Chesterton Tribune



Outdoor concerts and movies, anyone? WPL lists music, films for summer

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A list of Westchester Public Library’s 2014 outdoor concerts and family films released last week gives hope The Winter Without End eventually will yield to summer.

The free films and eclectic musical showcase take place in Chesterton’s Thomas Park, or in the nearby Library Service Center in case of inclement weather, except for the first June 11 concert only in Porter’s Hawthorne Park with the Valparaiso Community/University concert band.

The Thomas series kicks off June 13 with the same band and the movie Frozen. Subsequent Fridays (except July 4) will offer the 38th Infantry Division Band and Turbo on June 20; June 27, Lee Murdoch and Epic; July 11, Country Minstrels and The Croods; July 18, Mo’ Beat Blues and The Nut Job; and July 25, Song Sisters and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Aug.1 features Cynthia Shelhart and the film Despicable Me 2, and Aug. 8 the South Shore Brass Band and The Lego Movie.

In other WPL news, a new children’s librarian will lead that department beginning next month. Thomas branch librarian Leea Yelich reported to the Library Board on Thursday that Heather Chaddock was offered and has accepted the position; four candidates were interviewed. Chaddock begins April 21 and will replace Merribeth Paunicka whose last day is May 2.

Hiring her replacement and the upcoming need to hire another manager prompted WPL director Phil Baugher to review the compensation for professional, supervisory and technical staff compared to other area and statewide libraries.

Last month he recommended increasing the salary of Yelich and technical services manager Rose Halpin, hired in 2011 and 2012, respectively, to give more flexibility in offering new hires competitive compensation. Thursday, Yelich thanked the Library Board for doing so.

In other business she reported the reading tutoring program will be suspended for the summer but resume again in the fall. The program has been well received with parents reporting their children’s reading scores have improved, Yelich said. Currently eight turors assist 18 students with a few more likely added before the recess.

As for World Book Night, 22 persons have signed up to each distribute 20 copies of their chosen books to others April 23 to encourage reading. World Book Night celebrates the birthday of William Shakespeare.

The Friends of the Library will host its spring book sale opening April 25 for a Friends-only preview night and April 26 and 27 for the public.

The public exhibit areas of the WPL-operated Westchester Public Library History Museum in the Brown Mansion have undergone a major renovation and the new areas and installed panels will be unveiled at a museum open house from 2 to 4 p.m. May 24.

Yelich, who presented the staff reports for Baugher, said monthly circulation of materials was down systemwide 5.41 percent for March over 2013 and down year-to-date 7.18 percent. For some reason interest in juvenile paperbacks soared.

Total public service units --- individual occasions of service to/for WPL patrons --- also is down year-to-date by just under 4 percent although the categories of wireless Internet users, attendance at programs, reference questions and visitor count showed strong gains. The weather was seen as a factor in winter statistics.

Last month Circle R Mechanical was awarded the bid to install a new boiler system at Thomas Library for $77,665. Thursday, WPL attorney Terry Hiestand said he, the library’s HVAC consultant and insurance carrier as well as the contractor are reviewing insurance coverages to make sure everyone understands what would happen under a worst-case scenario if unforseen damages occur.



Posted 4/14/2014