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.
Wood County District Public Library
From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Wood County District Public Library and students from the Foundations for Teaching Writing class at BGSU will offer activities to inspire writers of all ages at a National Day on Writing celebration held at the library (251 N. Main, BG) from noon until 2 pm. The event will feature a number of activity stations where visitors can participate in a live action Mad Libs game, rainbow writing, magnetic poetry, and blackout poetry created by coloring out words on a printed page, as well as other activities. “Writing is important to everyone,” said Dr. Heather Jordan, the class instructor, “and this celebration will help people remember how much fun writing can be. The students were very excited about the opportunity and wanted to have innovative activities to include writers of all ages and stages.” BGSU students will lead the activities as part of their service learning initiative. “Engaging with the community in authentic environments in such an important component of their educational experience that the students get really excited about,” said Jordan. “We are really looking forward to a day devoted to nurturing writers, said Michele Raine, Assistant Director at WCDPL. “Without writers, where would we get the next great book?” This year is the 10th anniversary of the National Day on Writing and participants can stay connected to all the activities at #WhyIWrite.
By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Entering her senior year as a piano performance major, Yuefeng Liu has a lot on her agenda. That includes preparing for the next stage of her career — auditioning for graduate programs. On Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. she’ll take time to join six fellow Bowling Green State University Piano students to perform a free public recital in the Wood County District Public Library’s atrium. The program will include music by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Carl Vine. Liu, a student of Laura Melton, will perform two movements from Beethoven’s sonata in F minor, the “Appassionata.” That piece will be part of her audition repertoire. These recitals, said fellow pianist Hanqiu Xu, who also studies with Melton and has performed at the library in the past, tend to be more relaxed than those on campus. “It’s more enjoyable,” she said, and that can lead to a more expressive playing. Pianist Zhanglin Hu, a student of Robert Satterlee, feels the same way. But it doesn’t matter the venue or the audience. The goal is always to make beautiful music, he said. Solungga Liu, professor of piano at BGSU, said that though the students may feel more relaxed, it does not mean they and their teachers take these concerts, which happen several times over the year, lightly. Rather they take the library recitals very seriously and prepare diligently for them, she said. “The selection (of performers) is very strict.” Only the most prepared students are selected to perform. “We only want the best. This is good exposure for the college,” Solungga Liu said. While the recitals have occasionally had themes, that’s only been by happenstance. The pieces are selected by the faculty members based on what the students have best prepared. “The library is the most ideal environment outside the College of Musical Arts,” Professor Liu said. “The audience is receptive and always very attentive. It’s very encouraging for the students. We need a venue like that. It makes students leave their comfort zone and have an opportunity to perform for a completely different group of people.” While there are familiar faces in the audience, she said, “there’s some new faces as well and more kids, and they stay quiet the whole time. It’s very nice.” Xu said at the library the performers also introduce their pieces, telling a bit about themselves and sharing background about the composition they are about to play. Some people who have come to the library to check out books also happen upon the music. And Hu said he enjoyed the chance to chat with community members after the concert. Solungga Liu said she appreciates the efforts Michele Raine and other library staff members put into staging the recitals. In the end it all comes down to the music. Hu said he always welcomes a chance “to share musical ideas.” “We’re performers,” Yuefeng Liu said, “so we should find many opportunities to play in front of people.”
The Wood County District Public Library (WCDPL) will be joined by other county libraries in partnering with the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green (LWVBG) to celebrate National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 25. In addition to WCDPL, participating libraries include: Pemberville Library (419-287-4012), North Baltimore Library (419-257-3621), and Weston Library (419-669-3415) and its Grand Rapids branch (419-832-5231). Business hours vary; call for the specific LWVBG-assisted voter registration hours unique to each of these libraries. In Bowling Green, stop by the library (251 N. Main St., BG) any time from 9 am until 8:30 pm. Volunteers from the LWVBG will be at WCDPL all day to register voters and to answer questions about the process of registering to vote in Ohio.
(Submitted by City of Bowling Green) The fourth of a series of themed “slow roll” bike rides will be held Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. This ride titled, Read and Roll, will be held in partnership with the Wood County Library. Each stop will feature a read aloud of the story, “The Fox and the Bike Ride,” as we travel by several of the mini libraries that have sprouted up around town. Upon completion of the story, we’ll return to the library for a special snack. The ride will meet and end at the Wood County Library. Rides are free, family-friendly, and open to everyone. Each rider is required to wear a properly-fitted helmet and ride a correctly-sized bicycle in safe, working mechanical order. The route for this ride covers five miles. It is highly recommended that young riders, not able to travel this distance on their own, participate via a tow behind trailer or child bike seat. These rides are meant to be more recreational in nature and will travel at a speed comfortable for all riders. While designed for fun and exploration, monthly rides will also stress the importance of safe riding practices and responsibilities of riders while navigating city streets. Multiple trained leaders will facilitate the ride to ensure that all riders complete the route, including providing assistance for mechanical or personal issues that may arise. Can’t make it to this ride? Mark your calendar for the October Bike BG ride, Spooks and Spokes, planned for Oct. 28. Decorate your bike and show up in costume for this fun Halloween themed ride. Stay tuned for more details. To register for monthly rides, please visit www.bgohio.org and follow the Bike BG link provided on the home page or call 419-354-6222.
From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Toledo Astronomical Association has donated two telescopes for public use to the Wood County District Public Library and members of the Association will lead a workshop on using the telescopes on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library (251 N. Main). “We are absolutely thrilled to expand the kinds of items people can check out from the library and sincerely thank the Toledo Astronomical Association,” said Michele Raine, Assistant Director. “I know when I’ve tried using a telescope I end up not really seeing anything, so we are looking forward to Association members showing everyone exactly how they work.” “What really gets you going is when you see the rings of Saturn,” said Jeff Thomas, Toledo Astronomical Association member. Thomas delivered the two Orion FunScope 4.5″ telescopes and took a few moments to show the equipment to library staff earlier this summer. “These telescopes will be a wonderful resource for star gazers of all ages,” said Raine. After the workshop on Sept. 18, people with Wood County District Public Library cards will be able to check out the telescopes for 7 days. Once people have finished using the telescope, it will have to be returned inside the building during library hours. For more information about the telescope workshop contact the Library’s Information Services Department at 419-352-5050 or the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.
By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Wood County Public Library Director Michael Penrod has high hopes for what Lynda.com can do for his patrons. The service, now owned by LinkedIn, provides more than 6,800 courses and more than 200,000 of video tutorials on an array of subjects, with a heavy emphasis on technology and business. It has tutorials on management, photography, design, and much more. All have been vetted for quality and currency, Penrod said. Thanks to a new collaboration with Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning and Ohio Public Library Information Network, the service will soon be available for free to public library users throughout the state. With the new service, local library patrons who need to learn new software to get a new job or promotion can either come into the library’s tech center or log in using their library card information and learn it at home. Looking at the offerings, Penrod already sees videos that he would like members of the library staff to view. Looking through the offerings, he finds videos he would like to view himself. The statewide collaboration was announced Thursday in Columbus. Penrod, who chairs the OPLIN board, said it is fitting that OPLIN is involved in providing this service. In his remarks at the press conference in Columbus Thursday, Penrod said OPLIN “serves as the backbone for connectivity throughout the state by providing broadband internet services to all of Ohio’s 251 public library systems.” Those internet connections make offering Lynda.com possible. Libraries “as the People’s University” have always been on the forefront of helping people improve their job skills. That’s been especially evident following the economic collapse of 2008. Penrod said “to have this work force development tool is a big game changer for the Ohio public library community.” So a job seeker can find the tutorial for the skills they need. The county district library was considering buying into the service – Perrysburg already offers it. That would have cost as much as $6,000, he said. Now that money can be spent on books that complement what Lynda.com provides, including enhancing a collection at the offices of Job and Family Services. OPLIN, the Ohio Libraries Council, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation worked together on the project to make sure the training aligns with the jobs that are needed. “These learning modules support the majority of the occupations listed on the OhioMeansJobs List of In-Demand Jobs in Ohio,” according to Penrod. While someone can go on YouTube and find various instructional videos, there’s no telling how current, accurate or reliable those are, Penrod said. Lynda.com insures the quality of the courses and tutorials. Those who have LinkedIn accounts can even get certificates signifying they have taken a course on Lynda.com site. Penrod said the plan is to have a link on the library’s website by the end of this week. After the staff has a chance to acquaint themselves with what it affords, they will do a public relations campaign to let people know it’s available. That will include reaching out to companies through the Chamber of Commerce and Bowling Green Economic Development. While the array of what’s offered seems daunting, the offerings are organized by subjects and learning paths, Penrod said. And a user can always turn to the Lynda.com tutorial on how…
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.
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 library collection to study up of the injuries she and her mother suffered. Sometimes that means a book aimed at young readers since it is written in easy-to-understand terms. Simon though would like some answers from the legal system. As far as she knows no charges have been pressed against the other driver. And she still has a lot of questions about what led up the accident. County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson said his office “is still working with the State Highway Patrol to see what information and evidence is available.”
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 library to buy enough print and ebooks, which are more expensive per unit, to meet demand. Even with a popular best seller, the goal is for patrons get their requested book within five days. Penrod said he’s competing with Amazon to meet patrons reading needs. And as director, he instructs the librarians in charge of collections to maintain a non-fiction print collection as complete as what existed before the internet. Peoples still want books on writing resumes and finding a job, or finding new recipes. Travel books, he said, continue to be very popular. Penrod said when he attends library conferences he’ll go to sessions on fundraising – a topic not taught in library school – and he’s yet to see a library the size…
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
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 for public libraries is based on a percentage of tax receipts, and those have been increasing.
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 with the Wood County Early Childhood Task Force. “It’s really a community partnership,” Simon said. That’s helping to draw children into the program who may not otherwise visit the library. They learn about it from their childcare providers, or at the doctor’s office or through Jobs and Family Services. It encourages people to come to the library and discover the resources that the library offers, not just for children but adults. On Saturday a number of area agencies, programs, and pre-schools will be on hand for a resource fair. The cost of the program was picked up by the Friends of the Library in the first year, and now the Library Foundation is paying the costs, Simon said.
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!”
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 from brick, said she loves the question and answer session and seeing how involved the young listeners get. The audience Thursday was pre-schoolers through second graders from St Aloysius School with a coupl dozen more kids with their parents. They wanted to know why the wolf was so bad. Bass Michael Colman said that he tried to make him not all bad. He used his character to show something about bullying. In the end, he comes around to apologizing and gets a cookie for his contrition. The musicians were also asked why they like opera. Pianist Josh Wang, who got his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and is music director at First Presbyterian Church, said he loves how opera uses music to tell…