Outdoor Storytime

Outdoor Storytime promotional photo, featuring the Storytime Monster and the Eckhart Public Library logo

Come join our in-person, socially-distanced Outdoor Storytime for our youngest library friends, and the slightly older ones, too! We’ll be meeting each Wednesday from 10-10:30 a.m. in the Eckhart Public Library park, weather permitting, and reading the following stories.

August 12: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
August 19: The Wheels on the Bus
August 26: Mean Soup

Outdoor Storytime, Teen Magic: The Gathering

As part of our commitment to keep patrons safe and healthy, we are offering two exciting socially distant events next week!

Outdoor Storytime Facebook event photo

Have you been enjoying our online Family Storytimes or Babies & Books Storytimes? Then we hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, July 15, for an Outdoor Storytime around our beautiful fountain! Our friends from both storytimes are invited to join us at 10 a.m. for fun stories, songs, and rhymes. Blankets for families to sit on will be laid out ahead of time and spaced apart to help us remain socially distant, but enjoy each other’s company.

Teen Magic: The Gathering Outdoor Edition Facebook event photo

We’ll also be having a special edition of our Teen Magic: The Gathering group on Thursday, July 16, beginning at 4 p.m. Teens can gather outside the main library to play this thrilling fantasy card game with friends! Never played before, or don’t have your own deck? No worries – our group can teach you how to play and will have decks to help you get started. We’ll be keeping this event safe and socially distant with extra wide table setups and limited players per table.

We hope we’ll see you at one of these fun events as we find ways to safely return to in-person programming!

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Main Library Reopens May 26 with Limited Hours, Services

Programming Specialist Zach Heimach scans books while wearing a mask at the main library.
Programming & Outreach Specialist Zach Heimach processes books behind the circulation desk at Eckhart Public Library’s Main Library. The Main Library and Teen Library buildings will reopen with limited hours and services on May 26.

Eckhart Public Library was excited to announce earlier this week that our Main Library and Teen Library will be reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 26, with limited hours and services. Social distancing rules will be enforced and some services will be unavailable for the safety of our community. During this time, we’ll also continue to offer our curbside services. For more detailed information, click here.

Eckhart Public Library logo

If you need assistance with digital services, setting up home delivery, curbside services, and more, please reach out to us – we’re happy to help! Give us a call at (260) 925-2414 ext. 120 or email us at info@epl.lib.in.us

Library to offer Limited Hours, Services beginning May 26

Programming Specialist Zach Heimach scans books while wearing a mask at the main library.
Programming & Outreach Specialist Zach Heimach processes books behind the circulation desk at Eckhart Public Library’s Main Library. The Main Library and Teen Library buildings will reopen with limited hours and services on May 26.

Eckhart Public Library will offer limited hours at its Main Library and Teen Library buildings beginning on Tuesday, May 26.

The library is working on responsibly phasing in services while following the guidelines of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track Indiana plan. 

“It feels really good to be able to welcome people back into the library, even though we will have limited services right now,” said Assistant Director Jenny Kobiela-Mondor. “We are trying to be responsible and safe while also offering the community access to the library.” 

The Main Library will be open for limited-contact services Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 1-7 p.m. The Teen Library will be open 3:30-7 on Tuesday and Thursday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The first hour each day at the Main Library will be designated for high-risk people, including people older than 65 and immunocompromised individuals. To protect the community and staff, patrons are encouraged to stay home if they are not well.

People are also asked to wear masks when visiting Eckhart Public Library. The library has received donations from several people, including Auburn Alterations, Board Member Kari Ackerman, and staff members and their families, in order to be able to provide cloth face masks to anybody visiting the library. The masks, which members of the public may keep, are washable and reusable. The Centers for Disease Control, Indiana Department of Health, and DeKalb County Health Department recommend cloth face coverings when in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Staff will be wearing face masks when working with the public.

“We are thankful to our donors who are making it possible to get more face masks out into the community,” Kobiela-Mondor said. “They are an important way to help keep each other healthy.” 

Assistant Director Jenny Kobiela Mondor grabs items from the shelves for our patrons who choose curbside pickups.
Eckhart Public Library Assistant Director Jenny Kobiela-Mondor picks a book off the shelf at the Main Library.

The library will also continue curbside services, with staff taking items to peoples’ cars and performing curbside document services from 9-11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and Tuesday and Thursday from 4-6 p.m., at the Main Library. People who have items on hold or who would like staff to pull certain items can call 260-925-2414 ext. 120 when they arrive at the library. People interested in learning more about the library’s delivery services can call the library at 260-925-2414 ext. 120. 

The library will be set up a little bit differently when it reopens on May 26. People returning library items will be asked to return their items in a cart in the entryway. All returning items are quarantined for three days before being sanitized, checked in, and reshelved. No items will be due until July 1, in order to give extra time to people who still wish to remain at home during this time. 

A limited number of computers will be available in the Close Community Room and Activity Room at the Main Library, set up so that computer users can observe social distancing. Computers will be for email, banking, e-government, job searching, education, and other such uses. Gaming will not be allowed at this time. Some seating will also be moved or removed in order to promote social distancing. Library service desks have also been equipped with sneeze guards, and self-checkouts are available on each level. The library also will clean high-touch surfaces often.

People who have specific needs can also call to set up a one-on-one appointment with a library staff member. In partnership with the Indiana Library Federation, Family and Social Services Administration, and Department of Workforce Development, Public Service staff have been trained to assist people in applying for benefits online, including unemployment benefits, SNAP food assistance, and TANF cash assistance. People can call 260-925-2414 ext. 120 to set up an appointment or visit our LibCal page to schedule an appointment

Eckhart Public Library has continued to offer services to the public while buildings are closed. Eckhart Public Library is one of more than 350 libraries that is offering Wi-Fi access in parking lots and in areas around library buildings. For a map of participating libraries, visit https://www.ilfonline.org/general/custom.asp?page=Wi-Fi-map

Eckhart Public Library has also offered expanded electronic resources, including expanding monthly checkout limits from digital service Hoopla, as well as offering items through OverDrive, Libby, Hoopla, and Kanopy services. The library has also created more than 50 virtual programs that have been shared online and viewed more than 20,000 times; has invested in Niche Academy in order to offer tutorials about library services and databases on its webpage at epl.lib.in.us; and is a source of accurate, timely information about the COVID-19 pandemic. The library is also instrumental in setting up and hosting 19secondsofjoy.com, a website full of community resources related to the pandemic and stay-at-home order.

Eckhart Public Library management, administration, and Board of Trustees is continuing to work with the DeKalb County Health Department and follow guidance from the Indiana State Library, Indiana Library Federation, Indiana Department of Health, American Library Association, and Centers for Disease Control, as library services are phased in.