Public library taking on new roles

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The changing nature of libraries came up several times during the meeting Tuesday of the Wood County Board of Trustees. In his report, Library Director Michael Penrod noted that some people are surprised that though space at the Walbridge branch will double when the new addition is completed, the stack space for books will not. At least, he told the board, space for books will remain constant. Often, he said, when libraries renovate that space is reduced. Why? Well, Michele Raine, adult services librarian, provided part of the reason. The library now circulates more than 4,000 e-books a month. That tops the target staff had set. All major publishers now make their newest books available, while before they only allowed their back catalog to be circulated in the electronic format. That comes at a price, Raine said. Publishers can charge three times as much for an electronic version of a book as they do for the hard cover, and they restrict how many times it can be borrowed by patrons before requiring the library to repurchase it. Increasingly libraries are about more than books. Among the adult activities offered at the library were a ukulele club, attended by 18, and a session on straw bale gardening attracted 28. And library staff in April helped 10 people put together resumes and do job searches. “This is a place you can continue to learn and grow for the rest of your life,” Raine said. She also announced that the piano recital series presented in conjunction with the Bowling Green State University piano faculty will continue next year. Raine said she especially like the recitals because the performers took the time to talk about the music they are about the play and explain what to listen for. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity to learn more about music,” she said. For all the constant updating in services, the need to pay for them is a constant. Penrod announced that the library foundation’s benefit at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens in Elmore will be held Thursday, July 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event features hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auctions, and beverages. Tickets are $100 and available at the library. “It’s that time for this magical event once again,” Penrod said. This will be the eighth year the foundation has sponsored a benefit at Schedel. The previous seven, Penrod said, raised a total of $470,000 that goes toward the purchase of books. Penrod also said he has applied to a grant from library services firm EBSCO to install solar panels as part of the addition to the Walbridge branch. The company installed solar panels at its headquarters, he said, and that proved such a cost savings that it wants to help libraries do the same. Penrod said he expects that the bids for the project will be advertised in June with the bid opening in July.

Library wants to showcase BG’s talent

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Since the Wood County Public Library opened in 2003 its atrium up to a variety of entertainment. With the purchase and installation of a Steinway grand piano in 2006, the library became a regular venue for performers, from around the corner and around the world. “We have a lot of concerts and recitals, and people a lot of time people will ask how they can perform,” said reference librarian Kristin Wetzel. “All these people would like to perform, so why not have an adult talent show just to showcase different acts in town that maybe people don’t always get to see?” So BG’s Got Talent was born. The show – not a contest, “just pure fun” – will be held June 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the atrium. Acts have until June 3 at 6 p.m. to sign. The show is open to pretty much any kind of act that can move on and off stage quickly. Acts will have as long as 15 minutes to perform. Wetzel said these could be singers, poetry reading, clean stand-up comedy, anything suitable for all audiences. “It’d be great to have a few piano pieces mixed in,” she said. So far, three acts have already expressed interest. Two are singers accompanying themselves on guitar, and the third is a group of teenagers who are writing their own song. “There’s room for more,” Wetzel said. Registration forms are available at the library or on the library’s website: For information email or call 419-352-5050.    

Library offers variety of adult activities

A tour of downtown Bowling Green highlighting the city’s historic past, coloring for adults, job coach sessions, and book discussions are among the programs being offered for adults at Wood County District Public Library in BG. Saturday, May 21 Join WCDPL’s Local History librarian Marnie Pratt and Kelli Kling of the Wood County Museum at 10 am and discover downtown BG’s historic past with a “Business in Boomtown Walking Tour.” The tour leaves promptly at 10, rain or shine, from the Carter House parking lot. Light refreshments will be served in the Carter House at the tour’s conclusion. Registration required. Call 419-352-5050. Monday, May 23 Coloring It’s Not Just for Kids. Come, join friends and neighbors who have rediscovered coloring—a relaxing and creative pastime for adults. Coloring sheets ad colored pencils provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies. “Coloring: It’s Not Just for Kids” takes place in the library’s newly renovated 2nd Floor Meeting Room starting at 7 pm. Tuesday, May 24 Just the Facts, the library’s popular nonfiction book group led by Anne Render discusses Going Clear by Lawrence Wright at 10:30 am in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Thursday, May 26 Meet with retired HR expert Frank Day from 9:30 am – 12 pm for a half-hour, personalized “Job Coach Session.” From polishing resume to reviewing job skills to filling out online forms: Mr. Day will you help brush-up where needed to stand out in today’s job market. To book a 30 minute session, call 419-352-5050. 2nd Floor. 10 am. Coffee Talk book group meets at 10 am in the library’s new 2nd floor meeting room. The group, led by Kristin Wetzel, will discuss Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash. 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Sunday, May 29 & Monday May 30 WCDPL will be closed in observance of Memorial Day Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30. Wednesday, June 1 Deb Born leads the Read for Inspiration book group in a discussion of To Win Her Favor by Tamara Alexander. The group meets at 10:30 am on the 2nd Floor. Friday, June 3 Discover the top 5 free apps for Library Apps for Tablets at 10:30 am in the 2nd Floor TechLab and get your summer reading off to a great start. Performers wishing to participate in the library’s BG’s Got Talent extravaganza should sign-up by 6 pm today. For details call the Adult Services department at 419-352-5050. Download a registration form for performers from the attachment online at For more information contact the Adult Services department at 419-352-5050

Wood County Library sets limits on unattended children

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The library is a great place for kids, a safe space for kids, but it’s not a day care center and the staff members are not babysitters. The Wood County District Public Library approved a policy Tuesday that clarifies just how employees will deal with unattended children. The policy, said Library Director Michael Penrod, was drawn based on guidelines from Child Protective Services. The library staff needs to know, he said, what to do if they have a 6-year-old running around and the parent is two miles away at home. Penrod said that in discussions with parents, staff has been told that there are no guidelines. Now there are. From birth to age 7, the parent or guardian, must be “in the immediate vicinity.” There was some discussion whether that should be more precisely defined, but Penrod said short of getting measuring tape out, that may prove to be too restrictive. “You’ve got to be able to see them,” Board president Brian Paskvan said For children 8 or 9, Penrod said, the parent needs to be in the building. Those 10, 11 and 12 years old can use it on their own. Here the issue becomes transportation. “If a child is not able to leave the library without an adult, they should not be in the library without an adult,” Penrod said. Also, if a child needs to wait for a ride at closing time, the staff will call the police to provide transportation if the ride hasn’t arrived within 15 minutes. Penrod said there have been instances when a staff member has had to wait 45 minutes for a parent to pick up their child. If a sibling is watching the children, that child must be at least 13 and know they are responsible. Teens over 13 can use the library on their own, and are treated as adults and are expected to act as adults. The board also set rates for the meeting rooms in the library, including the new one on the second floor. The biggest change is that fees will now have different rates for individuals and for-profit entities and non-profit groups. The fee will be $75 for three hours for individuals and for-profit entities with $20 for each additional hour. The rent for an entire day of at least six hours will be $300.The fee will be $20 for non-profit groups for three hours and $10 for each additional hour, and $100 for a full day. Renters will be charged $150 if the event requires staff to be there earlier or later than regular operating hours. The fee to use the Carter House, which is across Church Street from the library, will increase from $100 to $125. Penrod said the rate is reasonable enough that there is no price break for non-profits. He said the rates balance the need for the library to bring in revenue while at the same time making its facilities available. The board also approved a policy covering naming rights for various parts of the library, such as that new meeting room. Paskvan noted the policy leaves some wiggle room on whether something can be named for living people. “Generally” that’s not done, the policy reads. The board also changed its policy on paying employees…