Wood County District Public Library

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 will also replace the walk-off flooring in the entryways. This is made of tougher stuff – like Brillo pads, Penrod said – but new designs will allow it to be more carpet-like. This area should be about 20-feet long to catch dirt, sand, and salt so most of it doesn’t get onto the library’s carpeting.


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 and prayers. That’s very comforting, but it’s extremely scary.” Back in the library “is very comforting and knowledgeable and orderly. And this place is a lot more fun.” Simon said that she especially missed the children. Her injuries knocked her out of action just as the summer reading program with the theme Libraries Rock had started rolling. But her staff “didn’t miss a beat,” she said. “They are rock stars.” She’s even turned to the…


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 out to friends and business associates to get the auction items Penrod said those efforts were “a blessing.” The Schedel fundraising started at the initiation of Bob and Patricia Maurer in 2009. The deepening recession was starting to take a toll on the library budget. So the Foundation, which was created in 1994, decided to stage the auction. “It’s allowing us to make a tangible difference in serving the community,” Penrod said. That allows the…


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 way to show their support for the library. Trustees John Fawcett said he’ heard from a couple people that they wished there were lesser priced fundraising options included, such as a lottery where everyone who buys a ticket has an equal chance. Board President Brian Paskvan said that could be taken under advisement for next year. Also Penrod said that he’s seen no noticeable change in the state support checks, he’s received. The state support…


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 wasn’t for his two grandmas, he wouldn’t have read all those books. Simon said she enjoys watching children develop their taste. They get to explore the library’s large selection of picture books. They find characters they like, or realize they prefer funny books. Then after every 100 books, they get to pick a favorite in which their name can be included. “That’s been really fun to have those conversations,” Simon said. The program is collaborating…


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, programs like this are all the more important. She believes very strongly in bringing opera to these young listeners as a way of cultivating an audience. This was the last day for the troupe, all resident artists at the Toledo Opera. After 85 performances, they had one more show, and then they would be off pursuing their professional careers. Carolyn Aquirre who plays the third little pig, that is the one who builds her house…


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 has been 15 years since the expanded and renovated library opened, and is showing its age. Customer services was singled out both for accolades and a few complaints, but was overall a strong point. “What came out is that the people are being served by people who really care,” Trustee Becky Bhaer said. The library is seen as more than a place that loans out books and materials, Orr said. People see it as a…


Opera on Wheels’ ‘Big Bad Wolf” to help get summer reading program rolling to

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program, “Libraries Rock!” begins Thursday, May 24. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,” presented by The Toledo Opera on Wheels will be performed at 10:30 a.m. in the Atrium. This Opera on Wheels touring show is a full experience for all ages. In an engaging adaptation of Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni,” the Don himself becomes the infamous Big Bad Wolf. Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs work together to show the Wolf the error of his ways. Using the music and themes from one of Mozart’s greatest operas, young audiences learn the dangers of bullying, the power of friendship, and the ability of music to bring people together. This live performance is free to the public and will last approximately 40 minutes.  It is generously supported through a gift from the estate of Marjorie Conrad. Registration for the Youth Summer Reading Program begins on Thursday, May 24, and continues throughout the summer. Rock Star Readers receive a free one-day pool pass to the BG Pool and Water Park upon registration as well as a one-day pass to the Wood County Fair toward the end of summer.  Reading minutes can be recorded in the Children’s Place “Concert Hall,” or online at wcdpl.readsquared.com. Everyone is encouraged to set their own goals to becoming a Rock Star Reader. Incentive prizes and coupons from local businesses will be awarded at various levels.  A final end of summer raffle will include all registered readers with more chances to win to those with more minutes. The Children’s Place is challenging everyone to begin as soon as possible and consider completing a reading log designed as full piano keyboard. A complete calendar of events, movies, parties, and programs through August is available online at www.wcdpl.org/CPCalendar and can be found in the WCDPL Family CONNECT magazine. Preschool Storytimes on Tuesdays at 10:30am and again at 7:00pm as well as Baby & Toddler Storytimes on Thursdays at 10:00am and again at 2:00pm continue all summer.   The Children’s Place is offering a weekly reading program each Thursday from 11am-Noon, “Meet a Musician Reading Buddies,” as well as a weekly hands-on STEM program Wednesdays 11:00am-Noon “STEM Sound Lab with Lubrizol.”  “Meet a Musician Reading Buddies” offers students ages five and up an opportunity to practice reading aloud with musicians from the BGHS and the BGSU College of Musical Arts who will serve as mentors demonstrating the value of practice.  “STEM Sound Lab with Lubrizol” will offer students ages five and up a variety of experiments, demonstrations, and…


Library seeks nominations of exceptional staff members

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Are there staff members at the Wood County District Public Library who always go the extra mile for you and your family when you visit the library? Say “Thank You” to library staff by nominating them for the John M. Gibson Award, a tradition which was begun by the library’s Board of Trustees in 2005 to recognize excellence in customer service. Since then it has been presented annually by the Trustees, who select the recipient from nominations submitted by both library users and staff members themselves. Any WCDPL employee (except the library director and assistant director) may be nominated for the Gibson award, which was named after the late John M. Gibson in honor of his contributions to the library and his integral role in the library’s 2003 renovation. All nominees will be recognized by the Library Board of Trustees and the Gibson Award will be August 17. Since being established in 2005, the Gibson Award has been presented to 14 library employees: Mandy Hackley (2005), Mary Boone (2006), AJ Heilman and Donna Mertz (2007), Debra Born (2008), Kristin Wetzel (2009), Linda Conrad (2010), Maria Simon (2011), Nancy Weiland (2012), Katherine Lawn (2013), Anne Render (2014), Matt Mehling (2015), Victoria Forgette (2016), and Tara Bahnsen (2017). Easy to use nomination forms will be available at the main library in Bowling Green, on the Bookmobile, and at the branch library in Walbridge starting Monday, May 21. Nominations may also be submitted directly from the library’s website, wcdpl.org. Deadline for all nominations is noon, Monday, July 2, 2018. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your favorite WCDPL staff member recognized and honored. For additional information about the John M. Gibson Award, contact WCDPL at 419-352-5104.


Youngsters share the stories of Hispanic heroes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Joan Medina was a little intimidated by portraying his character during the Celebrate Dia! literacy program Monday evening. Medina was called on to portray Cesar Chavez, “an icon in the culture.” Nerves or not, the 17-year-old Penta student, dressed in a white shirt, stood up and told the farm labor leader’s story, first in English and then in Spanish. He was proud to do it. Chavez fought for the rights of farm workers, but he did so non-violently, inspired by the methods of Gandhi. “He showed that people are people, and they deserve to be treated fairly.” Medina said. He was one of eight young people, portraying seven notable Latino figures at the Wood County District Public Library. El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Dy) is a national event initiated by the American Library Association. Children’s Librarian Maria Simon said she was grateful the library could hold its own celebration in partnership with La Conexion. This is the fifth year the library has hosted the celebration. Each year a book is selected to build the program around. This year it was “Bravo!” written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez. Beatriz Maya, the director of La Conexion, said the event was a way to help young people learn more about their Hispanic heritage and then to share it with the community. Also, some may be encouraged to learn or maintain their Spanish when they see their peers using it in their presentations, she said. The figures offered a wide range of characters from a diplomat to a baseball star to, fittingly given the setting, a librarian. Beside Medina’s portrayal of Chavez, other presentations were: Adolfo Martinez Alba portrayed Juan de Miralles, a Spanish messenger to the early American Congress. Shanaia Cellis portrayed Juana Briones, a Mexican rancher and healer. Jonathan Ortega portrayed Louis Agassiz Fuertes, an ornithologist and painter. Eduardo Matta portrayed Arnold Rojas, who chronicled the life and lore of the California vaquero, or cowboy. Ivan Ortega portrayed Baseball Hall of Famer and humanitarian Roberto Clemente. Francis Chavez and Jessica Jurka who portrayed Pure Bulpre, the first Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library. Cellis, a 13-year-old student at St. Aloysius School, said she was excited to present the story of Juana Briones. She was inspired how Briones was able to endure despite hardships. When Briones’ soldier husband was abusive, she left him and started her own ranch. When northern California came under US control, she had to fight a…


Library hikes fees to use atrium

The Wood County District Public Library  trustees voted Monday  to increase the fee for using the atrium. The board approved raising the rate from $50 to a base charge of $100 with additional fees depending on services needed. According Michael Penrod the main issue was that after reducing the meeting room rental rates in 2016, the atrium was still cheaper for use by individuals ($50 versus $75).  “But in the meeting room, we do not do set-up and staff time is minimal (we just clean),” he stated in  an  e-mail  after  the  meeting.  “But for atrium use, in addition to cleaning up after an event, the staff has to set-aside the space for much longer periods of time, handle all set-up of tables/chairs/etc, at times is asked to be present to run the complicated sound system for spoken-word events. “My staff is running at full-speed now, so I think the rental fee should be high enough to reflect the additional work – while still being at a reasonable rate overall.” The new fees are: *    Payment of a $100.00 base fee is required at the time of making the reservation. Set up of up to 90 chairs, refreshment & presentation tables, a podium, & a microphone (if needed) are included. *     The piano is professionally-tuned on a quarterly basis.  If you require an additional tuning, there is an additional $100 fee.  Only our own tuning professional may be engaged. *     If you need a staff member to be present to run the in-house sound system, there is a $75 additional fee.  This must be paid when making the reservation and is dependent on the availability of appropriate staff.  Otherwise, you may bring in your own sound system. *    Groups will handle all of their own technology needs including providing the computer, projector, etc.  A small screen and AV cart are available from the library at no cost. *     Before/after-hours access – $250 additional fee.  


Gordon Korman finds fodder for his fiction all around him

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Writer Gordon Korman finds stories everywhere. His childhood love of survival stories led to his writing “The Island” trilogy. When his wife exclaimed that their eldest son wouldn’t even notice if the house was burning down when he was absorbed in playing a video game, the novel “The Slacker” was born. These inspirations even can come during a talk to middle school students, like the one he was giving in Bowling Green. Korman told the BG sixth graders gathered to hear him that once he was speaking to an assembly and a student asked him what was going to happen next in the “On the Run” series, which he had just finished. Nothing, Korman told the girl. She wanted to know more about Aiden and Meg Falconer. He wondered what more could happen to the Falconer kids. Meg could get kidnapped, the student responded. “The Kidnapped” trilogy was born. Korman is the Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Community Reads author. He’s in town visiting local schools and speaking at the library. Korman, 54, has been a published author for 40 years. Yes, do the math. His first book was published when he was a freshman in high school, and written when he, like the students in front of him, was in middle school. He wasn’t thinking about writing a novel, he said. He got better grades and was more interested in math and science than in English. But then a fresh-from-college track and field coach, who had no clue about how to teach creative writing, took over his English class. He was the only adult available. He told the students to write. Korman did. He started spinning a story about a fictional school Macdonald Hall. He wrote in class, and then brought his notebooks home to continue the story. And when he had finished “This Can’t Be Happening in MacDonald Hall,” he had his mother type it up. Then Korman, who was in charge of placing orders for the Scholastic Book sales, sent his manuscript to the address on the order form. The guy who opened the package read the manuscript and liked it. His supervisor liked it. It went up the chain. At 13 Korman was signing his first contract. By the way, he got a B+ for the book from the teacher. He was docked a letter grade for being messy. Then he wrote a second book just to prove the first wasn’t a fluke. Writing became his hobby, a side job, and then his meal…


Sometimes patrons’ requests tax librarians’ desire to serve

By DAVID  DUPONT BG Independent News Librarians love to say “yes.” Service is the name of the game. But they have their limits. Michael Penrod, Wood County District Public Library director, shared some of those limits with the Board of Trustees Monday. He said he wanted to start giving the trustees some insight into the professional lives of librarians. And tax season, when folks flock to the library for forms and information, is an apt time to talk about limits. The Internal Revenue Service has been supplying fewer and fewer paper forms to libraries as it pushes taxpayers to file online. Some folks are resisting, Penrod said. A librarian can show a patron where the form they ask for is, or where to find I online and even help them print out the form from the IRS website. They cannot, however, tell the taxpayer whether that really is the form they need, or whether they are filling it out properly. For that, Penrod said, they need to consult a tax professional. That’s what he does. The library staff can direct patrons to non-profit services that can give help them do their taxes. It’s not only taxes. Michele Raine, the assistant library director, says the advent of DYI divorces can be a strain on library staff. The library again can point the way to where a patron can find legal information, but not tell them what information they should be searching for. They can show them how to use Ohio Revised Code, but can’t advise them what section applies to whatever problem they have. “People are looking for reassurance we can’t give them,” Raine said. “That’s the bottomline.” Penrod said a woman came in who had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He brought her reliable sources and lent an ear. But could not give medical advice. Raine said that the staff who are notaries public recently went through a training during which they were cautioned that because of librarians’ reputation for helpfulness that they may be targeted to sign questionable papers. They were warned to be vigilant. Penrod said he once was helping a man copy pages from an out-of-print reference book until he realized the man’s intent was to copy the entire book, have it bound, and then sell it. The staff in the Children’s Place love to have young patrons come in looking for books or taking part in the numerous programs the library offers. However, they draw the line at babysitting a child while the parent is at work. And if someone’s…