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Main & South
9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m
2:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
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9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

*Russiaville is closed Wednesdays

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Due to COVID-19, the Howard County Commissioners ordered the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Board to close effective today, Tuesday, March 17, for 30 days. We’ll reopen on Monday, April 20.

“We know this was not a decision the commissioners took lightly,” said KHCPL Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps. “We appreciate all that they’re doing to keep everyone safe. Just like the commissioners, KHCPL has been monitoring the situation. Ever since the first case was reported in the United States, KHCPL has been staying in touch with health experts, local authorities, and other libraries. Many other libraries have already closed, and, during its March 16 regularly scheduled meeting, the KHCPL Board of Trustees had planned to consider closing the library. While we strongly believe that libraries are vital to their communities, the world is experiencing a deadly pandemic. It’s reached not only Indiana, but also Howard County. For the safety of not only our patrons and staff, but also the entire community during this unprecedented time, we agree with the commissioners’ decision. We will still serve the community, but just virtually during this crisis.”

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

“Like everyone, we’re adapting,” Fipps said. “We want to continue our vital role in the community but 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:

  • 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.
  • 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, eAudiobooks, 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,

The good news is that KHCPL already 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 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.
  • 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 or contact us via social media.

At KHCPL, we are continuing to monitor the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and have enacted several preventive measures. If you encounter damp, freshly wiped surfaces or staff members wearing protective gloves, it is a reflection that our main concern is the health and well-being of library visitors and employees.

Currently, all KHCPL locations remain open.

The following changes are in place:

  • To accommodate people who are ill or quarantined, we have extended the due date to Friday, April 10, for all items currently checked out or borrowed between now and April 3
  • Items ready to be picked up will be held until April 10
  • Beginning Monday, March 16, Notary Service will be suspended until further notice
  • To protect our therapy animal volunteers, Paws to Read sessions have been cancelled for the immediate future
  • United Way has suspended tax prep at KHCPL South and KHCPL Russiaville through March 30
  • Select harder-to-clean toys have been moved to storage temporarily

Also, if you are not feeling well when your items are due back, we are happy to extend the due date until you are well again. Just phone 457.3242 or email You can also send us a message through Facebook.

To find out more about all of our products you can download and stream from home, call KHCPL Main at 626.0815 or check with your favorite library location.

Since the situation is evolving quickly, check our social media accounts or our website for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we focus on balancing our services and resources with safety.

Faith Brautigam

Library Director

Feel free to call us with questions:








In 2018 terms, an Indiana Civil War soldier writes to his wife, “I know it’s a warzone between Kokomo, Indiana, and central Georgia, but I’m lonely, so please come visit.”


In 1863 terms, his letter read, “Dear Wife … If we stop about the 1st of October, it will be in Central Georgia and at that time it will suit you much to come south.”


That’s an excerpt from one of 90 written pages from the Civil War diary of John Underwood, 39th Indiana Infantry/8th Indiana Cavalry under the command of T.J. Harrison. Those letters and many more Howard County, Indiana, Civil War documents will soon be digitized, online, and searchable, thanks to an $11,000 grant the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library received.


“Not only is this great news for genealogists trying to find their ancestors who served during the Civil War, but it also allows people to learn more about our history,” said Amy Russell, head of KHCPL’s Genealogy & Local History Department. “Howard County is known for its patriotism and has a strong history of supporting the military. Records show that in the 16 to 35 age range, Howard County led the state in percentage of Civil War recruits.”


The Howard County Historical Society owns the Civil War records. The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is partnering with it to digitize them. The grant covers the library’s personnel cost for the process and is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.


Some of the other items to be digitized include:

• record book of minutes from the Headquarters of the Thomas J. Harrison Post No. 30 Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), dated 24 March 1905 through October 1912, and Nov. 8, 1912, through Jan. 1, 1916;

• G.A R. Hugh H. Willits Post No. 424 ledger, financial report 1899-1928 (Greentown, Indiana);

• Civil War chest and contents used by Captain William H. Sumption, Company E, 11th Indiana Volunteer Cavalry;

• miscellaneous muster in, muster out, appointments, discharge, pension certificates, and inventory of effects of deceased soldiers; and

• letters to Serena Brannen from several soldiers.


Once the project is complete, the digitized records will be found on KHCPL’s Howard County Memory Project website,, and the Indiana State Library’s Indiana Memory website,


The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. 



The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County to make Kokomo/Howard County dementia-friendly.

Dementia is a growing health issue in America – some say a crisis. The statistics are startling, according to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
  • Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s.
  • 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • In Indiana in 2016, there were 110,000 people, ages 65 and older, living with Alzheimer’s.
  • By 2050, an American will develop Alzheimer’s dementia every 33 seconds.
  • It’s projected that by 2050, 16 million Americans will be living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Alzheimer’s is the 5th leading cause of death in Indiana.
  • Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast and prostate cancers combined.
  • In 2019, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $290 billion.
  • In 2050, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $1.1 trillion.
  • More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
  • In 2019, caregivers will provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of care valued at $234 billion.

That’s why the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is creating More than a Memory, a multi-faceted, comprehensive, and cohesive health program to lead our community in providing caregivers, those who’ve been diagnosed, first responders, front-facing businesses, and organizations the resources they need to face this health epidemic with knowledge, tools, and compassion.

KHCPL will work with community leaders and partners to complete Dementia Friendly America’s four required phases so that Kokomo/Howard County receives dementia-friendly status, putting us on the cutting edge of the age-friendly movement in America. Kokomo/Howard County will be the fourth community in the state to become dementia-friendly. Bloomington, and Hamilton and Lawrence counties are already dementia-friendly.

In addition, KHCPL has a number of plans, including the following:

  • to partner with local lawyers, bankers, real estate agents, health-care workers, and other key players who deal with dementia to help them create plans of action and publications for clients and caregivers facing Alzheimer’s/dementia;
  • to facilitate Virtual Dementia Tours, enabling people to experience for themselves the physical and mental challenges those with dementia face, and, therefore, use the experience to provide better person-centered care;
  • to decrease isolation for those with Alzheimer’s/dementia and their loved ones by providing a Memory Café, where they can gather for regular times of social interaction in a dementia-friendly atmosphere;
  • to provide free, circulating kits with materials to help educate caregivers and lessen agitation in those with dementia. The kits will include books to help caregivers better understand the disease and how to deal with behaviors, and specially designed products to lessen agitation and fidgeting in those with dementia;
  • and to train businesses how to be dementia-friendly.

“Our donors have a vision to make Howard County a better place, and this grant will have the positive impact they desire by meeting community needs,” said Greg Aaron, President of the Community Foundation of Howard County. “Many families and caregivers struggle with the care of a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. The program material and training will be easily accessible through the library and is designed to help caregivers develop an action plan. Because of the generosity of our donors, we are pleased to be able to support this program.”

KHCPL Director of Marketing, Lisa Fipps, has a deep understanding of the issues those with the disease and their caregivers face. As a caregiver, she’s logged an estimated 30,048 hours in the past six years taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s. Because of that, KHCPL selected her to lead More Than a Memory. She will receive a variety of training from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners® as well as Second Wind Dreams®.

“One key element of More Than a Memory is that Lisa is an award-winning former journalist. She has the ability to write original content, so she’ll create a step-by-step guide on how to become dementia-friendly,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “Libraries across the country have begun to talk about how best to provide support as families and communities struggle with this issue, and I am excited that KHCPL has the potential to add to the national conversation. KHCPL will look for opportunities to share and promote the program through professional journals, webinars, and/or conferences.”

For more information about More Than a Memory, please call Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing, at 626.0807 or email her at

About Dementia-Friendly America

Dementia-Friendly America is a national network of communities, organizations, and individuals seeking to ensure that communities across the U.S. are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. It launched in 2015 with pilot communities in Denver, Colorado; Prince George's County, Maryland; Santa Clara County, California; Tempeh, Arizona; and the state of West Virginia.

About the Virtual Dementia Tour®

The Virtual Dementia Tour® is a scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of patented sensory tools and instruction and created by P.K. Beville. For more information about Second Wind Dreams® and the Virtual Dementia Tour go to

Thanks to a grant from Aptiv, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library will launch Digital Divers, an afterschool program to help improve students’ science, technology, engineering, and math skills, on Aug. 3 during First Friday.


With an ocean theme, third- through seventh-graders dive deeper into the sea with each completed, self-led STEM challenge in a race to the bottom of the ocean. Along the way, kids will earn points to redeem for prizes and time to use the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 


“Digital Divers wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of Aptiv,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “Aptiv was a key partner in helping us make the Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference exhibit a success in 2017. It provided funding and volunteers. When we approached the grant committee about an opportunity to partner with us again for Digital Divers, it immediately said yes. Our community is fortunate to have a company with employees who understand the importance of STEM and are eager to help ensure our students succeed.”


Companies such as Aptiv understand that America’s global leadership is threatened because too few U.S. high school students do well with STEM, let alone pursue STEM degrees or careers — especially lower-income women and minorities, Fipps said. “Those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and minorities are deeply underrepresented in STEM fields — just 2.2% of Latinos, 2.7% of African Americans, and 3.3% of Native Americans and Alaska Natives have earned a university degree in STEM fields. This underrepresentation means that the poor and minorities lack qualifications to access STEM-related jobs, which, in addition to being more plentiful, are also better paid than many other jobs.” 


KHCPL’s Digital Divers is based on Muncie Public Library’s Digital Climbers. “We heard great things about their after-school, self-led STEM challenge, so we took a tour,” said Brennan Reed, Head of KHCPL Children’s Services. Muncie Public Library agreed to let us duplicate the program for Kokomo.”


KHCPL would love to see teachers attend the launch.


“KHCPL will be encouraging schools to tour Digital Divers and to compete with other classes and schools,” Reed said. “We would love to see, for example, Western’s third-graders compete with Northwestern’s. Teachers who direct students to KHCPL for Digital Divers will then have kids who come to class with more excitement about and understanding of STEM. That’s a big plus. In addition, for teachers who take advantage of our Teacher Delivery Service, we can provide a variety of STEM-focused materials to the classrooms. To provide the most benefit for our community’s students, we truly want and need partnership with teachers, classrooms, and school districts.”


KHCPL seeks college students, retirees, and others with STEM skills or a passion for STEM to volunteer to be Digital Mentors. “The students select and complete the STEM challenges independently. Digital Mentors answer questions or help with technological glitches,” Reed said. “This would be a great opportunity for retired engineers and current college students who want to go into teaching STEM, for example.”


(Staff received training on the various STEM challenges students will have to complete)


While Digital Divers is for students in third through seventh grades, all ages are welcome to join us in the Multipurpose Room on the second floor of KHCPL Main for the grand unveiling between 5:30 and 8 p.m. There will be refreshments and giveaways for kids while supplies last. 


Teens and adults will be making shark tooth necklaces during First Friday.


Starting Aug. 6, Digital Divers will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at KHCPL Main, as well as from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. “The hours can be adjusted if we find patron demand for more Saturdays or longer weekday hours because of work schedules. This is our starting schedule.”


KHCPL South will also offer Digital Divers on a smaller scale from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. Third- through seventh-graders, will complete STEM challenges. Any points earned at KHCPL South can be used at KHCPL Main to redeem prizes or and time to use the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 


In addition to Aptiv, Digital Divers is sponsored by The SIA Foundation, Friends of the Library, and a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Indiana State Library.

“We are so grateful for all of the funding so that we could bring Digital Divers to Kokomo,” Fipps said.


Call 626.0830 for more information or to become a Digital Mentor. 


think money banner with plane pulling it

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library will host a traveling exhibit designed to teach kids and their families about money.

Thinking Money for Kids is a museum-quality exhibition that is traveling to 50 U.S. public libraries between 2019 and 2021, including the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, during regular library hours from Wednesday, Feb. 12, through Friday, March 20, at KHCPL South. Nearly 130 public libraries across the country applied for the opportunity, according to ALA.

We all need to master the knowledge and skills to make smart financial choices and prepare for whatever the future brings. Thinking Money for Kids strives to teach children ages 7 to 11 and their parents, caregivers, and educators about financial literacy topics — such as saving, spending, and budgeting — in a way that is not only understandable, but also fun.

Through a bustling community market-themed storyline, digital interactive content and other fun, hands-on activities, the exhibition explores:

  • What is money?
  • How do we earn money?
  • Saving and spending
  • Money values, such as fairness and charitableness
  • Making responsible financial decisions

KHCPL has created a website, as well, with all kinds of tips for money management and lesson plans for teachers. Find it at

“In our culture, we tend not to talk about finances even within families,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “I see this exhibit as a great opportunity to get our community to begin communicating about this important topic with each other and with the children in our lives.”

In addition to the exhibit, KHCPL will host a number of programs to teach kids, teens, and adults about money:

Thinking Money for Kids

Kids Create!

9:30 to 11:30 a.m. * KHCPL South

Free drop-in craft time for children ages 4 and up.

Saturday, Feb. 15: Spend, Save, Give Banks

Kids’ Flea Market

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. * Saturday, Feb. 22 * KHCPL South

Come shop in our kid-run flea market that offers outgrown toys, handmade crafts, and other small items for sale. There’s no registration to attend. Anyone who wants to have a shop needs to call 765.453.4150 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1 to register. Late registration might be available, depending on space.

Kids’ Money Manager

6:00 to 7:00 p.m. * Tuesday, Feb. 25 * KHCPL South

Children ages 6 to 9 have few occasions to see what money does and how it’s used, so at this program they’ll gain an understanding of how we use money day to day. Girl Scouts can earn a badge. Online registration required at under “Events.”

Adventure in Coins

6:00 to 7:00 p.m. * Thursday, Feb. 27 * KHCPL South

Kindergarteners through fifth-graders, learn and then do activities involving coins. Then tour the Thinking Money exhibit. If you’re a Cub Scout, you can earn the Wolf Badge.

Thinking Money for Kids-Book Discussion

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. * Tuesday, March 3 * KHCPL South

Third- through fifth-graders, have you ever wanted to earn money with a lemonade stand? Come join the discussion of the book The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. It is a competition story between brother and sister to see who can be the first to make $100. A tour of the Thinking Money for

Kids exhibit will be included. Snacks provided. Books will be available to check out starting on Feb. 3.

Thinking Money for Kids Storytime

10:00 a.m. * Wednesdays, March 4, 11, 18 * KHCPL South

10:00 a.m. * Mondays, March 2, 9, and 16 * KHCPL Russiaville

It’s never too early to teach children ages 3 to 5 about money matters. Learn about saving, earning, spending, and greater than and less than through stories, songs, and activities.

Save Money and Redesign & Redefine Your Clothing

2:30 to 4:30 p.m. * Sunday, March 8 * KHCPL South

Third- through eighth-graders, bring in an article of clothing that you have found at a thrift shop or that unworn piece in the back of your closet. We will teach you how to take something used and how to refresh it into a designer look.

Thinking Money for Teens

Leap Into a New Wardrobe


9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every Monday in February * KHCPL South

1:00 to 8:00 p.m., every Thursday in February * KHCPL Main


10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. * Saturday, Feb. 29 * KHCPL South

Teens in sixth through 12th grades, revamp your closet with a free clothes swap! Bring in your unwanted or too-small WASHED clothing to donate. See something you like? Take it. It’s free!

How to Interview

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. * Tuesday, March 24 * KHCPL Main

Teens in ninth through 12th grades, are you ready to make your debut into the workforce? Nervous about interviewing? Come to this class to learn the dos and don’ts of acing that good job. Online registration required at under “Events.”

Thinking Money for Teens and Adults

Craft Corner

1:00 to 3:00 p.m. * KHCPL South

Free drop-in craft time for teens and adults.

Saturday, Feb. 15: Bucket List Jar

Personalized “Fund” Jar

2:00 to 4:30 p.m. * Sunday, March 15 * KHCPL Main

Teens and adults, do you need to start saving for your next vacation, retirement, or just a rainy day? Come create your own personalized “fund” jar using Cricut Design Space and KHCPL’s Cricut machine. You’ll learn the basic tools and user interface of Cricut Design Space by designing and creating a vinyl decal to put on your “fund” jar. All supplies provided. Online registration required at under “Events.”

Thinking Money for Adults

Lunch N Learn: Thinking Money

noon * Thursdays, March 5 and 12 * KHCPL South

Session 1: Credit reports and Credit Scores

Learn how to get your credit report, what to pay attention to, and learn about the difference between credit scores and credit reports.

Session 2: Start Small, Save Up

Adults, whether you want to put money aside for unexpected expenses or make a plan to save for your future goals, we have resources that can help. Each session will be hands-on and lunch is provided. Registration required by calling 765.453.4150.

Shred Your Confidential Papers FREE

9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. * Wednesday, March 4 * KHCPL South

Free shredding with a maximum of three file boxes per vehicle, and no plastic containers. Please remove any wire-bound files before shredding.

DIY Natural Cleaning

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. * Tuesday, April 7 * KHCPL Main

Adults, come learn about how you can save money by making your own earth-friendly cleaning supplies! We will making a small bottle of general cleaner to take home. Online registration required at under “Events.”

Asking a roomful of librarians “What’s your favorite book?” can cause a riot. And it’s not an easy task to narrow a long list down to the top 15. But it’s done.

Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley is the 2018 Howard County Reads book. Written in 1818 as part of a challenge with Percy Shelley and Lord Byron, Shelley’s book shows unflinching wit and a strong female voice in this cautionary tale of a scientist creating a living, thinking being. And 2018 marks Frankenstein’s 200th birthday.

We’ll be releasing our list of Howard County Reads programs at a later date, and you won’t want to miss it – especially the monstrous mystery dinner and a zombie prom.


Top 15 2018 Howard County Reads Books

Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Told in reverse, over the course of 15 days, this psychological suspense novel will keep you turning the pages to discover the truth of the missing girls.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Alternating between the present and the past, Thi Bui’s debut graphic novel is a beautifully illustrated memoir about her family’s immigration from Vietnam in the 1970s.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, has written an engaging and humorous memoir recounting his years growing up as a mixed race child in Apartheid South Africa. His story is a tribute to his mother, who raised him to be independent and courageous.

Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

Janie can’t understand why her 4-year-old son, Noah, keeps asking to go home and see his other mother. Things really get weird when she seeks help from a psychologist who has become a laughingstock in his profession.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr’s life is already complex, living in the hood but attending a fancy suburban high school. Then, on the way home from a party, she watches as her best friend is shot by a white police officer and her life really starts spiraling out of control.

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

This first of a two-book series, chronicles the life of Marta Schneider who left her native Switzerland to travel to England, Canada, then to the California vineyards, to give her family a better life. Marta’s tough love for her oldest daughter, Hildie, is misunderstood, but along with faith, she holds hope for all of her family.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Gran

In the 1920s, a shocking series of crimes against the Osage people caused the newly formed FBI to investigate. Grann’s years of research uncovered startling new evidence revealed in this riveting non-fiction narrative.

Make Your Bed by William McRaven

Based on a commencement speech given in 2014 that went viral, Admiral McRaven shares ten principles he learned while training as a Navy seal that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training but throughout his life.

My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Young Elsa shares a special closeness with her creative, story-telling Granny. When Granny passes, she leaves Elsa a treasure hunt to complete which will lead her to understand the support system that exists for her among the “fairytale” characters that inhabit her building.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

True to the ancient Nordic myths, Gaiman tells the stories of wise Odin, strong Thor and wily Loki, from the creation of the world to Ragnarok, the final destiny of the gods.

Nine Women One Dress by Jane Rosen

Aging designer Morris Siegel finally accomplishes his dream of creating “the” dress of the season. This creation takes on a life of its own, furthering the dreams of nine diverse New York women.

Small Great Things by Jodie Picoult

With a title relating to a Martin Luther King Jr. quote on fighting racism, Picoult deftly describes the trials of an African-American neonatal nurse who is charged with causing the death of the child of white supremacists.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Aza tries to be a good student, a good daughter and a good friend, all while struggling with debilitating thought spirals.

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro

Culinary historian Shapiro turns her focus to the relationship of food in the lives of six women, whose lives span over two centuries. This diverse group includes Dorothy Wordsworth, maiden sister of poet William, and feminist Helen Gurley Brown, author of Sex and the Single Girl.

About Howard County Reads

Inspired by the Washington Center for the Book’s “One Book” concept, the Howard County Reads (HCR) program was founded in 2004 to foster a sense of community through page-turning togetherness. It is an annual community-wide reading program sponsored by the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, the Greentown Public Library, and Indiana University Kokomo Library. Every year a committee of staff members from the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, the Greentown Public Library, and the Indiana University Kokomo Library as well as community members collaborate to select books and plan programs.



The Kokomo–Howard County Public Library in partnership with Bona Vista recently joined the Next Chapter Book Club Affiliate Network and will soon be launching a local club.

Founded by Dr. Thomas Fish, a professor at The Ohio State University in 2002, Next Chapter Book Club is a community-based book club program for individuals with Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and other types of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Next Chapter Book Club, which was awarded the “Innovations in Reading Prize” by the National Book Foundation in 2016, has clubs throughout North America and in other parts of the world. Clubs meet in public places and are comprised of four to eight members and two volunteer facilitators who are trained to engage readers of all levels – including those who cannot read or are “emerging readers.”

“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities love books for the same reasons most people do,” according to the Next Chapter Book Club. “They enjoy being transported to different worlds where they meet interesting characters and learn about exciting new things. Taking that journey with a group of friends makes it even more delightful and fun.”

Although reading skills of Next Chapter Book Club members often improve as a result of reading more often, the program is more about “reading to learn,” rather than “learning to read.” The primary focus is on having fun with friends in public place on a regular basis.

“The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s goal is to serve patrons from all walks of life and of all abilities, and the Next Chapter Book Club allows us to do that in a new and exciting way,” said Trisha Shively, Head of Adult and Teen Services.

Anyone interested in joining the club or becoming a volunteer facilitator should contact: Shively via email at or call 765.626.0811.



Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference. Banksy Booked @ KHCPL. Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. Sew Much. If you enjoyed any of these, it’s because Trina Evans, KHCPL Branch Assistant, is an Innovator. She had the idea for the two exhibits, the outdoor classroom, and teaching sewing in the library.

And now all of North America will realize what the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has known all along: She’s “Tenacious T” aka #persistentlibrarian. Library Journal selected her as one of 2018’s Movers & Shakers. She won in the Innovator category.

When nominating Evans, KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam wrote, “Trina Evans believes that public libraries have unlimited potential to have a positive impact on their communities. … [W]e have come to depend on her trademark style: think big, do your homework, then shoot for the moon.”

Evans began working part-time at KHCPL in 2014. “We didn’t realize it at the time, but she had applied several times over the years,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “She kept telling her family, ‘I love the library, but the library doesn’t love me.’ Boy are we glad we did eventually hire her! She heard about Discover Tech and pursued it. While being trained for Discover Tech, she learned about outdoor classrooms and worked to make it happen. As a native of Los Angeles, she grew up around street art and loved it. After watching the Saving Banksy documentary, she sought out the owner of Banksy’s Haight Street Rat to get the exhibit to KHCPL – making Kokomo home to the first library in the world to host a Banksy. She worked to find funding so that KHCPL could offer sewing programs, called Sew Much. All of this happened in 16 months. Oh, and did we mention she’s taking classes to finish her Master of Library Science degree at the same time. And has a very active family life?”

“We love it when Trina says, ‘I have an idea,’ ” Brautigam said. “She has so much energy and a true passion for libraries. She has played a key role in helping KHCPL create new opportunities for our community.” Brautigam noted that the library’s Galentine’s event is a brainchild of Trina’s, and she also came up with the idea of trying to lure former Colts player Pat McAfee to Kokomo for Guys on Tap. His schedule didn’t allow it, but she and KHCPL definitely ended up on his radar.

“I love working at KHCPL, where my boss, Lori Hugley, Head of the Branches, says, ‘Go for it!’ ” Evans said. “I love being empowered like that. It’s a sign of a great library. But I also like that staff members came along side me to make it all happen. Yes, I have the ideas and get the ball rolling, but those were all huge projects that took teamwork.” In fact, when staff found out about Evans’s award, she told them, “I really couldn’t have accomplished any of my ideas without the analytical thinking of those working at the library. I feel the work WE are doing really impacts our community! So congratulations to US! Our library is doing amazing things!”

Trina Evans, left, receives a certificate of appreciation from KHCPL Board of Trustees President Cathy Stover.

Library Journal (C) 2018, Media Source Inc.


Pictured, left to right and front to back, are KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam; KHCPL Head of Facilities Aaron Smith; Duke Energy Community Relations Manager for Howard County Kevin Johnston; Howard County Master Gardener Marian Cable; Friends of the Library President Karen Mervis; Volunteer and Donor Stew Worthley; Howard County Master Gardener Jeanette Land; and KHCPL Head of Branches Lori Hugley.


The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has received a $10,000 grant from Duke Energy to help fund the KHCPL Community Butterfly Garden at KHCPL South.

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, working with the Howard County Master Gardener Association, will create the KHCPL Community Butterfly Garden, which will include a Monarch Waystation that provides resources for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.

The butterfly garden will include native plants, such as bushes and grasses, to provide cover for butterflies, protecting them from predators. It will also include swamp milkweed, essential for Monarch caterpillars.

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

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

“We’re pleased to help support this community butterfly garden,” said Kevin Johnston, Duke Energy community relations manager for Howard County. “The garden will not only help the Monarch butterflies grow and thrive, but it will also provide yet another educational opportunity for children, parents, and local citizens.”

“It is so positive for our community that the Duke Energy Foundation, the Howard County Master Gardener Association, Friends of the Library, and KHCPL have the same shared vision for species preservation, education, and the inherent value in creating a beautiful, pollinator-friendly habitat,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “Generous and dedicated members of the Howard County Master Gardener Association, especially Marian Cable, are the engine driving the project. Volunteers Stew and Ruth Worthley joined in, providing donations, time, and expertise. And the Friends of the Library generously gave financial support. Having the Duke Energy Foundation as a major donor with the library providing leadership and sustainability makes a powerful, four-way partnership.”

For more information about how to volunteer at the KHCPL Community Butterfly Garden or to make a donation, please call Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing, at 626.0807 or email her at

Books, movies, magazines, and music are the typical checkouts at libraries. The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is anything but typical.


You can now borrow Experience Kits. Here are three examples:

• Cake Decorating Experience Kit: letters and numbers non-stick bakeware set; cake decorating tips set with couplers and disposable icing bags; rotating cake stand; cake cutter/leveler; stainless steel icing spatulas; The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating by Autumn Carpenter; and Cake Decorating for Beginners Guide by Wilton

• Glasses for the Colorblind Experience Kit: pair of Enchroma sunglasses; Schylling Classic Tin Kaleidoscope; and Life in Color: National Geographic Photographs by National Geographic

• Cat Lover’s Dementia Experience Kit: Joy for All Companion Pet Creamy White Cat; Adora PlayTime Baby Little Princess; 11-piece wooden jigsaw puzzle; set of 60 multicolored baby bear counting figurines with sorting cups; The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins; and Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste



Photos of the Hiking Experience Kit in use courtesy Marinna Graham


“There are a lot of times when you want to try something new, but you don’t want to invest your money until you know if it’s something you’ll actually enjoy or need,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “An Experience Kit lets you check out an item – we also have several STEM-related kits for kids and families since the community enjoyed Discover Tech so much – for two weeks. You can decide if the items in the kit are something you’d like to own. If so, you know you’ll be happy with your purchase. If not, you have at least had a new experience. Because we expect a positive, popular response, you can only keep a kit for two weeks and not renew it immediately. After you return it, you can put a hold on it and check it out again, though. We’ve created 17 kits, providing two of most of them that we expect to be popular, such as cake decorating and hiking.”


To find out more about the kits, CLICK HERE for the online catalog.


A generous gift from the Friends of the Library allowed KHCPL to start the project. “We plan to add more Experience Kits after we test the system we’ve set up,” Fipps said. “We’d love some input on reusable items patrons would like to see in kits. If there are individuals, organizations, or businesses that would like to sponsor kits, we’d love to find more donors so we can provide even more kits.”


The Experience Kits are another tool KHCPL is using to change the community’s perception of libraries. “Libraries in general have had to fight their outdated image of being a warehouse for books. Today’s libraries are so different. For example, KHCPL was the first library in the world to host a Banksy. It brought it in patrons from 59 different Indiana towns, 17 states, and Ireland and England to see graffiti from the most famous street artist in the world. Talk about an experience! KHCPL loves providing new experiences to patrons.”


“2017 really has been a big year for KHCPL,” Fipps added. “We have offered a variety of events, programs, and exhibits that are making people take notice of our new vision and mission: The library is a vital component in an engaged and thriving community, and we create opportunities for our community to become its best. In doing so, we’ve received international attention and recognition from our library peers. The Experience Kits project is one more element to help us achieve our goals.”


For more information about Experience Kits or to donate, call Fipps at 765.626.0807 or email her at


Photos (C) Tim Bath and the Kokomo Tribune





Early packet pickup

Friday, Dec. 6 * KHCPL Main

3:00-5:00 p.m.

Race day

Saturday, Dec. 7 * KHCPL Main

7:30 a.m. - Doors open for day-of registration, reindeer games, and the costume contest

9:00 a.m. - Race begins

  • Register early to save money.
  • You must register online at Search for “KHCPL.”
  • The fee through Nov. 20 is $25 per adult, $15 for children ages 6 to 18, and children 5 and under participate free. Families of up to six can register as a group for $65.
  • The fee Nov. 21 through Dec. 7 will be $30 per adult and $20 for children ages 6 to 18. The family rate for six will be $80.
  • You must register by Nov. 20 to ensure you receive a long-sleeved T-shirt.
  • T-shirts come in youth through 5XL.
  • Fee includes reindeer antlers, a red Rudolph nose, and snacks after the event - all while supplies last.
  • There will be medals for the first 400 finishers.
  • Trophies for the 5k Run for 2019 will be awarded to the overall male and female winners and the first-place male and female finishers in each of the following age groups: 0-12; 13-19; 20-26; 27-33; 34-40; 41-47; 48-54; 55-61; 62-69; and 70+. Trophies for the 5k Walk will go to the overall male and female winners and the first-place male and female finishers in each of the following age groups: 0-18; 19-35; 36-47; 48-59; 60-69; and 70+.
  • People of all ages and abilities welcome.
  • Dogs that are well controlled, on leashes, and up-to-date on their vaccines are welcome.
  • No rain/weather date.
  • No refunds.
  • For more information, call 765.626.0807 or email
  • THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: Horizon Bank, Solidarity Federal Credit Union, Gold Medal Awards, Shearer Printing, Friends of the Library, and Expressions Design Co.


The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s 4th Annual Rudolph Family Fun 5k Run/Walk promises to be bigger and better than ever.


“Each year we try to add more and do more,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “This year, we’ll have reindeer games for people to play before the race begins and you can win prizes, thanks to a new sponsor: Paradise Trading Post. A lot of people enjoy wearing festive attire. So we decided to give an award for best dressed this year. That prize is made possible by new sponsor Elle Esprit. And because we have more and more walkers joining the fun, we’re increasing the number of trophies we give out to walkers, thanks to sponsors Salin Bank and Gold Medal Awards.” 


Trophies for the 5k Run this year will be awarded to the overall male and female winners and the first-place male and female finishers in each of the following age groups: 0-12; 13-19; 20-26; 27-33; 34-40; 41-47; 48-54; 55-61; 62+. Trophies for the 5k Walk will go to the overall male and female winners and the first-place male and female finishers in each of the following age groups: 0-18; 19-35; 36-47; 48-59; and 60+.


Register now to save money. You can fill out the form and pay in person at any KHCPL location or you can go online to and sign up. Registration for an individual is $20 until Nov. 20 and goes up to $25 from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2. (Groups of three to six can save with the group rate of $50 until Nov. 20; the rate increases to $60 on Nov. 21 through Dec. 2.) Thanks to sponsors Friends of the Library and Expressions Design Co., that fee provides a long-sleeved T-shirt, reindeer antlers, a blinking Rudolph nose, a medal for the first 350 finishers, and snacks after the event. You have a chance to win door prizes, too, thanks to sponsor Community Howard Regional Health. One of the prizes will be a Garmin forerunner. 


T-shirts come in youth, adult, and plus sizes to 5XL. There is an additional $2 fee for sizes 2XL-5XL. In order to be guaranteed a T-shirt on the day of the run, you must register by Nov. 20. If you register after that date, you might have to pick up your shirt after the race.


Thanks to the Club Kokomo Roadrunners, it’s a timed run. You start and end at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and on the Walk of Excellence, you journey through Foster Park and then the turn-around is in UCT Park.


People of all ages and abilities welcome. Dogs on leashes that are well-controlled and up-to-date on their vaccines are welcome. No rain/weather date. No refunds. 


The doors open at 7:30 a.m., and you are welcome to play reindeer games as you wait for the race to begin sharply at 9 a.m. After you’re finished, head to the lower level to nosh on snacks, enter the door-prize drawing, and do some holiday shopping with Elle Esprit and Paradise Trading Post.


“People come from all over Indiana for the Rudolph Run,” Fipps said. “It's THAT fun!”




With publishers consolidating and purchasing fewer books each year, and breakout self-publishing successes, self-publishing is a practical approach to making real money and getting your books in the hands of readers. Come to the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library to learn all about it from author Robert Kent.

The Basics of Self-Publishing program will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 7, at KHCPL South, 1755 E. Center Road.

Kent writes middle-grade novels, including Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees, and Banneker Bones and the Alligator People. He runs the popular Middle Grade Ninja blog, which features interviews with and guest posts from sought-after professionals, such as M.T. Anderson, author of Feed, Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan and Wishtree, Michael Grant, author of the Gone and BZRK series, and Lois Lowry, author of The Giver; literary agents Victoria Arms Wells of Hannigan Salky Getzler, Alec Shane of Writers House, Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties, and Laura Rennert of Andrea Brown Literary Agency; and other publishing experts.

“Rob’s been one of my writing critique partners for nine years,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “I would have never gotten my agent or Nancy Paulsen, at Nancy Paulsen Books of Penguin Books USA, as an editor for my upcoming debut middle-grade novel, Starfish, if it weren’t for my critique partners, including Rob. He’s had great success self-publishing. That’s why I invited him to Kokomo. Each year when we host the Local Author Fair, we have people asking us to bring in writing professionals so they can learn how to get published. So I asked Rob to lead The Basics of Self-Publishing program for the library. A three-hour course that’s free and led by an author of Kent’s caliber isn’t easy to find, especially locally. Not only does KHCPL encourage people to take advantage of it, but I personally do.”

Kent holds degrees in Literature and Creative Writing from Indiana University. He also teaches courses at the Indiana Writers Center. Find out more about him and his blog at


Have you ever checked out a book that made you change the way you look at the world? Well, on Friday, October 6, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library hopes you do just that when it hosts the Human Library.


The Human Library is much like a regular library ꟷexcept the books are volunteers from all walks of life who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, class, gender identity, sex, age, lifestyle choices, disability, and other aspects of their life. 






During the October First Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at KHCPL Main, you’ll find a board listing all the books available for checkout. Titles include “Catholic Convert to Judaism,” “Trans Male College Student,” “Foster Child to Homeless Woman,” “From Child Mexican Immigrant to Small Business Owner,” and “Mother of Two Autistic Children.” You select the book you want to read. Then you sit down and talk.


“Just as we have rules about materials that we loan out, we’ll have rules for these books,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “The reader should return the book in the same mental and physical condition in which it was borrowed is a primary rule. In other words, you don’t check out a book to try to change it, judge it, or berate it. We’ll have staff stationed around the books to ensure that doesn’t happen, and the books will be trained to walk away if that happens. In essence, borrowing is based on mutual respect. This is a time to read the book to grow in understanding of what it’s like, for example, to leave the religion you were born into, raised in, for another religion. It’s not the time to proselytize.” 


The Human Library started in Denmark, where it’s called “Menneskebiblioteket,” in 2000 at the Roskilde Festival. The organizer started it in response to a person being attacked for being different. It was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured more than 50 books. The selection provided readers the ability ample to challenge their stereotypes. To date, the Human Library has been presented in more than 70 countries around the world.





Asking a roomful of librarians “What’s your favorite book?” can cause a riot. It’s not an easy task to narrow a long list down to the top 15 and select one of those novels as the Howard County Reads book. But they did it. And the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library expects this year’s selection it to be one of the most popular.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the 2019 Howard County Reads Book.

“It’s a book a lot of people are talking about,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Director of Marketing. “And we’re excited and privileged to be able to bring the author to Kokomo. It was hard to keep it a secret this long.”

The author visit will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Havens Auditorium at Indiana University Kokomo.

In this intimate talk, Delia Owens shares the inspiration behind her No. 1 New York Times best-selling novel, from her lifelong friendships to humanity’s evolutionary past. She dissects the storylines and deeper themes that run through her work, and provides insight into the writing process that helped her produce a novel the New York Times Book Review calls “painfully beautiful … at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature.” For more information on this speaker, please visit Tickets will be free and available at all KHCPL locations starting Sept. 10.

“We fully expect to run out of tickets,” Fipps said. “So if you really want to hear Owens talk about the book and get her to autograph your copy, come to KHCPL to get your tickets as quickly as possible.”

You can purchase the book here

Howard County Reads events

“A popular event that helps celebrate the Howard County Reads book is the annual interactive whodunit,” Fipps said. “This marks our fifth year for it. It’s back by popular demand. We sell out every year.”

Howard County Reads Murder Mystery Theatre: Where the Crawdads Die will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Elite Banquet and Conference Center, 2820 S. Lafountain St. Murder lurks in the swamps of 1950s North Carolina. Come prepared for a good ol’ Southern dinner and lots of mayhem and murder as local celebrities pull off the whodunit of the year! Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $25 each or $225 for a table of 10. They’ll be available at all KHCPL locations starting Sept. 1. Only 125 tickets available. For more information, call Trisha Shively at 457.3242.

“KHCPL will host a poet as well, thanks to the Indiana Humanities,” Fipps said. The program “This Road: A Poetic Search for Home” will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at KHCPL South. The Indiana Humanities Inseparable Initiative selected KHCPL as one of 24 state organizations to host a Hoosier scholar, poet Adam Henze. Teens and adults, join us when he shares poems about big cities, small towns, and the search for home on the roads between them.

Top 15 Howard County Reads

* Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

* The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

This adaptation is a modern classic, in graphic novel format, about the spiritual journey of a humble shepherd boy. What starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.

* An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Khan

Like millions of other American immigrants, Muslim American Gold Star father, Khizr Khan, is a patriot and a fierce advocate for the rights, dignities, and values enshrined in the American system.

* American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures edited by America Ferrera

A vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of cultural diversity. Ranging from the heartfelt to the hilarious, their stories shine a light on the American experience.

* American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer

Investigative journalist Bauer worked as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Louisiana for four months until his employment came to an abrupt end. He soon realized that we can’t understand the cruelty of our current system of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from.

* Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

In 1940s New Mexico, a boy must come to terms with his own place in the world, his faith, and the people around him. Pulled between the worlds of his father, a man of the plains, and his mother, who wants him to be a priest, Antonio finds understanding with Ultima and her indigenous magic.

* Calypso by David Sedaris

A collection of essays on approaching middle-age with humor and hope, Calypso stitches together the poignant and the satirical. Sedaris takes on a wide array of lighthearted topics as well as serious subjects, such as illness, addiction, and death. His wit shines no matter what he discusses. He paints a vivid portrait of his family, including his sister’s suicide and his mother’s alcoholism.

* The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

Winter lives the high life as the daughter of a big-time drug lord, but life becomes a lot grittier when she has to make it on the street. Activist Souljah paints a realistic coming-of-age story of debauchery with a grave moral.

* Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Westover grew up so isolated from mainstream society that she received no education. She educated herself, well enough Brigham Young University admitted her. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, helping her to see life through new eyes and to spur the will to change it.

* Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

The author presents a guide to becoming a joyous, confident woman by breaking the cycle of negativity and burnout to pursue a life of exuberance.

* The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista lets her fists and fierceness do the talking, but pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a notebook. Mami is determined to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, so Xiomara keeps her thoughts to herself. Invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she has a chance to perform her poems.

* The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

At a Dodgers game, Nikole Paterson is blindsided by a scoreboard proposal. When she rejects the proposal, Dr. Carlos Ibarra is there to rescue her.

* Racing to the Finish: My Story by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

When NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired from professional racing in 2017, he walked away from his career as a healthy man. But, for years, he had worried that the worsening effects of multiple racing-related concussions would end not only his time on the track but his ability to live a full and happy life.

* Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple

When her mother goes missing, 15-year-old Bee weaves together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past that Bernadette has been hiding for decades.

* Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

Thirteen-year-old Laylee has inherited the role of Whichwood’s only mordeshoor with magical skills to wash and package the dead destined for the Otherwhere, an unappreciated task, which is sapping her body and soul. Suddenly, well-meaning visitors arrive to try to help her.


Purchase the book locally

You can purchase the book at the author event from Beyond Barcodes, or preorder it here.

About Howard County Reads

Inspired by the Washington Center for the Book’s “One Book” concept, the Howard County Reads (HCR) program was founded in 2004 to foster a sense of community through page-turning togetherness. It is an annual community-wide reading program sponsored by the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and Indiana University Kokomo Library. Every year a committee of staff members from the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and the Indiana University Kokomo Library as well as community members collaborate to select books and plan programs.



OCLC Partnership

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library announces a new partnership with OCLC, a nonprofit library organization that provides shared technologies and services to libraries worldwide.

With the partnership, KHCPL will implement OCLC Wise, the first community engagement system for U.S. public libraries. The estimated rollout is the fall of 2020.

Wise is an integrated system that uses data to support changes to the collection of materials KHCPL offers so they align with the community’s needs. Wise also creates new and more meaningful engagement opportunities between the library and patrons. For example, Wise allows patrons to review a list of topics and choose the ones that interest them. Then KHCPL will be able to share customized information with patrons, such as inviting them to library events related to subjects they enjoy.

Wise combines customer relationship management, marketing, and analytics with typical library management functionality, such as circulation and acquisitions of materials, into one holistic system.

“What I like most about Wise is that it is, at its center, about people,” KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam said. “Wise will allow KHCPL to connect and communicate with community members in natural, intuitive ways and will provide integrated data to guide us as we look to the future. Those capabilities will be an asset in creating opportunities for our community to become its best, which is our mission. Wise is a timely and powerful tool that I can’t wait to add to our toolkit.”

“We’re impressed by KHCPL’s focus on advancing the community — especially its commitment to local partnerships to support powerful programming,” said Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC Vice President, Global Product Management. “We’re happy to welcome KHCPL as a Wise early adopter. As our group of library partners expands, so does our commitment to provide a seamless implementation experience and ongoing opportunities to engage and collaborate.”

KHCPL joins a growing list of bold early adopters in the United States and is the second library to sign from Indiana. KHCPL joins Allen County Public Library in Indiana; Anythink Libraries in Colorado; Gwinnett County Public Library in Georgia; and the Orange County Library System in Florida. Seventy-five percent of public libraries in the Netherlands use Wise.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research, and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research, and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff, and partners make breakthroughs possible.

If seeing Banksy at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library made you want to try  your hand at street art but you don’t know where to begin, then call 626.0807 today to sign up for Beginning Street Art. It’s free, but registration is required.


Even Banksy had to start somewhere, right? Young adult author Shannon Lee Alexander will explain the basic terminology and techniques for getting started with street art. You’ll make some portable street art to display at the library and to take home. She’ll also have her two novels, Love and Other Unknown Variables and Life After Juliet, for sale and to autograph after the program.


The focus is for teens, but adults are welcome. 


Beginning Street Art will be from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at KHCPL Main, 220 N. Union St.


Alexander is a former middle school language arts teacher and mother of two who lives in Indianapolis. She was inspired to write her first novel based on the death of a dear friend. Oh, and she’s a book addict and a Harry Potter fangirl. Her work-in-progress features a street artist.








Love and Other Unknown Variables

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy pawing at her until she learns he’s a student at Brighton, where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. And in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. By the time he learns Charlotte is ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull on Charlie is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on, or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second).



Life After Juliet

Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people ... until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can. As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed. The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.


In an effort to remove reading barriers, increase childhood literacy, and improve library access, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has created a pilot program to eliminate late fees on certain items.


Effectively 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.


“To be clear, this is for books only,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “So late fees for items such as movies or CDs still apply. We’re making it a pilot program because we need to gauge the success and cost because there will be a loss of revenue.”


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.

Community has its first Outdoor Classroom thanks to

memorial gifts, grants, donations, and volunteers



The Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom’s grand opening was on May 23, 2017, at KHCPL Russiaville, 315 Mesa Drive.

It’s made possible because of our generous donors:


Gene and Wilma Parks Endowment

In memory of Roberta Lineback

Howard County Commissioners

Duke Energy

Friends of the Kokomo-Howard County Library

Integrity EDM

Howard County Master Gardeners

Lowe’s Heroes

Kohl’s Cares

GM Cares

In 2016, after receiving a gift of nearly $13,000 from the Gene and Wilma Parks Endowment, with a stipulation the money be used for a project at KHCPL Russiaville, the library turned to crowd sourcing to get not only additional funding, but also support for the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

What's an Outdoor Classroom?

So what is an outdoor classroom? Just what its name suggests: an outdoor place where children can learn. Outdoor is the key word.

Child development research shows that children need and benefit from more time outdoors.

“The retention rate for learning by doing is 75 percent compared with just 5 percent for lecture-based learning,” according to a Bethel Learning Institute study. “When students are learning outdoors, they are using all of their senses and their abilities to absorb and take in information. They are also learning an appreciation for nature and developing active stewardship for the natural areas in their communities.”

“We want every child to succeed in school and at life,” said Faith Brautigam, Director of KHCPL. “In children, play creates the foundation for future learning. Our Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom encourages exploration and imaginative play in a natural environment that helps to develop physical abilities and cognitive skills. As a destination for families, school groups, early childhood students, and the conservation-minded, it’s an added attraction for Russiaville and Howard County.”


More and more parents are realizing that kids today don’t play enough, get enough exercise, or spend time outdoors.

“Play isn’t a waste of time,” said Susan Bednarz, a KHCPL employee with more than 16 years of experience in early childhood education who helped get the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom up and running.

Just a few of the various benefits of play, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, include the following:

• cognitive skills – like math and problem-solving in a pretend grocery store

• physical abilities – like balancing blocks and running on the playground

• new vocabulary – like the words they need to play with toy dinosaurs

• social skills – like playing together in a pretend car wash

• literacy skills – like creating a menu for a pretend restaurant

Think about all the skills you learned with outdoor play: problem-solving when building a fort, understanding the importance of preserving natural habitats when studying shells at the beach, and social skills when interacting with other kids in the neighborhood.

“Kids have to have calendars these days to keep track of all they’re involved in — all in an effort to learn more, do more,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at KHCPL. “We’ve forgotten how much they learn and grow through play. Plus play helps reduce stress and anxiety.”

“We were grateful for the Gene and Wilma Parks Endowment donation, and the patrons’ vision for the gift ties in with our long-term strategy of making each of our locations a destination spot and providing more outdoor programming,” Brautigam said.

Duke Energy Foundation Grant




As soon as the Howard County Master Gardener Association heard about the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom, the organization made a $500 donate and its members volunteered labor.

And then KHCPL received a nearly $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

“Duke Energy is committed to sustainability in all its operations,” said Kevin Johnston, government and community relations manager for Howard County. “Young children who learn important lessons about environmental responsibility and stewardship are more likely to carry those positive messages into adulthood to help maintain and improve the quality of life for the entire community.”

“Because of KHCPL Russiaville’s location being so close to Clinton, Tipton, and Carroll counties, we foresee it drawing in and benefitting not only those from Kokomo and Howard County, but also those communities,” Brautigam said. “With its focus on outdoor education, we believe it will offer new opportunities to partner with others and will be enjoyed by groups from schools and early childhood centers as well as families. It will also allow us to host more library events on-site at KHCPL Russiaville rather than using other Russiaville locations, as we’ve done in the past.”

“We know that the Duke Energy Foundation receives an overwhelming number of funding requests each year and are thrilled that they recognized this project’s potential.”

The momentum kept building.

KHCPL received another major gift for the project: a $15,000 anonymous gift in memory of Roberta Lineback.


In Memory of a Teaching Legend


Roberta passed away on Nov. 17, 2016, after an extended illness. She was a long-time resident of Russiaville. She graduated from Northwestern High School in 1949 and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1970 and 1975 from Indiana University Kokomo. She began teaching kindergarten privately in 1962 and continued until kindergarten classes were added at Western School Corp. She taught at Western Primary School from 1971 to 2000. Roberta was also a member of Bible Baptist Church for over 60 years.

 “I was contacted by a person who wanted Roberta’s legacy to live on, and what a legacy it was, teaching kindergarten for 38 years,” said Fipps. “The donor wanted to help KHCPL Russiaville, but wasn’t quite sure how. The more I listened to the donor talk about Roberta, the more I knew just what to suggest. I told the donor about the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at KHCPL Russiaville. The donor loved the idea.”

Roberta touched the lives of people from the library long before the donation. She was KHCPL Board of Trustees President Mary Baker’s kindergarten teacher. “I have fond memories of her,” Baker said. “She was always smiling! Mrs. Lineback was kind, patient, and expected the most from her students.”

“My son had her as a teacher,” Kim Johnson, a clerk in KHCPL’s Outreach Department said. “We loved her. She was a very caring and loving person.”



Karen Foster, a first-grade teacher at Western Primary School, has Roberta to thank for her 22-year teaching career. “She had both of my girls for kindergarten. She let me volunteer in her room every Friday. I did crafts and helped with lessons. I loved how she talked to the children. She didn’t talk down to them. She met them at their level. They knew what she expected of them. They behaved. They learned. I hadn’t gone back to school yet, but before volunteering I thought I’d be a nurse. After watching her with the children, I decided to be a teacher. She was amazing.”

One of Karen’s daughters, Tricia Harlow, also went on to be a teacher at Western. “I remember Mrs. Lineback teaching with a little doll name Astro. We had the best toys. She had a rice table in her room that was amazing. I either played with that or the stilts that she had made out of large cans and ropes. I always liked the assignment we had each week: to go through magazines and find words that started with the same letter of the week. That was always my favorite because I loved to cut and paste. She made learning fun. Sadly, she retired before I got to teach with her. The funny thing is when I smell white rice, I always think of kindergarten. That smell takes me back to that memory every time.”

“What I love about this donation is that the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom is an early childhood educational installation,” said Brautigam. “Just as she made school and learning fun, this whole project is about allowing young kids to learn in exciting ways. Outdoor classroom learning isn’t about standardized tests and the all the anxiety associated with it. It’s about curiosity, discovering things for yourself, and making learning fun. It sounds as if that’s exactly what kind of teacher Roberta was. There could be no better match in making this possible than with money that is linked to someone whose whole life was dedicated to teaching and helping children learn.”

Howard County Commissioners Give



During the grand opening celebration for the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at KHCPL Russiaville, the Howard County Commissioners presented the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library with a $10,000 check.

 “We are excited about this opportunity for our community,” said Paul Wyman, Howard County commissioner. “These projects add to our quality of life and educational opportunities for our children. This type of grant shows how government working in conjunction with other groups and organizations can make great things happen.”

“We are impressed with how the library continually works to be a leader in our community with these types of innovative programs,” said Howard County Commissioner Tyler Moore. “The library is an incredible resource, and this classroom will strengthen their positive impact on our children.” 

“With this project, once again we show how strong partnerships continue to keep Howard County at the forefront,” said Brad Bray, Howard County commissioner. “Howard County continues to be a great place to live and raise your family.”   

 For more information about Nature Explore Outdoor Classrooms, click here.