Eckhart Library staff

Eckhart Public Library marketing specialist Kaylee Kellogg makes a recording as programming specialist Zach Heimach and public service assistant manager Emma Richey create a virtual program about the science behind rainbows.

AUBURN — Eckhart Public Library is continuing and expanding its virtual services during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “stay at home” order.

The library’s digital services and resources, which include Overdrive/Libby, Hoopla and Kanopy, remain open to library cardholders and are accessible 24 hours a day. The library has offered access to eBooks and eAudiobooks via Overdrive and Libby to patrons for years through the Northeast Indiana Digital Library consortium, a partnership between Eckhart Public Library and other area libraries, including Garrett Public Library.

In 2019, the library also added access to additional materials through Hoopla, a service offering eBooks, eAudiobooks, eComics and streaming music, movies, and television; and Kanopy, a streaming service that includes films, documentaries, Great Courses, and educational content geared toward children.

Library staff members also have been working since the closure was announced to offer virtual programming, including storytimes, instructional videos and other engaging videos. Staff members also are planning to share some of their recommendations for books, movies and more available to users through apps and the library’s website. Virtual programming will be available through the library’s Facebook page, facebook.com/eckhartpubliclibrary.

Eckhart Public Library has created a remote library card signup option to ensure that library cards can be issued to those who want to access digital materials and services while they are at home. To sign up for a library card, users can visit epl.lib.in.us and click on My Account. Once they reach the Evergreen Indiana page, users can click on “Request a Library Card.” For instructions on this process, visit tinyurl.com/eplcard.

The library’s Resources page, at epl.lib.in.us/resources, also offers content for people looking for information while they are staying home. INSPIRE, available to every Indiana resident and supported by the Indiana General Assembly through Build Indiana Funds, the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act and in partnership with the Academic Libraries of Indiana, offers resources such as Rosetta Stone, Consumer Reports, test and resume preparation and many health resources. Library staff also is collaborating with other DeKalb County organizations to build and host a page of community resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic at 19secondsofjoy.com.

“We really miss seeing and serving our community during this time of social distancing and staying home, but Eckhart Public Library is committed to the health and safety of staff and the community,” said Assistant Director Jenny Kobiela-Mondor. “I am so proud of the hard work of our stellar team members as they continue to engage with the community and work to improve library services during this latest challenge.”

Library staff members are continuing to work behind the scenes from home in preparation to continue service to the public when the library reopens. Staff members are continuing to select and order new books, DVDs, and more to offer the public when regular services resume, as well as focusing on professional development through webinars offered by library partners such as Indiana Library Federation and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, and planning future programming and outreach opportunities.

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