The Wood County District Public Library’s Board of Trustees decided in January to place a levy on the
ballot this November.
The only major issues not resolved then were whether to call for a replacement or a renewal levy, and how
many years the levy should last.
During Tuesday’s monthly meeting the board passed a resolution answering those two big questions.
It will be a simple renewal of the present 0.8-mill levy "for current expenses," and the time
period will increase by just one year.
The vote was unanimous, with Board President Brian Paskvan and members Chet Marcin, Ellen Dalton, Nancy
Buchanan and Will Harbauer all voting in favor of the resolution. Members Becky Bhaer and Jane Robb were
not present for the vote.
The board spent several minutes Tuesday debating the merits of a six-year, versus an eight-year levy.
The existing library levy, passed in 2010, is in effect for five years. Thus, the new levy period will
begin in 2015, with taxes first due in 2016.
The board previously agreed to change from a five-year to either a six- or eight-year period "so we
can be on a November ballot," library director Michael Penrod explained.
That would allow for a greater voter turnout, as well as "lower costs to us."
When the library put a bond issue on the ballot in 2001, to raise money for the major renovation of the
library building, the cost to the library was $12,000, versus just "$2,200 or $2,300 this
time," Penrod noted.
"Is there any advantage to being part of a presidential election year versus a gubernatorial
election ballot?" Paskvan wondered.
A six-year period means the library levy will be on the presidential ballot.
Paskvan admitted he would like to opt for an eight-year time frame "so we don’t have to come back to
the commissioners as often," but in the end he agreed with the rest of the board that six years is
the way to go.
"Everything will continue as is, with no new dollars," Penrod clarified.
By staying with a renewal, the board is counting on the state continuing to fund libraries at the current
Presently, the Wood County library gets 43 percent of its revenue from the levy and 51 percent from state
funding, "so both are critical to our operation. If either one went away, we could not be the
library that our users have come to rely on," Penrod said.
Wood County is with the majority in having both sources of funding.
"It used to be, 30 percent of libraries had a levy. Now, 70 percent do."
During his director’s report to the board, Penrod described ongoing repair and renovation work at the
library, where all exterior windows have been re-caulked.
For the Carter House "we’re getting quotes for tuck-pointing" and the plan is also to have the
ornamental railing restored. "We have to find out if the railing can be done on-site, or if it will
have to be removed."
Penrod also discussed enhancements to the library website planned for the near future.
After minutes of a board meeting have been reviewed, the plan is to begin posting them on the website
"as part of our effort at transparency."
Michele Raine discussed adult programming highlights for May. Planned for May 13 at 7 p.m. is the program
"An Evening with Sally Wright." Bowling Green’s own Edgar Award-nominated author will be
talking about her most recent book, "Breeding Ground."
On May 5 at 7 p.m. the library will host Chris Grabenstein, 2014 Youth Community Reads author of
"Mr. Lemoncello’s Library." His appearance will also coordinate with a school district PAC
appearance the following day, May 6 at 1:40 p.m.
Children’s Librarian Maria Simon described a number of programs, including a Library Late-Night slated
for May 17 from 7 to 10 p.m. for tweens and teens ages 11 and up, also inspired by Grabenstein’s novel.
On April 30 the library will be co-hosting a 7 p.m. Book Fiesta with La Conexion de Wood County, in
celebration of Spanish language and Latino culture. There will be a Spanish/English story time, musical
entertainment, and chips and salsa. Every family present will receive a Spanish or English gift book to
The library will be hosting a book sale this Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by the Friends of the