Serving Westchester Township, Porter County, Indiana 

 It is the mission of the Westchester Public Library to be a dynamic library providing free and unprejudiced access to knowledge and information to improve the quality of life, learning, and the economy of the community.
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Reference Services

effective 1/1/2012


If you need assistance searching the on-line catalog, the reference staff is trained to help you find what you need. Just stop in or call the reference desk if you need to find a title, author, subject, or the location of any item in our collection.


The reference staff is also trained to help find information in person, on-line or over the phone. Some information searches will require more time, so you may need to leave your name and phone number with the reference desk and we will call you back with our search results. 


If you have a WPL password in your account, you may also use our on-line reference service. Log on to our homepage, click on Search the Library Catalog, and click on the “Ask Us” prompt. Simply enter your barcode and password, and e-mail us your request. 


Patrons may ask that a reserve or hold be placed on many items in our collection. Items may be checked out by other patrons and a reserve will hold an item for a patron when the item has been returned by the previous borrower. Reserves can be placed by visiting the reference desk or by calling on the telephone.

Placing a book on reserve is simple and easy with your library bar code number and your user password at any of our in-house catalog terminals or from your home on a computer with Internet access. Visit our homepage to Search the Library Catalog, click on “patron account”, enter barcode and WPL password to reserve your items from home. Up to 5 titles may be reserved at one time. Patrons will be notified by phone when a title becomes available. Please note that there may be multiple reserves on popular books. Due to the extreme popularity of video materials in our Audio Visual department may not be reserved. 


If WPL does not own the materials you need, the reference desk may be able to obtain them from another library system through the state interlibrary loan service. Patrons must have a valid WPL card  and be in good standing with the library for requests to be placed. There is a base charge of $2 for each request  for non-resident cardholders; this fee must be paid before a search is made and is not refundable even if no results are available. There is no base charge for resident patrons borrowing materials from within Indiana. There may be a charge assessed by lending libraries outside of the state. If a lending library does charge fees, the out-of-state fees must be paid by the requesting patron. Interlibrary loan requests may take 2-3 weeks. Patrons will be notified by phone when the requests are filled. Overdue interlibrary loan fees are $1 per day.


WPL subscriptions to Chilton (car maintenance). All resident patrons may gain access to this resource from home with a WPL card and password.  INSPIRE (available to all Indiana residents) may also be accessed from home. Please stop by the reference desk to ask how to use the electronic databases, and to see what is offered through them. 


Reference staff members spend a great deal of time selecting materials for the collection that all patrons will enjoy. We would appreciate your suggestions for purchase. We take each recommendation into consideration, and may purchase materials which meet the collection needs. 


The Westchester Township History Museum, an educational service of Westchester Public Library, is the primary location for the library’s local history reference services and archival collections. The Thomas Library maintains a small collection of Chesterton High School yearbooks, recent local city directories, and a few basic local history resources. The museum is open for tours and research in the Brown Mansion, 700 W. Porter Ave., Chesterton, IN, Wednesday - Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m. or by appointment, (219) 983-9715,






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