Library board says ‘no’ to e-cigarettes & ‘yes’ to longer lending for new fiction PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Friday, 20 September 2013 10:13
Wood County District Public Library visitors will see two changes in policy starting immediately, which will impact the user experience.
The library Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to forbid patrons from lighting up e-cigarettes inside the building.
The change to the behavior policy was suggested by Library Director Michael Penrod,
"This issue has come up recently. We've had a couple patrons come in and light up an e-cigarette."
Penrod said he contacted other libraries in the state and did some research on the new type of cigarettes, which emit a form of water vapor.
"It does make an odor and there are emissions that can be detected," Penrod discovered.
He also learned that the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to regulate e-cigarettes as a controlled substance.
Librarians on staff at Wood County "had pointed out the fact that since we are a family-friendly facility and children may have a hard time distinguishing between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes," an expansion of the policy might be warranted.
The board voted to treat e-cigarettes like regular cigarettes, forbidding their use inside the building but allowing smoking outside on library property.
In another newly-approved policy change, the board voted to expand the maximum loan period to check out new fiction and magazines from the current seven days to 28 days.
Board President Brian Paskvan pointed out that liberalizing the loan time period aligns with changes the library has made in past years.
"We used to have a 3-, a 7-, a 14-, a 21- and a 28-day loan period" for all different types of materials "and through the years we've been gradually consolidating those."
"We've been getting a lot of patrons' comments that they're unable to return items on time for new fiction," Penrod said, quoting one user who said the seven-day limit "dissuades me from checking them out. I work full-time and don't have time to finish a book" in seven days.
Penrod pointed out that new non-fiction is already allowed a 28-day lending period, so adding new fiction "simplifies the procedures" for staff and patrons alike "and it makes all books uniform" throughout the library.
Board member Nancy Buchanan gave the board information on the selection of this year's Gibson Award winner, who will be publicly announced at a library staff and trustees luncheon on Sept. 27. The Gibson Award recognized a WCDPL or Walbridge library employee who has made significant contributions within the past year. The selection committee received a total of 28 nominations this year, with 12 different employees being nominated, Buchanan said.
Nominations are accepted from both library staff and from the general public.
"We had a large response from patrons," Penrod said, "which was very gratifying."
The trustees also discussed creating some type of plaque for prominent display in the main hallway, which will recognize donors not associated with the annual Schedel Gardens fundraiser or the annual campaign.
Earlier this year, Penrod said, the library had a person who single-handedly donated $1,500 to buy books in memory of someone. The wall plaque would be an appropriate way to recognize such people.
On the topic of monetary gifts, he told trustees the total raised at this summer's Schedel event was $70,000, with 100 donors in attendance.
The Friends of the Library's book sale, held during Black Swamp Arts Festival weekend, brought in more than $3,600.
In other business, trustees learned:
• The Ohio Lottery Commission recently rented the library's historic Carter House in order to film a Halloween commercial.
"A crew of 13 people came in, they moved furniture, bookshelves" and remained on-site until about 2 a.m. completing the filming, Penrod said. The commercial, featuring "a guy in a chicken suit jumping up and down," will likely be airing on local television stations in the near future.
• With extensive renovations now complete, the Carter House has recently been appraised as worth $1.2 million.
• The library Children's Place set an all-time record for participation in the library's summer reading program: 1,240 children participated.
• The adult reading program was also the most successful ever, with participants tripling the set group goal of 100,000 pages read.
• The library plans a "Food for Fines" program to support the city's Project Homeless Connect Day on Oct. 16. From Oct. 1 until Oct. 14, library patrons may donate a canned good or other food item in lieu of monetary fines with the goal of "sending several thousand pounds of food" to PHC.
The library will also be on-site Oct. 16 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, site of Project Homeless Connect's one-day effort, showing people without jobs or in other ways at risk of being homeless how the library's services can help them.

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