The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library recently changed its tagline to “Explore your opportunities,” and it couldn’t have come at a better time, considering all of the new opportunities patrons have — which now include sewing and quilting.


“We recently received a grant from the National Quilters’ Association to purchase sewing machines,” said Lori Hugley, head of KHCPL South. “The Friends of the Library also donated money for the new program we call ‘Sew Much.’ So we’ll have 11 machines.”


KHCPL will offer Quilting and Sewing for Beginners in July and August, and the Basic Sewing class is already full. “That’s a sign, to us, that we are right on target with offering this new opportunity to patrons,” Hugley said. “We want to offer more and more opportunities to expand the role of the library in the community.”

“Several factors have contributed to a surge in sewing and quilting as hobbies,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at KHCPL. “TV shows such as Project Runway, DIY projects shown on a variety of networks, saving money, small business owners who create and sell crafts, the desire for one-of-a-kind décor, and upcycling — to name a few.”


“Evie Fell, a member of SHAK Makerspace, will be teaching the classes,” Hugley said. She said SHAK Makerspace members are also building cabinets for the machines, providing their expert craftsmanship. “We’re buying the supplies; they’re doing the building, and the cabinets will even match our existing furniture. We truly appreciate our partnership with SHAK Makerspace for Sew Much and other projects.”


Others who like to sew or quilt and who would like to volunteer to teach classes are encouraged to, Hugley said. “We’d love to offer more Sew Much classes and programs. We’re also accepting donations of fabric, notions, and other sewing materials and equipment.”


In addition to classes, Hugley said KHCPL would like to eventually offer times when people can come to the library and sit and sew on their own projects. “We’ll expand Sew Much as time goes on.”


The Basic Quilting class still has openings. It’s from 1 to 3:45 p.m. on Mondays, July 18 and 25, and Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, at KHCPL South. Participants will be making an Indiana Puzzle quilt square. Note: Basic sewing skills are required for this class. Patrons will be required to provide some materials. A list of needed materials will be mailed to participants after they register. Space is limited. Registration required. Call 457.3242 ext. 1104 or 453.4150 to register.


More classes will be offered this fall. Watch your newsletter for details.



The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has another new, FREE service for patrons. You can now use Freegal to live stream music at home, at work, and on the road.


Freegal stands for free and legal music. With Freegal, KHCPL cardholders have access to more than 6 million songs from 28,000 recording labels. In addition to downloading five free songs per week through Freegal, accessible from the library’s website, you can now stream music for up to five hours per day.


If you haven’t used Freegal before, simply go to and click on the Freegal icon near the bottom. Follow the instructions to register. 


To live steam, you can choose from a long list of songs. Here’s a list of some of them Freegal has compiled in advance for listeners: 

•2016 Academy of Country Music Awards

•2016 Billboard Latin Music Awards 

•Queens Hip Hop Essentials 

•58th Annual Grammy Hits 


•Dance / Electronic Hits 

•Classic Rock 



•One-Hit Wonders 

•R & B 



•Theme Songs 





•GoGo Music 

•Top Jazz Albums 

•80's Metal & Hard Rock 


You can also create your own live streaming playlist. Select “my playlists” from the menu list on the left. Name your play list. Then search for songs. To the right of the column showing the play time of a song, you’ll see a box with three horizontal lines in it. That allows you to choose to either download the song or place it in your playlist. Just scroll down and make your selection. Once you have built a playlist, just hit “play playlist.”


You can also live stream by placing your cursor over an album cover or pressing the play button on a song.


“We recently received word of Freegal offering free live streaming,” said Tammy Keith, head of Outreach and Collection Services. “We loved the idea. We asked libraries who have been offering it for their input. They said patrons love it, and so we think KHCPL cardholders will, too.” 








Community Foundation Grant Makes It Possible






The world is in jeopardy of losing food crops vital to our survival. Why? Crops need to be pollinated. For many crops, the primary pollinators are bees, butterflies, and birds, which feed off native plants. Pesticide use, bee mites, land development, and landscaping to create attractive lawns and gardens have dramatically decreased the number of native plants. For these reasons, pollinators are dying off. 


“The statistics are rather frightening,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at KHCPL. According to the Pollinator Partnership, “Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops. That means that one out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators. If we want to talk dollars and cents, pollinators add $217 billion to the global economy, and honey bees alone are responsible for between $1.2 and $5.4 billion in agricultural productivity in the United States. In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.”


The library is the perfect organization to lead the project, Fipps said. “Our staff creates programs all year long to educate people about a variety of topics. Why not use some of our time to make people aware of the pollinator crisis, educate them about pollinators, and show them the steps they can take to help?” Plus, Fipps noted, the library has space to host programs and presentations. “With the grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County, the only taxpayer dollars funding Grow the Solution Together is for KHCPL staff time to host the programs, but, again, our staff presents a variety of programs every year anyway to benefit the community.” 


A key element of Grow the Solution Together is KHCPL’s native plant giveaway and sales. While supplies last, KHCPL will give one native plant to per family, along with a care guide. Those wanting more than one can purchase additional native plants: one for $2 or three for $5.


“You can plant these beside other flowers or set aside one area for native plants,” Fipps said. “There are several local people who have well-established gardens featuring native plants, and they are also members of the Howard County Master Gardeners’ Association. They’ve been a tremendous help. They’ve educated us so we can educate others. They’re also helping at the plant giveaways and sales.”


Programs KHCPL plans to have in the upcoming year include an expert showing people how to take care of native plants, and a honey tasting and talk about beekeeping. “There will be a lot going on to increase awareness, education, and action,” Fipps said. “We’re even putting together a contest to encourage people to show us how their plants are growing and ways they’ve helped pollinators.”


KHCPL will send out press releases, use social media, and have a dedicated Grow the Solution Together web page to keep people updated about the various programs. In addition, details will be in the quarterly newsletter mailed to the homes in the community.


“It’s difficult to say all that will be involved with Grow the Solution because the more we talk about it, the more ideas people have,” Fipps said. “That’s a good problem to have. Whenever we talked to people, we thought we’d have to persuade them to be a part of Grow the Solution Together. Nothing could be further from the truth. As soon as we said, ‘We want to help save pollinators and increase the number of native plants in the community,’ people said, ‘Count us in.’ And, ‘I’m so glad the library’s doing this. This is so needed.’ ” 


So far, community partners include the Howard County Master Gardeners’ Association, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, Purdue Extension, Howard County Soil & Water Conservation District, City of Kokomo Parks & Recreation Department, Bon Air Middle School, Carver Center, Kokomo Housing Authority, and The Living Garden. 


“We would be happy to partner with other organizations that want to help save pollinators and increase native plants,” Fipps said, adding all they have to do is call her at 765.626.0807.


“Grow the Solution Together empowers us to act locally while thinking globally,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “I am excited about the impact this project will have on our community, in growing understanding and encouraging action. The broad partnerships will play a major role because they will help us to reach a diverse group of residents. Our community will have the privilege of looking at a worldwide issue that could potentially affect our food supply. I am especially grateful to the Community Foundation of Howard County for catching our vision and providing funding for the project.”


“It’s exciting that KHCPL will spearhead the only community collaboration focused on this issue that we know of in the state to date,” Fipps said.







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