Library polices problem patrons
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Friday, 13 December 2013 10:43
All library directors in Wood County will be meeting with Ohio Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) next Monday. The topic of discussion is expected to be how Ohio's 2014 budget is likely to affect public library funding from the state.
Wood County District Public Library Director Michael Penrod told the library's Board of Trustees about the planned meeting during Tuesday's monthly board meeting.
During his director's report to the board, Penrod also discussed the issue of inappropriate behavior by library visitors and how transgressions are dealt with.
He described an incident that occurred during the last month at the Walbridge Branch Library involving a man in his mid-40s who was directing "inappropriate comments and caresses" toward a minor inside the library. "It happened once, then again, so we reported (the individual) to the police."
The adult has a long string of unrelated offenses on his record, including theft and menacing.
The decision was made to ban the man from the library for the next six months. Should he return to the library as a visitor after that time, he will be prohibited from having any contact with a minor on the premises.
"We take safety issues seriously," Penrod added.
On another subject, Penrod talked about the successful holiday season events the Bowling Green main library has been involved with thus far in December
The library, he said, had a "very successful entry" in the city of Bowling Green's 2013 Holiday Parade. "The minions (from the Disney movie 'Despicable Me') were well loved" and provoked audible excitement from the small children along the route.
Mary Boone, director of adult services, and volunteer costume designer Deb Allesee were praised for their work designing the minions' distinctive yellow and blue costumes for the float.
The city's annual tree-lighting ceremony was followed by a new feature this year, when members of the public were invited inside the library after the lighting for a carol sing-along including a few featured solos. The atrium area was packed with people who did so.
"We would like to have that become an annual event," Penrod said of the indoor carol-sing.
The library's historic Carter House, located just west of the library parking lot, is being well used for holiday receptions and events, he added. Volunteers have decorated it in a red and gold Victorian color scheme.
The local Rotary organization recently held a sit-down meal for 50 inside the Carter House, which is the largest event held there since it its opening following extensive renovation.
Board President Brian Paskvan said he has heard multiple comments from local residents stating "how happy they are the house is getting used" and has been able to be preserved for future generations.
In other business, Penrod told the board that a fully mobile software upgrade is being made to the library's website. The design upgrade is likely to be completed within six months.