Public library offers programs for middle school students

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The ood County Distruct Library is launching its fall series for middle school students. Weekly Tween/Teen Coding & Creative Writing Clubs The library offers two tween/teen after school club opportunities on alternating Mondays from 4-5 p.m. Youth ages 10 and up are encouraged to explore and participate in both the Coding Club and Wordplay Creative Writing Club. No previous experience is required for either group. The Coding Club investigates computer programming with several Sphero robots, as well as guided coding practice through for students who would like to experiment with more in-depth coding. Wordplay is a new creative writing group, where students will play word games and consider writing prompts as they learn about how to craft stories through their writing. The two groups meet Mondays from 4-5 p.m. in the Children’s Place, alternating weeks. Coding Club meets September 11 and 25, October 9 and 23, November 6 and 20, and December 4 and 18. Wordplay meets September 18, October 2, 16, and 30, November 13 and 27, and December 11. Middle School Book Group The middle school book group, “Pizza and Pages,” meets for the first time this school year on Tuesday, September 12, at 2:30 p.m. in the Bowling Green Middle School’s Media Center. “Pizza and Pages” is a partnership between BGCS and WCDPL and is open to all area 6th-8th graders. The Children’s Place of the Wood County District Public Library has multiple copies of the pre-selected books available to check out. This September, youth can choose one or more of the following “Middle School Experience” titles: Posted by John David Anderson; Ungifted by Gordon Korman; and The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan. Posted by John David Anderson is the story of Frost and his friends who start communicating through sticky notes left all over the school when cell phones are banned. Soon other kids start following their example, triggering a wave of bullying activities in the wake of a new girl’s arrival. Ungifted by Gordon Korman is the story of Donovan, whose thoughtless prank accidentally destroys the school gym during the Big Game. In the aftermath, he is mistakenly sent to a school for gifted students and has to learn how to be one of them. The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan is the story of scientist-in-the-making Madeline Little, starting sixth grade and learning that middle school is nothing like a perfect lab experiment–and that she now has to find the cure for her newly messed-up life. The discussion with staff from BGMS and WCDPL will include any or all of these titles, along with pizza snacks. Call the Children’s Place desk at 419-352-8253 with any questions.

Collab Lab aims to make its mark by sparking innovation at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Collab Lab in Bowling Green State University’s Jerome Library has plenty of top notch technology—virtual reality headsets, video for 3D modeling, 3D scanner and printers, laser etchers, a suite of graphic programs, and markers. “You never want to be out of reach of a marker and a dry erase board,” said Jerry Schnepp, the lab director. All the high-tech equipment is ready at hand and in its place – at the periphery of the lab. The center of the space are comfortable chairs, arranged in semi-circles, partitioned off with white boards. Other prototyping materials are ready at hand, sheets of butcher paper, pipe cleaners, and magnets. These humble tools are “things that will help you get your ideas out of your head and tangible,” Schnepp said. The Collab Lab opened last week. It was funded with money from the state’s Next Frontier fund. The university received about $350,000 in state money, which it then matched. ( The lab is opened to students, staff and faculty from all disciplines, Schnepp said. The idea is to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations. The lab is also open to community members, as a way of spurring entrepreneurial ideas. The mission of the lab is not to bring innovations to fruition, but rather to germinate the ideas. On a recent morning Emily Aquilar, of the Department of Theatre and Film faculty, was on hand with a number of her students. She directs the Treehouse Troupe. The troupe will present Dennis Foon’s “New Kid” at area elementary and middle schools this fall. She brought her students to the Collab Lab to work on the teaching materials that will go along with the show. Khadirah Hobbs, a marketing major, was busy working up a presentation for a client about an advertising campaign. She said she loves the space. “I like the way it flows.” It has technology she needs. The space itself is inviting, encouraging conversation. “It has an executive feel.” In developing the lab, Schnepp said, he drew on expertise from faculty across the university. Designing it involved the kind of collaboration the space hopes to encourage. There were discussions of various locations for the lab before deciding on placing it on the first floor of the library. Michael Ogawa, BGSU vice president for research and economic engagement, said earlier this summer as the intellectual heart of the university, the library was the best place for the Collab Lab. The space had been used as a computer lab and two classrooms. In developing the Collab Lab the first charge was it not look like a computer lab. The lab employs a dozen students as digital media assistants. Schnepp said that there’s no metric to measure the lab’s success. How the lab is used is the true test of whether it’s working….

Library crowns first Royal Reader

The Wood County District Public Library has crowned its first royal reader. Anneliese Lawrie, the 4-year-old daughter of Josh and Kelly Lawrie, of Haskins, has had 1,000 books read to her since early June. The feat was part of the library’s initiative to get kids to read or have read to them 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten. Shea Cunningham-Darabie, who operates the daycare Engaging Young Minds where Annaliese was cared for, said it took “a community effort” to achieve the goal. Cunningham-Darabie said that she reads picture books an hour a day to the children, and then she’ll read a chapter book during their quiet time. Anneliese also read to at home, she said. Her parents told Cunningham-Darabie that at night Anneliese would tell them how many books she wanted to read and set them out. “She was very self-motivated. She loves books.” The books she heard read at story times at the library’s Children’s Place also counter toward the 1,000. Cunningham-Darabie said about a month into the program, she realized that Anneliese’s totals were adding up. Cunningham-Darabie was interested in having her achieve the goal before she relocates to Michigan. Cunningham-Darabie is moving to Pinckney, Michigan this weekend. She said the move is bittersweet as she keep getting greetings from former charges, the oldest of whom are now juniors in high school. While the 1,000 books before kindergarten initiative was launched in conjunction with the library’s summer reading program, which has now wrapped up, it will continue year round. So far 464 youngsters have registered to participate. “That’s what I’d like to do,” said Children’s Librarian Maria Simon, “get children involved in reading.”  

Here’s the scoop – cops meet with kids over ice cream

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For more than a year now, Bowling Green Police Division has been meeting citizens over cups of hot coffee. On Friday, they tried something different – meeting them over bowls of ice cream, with chocolate sauce and sprinkles on top. “This is bigger than the Coffee with the Cops,” said Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick as he looked out over the room at the Wood County District Public Library, full of children eating ice cream and wearing police badge stickers. “We’re making you all honorary policemen today,” the chief told them. Police officers posed for photos with kids holding their bowls of ice cream. They answered questions about their jobs. Deputy Chief Justin White said he did not get the usual, “Have you shot somebody” question today. In fact, most of the questions were not about the two-legged officers, but about their four-legged canine officer named Arci. “He’s going to make an appearance,” assured Hetrick. The goal was to make the kids more comfortable around police officers in their community. “We’re here to help,” said Lt. Brad Biller. “The police officers in the community are here to serve them, not to be feared by them.” The officers have visited the library in the past to read to kids, but this visit was a little different. “We’ve invited the police officers before, but we’ve never thought of combining it with ice cream,” children’s librarian Maria Simon said. “What a great idea.” The ice cream, combined with the location, drew in a different and larger crowd, Lt. Dan Mancuso said. “We were trying to get other people,” not just the normal coffee crowd, Mancuso said. “It’s summertime, kids like ice cream.” And the long-term benefit may be more than the bowl of ice cream. “So if there are problems, they feel comfortable coming to us.” The hit of the day proved to be Arci, the Belgian Malinois canine cop. His handler, Sgt. Gordon Finger, said Arci is trained for several different jobs like sniffing out narcotics, tracking people, searching for missing people, and apprehending people. Arci, who responds to commands primarily in Dutch, loves to work, Finger said. “Work is his life’s blood,” he said. “His favorite part of the day is when he sees me getting ready for work.” “When I take a shower, he’s standing staring at the door, waiting for me to get out,” Finger said. Gordon placed a container that previously held drugs in the courtyard area at the library, and Arci demonstrated how he identifies the presence of narcotics. Though Arci may be a tough cop on the job, at home he adores the family’s other dog, an 8-pound “schnoodle.” “He sleeps right beside me at home,” Gordon said. But on the job, he’s all business. “He doesn’t…

Library survey to get a read on patrons’ needs

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Library patrons accustomed to checking out books will soon be asked to check in their feelings about the Wood County District Public Library. How often do you visit the library? What is the library doing right? What is the library doing wrong? Do you read ebooks? Do you prefer old-fashioned paper books? A library survey will soon be conducted to determine community expectations and needs. Shannon Orr, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, and her students will conduct the survey. Orr has done similar efforts for the city parks and recreation department, and the city schools. The surveys will be mailed in September to a random sample of voters in the library district. The survey will also be online, with the results to be kept separate from the mailed returns. Staff, boards, volunteers, patrons and the public will be asked to complete the online survey if they do not end up as part of random sample. At the same time, the library will be hosting focus groups to collect public opinions. The data gathered from the surveys and focus groups will be used to devise a strategic plan. “If we get this information, we should do something with it,” library board president Brian Paskvan stressed during a board meeting Monday. Also at Monday’s meeting, the board discussed a rebranding effort and updating the library’s logo. Options for the new logo were displayed, with the goal being a memorable image. “So when you see this, you recognize it as the library,” Paskvan said. Because of the long name of Wood County District Public Library, the board debated condensing the name to just Wood County Library. But the overall feeling of the board and staff present was to keep the longer name. “Wood County District Public Library has currency in the community,” library public relations coordinator Mary Boone said. “I love the word ‘public.’ That is an important part of who we are,” library assistant director Michele Raine added. The board also reviewed its new vision and mission statements. Paskvan explained that the vision of the library outlines what the facility strives to achieve. The mission explains how the library will reach those goals. The vision of the library: “Deemed an essential asset by the community, Wood County District Public Library strives to engage everyone with learning opportunities and creative experiences.” The mission: “Wood County District Public Library encourages lifelong learning and advances knowledge through literature, information and exploration.” “This is our promise to the community of the way they are going to be treated,” Paskvan said of the library’s core values. The core values include: Accountability: We take responsibility for our resources, actions, services, materials and facilities. Expertise: We deliver quality, user-focused library services and materials through a skilled staff….

Ta-dah moment: Library & circus are compatible

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ta-Dah was the word of the day Friday morning at the Wood County Library. As part of the summer reading program, the Cirque Amongus from Michigan visited the library to give an introduction to basic circus skills – stilt walking tight rope walking, a ladder pyramid, riding a unicycle, balancing, and juggling. A successful, or even unsuccessful, attempt was concluded with a loud ta-dah! Accompanied by the hands flying out to the side. Children’s Librarian Maria Simon started off the morning with a cautionary note by reading the picture book by Elise Parsley, “If You Ever Want To Bring a Circus To the Library, DON’T!” But Simon clearly didn’t heed the book’s message. She welcomed Myrthia Hornshaw and Johan Yamine into the building with open arms. At first they demonstrated each skill, using drawing volunteers from the dozens of children in attendance.  After each skill was shown, the kids were instructed to scream ta-dah! They were itching to go. With the help of the library’s volunteens, the kids – for some walking a recently acquired stunt — then got to try for themselves. That meant riding bikes through the atrium. Tottering on a “high-wire” that was just a few inches off the ground. Tumbling, balancing, working with other kids to form a pyramid on the ladders. And they were the only ones having a blast. Diana Hensley, who as there with her two children, tried her hands with the balance sticks and then she even got on a tiny bike, not afraid to tumble. Hensley said the family frequently takes part in library activities, throughout the year. She appreciates that in the summer there’s something going on just about every morning. The circus program was special. It got kids moving. It involved kids of different ages as well “It’s more interactive,” she said. “It’s a different thing that kids don’t get to experience.” That was why Simon brought Cirque Amongus to the library. The program gives kids a chance to exercise their gross motor, helps them build their self-esteem through learning something new and, most of all, have fun. Cirque Amongus was started 17 years ago by Hornshaw’s brother Sem Abrahams and his wife, Teresa. Hornshaw joined about 10 years ago. The founders are performers as well, she said, as is their son Jon Hash Abrahams, who has appeared on the Steve Harvey show “Little Big Shots.” The troupe works with kids at birthday parties, schools, libraries and camps. They also do team-building events for adults. “Kids are learning a new skill in an environment that levels the playing field,” Hornshaw said. “No one else has tried it before. They’re learning cooperation, coordination, communication, and team work.” Certainly if you have a chance to invite a circus to the library, do. Ta-dah!    

Schedel Gardens benefit helps keep library strong

By CLIF BOUTELLE Board President WCDPL Foundation Board On July 20, the Wood County District Public Library (WCDPL) Foundation will be hosting its ninth annual Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in Elmore.  This unique event raises funds to purchase new books, audiobooks, large print books, picture books, and ebooks for the library. Successfully raising private funds remains critical to the success of the library.  WCDPL exists as a true public-private operation.  Local fundraising allows for expanded service without increasing the burden on taxpayers. Tickets for the evening are $100 each ($75 of which is tax deductible) and are available at the library at this time.  The evening runs from 6pm to 8pm, with garden tours starting at 4:30pm (golf carts available).  Do not worry about high temperatures or bad weather – the event is inside and air-conditioned.  Come enjoy good company in an idyllic setting with delicious hors d’oeuvres and fine beverages (included with the ticket). Live and silent auction items are available, including one-of-a-kind artwork such as Labino glass, an OSU football signed by Urban Meyer, a gas grill with accessories, gift certificates and baskets from local businesses, and much more.  You can review the items at The Library Foundation is extremely grateful for all of the support the community has given the library and this event over the years.  This support makes a difference in the lives of children, new parents, families and all of us by providing new books for learning, exploration, and leisure reading.  We hope to see you on July 20!    

WGTE-FM personality Haley Taylor summer library guest

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Wood County District Public Library (251 N. Main, Bowling Green) offers adults a double-helping of appealing events on Saturday, July 15. First up, author Gwendolyn Hiles and her collaborator, Dick Rogers, talk about Hiles’ book, Jersey Gold, a true story of the Gold Rush of 1849. Hiles and Rogers share stories of fortune, lawlessness, and scandal, and reveal the roles played by unique family heirlooms in creating this exciting story. Catch the Jersey Gold book talk starting at 11 am in the 2nd floor meeting room. Free and open to all. Then, at 2 p.m., members of book groups and readers of all stripes will want to join us in the first floor meeting room for our “Summer Scoop Ice Cream Social.” You’ll get the inside scoop on summer’s coolest reads, enjoy refreshments from our ice cream bar, and hear keynote speaker, Haley Taylor, host of WGTE’s “The Rough Draft Diaries.” Space is limited and registration is required for this program. To register call,419-352-5050. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5050

Library outlives perceived threats from technology

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In the 1950s, local librarians feared that libraries could soon be obsolete. “What are we going to do with these paperback books? Is this going to be the end of the library?” Michael Penrod, the current executive director of the Wood County District Public Library, said about his predecessors. But libraries survived paperbacks and so much more. Videos, DVDs, internet, e-books. None of that has doomed libraries, Penrod said earlier this week during a brainstorming session for the library board on the facility’s vision, mission, core values and core services. The library continues to be a place where people come for education and entertainment. “The library is still a destination,” said Brian Paskvan, president of the library board. Penrod said he didn’t want the board to experience “paralysis by analysis,” so he didn’t present lists of statistics. However, he did say the door counts and check-outs remain strong. “Library use has hit an all time high,” he said. So the question now is – how to keep those numbers strong. There are a lot of external issues that could impact the library. The senior center will be moving from next door to a new site. The city schools plan to consolidate the elementaries. And funding is never a complete certainty. “There are lots of external influences,” Paskvan said. To make sure the library remains a vital partner in the community, a survey will soon be conducted to determine community expectations and needs. Shannon Orr, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, and her students will conduct the survey. Orr has done similar efforts for the city parks and recreation department, and the city schools. The board discussed updates to its vision and mission statements. The vision statement’s focus on “learning and entertainment” spurred quite a bit of discussion. To some board members, the term “entertainment” seemed to cheapen the purpose of the library. It was suggested that perhaps “exploration” would be a more appropriate word. But library staff stood firm that “entertainment” was a worthy goal. “Libraries are no longer the quiet, stoic places where you go to better yourself,” Penrod said. Patrons need not feel guilty about enjoying “cheesy mystery novels,” he said. “Sometimes we do things just because they’re fun.” Penrod and staff assured that learning is still paramount. “We are the people’s university” and it’s free, Penrod said. The mission statement addresses that, by saying the library “encourages lifelong learning and advances knowledge through literature, information and creative experiences.” The core values include: Accountability: We take responsibility for our resources, actions, services, collections and facilities. Expertise: We deliver quality, user-focused services and collections through a skilled staff. Freedom: We are free and open to all. We support the free exchange of knowledge. Innovation: We explore new ways…

Energetic kids learn about renewable energy

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As the young girl pedaled the bicycle, her efforts first turned on the radio. As she pedaled harder, she created enough energy to turn on LED light bulbs. And if she pedaled really hard, she turned on the old-fashioned light bulbs. Pretty sneaky way to teach kids about energy. “You’re pretty strong,” Daryl Stockburger, assistant director of Bowling Green Public Utilities, told the young girl. “When you use these light bulbs, you’re making the electric company work really hard,” Stockburger said of the older bulbs. “Tell your parents to use LED bulbs.” Stockburger was talking about Bowling Green’s energy efforts recently to a group of kids gatherered at Wood County District Public Library. He talked about the new solar field, the wind turbines and hydropower. Stockburger, who is more accustomed to talking energy with adults, did his best to bring the discussion down to the level of the children. He was helped out by Maria Simon, head of youth services at the library, who is more accustomed to taking technical topics and making them understandable to young minds. Simon was the Gracie Allen to Stockburger’s George Burns. “She’s generating 5 amps,” Stockburger said as another girl tried pedaling the energy bike hooked up to appliances. “I think she should come to my house. I think she could run the dishwasher,” Simon said. The program was part of the library’s summer children’s program on Building a Better World. The children provided a challenging range, with one crawling around tracing the shapes on the floor, to another asking about geothermal energy. Stockburger talked about the city’s new solar field – which is the largest solar array in Ohio. He quizzed the kids about where the field was located. Columbus? That’s our capital, Simon offered. OSU? Go Bucks, she said. Prospect? Sounds promising, Simon said. When it turned out to be in Bowling Green, the kids cheered. So then they were quizzed on the number of solar panels in the field. Turned out to be 85,000. “Can anybody count that high,” Stockburger asked. Which led some kids to start counting. “Kids will take you seriously,” Simon advised. Later is was the kids’ turn to quiz Stockburger. “How many light panels are there in the whole world,” one child asked, successfully stumping Stockburger. Stockburger talked about fossil fuels, hydro power from the Ohio River, and the solar panels that generate power at Kenwood Elementary School. He talked about the wind turbines that tower over the county landfill, west of Bowling Green. “I think I’ve been in that one,” a boy said, pointing at a turbine photo shown by Stockburger. The doors at the base of the turbines are like submarine doors, he said. “That to me looks like a little mouse door,” Simon said. Again, Stockburger…

Reading takes flight with launch of 1,000 Book Before Kindergarten

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Reading a 1,000 books to a child before they enter school seems on the face of it a daunting task. Those little ones who attended the kickoff for the Wood County District Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten got five books under their belts just listening to Denise Fleming. Fleming’s book “Alphabet Under Construction” was the free book given to each child signed up for the program. Since it was a day made for gardening, as Fleming declared at the beginning of her presentation, the books she read were inspired by nature. Before started she planted a flower in the hair of Children’s Librarian Maria Simon, and then donned a ringlet of flowers. Then she set about cultivating a love of reading in children. She did it by turning the letters in her name into a parade of creatures and flowers. She offered a simple drawing lesson turning a series of ovals into faces of different ages. She stretched the kids’ imaginations when she asked them what they saw in an oval inside a squiggly circle. It could be an egg, a flower, a flat tire, a pancake with a pad of butter in the middle – Fleming added a pool of syrup around the edges. It could be a hot air balloon in a cloud, or the reflection of the sun in water. It could be, the author illustrator said, a story if you sewed those elements together with a narrative thread. Fleming is a big believer in the goal of the 1,000 books initiative. Literacy is essential. Yes, there’s the fun of stories but there’s also the practical side. What if someone couldn’t read a menu or a recipe? She and her husband, David Powers, learned the skills they needed to build a studio from books. When she set about reading her books, she didn’t stop moving, and she got her audience moving as well. She read “Mama Cat Has Three Kittens,” and instructed those on one side of the room act out the parts of the two kittens who did everything their mother did and those on the other side act out the other kitten, who napped a lot. Napped, that is, until he awoke and pounced on his sleeping mother and siblings. “Pounce” is the kind of word Fleming likes. Words that convey action. Words that convey character. “Alphabet Under Construction” is all about those verbs. Fleming said she keeps lists of words, including regional expressions she picks up in her travels. Acting out the words helps bring them to life and make their meaning clear, she said. English as Second Language teachers have said it help embed them in the mind. So there was a lot of acting out, and not just by kids. Fleming recruited adults to help her set the scene…

Programs on using iPad & books for WWI soldiers on tap at library

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT LIBRARY Each Monday in June (6/ 5, 6/12, 6/19, and 6/26) the Wood County District Public Library (Bowling Green) offers iPad for Beginners classes in its 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Class sessions start at 11 am, and will cover new material each week. The workshops will provide an easy-going, fun environment in which to explore the basic functions of your iPad. Areas covered include: the hardware, settings, navigation, app basics. Registration required. To register, call 419-352-5050. Join us Tuesday, June 6 at 7 pm, for “Books Wanted for Our Men Over There.” Learn how the Library War Service, established in 1917 by the American Library Association, used money from private donations to create camp libraries and distribute over 7 million books and magazines to U.S. soldiers serving in World War I. WCDPL’s Michele Raine shares the history of this service and insights into the impact access to books had on those serving in the war. 2nd Floor Meeting Room. All programs are free and open to all. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5104,

Reading 1,000 books to preschoolers adds up to kindergarten readiness

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Children’s Place at the Wood County Library is building on its summer reading program for school age children to launch a new program for infants through preschoolers. The library is challenging parents and child caregivers, and others in youngsters’ lives to read them 1,000 books before they enter kindergarten. Children’s librarian Maria Simon said she’s wanted to offer the national initiative as a incentive to get parents, child caregivers, relatives, and maybe even a grandparent, via Skype reading to youngsters. The program will be launched Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to noon in the library atrium. Denise Fleming, an award winning author and illustrator, will be on hand. Each child who is enrolled will receive a copy of Fleming’s book “Alphabet Under Construction,” which ties into the summer reading theme “Building a Better World.” If there’s more than one child in the family signing up, another Fleming title will be available. About 100 children have already been enrolled. Simon is hoping younger siblings will sign up as older children sign up for the summer reading program. The kick-off will also include an Early Childhood Resource Fair presented by the Wood County Early Childhood Task Force as well as local childcare providers and agencies. Simon said each booth will have some sort of literacy activity. She said she’s letting them know about Fleming’s other books – she’s published more than 20 since 1991. Fleming will give a presentation to children and families, and then to those participating in the resource fair. Fleming lives in her hometown Toledo where she creates her illustrations painting with pulp. “She understands the value of this program,” Simon said. “Everyone who reads to kids is a fan of hers.” The 1,000 books goal is flexible. It can mean the same book read many times. Simon said she recently read “Alphabet Under Construction” three times to a group of children, along with singing the alphabet three books, she said. A book a day makes the goal in three years, three books a day achieves it in a year. Tiffany Rathburn said that at first 1,000 books seemed like a lot, until library staff explained all the ways that it could be accomplished. Telling a story to her 19-month-old Zoey counts, or having her 9-year-old Alexis read to her little sister counts. Rathburn said her older kids are involved in the summer reading program, and she liked that now there’s an option for littler ones. The 1,000 Books initiative lasts year round. It ends when the child meets the 1,000 book goal or enters kindergarten. Simon said that a few of the older children will be reading by the time they reach the 1,000 book mark. Simon said she hopes to have an annual celebration of the program in the…

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 the state’s general revenues. In the past biennium budget that percentage was 1.7 percent of the state’s revenues, higher than the previous rate of 1.66 percent. Penrod said he expects that percentage will be bumped back down to 1.66 percent. The Ohio Library Council is advocating for the number to stay at 1.7percent. How much that will generate is uncertain because state revenues have consistently been coming in lower than projected. “As an organization we just need to be very careful in our budgeting,” said Board Chair Brian Paskvan. State funding accounts for 53 percent of the library’s $3.24 million in revenues Penrod said such financial uncertainties make fundraisers all the more important. The Library Foundation’s annual benefit at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens will be held July 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $100. The board also heard from Shannon Orr, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, whose graduate level public administration program has been contracted to conduct a survey to gather information to be used in the three-year strategic plan. That plan will plot the course for the library leading up to the next time its local levy will be on the ballot in…

“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 has decided that it is better to replace the current tree with a new, healthy one that will be able to serve as BG’s tree for many years to come. Later this Spring, we will work with the City to plant a new tree in the same location. 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 WCDPL Director