Saturday, May 16, 2015

323 Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, Findlay, OH

I put Findlay on my list for this trip because I think this is where I bought my first car  (a green '56 Plymouth), a long time ago. When I entered at the street level I immediately saw a photo mural of historic pictures, including one from 1962. Yes, that's what we looked like back then!  I also learned in the lobby that the library recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, 1/27/1890-1/27/2015. Congratulations! A sign that says "Thank you Hancock County Voters! We will work hard to justify your investment in the library," suggests that perhaps a levy was recently passed. It's always good to see a community supporting a library.

Heading to the upper level and to the right brought me to the adult area of the library. Something I especially liked: Posters on the ends of fiction shelves suggesting new books. For example, "Coming soon: <new title, author>. Reserve your copy today."

The stacks area felt expansive; perhaps there are a few more inches than usual between stacks? I liked the extra-wide study carrels, large enough for a couple of people to study together. And as I walked through, the "Chicken Soup" books caught my eye. Here, they are all shelved together at 158.1; where I work, they are classified according to the subject or audience, like parents, teens, etc. I counted 30 computers and many of them were being used.

The teen area held what appeared to be a librarian's desk, and had a display of books with yellow jackets. It's funny how displaying books this way seems to make them "pop" and adds importance!

There is a local and family history area with microfilm and readers, as well as relevant books. Shelves nearby hold requested books, which appear to be labeled with patrons' names, but are shelved spine-in for privacy.

A familiar tall, yellow Big Bird welcomes young patrons to the children's area. The "1000 Books Before Kindergarten" program dominates one wall, with pictures of youngsters grouped by how many hundreds of books they have read / listened to. There is a nifty puppet theater (picture below) and a looooong bookworm (likewise). A window corner provides wall-mounted interactivities, a play kitchen, and other goodies for the littlest patrons. A large curving divider marks this area, providing a bench on one side and bookshelves on the other.

There are six computers for kids, and a wonderful two-sided slant-top reading desk. I think I've seen a desk like this for kids at only one other library. It's a great way to prop up a book for reading, and it's always fun to have something little different.

The lower level houses a book store (closed when I was there), the parking garage, meeting rooms (Blanchard Room and Lindamood Room), and a room for the Read for Life program. I was not familiar with this program, but a brochure taught me that it is literacy for adults. I like the idea that a coordinator interviews and tests prospective students, then matches them with volunteers. And just about anything can be studied, from basic literacy to GED prep. Sounds wonderful!

The lower level also has a "high water mark" on the wall, higher than the top of a nearby door--perhaps about 7 feet high? I didn't see any other trace of a flood. Perhaps someone will read this and add a comment about when the flood was and how it impacted the library. Please?

For more about this library, visit their website at or check them out on Facebook at

The simple, colorful puppet theater

The loooong bookworm

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