Category Archives : DPL Blog

Winter, winter, go away   Recently updated !


It’s February, the so-called shortest month of the year. But ask anyone from Ohio and they will tell you it often feels like the longest. Why? The weather. By this point I’ve complained about it so much I’m tired of my own griping. It’s cold. So cold. And the snow. Can’t it just melt already? Margaret Atwood calls February “month of despair with a skewered heart in the centre.” With spring a mere 3 weeks away, I am positively aching for warmth and the sight of tiny crocus buds poking their eager green tongues out to taste the air. Alas, we have a bit more weather to weather. To make myself feel better I thought I would research a winter before my time (okay, just barely before my time) that was much much worse:



Make mention of this to Midwestern folks who lived through it and you are sure to hear a hair-raising tale or two. My mother, a teacher, remembers waking up to the radio on the morning of January 26: “If you are within the sound of my voice there is no school today.” She peeked out the window, saw the stop sign at the end of our street flapping violently back and forth in the wind, then hopped back into bed (I was still incubating at the time, not due for another six weeks, so I was blissfully unaware of the weather conditions). She was lucky to avoid the worst of it.


Wind gusts in excess of 65 mph caused scattered power and phone outages. Visibility on I-77 was down to zero, county roads were drifted in. No mail, no buses, no deliveries. Nothing could be done about snow removal until the wind died down, and a shortage of salt compounded the problem. Schools, state offices and airports closed. Trees fell. Windows shattered. Trailers turned over and roofs collapsed or were blown off. A barn toppled in the wind, killing the livestock huddled inside. The ”killer blizzard” also took 90 human lives, including a young couple who decided to wait out the storm in their car, refusing rescue. They were found dead the next day.


But thankfully all storms pass, the damage is tallied, and then the cleanup begins. This blizzard was particularly costly to Ohio farms, causing an estimated $48.2 million in damage. Clearing the roads was an exhausting and often thankless chore; I read an article of one county worker who plowed roads in a ‘73 Ford for 15 straight hours (in drifts four feet high and 30 feet long), getting approximately 1.5 miles to the gallon, only to be stopped by a citizen “screaming invectives” about plowing in his driveway.


While this winter has had its share of inconveniences (at times my heater sounds like a volcano about to erupt), I am grateful that this year hasn’t seen a “state of emergency” blizzard with hurricane winds (knock on wood – it ain’t over yet), and that I have a warm roof over my head and a loving family with whom I can cuddle and share hot chocolate. And I hope that we will soon see a headline like this one that appeared over 100 years ago:





Until then, I’m with Ms. Atwood: Make it be spring!


“February” by Margaret Atwood, from Morning in the Burned House. Houghton Mifflin, 1996.


Looking for a way to pass the remaining cold days? Come to Dover Public Library, cozy up to our microfilm machine, and read about winters far worse than this one!

Claire Kandle, Local History & Genealogy Librarian

March madness…for books!

It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on March already, but it will be here before you know it! One of the things I enjoy about March each year is filling out a bracket during NCAA March Madness. I love keeping track of whose winning and how I’m doing in my bracket overall. Bracketology is fun because it’s like a game, and during March almost everyone is playing. The only problem is that I don’t keep up enough with basketball to more than guess at most of the match-ups. That’s why I’m so excited about the new program the library is hosting this March. It’s called Book Madness: Tournament of Authors 2015. Instead of only knowing about 3 of the “teams” involved, I have read almost all of the authors in the tournament! Plus, the rules are pretty simple:

1.) Pick up and fill out your bracket in pen. Brackets will be available Monday, February 23.

2.) Bring it in to the library to be initialed by a staff member before March 4, when Round 1 will be announced.

3.) Vote each round for your favorite authors! You can vote in the library (once per day), plus there will be additional ways to sneak in extra votes on Facebook!

At the end of each week, prizes will be given for those with the best bracket score so far. At the end of the tournament, the person with the highest score will win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Get into a new kind of bracketology this year, and help us determine the library’s favorite author for 2015!

Kathryn Green, Technology Managerbracket

3 Things to Do with Old Paperbacks

From purses to vases to wreaths, old books are being turned into new treasures all over the place. Here are a few of my favorite things to do with discarded paperbacks.

A side note before I start talking about destroying books to make arts and crafts: No one wants the books I use. First, the books are discarded library books, meaning they haven’t been checked out in years or are too damaged to circulate. The books are also leftovers from the annual book sale and were bound for the recycling bin before I rescued them to give them new lives as hedgehogs, angels,or poetry

Paperback Hedgehogs1. Paperback Hedgehogs:

Paperback hedgehogs are adorable, easy, and time consuming. You can decorate them any way you want. So, make the Avengers, or just make a Hedgehog army. Make them cute or make them scary. Let your creativity run wild! Smaller paperbacks of about 100 pages work best for this, but since I mainly had thick romance novels, I just split each book into two sections, thereby making two hedgehogs from one book. The hedgehog shape is made by folding the pages in half, then folding the corners down. More detailed instructions can be found here. 


2. Book Page Angels:

Unfortunately, I have no photos of my version of this angel I found on Pinterest. These cute ornaments consist of two book pages, accordion folded, sliced a little with some scissors, and wedged together to make an angel. Then, using hot glue, I stick a decoration on the part where the two pages come together. Small wooden hearts and stars are great for this. Then I glue a ribbon or piece of yarn in the top back so it can hang on a tree. These are great for Christmas, and actually proved to be a perfect Relay for Life Fundraiser here at the library.

3. Black Out Poetry:

This is a fun activity to do with books or with newspapers. Start with a page out of a book or from the newspaper. Underline or circle words to make a poem, then color over all the other words with a black marker. You can get creative with doodles or shapes, anything that will make your words pop. You can even use white paint to go over the words you want to get rid of, then create an illustration to go along with your poem when it’s dry. For more ideas, check out this awesome Slideshare from a school in California.


The Repurposed Library Book CoverFor more ideas, search “Book crafts” on Pinterest. Or, if Pinterest isn’t your thing, visit the library and browse the 745.5 area. Here, among other great books on paper crafting, you’ll find The Repurposed Library by Lisa Occhipinti. What will you make with an old paperback?


Liz Strauss

Crafty Teen Librarian


Celebrating Community: The 5th Annual Overdue Open House

Fun at the Overdue Open HouseThis past Sunday the Friends of the Library sponsored the 5th Annual Overdue Open House. Over 1,000 people came to the library to enjoy live music, prizes, food, storytelling, and more. Patrons that had overdue books were able to bring back the materials on Sunday and their overdue fines for those materials were waived. The Open House has became a way for the Library and the Friends of the Library to give back to the community. It was interesting to observe from a distance the activities that were going on. Valleytown and The Kodachrome Babies were performing in the Adult Department and the place was packed! In the Children’s Room Mr. Jeff the Magician was like the Pied Piper with dozens of kids following him around doing magic tricks. Volunteers were bustling around doing their jobs and library staff were working the public service desks. For those few short hours on Sunday the library truly was the center of the community. That is a thing that we are always trying to strive for here at DPL. We want the library and the events, programs, and services to matter to people. A huge thank you to the community for supporting what we do. Have a great week!

For photos from Sunday’s event, click here.

-Jim Gill, Director

2015: Your Next Chapter

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

― Dr. SeussHolding hands around the worl

You may have noticed a change in our Technology Department. Longtime fixture Mary Prysi has retired  after 30 years working for the library. It’s amazing to think about all the lives she must have touched over the course of her career. You never know how many people you can help just by being you, doing your job, being a helpful friend.

I had an interesting call at the library the other day. A woman had been on the computer and came across our website. She asked me about donating books to the library, and at first I told her that she could pull her car around the back of the library and we’d help her carry her books in. Then she said she was calling from London, England! She wanted to know about putting bookplates in donated books.

Librarian’s Dictionary

Bookplate: a sticker in the front of a book that relays a special message about it; donated by someone, in memory of someone, etc.

From across the pond, I was able to help her get the information she needed. How cool is that?

And how many more cool stories must Mary, along with anyone who takes the time to help someone, even a complete stranger, have?

In the new year, Mary is moving on. Here at the library, we all miss her, but we know this next chapter of her life will be amazing.

My challenge for all of you in the new year is to think about the way you can positively touch other people’s lives. This is your new chapter, too. How will you write it?

Adult Services

Book Review: Ninety-nine rats on a string : legends, facts and folklore of Walnut Creek, Ohio.

Catchy title, right? And the bizarre cover photo further piqued my interest. I decided I had to read this book, just to hear the rest of the story. It turns out, back in the Depression era unemployed adults couldn’t just sit around and surf the internet or play their Wii. They had to invent their entertainment. And this group of local men decided to create a game that would also serve their community: a two-week-long rat hunt. For fourteen days these gents captured as many rats as they could and posed for the photo at the hunt’s conclusion. This is just one of the tales, some true, others not so much, that underscore the deep value of community held by the residents of Walnut Creek. The book reads like your favorite uncle is sitting at the kitchen table telling you stories; the tongue-in-cheek prose suits the material of rumor and legend, and one can imagine whispered secrets and playful pranks happening among friends. Especially the story of the drunken cows. Or the banty cheese (it involves a rooster’s demise – you have to read it to believe it). My favorite was a story about a tramp: a man named “Trilby” earned so many friends that although he was originally buried outside the cemetery when he expired, people of Walnut Creek later included him into the community by moving the boundary fence. Another tramp, a beloved Holmes County regular with an intellectual disability, evoked  Steinbeck :  “On seeing fog rise from the woods one morning, he said, ‘the rabbits in the woods are cooking their soup.’”

The author’s description plunges you into an idyllic, pastoral setting of rolling hills and babbling brooks; through it you can reimagine the evolution of society from a need for roads and post offices to a need for bed & breakfasts. The comparative photographs placed throughout the book show the impact the tourism industry has had on the town’s structure and style.

I found this book very entertaining and informative, although sometimes the line between fact and fiction gets a little hazy. But that’s how it is with the best stories, isn’t it? At least I learned where Trail bologna comes from, and how they make the holes in Swiss cheese.

Claire Kandle

Local history

I <3 audiobooks

Axis 360 Digital Media Library by Baker and Taylor


I have always loved reading. When I was growing up, I read as often as possible–and then some. My mom frequently had to tell me to stop reading and clean my room. The only problem: as I was cleaning, I’d come across some book that had slipped under my bed, or behind my desk, and I’d quickly become immersed in the pages. At school, I’d try to finish my work as quickly as possible so that I could get back to reading whatever book I’d brought for the day.

As I got older and gained new responsibilities and commitments, from sports teams in high school to challenging courses in college to driving to work, my time for reading got smaller and smaller. Fortunately, a couple of years ago I discovered audiobooks! These became my solution to my lack of time to read. When I’m driving, exercising, cooking, or cleaning, I’m almost always listening to an audiobook. From Stephen King to Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling, I’ll read just about anything on audio. It’s perfect! In fact, I often find that I catch more details of the book because I’m not skimming over pages when a story gets intense.

Hoopla LogoThe library has always been the perfect place to feed my book addiction, and the same is true of audiobooks. At Dover, we have a wall full of books on CD, including nonfiction. We also have three different ways to check out audiobooks digitally, each with a slightly different collection. The Acoustik app by Axis 360 has some awesome titles available only to Dover Library patrons, from the latest Janet Evanovich to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken. The Ohio Digital Library has a ton of titles to choose from, and you can listen right from your Overdrive app. Hoopla also has a lot of titles, and the best part is that you never have to wait! Everything is free and easily accessible with your Dover Library card.

Next time you’re dying to read a book but can’t seem to find the time, I encourage you to try checking out an audiobook. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked :)


Ohio Digital Library Logo-Kathryn,Technology Manager