What’s happening in your community (updated Aug. 16)

NEWLY POSTED: Stunt biking part of Firefly Nights, Aug. 17 The third Firefly Nights, a community festival featuring music, children’s activities shopping, vendors, and food, will be presented Friday, Aug. 17,  from 6 to 10 p.m.  in downtown Bowling Green.An addition for this week is a demonstration by the biking group Right Direction. The team will perform stunts at 7 and 8 p.m. in the Huntington parking lot at the intersection of South Main and Clough streets.Musical acts scheduled to perform are: South Stage – A.S. Coomer, 6 p.m.; Ben Stalets, 7 p.m.; and Groove Canoe, 8 p.m. North Stage – Mark Poesler, 6:30 p.m.; Craig James, 7:30 p.m.; and Freight Street, 8:30 p.m. For more information visit: NEWLY POSTED: Bulb gardening talk set for Sept. 10 Bowling Green Parks and Recreation in association with the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation and the Kuebeck Forum on Nature and Environment will host Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs to Simpson Garden Park on Monday and Tuesday, September 10 and 11. Heath, from Gloucester, Virginia, will be sharing his knowledge of bulb gardening on September 10 at 7 p.m. at the Simpson Building Banquet Hall, Simpson Garden Park,1291 Conneaut Avenue, Bowling Green. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Heath’s expertise in gardening with bulbs is widely recognized nationwide. For questions or more information, contact Chris Gajewicz, natural Resources and Garden Park Coordinator for Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, 419-353-0301.  NEWLY POSTED: BiG Band BG to perform, Aug. 23BiG Band BG will present a night of “free flowing jazz music” Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. in the four Corners Center, 130 S. Main St., in downtown Bowling Green. The band, an affiliate of the Bowling Green Area Community Band, will be selling its CD at the concert. Doors open for the free concert at 7:30 p.m.   NEWLY POSTED: Wendell Mayo to read from new story collection, Sept. 9 Writer Wendell Mayo will read from his new book of short stories, “Survival House,” Sunday, September 9 at 6 p.m. at Calvino’s Restaurant and Wine Bar 3143 Central Ave,…

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Library to celebrate 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, June 9

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Families with young children birth through preschool are invited to a Celebration of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten at the Wood County District Public Library Children’s Place on Saturday June 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Included in the one year celebration of this ongoing reading challenge program will be an author/illustrator visit form Shari Halpern, a Family Resource Fair with the Wood County Early Childhood Task Force, and special recognition for everyone registered, new registrants, and the 20 “Royal Readers” who have already achieved the goal of 1000 books! The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program began last June with a kick-off with guest author/illustrator Denise Fleming. (Click to read story.) In the past year, 800 young children have registered in the library or online at The Children’s Place looks to register more babies and young children at this event. This program has been supported by the Friends of the Library and continues to be supported by the WCDPL Foundation with private donations. The Wood County District Public Library will be giving Shari Halpern’s picture book Dinosaur Parade to all children present and registered in the 1000 Book Before Kindergarten program. Shari will be share a presentation at 11am and stay to autograph copies of Dinosaur Parade. The Resource Fair will include local agencies and organizations as well as daycare and preschools. Crafts and activities will be available to enjoy. Please contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253 with any questions about this event or the ongoing Summer Reading Program “Libraries Rock!”

Operatic ‘Big Bad Wolf’ starts summer reading program on a high note

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Simon, the children’s librarian at the Wood County District Public Library, wanted to get the musically inclined summer reading program off on a high note. So, of course, she brought in a soprano. And the soprano rolled in with a mezzo-soprano, a pianist, and a bass to play the bad guy. Libraries Rock! The summer reading program got under way with a visit by Toledo Opera on Wheels. The four-member troupe had enough scenery and hand puppets, not mention musical talent, to bring to life a couple of classic fairy tales. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Band Wolf?” blends the stories of Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. The original script was set to music from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.” This is what the public library is all about, said Joy Torres, who was there with her four children age 3 to 10. “It introduces us to a lot of new things, we wouldn’t have a chance to experience if it wasn’t here. They always seem to bring in something new and exciting.” One year it was a magician, she said, and this year the opera. Later this year a local rock band, Mindless Matters, will play a show in the library on June 27 at 7 p.m. Crystal Swaisgood, a mother of three who like Torres home schools her kids, said she’s at the library all the time taking advantage of the diversity of activities offered. This summer Lubrizol will present a STEM Sound Lab and young local musicians will come in play what they’ve been practicing and serve as reading buddies. The full schedule of activities is available in the library’s Connect Family Magazine. Click for more details. “It helps keep the excitement of learning alive,” Torres said of the summer reading program. The young musicians in the Opera on Wheels program hope that their 30-minute opera will spawn future opera listeners and maybe performers. Janani Sridhar, the soprano who sang the part of Little Red Riding Hood, said with the arts being…

Community survey gives high marks to public library

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A community survey done for the Wood County District Public Library turned out to be a love letter. “Levels of satisfaction were pretty high across the board on all the services we surveyed,” said Shannon Orr, whose public policy class at Bowling Green State University conducted it. “There is very high customer satisfaction for the Wood County Library system, and they would be willing to support the next levy.” That was true even among the majority who only use the library a few times a year. They still felt that the library was an important community service. Orr presented the results to the library’s Board of Trustees Monday. The library’s levy, which brings in $1 million a year, about 40 percent of the budget, will need to be renewed November, 2020. Orr added, that “children’s events were cited over and over again very highly.” On the other hand, “the level of dissatisfaction is almost nonexistent.” “We do a lot of these,” she said. “I run more than 100 community projects with my classes, and this level of satisfaction is very unusual.” Orr’s students sent surveys to 2,000 registered voters in the library’s service area. They got 346 back, or 17.3 percent. That’s an adequate response rate. An online survey with identical questions was sent to about 1,500 email addresses the library had on file. Those responses matched the random sample, but were not figured into the results. The answers to the open-ended questions included in the online survey were provided to the library. People did cite a few areas of improvement. Given the aging population, more large print books are needed. Also, people wanted better guidance on what the library offers, whether books or programs. Arts and craft programs would be nice. And the library needs “freshening up,” particularly the carpet on the stairs. “I might have written that myself,” said Library Director Michael Penrod. He said he’s also ready gotten some carpet samples, and is consulting with a decorator. He said he still thinks of the facility as…

Library seeks nominations of exceptional staff members

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Are there staff members at the Wood County District Public Library who always go the extra mile for you and your family when you visit the library? Say “Thank You” to library staff by nominating them for the John M. Gibson Award, a tradition which was begun by the library’s Board of Trustees in 2005 to recognize excellence in customer service. Since then it has been presented annually by the Trustees, who select the recipient from nominations submitted by both library users and staff members themselves. Any WCDPL employee (except the library director and assistant director) may be nominated for the Gibson award, which was named after the late John M. Gibson in honor of his contributions to the library and his integral role in the library’s 2003 renovation. All nominees will be recognized by the Library Board of Trustees and the Gibson Award will be August 17. Since being established in 2005, the Gibson Award has been presented to 14 library employees: Mandy Hackley (2005), Mary Boone (2006), AJ Heilman and Donna Mertz (2007), Debra Born (2008), Kristin Wetzel (2009), Linda Conrad (2010), Maria Simon (2011), Nancy Weiland (2012), Katherine Lawn (2013), Anne Render (2014), Matt Mehling (2015), Victoria Forgette (2016), and Tara Bahnsen (2017). Easy to use nomination forms will be available at the main library in Bowling Green, on the Bookmobile, and at the branch library in Walbridge starting Monday, May 21. Nominations may also be submitted directly from the library’s website, Deadline for all nominations is noon, Monday, July 2, 2018. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your favorite WCDPL staff member recognized and honored. For additional information about the John M. Gibson Award, contact WCDPL at 419-352-5104.

Library hikes fees to use atrium

The Wood County District Public Library  trustees voted Monday  to increase the fee for using the atrium. The board approved raising the rate from $50 to a base charge of $100 with additional fees depending on services needed. According Michael Penrod the main issue was that after reducing the meeting room rental rates in 2016, the atrium was still cheaper for use by individuals ($50 versus $75).  “But in the meeting room, we do not do set-up and staff time is minimal (we just clean),” he stated in  an  e-mail  after  the  meeting.  “But for atrium use, in addition to cleaning up after an event, the staff has to set-aside the space for much longer periods of time, handle all set-up of tables/chairs/etc, at times is asked to be present to run the complicated sound system for spoken-word events. “My staff is running at full-speed now, so I think the rental fee should be high enough to reflect the additional work – while still being at a reasonable rate overall.” The new fees are: *    Payment of a $100.00 base fee is required at the time of making the reservation. Set up of up to 90 chairs, refreshment & presentation tables, a podium, & a microphone (if needed) are included. *     The piano is professionally-tuned on a quarterly basis.  If you require an additional tuning, there is an additional $100 fee.  Only our own tuning professional may be engaged. *     If you need a staff member to be present to run the in-house sound system, there is a $75 additional fee.  This must be paid when making the reservation and is dependent on the availability of appropriate staff.  Otherwise, you may bring in your own sound system. *    Groups will handle all of their own technology needs including providing the computer, projector, etc.  A small screen and AV cart are available from the library at no cost. *     Before/after-hours access – $250 additional fee.  

Sometimes patrons’ requests tax librarians’ desire to serve

By DAVID  DUPONT BG Independent News Librarians love to say “yes.” Service is the name of the game. But they have their limits. Michael Penrod, Wood County District Public Library director, shared some of those limits with the Board of Trustees Monday. He said he wanted to start giving the trustees some insight into the professional lives of librarians. And tax season, when folks flock to the library for forms and information, is an apt time to talk about limits. The Internal Revenue Service has been supplying fewer and fewer paper forms to libraries as it pushes taxpayers to file online. Some folks are resisting, Penrod said. A librarian can show a patron where the form they ask for is, or where to find I online and even help them print out the form from the IRS website. They cannot, however, tell the taxpayer whether that really is the form they need, or whether they are filling it out properly. For that, Penrod said, they need to consult a tax professional. That’s what he does. The library staff can direct patrons to non-profit services that can give help them do their taxes. It’s not only taxes. Michele Raine, the assistant library director, says the advent of DYI divorces can be a strain on library staff. The library again can point the way to where a patron can find legal information, but not tell them what information they should be searching for. They can show them how to use Ohio Revised Code, but can’t advise them what section applies to whatever problem they have. “People are looking for reassurance we can’t give them,” Raine said. “That’s the bottomline.” Penrod said a woman came in who had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He brought her reliable sources and lent an ear. But could not give medical advice. Raine said that the staff who are notaries public recently went through a training during which they were cautioned that because of librarians’ reputation for helpfulness that they may be targeted to sign questionable papers. They were warned to…