Wood County District Public Library

Beth Macy addresses the hope & despair of the opioid epidemic

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In the 1990s, Dr. Art Van Zee had questions about Purdue Pharma’s claim that there was only a slight chance of getting hooked on OxyContin. The company claimed it was less than 1 percent. Van Zee, who practiced in the heart of Appalachia, was seeing teenagers he’d immunized as babies now dying from overdoses as teenagers in the school library. He saw farmers and coal miners getting hooked and losing everything. One patient said: “This drug is my god.” Van Zee knew more than 1 percent were getting hooked. What he was sensing were the early warning signs that OxyContin was leading to a much larger epidemic of addiction. Van Zee is one of the heroes in Beth Macy’s best seller “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.” Beth Macy signs a book for Stephanie McGuire-Wise. Macy told an audience of more than 200 in Bowling Green Performing Arts Center Monday night that she had to focus on people like Van Zee otherwise she may not have been able to finish the book. She did complete “Dopesick,” which is a somber look at the opioid crisis from its beginnings with the introduction of what was touted as a wonder drug for pain relief.  OxyContin, Purdue said, had a time release formula that would prevent addiction. It didn’t take long for drug users to figure out that letting the coating dissolve in their mouth or that smashing the pill would instantaneously deliver a full dose. It wasn’t until 2010 that Purdue addressed that problem, and by then, Macy said, it was too late. Heroin dealers were right there to fill the narcotic void. The opioid epidemic sparked by OxyContin has reached across the nation. Wood County District Library Director Michael Penrod said as sad as it was to acknowledge it deeply affects the Bowling Green community.  Macy’s talk was the first in a series sponsored by the library’s foundation. At one point when researching the book, Macy questioned whether she could continue. The emotional toll was too great. As someone who had a family history of addiction going back four generations, she was concerned about getting depressed. Too many people she met were dying. Too many parents she interviewed were grieving. She’d gotten her advance from the publisher. Maybe she should just return it. But she couldn’t. “We’ve been living on the money.” So she had to find the heroes in the story. Van Zee was one.  Another was 27-year-old Nikki King. The Indiana woman’s earliest memory was of her mother overdosing at a birthday party. King ended up starting a treatment program inside a courthouse to break down the barrier between the court system and recovery programs. Macy had to concentrate on solutions.  Expanding Medicaid so those addicted could pay for treatment. The promotion of medication-assisted treatment was another. Using drugs such as methadone, suboxone, and buprenorphine, to help those addicted to get off opioids is more effective than abstinence-only programs, like those promoted by AA and many faith-based organizations. These medication-assisted therapies are up to 60 percent effective, while abstinence only, as best as can be determined, are 10 percent. Yet in some drug courts, abstinence only is what’s ordered. Many doctors don’t seek the needed waivers from the Drug Enforcement Agency to offer the medicine. “They don’t want ‘drug addicts’ in their waiting rooms,” Macy said.  (During the discussion after the talk, Stephanie McGuire-Wise, of the Zepf Center, said that the local program offers all three medications to help ease patients off opioids.) Macy spoke of Jordan “Joey” Gilbert…


For writer Beth Macy, the opioid epidemic is personal

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Beth Macy has confronted the opioid epidemic face to face. For her emotional distance isn’t an option. The veteran journalist said: “I got close to people who died, and I got close to people whose children have died.  I got close to people who work on this issue every waking hour, and I’ve watched them age before my eyes. I watched myself age.” She’s poured that experience into “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America,” a best selling book that chronicles the opioid epidemic from the emergence of OxyContin as a painkiller of choice in the 1990s. Macy will speak Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m. in the Bowling Green Schools Performing Arts Center. The talk is being presented by the Wood County  District Public Library as part of its Foundation Series. The event is free. Tickets are available online. Macy first encountered the drug epidemic as a reporter for The Roanoke (Virginia) Times in 2012. She wrote a three-part series about a cell of heroin users in a nearby white wealthy community.  A teenager had sold heroin to classmate who died, and the teen was headed to prison. The story, Macy said, had “readers spitting their coffee out. ‘What?  Wealthy white people are doing heroin?’” The writer said at the time she didn’t see the connection between the legal opioid OxyContin and heroin. “I didn’t really understand the connection,” she said in a telephone interview.  “I didn’t know that OxyContin was a chemical cousin of heroin.” The addicts weren’t seeking a high. “They’re doing it to avoid being sick, and they’ll do anything to keep from getting sick.” The reporter turned author soon learned this and more as she researched “Dopesick.”  “I want readers to know about what’s going on in these families, the way I do,” she said. “And the only way I know how to do that is to get people to trust me. … You have to have the trust before you get to the truth of the matter. I do get close to people, and people get close to me. I spend a lot of time with people, but I’m always very, very transparent. I have my phone, recording, with their permission.  I’m always the reporter. It may be the 37th time I’ve interviewed you, but I still have my notebook. I don’t want people to forget I’m here to tell a story.” Macy has traveled extensively to speak about her book and share that story. In big cities, she said, the people who come to hear her are activists, human service workers, and avid readers. “They’re still kind of shocked.” But in small, economically distressed communities, Macy said, “I’ll give my speech and people will say: ‘It’s even worst than you said.’ That’s always surprising. These communities are so far beyond being shocked by it because they’ve been dealing with it for two decades now.” Macy grew up in one of those towns, Urbana, Ohio. Back then the factories were operating and there were jobs. Then the bottom fell out. Nearby Dayton was an epicenter of the epidemic. When the jobs go away, disability claims go up, and with that prescriptions for opioids,she said. Whenever opioids are prescribed at a higher rate heroin deaths are higher than average. Macy started her newspaper career back then. She was a papergirl. “A lot of the old people would want to talk because they were lonely,” she said. “That’s how I learned to talk to people, talking to strangers. That’s how you learn to get them to open…


Public library continues to be a busy place

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It’s been another busy year at the Wood County District Public Library. And that, said Library Director Michael Penrod, is a bit of a surprise. The usual pattern, he told the library’s board of trustees Monday, is for library usage to decline when the economy is good, and increase in hard times. Other libraries across the state have experienced that pattern, he said. He’s been told by his colleagues elsewhere: “It’s extremely quiet. No one shows up for story time.” But, he said, “that’s not the case here.” Penrod had the numbers to back it up. In 2018 the use of the collection was up 8 percent from 2017. The library established an all-time record in 2012, and since then circulation has stayed at that level, or slightly exceeded it. For 2018 total circulation of all materials, physical and digital, was up 8 percent to 744,134. That’s, he noted, up 68 percent from 2002. That was just at the time when ebooks were introduced. Penrod remembered being impressed with the numbers back then. The online digital circulation continues to go up and ebooks continue grow in popularity with circulation up 22 percent from 2017. Foot  traffic at the Bowling Green library remains about 4,000 per week, which has been the case for the last seven years or so.   The library offered 1,605 programs in 2018 — 1,308 youth programs and 297 for adults. Participation in the youth programs held steady at 25,067 while participation in adult programs grew to 5,525, up 26 percent. Penrod said he advises the librarians to offer fewer, high quality programs geared toward the interests of local patrons. What’s offered at the Wood County District Library, he said, is different from programs offered at Way Library in Perrysburg and in the Toledo Lucas County libraries, because the populations the libraries serve are different.  The number of card holders also increased 5 percent to 27,721, even after the library had purged 3,800 accounts. That foot traffic does take a toll on the library facilities, noted Brian Paskvan, long-time president of the trustees. He asked Penrod to provide more precise foot traffic numbers, so the trustees could look ahead at what expenses they may face in the future. Penrod said that the architect estimated the carpeting in the library would last 25 years. That was 16 years ago, and the library is now in the process of having it replaced. That project will cost $23,000 instead of the original estimate of $85,000. The work will be done this summer. The library will remain open throughout the project, he said. Penrod also had good news on the state funding front. Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget calls for  maintaining the Public Library Fund at 1.68 percent of the state general revenue, it was scheduled to drop to 1.66 percent. That, the governor estimates, will provide the state’s libraries with an additional $8.5 million. In his budget blue book, DeWine called libraries “the cornerstone of Ohio’s communities” because of their role in workforce development and literacy efforts. The state’s libraries would like to see the percentage restored to 2.22 percent, (http://bgindependentmedia.org/states-libraries-to-seek-restoration-of-funding-formula/) which was the original formula when the fund was established in 2007.  Still Penrod took the governor’s proposal and comments singling out the importance of libraries as a good sign. An important development in Ohio libraries’ role in workforce development is the availability of lynda.com throughout the state, (http://bgindependentmedia.org/library-hooks-up-with-lynda-com-to-connect-job-seekers-with-skills-they-need/) including in the Wood County system. The service provides more than 6,800 courses and more than 200,000 of video tutorials on an array of subjects,…


Journalist turned mystery writer to headline library’s Crime Solvers’ Weekend

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Little Harriet Ann Sablosky used to retreat to the hayloft in the barn behind her rural Indiana home to read Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes mysteries. When she grew up, she wanted to be either a detective or write her own mystery novels. That was back in the 1960s. Now Harriett has grown up, and as Hank Phillippi Ryan she’s published 10 mysteries and thrillers. Ryan may not have been a detective, but she worked as an investigative journalist during a 43-year award-winning career. What would little Harriet think of her grown self’s work? Ryan laughs at the question. Yes, her younger self would approve, the writer said in a recent telephone interview. “What I loved about books when I was a kid was that a smart author would tell a story that would keep you turning the pages and then surprise you, in a fair way.” The reader, Ryan said, would realize: “‘I could have figured that out.’ But the author was more clever than I was.” That’s the same effect she strives for in her own novels. Ryan will be the featured guest at the Wood County District Public Library’s Crime Solvers’ Weekend, March 22 and 23. She will speak at an after-hours event Friday, March 22, 7 p.m. in the library’s atrium. Free tickets are available at the library.  “It’s such a joy” to be able to get out and meet her readers, Ryan said. Writing is a solitary pursuit. Reading is a solitary activity. “When I get to be with readers and writers, that’s when we get to share how wonderful this experience is. My books are not fully realized until someone reads them.” Ryan came to writing books mid-life. She is an investigative at WHDH-TV, 7News, in Boston. During her career she’d never ventured into mystery writing, she said, because she could never come up with a good plot. “That’s a problem if you’re trying to write a mystery,” she said. “So that dream got put in the background.” Then in 2004, she was at work at channel 7, and a story occurred to her. She came home and announced to her husband: “I’ve got this good idea for a mystery.” The idea turned out to be her first novel, “Prime Time,” about, no surprise, a female TV investigative journalist working in Boston. “It wasn’t as if I was thinking and working on it and trying to come up with an idea, it just presented itself. It was such a perfect idea.” As a reporter she knows a good story when she encounters one. “I was just compelled to write this book.” She did, and it won an Agatha Award as best first novel. The ideas haven’t stopped presenting themselves. Her 11th novel, “Murder List,” is due out in August, and the 12th is already in the works. She’s getting ready, she said, to ink a contract for two more beyond that. Her most recent is the thriller “Trust Me.” Writing mysteries and thrillers is akin to her work as an investigative journalist. As a reporter she’s always looking for “a compelling character and problem that needs to be solved.” There are “bad guys” who get what’s coming. “In the end, you want to change the world a little bit and get some justice.” And, Ryan added, “as a reporter and a crime fiction author I need to enchant you, entertain you, educate you. As a writer I want to keep you riveted to the page.  I want you to miss your stop on your train because you’re reading…


Library board appropriates $3.2 million, but the director doesn’t plan to spend it all

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Wood  County District Public Library trustees Monday approved $3.2 million appropriations for the year. That’s a 13.4 percent over what was actually spent last year, but only 4 percent more than was appropriated in 2018.  Library Director Michael Penrod has his own approach to budgeting. “I don’t always spend what’s appropriated,” he explained to trustees.  “If I’m told I’m getting $1, I’ll plan on getting 95 cents. I’ll appropriate 94 cents and spend 90.” Some things are uncertain. The library will seek bids for a new chiller and condenser to replace its air conditioning system. That system has to make it through one last summer. That has board president Brian Paskvan a little worried. “It’s at the end of its life.” But it will take four to five months to get the system once bids are accepted, Penrodsaid. Installation is scheduled for late October and November. The project is projected to cost $210,000. The largest expenditures are on personnel, representing about 58 percent of the budget. The library will also spend $478,000 on books and other materials. Trustee Nathan Eikost asked why the expenditure  for ebooks and other digital resources was larger than for print books. Assistant Director Michele Raine said ebooks are more expensive. A $20 print book may cost $85 in digital form, and that comes with a limit of 24 times that it can circulate. After that the library must but it again. “We’re leasing them,” concluded trustee Ellen Dalton. A print volume, on the other hand, can be loaned out until it falls apart, Raine said. The concept of ownership is changing, Penrod said.  But the demand for what he called “real” books is strong as seen by increasing sales at independent bookstores. Penrod said the library is competing with Amazon. In a time when readers can get a book delivered to their homes the next day, the library can’t expect its patrons “to have to wait week after week after week for a book,” he said. The library plans to spend 16.7 percent of its budget on materials. That’s well over the national average of 11.5 percent. The $478,000 comes from local tax revenue ($338,000) and from the annual the Library Foundation’s benefit held at Schedel Gardens ($140,000).  Also during the meeting, the board approved closing the library on July 18 so that benefit can now be held in the building. Penrod said that last summer people were “shoulder to shoulder” at the Schedel. There was also some sentiment about moving the fundraiser to Bowling Green. Proceeds from that event were among the $388,171.80 in charitable donations given to the library in 2018. Penrod said those donations were “huge” in terms of supporting the budget. They came in large and small amounts.  The coin vortex in the lobby brought in $760.11, which is used for toys for The Children’s Place. Raine also demonstrated a new research tool available on the library’s website.  The Local Newspaper Digital Archive is a searchable database of the Bradner and Risingsun newspapers as well as the Sentinel-Tribune in its various iterations.  The archive covers from 1870 to 1924. Raine explained that all material from 1924 and earlier is out of copyright. The site is available from the library’s website. The project was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded by the State Library of Ohio and the Mearl and Lolita Guthrie estate.


Library trivia night kicks off Book Bingo

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Do you love books and love to share fun facts about them?  The Wood County District Public Library is sponsoring its second trivia contest on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. and has geared all the questions toward books. “This is our second trivia contest,” said Marnie Pratt, local history librarian and trivia event organizer.  “The first one covered music and was a lot of fun.  This time, questions will cover famous quotes from books, cover art, books made into movies, and a couple of other categories.” Teams of up to four people can enjoy snacks while competing for Downtown Dollars, which will be awarded to the top two teams.  People who need team members can also attend and teams will be formed that evening, if there are enough attendees.  “Not only are we going to have fun testing your book knowledge, this event is also the start of our winter Book Bingo game,”  said Michele Raine, WCDPL Assistant Director.  “There are some pretty interesting categories on the bingo card, and we hope people find new authors to enjoy this winter. We would love to make recommendations and find the right book for the square you are working on,” said Raine.  Information and Book Bingo rules can be found at the library’s website, wcdpl.org.Bingo cards can be picked up at the library during Book Trivia Night or downloaded from the library’s website after January 15.   Book Trivia Night starts at 6 p.m. at the library, 251 N. Main, Bowling Green.  For questions about the event, contact the library at 419-352-5050.


Dietitians weigh in on eating like a caveman & fad diets

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The New Year is a time to resolve to make changes in the diet. Maybe that means starting to eat like a caveman. Or maybe it means passing on the bread. It may even mean turning the advice to eat fruits and veggies, on its head and forgoing them. Earlier in fall, the Wood County Library hosted a presentation by Adam Bialecki, a BGSU instructor in food and nutrition and a dietetic intern, and Sara Turner-Smith, a graduate student in food and nutrition and a dietetic intern dietetic. Michele Raine, adult services librarian, said the library called in the dietitians because patrons have an insatiable appetite for the newest diet books. Sara Turner-Smith makes a point during dietary talk at Wood County District Public Library Bialecki and Turner-Smith served up assessments of three of the most popular diets and offered some advice on better alternatives. First up was the Ketogenic Diet.  This diet was first developed to treat juvenile epilepsy. It greatly restricts consumption of carbohydrates to 20 grams or less a day, said Turner-Smith. Average consumption is about 300 grams daily. That’s about two cups of vegetables or half a bagel. The diet replaces this with fat. Normally, Turner-Smith said, the body relies on carbohydrates for energy, but the Keto diet wants to put the body in a state of ketosis, where the body starts burning its fat stores for energy.  Yes, that will produce weight loss, she said. That occurs because the dieter is cutting out a lot of food choices. Also, because of the nature of the food consumed, dehydration will occur resulting in a loss in water weight. The diet has benefits according to studies, she said. Keto followers may see improved blood test results, including reductions in total cholesterol as well as possible benefits for those with chronic conditions such as hypertension and heart disease. And people with epilepsy may benefit from a Ketogenic diet. But one group of people, athletes, should definitely avoid the diet. They may lose some energy production efficiency, Smith-Turner said.  Also, “any diet that’s very restrictive or takes out an entire food group throws up red flags for us,” she said. “If you have a history of eating disorders, following a very restrictive diet can be a trigger.” With so many foods off limits, nutritional deficiencies are a real danger. And the lack of glucose, which the brain needs to function, can cause a lack of focus, Turner-Smith said. Because many of the foods restricted — whole grains, vegetables and fruits — are also important sources of fiber, constipation often results.  There is concern about kidney damage as well. The other problem with the Keto diet, which it shares with other “fad” diets, is sustainability, she said. While there may be an initial period of substantial weight loss, that will taper off, Turner-Smith said. Fad diets often promote the yo-yo effect. People lose weight through some diet, then can’t keep up with the regimen and lapse to previous eating patterns. They gain back the weight they lost and often more. There’s no long-term data on the Keto diet. “Studies start with large sample number and by the end half or two-thirds are gone,” she said. That’s because people are unable to maintain the regimen for long enough to be studied. The Paleo diet shares characteristics and problems with the Keto diet. The general idea, Turner-Smith said, is to eat like a cavemen, our ancestors from the Paleolithic Era — from about 3 million years ago until about 10,000 BCE. The diet calls for contemporary…


Bake-off attracts a full field of cooks & tasters to library

No one brought sugar plums but there were cherries and cranberries at the  Holiday Bake-Off at the Wood County Public Library Monday night. Sherry Popocnak won for her chocolate -covered cherries. This was her time in the competition — she just moved to Bowling Green a year ago. She’s been making the confections for five years. The second place went to to Katarina Kiefer, Bowling Green, for her cranberry custard. Kiefer said she developed the recipe for the bite-size tarts from a recipe for a full pie. Katarina Kiefer with Mrs. Claus The atrium was packed with tasters who got to vote on their favorites among the 30 contestants. Michele Raine, assistant director for adult services , said that’s double the number of bakers from last year. Students from Vicki Hoehner’s piano studio provided holiday music to munch by, and Mrs. Claus was on hand to give out the prizes. Analisa Bihary performs a Christmas medley.


State’s libraries to seek restoration of funding formula

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News After a decade of asking state government to keep their funding stable, Ohio’s libraries would now like to see more revenue. The state’s Public Library Fund has received a percentage of the state’s general revenue fund. In the current budget that’s 1.68 percent, which generated $384.6 million this year. When that funding formula was put in place in 2007 the percentage was 2.2 percent, which generated $458 million in funding. The high point in state funding was in 2001, when libraries received $497.6 million, or $708.5 in today’s dollars. Then when the recession hit in late 2008 and library funding began to decline. Michael Penrod, director of the Wood County District Public Library, told the library’s board of trustees Monday that the Ohio Library Council will be looking to have the amount for the state’s public library’s returned to 2.2 percent of state revenues when the biennium budget is put together next year. As the economy struggled stable funding with the possibility of modest growth was acceptable. But now with  fat rainy day fund balance and the unemployment rate low,  it’s time to ask governor and legislature to restore the Ohio Library Fund. Ohio is unusual among states, he said, in funding libraries through the state budget. Others fund them through local or county taxes. That means they must vie for money from other government services such as parks and roads. Having that statewide structure, Penrod said, has allowed Ohio to build a network where local users can access material from across the state at no extra charge. A graphic presented by trustee Chet Marcin showed that in 2015, Ohio ranked as number 1 in the nation in library visits per capita. Ohio had 6.8 such visits compared to second place New Hampshire with 6.4 visits, and last place Texas with 2.7 visits. Board President Brian Paskvan said he believes there’s  a connection between that state support and the high level of use by residents. He noted that at one time only 30 percent of the state’s libraries had local levies, now that’s flipped and only 30 percent do not have local levies, and depend largely on state funding. The Wood County library system gets 53 percent of its funding, $1.43 million, from the state with another $1 million generated by its local levy. He said when state funds started to drop the Library Foundation and Friends of the Library ramped up their fundraising efforts. That now accounts for $153,234, or 5.7 percent . The remaining 3.15 percent is accounted for by fines, fees and miscellaneous income. Penrod said he believes in the local community having a stake in its library operation through the levy and local fundraising are important. Those give residents a sense of investment in the library. Monday the trustees also approved changes to its policy on handling credit cards. Penrod said most of the changes mandated by the state reflect policies already in place at the library, though some internal procedures would change. In discussing the new policy, Paskvan noted that procurement cards as well as gas cards are exempt from some of the rules.  He questioned whether the library should have a procurement card that facilitates purchasing, and often comes with greater rewards. He said during his time as an administrator at Owens Community College, they were used. They can save more money if they are coordinated through a consortium. Owens, he said, joined with University of Toledo and other institutions. The policy committee will look further into the matter. Paskvan was re-elected as board president at the meeting….


Library honors Kleins for sustained support

The library held its annual Volunteer Recognition Wednesday, December 12. At the event Dianne and Tom Klein received the Legacy of 1875 Award. The award was created in 2009 and is presented jointly by the library’s Board of Trustees, Foundation Board and Friends of the Library Board in recognition of individuals whose support impacts WCDPL in significant ways. The Kleins were recognized for their sustained support of the library as long-time patrons, volunteers, and champions of the library’s role in the community, and for their quiet, ongoing financial generosity – all of which have contributed to the success of the library.


Donations find purchase of kids books for public library

This holiday season Kiwanis Club, the Women’s Club of Bowling Green, and Zonta of Bowling Green donated $800 towards the purchase of several hundred new children’s books for the Children’s Resource Center. Coordinated by Wood County District Public Library, this annual gift book project encourages reading by allowing CRC therapists to share new books with their clients.


Wood County library may pinch pennies – but not on books

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Though far from scientific, the popularity of the Wood County District Public Library can be measured in its worn carpet and the long wait-list for Michelle Obama’s new book. And the support for the library can be seen in the library’s ability to buy new carpet and stock up on 10 more copies of Obama’s book, “Becoming.” Wood County District Public Library Director Michael Penrod has more traditional methods for measuring the health of the library. And lately, the vital signs are looking very healthy. For example, the library: Paid off its loan early for the renovations at its Walbridge branch. Created a new capital projects fund to ensure that unexpected repairs would not short the funding for new materials for library patrons. Spends more than most libraries on new materials. Charts continued high numbers of books and other materials being borrowed by patrons. The rule of thumb is that when the economy is good, people buy their own books rather than borrow them from libraries, Penrod said. But Wood County District Public Library has seen no drop-off in usage. “In 2012, we hit a record level in terms of items borrowed by the community. We’ve been able to continue that,” Penrod said. “During the great recession, we were busier than ever.” The library has been able to stave off threats of obsolescence. The internet and e-books have not rendered the facility antiquated. “We can compete against Amazon,” Penrod said with a grin. For example, last week when Penrod was notified by staff that there were 16 holds on Obama’s new book, he decided to not make patrons wait. “We went ahead and bought 10 more,” he said. While the library has to buy e-books, it is able to lease hard copies of books. So there have been times that the library has leased 40 to 50 copies of best sellers, then returned them when they are no longer in great demand. Nationwide, libraries spend an average of 11.5 percent of their budgets on new material. “Bowling Green deserves better than that,” Penrod said. So the Wood County library spends close to 16.5 percent. “We’re very proud we’re spending a lot of money on new material,” he said. “I say ‘thank you’ to the state. I say ‘thank you’ to our voters. I say ‘thank you’ to Schedel,” where the library holds an annual fundraiser. Penrod looks for ways to save money elsewhere in the library, such as converting over to LED lighting. He admits to being cheap in some areas – but never when it comes to books. “If I can find extra dollars, I want to buy more books,” he said. The numbers tell the story of a well-used library. In 2017, borrowing of traditional books, e-books and audiobooks was strong, hitting a total of 643,915. That is a 45 percent increase since 2002. That number can be broken down to: Bowling Green library, 469,778 Walbridge library, 50,802 Bookmobile, 29,342 Wood County Jail Library, 19,599 E-books, 74,394 (up 18 percent) Also in 2017, the county library held 1,594 programs and events attended by 30,793 people – which is up 11 percent. There were: 279 adult programs with 4,368 attendees. 1,315 youth programs with 26,425 attendees – which is up 12 percent. Other numbers from 2017 that tell the story of a well-read library include: 22,832 items added to the collections. 110,864 questions answered by the staff (up 7 percent). Foot traffic averaged 4,260 visitors per week. 26,287 cardholders (up 3 percent), not including 6,000 eCards distributed to Bowling Green, Lake…


Library offers chance to meet children’s book author Jane Yolen

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Bestselling and award-winning children’s book author, Jane Yolen will talk about her work at the Wood County District Public Library on Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m. Jane Yolen is the best-selling author of over 365 children’s, middle grade and young adult novels, picture books, story collections, and poetry anthologies. Her works include award-winner The Devil’s Arithmetic, the bestselling picture book series How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night, Caldecott Honor winner Owl Moon, and hundreds more. For a complete list of her titles, as well as a Jane Yolen calendar that recommends one title a day for a full year, please visit her website, janeyolen.com. Jane Yolen’s visit is supported through a gift from the estate of Majorie Conrad, along with BGSU’s Literacy in the Park and University Libraries. During her visit to Wood County District Public Library, Ms. Yolen will speak, answer questions, and be available to autograph books. Six of Ms. Yolen’s titles will be available for purchase that evening through the Friends of the Library. Available for purchase will be Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten, How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends, What to do with a Box, and Fly with Me, published in October 2018 The audience is encouraged to bring any personal copies of Ms. Yolen’s books for signing as well. For more information, contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.


Chocolate makers to share family tradition

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Around 80 years ago, Carolyn Morgan attempted to make chocolate at home and found she needed help learning how to make fine chocolate.  She found a local chocolatier and traded work as a dipper in the shop for lessons on how to make the treats.  When the Great Depression hit, Carolyn began working at the chocolate shop to help support her family.  When the Great Depression ended, Carolyn Morgan never wanted to sell chocolate again. She wanted to give it away to friends and family. Now, four generations later the Guion family is continuing Carolyn Morgan’s mission of  passing on chocolate-making lessons. “We are going on four generations of chocolate making as a family,” said Cassie Greenlee, Carolyn Morgan’s great-granddaughter. Cassie and her father Keith Guion will teach a chocolate-making class at the Wood County District Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 at 10 am.  “Three branches of our family come to Bowling Green each year and we make about 250 pounds of chocolate,” said Greenlee.  “This year, we are looking forward to sharing this tradition and cooking tips with the community.” The class will take place in the historic Carter House and registration for the event is required. Attendees will learn the entire process, from cooking the centers to hand-dipping the finished product. To register, please call the Library’s Information Services Department at 419-352-5050.


Bequest boosts county library’s book budget

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Library Director Michael Penrod didn’t know Elfreda Rusher except as a patron with a broad taste in books. Future library patrons will be able to enjoy their own literary tastes thanks to a bequest from the Rusher estate. The retired Bowling Green State University business education professor left $153,000 to the library with the expressed wish that it be used for books. Rusher died at 101 in April. She taught business education at BGSU from 1950 until her retirement in 1976. Penrod told the library trustees Monday that because of the conditions of the bequest the money has to go into the library’s general fund and not to the Library Foundation. Penrod and Fiscal officer Linda Joseph will make sure that the money will be spent on books in the coming years. “When someone says thank you in this way” by remembering the library “considering all the entities in the community that need support, it’s very humbling,” Penrod said. Such planned giving makes a big difference, Penrod said. That’s why the library’s new strategic plan, which runs through 2021 calls for the library to work with the foundation “to implement a planned-giving program and increase the Foundation’s ability to support library efforts monetarily.” The library’s trustees approved the strategic plan unanimously Monday. The plan represents the bare bones of what the library intends, Penrod said. Now it will be up to the library’s management team will flesh out how to put those ideas into action. Brian Paskvan, the president of the board, noted the areas that are outside what’s considered the traditional functions of the library. With the new access to Lynda.com the library is entering in a major way the area of job training and development. Another new area is the “library of things,” where what’s loaned out extends beyond the usual items. The library also loans ukuleles, puzzles, and telescopes that we provided by the Toledo Astronomical Association. Assistant Director Michele Raine said that the society told her if the telescopes are damaged, they will fix them. Penrod said there are limits to what can be offered. He said he’s in touch with the library’s liability insurance carrier, so don’t expect to be able to borrow a chainsaw. The library, he said, does not want to compete with the hardware store or rental businesses. The plan also addresses the physical needs of the main library in Bowling Green. Penrod noted that in the previous strategic plan, one goal as to increase meeting space at the Walbridge Library. Five years later, an expansion project has doubled the branch library’s size. Nothing like that is envisioned in Bowling Green, he said. Rather the goal is to use the existing space as efficiently as possible. The plan also calls for keeping the facilities “looking and feeling fresh, inviting, and safe” by adhering to an established maintenance schedule and investing in maintaining the building and providing new furnishings, fixtures, and equipment.  The building was expanded and renovated 15 years ago. Paskvan said it will fall to the finance committee to look at ways of funding this. The strategic plan will take the library through 2021. The library’s levy will be on the ballot in November 2020.