The Bellaire library welcomes new director

Photo Provided Erin Denise Rothenbuehler is the new director of the Bellaire Public Library. She is looking forward to new and more extensive programs, a showcase of history, and a stronger internet presence for the library.

BELLAIRE — The Bellaire Public Library has welcomed a new director in Erin Denise Rothenbuehler, who is looking forward to bringing new and expanded activities.

She replaced Mary Roberts, who served as director since 2016.

Rothenbuehler came from a position across the Ohio River as an archivist, web administrator and programming director at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling. She took the opportunity to become a library director, having recently completed a master of library science degree.

“It’s something that I’ve been thinking more and more that I would like to move into administration,” she said. “This opportunity came up and I applied for it.”

Rothenbuehler describes herself as very “technologically driven” and plans to put those skills and expertise to use.

“The library … is looking to expand its history collection with an internet presence. It’s a good fit for me, since I had already been working at positions for that,” she said. “We would also like to expand our program at some point, and I have experience working with adult programming in Wheeling.

“Right now we’re working on our summer reading plan. This year we’d like to expand it for both children and adults, and we just put in a new local history exhibit,” Rothenbuehler said, adding the exhibits focus on sites such as period bridges and railroads, Imperial Glass and the Carnegie Steelworks. “They’re mostly from the 1910s and early 1900s, the 1800s to the 1920s.”

She said the library is also looking for more ways to expand the study of history.

“Next year we’re hoping to get a dedicated history room built and expand our local history collection,” she said.

She mentioned the annual winter lecture series by the Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society.

Rothenbuehler is also taking the opportunity to make the library a resource for a wide variety of people.

“We definitely want people to know that we’re more than just books. There are a lot of resources available here,” she said.

The summer reading program will be coming up in June or July.

Originally from Wisconsin, Rothenbuehler got an undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She has lived in Wheeling for close to 18 years.

She said she has always been drawn to libraries.

“I love having access to information, free access to information. I think it’s important that people have resources available to them, no matter what their situation in life is,” she said.

“I’ve been able to meet people through the programming and just people coming in. So far I love it here. It’s a really wonderful building. It’s a great library, and the patrons are really wonderful as well,” she said.

Rothenbuehler is tailoring her approach to the needs and desires of the area.

“We plan on surveying the public to see what kind of resources they’d like to see, what kind of programming they’d like to see, and even what times would be best, especially for the children’s programming, what times work for parents.”

The library is located at 330 32nd St. The website is bellaire.lib.oh.us.


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