Storytime in BG – little lending libraries put books in neighborhoods

Little lending library at corner of North Maple Street and Conneaut Avenue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Bowling Green has a story to share – several in fact, at the little lending libraries showing up in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Anything that makes books easier to access is good, according to Zeb Kellough, Bowling Green City Schools elementary curriculum coordinator.

“The more we have our students with books in their hands, the more they are going to read,” he said.

Kellough talked about the new little libraries during the school board meeting Tuesday evening.

“Our hope is our families and children can access literature and go back to the well,” he said.

That’s exactly the purpose of little lending libraries. The tiny wooden houses offer books to anyone and asks that they be returned when finished.

Bowling Green City Schools already had one at each elementary school. Now there are 11 more throughout the community.

“It started out pretty simple,” with Habitat for Humanity asking if the school would be interested in the little libraries that had been constructed as part of Martin Luther King Day observance, Kellough said.

Since the elementaries had them, Kellough sent out word to the community to see if anyone would be interested in hosting a little lending library in their front yard.

“Can we offer it out to citizens in Bowling Green,” he thought.

The response was overwhelming, with people being very willing to adopt the libraries.

“We got plenty of responses back,” he said.

Some people wanted to paint the libraries themselves, while others had Girl Scouts do the artwork.

The libraries are not just in the city, but also in areas of the school district in the more rural areas of Georgetown, Cogan’s Crossing and the Sugar Ridge area.

“We have these located strategically throughout the area,” Kellough said.

“I want to say thank you to the Bowling Green community,” Kellough said. “Please put books in and take them, too.”

Helping with the library project were Bowling Green City Schools, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, BG Rotary, BGSU, Maria Simon of Wood County District Public Library, Senior Girl Scout Troop 10149 and Home Depot.

Little Library locations include:

  • 756 Roscommon Street
  • 1131 Sandpiper Lane
  • 18877 Mercer Road
  • 540 West Poe Road at PAC
  • 1018 Revere Drive
  • 18991 Roanoke Drive
  • 215 Pike Avenue
  • 347 North Maple Street
  • 203 Ada Avenue
  • 618 Wallace Avenue
  • 1450 Devonshire Street

Also at the meeting, Melanie Garbig, executive director of pupil services, talked about programs like special education, gifted services, English language services and preschool.

Garbig talked about efforts to increase mental health support for students and their families. The district is working to provide early intervention counseling and therapy beyond what is already being done by counselors. And support is being offered to teaching staff. “They are the ones in the trenches,” she said.

The district receives support from Children’s Resource Center and the Wood County Educational Service Center, and plans to add time when therapists are available to students.

“We really wanted to provide more services for the coming school year,” Garbig said.

Early intervention is being offered for younger students, and teen institutes help older students will life skills. Trauma and mental health first aid training is being provided for all staff, including bus drivers, kitchen and maintenance staff. And a support group is being formed for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

In other business at the meeting:

  • Athletic Director Dirk Conner recognized athletes Zach Applegate, Eric Rine, Kyle Jackson and Tucker Craft for their accomplishments.
  • Superintendent Francis Scruci reported that the middle school addition construction is on schedule, and may be done before the July 31 deadline.
  • Scruci said the NLL is facing a shortage of officials in the state – especially for football, basketball, baseball and softball. He encouraged anyone interested to be certified, “so they can be yelled at for an hour and a half.”
  • Parent Tracy Hovest asked the board to consider allowing BG City School employees to hand diplomas to their children when they graduate.
  • Dallas Black voiced concerns about a change in high school scheduling that cuts daily classes from eight to seven. He also asked about next year’s spring break, which will not coincide with BGSU’s spring break. Scruci said BGSU went to a new schedule, and it is more effective for BG City School students to take their state testing before going on break.
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