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Both Elkhart mayor candidates endorse library as significant asset

Rod Roberson and Dave Miller may be political opponents in the November election, but they do agree on at least one thing: the value of Elkhart Public Library.

Even to that point, the Elkhart mayoral candidates both use the library in different ways.

Miller says he and his family have been visiting the library weekly for years to check out books, while Roberson says he typically is in the library to use the meeting rooms.

For both candidates, the Pierre Moran branch is the most convenient location to use due to the proximity to their homes. But they also say they come to the downtown library frequently.

“On the shelves here at our beloved library can be found everything anybody needs to figure out virtually everything they need to know to lead a successful life,” says Miller, the Republican candidate.

“I use it more as a good place for group meetings,” says Roberson, the Democratic candidate.

Both candidates also said they use the digital resources, as well. Miller says he uses Hoopla to listen to audiobooks when he’s driving. Roberson says one of his daughters has used the online resources to study for her driving test and the SAT.

“We don’t even know how good we have it with this library here,” says Miller.

Roberson also pointed out the benefits the library has for others in the community.

“When I was at Church Community Services, it was a great partner for the people that don’t have internet,” he says. “I’ve used it as a partner with other organizations, and there is no other resource that is as helpful as the public library for helping people that are in transition or are in need of a way to communicate electronically.”

Miller says that he also enjoys going to the Friends of Elkhart Public Library monthly book sales to add to his personal library.

“They go from sitting on your shelves unread to sitting on my shelf waiting to be read,” he says.

Both candidates say that they are glad to have EPL here for the community to use.

“It sits inside our community in so many different ways. It has so many different usages, my family utilizes it for these uses but others utilize it for a completely different way and for a very low-cost or a no-cost way,” says Roberson.