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KHCPL News

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as of 2018 there were 30.2 million small businesses across America that employ 58.9 million workers. This equates to almost half the U.S. workforce. Those figures include local businesses in Kokomo.

Often startups and experienced business owners alike simply don’t know what kind of information they need, where to find it, or how to get started. Now small businesses in Kokomo can take advantage of Gale Business: Plan Builder, an online resource, from Gale, a Cengage company. Gale Business: Plan Builder is a step-by-step guide to help you with what can otherwise be a complex business-planning process.

“It is important for KHCPL to contribute to the local economy, and one of the best ways we can do that is to support entrepreneurs,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “I am excited that we now offer a product just for them that offers templates for actionable steps. Even better, it includes a spectrum of elements appropriate for a range of people, from someone who is just starting a side hustle to those who have experience as business owners.”

Gale Business: Plan Builder is equipped with the following features:

  • Business-planning tools and templates, including Lean Canvas, SWOT, Pitch Deck and more, to assist you in creating documents and other deliverables you’ll need for starting, managing, and growing your business.
  • An intuitive dashboard that shows your progress and completion of activities as it moves you through the entire business development life cycle. It even includes “guide me” tips.

For anyone who is new to small business ownership, this resource provides a gradual introduction to entrepreneurial concepts. For more seasoned business owners, the focus shifts toward activities to support the management and growth of an operation, such as getting a loan, seeking investors, buying new equipment, or opening a new facility.

Kokomo residents can access Gale Business: Plan Builder at the library, from their office, home, or on the go. Go to //www.khcpl.org/business-and-finances and click on Gale Business: Plan Builder to get started.

Any resident served by KHCPL can access this and our 77 other online resources with their library card. To sign up for a card, visit KHCPL Main, South, or Russiaville. Bring along a valid photo ID showing your name and current address. For more information about Gale Business: Plan Builder or any of our digital products, call us at 765.626.0892.

paper flowers and a mask

When Ben Rutz proposed to Caele Pemberton -- both of whom are avid library supporters -- KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps had a proposal of her own: She asked them if they'd like to get married at the library. Fipps remembers their response. "They said, 'Are you serious? We can do that?!' And I said, 'Of course. We'll make it happen.' KHCPL works to find ways to say yes. And what better way to showcase people's love for the library and one another -- and further show the community that libraries are far more than warehouses for books -- than to host a wedding?"

The library has three locations, but KHCPL South was the best fit, since it's all on one floor and has the most open space. We took Ben, a local DJ, and Caele, a local former journalist, on a tour, showing them they could walk down the aisle between the rows of computers for public use to the quasi-altar, aka the reference desk, which happens to be just a few feet from our romance collection. They could use study rooms and the small meeting room for the wedding party to get ready. They could use the two large meeting rooms for the reception of their Halloween night wedding. "It was like the perfect romance novel. Two people fall in love. They plan a wedding. But then there was a plot twist: COVID," Fipps said. "So they had to scale down the invite list and add a Zoom option for people to watch from home. But, in the end, as with all good romance novels, love prevailed," Fipps said. "The photos tell such a beautiful story of a happy couple outside the library, of them saying their vows at the reference desk, and of them reading books in the stacks. It's one of the best chapters in the book about KHCPL."

The couple exchanged vows at the reference desk, the quasi-altar. The couple used the reception to ask for book recs Ben and Caele reading in the stacks Happy couple outside KHCPL South.

Photo Credits, Franklin Focus.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is joining the world of podcasts with “Off the Books.”

“KHCPL is always reviewing the various services we provide and ways in which we can reach out to the community,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “We know there are a lot of people who love podcasts, and so we can reach out to them through off the Books.”

According to International Podcasting Day, “over half the U.S. population (165 million people) have listened to a podcast. Podcast listeners consume an average of seven different shows per week. There are over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes available. The most popular age group for podcasts listeners is 25-44, which make up 49% of total listeners.

So what, exactly, is Off the Books about? In a relaxed conversation, KHCPL employees Samantha and Bethann chat about all things Young Adult and beyond. They explore new genres such as New Adult, laugh with special guests, get off topic a time or two (or all the time), and argue over the quality of romance novels as they share their favorite reads with you. If you love anything Young Adult and beyond or if you just want to hang out and have a conversation, join them.

Find Off the Books at https://soundcloud.com/user-843038264. We’ll post a link to it on our Facebook pages each Thursday.

Samantha has been working at KHCPL for four years. She started out as a clerk at KHCPL Russiaville and then transferred to KHCPL Main, where she is an Information Services Assistant. Samantha has recently started to shift from Young Adult to New Adult/Adult books. Her favorite genres are romance and mystery/crime, and she is not a fan of reading sci-fi or nonfiction. Her all-time favorite book series is The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. When she isn't at the library, Samantha loves to dance, bake, and attempt to keep her plants and flowers alive.

Bethann is an Information Services Assistant at KHCPL Main and has been working for KHCPL for five years. She is a fan of all things action-packed and has a great disdain for anything romance. Bethann has read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit eight times – and counting. In her non-working form, Bethann loves painting, drinking coffee, and has quite the pen collection.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Community Butterfly Garden ribbon-cutting and grand opening will be from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 12, at KHCPL South, 1755 E. Center Road.

“The garden will allow the library to do a variety of things to help save the monarch butterfly and other pollinators,” KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps said.

With the KHCPL Community Butterfly Garden, the library will accomplish the following:

  • raise awareness about the environmental threats facing butterflies, bees, and other pollinators;
  • provide residents with new opportunities to learn about a significant environmental issue independently as they explore the garden and through formal educational programs hosted at the site;
  • provide hands-on learning events for people of all ages;
  • provide an educational information center; and
  • locally support a declining species to address a global problem.

The public is invited to the grand opening. Mask are required.

“We have so many people to thank who have made the KHCPL Community Butterfly Garden possible,” Fipps said. “Duke Energy generously provided $10,000 toward the project. The Friends of the Library gave $2,000. The Howard County Master Gardener Association provided $500. Stewart and Ruth Worthley donated materials, along the Hamilton County Master Gardener Association, Marian Cable, Carol and Jack Reed, Bridget North, Jeannie Gale, Jeanette Land, Sandy Price, Carol Petro, Sharon Cooper, Emily Roark, and Valerie Gordon.”

“But there’s just no way we could have the KHCPL Community Butterfly Garden without the countless hours of hard work these volunteers, especially the Howard County Master Gardener Association, put into it, from planning to planting, from watering to weeding, the list goes on and on,” Fipps said.

Volunteers included Stewart and Ruth Worthley, Carol and Jack Reed, Marian Cable, Jeanette and Kent Land, Jeannie Gale, Gwendolyn Parker, Perry Grieb, Sandy Price, Buddy Knepley, Bridget North, Carol Petro, Megan Moss, Teresa Keller, Sharon Cooper, Jack Reed, Kent Land, Wendy Zeider, and the members of Girl Scout Troop 628 (Jessica Shannon, Lilly Shallenberger, Abby Thatcher, Sara Thatcher, Becky Crabtree, and Pat Skillington, leader).

More donations and volunteers are needed to sustain the garden. “We’d love to see businesses, organizations, Scouts, schools, families, and individuals get involved,” Fipps said.

To donate or volunteer, call or email Fipps at 765.626.0807 or lfipps@KHCPL.org.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has created a second Facebook page, the KHCPL Programming Page.

You can find it here: https://bit.ly/36eQ3qe.

“When we had to temporarily close our facilities to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community and to keep patrons and staff safe, we began offering virtual programs,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “We’ll continue to offer them, and we promote them on our social media. However, since we offer a variety of information on social media, patrons have to scroll through all the posts to find our programs. We wanted to make it quick and easy for people to find all of our programs. So we created a page exclusively for those. We encourage people to like and follow both of our Facebook pages so they don’t miss anything because we use all of our social media channels to help the community stay abreast of KHCPL news and resources.”

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.org or contact us through social media.

Beginning on Monday, Sept. 21, Kokomo-Howard County Public Library patrons will notice some exciting changes when searching the online catalog.

“We’re excited to announce we’ll be launching the implementation of Wise, a new cataloging and materials management system that will provide patrons with some unique tools,” said KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps.

“We’ve been with our current system for almost 30 years, including various upgrades and updates,” Fipps said. “To keep it would have become costly because of changes that the provider is about to make. So, we began searching for a new system and found Wise. We love the unique features it provides patrons. Since we’re taxpayer-funded and patron-minded, we’re always seeking ways to save money and provide even better customer service. Wise allows us to do both.”

Wise is the first community-engagement system for U.S. public libraries. About 75 percent of libraries in the Netherlands already use it. “Since we’re only the fourth public library in the United States to implement Wise, we’ll be a beta tester,” Fipps said. “We love that this partnership puts us on the cutting edge of technology for public libraries in America.”

One feature of Wise that patrons will like is that once you approve a relationship with another library cardholder who’s a part of or not a part of your household, such as a coworker, friend, or neighbor, you can pick up holds, check out items, and pay fines for each other. “You’ll have a lot more options with Wise,” Fipps said.

There will be a little bit of a transition time as KHCPL makes the change. From Friday, Sept. 18, until Monday, Sept. 21, patrons won’t be able to pay fines, log in to see when items are due, place holds, or renew items, Fipps said. “You’ll still be able to check out materials that weekend, but we’ll be going kind of old-school. We’ll be writing down the items’ barcodes. So please allow for a little extra time for checkout when you visit us on those days. You should be able to continue to use Overdrive and Hoopla for movies and more.”

Because the transition is staff-intensive, KHCPL will not be able to offer Curbside Pickup on Friday, Sept. 18, and Monday, Sept. 21. It will resume Curbside Pickup starting on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

As KHCPL completes the changeover on Sept. 21, we’ll have to be closed until 4 p.m. that day.

“We regret patrons will have a few days of inconvenience as we implement this new system, but we know that Wise provides so many conveniences that it’ll all be worth it,” Fipps said. “We thank everyone, in advance, for their patience and understanding.”

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has some exciting news: Effective immediately, overdue fines will not accrue on books classified as juvenile, junior high, or young adult – no matter what the age of the person checking out the materials.

“This is our way of removing any reading barrier we can so we can increase childhood literacy and improve library access,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “This will also help those who, because of COVID-19-related job loss and extra expenses, are struggling financially. We offered this as a pilot program, but have now made it a permanent policy.”

To be clear, this is for books only. So late fees for items such as movies or CDs still apply. Patrons will still be billed for items that are not renewed or returned within three weeks after the due date.

If you have further questions, please call Circulation at 457.3242.

To stay abreast of KHCPL news and resources, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What’s your favorite book? Not an easy question to answer, is it? Now you know how the Kokomo-Howard County Library feels when it receives your votes for the Howard County Reads book of the year. But, after careful review, KHCPL has named The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson as the 2020 Howard County Reads book.

The Year We Left Home chronicles the happiness pursuits of the Eriksons from their 1970s coming-of-age to the near-present day, in a story told from revolving viewpoints. It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother, Ryan, watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin, Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons' youngest daughter, is another rebel intent on escape, but the choices she makes will bring about a tragedy that leaves the entire family changed forever.

To keep everyone safe and to do our part to reduce the spread of COVID, the author visit will be a virtual one. More details will be announced at a later date. KHCPL will be able to have the author visit thanks to One State/One Story. The Year We Left Home is presented by Indiana Humanities in partnership with the Indiana Center for the Book and the Indiana State Library.

KHCPL has also selected 14 other books to round out the Top 15 Howard County Reads books.

  • How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
  • True to You by Becky Wade
  • Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
  • Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
  • Island of Sea Women by NAME
  • Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz
  • Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
  • Attucks: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose
  • Bride Test by Helen Hoang
  • Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • Inland byTéa Obreht

KHCPL will have three librarian-led book discussions, one at each location, of The Year We Left Home.

  • 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9, at KHCPL Main
  • 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, at KHCPL Russiaville
  • 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, at KHCPL South

KHCPL is also planning a virtual author event and other programs. Follow us on social media for the latest library news about materials, events, and programs.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is now offering faxing and printing services..

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to khcpl.org/remote-printing to fill out the form or find the link to that form on our website. Go to KHCPL.org and click on “Remote Printing,” which is on the right, just below the catalog search box.
  • As KHCPL does our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community, we’re finding new ways to provide our services safely to the patrons while keeping our staff safe. So, we’ll get your documents and/or fax conformation printouts to you via our Curbside Pickup service.
  • You’ll need to submit the following information via the link for KHCPL to print documents you need:
    • your name
    • your phone number
    • the link(s) to the document(s) or you can upload the document(s)
    • KHCPL location where you want to pick up the document(s)
    • number of copies needed
  • You’ll need to submit the following information via the link for KHCPL to fax documents:
    • your name
    • your phone number
    • the link(s) to the document(s) or you can upload the document(s)
    • name of agency that will receive the fax and that fax number
    • KHCPL location where you want to pick up the document(s) and fax conformation(s)
    • number of copies needed

To stay abreast of KHCPL news and resources, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.org or contact us via social media.

Back by popular demand is the Friends of the Library’s Book Sale – but with a few changes. It’ll be a Bag of Books Drive-Thru Sale on Aug. 15, and you have to order in advance.

Here’s how it’ll work.

  • To keep everyone safe and slow the spread of COVID in the community, you will order books in advance instead of browsing through the available materials.
  • Place your order online at https://bit.ly/30lrs1F.
  • If you prefer, you can fill out an order form, available at any KHCPL location. Return it to any service desk.
  • This is what you can order:
    • a bag of 20 music CDs for $5
    • a bag of 10 DVDs, or adult books on CD or MP3 for $5
    • a bag of 20 children's hardback, juvenile, or YA books for $2
    • a bag of 5 adult hardback books for $5
    • a bag of 20 adult paperback books for $10
  • You can choose from pre-selected genres/interests. For example, when ordering an adult non-fiction bag, you can choose from cookbooks, home arts, biography/history, religion, sports, travel, and war.
  • You can purchase as many bags as you want.
  • Between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, go to KHCPL Main, park, and call 765-431-0485 to tell them you’ve arrived to pick up your order.
  • Tell them your name and the type of vehicle you’re in and the color.
  • Remember to wear your mask.
  • We’ll bring your order to you and collect payment. Exact change is preferred. Checks accepted. No credit/debit cards accepted.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and its vendor partners are offering two free audiobook downloads per week – that are great for teens 13 and up – for the next 13 weeks, starting April 30 through July 29.

SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through Sora, the student reading app from OverDrive. You can download the Sora app from Apple or Google.

Sign up with SYNC at audiobooksync.com and you’ll get notifications each week when the audiobooks are ready to download. Please note: Signing up for the alerts will not send you the titles. The alerts will only tell you when and where the title is available to load into the app.

These are the books that will be free during the 13-week period.

  • The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
  • The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay
  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork
  • Easy Prey by Catherine Lo
  • Fake by Eric Simonson
  • Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • Fresh Ink by Lamar Giles
  • Hope Nation by Rose Brock
  • In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira
  • Into White by Randi Pink
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
  • Like No Other by Una Lamarche
  • Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse
  • Mexican Whiteboy by Matt De La Peña
  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Picture Us in The Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  • Secret Soldiers by Paul B. Janeczko
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
  • Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.org or contact us via social media.

During the month of August, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library will host a new popup exhibition from the National Archives, called Rightfully Hers, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Rightfully Hers contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th amendment, women’s voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today.

Despite decades of marches, petitions, and public debate to enshrine a woman’s right to vote in the constitution, the 19th Amendment – while an enormous milestone – did not grant voting rights for all. The challenges of its passage reverberate to the ongoing fight for gender equity today.

"The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate, and although it enshrined in the U.S. Constitution fuller citizenship for women many remained unable to vote,” said Rightfully Hers co-curator Jennifer N. Johnson.

“KHCPL has materials, databases, and programs to provide education about a variety of topics,” said Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps. “So we love bringing in exhibits that do as well. We encourage people to check out materials about women’s voting rights after they view the exhibit. We’ll have a special display nearby.”

KHCPL South is the host site for Rightfully Hers. You can explore the exhibit during normal library hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

About Rightfully Hers

Rightfully Hers is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives has launched a nationwide initiative and major exhibition that explores the generations-long fight for universal woman suffrage. The exhibition is presented in part by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, and Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

When you drive by one of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s locations, you might notice cars in the parking lot and people inside. But KHCPL is not yet open to the public, due to COVID-19. However, KHCPL is excited to announce that we’ll begin a limited curbside pickup system starting on Wednesday, April 22.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Use our website, KHCPL.org, or app to place holds on the items you want.
  • No internet? No problem. You can also call any location during business hours. Call the location you want to go to, to pick up the items: KHCPL Main, 765.454.4710; KHCPL South, 765.453.4150; or KHCPL Russiaville, 765.883.5112.
  • When your items are ready for pickup, we’ll call you and let you know the available pickup times and dates from which you can choose.
  • Curbside pickup will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Mondays, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays at each location.
  • When you drive up, we’ll put your items in the hatch or trunk of your vehicle. If you don’t have a trunk or hatch, we’ll set your items on a table outside.

“Although our facilities have been closed to the public to keep staff safe and do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community, a lot of our staff has been working on this curbside pickup system, ordering the latest and greatest books and movies, putting new tags on items as we prepare to change the way we check out items later this year, adjusting Summer Reading Program plans, doing regular maintenance of the facilities, emptying the book drops, reshelving, creating virtual programs, and serving the community in new ways,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing.

KHCPL staff is also cleaning all facilities. After materials are returned, we quarantine them for 24 hours. We also sanitize all movies, audio materials, experience kits, video games, and electronic devices.

The new ways KHCPL has found, so far, to serve the community include the following:

  • using our 3D printers to make ear-savers for local healthcare workers;
  • delivering books from the Friends of the Library to the Kokomo Rescue Mission, Open Arms, Watered Garden, Kokomo Housing Authority, and Jackson Street Commons; and
  • donating the items in all of our vending machines to Kokomo Urban Outreach so the food and beverages can be used before their expiration dates.

“We’re doing everything we can think of to serve the community in this unprecedented time as we continue to play a vital role in the community,” Fipps said. “We, like everyone else, are just adapting to do it in a way that keeps everyone safe. We thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.”

Here are some changes KHCPL’s made to date to serve you:

  • If you want a card, but do not have one, you can now get one by going to khcpl.org/ecard and filling out the NEW! GET A KHCPL LIBRARY CARD ONLINE form. You need to live in one of the following townships in Howard County: Center, Taylor, Howard, Clay, Ervin, Harrison, Honey Creek, or Monroe. KHCPL will send assign you a library card and PIN number, and then email it to you. The card will be good until June 1. Upon KHCPL’s reopening, we invite you to come by the library to show your identification to keep the card active.
  • We have extended to June 1 the expiration date of any cards that will be expiring while we’re closed so that you can continue to download books, music, magazines, movies, and more without any disruption in service.
  • We have extended the due date to June 1 for all items currently checked out.
  • To serve the community better during this challenging time, we are temporarily increasing the number of HOOPLA items you can check out per month per library card to 15. HOOPLA is a digital streaming service for library cardholders to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows using portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. You can do that from anywhere. In addition, HOOPLA has created a special Bonus Borrows collection. Now, temporarily with your KHCPL card, you can access more than 1,100 titles in HOOPLA’s Bonus Borrows collection – and those DO NOT count toward your 15 downloads per library card per month limit! Another way to stretch your HOOPLA downloads is to get the kids to use the Just for Kids Streaming Video Collection, which you can find here: khcpl.org/childrens-database#J
  • If you’ve never used HOOPLA, there’s a tutorial on our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2QGTEqA.
  • You can now temporarily access Ancestry Library Edition from home. Ancestry Library Edition is a division of Ancestry.com. It’s a research tool offering the most comprehensive genealogical information available online. The collection has information from more than 9,000 databases, including 4 billion names, and 200 billion images from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and Australia. You can search public members’ family trees; birth, marriage, criminal, tax, obituary, death, cemetery, city directory, military, census, immigration, and last will and testament records; and message boards, maps, gazetteers, atlases, and church histories. If you click on “Learning Center,” there are tips from experts, including tips on African American and Native American research, and finding your German ancestors, just to name a few.
  • You can now stream Freegal Music 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s in addition to the five free downloads you have per KHCPL card per week. Previously, you could only stream five hours per week.
  • KHCPL’s partner vendors, such as Scholastic, are responding to the COVID-19 crisis and offering services as well. For example, Scholastic Learn at Home provides day-by-day projects, based on grade level, to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing with cross-curricular journeys. Each day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a story or video. Kids can do them on their own or with their families. You can access that with KHCPL’s website, KHCPL.org.

KHCPL also offers a great deal of FREE resources, in addition to HOOPLA and Ancestry Library Edition, that people can access from home using their KHCPL card. Just go to KHCPL.org and click on “Research” and then “All databases” to see the full list.

Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Overdrive: It allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and streaming videos free from KHCL library to enjoy on your mobile device or computer. You can read, listen, or watch instantly, or download the materials for later offline usage.
  • Lynda.com: It’s a library of over 4,000 different video courses for different skill levels. Subjects covered include business, photography, information technology, and web and social media.
  • Creativebug: It offers more than 1,000 award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized experts and artists. Classes including using a Cricut, sewing, drawing, jewelry making, painting, food decorating, and more.
  • Flipster Magazine and RBdigital Magazines: Both of these allow you to browse magazines online. FREE!
  • Freegal Music: You can download free music, up to three songs per week. Songs are yours to keep and can transfer them to any portable device.
  • Howard County Memory Project: If you like researching your ancestry, this provides digital access to the historical, genealogical, and personal memories associated with Howard County.
  • Mango Languages: Learn a new language FREE. It prepares learners for realistic conversations and strengthens everyday communication skills in over 70 world languages, including English.
  • National Geographic Kids: It offers kids accurate and age-appropriate content focusing on science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space.
  • Universal Class: It provides unlimited access to continuing education courses, covering a broad range of topics.
  • ChiltonLibrary: It provides access to repair, maintenance, and service information on the most popular cars, trucks, vans and SUVs on the road today, as well as many new vehicles.

“Make sure you’re following us on social media to stay abreast of everything we’re doing,” Fipps said.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.org or contact us via social media.

If you visit the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library downtown, you’re going to notice some changes.

KHCPL Main will begin a renovation project on Monday, Aug. 3.

“We continuously evaluate how we can best serve Kokomo and Howard County,” said KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps. “To implement our mission fully, we knew we needed to focus more on programs and partnerships not only at our facilities but also out in the community. To do that, we needed to free up staff. We can do that by making some renovations at KHCPL Main, which is why we are merging two service points.”

We’re also increasing the use of self-checkout. “We began working on installing the technology to allow us to be able to provide updated self-service checkout even before COVID,” Fipps said. “But COVID makes it even more important to offer an option to decrease face-to-face interaction just to quickly check out a book or movie.”

Fipps emphasized that staff is still available and happy to help with reading recommendations, finding materials, and more. “The more people use self-checkout, the more staff we have for one-on-one interactions,” she said.

KHCPL thanks patrons in advance for excusing the mess and their patience. The renovation project should be complete within six to eight weeks.

Tommy Richter, KHCPL Technology and Reference Assistant, delivers ear-savers to Community Howard Regional Health.

Although the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is temporarily closed to the public, due to COVID-19, several employees are finding ways to serve the community. One of those is Tommy Richter, Technology and Reference Assistant, who is using KHCPL’s 3D printers to make surgical mask straps, commonly called ear-savers, for healthcare workers.

The healthcare worker wearing a mask simply loops the straps to the ear-saver, which not only keeps the straps from cutting into the person’s ears – since they’re wearing them all day, every day – but also forms a tighter seal over the worker’s mouth and nose because it pulls the mask straps back to improve fit.

Richter delivered the first 80 to Community Howard Regional Health this week.

KHCPL’s 3D printer making the ear-savers.

“I feel like it’s doing my part in helping combat the virus,” Richter said. It takes about two hours to make nine ear-savers. The cost is minimal, just the expense of the plastic filament and power to operate the 3D printers. He’s taught some of KHCPL’s 3D printing classes. In addition, when patrons submit projects to be printed, Richter helps print those. “This is why we have these printers, to help patrons. So we might as well use them.”

“Community Howard Regional Health has partnered with KHCPL in a number of ways for many years, so we reached out to them first,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “Once we have supplied all they need, we’ll work to make some for other healthcare workers.”

The final product: ear-savers for healthcare workers.

“Many thanks to the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library for this creative and generous donation of ‘ear-savers,’ ” said George Mast, Manager of Corporate Communications at Community Howard Regional Health. “Wearing a mask all day can be uncomfortable, and we are grateful to be able to make these available to our caregivers. All of us at Community Howard offer our sincere appreciation to the library and others that have generously stepped forward to stand beside us in this fight.”

“KHCPL has always served patrons and the community and will continue to do so even in this unprecedented time,” Fipps said. “We’re just having to be creative and resourceful. For example, we’ve become a virtual library, offering a variety of programs and tutorials on our YouTube channel. We’ve worked with vendors, such as Ancestry Library Edition and HOOPLA, to temporarily increase our digital offerings to patrons. And we couldn’t do what we’re doing if it weren’t for our employees, like Tommy, who are stepping up to the plate and using their talents from home or in new ways.”

As part of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s More than a Memory project, funded by the Community Foundation of Howard County, we’re offering free stickers to alert emergency responders so they know someone inside a residence is a person living with dementia.

“There are 20,719 people 65 and older in Howard County and, statistically, 8.8 percent of those 65 and older have dementia,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing and More Than a Memory coordinator. “That means at least 1,823 people in our community live with dementia. And, like all residents, there will be times when they need emergency responders, whether it be because of a fall, break-in, fire, etc. Interacting with a person living with dementia has unique challenges. First responders are trained on how to interact with people living with dementia; however, when entering a home during an emergency, they have no idea if someone inside is a person living with dementia. Until now. This sticker alerts first responders.”

The stickers are FREE and are available at the Reference Desk at all KHCPL locations and on the bookmobiles. Simply ask for one or more. It’s good to have one on each door and window, including a patio door. Before applying the sticker to a door or window, write on it the name of the person living with dementia. It's best to use a permanent marker. “The sticker speaks for the person with dementia when he or she or the caregiver cannot,” Fipps said.

“There is one caveat,” Fipps said. “Keep in mind that there are people who might see the sticker and then try to target the person living with dementia for a scam. This is especially true if the person living with dementia lives alone. However, we think the benefit outweighs the risk, especially since most people living with dementia live with caregivers, because as the disease progresses it makes independent living unsafe. Do what’s best for your loved one.”

Free access to books, magazines, movies, and more are vital now, and so the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is excited to share some great news.

KHCPL’s vendor, HOOPLA, knows that, with the temporary closure of libraries across the country, due to COVID-19, access to digital content has taken on an even greater importance. So HOOPLA has created a special Bonus Borrows collection. Now, temporarily with your KHCPL card, you can access more than 1,100 titles in HOOPLA’s Bonus Borrows collection – and those DO NOT count toward your 15 downloads per library card per month limit!

HOOPLA is a digital streaming service for library cardholders to access eBooks, e-audiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows with their portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. If you’ve never used HOOPLA, KHCPL’s Readers’ Advisory Librarian, Melissa Wheelock, has created a tutorial you can watch on our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2QGTEqA.

One way to stretch your HOOPLA downloads is to get the kids to use the Just for Kids Streaming Video Collection, which you can find here: khcpl.org/childrens-database#J

“With Just for Kids, children can watch free cartoons, such as Franklin the Turtle, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Hey Arnold, Arthur, and TV shows such as Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss,” Fipps said.

That’s not all the good news for KHCPL patrons.

You can now stream Freegal Music 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s in addition to the five free downloads you have per KHCPL card per week. Previously, you could only stream five hours per week.

“We love that our vendors are finding ways to help KHCPL and other libraries be able to offer more digital resources to patrons during this unprecedented time,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “We have Tammy Keith, KHCPL Head of Collection Management, to thank for working out the details with HOOPLA and Freegal so that the library can better serve patrons.”

Don’t have a library card? That’s not a problem, thanks to Kayla Skiles, Head of Circulation. Now you can get one online! Just go to khcpl.org/ecard and fill out the NEW! GET A KHCPL LIBRARY CARD ONLINE form. You need to live in one of the following townships in Howard County: Center, Taylor, Howard, Clay, Ervin, Harrison, Honey Creek, or Monroe. KHCPL will then email you a library card and PIN number. The card will be good for 60 days. Upon KHCPL’s reopening, we invite you to come by any KHCPL location to show your identification to keep the card active.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.org or contact us via social media.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library will begin a “no mask, no entry and mask on, come on in” policy at all locations and bookmobiles beginning on Monday, July 27, in compliance with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s statewide Executive Order.

Currently, KHCPL employees wear masks, and we ask that the patrons do. However, starting on July 27, until further notice, patrons will be required to wear masks.

“If you do not want to or cannot wear a mask, due to medical reasons, we understand,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “For you, we offer Curbside Pickup. That way we can follow the law, do our part to stop the spread of COVID in the community, keep everyone safe, and accommodate patrons.”

Curbside Pickup is available from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Mondays, at all locations; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays, at Main and South; and a10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fridays, at all locations. To place holds for Curbside Pickup, either use our online catalog or call the location where you want to pick up your materials: 454.4710 (KHCPL Main), 453.4150 (KHCPL South), and 883.5112 (KHCPL Russiaville).

One of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s more popular databases has always been Ancestry Library Edition. But you could only access it from inside one of our KHCPL locations – until now.

“KHCPL’s worked with Ancestry Library Edition to temporarily allow our patrons to access this easy-to-use and extensive database from home,” said KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps. “We have Amy Russell, Head of the Genealogy & Local History Department, to thank for that. And we have Aaron Rood, a member of our IT Department, to thank for getting the access link ready for patrons. We also thank Ancestry Library Edition for partnering with us to make this happen, which allows people to use our services while staying home and staying safe. Although we’re closed until tentatively April 20, we continue to work to serve the community.”

Ancestry Library Edition is a division of Ancestry.com. It’s a research tool offering the most comprehensive genealogical information available online. The collection has information from more than 9,000 databases, including 4 billion names, and 200 billion images from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and Australia. You can search public members’ family trees; birth, marriage, criminal, tax, obituary, death, cemetery, city directory, military, census, immigration, and last will and testament records; and message boards, maps, gazetteers, atlases, and church histories.

If you click on “Learning Center,” there are tips from experts, including tips on African American and Native American research, and finding your German ancestors, just to name a few.

Ready to get started? Simply go to //www.khcpl.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=449 and enter your library card number.

Don’t have a library card? That’s not a problem, thanks to Kayla Skiles, Head of Circulation. Now you can get one online! Just go to khcpl.org/ecard and fill out the NEW! GET A KHCPL LIBRARY CARD ONLINE form. You need to live in one of the following townships in Howard County: Center, Taylor, Howard, Clay, Ervin, Harrison, Honey Creek, or Monroe. KHCPL will then email you a library card and PIN number. The card will be good for 60 days. Upon KHCPL’s reopening, we invite you to come by any KHCPL location to show your identification to keep the card active.

“During this unprecedented time, KHCPL is working to offer whatever we can virtually,” Fipps said. “We not only now allow you to get a KHCPL card online, but we also have renewed all the cards that have expired since 2019. And we have temporarily increased the number of HOOPLA items you can check out per month per library card to 15.”

HOOPLA is a digital streaming service for library cardholders to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows using portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. If you’ve never used it, KHCPL’s Readers’ Advisory Librarian, Melissa Wheelock, has created a tutorial you can watch on our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2QGTEqA.

Along with Ancestry Library Edition and HOOPLA, KHCPL offers a great deal of FREE resources that people can access from home using their KHCPL card. Just go to KHCPL.org and click on “Research” and then “All databases” to see the full list.

Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Overdrive: It allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and streaming videos free from KHCL library to enjoy on your mobile device or computer. You can read, listen, or watch instantly, or download the materials for later offline usage.
  • Lynda.com: It’s a library of over 4,000 different video courses for different skill levels. Subjects covered include business, photography, information technology, and web and social media.
  • Creativebug: It offers more than 1,000 award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized experts and artists. Classes including using a Cricut, sewing, drawing, jewelry making, painting, food decorating, and more.
  • Flipster Magazine and RBdigital Magazines: Both of these allow you to browse magazines online. FREE!
  • Freegal Music: You can download free music, up to three songs per week. Songs are yours to keep and can transfer them to any portable device.
  • Howard County Memory Project: If you like researching your ancestry, this provides digital access to the historical, genealogical, and personal memories associated with Howard County.
  • Mango Languages: Learn a new language FREE. It prepares learners for realistic conversations and strengthens everyday communication skills in over 70 world languages, including English.
  • National Geographic Kids: It offers kids accurate and age-appropriate content focusing on science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space.
  • Universal Class: It provides unlimited access to continuing education courses, covering a broad range of topics.
  • ChiltonLibrary: It provides access to repair, maintenance, and service information on the most popular cars, trucks, vans and SUVs on the road today, as well as many new vehicles.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.orgs or contact us via social media.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s bookmobiles, Adventure and Discovery, are taking on a temporary new role: They’re delivering free food starting Monday, July 6.

The United Way of Howard and Tipton Counties, in partnership with Fiat Chrysler, created meal bags for students in Howard County. The bags have six to eight meals in them, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now that school is out for the summer, United Way and Fiat Chrysler needed a way to distribute the bags. That’s when KHCPL stepped up to help.

“KHCPL prides itself on partnering with others and serving Kokomo and Howard County,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “Our bookmobiles already deliver books to the community. Why not food? There’s a limited supply of meal bags, so we’ll distribute them on a first-come, first-served basis at our public stops.”

To find out where the bookmobiles will be, please go to our website for the schedule: //www.khcpl.org/bookmobile-schedule.

To protect everyone and to do our part to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community, please follow these safety guidelines.

  • Since the bookmobiles are smaller, confined spaces, we request you have a mask on before you join us. Our bookmobile staff will be wearing masks, too.
  • We will have hand sanitizer available for patrons and staff.
  • We’ll allow one family or up to two patrons to be in a bookmobile at a time.

There’s an old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is finding that to be true right now.

The bad news is that due to COVID-19, KHCPL is closed temporarily; however, the good news is that many people in the community are realizing just how much they miss us and our services.

“We’ve had people ask us if there’s a way they can get a KHCPL card online so they can be taking advantage of all the wonderful digital resources we have while they’re home from school and work,” said KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps. “Whereas up until now we’ve required people to show identification and come to a KHCPL location in person to get a card, we’re suspending that, temporarily.”

So, if you want a card, but do not have one, you can now get one by going to khcpl.org/ecard and filling out the NEW! GET A KHCPL LIBRARY CARD ONLINE form. You need to live in one of the following townships in Howard County: Center, Taylor, Howard, Clay, Ervin, Harrison, Honey Creek, or Monroe. KHCPL will send you a library card and PIN number, and then email it to you. The card will be good for 60 days. Upon KHCPL’s reopening, we invite you to come by the library to show your identification to keep the card active.

“KHCPL, like all businesses and organizations, is finding all kinds of ways to adapt in this unprecedented time and still stay customer-focused,” Fipps said. “We appreciate Kayla Skiles, Head of Circulation, and the IT Department for making this happen.”

To stay abreast of KHCPL news and resources, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As a reminder, here are some other changes KHCPL’s made, to date, to serve you:

  • We have extended to May 1 the expiration date of any cards that will be expiring while we’re closed so that you can continue to download books, music, magazines, movies, and more without any disruption in service.
  • Also, to serve you better, if your KHCPL card expired in 2019, and you didn’t get to the library to renew it before we had to close temporarily, that’s not a problem. All cards that expired in 2019 have been automatically renewed until May 1 – even if you have fines or your account is in collections.
  • We have also extended the due date to Monday, April 20, for all items currently checked out.
  • Also, to serve the community better during this challenging time, we are temporarily increasing the number of HOOPLA items you can check out per month per library card to 15. HOOPLA is a digital streaming service for library cardholders to access ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows using portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. You can do that from anywhere.
  • KHCPL’s partner vendors, such as Scholastic, are responding to the COVID-19 crisis and offering services as well. For example, Scholastic Learn at Home provides day-by-day projects, based on grade level, to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing with cross-curricular journeys. Each day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a story or video. Kids can do them on their own or with their families. You can access that with KHCPL’s website, KHCPL.org.

KHCPL offers a great deal of FREE resources, in addition to HOOPLA and Scholastic, that people can access from home using their KHCPL card. Just go to KHCPL.org and click on “Research” and then “All databases” to see the full list.

Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Overdrive: It allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and streaming videos free from KHCPL library to enjoy on your mobile device or computer. You can read, listen, or watch instantly, or download the materials for later offline usage.
  • Lynda.com: It’s a library of over 4,000 different video courses for different skill levels. Subjects covered include business, photography, information technology, and web and social media.
  • Creativebug: It offers more than 1,000 award-winning art and craft video classes taught by recognized experts and artists. Classes including using a Cricut, sewing, drawing, jewelry-making, painting, and more.
  • Flipster Magazine and RBdigital Magazines: Both of these allow you to browse magazines online. FREE!
  • Freegal Music: You can download free music, up to three songs per week. Songs are yours to keep and can transfer them to any portable device.
  • Howard County Memory Project: If you like researching your ancestry, this provides digital access to the historical, genealogical, and personal memories associated with Howard County.
  • Mango Languages: Learn a new language FREE. It prepares learners for realistic conversations and strengthens everyday communication skills in over 70 world languages, including English.
  • National Geographic Kids: It offers kids accurate and age-appropriate content focusing on science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space.
  • Universal Class: It provides unlimited access to continuing education courses, covering a broad range of topics.
  • ChiltonLibrary: It provides access to repair, maintenance, and service information on the most popular cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs on the road today, as well as many new vehicles.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Fipps at lfipps@KHCPL.org or contact us via social media.