Library nurtures community in many ways

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green students will be able to borrow digital material without even going to the library, and folks in Walbridge will be able to go to the library to get water. These were among the matters before the Wood County District Public Library Board when it met Monday. (See for story on board’s decision to replace community tree.) Children’s Librarian Maria Simon explained the new E-cards that were distributed to students in grades 3 through 11 this week. The cards will give students access to such online libraries as Hoopla Digital, TumbleBooks and The Ohio Digital Library. Because the materials borrowed using the cards are automatically returned, no fines are charged on the cards. Information is available both through the library and the schools on how to use them. Students cannot borrow physical material from the library using the cards. The E-cards are another way of encouraging students to read during the summer, Simon said. The library board approved an agreement with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District for the district to install one of its watershed units at the newly expanded Walbridge branch. The unit will be installed in a closet-size space with outdoor access. The district will pay for installation. In exchange for locating the unit at the library it will not charge the library for water or sewer service and will pay $$200 in rent. Library Director Michael Penrod said this will provide another service to the community. Also at the meeting, the board discussed the prospects for state funding. State library funding is provided based on a percentage of…

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Library closed for Presidents’ Day; ukulele jam, Feb. 19

From THE WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green and Walbridge, and the library Bookmobile will be closed Monday, February 20 in observance of Presidents’ Day. Calling all ukulele enthusiasts looking for a friendly and helpful group to play ukulele with. Look no further: the popular Ukulele Club, led by members of the Grand Royale Ukulelists of the Great Black Swamp (GRUBS), returns to Wood County District Public Library Sunday, February 19 at 3 pm. To participate in the group’s jam session, all you need is a ukulele and sense of adventure. Song books and music provided at the jam. RSVP appreciated (419-352-5050), but not required. 1st Floor Meeting Room.

Libraries defend against funding cut in Kasich budget

By DAVID DUPONT & JAN McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Libraries as trying head off funding cuts before they pass the state legislature. Action on Gov. John Kasich’s budget is months away, and as State Sen. Randy Gardner said during an open forum Saturday, that much can change while the proposal is being worked over in the Legislature. Gardner was speaking in the Wood County Library, which like all libraries in the state could stand to lose money under the governor’s budget. The budget calls for a reduction in the percentage of the state revenue fund devoted to libraries. The general revenue fund consists of sources including income and sales taxes. Libraries have received state aid amounting to 1.7 percent. That was a temporary increase in the last budget intended to make up for drastic cuts suffered by libraries dating back to 2008. That included a mid-year cut in funding in 2009 during the Strickland Administration, just as the recession was starting. In a letter to the community (, Wood County Library Director Michael Penrod, said that the increase to 1.7 percent in the last budget “allowed for some modest growth in dollars distributed to public libraries.” With no action from the legislature that percentage would roll back to 1.66 percent, a $7 million cut in state funding for libraries, according to Michelle Francis, , director of government and legal services for the Ohio Library Council. Gardner indicated he is not inclined to see that happen. “I have gravitated to the library cause over the years,” seeing all the services they provide in communities, he said. Because the amount libraries receive…

Local readers pick their choice as best picture book (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News And the winner is… “What To Do With a Box” by Jane Yolen. That was the book selected about a dozen folks, kids through grandparents, who gathered to consider what should win the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of 2016. The winner of the actual Caldecott Medal announced Monday morning at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting is “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe. Kathy East, retired children’s librarian at Wood County District Public Library, said Sunday during the Mock Caldecott Election that the real committee has already made its choice. The press release was being drafted, and first thing in the morning the winner of the medal and honor books will get a telephone call. East has been through this before. She served  on the committee in 1987 when Richard Egielski won for “Hey, Al” and chaired the committee in 1998 when Paul Zelinsky won for “Rapunzel.” The award goes to the illustrator. The committee that awards the prize can start with a field of as many as 500 books. By the time they gather in January that’s been whittled down to 100 or so. Then each of those books must get a simple majority to stay in contention. East said usually 30 make the final draw. From there the best books rise to the top. The eventual winner, she said, must have more than a simple majority. It must have a significant margin of victory. That requires a number of rounds of balloting. “You want to make sure everyone on the committee is…

Library to host vote for the best picture book of 2016

Submitted by the WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Teachers, book enthusiasts, parents, and readers of all ages are invited to participate in a 2017 Mock Caldecott Election on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. in the Wood County District Public Library Children’s Place Programming Room. The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. At the Wood County District Public Library’s Mock Election, everyone will take a close look at some carefully selected, beautifully illustrated picture books from the past year, then help select a “most distinguished” picture book. Kathy East, retired Children’s Librarian, will share her experiences serving on the Caldecott committee in 1987 and chairing it in 2004. For the full mock election with final results, the Children’s Place suggests planning to stay until about 4 p.m. The 49 books we will be considering for our Mock Election are currently on display in the Children’s Place Quiet Study. Everyone is invited to read and look at the books on closed reserve status. The Caldecott award winner, along with the Newbery award winner and many others will be officially announced on Monday, Jan. 23 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. For more information, contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.

State ends tax form distribution through library

Ohio tax forms will no longer be available at the Wood County District Public Library. Library Director Michael Penrod said the state has informed him, it will no longer be distributing the paper forms. The Department of Taxation’s letter said “only 10 percent of printed personal  income tax returns end up being filed.” The notice continues: “To eliminate this waste of paper, we are ending bulk distributions.” Taxpayers can still request paper forms by visiting, by calling 1-800-282-1782 or by mail from Ohio Department of Taxation P.O. Box 2472 Columbus OHIO 43216-2476. Penrod said library staff will be available to help patrons access the forms they need. Penrod said: “Years ago, particularly after many post offices stopped distributing tax forms, people came to depend on getting forms at their local public library. Libraries are proud to help citizens connect to government information. I am guessing that this end of form distribution will catch some by surprise, even though the metrics indicate that paper forms are no longer in demand.” A limited number of state i8nstruction booklets will be available. Also, he said, the library will continue to have “very limited quantities” of federal tax forms, Penrod said.