Library

Library piano recital showcases the top talent from BGSU College of Musical Arts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Entering her senior year as a piano performance major, Yuefeng Liu has a lot on her agenda. That includes preparing for the next stage of her career — auditioning for graduate programs. On Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m.  she’ll take time to join six fellow Bowling Green State University Piano students to perform a free public recital in the Wood County District Public Library’s atrium. The program will include music by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Carl Vine. Liu, a student of Laura Melton, will perform two movements from Beethoven’s sonata in F minor, the “Appassionata.” That piece will be part of her audition repertoire. These recitals, said fellow pianist Hanqiu Xu, who also studies with Melton and has performed at the library in the past, tend to be more relaxed than those on campus. “It’s more enjoyable,” she said, and that can lead to a more expressive playing. Pianist Zhanglin Hu, a student of Robert Satterlee, feels the same way. But it doesn’t matter the venue or the audience. The goal is always to make beautiful music, he said. Solungga Liu, professor of piano at BGSU, said that though the students may feel more relaxed, it does not mean they and their teachers take these concerts, which happen several times over the year, lightly. Rather they take the library recitals very seriously and prepare diligently for them, she said.  “The selection (of performers) is very strict.” Only the most prepared students are selected to perform. “We only want the best. This is good exposure for the college,” Solungga Liu said. While the recitals have occasionally had themes, that’s only been by happenstance. The pieces are selected by the faculty members based on what the students have best prepared.  “The library is the most ideal environment outside the College of Musical Arts,” Professor Liu said.  “The audience is receptive and always very attentive. It’s very encouraging for the students. We need a venue like that. It makes students leave their comfort zone and have an opportunity to perform for a completely different group…


Area libraries hosting voter registration Sept. 25

The Wood County District Public Library (WCDPL) will be joined by other county libraries in partnering with the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green (LWVBG) to celebrate National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 25. In addition to WCDPL, participating libraries include: Pemberville Library (419-287-4012), North Baltimore Library (419-257-3621), and Weston Library (419-669-3415) and its Grand Rapids branch (419-832-5231). Business hours vary;  call for the specific LWVBG-assisted voter registration hours unique to each of these libraries. In Bowling Green, stop by the library (251 N. Main St., BG) any time  from 9 am until 8:30 pm. Volunteers from the LWVBG will be at WCDPL all day to register voters and to answer questions about the process of registering to vote in Ohio.


BGSU library will host talk on efforts to censor comics

From UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Charles Coletta will speak on Seduction of the Innocent: The Anti-Comic Books Crusade of the 1950s & Beyond Thursday, September 27, at  1 p.m. in Pallister Conference Room, Jerome Library This presentation highlights the backlash against comic books during the 1950s following the publication of Dr. Frederic Wertham’s book The Seduction of the Innocent: The Influence of Comic Books on Today’s Youth. The presentation includes a discussion of efforts to ban comics today. Wertham’s text fueled widespread fears that comic books were a leading cause of juvenile delinquency, sexual perversion, and rising crime rates. He even claimed heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were promoting immorality. His anti-comics crusade led to Congressional hearings, book burnings and the rise of the Comics Code Authority, an industry self-censorship board that lasted until the early 21st century.   About the presenter Dr. Charles Coletta is a lecturer in BGSU’s Department of Popular Culture, teaching a variety of courses related to comics and popular culture. He has served as a contributing writer to several academic texts on comics. In 2006, he assisted BGSU alumna Eva Marie Saint in preparation for her role as Martha Kent in Superman Returns. He is co-chair of the 2019 BGSU Batman Conference at BGSU.


Library to host telescope workshop on Sept. 18

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Toledo Astronomical Association has donated two telescopes for public use to the Wood County District Public Library and members of the Association will lead a workshop on using the telescopes on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library (251 N. Main). “We are absolutely thrilled to expand the kinds of items people can check out from the library and sincerely thank the Toledo Astronomical Association,” said Michele Raine, Assistant Director. “I know when I’ve tried using a telescope I end up not really seeing anything, so we are looking forward to Association members showing everyone exactly how they work.” “What really gets you going is when you see the rings of Saturn,” said Jeff Thomas, Toledo Astronomical Association member.  Thomas delivered the two Orion FunScope 4.5″ telescopes and took a few moments to show the equipment to library staff earlier this summer. “These telescopes will be a wonderful resource for star gazers of all ages,” said Raine.  After the workshop on Sept. 18, people with Wood County District Public Library cards will be able to check out the telescopes for 7 days. Once people have finished using the telescope, it will have to be returned inside the building during library hours. For more information about the telescope workshop contact the Library’s Information Services Department at 419-352-5050 or the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.


Library hooks up with Lynda.com to connect job seekers with skills they need

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Wood County Public Library Director Michael Penrod has high hopes for what Lynda.com can do for his patrons. The service, now owned by LinkedIn, provides more than 6,800 courses and more than 200,000 of video tutorials   on an array of subjects, with a heavy emphasis on technology and business. It has tutorials on management, photography, design, and much more. All have been vetted for quality and currency, Penrod said. Thanks to a new collaboration with Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning and Ohio Public Library Information Network, the service will soon be available for free to public library users throughout the state. With the new service, local library patrons who need to learn new software to get a new job or promotion can either come into the library’s tech center or log in using their library card information and learn it at home. Looking at the offerings, Penrod already sees videos that he would like members of the library staff to view. Looking through the offerings, he finds videos he would like to view himself. The statewide collaboration was announced Thursday in Columbus. Penrod, who chairs the OPLIN board, said it is fitting that OPLIN is involved in providing this service. In his remarks at the press conference in Columbus Thursday, Penrod said OPLIN “serves as the backbone for connectivity throughout the state by providing broadband internet services to all of Ohio’s 251 public library systems.” Those internet connections make offering Lynda.com possible. Libraries “as the People’s University” have always been on the forefront of helping people improve their job skills. That’s been especially evident following the economic collapse of 2008.  Penrod said “to have this work force development tool is a big game changer for the Ohio public library community.” So a job seeker can find the tutorial for the skills they need. The county district library was considering buying into the service – Perrysburg already offers it. That would have cost as much as $6,000, he said. Now that money can be spent on books that complement what Lynda.com provides, including enhancing a collection at the…


Library trustees updated on fundraiser, gas line & carpet

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library “looks like a department store exploded in there,” Library Director Michael Penrod told trustees Monday. By the end of the week, though, all should be returning to normal, after the Library Foundation’s fundraiser at Schedel Gardens. Penrod reported that the 100 tickets, which are $100 each, sold out as of Sunday. That’s the first time in the event’s 10-year history that it sold out so soon. The Foundation board, he said, has opted not to create a waiting list. The foundation set a goal of $75,000 for the fundraiser though it has raised more than that the last few years. Money raised goes to purchased books in all formats for the library. Penrod said last month that the money supplements the library’s book budget and does not replace money from the state or from the local levy. That was not the only bit of good financial news. Linda Joseph, the library’s finance officer, reported the library received a $5,000 rebate from the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. That money will be listed as “other income” in the library’s budget. Penrod reported that he is adamant that Columbia Gas line work now underway downtown will not disrupt the community Christmas tree that was just planted last year. The library will have a new gas line and meter installed, and it will enter at the southeast corner of the building. There are three burning bushes that were planted in 1974 when the library was built near the spot the line will run through. It’s possible one may have to be taken out, Penrod said, but Columbia Gas is committed to replacing an landscaping it disrupts. Also, Penrod reported that the replacement of the carpeting on the steps has been delayed because the interior designer he is working with is on medical leave. Work selecting carpeting continues. He said the stairway carpeting will be selected with the intent of replacing the carpeting in the circulation area as well as the back hallway. He said the library…


Children’s Librarian Maria Simon on the mend from injuries suffered in crash

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Simon is back to work at the Wood County District Public Library. Though she’s not up to rocking out, the children’s librarian is feeling well enough to return to see the Libraries Rock summer reading program through the end of the summer. Simon was seriously injured June 6 in an automobile accident on I-75. She returned to work with restrictions a week ago. Simon said she was very pleased to be back, even if it’s just part time. She attended the library’s Board of Trustees meeting Monday. She suffered a broken sternum and a concussion, so she said she’s having to limit her contact with the public. “Just a wave is all I need,” she said of well-wishers. She said that the library is a very private place, so many people probably aren’t aware of where she’s been. They may assume she’s been on vacation, Simon said. The accident occurred just south of Cygnet Road in Wood County when the Toyota Prius she was driving struck another car that was driving erratically. While trying to avoid that car she also made contact with a tractor-trailer. She, her husband Marc Simon, Bowling Green State University professor, and her mother, Mary Roemer, of South Bend, Indiana were on their way back to Bowling Green after traveling to Cincinnati to see a show the Simons’ daughter and son were performing. Roemer was very seriously injured who was taken by air ambulance to St. Vincent’s in Toledo. She has now been transferred to a skilled nursing facility in South Bend. So in addition to her own recovery, Simon was monitoring her mother’s care. Simon said she appreciates returning to the library. “I love this place,” she said. “I love libraries. Libraries incredibly healing places, places of order and stability.  There’s answers here.” Answers are hard to come by in the world of medical care where even the experts can be baffled, especially when it comes to concussions and spinal injuries, such as those her mother suffered. That “world is full of care and concern, and definitely love…


Schedel Garden benefit harvests dollars for library books

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library is filling up. New treasures arrive every day, said Library Director Michael Penrod. That includes a grill and a bicycle. There’s hand-crafted wooden box by John Calderonello and glass by Dominick Labino and Joel O’Dorisio. Hidden among them are gift certificates from numerous local business. The items are arriving in advance of the 10th Annual Library Benefit at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, Thursday, July 19, 6-8 p.m. Attendees will also feast on hors d’oeuvres catered by Swig’s and tour the gardens. The price of a ticket is $100 and only 100 are sold. Tickets are available at the library. The focal point is the live auction, said Clif Boutelle, president of the Library Foundation, sponsor of the fundraiser. The bidding gets “very spirited.” People enjoy trying to outbid each other. Items also include a week at a Florida Gulf Coast condo, a family portrait session with Cheryl Hagemeyer, and golf with BGSU coach John Powers, either a 45-minute lesson or a nine-hole round. Then there are Sue Shank’s cookies, Boutelle said, which “seem to be very popular.” Shad Ridenour returns as the auctioneer. Attendees aren’t there trying to get an item on the cheap, Penrod said. Rather they bid enthusiastically. That spirit is fueled by an understanding of what the library contributes to the community and a desire to help it continue its mission. The purpose of the Schedel benefit is to raise money to buy books, both printed and ebooks. Last year $116,000 was raised. Penrod said that money does not replace money from the library’s levy or state funding. It supplements that funding. Boutelle said the fundraising is a way of thanking the community for its support of the library. The money raised has allowed the library to spend $442,000 on materials last year. Boutelle said the goal is always set at $75,000. They never want to take the generosity of those who attend for granted. That generosity starts, said Penrod, with the 15 members of the foundation board who reach…


Benefit at Schedel Gardens provides essential funds for library materials

On July 19 the WCDPL Foundation will host its tenth annual Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. Over the past nine years, this event has raised funds to purchase new books that our patrons use to move into a new career, gain a new skill, teach a child to read, learn about nearly any other topic of interest, or read for pleasure.  Every dollar from this event goes to purchase new books, large print books, audiobooks, e-books, and picture books. Despite some saying the Internet and e-books replace libraries, the core function of the library as the “People’s University” (where anyone can explore, learn, and discover) remains vital.  In 2017, community members visited the library more than 4,200 times per week, attendance at programs and author visits grew another 11 percent, the number of cardholders grew another 3 percent, and borrowing books and other materials remains at all-time record levels. This high rate of usage requires continuing investment.  The importance of private fundraising to meet community demand is critical.  Your financial gifts make a difference! I ask that you consider giving a monetary sponsorship for the Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in any amount from $20 to $20,000.  Simply send a check payable to WCDPL Foundation (with “Schedel sponsorship” in the memo line) to A.J. Heilman, 251 N. Main, Bowling Green, OH 43402.  Sponsorships over $1,000 will be recognized on a plaque in the library. Also, please plan to attend the July 19 Benefit!  Come enjoy a relaxing evening with garden tours, fine beverages, delicious food, live and silent auctions, and lots of fun and laughs with other library advocates! Tickets are $100 each and are on sale at the library. Please support the library so that it can remain “the place to be” for the community to learn, discover, explore, and read. Michael Penrod WCDPL Director


Libraries create millions in value for their communities

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The libraries in Wood County generated $35.5 million in economic value in 2017. Wood County District Public Library Director Michael Penrod presented those figures to trustees at their meeting Monday morning. That figure was a local update of a report originally commissioned by the Ohio Library Council in 2016. The update was done by Woodlink, which brings together the county’s the eight library systems. Those libraries provided just over $8 million worth of services in the year, and the direct return on investment was $3.44 for every dollar’s worth of services, or $27.7 million in direct return on investment. The multiplier reflects the impact of the money patrons save by using library services and how that flows through the economy. That brings the amount to $35.5 million. The report looks only at the impact of services provided, not money spent, such as salaries. The eight library systems in the county, in addition to Wood County District, which has a branch in Walbridge, are: Pemberville Public, which operates branches in Luckey and Stony Ridge; Kaubisch Memorial in Fostoria; North Baltimore Public; Rossford Public; Way Public in Perrysburg; and Weston, which operates a branch in Grand Rapids. Penrod said it is important that the library seek donations as well as tax dollars. The Library Foundation provides a large financial boost with the money it raises at a summer benefit held at Schedel Arboretum & Gardens. Penrod encouraged the trustees to promote the event in the community. The 10th Annual Library Benefit will be held Thursday, July 19. Tickets are $100. Last year it raised $100,000. That money is used to purchase books – in all forms, Penrod said. He said that the money does not replace money from the state or raised by the library’s levy, but supplements those dollars, allowing the library to spend more than the average amount on materials. The event features a live and silent auction. It is not, Penrod said, an event where people come expecting to find a bargain at auction, but rather expect to pay a premium as a…


Preschoolers celebrate crowning achievement in reading

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ken and Pam Frisch did their part to help their granddaughters earn their crowns. The granddaughters, Sophia Kulik, 3, and Savannah Kulik, 4, are among the 23 preschoolers who have met the mark in the Wood County Public Library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge. The Frisches said they read to the girls, and then logged in the number of books. They were so impressed with the program that they stepped up to help fund it through their Frisch Family Fund. Both have backgrounds in teaching, “so reading has always been important and pretty special,” Pam Frisch said. “The library has been an important part of our family,” Ken Frisch said. Their daughters volunteered as teenagers, and now their granddaughters share that connection. Saturday, the library celebrated the first year of the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. As part of the festivities, the children who’d reached the goal received cardboard crowns. Cassie Greenlee, who works in the Children’s Place, said 23 have met the goal. Julia Kulik, Sophia and Savannah’s mother, said the girls earned their crowns last summer. They started in May, and by August they’d notched 1000 books. “It was a lot of reading,” she said. “They love it.” The girls go to story times at the library. “Everyone in the children’s department is so great and so supportive.” Sophia will pile up picture books to her waist when she wants to read, her mother said, and that’s all the time. The grandparents said the girls go through phases in what they want to read. Right now Sophia is captivated by dinosaurs. But “we’re equal opportunity readers,” Pam Frisch said. The two-hour celebration featured a number of schools, programs and agencies that support children. Most had dinosaur-themed activities in honor of guest author Shari Halpern, whose “Dinosaur Parade” will be given to each child who signs up for the 1000 Books program. Halpern got her own start as an author-illustrator when she was a child. She enjoyed drawing and coloring. “I loved getting a new box of crayons.” She was always making things for…


1000 books program gets new readers off to royal start

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some local royalty will be crowned on Saturday. About 20 local preschoolers who have “read” 1000 Books before Kindergarten will get crowns of their own as part of the celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wood County District Public Library. The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program was launched last year, and it’s been a success, said Children’s Librarian Maria Simon. About 800 children are enrolled, with more being signed up each day. She hopes more will join on Saturday, moving the library closer to the goal of having 1,000 participants. The program encourages reading 1,000 books before children enter school. That’s not 1,000 different books. These are toddlers, and they may want to hear the same book over and over again, and then yet again. A book read aloud to a group by a child care provider or library staff member counts as well. Simon said she intentionally kept the record keeping simple. Just tally the books, without worrying about titles or minutes spent reading. Everything can be done online at wcdpl.readsquared.com. Every child who is enrolled gets a free book, and then they get stickers along with way to celebrate each 100 read. When they get halfway through, they get to pick a book from the library’s collection, and a bookplate noting their achievement is put in the book. At 1,000 they get a crown. For the inaugural year, the children received a book by Denise Fleming, who was the special guest author at last June’s kickoff celebration. Starting in Saturday, the children will receive Shari Halpern’s book “Dinosaur Parade.” Halpern will give a presentation at 11 a.m. Saturday and then sign books. Simon said both Halpern and Fleming were very supportive and enthusiastic about the program. Some of the older participants do enjoy seeing their numbers go up and up. But for most the biggest benefit of the program is the time spent with parents, or grandparents or childcare providers reading. And to get a 1,000 books read, it takes all of them. One child told, Simon that if it…


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 wcdpl.readsquared.com. 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 cut in so many schools,…


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 the “new library,” but it…