Library Week

MEMBERS OF the older generation undoubtedly remember when libraries largely consisted of books, but they now are keeping pace with the times.

Libraries have taken major steps into the technological age with varied conveniences for the use of the public. Not only that, but classes are available to provide instruction for those not familiar with computers as well as classes of various types geared to age groups.

With National Library Week currently being observed, libraries throughout Eastern Ohio are living up to the national theme – “Lives Change @ Your Library.”

Practical classes and entertainment are available at libraries throughout the area.

As Yvonne Myers, director of the Belmont County Library District, noted, “Libraries are deeply committed to the places where their patrons work, live and study.”

Can you imagine a dog, other than a guide dog, in a library? Yet, there’s two of them – Murphy and Marley – participating in a book hound read-in later this week at the Clark Branch Library in Freeport (a branch of the Puskarich Public Library, Cadiz). They’re therapy dogs waiting to be read to by children of all ages, according to Sandi Thompson, director of the Puskarich facility.

Brenda Brown, library director at the Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library, mentioned the importance of libraries when she reported that 75 percent of all Ohioans have a library card.

Both eBooks and computers are popular with patrons, according to area librarians. As Kathy South of the Monroe County District Library, noted, “They use our computers a lot.”

The Bellaire Public Library is fulfilling a need in schools which no longer have libraries in-house. Laura Cramblett, director of that library, said that facility takes middle school and elementary books to schools for students to check out.

At the St. Clairsville Public Library, activities are geared Friday to emphasize Staff and Patrons Appreciation Day, according to Robyn Vitter, director.

Variety is evident in library activities this week and throughout the year, and a current highlight in Jefferson County is the appearance of Stephen Hollen, Mark Twain impersonator.

LIBRARIES haven’t remained stagnant although they started with books, which remain a mainstay. Author Thomas Carlyle had the right idea when he wrote, “Blessings upon Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books.”