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Before YouTube There Was The Great Courses

Lifelong learning and personal enrichment is available anytime and anywhere.  Hoopla has introduced The Great Courses to it’s collection.  The Great Courses are video classes produced and distributed by The Teaching Company.   Hoopla has made available over 212 courses taught by experts and professors where you can learn anything from do-it-yourself engineering to Greek 101.  You can stream any of these titles from your desktop or mobile device by downloading the Hoopla app, available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.  You will need your library card number and password to use the app.  You can view all 212 courses available by going to

Top 5 Tech-Related Questions Patrons Ask Our Staff

Feeling stuck? Make an appointment with our Tech Help staff, so we can give you one-on-one assistance and help you find answers to your questions about technology.

Here are 5 of the most commonly asked questions that our staff answers:

1. How do I recover my email or access an account I’m locked out of?

Hands down, this is the question we hear the most. For most accounts, you can click on the “Forgot password?” option, and the website will walk you through an identity verification process, but here are a couple of steps you can take to avoid getting locked out of an account:

  • When you create an account or edit your security credentials, it is best to record the name of the website or app, the username, the email address used to create the account, the password, and any additional security measures you add. Keep this information in a secure location, such as in a notebook kept in a fireproof safe or in a digitally encrypted app.
  • Set up recovery options and two-step identity verification by having a text sent to your phone or linking the account to 1 or 2 recovery email addresses. Make sure you will always have access to the phone number and email addresses you use or update the information as your contact information changes.

2. How do I use Zoom to host or attend a meeting?

With the use of Zoom exploding during the COVID pandemic, our staff often hears this question. Although you are probably used to attending virtual meetings and video chatting by now, click here for a helpful video about how to use Zoom as a host.

It is best to give yourself time to practice with Zoom or any other video conferencing software, like Microsoft Teams, before an important meeting to avoid feeling flustered during the meeting.

3. How can I store and organize my files in the cloud?

The most common cloud storage options, such as Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, Apple iCloud, and Dropbox, use the same basic structure as your computer with files sorted into folders, but cloud computing adds the ability to share files and folders with other users.  So, when choosing your cloud platform, think about what devices, software, and applications you use most frequently and what platforms your close friends and family members use. For example, if you use Gmail and have an Android phone, try using Google Drive to keep your files backed up and organized, or if your family members predominantly use Windows PCs and Live, Hotmail, or Outlook email accounts, you may find Microsoft OneDrive easiest to navigate and share with others. Most platforms will give you up to 5 GB of storage for free to try.

4. How can I scan a document or photo to share online?

Here are a couple of options:

  • Try a free mobile app like CamScanner or Microsoft Lens to quickly create digital copies of your documents or photos. You can save them to your mobile device as JPEGs or PDFs to attach them to emails, store in the cloud, share online, and so forth.
  • Come to the library to use one of our scanners for higher quality scans. With the Epson Flatbed and FastFoto scanners in our Local History Room, you can easily create digital copies of documents and photos. Simply bring your physical copies, sign in to the computer in the Local History Room with your library card, and send or store your digital copies online. Click here to watch a short overview of how to use the Epson FastFoto scanner.

5. How can I read or listen to books on Overdrive on a computer?

We often promote the Hoopla, Overdrive, and Libby apps, but if you would rather use these digital services on a personal computer, you are not alone. You can access both Hoopla and Overdrive on your computer.

Click here to sign in to Hoopla and get started by creating an account with your email address and library card. Then, you can read comic books and eBooks, listen to audiobooks and music, and watch movies and TV shows all on your computer.

You can also access our digital collection by selecting the “Download this item” option on an Overdrive title in the catalog or by going directly to Then, sign in with your library card and password. If you don’t know your password, feel free to send us an email at or call us at 574-654-3046. We are always happy to help!

Magnificent Read Alouds

Reading the same book over and over to your preschoolers can get a little monotonous, for you. Your child probably loves to read the same book again and again. There are some great things happening for your child when you do that. It is boosting your child’s vocabulary and comprehension. It’s also helping your child have a deeper level of understanding of nuances in the story that just one reading wouldn’t give them. So go ahead and read that favorite again. Here are a few great stories that we think you will enjoy reading again and again!

4H Project Resources

I love the fair! I always have. One of my favorite things to do at the fair is take my time looking through the 4H projects. I am always impressed at the skill, care, creativity, and time these kids put into their projects. And of course, I’m impressed with the parents who take the time to help their children be successful.

It’s getting down to crunch time for those projects. As always, the Library is here to help.
Genealogy project- stop by for free access to Ancestry library edition. You’ll be able to add cool images, like census records, to your project.
Sewing-yes, you can check out a sewing machine at the Library.
Cake decorating-we’ve got books for that!
Arts and Crafts-check out all the classes on creativebug. You’ll be sure to find a project you love.
Home environment-we have decorating books that will inspire you.

Whatever you are working on, the library probably has a resource to help.

Book Discovery Tips

Book Discovery Tips

Lately, we’ve been touting our new NextReads Newsletter service, where you can get recommendations on books you’ll love to read straight to your inbox.

But we are excited to offer two more new ways to find your next book to read. They are conveniently located in our catalog.

What’s Next in a Series

We get frequent questions about which book is next in a series. It’s easier than ever to find out. Watch this quick 30 second tutorial.

Similar Books

Simply search for a book you know you love. I searched for The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Click on the title and scroll down just a little. You’ll find lots of recommendations for similar titles and authors. Just click on any book cover that looks interesting to learn more about it. If it looks good, go ahead and reserve it!

Walking Colors Your World

Walk around the world with your community this summer! Between June 1 and August 31, our goal is to walk a grand sum of 52,000,000 steps! This will take us across the 7 continents.  You can walk around a park, on your treadmill, or even around your home. Every step counts! There are many ways to track your steps. You can use your own personal step tracking devices, including smart watches, or pick up a free pedometer at the Library to track your steps.

Register and track your steps in the Beanstack app.  In each continent, you will track your steps in groups of 10,000 or 5,000. When combined with others, this will take us across each continent and eventually around the world.   You can see how well everyone is doing by stopping in the library and looking at our progress on a large world map.  You can download the Beanstack Tracker app in the Apple App Store or in the GooglePlay store.

Sometimes we forget that we have many beautiful places to walk right here in our own community.   Have you tried the trails at Bendix Woods County Park or Spicer Lake Nature Preserve?  You can walk right here in New Carlisle at Memorial Park and at Bourissa Hills.  To see more places to walk locally, watch the walking series on our YouTube channel.

Spring has sprung and summer is on it’s way!

This school year has been a stressful one.  Hopefully summer will be a time of peace and relaxation.  During all the peace and quiet, here are a few ways to keep your kids learning this summer.

Plant a garden.  It doesn’t have to be a big one.  There is so much to be learned by caring for and harvesting a garden.

Encourage your kids to write this summer.  It doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Have them write in a journal, write a story together, create a play, make a movie.

Fill your home with music. Check out some new genres. Maybe your family doesn’t typically listen to classical or jazz. Check it out! Maybe you will discover a new love.

Draw maps-maps of your house, your yard, your community, etc. Talk about scale and direction.

Learn new things about your community.  Visit places that you haven’t been to before. (Don’t forget to check out a pass at the Library for the History Museum in South Bend.) There are so many wonderful things to do in our area of the world and it’s easy to get busy and not take the time to experience them. Change that this summer!

Finally, make sure you participate in our summer reading program. Registration begins May 17 in Beanstack. This summer our theme is READING COLORS YOUR WORLD.  It really does!  We have a fun summer of reading, challenges, and activities planned for your family.  Join us for a great time!

Teen Books on Screens Near You

Activate your imagination with the books that inspired new shows and movies released this year, like the Grishaverse series by Leigh Bardugo. The new Netflix series Shadow & Bone is based on her fantasy novels set in the Kingdom of Ravka, including the Grisha trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, and companion novels, like The Lives of Saints.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, the first part of the Chaos Walking trilogy was adapted into a feature film starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley earlier this year. Chaos Walking takes place in the New World in which all men and animals can hear each other’s thoughts, but women’s thoughts are silent. Fans of intense dystopian novels like The Hunger Games won’t be able to put it down!

Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie is about a 16-year-old girl who starts writing a zine to protest sexism at her school, and her zine inspires others to stand together and start a revolution. Amy Poehler’s adaptation of the novel is now available to stream on Netflix. Plus, the final installment in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before trilogy is now on Netflix, and you can check out all three at the library or wherever you have a WiFi connection with the Libby app. Experience these stories as they were originally told and form your vision of them!

The Field is Gonna Be Ugly for a Hot Minute

Most of us know the story of the ugly duckling. A baby swan is hatched by a mama duck. That baby looks ugly next to the baby ducklings. He gets mocked and made fun of by the other animals all summer, winter, but by the next spring everyone discovers that the ugly duckling was a beautiful swan all along.

It’s a great metaphor for many things in life. And right now, it’s a great metaphor for our retention basin. We are about to kill off the grass in that area and it’s going to look ugly. But once that grass is dead, we are going to plant a native short-stature prairie seed mix. Half the seed mix is grasses like virginia wild rye and little bluestem, and half flowering plants like Common Milkweed, Rough Blazing Star, and Black Eyed Susans.

It will take a couple of years for these new plants to really take hold and look like something beautiful. But it will be worth the wait. It will add some beauty to the area and be a friendly place for birds, butterflies, and all kinds of insects.

If you want to know more about how native plants benefit the eco-system, mark your calendars for August 12 when we’ll have a tour of our the native gardens.

Image by USFWS Mountain-Prairie – Monarch on Rough Blazing Star, CC BY 2.0,

Campus Passport Membership

Immerse yourself in history this year by visiting The History Museum and The Studebaker Museum for free!  Stop in the library and check-out our newest addition to the Library of Things, a Campus Passport Membership card.  The card provides 6 admissions to both museums.

At The History Museum, you can explore a series of rotating exhibits that includes World Famous: The Olivers and the American Dream and Votes for Women.  There are a few permanent displays where you can learn about the history of the St. Joseph Valley Region,see the Mary Jane Clark Miniature Lamp Collection, and the Unseen Treasures of the Oliver Mansion.

At the Studebaker History Museum, you will find special exhibits that include South Bend Then and Now and Disco Decade Rides: Cars of the 1970s.  You will also find the world’s largest collection of U.S. presidential carriages, 33 Studebakers, and a military collection.   Both museums will give you an enjoyable experience and we look forward to seeing you first at the library!

Welcome to the Exploration Garden!

We are so excited to have you visit the Exploration Garden at the library! Many of you have walked the sweet little path that goes behind the children’s department.  We have a log to climb on, rocks to walk on, a stage to sing and dance on, and an akambira that you can play.

Beginning on April 15, you will also be able to use the mud kitchen, paint on the art panel, and complete the literacy activities that will be posted throughout the space!  Paint and a few other items will be available for checkout inside the library.  Please help keep the space tidy by putting things back where they belong. People are welcome, but pets should stay at home.

Digitize Family Photos at the Library

With the Epson FastFoto Scanner, you can easily scan stacks of your family’s photos to preserve your memories. Simply come in any time the library is open to use the scanner in the Local History Room. It scans about one picture per second, including the backs of pics with writing on them.

Save digital copies of your photos to the cloud or your own flash drive. You can post them on social media, or create something to treasure with your photos, such as a family photo book, wall art, cards, and more with online services like Shutterfly.

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