Board Meeting Minutes 2018 03

Administrator : April 18, 2018 11:19 am : Board Minutes, Elkhart Public Library


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

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

Staff present: Erin Brousseau, Human Resources Generalist; Susan Eller, Dunlap Branch Supervisor; Mary Ann Kempa, Cleveland Branch Supervisor; Kevin J. Kilmer, Assistant Director of Branch and Extension Services; Allison McLean, Young People’s Services Department Head; Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor; Charles Pieri, Branch Young People’s Librarian; Jim Reynolds, Facilities Department Head; Gwen Robison, Assistant Director of Support Services; and Paula Watson, Administrative Clerk.

Guest present: Michael Jozwiak


Regular Board of Trustees Meeting was called to order at 5:32 p.m. by Janice E. Dean


The consent agenda was presented. There being no objections, Carlos A. Esteves moved

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

James W. Rieckhoff seconded Motion: carried


Janice E. Dean, President, reported that Director’s Evaluation would be starting in April and would be done by Renee’ Cocanower and James W. Rieckhoff.


Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, reported that she was pleased with the 14.4% increase in attendance at Library Programs in 2017.

Department Report

Donna Mitschelen, Osolo Branch Supervisor, reported on the success of Osolo’s Book Club. She explained the three steps they take in choosing books for the Club. She also reported on several other successful adult programs offered over the past year.


Job Description: Branch YPS Librarian

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented proposed revised Job Description for Branch YPS Librarian. Carlos A. Esteves moved

THAT the Job Description for Branch YPS Librarian be approved as presented.

Jennifer Nielsen seconded Motion: carried

Organization-Wide Expectations for Job Descriptions: Addition

Lisa Guedea Carreño, Director, presented a proposed addition to the Organization-Wide Expectations for Job Descriptions

Renee’ Cocanower moved

THAT the proposed addition to the Organization-Wide Expectations for Job Descriptions be approved as presented.

James W. Rieckhoff seconded Motion: carried

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests

Clarence Thomas thanked staff at all branches for always being so helpful. There was discussion about a book challenge by a patron. Renee shared that she had called Mary Beth Schlabach about the policy for handling challenged books. Lisa described the procedures and policy that are being followed with the current book challenge, for which staff is recommending the questioned book remain in the Library collection.


The regular Board meeting was adjourned by Janice E. Dean at 6:06 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be April 17, 2018, at Main Library, 300 S. 2nd Street, Elkhart, IN.

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Lawyers to cover parenting rights in English and Spanish

Sam Householder : April 16, 2018 9:01 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

ilbaThe Indiana Latino Bar Association will be at the Pierre Moran library next week to discuss parental and guardianship rights to both Spanish and English patrons.

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at the Pierre Moran branch, attorneys will be discussing visitation rights for custodial and non-custodial parents that are part of “parenting time guidelines.”

The attorneys will be Heidi Cintron, staff attorney at the Center for Legal Justice, Sergio Lopez, staff attorney at the Indiana Department of Child Services and Rudy Monterrosa, attorney, Monterrosa Law Group.

All of the information will be provided in English and Spanish.

< < RSVP for the ILBA event here > >


Programa de los leyes familiares sobre la tutela de los hijos

martes, el 24 de abril, 2018

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Sucursal Pierre Moran

2400 Benham Avenue (detrás de Sears)

Presentado por la Asociación de Abogados Latinos de Indiana

Los abogados hablarán de las pautas para tiempo de crianza de los hijos, que gobiernan los derechos de visita de los niños de padres custodios y no-custodios en Indiana.

Se ofrecerá la información en español e inglés.


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Read, hear the Pulitzer Prize winners at EPL

Sam Householder : April 16, 2018 8:59 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

The Pulitzer Prize is among the most prestigious awards in literature and music.

The 2018 winners were announced yesterday and EPL has them for you to enjoy for free. These are the pieces of work that everyone will be talking about, so don’t miss out on them.


“Damn” by Kendrick Lamar – Lamar is the first non-jazz or classical musician to win a Pulitzer in music. The album is also available on Hoopla.

< < Learn more about EPL Digital Resources such as Hoopla > >


“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer – EPL has three copies of this novel, which is about a struggling writer’s journey around the world while dealing with love.


“Locking up our own: Crime and punishment in Black America” by James Forman – The book, written by a former public defender and current Yale scholar, dives into the tragic roles that African Americans, as judges, police chiefs, voters and judges, played in the war on crime.


“Half-Light: Collected poems 1965-2016” by Frank Bidart – Collected poems from the American poet.


“Prairie Fires: The Life and Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder” by Caroline Fraser – Fraser sheds light onto the gaps of Ingalls life through previously unpublished manuscripts, letters and more. She also debunks long held rumors of ghostwriting from the beloved pioneer writer. Available as both a book and an ebook through Overdrive.


“The Gulf: The making of an American Sea” by Jack E. Davis – Davis explores the historical connection between man and nature while looking at all angles of the history of the Gulf of Mexico and what it means to America, beyond just hurricanes and oil spills. He also dives into how its history can forge its path ahead in times of climate change.

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Barney returns to be a reading partner for kids

Administrator : April 15, 2018 8:00 am : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

Barney the St. Bernard is returning for a final Paws to Read session before a send off next month.

The trained dog, who helps kids gain confidence in their reading, returns for the April Paws to Read session from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 21 at Elkhart Public Library’s downtown location.

mkt-171129-paws-screen-100Parents can sign up their children for the 15-minute sessions by calling 574-522-2223.

<<  Space is limited – call 574-522-2223 to get your child time with Barney >>

Barney is retiring following the May Paws to Read on May 19. The final Paws to Read program on that day will be a retirement party send off for Barney. Stay tuned for details.

“The kids get to interact with something that loves unconditionally. He’s just a good listener – he absorbs every word and he doesn’t interrupt or correct or question them,” handler Renee Langdon says. “I’ve been blessed to be able to work with him and watch the children improve.”

Barney’s journey to become a therapy dog was difficult. Langdon rescued him eight years ago after he was abandoned near Wakarusa. He already was blind and had leg injuries consistent with abuse, she says.

“He had to learn to trust again,” Langdon says. “He couldn’t walk on a leash. You couldn’t put him in a car. The injuries to his front left leg weren’t anything that couldn’t be repaired, but it was a rough start.”

He eventually defeated his fears and became a good companion to Drew, Langdon’s first St. Bernard. Despite his blindness, Barney eventually passed the same exam required for certification as a registered Pet Partners therapy dog.

Pet-assistance therapy goes beyond guide dogs. They provide comfort at hospital entrances, Langdon says, and companionship at nursing homes. They have visited schools and libraries regularly, too.

Langdon has committed her volunteer time for years to working with children, particularly those challenged by autism or disability. She worked with Reins of Life for therapeutic horseback riding until, physically, she couldn’t meet the demands of mucking stalls and hauling hay bales.

She says she adopted a St. Bernard because she always wanted one growing up. During her first three years, Langdon volunteered several hours each week making visits. After Drew passed on and with Barney advancing in years, she’s had to scale back to schedule.

“I think this is best described as giving and receiving love. Barney takes it in and he dishes it out – it’s his job to love,” Langdon says.


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Get homework help from National Honor Society students

Administrator : April 14, 2018 3:58 pm : Elkhart Public Library, Home Feature

homework-help-3For all K-12 students, Elkhart Public Library provides a space for after-school tutoring.

Throughout the school year, National Honor Society students from area high schools will be available to help any student with their homework, no matter the subject. Tutors are not unlimited, so it is a first come, first served basis.

Each location will host a night of Homework Help each week.

Monday – 5 to 8 p.m. downtown
Tuesday – 4 to 7 p.m. at Dunlap and Pierre Moran
Thursday – 4 to 7 p.m. at Osolo and Cleveland

Students interested in coming to Homework Help should bring their assignments, as well as the materials and supplies needed to complete projects. They will get help from qualified and knowledgeable National Honor Society students, and they also get to create a bond with a good role model from the community.  

“Homework Help has been an ongoing program at EPL for more than 15 years,” says Chuck Pieri, Branch Children’s Librarian, “and when it started, I think it was especially important since the schools didn’t offer a lot of after-school programming for the students.”

<< Interested in live online help? Check out Brainfuse today >>

But things are different this time around, and Homework Help is more of a supplement to the programs offered at schools. Pieri is hopeful this program will serve students well.

“I hope that the kids get the help they need for their assignments, as well as new skills and strategies to tackle these subjects on their own in the future,” Pieri says. “I’m happy that we can collaborate with the schools and create a safe learning environment where young kids and their peers can work together.”

While students are here for Homework Help, they will also get the chance to check out more of Elkhart Public Library’s resources.

“I also hope that while they are here they take advantage of all we have to offer,” Pieri says, “like getting a free library card, checking out books, or accessing digital music, eBooks and much more.”

Homework Help runs through Memorial Day.


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