Library

“This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years of memories” — Michael Penrod

The annual lighting of BG’s Community Holiday Tree has been a tradition for just over 30 years and the Wood County District Public Library is proud to host BG’s Tree. Because it is important to the Library that the tree remain a vital part of the holiday season for Main Street for many years to come, we have worried about the health of the tree for more than a few years. Branches have died, or lost many of their needles, and the tree is swaying more and more with every strong windstorm. Recently, the Library checked with an arborist who, when examining the tree in detail last week, found indications of a disease that causes branches to die from the ground upward. While the tree many live for a few more years, we do not want it to get into such a poor condition that it no longer looks nice as the community’s tree. BG deserves a beautiful tree filled with holiday lights. We also do not want to purchase a lot of expensive decorations for a large tree and then have to replace the tree with a smaller one. Therefore, after much deliberation – and reluctance – the Library…


Community tree has seen its last Christmas; new tree will be planted in place

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Downtown Bowling Green will be getting a new community Christmas tree, and it’ll be delivered well before the winter holidays. At Monday’s Library Board of Trustees meeting, Library Director Michael Penrod said he had asked city arborist Grant Jones to take a look at it. The arborist found clear signs disease. The 50-foot Colorado blue spruce’s days are numbered. Once the disease sets in, Penrod said, it cannot be reversed, though it’s hard to tell how long the tree would last. Conceding the tree’s uncertain future, the library board voted to have the tree removed and replaced as quickly as possible. Jones, Penrod said, felt a new tree, likely about 12-foot-tall, could be in place within weeks. It would cost the library about $3,000-$4,000. Penrod said he’d already been approached by Mary Hinkelman, the director for Downtown Bowling Green, to discuss the future of the tree. Downtown BG owns the ornaments that decorate the tree, and the years of stringing increasing lengths of lights to cover the tree has taken their toll. A couple ceremonial tree lightings, have suffered temporary blackouts. Faced with replacing the lights, she wondered how many Downtown BG would have…


“Build a Better World” is theme for library’s summer reading program

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY “Build a Better World” this summer with the Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program.  Registration begins from the “Observation Deck” of the Children’s Place all day Wednesday, May 24th along with a “Touch a Truck” visit in the library parking lot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration continues all summer and is also available online http://wcdpl.readsquared.com . Monthly calendars of programs and events can be found in the WCDPL Family Connect Magazine widely distributed to schools, organizations, and businesses as well as picked up from the library.  Calendars are also available from the library website http://www.wcdpl.org/CPCalendar. Youth registrants receive a one use pass to the BG Pool and Water Park as well a coupon for a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  Later in the summer, one day passes to the Wood County Fair will be distributed to participants. The Children’s Place is encouraging everyone to set their own summer reading goals.  As readers report their reading progress, they earn incentive prizes to be picked up at the library.  All participants qualify for a final end of summer raffle, but the more stories climbed, the more chances to win!  Levels are set at the…


Library board gets down to the nuts & bolts of strategic planning

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When the Wood County District Public Library approves Director Michael Penrod’s next three-year “to-do” list, going to the hardware store probably won’t be one of the chores included. But the board may embrace a notion that Penrod shared from a recent library conference: “If our city is the best in the world then the library is its hardware store.” Penrod offered assurances though that he didn’t want to compete with Floyd Craft owner of ACE Hardware. The library will have plenty else on its agenda, which will be set by a new Strategic Plan for the years 2018-2020. Penrod and the board will have that plan ready by the beginning of next year. The plan is important because it brings the library through November, 2020, when it will have to be on the ballot to renew its levy. That levy generated almost $1 million in 2016, about 40 percent of the library’s revenue. When the strategic plan is done, Penrod said, its message should be simple enough to explain to an 11-year-old. Little will be simple about the process of getting to that point. The library is planning for an uncertain future, operating within…


BGSU library acquires trove of Great Lakes research materials

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The University Libraries at Bowling Green State University has greatly expanded its collection of Great Lakes research materials thanks to a significant donation from the National Museum of the Great Lakes, which is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society. More than 160 cubic feet of photos, pamphlets, slides, bound materials, postcards and archival materials have found a new home in the Libraries’ Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (HCGL), housed within the Center for Archival Collection. “We are grateful to the National Museum of the Great Lakes for entrusting us with their extensive collection, and we are excited that the consolidation of their materials with our existing Great Lakes archives has now created the largest collection of its kind on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University. “Thank you to the Museum, its board of directors, the Great Lakes Historical Society and the University Libraries staff who helped to facilitate this exciting and symbiotic new alliance in the name of historic preservation.” These additional materials bolster the already robust offering of Great Lakes-related research and artifacts curated by the…


BGSU taps state grant to get ideas flowing at Collab-Lab

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A state Third Frontier grant will help Bowling Green State University launch new research, teaching and commercial ideas. The money comes part of $8.7 million in funding that’s half state money and half matching funds from the institutions. The money was awarded  to NextTech, a collaborative organization comprised of BGSU, Mercy Health, ProMedica, and the University of Toledo, which is the Entrepreneurial Service Provider for Northwest Ohio. Michael Ogawa, BGSU vice president for research and economic engagement, said the university’s share is about $707,000, half from the state, half from BGSU. That money will help to create the Collab-Lab, a new initiative to help faculty staff, and students work together to create new ideas. The lab will be in the first floor of Jerome Library, across from the elevators. Now there’s a technical support lab and a classroom in the space. That area, said Jerry Schnepp, the lab director, will be gutted to create a 2,000-square foot lab. Work begins May 10 and the lab will open of the start of the fall semester. The library as the intellectual heart of campus is the right place for the lab, Ogawa said. Though the space…


Sherman Alexie’s Community Reads talk sold out

With only a little under three weeks to go until Community Reads author Sherman Alexie visits Bowling Green, the author’s free event on April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Bowling Green City Schools Performing Arts Center  is “sold” out. A limited number waiting list has been started for the event. Community Reads is asking that current ticket holders whose circumstances change and find they are no longer able to attend the April 6 talk by Alexie, call Wood County District Public Library’s Information Desk at 419-352-5050, or stop by the Bowling Green library , so that tickets which are no longer needed may be cancelled and made available to those on the waiting list. As tickets become available, people on the waiting list will be contacted in the order in which they joined the list. “The Community Reads planners knew Mr. Alexie would be a big draw, but have been astounded at how quickly tickets for his talk were grabbed up,” said library spokesperson Mary Callahan Boone. “We were hopeful we’d match the number of people who came to see Community Reads authors like Homer Hickam (Rocket Boys) and John Grogan (Marley and Me). Roughly 650 were in attendance for each…


Home history & ukes on tap at library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Ukulele enthusiasts return to the Wood County District Public Library on Sunday, March 19 at 3 p.m. Anyone who is looking for a lively group to play ukulele with is invited to join in the fun in the library’s firstt floor Meeting Room. Sheet music and songbooks will be provided; all you need is a sense of adventure and a ukulele. Have you ever wondered about your home’s history? Or about the stories it could tell of its past inhabitants? The library’s program “If These Walls Could Talk: Researching Your House History” on March 21 at 6:30 pm, will teach you to use library and community resources to discover the stories hidden within the walls of your home. The program will be led by Local History librarian Marnie Pratt in the second floor Meeting Room. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5050.


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 (http://bgindependentmedia.org/update-on-library-funding-michael-penrod/), 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…


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…


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…



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 tax.ohio.gov, 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.  


O Tannenbaum! BG’s community tree a festive downtown fixture (Update)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Usually a trip to the library is a good way to answer a question. That should be especially true when the query at hand has to do with a 50-foot tall tree on the library’s own property. But despite Library Director Michael Penrod’s scouring his memory and reference librarian Marnie Pratt mining the archives, and my searching the newspaper archives we were stumped: When was community Christmas tree planted? The local newspaper reported on tree lightings in 1985, and in 1986 when they reported that the tree had been recently planted. It took a call to former Library Director Elaine McEwen to get the scoop. She knows exactly when that tree was planted. She was hired in 1987. There was a drought that year, and “the community Christmas tree died on my watch.” Joan Gordon,  then executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, had a donor lined up who paid for new tree. (Rick Van Vorhis tells Bg Independent: “The Community tree was a donation from Isaac and Marian Loose (both deceased), the founders of Bee Gee Rental and Sales.”) That’s when the current tree was planted in its place of honor in the…