Last updated: May 04. 2014 2:26PM - 823 Views
By Ilene Haluska ihaluska@ivitasmedia.com

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GREENVILLE - A tour of the Greenville Public Library, an Andrew Carnegie built library, however brief, offered a whirlwind of information for newcomers and returnees alike for the three-floor library.

“It’s the second library tour that we participated in [during First Fridays], giving us the opportunity to share our library, it’s services and maybe a little history,” said Library Director John Vehre.

Entering the library through the Children’s Department in the basement, a library patron will find out that library plans to paint the children’s area and add some cushions. The library is offering the Growing Harvest Seed Library where patrons via the honor system may get up to 28 seeds to grow their own gardens.

In the children’s book area on the first leg of the tour, holiday books get featured and DVDs are available. A display area shows the library’s Lego Club creations, boasting of 30 members. The next Lego Club meeting is June 12 at 1:30 p.m.

Friends of the Library will be sponsoring this summer classes for first and second graders, as well as tutoring kids up to high school ages — the basics, Vehre explained.

One room in the Children’s Library is dedicated to children’s programs like story time, along with a bright red rocker chair. Summer story time begins June 10 on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. for ages four and up and Thursdays at 11 a.m. for ages three and under.

A circulation room is dedicated to a circulation desk, next to the catalog department.

“When we get a book or buy a book … we tag (bar code) the book,” he said. An electronic wand matches a bar code and can check in and out books quickly. They tag DVDs and audio books, as well as magazines and 50 magazines titles.

The building expansion and converting the books from Dewey Decimal card system to a bar coded Dewey system are the two largest impacts to the library. The conversion to electronic bar code system started in 1992 and ended by 1995. Once the data was entered, every thing else fell into place, he explained. The library belongs to the state Ohio interlibrary loan and the Serving Every Ohioan library consortium.

Vehre led the tour to the office for the Young Adult Librarian, who also handles the library’s Informational Technology. The Young Adult Library is geared toward ages 12 and up. The office is next to the Youth Library, where there is a cabinet for board games for teens and a board game club. The area has Wii games that patrons may check out, manga (comic) books, fiction and non-fiction.

The Young Adult section also features tables and chairs where the library prefers adults and kids to go to eat when they bring in refreshments or snacks with them, explained Vehre.

A DVD music and audio-book collection in the Young Adult Department, as well as in the Audio Department, even as those formats are moving toward down-loadable formats online through the library. The library no longer offers the VHS movie format.

In the Audio Department, the furniture is comfortable for patrons to sit down, and the audio collection consists of of MP3, DVDs and audio books. The library stills has Play-A-Ways, where a book is on one device compared with the multiple disks of the DVD audio books.

Each department offers an array of DVDs, movies, audio books for the department’s level for adults, teens or children.

“If a child checks out a rated book, the card/computer system will block it,” Vehre said.

The Reference area on the second floor is in the original foyer of the original main entrance. The entrance was closed off during the 2006-2007 building project to avoid cold gusts, slipping on the marble staircase and security, he said. The expansion allowed two wings to both sides of the main building, making it 20,500 square feet.

“When the library was built in 1903, it cost about $38,000,” he said. The library is a bit bigger than most Carnegie Libraries. The bottom floor was a museum, which moved out in 1947, and is now the Garst Museum.

In the reference area, a reading room has 15 major newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, Columbus Dispatch and The Daily Advocate, to name a few. It also features more than 50 magazines. One stained glass, restored, colorful rendition of Henry St. Clair highlights the tour. St. Clair contributed to the original donations to build the library in 1903.

A Genealogy Room tucked next to the reading area offers microfilm and computer access for patrons to research their family history.

The other wing includes several computers for patrons to use along with wireless printing and an ongoing book sale.

“Generally we get rid of books in bad shape,” he said, so the Friends of the Library features an ongoing book sale in the area.

And on the third floor? Yes, there’s a meeting room for up to 28 people, as well as Vehre’s and the Assistant Librarian Director’s offices. The third floor, accessible by stairs or elevator, was renovated in 1989-90, moving most of the staff offices to other parts of the building closer to the areas they oversee. The room is equipped with a 80-inch television for PowerPoint presentations to movies.

Anyone in the state of Ohio can get a library card, as well as folks from the three contiguous counties in Indiana, like Randolph County.

Located on 520 Sycamore Street, in Greenville, the library boasts of computer and Internet services, printing, copies, the Ohio Web Library, Ohio Link for academic Library Consortium, interlibrary loans, e-books, Freegal music downloads, genealogy research and delivery of books to those who can’t get to the library. Call 937-548 -3915 or go online to www.greenville-publiclibrary.org to reach them.

“We actually do a quite bit more cooperative things with MainStreet Greenville,” Vehre said. Next up is lunch on the lawn in front of the library, where citizens can bring their own lunch or purchase one there from a featured restaurant. Entertainment during lunch is Tommy Renfow and Band, Friday, June 6, 11:45 a.m.

“We had a string group from the high school play,” he recalled, noting possible movies to show on the front lawn this summer, too.

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