Chesterton Tribune



Westchester Library jumps on board South Shore poster series

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If he accepts the invitation, regional artist Mitch Markovitz was chosen Thursday by the Westchester Public Library Board to create a new poster depicting the Brown Mansion in the style of the iconic South Shore Railroad posters of the 1920s.

The library's Westchester Township History Museum is located in the mansion, which is leased from Duneland School Corp.

Markovitz was instrumental in reviving and updating the classic "Just Around the Corner" South Shore poster series known for its seasonal appeal and celebration of famous Indiana/Illinois locations and events like Springtime in the Dunes and Notre Dame football.

Markovitz previously created a popular poster of the historic Bailly Homestead in Porter for Indiana Dunes Tourism.

The Library Board last month authorized spending $10,000 to commission a new original poster. WPL will receive the artist's original painting and 250 reproduction posters, some signed by the artist. Posters will be sold at the museum gift shop.

Library Board president Michele Corazzo was named board liaison to work with Markovitz and WPL director Phil Baugher on the project.

Over the past month board members have viewed the works of South Shore poster artists, primarily those who have painted buildings. Markovitz eventually was the unanimous choice.

The project is being funded with proceeds from the donated Leslie Pratt Trust, which is used to help support museum operations.

In other business, Baugher presented a draft 2015 budget that reduces a planned year-end transfer to the non-reverting Library Improvement Reserve Fund if library employees get a 2 percent raise, two additional employees are hired and more money is spent on downloadable patron materials and on books. A final 2015 budget will be up for adoption next month.

The director said he'd like to explore implementing a 3-D printing service at the library next year. He distributed information about 3-D printer use in suburban Chicago libraries that enable patrons to create three-dimentional objects from designs stored in a digital file.

Original sketches and blueprints can be used to create 3-D objects as well. A firm WPL policy likely would be developed to regulate what can and cannot be printed.

Baugher announced new audio and downloadable ebooks are available for children and teens on the WPL website. Patrons can access the collections separately from a pull-down menu on the existing Overdrive page there. Off the library's home page patrons can enter the Indieflix site, a service that streams classic movies and independent films.

Baugher said he was encouraged by June statistics that showed an 11 percent increase in materials circulated last month for a total 177,023 items so far in 2014 system-wide, which reflects a 5.5 percent drop overall compared to 2013. The goal next year is to increase circulation by 5 percent.

For more than 90 minutes last night the board engaged in yet another long discussion regarding investment strategy. The board previously hired Horizon Bank to manage its $7 million in investments in cooperation with and at the discretion of Baugher guided by a board investment policy.

The money is being invested to maximize return for a future facilities expansion although security of the funds is of primary concern.

Nicole Nalepa of Horizon Bank was present last night to discuss the investments they've made and attempted to clarify the board's intent. However, after she left the board was split on whether to revise its existing policy and if so, how.

Some consensus was reached and the matter will be addressed again in January.


Posted 7/11/2014