Chesterton Tribune



Library to commission South Shore poster of Brown Mansion

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The historic Brown Mansion in Chesterton will be the subject of an upcoming South Shore poster.

The mansion is owned by the Duneland School Corporation and leased by Westchester Public Library. The WPL-operated Westchester Township History Museum is located there and its exhibit spaces recently underwent an extensive renovation.

The Library Board voted 6-0 Thursday with member Rondi Wightman absent to commission a poster. It will cost $10,000 to receive the original painting and 250 reproduction posters, some signed by the artist, that would be sold at the museum gift shop.

Funds for the project will come from the Leslie Pratt Trust previously donated to the library; it currently has a $278,984 balance and is used to help support museum operations.

Throughout the system's four buildings WPL has nearly all previously released South Shore posters, originally issued in the 1920s to promote the iconic Chicago to South Bend passenger railroad.

South Shore Arts handles artistic management of the classic “Just Around the Corner” poster series that has been updated with more recently commissioned works.

Library Board president Michele Corazzo asked members to study WPL's posters and be prepared to choose an artist at the July 10 meeting as well as which view of the Brown Mansion they prefer to be used.

Prior to its vote the board heard from Indiana Dunes Tourism executive director Lorelei Weimer. She said her agency sponsored a poster of the historic Bailly Homestead about 10 years ago that proved to be so popular it sold out. “I don't think there is a downside.”

She said the poster's original painting by artist Mitch Markovitz is truly beautiful and hangs at the tourism Visitor Center business office, where she encouraged Library Board members to visit.

Weimer noted the South Shore is a strong brand, and library director Phil Baugher said a poster would tie in with the tourism agency's designation of the Brown Museum as a discovery destination.

In other business Thursday:

* The board engaged in another lengthy discussion about its financial strategy for the $7 million WPL has invested for a possible future expansion. It was agreed the Horizon Bank administrator of the funds will address the board next month.

* Friends of the Library donated $7,000 from its recent book sale to the library gift fund.

* With regret Baugher announced that information technology manager Mike Acsbok is relocating and has resigned. Joe Harry, now with the LaPorte County Public Library, was hired as new IT manager. A full-time IT assistant was added this year and a second one is proposed in the 2015 budget.

* Consistent with Baugher's belief that a library mission is to help patrons keep pace with evolving technology, he said a permanent computer classroom is being arranged in an area of the Automation/Serials Department.

* WPL is expanding the Overdrive downloadable collections on its website. The new additions, including fiction and non-fiction, include content for children and teens as well as an enhancement to the popular Tumblebooks series.

* WPL has changed the name of its monthly newsletter from The Word from WPL to WPL Matters. Future newsletters will explain ways the library can matter in various aspects of patrons' lives.


Posted 6/16/2014