Library shelves mask policy

The mask requirement at the Wood County District Public Library has ended.

The library’s board of trustees approved the change at its meeting Monday.

“The county has rescinded its mask mandate. The Centers for Disease Control has rescinded its requirements and changed its guidance for the mask rule. This is your decision,” Director Michael Penrod said. “But just so you know, two weeks ago, when the county changed their rule, I knew that we would instantly have, and did, four or five hours later, we would have someone come in and say ‘This is a county building and you can’t require a mask.’

“So I straight up suspended enforcement of the rule until this body makes a call to continue it or not.”

Penrod noted that on the CDC website, Wood County has dropped from a red status to orange, denoting per capita infection. He cited a report of 2,500 cases of COVID-19, on a two-week rolling average, that has gone down to 152 cases in Wood County.

He said he has discussed the situation with Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Robison.

This is the second time a mask mandate has been rescinded by the library. In 2020, the WCDPL buildings required masks before the city, according to Penrod. The mandate was rescinded in May and then brought back in September.

Masks are still optional.

Board President Brian Paskvan reminded the members that the primary reason masks were required because children were not vaccinated and for the safety of staff.

The board passed the motion unanimously.

In other business, the January monthly financial reports were reviewed, to be filed for audit.

“We are on a 4.5-month reserved right now, but that will go back up when the levy money comes in, so we are right on target with the budget,” Penrod said.

The board also passed a resolution to participate in the State of Ohio cooperative purchasing program. It allows the library to participate in contracts distributed by the state of Ohio. The cost to be in the program is $100 per year.

“It simply allows us to participate in existing state contracts, if there’s something there we would like to avail ourselves of,” Penrod said.

Examples he gave were the possibility of purchasing many large items, such as HVAC units and vehicles. The prices of these items would then be available for future budget purposes.

The children’s department has also created an interactive display of the construction next door of the city building and the demolition of the old post office.

“In addition to the children being able to build with the giant Rigamajig sets, and Tonka Toys, you can actually look out and see a building being torn down, we have actually created an interactive display,” Penrod said. “Maria (Simon) and the children’s department are just having so much fun.”

He recommended his son’s favorite book right now, “Little Excavator,” by Anna Dewdney.