Library Board members heard a poignant letter Thursday written by a student
whose life was made better because of the Chesterton Adult Learning Center.
Christine McConnell reported 75 persons have been served this year at the
ALC, which is housed in WPL’s Library Service Center. Students there can
improve their basic educational skills to get a GED, find jobs, prepare for
college, learn English as a second language or study to pass military
Some students are
eligible for ALC scholarships, said McConnell, and $4,000 in donations has
been raised. The ALC itself is funded by Workforce Development.
WPL director Phil
Baugher said the library has provided space and support services for the ALC
since 1975 because libraries traditionally have advanced literacy in their
WPL board member
Nick Tilden and others thanked McConnell for the center’s efforts, which
serves a population generally within the Duneland School Corp. boundaries.
Also Thursday, the
Library Board toasted Baugher with a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to
mark the news that he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Indiana Library Federation at this fall’s annual conference.
In 2013 Baugher
received the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s Community Achievement Award.
Baugher was an
unlikely choice when he was named library director 36 years ago: an
ex-Marine, Vietnam veteran, avid sailor and college graduate temporarily
working as a mechanic. Baugher since has helmed WPL through the
unprecedented 2001 Bethlehem Steel bankruptcy and the expanding digital
delivery of library information and services.
everyone who made the ILF honor possible, including all WPL trustees, staff
and patrons, past and present.
In other business,
Baugher announced WPL will offer an initial year of access to Hoopla, a web
service that provides downloadable feature films, audiobooks, television
programs and music. He noted Hoopla is a new service and it will take a few
months before the library can configure access off the WPL website, which
has been revamped to navigate more easily.
Baugher said he
received a low number of responses off the WPL website’s patron survey so
new questions will be drafted to target specific areas about which the
library is seeking input for future planning purposes.
It was announced
artist Mitch Markowitz has visited WPL’s Westchester Township History Museum
in the Brown Mansion where he made a watercolor sketch to begin his painting
of the historic home as the next poster in the classic “Just Around the
Corner” South Shore Line series.
painting and poster will be unveiled Oct. 24 during a 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
reception at the museum.
The Library Board
learned WPL’s tutor service to help improve students’ reading skills may
have to cut back its hours when the program resumes in September because
staff can’t find a quiet area that can be reserved exclusively for that use.
The board also
renewed its membership in the Indiana State Library Consortium to make WPL
eligible for grants to help fund its electronic internet services, and
adopted a new staff credit-card policy expanding the number of employees who
are authorized to charge on WPL-owned cards for library purchases only.
Varying limits apply to purchases made.