for information on the Underground Railroad program Feb. 12 > >




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Local Underground Railroad history to be discussed

Sam Householder : February 1, 2018 3:23 pm : Elkhart Public Library

underground-railroadHistory and fiction converge during a special program exploring the Underground Railroad and Elkhart County.

At 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12 at the Osolo Branch, Patrick McGuire, curator of education at Elkhart County Historical Museum will speak about the Underground Railroad and its connections in Elkhart County, a program tied in with the Osolo Branch Page Turners Book Club’s reading of the fictional novel “Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead.

Reading the novel is not a requirement to attend McGuire’s presentation, however copies are available at Osolo Branch for checkout. The novel follows the journey of Cora as she and another slave make a desperate attempt to escape while a slave catcher is hot on their trail.

While the book is a fictionalized version of what would have happened at that time, McGuire said he will focus on the real Underground Railroad and its ties to the local area, which is tougher to pinpoint than some would think.

“We can’t prove anything and that’s the problem with the Underground Railroad,” he said.

“The question I pose in the whole talk is did the Underground Railroad come through Elkhart County? As a historian the answer is we can’t prove it, because it was illegal and the people that participated could have gone to jail if they were caught so it wasn’t documented.”

Part of his efforts have been spent debunking local lore about homes connected to the Underground Railroad.

“There are houses that have been said were stops on the Underground Railroad but in this case I’ve found that they were built after the Civil War,” he said.

McGuire said he used newspaper articles from the time that the museum has, as well as other recorded items in the collection to put together his talk. A large portion of his presentation will be about the Supreme Court case Graves et. all vs. Indiana, in which Kentucky slave catchers were arrested for causing a riot in Bristol while chasing an escaped slave.

“The program is specific to Elkhart County, we’re going to be exploring if there were people connected to it locally,” he said.



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