Reading didn’t take summer off at library

By Debbie Rogers, [email protected]

WALBRIDGE — Summer reading surged at the Wood County District Public Library.

At the September board meeting, which was held at the Walbridge branch, Director Michael Penrod said circulation usually slumps before school starts.

“We had phenomenal, record circulation in August. We were up 28%,” he said. “August is usually one of our quieter times, so it was great to see the huge bump in numbers.”

There was about 50,000 in circulation, Penrod said.

He credited a statewide courier service that is newly operational, he said.

Area libraries are served by a Toledo hub. The computer system has been modified so the local library items go toward filling Wood County clients’ holds first.

A three-day in-transit time for items has been eliminated, Penrod said.

“We have seen the amount of items we are borrowing go up, but also the amount of items we are loaning going up just since this change,” he said.

It keeps materials in the Northwest Ohio region, he said.

Penrod also discussed a step that has been taken in the local media archival process.

He said that AIM Media Midwest, which is the parent company of the Sentinel-Tribune, wants to partner with Ancestry and newspapers.com to put the entire newspaper archive online.

Ancestry and the library are going to put the newspaper microfilm online, Penrod said.

Up to 50 simultaneous users will be able to access the archives at no charge, he said.

“We get the entire Sentinel archive, even the most recent 72 years that are copyright protected in digital format, in perpetuity, for free,” he said. “Thank you, Sentinel. … Partnerships are important.

“I am giddy about this because this is huge,” he said. “The Sentinel archive is going to be protected by Ancestry and we get access to it.”

Also at the meeting, the board:

• Heard some extensive city utility work will close the parking lot in the fall. Penrod said he suggested that the work be done around the Thanksgiving holiday.

• Heard that the library’s cost for the new parking lot, once the new city building is done, will be $110,000.

• Heard Novel Night, which was held July 21, was a success. As of the September meeting, $129,000 had been raised.

“The library is back,” Penrod said. “We’re still receiving gifts after the event.”

• Went into executive session to discuss acquisition of property.