Children can read away their late fees during Spring Break

Sam Householder : March 25, 2018 3:48 pm : Elkhart Public Library

read-awayStudents with late fees can read them away during a special week long promotion at EPL branches over spring break.

For every 15 minutes of reading, the library will take away [insert_php] echo do_shortcode("[blog_in_blog category_id='1' num='5']"); [/insert_php].50 worth of fines. Only fees from overdue books may be read away, not for damaged or lost items. This is available at all EPL locations during regular hours.

The read away program is only available to patrons under the age of 18.


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Artist enjoys the chance to bring out kids’ creativity

Administrator : March 23, 2018 8:24 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

pieri-art-02Middlebury artist Linda Pieri is returning to EPL for two sessions at the Dunlap Branch in June.

Pieri usually works with acrylics, charcoal and graphite. On top of her own art, Pieri teaches classes to people of all ages, showing them the art of acrylic, watercolor painting or graphite drawing.

At 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 12 at the Dunlap library, teens will paint the “Painted Rock” by following along with Pieri’s simple, fun instructions during Cappuchino and Canvas.

Participants will each have their own canvas and materials provided.

Artists will have a slightly different version of Pieri’s painting in the end, with the ability to really make it their own, as each is supposed to be a piece of artwork that looks similar to the original painting, but not a replica.

Registration is required due to limited supplies.

< < Click here to register for the June 12 session at Dunlap > >

pieri-art-01At 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, also at the Dunlap library, adults will follow along as Pieri leads them in making the painting “Black Stones with a Flower” during Coffee and Canvas.

All materials will be supplied and once again, registration is required.

< < Click here to register for the June 28 Coffee and Canvas at Dunlap > >

Pieri has offered painting events in the past and continues to do it to keep kids involved with art.

“There isn’t a lot of art in the schools anymore. It’s kind of a dying thing,” she said. “People are choosing sports above the arts. I just want to keep it alive. There’s a lot of joy in showing kids that they can paint and they can draw.”

For Pieri, she wants to build up the confidence in each of these young artists and give them basic skills they can take with them and continue practicing and getting better. She wants to give them a sense of accomplishment, so they know they can do something like this, create pieces of artwork.

“Watching the amazement on their faces when they see their final pieces (is the best part),” Pieri said. “They realize they did that themselves, and they’re proud.”

These events are free. But for Pieri, that makes things a bit more challenging. She wants her students to feel like real artists, so she wants them to have real supplies, like nice canvases and brushes, real paint pallets, all funded by Pieri.

But despite the challenge of costs, Pieri continues to do it to keep the art alive. She wants to continue “bringing art to people and letting them discover it’s a very relaxing feeling.”

“Just having the demand,” she said, “of the public saying we want more and the kids wanting to do it and the parents wanting to bring the kids, that is my goal.”


Board Meeting Minutes 2018 02

Administrator : March 22, 2018 12:33 pm : Elkhart Public Library


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

Others present: Jane A. Garoutte, Business Manager/Treasurer and Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director.

Staff present: Sam Householder, New Media Marketing Specialist; Kevin J. Kilmer, Assistant Director of Branch and Extension Services; Marianne Kruppa, Circulation Department Head; Katrina Maust, Reference Librarian; Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor; Mary Beth Schlabach, Assistant Director of Public Services; Mark van Lummel, Technical Services Department Head; Trevor Wendzonka, Marketing and Public Relations Manager and Paula Watson, Administrative Clerk.


Regular Board of Trustees Meeting was called to order at 5:31 p.m. by Janice E. Dean


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

THAT the Consent Agenda, including investment recommendation, be adopted.

Jennifer Nielsen seconded Motion: carried


Janice E. Dean, President, reported that there will be two Board of Trustees’ vacancies coming in 2018. She asked for names of any worthy candidates, so that those names could be given to the County Commissioners for consideration.


Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, reported on the possibility of Elkhart Public Library receiving free solar panels and also forgiving patrons for flood damage to borrowed materials.

Department Report

Katrina Maust, Reference Librarian, reported that there has been an increase in usage of Reference Department services and resources, including queries, conference rooms and digital research. She also reported that many changes are happening in the Reference Department, such as a new Reference Desk, reconfigured seating areas, and a new department head to be hired in the near future (the former Hard of Reference having moved to a different position in the Library).


PTO Policy: Minor Revisions

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented minor changes to the PTO Policy. James W. Rieckhoff moved

THAT the revisions to the PTO Policy be approved as presented.

Jennifer Nielsen seconded Motion: carried

Job Description: Reference Department Head

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented proposed revised Job Description for Reference Department Head. James W. Rieckhoff moved

THAT the Job Description for Reference Department Head be approved as presented.

Carlos A. Esteves seconded Motion: carried

Job Description: Graphic Artist

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented proposed revised Job Description for Graphic Artist. Jennifer Nielsen moved

THAT the proposed Job Description for Graphic Artist be approved as presented.

James W. Rieckhoff seconded Motion: carried

Food for Fines

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented a proposal from the Marketing Department. The Proposal was passed by consensus.

Banning Criteria: Revision

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented revisions to the banning criteria for disruptive behavior in the Library.

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, reported that after it was suggested that Elkhart Public Library apply for grants offered by the Rotary Club, the Library applied for and received a grant in the amount of 00.00. Janice E. Dean, President, commented positively on current community outreach by the Library.


The regular Board meeting was adjourned by Janice E. Dean at 6:54 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be March 20, 2018 at Osolo Branch, 3429 East Bristol St., Elkhart, IN.

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Meet the Library: Gloria Sura-Taylor

Sam Householder : March 22, 2018 11:30 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

alaska-2017-from-princess-lodgeWith 31 years and counting of working for the library, Gloria Sura Taylor remains an advocate for it.

Sura Taylor began her career at EPL as a volunteer clerk before becoming a full time employee, now working in Outreach and Technical Services.

“I do like libraries, there’s so much you can do here; we have great books, movies, audiobooks, speakers and a lot of programs for new families,” she said.

The variety of programming from the storytimes for youngsters to the author visits shows there is something for everyone, according to Sura Taylor.

“It’s wonderful for children.”

In Technical Services Sura Taylor organizes and orders items for the library, while in Outreach she visits preschools and retirement communities to hold programs, check out items and read books, among other duties.

Her latest project was helping organize the Friends of the Elkhart Public Library Trivia Night fundraiser.

“I hope we raise more money for the library,” she said.

She said she enjoys going out into the community and advocating for support for the Friends and the Library to get new prospective members for the group.

“I wanted to raise awareness to the Friends group and ways we support the Library, and invite them to be a part as well,” she said.

Sura Taylor said that her passion for libraries goes back to her childhood when her parents would read to her and her sisters and they volunteered at a lending library.

“I remember my mom and dad reading to me as a I child,” she said. “I grew up around libraries.”

She will even visit other libraries when she’s traveling, visiting a volunteer-run library while she was in Alaska last year with her husband.

As children, she and her sisters began working so much at the lending library had to tell her to slow down.

“It was supposed to be a temporary, couple hours a week thing and I would be there every day,” she said.

As an adult she was a regular patron at EPL and one day noticed a stack of books waiting to be checked in.

“I asked if they needed a volunteer to help check items back in and I started then as a volunteer,” Sura Taylor said. She has been working for the library ever since.


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Come hunt eggs

Sam Householder : March 19, 2018 3:21 pm : Elkhart Public Library

egg-huntHunt the eggs, get the candy and have loads of fun during the EPL Easter Egg Hunt.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, children will be able to hunt for eggs on the first floor of the library, make a craft and hear stories. There may even be an appearance by the Easter bunny.

< < Click here to register for the Easter Egg Hunt > >

Every child is guaranteed a bag of candy and will be able to win other prizes based on the eggs they find.

A live bunny will be available for petting as well.

Come out for a late celebration. Please register so that everyone can get candy. We cannot guarantee candy for those that do not register.



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