Wood County District Public Library

Library hosting Holiday Cookie Bake-Off

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Wood County District Public Library  invites home cooks and baking enthusiasts to bring their best recipes to the library for a community Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. “With the popularity of television shows such as the Great British Baking Show, we thought it would be fun to offer our local bakers an opportunity to get in on the action,” said Michele Raine, WCDPL Assistant Director.  “Winners get bragging right, a prize package, and their recipe is featured in ‘Cooks Corner’ in the Sentinel-Tribune.”  The event takes place in the library’s atrium on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 pm.  Previous winning bakers are Char Rehklau and Isabella Nardone. “The winning recipe is determined by popular vote that night, so we need both tasters and bakers,” said Raine. To participate, bring at least two dozen cookies to the library.  “The last couple of years, some of the bakers have run out of cookies, so we feel like having at least 2 dozen is pretty important,” said Raine.  Bakers can bring more than one recipe, but should have 2 dozen of each cookie for the tasters.  After all the cookies have been tasted and the votes counted, Mrs. Claus will award the prize to the winning cookie. The event also features live music from students in Vicki Hoehner’s piano studio. For more information about the Holiday Cookie Bake-Off, please call the Wood County District Public Library’s Adult Services department at 419-352-5050.


Library trustees close the book on 2017

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Wood County District Pubic Library Board ended its year with a peek ahead toward next year’s business. Library Director Michael Penrod said that students in Shannon Orr’s public policy class are “frantically” compiling the result of the community survey that was sent out. The survey is intended to gather data to help the board in formulating a new strategic plan. Board president Brian Paskvan said those discussions on the plan will start in early spring. The date, he said, will be determined based on when the most board members can attend. Penrod said that Orr has reported that response to the survey was good, and the one take away she could share was: “People love the library.” Penrod also said that the library’s “grand experiment” in ending fines seems to be going well, though, the staff will need to wait to see how it plays out next year before declaring it a success. Penrod also said he has presented a memorandum of understanding to the Village of Walbridge about the mowing lawns and clearing snow at the Walbridge branch. Penrod said the village has been doing the work, but with the renovation of the library, the facility now has more parking lot to plow and more lawn to mow. The library will compensate the village $1,800 if the village council approves the memorandum. Penrod said the library’s budget is on track to run a slight surplus. As of the end of November with 91.6 percent of the year, the library has spent or…


Library concert offers great piano music from BGSU studios

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some of the greatest music written for piano will be performed in the atrium of the Wood County Library, Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. Performing on the library’s Steinway concert grand will be piano students from the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. Masterworks from German and French composers, from J.S. Bach to Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy will be the focus of the program. The performance continues a series of recitals by BGSU piano students, who hail from around the world. “It has been such a pleasure to have our beautiful piano in use,” said Michele Raine, the library’s assistant director. “The students give excellent performances, and I appreciate that they are so willing to share their talents with the community.” Thomas Rosenkranz of the BGSU faculty coordinates the programs. “These kind of community concerts are important for our piano majors because it allows them to get out of campus and share their music with people who might not normally be exposed to classical music,” he said. “Too often in academia, things are quite insulated and these kind of concerts allow for a more real life experience for our piano majors.” The concert will feature 10 pianists performing music by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel. College of Musical Arts attracts musicians from around the world. Among those performing on Monday will be Mengqian Lin, from China. Lin is working on a one-year piano performance certificate from BGSU. In selecting a piece to perform at the library, she reflected on hearing a friend…


Santa collection revives magic of Christmas past

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   All year long, Dale Schmidt is surrounded by the spirit Santa Claus – more specifically by 700 Kris Kringles at last count. Schmidt, a retired art teacher who lives in Bowling Green, started out as an accidental collector about 40 years ago. “I think it just kind of occurred,” he said. “I had a couple things and I realized – I have a collection.” A small portion of that collection is on display in the windowed showcase at the front entrance of Wood County District Public Library, at 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The Santas will remain on display there until Dec. 18. Schmidt has tried to go cold turkey in his quest for Santa Clauses. But who can resist the kindly faces, the flowing white beards – and great bargains. “There have been times I’ve stopped and then started again,” he said. “Once you’re a collector, always a collector.” Schmidt’s and his wife, Donna, married after he already had his collection underway. So she knew what she was getting into – kind of, he said. Does she share his love of Santa Claus? “Well, yes and no,” Schmidt conceded. She wouldn’t mind cutting back on the collecting and regaining some of the couple’s storage space at home. “I’ve got stack and stacks of bins of Santas in the storeroom,” Schmidt said, not to mention the four display cases in their home. “That’s been a major bone of contention with my wife.” She has even remarked that “they look the same,”…


Wood County Library trustees approve raises all around

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Library employees from bottom to the top will have a bit extra to be thankful for this week. The Wood County District Library Board of Trustees Monday voted to give 2.5-percent raises to Library Director Michael Penrod and Treasurer Linda Joseph and to increase the amount of money for salaries by 3 percent. Penrod and Joseph also each received a one-time $500 bonus for their work on seeing the Walbridge Library renovation to completion. Penrod’s raise brings his salary to $86,275 a year. Board member Nathan Eikost said of Penrod: “Your heart is in this community, and it really shows.” The raise, he noted, puts Penrod closer to where he as an individual, and where the library director’s position, needs to be in comparison to peers statewide. Board President Brian Paskvan said the library survey found that the average salary for a public library director is $87,212.  That figure has been adjusted to minimize the impact of several highly paid “outliers.” While this raise doesn’t get Penrod the average, it is a step, Paskvan said. Joseph’s pay will increase to $28.20 an hour from $27.51. “What you get done in your part-time hours is what most people get done in full-time plus,” Paskvan said. He noted that the library had with the year winding down only spent 84 percent of its 2017 budget. As an attorney, Marcin works for a number of municipalities and it is unheard of to have such clean audits so consistently. Trustee John Fawcett said that Joseph helped him as…


Bowling Green turns on the lights of a new tree

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green celebrated the lighting of a new Christmas tree Friday night and got help from some friends from afar to do it. Gone is the 50-foot Colorado blue spruce, and in its place is a less towering 12-foot specimen. Still Wood County Library Director Michael Penrod, who had to make the recommendation to cut down the old tree, said he was pleased with the new tree. “Our new baby is alive and well and is awesome,” he said. “It’s exciting to be here on the beginning of a new tradition.” He hopes the tree will last 30 years like the previous tree. This is the third community tree on the library lawn, though the first one only lasted a year. For such a momentous change, it’s taken a long time for some people to notice. A patron came in a couple weeks ago, Penrod said, and asked what happened to the tree. “Wasn’t it bigger?” In honor of International Week on the Bowling Green State University campus, foreign students were invited to participate in the tradition. Foreign students on campus made decorations representing their countries, and the tree was topped with flags representing some of the 80 countries from which students come to BGSU. Edwards invited three BGSU students to join him in flipping the switch to light the tree. Hannah Lechner, from Austria, Crystal Lau, Hong Kong, and Caroline Flaesgarten, an American student who studied in Strasbourg, France, last year. “It made me feel like a little girl,” Lau said, after the…


Library surveys in the mail

The Wood County District Public Library has sent out surveys to 2,000 community members to collect their views about the library and its services. The surveys are part of the library’s process of developing a five-year strategic plan. Graduate students studying public administration with Dr, Shannon Orr at Bowling Green State Uniersity developed the surveys with input from the library’s staff and board. For further information see this BG Independent story.  


Wood County Public becomes a fine-free library

By DAVID DUPONT BG independent News The Wood County District Public Library is going fine free. The library board voted unanimously Monday to eliminate fines. Patrons will still be charged if materials are lost or damaged. Library Director Michael Penrod recommended the change. Fines were intended to be a punishment for not returning books, not a source of revenue. Fines bring in $21,000 annually, 0.8 percent of the library’s budget. Libraries that have gone fine-free have seen no drop in return of materials. What the fines do is discourage people from using the library. “I truly believe that fines serve as a barrier to service,” Penrod said. In 2012 when the library reduced its maximum fine per book to $5, more materials were returned. Now the library offers automatic renewal up to four times for material that hasn’t been requested by another patron. Those factors have led to a steadily decreasing amount of revenue for fines. Still for some people getting hit with fines can lead them to decide to forego using the library, library staff said. Children’s Librarian Maria Simon said with the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, some families take out a couple dozen books, and often one gets left behind or they are a day late. This is also true of home-schooling families. At Project Connect, the annual day helps connect low-income residents with services, library staff often hear from people who say they have stopped using the library because of fines accrued, Simon said. This is especially the case with people who lack reliable transportation, said Assistant Director…


Library partners on Spanish Civil War, WWI programs

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Two Wood County Public Library Partnership programs will explore 20th century conflicts. On Thursday, October 12 Bowling Green State University’s Department of History presents a screening of the documentary “Souls Without Borders: The Untold Story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade” (2006) in the Wood County District Public Library’s 1st Floor Meeting Room starting at 6 .pm. The 53-minute film, part of the History Department’s program “America and World Fascism” seris is shown in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations. The film will be followed by a question and answer session with scholars Peter Carroll (Standford University) and Sebastiann Faber (Oberlin College). Also on October 12 at 7 p.m., WCDPL’s Michele Raine will be the guest speaker at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum’s (13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green) October Tea. Her talk, “Home Fires Burning: WWI Fiction,” examines the literature which grew out of the shock and horror of that war’s battlefields, and its depiction of the lives forever changed by the war–both on the home front and in the trenches. The Tea costs $12 for Wood County…


Library to host panel on drug crisis, Sept. 13

On Wednesday, September 13 at 7 pm the Wood County District Public Library will host a panel discussion on heroin and opioid use and addiction and their impact on our community. Panelists include Sen. Randy Gardner; BGPD Chief Tony Hetrick; Charlie Hughes of Northwest Community Corrections Center; Solace of NW Ohio’s Belinda Brooks; and Aimee Coe of the Zepf Center. Learn what is being done locally to fight this epidemic, and what you as a community member can do to help. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5050.


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 Code.org 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…


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…


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…


Library starts automatic renewals for checked-out items

(Submitted by Wood County District Public Library) On July 19, all locations of Wood County District Public Library began automatically renewing materials for library users. Automatic renewals on checked-out items continue until the maximum number of renewals is reached – and patrons won’t have to lift a finger to make them happen. Assistant Director Michele Raine noted, “Auto renewals make it easy for you to enjoy your book or movie for as long as you need, without those pesky one- or two-day overdue fees.” There are some exceptions, such as the library’s “Browsing and Hot Titles” materials, but for the most part, library items will renew four times, unless someone else has requested the material. “Our readers borrow materials from all over Wood County and from many Ohio partner libraries, but as long as the material was checked out from Bowling Green, Walbridge, or the WCDPL Bookmobile, auto-renewals will apply and make it easy for you to enjoy library materials,” said Raine.


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…