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Former State Librarian Jo Budler visited the following libraries in November: Tiffin-Seneca County Library, West Chester Library, Tipp City Public Library, Hudson Library and Historical SocietyPeninsula Library and Historical Society, Stow-Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls Library, Akron-Summit county Public Library, and Barberton Public Library.

November 12, 2009
Tiffin-Seneca County Library


Karen Culp and Jo Budler Audiovisuals and Magazines Audio Books Betty Dunn Reading Area
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Bill Morris and I began our visit to the Tiffin-Seneca County Library with a brief tour of the building before meeting with the Seneca County library directors and trustees to discuss boundary issues in the county.  Director Karen Culp guided us through the main areas of the library including the popular videos and magazines section; a nice reading area with a fireplace; the children’s area, including a peak inside the closet where all the fun props are stored for children’s stories. The large community room was full of tables loaded with books in preparation for the upcoming Friends of the Library book sale, for which we saw signs throughout the town.  A behind-the-scenes look at the technical services area found employees busily handling the flow of books through the system.  This library recently joined the SEO consortium and although there have been some adjustments to the workload created by increased resource sharing, patrons and library staff alike are pleased with the results overall.
Teen Area Computer area Big Stuffed Bear in Children's area
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The group of library directors and trustee of Seneca County met at 2:00 pm to discuss some of the issues surrounding the boundaries of the Seneca county libraries in light of various school district consolidations over the years.  We began by stressing that the State Library Board is interested in helping the libraries to refine the library boundaries so they are clear and accurate in anticipation of going before the voters to ask for local levy support.  The libraries have the task of agreeing on the boundaries which best match the service being provided to the residents of Seneca County.  We outlined the procedure to be followed to make a change in boundaries and attempted to answer any questions raised.
The following libraries from Seneca and surrounding counties were represented:
  • Seneca East Public Library, Attica
  • Bellevue Public Library, Bellevue
  • Kaubisch Public Library, Fostoria
  • Birchard Public Library, Fremont
  • Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, Tiffin
  • Mohawk Community Library, Sycamore
  • Bettsville Public Library, Bettsville
  • Bliss Public Library, Bloomville

November 15, 2009
West Chester Libr

On Sunday, November 15th, I was very pleased to attend the Ribbon Cutting dedication of the West Chester Library, a branch of the Middletown Public Library.  The ceremony was filled with celebration and thanksgiving and the crowd patiently waited as the keys to the library were turned over to branch supervisor, Steve Mayhugh.   The ribbon was cut and the anxious library community members streamed into the building. As you can tell from the pictures, the celebration was just beginning for this community!
Cat and the Hat at the library
Library Director Doug Bean and Judi Boyko, West Chester Township Administrator      * View     * Edit Ribbon Cutting Ceremony West Chester Branch Manager Steve Mayhugh, Jo Budler and Library Director Doug Bean Assistant Director Judi Girton and Jo Budler
Computer area Crowd enjoying grand opening event Making Balloon Animals outdoor sculpture of children reading
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From every window of this building of more than 50,000 square feet one finds breathtaking views.  The library itself has a teen section, a wonderful, spacious children’s area, a café, movies, music, computers and a community room which can be used even when the library is closed. 
It was a special treat to attend this dedication because I had the privilege of taking part in the ground breaking    ceremony 18 months ago.  Congratulations to Doug Bean, Director of Middletown Public Library, Judi Girton, Assistant Director, Steve Mayhugh, and to the West Chester community itself on a job well done – the library is beautiful! 


November 16, 2009
Tipp City Public Library

Special thanks to Director Mark Mabelitini for inviting me to visit his library – and opening early so I could get a “preview tour.”  This library is the true community center with a large meeting room and computers that are heavily used.  I loved the reading nooks all around the Tipp City Public Library that are truly warm and inviting.   
Tipp City Library Director Mark Mabelitini Circulation Desk Periodicals Reading Area Reading Area Home School Students' Artwork
Children's Area Stuffed Dragon Children's Area  Children's Area Table  Teen Area  
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Mark showed me the library area where the Tipp City Players come to perform plays for the community.This year all the proceeds from the sale of tickets went to the library. What a terrific fundraiser!
I was impressed with the teen section downstairs with its vibrant colors and moveable furniture.   There is artwork (see accompanying picture) in this area which was done by a group of homeschoolers – quite an impressive work.
This library is all about partnerships and letting the community members get their hands on the library material.  Mark showed me the historical document which is on display in the entry way.  The newspaper is open and accessible, just inviting folks to leaf through history. 
The children’s area is always my favorite spot and this library’s was no exception.  The furniture, the books, and the accompanying dragon certainly make it a luring destination for this community’s youngest residents. 


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November 17, 2009
Hudson Library and Historical Society

This beautiful library sits on 36 acres with an endowed garden.  The Friends group of the Hudson Library and Historical Society is very active and has sponsored scholarships for staff to pursue their Masters degree in Library Science.  Like so many of our Ohio libraries, this library is all about partnerships. 
The Hudson Library has a strong commitment to small business mentoring.  The Advisory Council for the program includes persons from KSU, Ernest and Young, ODJFS, and JumpStart.  Hundreds of people have taken advantage of the programs designed to assist those getting started with a business. 
Browsing the Library New Books Area Main area looking toward outdoor garden Main area stairwell
Laurel Lake Reading Room Friends Room  Teen Area  Teen Tech Area
 Children's Room  Elaine Portalupi, Children's/Young Adult Services Librarian, Jo Budler, Hudson Library and Historical Society Director Leslie Polott  Business Collection  Revolutionary Rifle Archive
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The Hudson Library is also very committed to Teen and Youth Services.  The large Teen area was designed with input by the Teen Advisory Group and has been featured in School Library Journal.  Staff has recently initiated a teen blog and they have begun to circulate laptops for teens to use in the teen room and study room. 
A Born to Play room focuses on early literacy skills and developmental toys.  This area is designed for parents and young children. 
Tree in Children's AreaThe library is currently partnering with Western Academy to teach basic German to children.  Previously they had a grant to expose young children to Spanish, Chinese, German and Japanese. 
The Puppet Pal Adoption program has been a huge success.  Here’s how it works: a family buys a puppet and donates it to the library, and they are the first ones to be able to check it out. 
The Library recognized the need to create a separate Tweens area which is funded by the Friends. 
Hudson Library boasts the third or fourth largest collection of John Brown material. They have an extensive historical collection of materials and realia of local families and businesses.  
Library Director Leslie Polott and Jo Budler
All Library programs are filmed, then aired through the local PBS station and finally placed on DVD for circulation.  The Library tries to bring history to the community, by spreading out the local history collection throughout the library.  The lovely Laurel Lake Reading Room is one example of this concept.
Thank you to Director Leslie Polott for a great visit and tour of a remarkable facility. 

Peninsula Library and Historical Society
This is a small but well-loved and well-used library.  We were there the day the Five Star Library announcement was made and the Peninsula Library and Historical Society staff were very proud, and rightfully so. 
The Library was founded by Honore Guilbeau Cook, a local artist, and her beautiful mural graces the outside of the building.  The mural also features the Peninsula Python whose local tale was shared with us by director Randy Bergdorf. 
The library officially opened on Halloween and Honore gave each child a book.  This tradition continues: each Halloween the children who  Trick-or-Treat at the library receive both candy and a book.
Jo Budler and Peninsula Library and Historical Society Director Randy Berdorf Outside Mural by Honore Guibeau Cook Phython Mural Children's Area
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Here are some other facts we learned:
Being a member of CLEVNET has been very beneficial for the library and users. 
  • Randy Bergdorf has just begun to work with an architect to look at building access and space utilization.
  • The Library land also includes a bandstand which is a favorite location for weddings and parties. 
  • The library has an active Friends group and the Peninsula Library Foundation is working diligently to build the Library’s endowment funds. 
  • Peninsula Library also operates the Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum.
Stow-Munroe Falls Library
Doug Dodderer, Director, and Ann Malthaner, Head of Public Relations took us on a tour of the facility. The exterior of the Stow-Monroe Falls Library is graced by a large neon sign at the entrance of  the parking lot that announces upcoming programs.  Use of the sign has increased program attendance because it has brought in non-users and casual users. 
Like so many others, the Stow-Monroe Falls Library is considered the “Community Information Center” and the philosophy emphasizes promotion, hence the Library has 1.5 staff devoted to marketing and PR.  A recently hosted Job Fair in September had over 100 persons in attendance and 10 businesses, both home-based (such as Mary Kay) and traditional (such as Gander Mountain).  The Library plans to repeat the program but alternate between home-based and traditional businesses.  Additionally, the Library has purchased Optimal Resume database, developed a job webology, and added a Job/Careers/Resume link on their website. 
Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library was an early adopter of open source technology.  Whenever it is feasible and most practical, the library uses open source. 
In collaboration with Hudson and Twinsburg Public Libraries, Stow-Munroe Falls has created the Reader’s Row program and together they have brought in several major authors for presentations. 
Jo Bucler and Library Director Doug Dodderer Library Director Doug Dodderer and Jo Bucler in Children's Area Fish bowl training lab for youth Fire truck in Children's area View of Circulation Desk from Second Floor
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The final stop on our tour was the children’s area, voted as the Parent’s Pick for Children’s Areas in the Cleveland area in the 2008 Nickelodeon Magazine.  It is bright and cheery, with a fire truck reading area donated by the fire department.  Spike the Turtle, a resident of the Children’s area has his own newsletter, “Spike Times” and his own blog.  Teacher resources are also available, including customized Teacher Boxes and Handwriting Kits. 
Before we left this lovely library, Ann showed us the Library Video which will be debuted in the near future.  Watch for it: it is fantastic!!


Cuyahoga Falls Library
Library Director Kevin Rosswurm and Jo Budler Children's area Children's area - Biography section Adult area - Pre-Phase II
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Director Kevin Rosswurm began our tour with the news that the Cuyahoga Falls Library had extensive renovation plans and a promise to show us those plans during our tour.  Phase I, in fact has been completed: an addition to the entrance which created additional administrative offices. Phase II is the in planning stages and will begin shortly.  During this Phase the upper level (adult services) will be renovated with high shelving moved to the sides so that staff and library users will have a clear line of vision to the windows at either end of the building.  Reading lounge areas will be created around the windows at either end.  The magazine room is moving to the upper level and reference pods will replace desks.  Phase III will renovate the lower level which includes the children’s area.  Part of the renovation involves the  improvement of the HVAC since the Library is an all electric building. 
Glass Art Glass Art Jo Budler standing behind outdoor sculpture of children reading
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Library staff visits each preschool in the community once a month taking a “bucket of books” (approximately 30 books) to each site to replace the bucket delivered the previous month.  At each location the library staff presents a storytime. The Friends and the Rotary Club purchase the books and buckets. 
This is obviously a well-used and well-loved library.  Circulation has doubled in the past nine years.
Director Rosswurm promised an invitation when all the renovation is complete and I am looking forward to a return visit. 


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Akron-Summit county Public Library
PropellerDirector David Jennings gave us a tour of the remodeled Akron-Summit County Library main facility.  Since the renovated facility opened in 2004 the number of visitors per year has doubled, with over a million visitors visiting the Library each year.  Over the last 10 years, the Library has also built and/or renovated 15 branches.  As part of the renovations a Special Collections Room was added and it is graced with the propeller from the US Akron.
Akron Summit County Public Library Director David Jennings and Jo Budler Auditorium Entrance to Children's Area Floor Design in Children's Area Teen Area
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The Library is participating in the Summit Memory Project.  One of the items being digitized is the Wingfoot Clan, the Goodyear employee newsletter.  The Library also houses materials of the Lighter than Air Society. 
David Jenning’s philosophy is to have the Library be a major part of the community.  For example, the Library hosts 5-6 venues at First Night with 5,000-6,000 people attending.  The Library also works closely with the County Government on Early Childhood Education.  Director Jennings serves on a committee that includes representatives from health care facilities, childhood educators and others. 
Resources for Early Childhood EducatorsAnother example of the Library’s commitment to early childhood education is the Resources for Early Childhood Educators.  This room houses Ellison dies, a laminator, and supplies that any childhood educator can come in and use. 
The community spaces in the building are heavily used: the auditorium which seats 425 is used 4 -5 times a week. Use of the meetings has more than doubled. Being a community gathering place is a huge value to the community.  Also, the Library gives space to Project Learn. 
The wonderful Children’s Area builds on the them of aviation so prevalent in Summit County.  You will notice this in the picture that we took of the floor of the Children’s Area.  And if the entrance to the area looks familiar to you that is because, designed to look like a blimp, it was once featured on the cover of Library Journal. 
The Library is also one of 80 libraries that hold patents and trademarks.  Several staff have been certified as providers in consumer health and the Library is working to make an area devoted to Consumer Health Information.  Computer training is another key program at the Library as evidenced by the extensive “Computer and Internet Programs:  The Library recently received a three year grant from the Knight Foundation whish will provide a trainer and two laptop carts (16 laptops each) which will allow for hands on training to take place at the branches.  The goal is to train 7500 over the next three years. 
Barberton Public Library
Director Julianne Bedel also began her tour by announcing the Barberton Public Library has been implementing renovation plans for their building.  The Library has enough space but she feels that the space is not being utilized to the fullest advantage. 
Banners hanging outside of the library Barberton Public Library Director Julianne Bedel and Jo Budler Children's area - Phase II Stained Glass in Local History Room Local History Room
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In 2008 the Library worked on curb appeal, opening up an atrium for seating, adding colorful banners, and putting up a neon sign to announce programs.  Phase II was recently completed: the children’s area has been renovated and is now bright and cheery. 
The Library officially joined CLEVNET in June 2009 and everyone is pleased with the system.  The Library has been focusing on computer access.  In the last two years the number of public access terminals has risen from 4 to 15. 
The Library collaborates closely with the middle school and coordinates a reading program with the English teacher.  Students pick the book they want to read each quarter.  The schools will also be providing the Library with copies of textbooks to be made available in a homework help center that will soon be established.  The Library also has plans to make a tween space on the second floor. 
What fabulous space to work with, Julianne.  This is another library on the “must visit again” list because I am sure that the improvements will be significant!

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