What’s happening in your community (updated Feb. 23)

NEWLY POSTED:  British duo to bring magic & laughs to Pemberville, March 5 The British comedy and magic team Keith Fields and Lady Sarah will bring their distinctly British sense of humor to the historic Pemberville Opera House, Saturday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. Keith Fields is a world champion magician and headline comedian, Lady Sarah is an English lady with a penchant for shoes,. She does her best to keep everything in some semblance of control. Tickets are $12.00 and available at Beeker’s General Store, at the door or by contacting Carol Bailey at 419-287-4848,, or   NEWLY POSTED: Teen improv troupe to share skits, games, March 1 Wood County District Public Library is hosting an After Hours Improv Night for youth ages 11 and up Friday, March 1, 7-9 p.m. The BGHS Improv Troupe will share skits and short drama games, with plenty of opportunities to participate and create positive and spontaneous scene work. No previous acting experience required.  The library will also provide popcorn and pizza. Pre-registration is required. Registration forms are at the library and on the library website at  For more information, contact the Children’s Place staff at 419-352-8253.   NEWLY POSTED:  Virtuoso pianist blends composition, jazz, March 10 Both a virtuosic pianist and composer, Gwilym Simcock will perform Great Sunday, March 10 at 5 p.m., in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. Simock is one of the most important musicians on the British scene. Trained as a classical pianist during his youth, at the age of 18 he turned his attention to jazz and composition, putting his musical foundation to work in the quest to draw his audience into a new musical world that moves the mind as well as the soul. Tickets are $10 for museum members, $15 for nonmembers, and $7 for students and military personnel.   NEWLY POSTED: Public invited to retirement party for Vic Gable, March 13 Come celebrate the retirement of Vic Gable at wli, Work Leads to Independence, 991 S. Main, Bowling Green on March 13, from 1 to 6 p.m. After more than 28 years in the field of employment…

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Wood County library may pinch pennies – but not on books

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Though far from scientific, the popularity of the Wood County District Public Library can be measured in its worn carpet and the long wait-list for Michelle Obama’s new book. And the support for the library can be seen in the library’s ability to buy new carpet and stock up on 10 more copies of Obama’s book, “Becoming.” Wood County District Public Library Director Michael Penrod has more traditional methods for measuring the health of the library. And lately, the vital signs are looking very healthy. For example, the library: Paid off its loan early for the renovations at its Walbridge branch. Created a new capital projects fund to ensure that unexpected repairs would not short the funding for new materials for library patrons. Spends more than most libraries on new materials. Charts continued high numbers of books and other materials being borrowed by patrons. The rule of thumb is that when the economy is good, people buy their own books rather than borrow them from libraries, Penrod said. But Wood County District Public Library has seen no drop-off in usage. “In 2012, we hit a record level in terms of items borrowed by the community. We’ve been able to continue that,” Penrod said. “During the great recession, we were busier than ever.” The library has been able to stave off threats of obsolescence. The internet and e-books have not rendered the facility antiquated. “We can compete against Amazon,” Penrod said with a grin. For example, last week when Penrod was notified by staff that there were 16 holds on Obama’s new book, he decided to not make patrons wait. “We went ahead and bought 10 more,” he said. While the library has to buy e-books, it is able to lease hard copies of books. So there have been times that the library has leased 40 to 50 copies of best sellers, then returned them when they are no longer in great demand. Nationwide, libraries spend an average of 11.5 percent of their budgets on new material. “Bowling Green deserves better than that,”…

Library offers chance to meet children’s book author Jane Yolen

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Bestselling and award-winning children’s book author, Jane Yolen will talk about her work at the Wood County District Public Library on Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m. Jane Yolen is the best-selling author of over 365 children’s, middle grade and young adult novels, picture books, story collections, and poetry anthologies. Her works include award-winner The Devil’s Arithmetic, the bestselling picture book series How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night, Caldecott Honor winner Owl Moon, and hundreds more. For a complete list of her titles, as well as a Jane Yolen calendar that recommends one title a day for a full year, please visit her website, Jane Yolen’s visit is supported through a gift from the estate of Majorie Conrad, along with BGSU’s Literacy in the Park and University Libraries. During her visit to Wood County District Public Library, Ms. Yolen will speak, answer questions, and be available to autograph books. Six of Ms. Yolen’s titles will be available for purchase that evening through the Friends of the Library. Available for purchase will be Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten, How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends, What to do with a Box, and Fly with Me, published in October 2018 The audience is encouraged to bring any personal copies of Ms. Yolen’s books for signing as well. For more information, contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.

Chocolate makers to share family tradition

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Around 80 years ago, Carolyn Morgan attempted to make chocolate at home and found she needed help learning how to make fine chocolate.  She found a local chocolatier and traded work as a dipper in the shop for lessons on how to make the treats.  When the Great Depression hit, Carolyn began working at the chocolate shop to help support her family.  When the Great Depression ended, Carolyn Morgan never wanted to sell chocolate again. She wanted to give it away to friends and family. Now, four generations later the Guion family is continuing Carolyn Morgan’s mission of  passing on chocolate-making lessons. “We are going on four generations of chocolate making as a family,” said Cassie Greenlee, Carolyn Morgan’s great-granddaughter. Cassie and her father Keith Guion will teach a chocolate-making class at the Wood County District Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 at 10 am.  “Three branches of our family come to Bowling Green each year and we make about 250 pounds of chocolate,” said Greenlee.  “This year, we are looking forward to sharing this tradition and cooking tips with the community.” The class will take place in the historic Carter House and registration for the event is required. Attendees will learn the entire process, from cooking the centers to hand-dipping the finished product. To register, please call the Library’s Information Services Department at 419-352-5050.

Bequest boosts county library’s book budget

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Library Director Michael Penrod didn’t know Elfreda Rusher except as a patron with a broad taste in books. Future library patrons will be able to enjoy their own literary tastes thanks to a bequest from the Rusher estate. The retired Bowling Green State University business education professor left $153,000 to the library with the expressed wish that it be used for books. Rusher died at 101 in April. She taught business education at BGSU from 1950 until her retirement in 1976. Penrod told the library trustees Monday that because of the conditions of the bequest the money has to go into the library’s general fund and not to the Library Foundation. Penrod and Fiscal officer Linda Joseph will make sure that the money will be spent on books in the coming years. “When someone says thank you in this way” by remembering the library “considering all the entities in the community that need support, it’s very humbling,” Penrod said. Such planned giving makes a big difference, Penrod said. That’s why the library’s new strategic plan, which runs through 2021 calls for the library to work with the foundation “to implement a planned-giving program and increase the Foundation’s ability to support library efforts monetarily.” The library’s trustees approved the strategic plan unanimously Monday. The plan represents the bare bones of what the library intends, Penrod said. Now it will be up to the library’s management team will flesh out how to put those ideas into action. Brian Paskvan, the president of the board, noted the areas that are outside what’s considered the traditional functions of the library. With the new access to the library is entering in a major way the area of job training and development. Another new area is the “library of things,” where what’s loaned out extends beyond the usual items. The library also loans ukuleles, puzzles, and telescopes that we provided by the Toledo Astronomical Association. Assistant Director Michele Raine said that the society told her if the telescopes are damaged, they will fix them. Penrod said there are limits…

Get in the act of writing at the library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Wood County District Public Library and students from the Foundations for Teaching Writing class at BGSU will offer activities to inspire writers of all ages at a National Day on Writing celebration held at the library (251 N. Main, BG) from noon until 2 pm. The event will feature a number of activity stations where visitors can participate in a live action Mad Libs game, rainbow writing, magnetic poetry, and blackout poetry created by coloring out words on a printed page, as well as other activities. “Writing is important to everyone,” said Dr. Heather Jordan, the class instructor, “and this celebration will help people remember how much fun writing can be. The students were very excited about the opportunity and wanted to have innovative activities to include writers of all ages and stages.” BGSU students will lead the activities as part of their service learning initiative. “Engaging with the community in authentic environments in such an important component of their educational experience that the students get really excited about,” said Jordan. “We are really looking forward to a day devoted to nurturing writers, said Michele Raine, Assistant Director at WCDPL. “Without writers, where would we get the next great book?” This year is the 10th anniversary of the National Day on Writing and participants can stay connected to all the activities at #WhyIWrite.

Pop culture scholar recalls when comics were considered the scourge of the nation’s youth

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Banning books never seems to go out of style. To make that point, before Charles Coletta started his talk “The Seduction of the Innocent: The Anti-Comic Book Crusade of the 1950s and Beyond” he listed entertainments his students in Popular Culture classes have been forbidden to read or watch. Those include Harry Potter, “South Park,” “The Simpsons,” and  “Sponge Bob Squarepants,” a recent addition. Then he quizzed his audience in Jerome Library. “The A-Team” was a surprise, but “Family Guy” and “Bevis and Butthead” were staples of the do-not-watch list. Recently the reprinting of a classic comic story   “The Monster Society of Evil,” which hasn’t been reprinted in 30 years, was canceled because some of the characterization are racist, including depictions of Japanese from World War II and stereotypes of African-Americans that are “horrible,” Coletta said. And when just over a year ago the United Nations tried to name Wonder Woman as its fictional good will ambassador, there was an outcry over her skimpy outfits and that the superhero was not a good role model for women. Those complaints echo what was said about her 70 years ago. Because banning stuff never goes out of style, every year the Friends of University Libraries hosts an event to mark Banned Books Week.  Coletta’s focus on Thursday was on a crusade led by psychiatrist  Wertham against comics for all manner of offenses, particularly promoting violence. Superheroes, he said, was fascist role models who promote the idea that problems were solved with superior strength and violence. “I think Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic book industry,” he once stated.  Wertham also complained about unrealistic body images projected by female and male characters, racism, and embedded sexual messages. Wonder Woman, he claimed, was into bondage — a claim that proved not so outlandish when it learned that her creator William Moulton Marston was as well. But Wertham also said that her strength and independence, and hanging out with Amazons indicated she was a lesbian. And Batman and Robin’s relationship, he said, was “like a wish…