DPL Blog

Happy Holiday Shopping!

8091234505_e1879eba36_bIt’s the official start of the holiday shopping season! At least, that’s how I’ve always thought of Black Friday. This year, it seems like I’ve seen more commercials and read more articles about gifting technology than ever. From tablets to smartphones…I even saw something about a smart trashcan that sends a text to remind you to take out the trash! Personally, I find all this technology fun and exciting. I enjoy using it myself, and I love helping my friends and family figure out their new tech toys. Fortunately for me, I get to do the latter everyday at work :) Whether it’s setting up a new device or just learning how to check out ebooks on your new phone, the library’s Technology Librarians can’t wait to help you (or someone you know) get started. Need help getting that Kindle ready to go before Christmas? Can’t figure out how to order that vintage Star Wars toy on eBay? Make an appointment with Liz or myself for some free one-on-one assistance! Know someone who’ll be completely baffled by that tablet you’re giving them this year? Have them stop by our Tech Setup Fair on January 9 from 10 AM to noon! We’ll look forward to seeing you :)


Kathryn Green, Technology Manager

Na-No What Now?

confused squirrelThere’s only 10 left in November! That means there’s only 10 days left in NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo? What’s that? How do you say it?

It’s National Novel Writing Month, the month when writers everywhere try to write a whole 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’ll save you the math: that’s about 1,667 words a day, for 30 days. For a normal typist (40 words per minute), that’s about 42 minutes of straight typing per day. I’m a fast typist (60 words a minute), but writing 1,667 words takes me about an hour.  Either way, that’s a lot of typing.

And it’s pronounced “Nan – Oh – Wry – Mo”

As the organization says on their website, “Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.”

And it’s certainly one way to do it, though it’s no easy task.

Every year, I try to do NaNoWriMo. First, I’m excited. What will I write this year? Sci-fi? Fantasy? A cheesy vampire novel? I do some planning and get a basic outline going for the story. Then November starts, and I start typing. And typing. And typing. Then I miss a day, get the flu, get busy making paper wreaths for a craft show… Life happens. And suddenly there are ten days left in November, and I’m short about 25,000 words.

Oh, well. There’s always next year.

Two years ago, I did get to 50,000 words. Here are a few tips I picked up for overcoming writer’s block and keeping the momentum going:typewriter-159878_640

  1. Write something every day
  2. Stop writing in the middle of a scene – this forces you to get back into writing to finish it the next time you sit down
  3. Keep a general list of upcoming scenes so you know where you want to go next
  4. Don’t worry – this is a first draft.
  5. Seriously, it’s a first draft. Just write. Worry later.

NaNoWriMo may be ending, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait a whole year to write your novel. Make December your WriMo. Or make 2016 your WriYear. Make your own goal, set your own deadline, and write the book you’ve always wanted to.

Happy Writing!


Teen Librarian


PS: Link to my very favorite random writing tool: Write or Die by Dr. Wicked. Check it out.

It Came from the Cellar…




Since October is Archives month in Ohio, I thought it would be a perfect time to introduce a new feature of my local history blog: “From the Cellar.” About once a month I will choose an item or collection from The Roots Cellar in the basement of Dover Public Library to highlight in the post. Today I am excited to talk about a special donation we received from Phyllis Van Horn, and it takes us back to the very beginning of the place we call Dover.










Many Doverites might be able to tell you that Christian Deardorff was one of the co-founders of Dover, but know little beyond that basic fact. Did  you know his house was the site of the first store in Dover, and the site of the first township election? Did you know he was the first postmaster?


Thanks to the dedicated research of Walter and Phyllis Van Horn, all Doverites can now visit Dover Public Library to easily learn more about the man who carved Dover out of the wilderness. In one carefully constructed notebook one can find photos of Christian Deardorff and his family, copies of plat maps and handwritten land deeds, excerpts from different published histories including “The Portrait and Biographical Record of Tuscarawas County, Ohio – 1895” and W.W. Scott’s “Reminiscences of Dover,” prints and sketches of early Dover, transcribed and photocopied newspaper articles, Census and vital records, obituaries, copies of all of Deardorff’s land patents, tax lists, issues of the Dover Historical Society newsletter featuring articles about Christian Deardorff, and a copy of Margaret Deardorff’s will.


Walter and Phyllis spent years compiling this information from repositories around the state, and they generously donated the result to our local history archives here at Dover Public Library. As we bring Archives month to a close, I want to give Phyllis and her late husband a big H/T for being a champion of archives. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Doverites don’t have to work nearly as hard to learn more about their town fathers.

The featured collection is on display in The Roots Cellar at Dover Public Library and can be viewed Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-4 and 5-8.

To learn more about Archives month in Ohio, visit http://www.ohioarchivists.org/archives_month/
And don’t forget our digital record! Look here for digitized photos and collections from around the state:  http://www.ohiomemory.org/


-Claire Kandle, Local History & Genealogy Librarian

To Edgar Allan Poe




Edgar_Allan_Poe_2_retouched_and_transparent_bg“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

Next week the Dover Public Library is hosting a series of events inspired by the master of horror and the inventor of the detective story, American author Edgar Allan Poe.

I’ve loved Edgar Allan Poe since I was about 11. His stories were dark and weird and twisted, and I loved them. I was obsessed with reading as much Poe as I could get my hands on. Somewhere between “The Gold Bug” and “Three Sundays in a Week,” I finally burnt myself out on Poe and moved on to Shakespeare for a while. What can I say? I was a weird kid.

Years later, I had the opportunity to take a class on Poe in college. Just Poe. There was a room full of people just like me: Edgar Allan Poe Fanatics. None of us was geekier than the professor, who owned and displayed an Edgar Allan Poe action figure. (Yes, they exist) This class rekindled my love of Poe and gave me a greater understanding of the man behind the stories. Get me talking, and I’ll geek out all week about Edgar Allan Poe and what you might not realize about him.

Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston. His parents were actors, and his father left when he was a year old. His mother died the year after.

The “Allan” is not his middle name. Poe was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan in 1811. Poe and John never got along. Mrs. Allan died in 1829.

Poe deliberately got himself kicked out of West Point. (John Allan didn’t like that.)

At 26 years old, Poe won a contest for “The Manuscript Found in a Bottle,” an adventure story on the high seas. crow-632642_640

Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia. They had no children, and she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.

He loved puzzles. If you like Sherlock Holmes, you have Poe to thank. He invented the modern detective story when he wrote “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Poe wrote 3 stories featuring his detective. My personal favorite is “The Purloined Letter.”

Poe was afraid of being buried alive.

Poe did not make a good living as a writer. This is an understatement. He made a lot of people angry with his critical essays and was fired on more than one occasion.

They don’t know how Poe died. Theories include rabies, a drugging related to an election-day scam, and drug overdose. What we do know is that Poe died on October 7, 1849, in a hospital in Baltimore.

“The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether” inspired the 2014 film Stonhearst Asylum starring Kate Beckinsale.

Oh, I guess you got me talking…

I hope you visit the library next week for our Poe programs, which include a Tell-Tale Tale on Sunday at 6:00 PM, a Poe Movie Night on Monday, and a book discussion on Tuesday at the Carriage House. Call the library at 330-343-6123 for more info!



Teen Librarian & Poe Geek

Graphic Novels in Hollywood

The Walking DeadA patron asked me for season two of The Walking Dead last week. As I placed the hold, I read the info on the DVD and realized something I didn’t know before. The Walking Dead was a graphic novel before it was a hit TV show! That got me thinking… what other graphic novels are on the big screen? Some I remember from when I was a kid; Batman, Superman… I remember watching some of these when I was in Junior High. So then I started thinking, okay, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Wonder Woman. Comic books are everywhere! We still have these in the Young Adult area of the library, and they were around when I was young.  Now we have the graphic novel, and more and more authors are releasing their series in graphic novel form. The author Janet Evanovich has some, and Game of Thrones has an epic series of graphic novel adaptations as well.  Not to mention all the great graphic novels in the YA section! 

(Our Teen Librarian wants me to mention that, for the record, the Evanovich and George R.R. Martin graphic novels are NOT in the Young Adult section… if you’ve seen Game of Thrones on HBO, you know why)

So, let’s do another contest. How many movies on the big screen are from comic books or graphic novels? Bring in the list to me in the month of October, and the person who has the most will win a prize. Good Luck, and thanks for reading and playing along!



Adult Department

Our library has a history worth celebrating!

balloonJoin us in front of the library tomorrow at 2:00 as we unveil Dover Public Library’s brand new historical marker from Ohio History Connection (To learn more about Ohio’s historical marker program, visit www.remarkableohio.org). The marker will commemorate the fact that we have been a part of the community of Dover for over 100 years. I will present a brief history of the library at the ceremony, which is taking place on the 61st anniversary of the dedication of the building cornerstone. Color slides of the cornerstone ceremony from September 26, 1954 will be on display in the community room during the reception.


balloonHistory buffs: if you are interested in the finer details of the library’s history, come explore our archival collection, “Dover Public Library: A History.” You can see the original color slides, a collection of prints drawn by cartoonist James Harrison Donahey for the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1931, a recipe file created by librarian Eliza J. Justice,  and copies of a library history, draft and final, written by Corita Syler and placed in the library cornerstone. There is also a chronological collection of newspaper articles about Dover Public Library, and a special library issue of The Daily Reporter published September 17, 1955. The finding aid for this collection is online, and the materials are located in The Roots Cellar.




A final note: This library wouldn’t have survived without the support of the people of Dover, and it stands today as a symbol of Dover’s love for its community. So come out and show your support as we celebrate the Dover Public Library and look forward to the next 100 years!                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

– Claire Kandle, local history & genealogy librarian





Rereading a new favorite: The Golem and the Jinni

I don’t know about you, but I love rereading books. It’s kind of like hanging out with an old friend you haven’t seen in awhile: you know them so well, but forget just how much you enjoy spending time with them until you’re back together again. Every time I reread a book, I find something new in it. It took me years of reading Harry Potter to fully appreciate all of the hilarious puns and wordplays, and I still find a new one (or an old one I’d forgotten) every time I read it again.

My most recent reread is a book that I only discovered about a year ago. Unlike my old favorites, no copies of this book have been worn out and replaced from repeated readings. In fact, I’m reading it for only the second time. The book, entitled The Golem and the Jinni, is (sadly) the only novel by author Helene Wecker. After only two readings, I can say with confidence that it is one of my favorites. The characters are believable, the writing lyrical, and the story is absolutely beautiful. This is the sort of book that makes me sit in my car for an extra half hour before heading in for dinner to finish up a few extra pages.

Golem-the-JinniThe Golem and the Jinni follows the lives of two creatures living as humans immigrants in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. The Golem, a clay woman brought to life on the crossing from Danzig, must deal with the constant clamor of the unspoken fears and desires of all those around her after the untimely death of her master. Her unique makeup constantly illustrates the importance of tempering one’s own desires so as to avoid hurting others. The Jinni, a creature of fire and impulse who inhabited the deserts of Syria over a 1000 years earlier, awakens in the shop of the tinsmith who unwittingly freed him from imprisonment in a flask. Bound to human form by an iron cuff on one wrist, the Jinni chafes at the restraints of society and at the idea that his actions should reflect anything other than his own selfish desires. The two creatures, one immensely old and the other incredibly young, meet one evening on the streets of the city and immediately recognize each other as Other.  “You’re made of earth,” he says. “And you’re made of fire,” she replies. They begin a tentative friendship, spending the long evenings (neither sleeps) exploring the wonders of the city around them. With each other, they can finally be honest about their very natures and the daily struggles that arise from them.

This novel starts slow and builds gradually as it goes on. Several storylines are woven together, including the last weeks of the Jinni’s life before imprisonment at the hands of a Syrian wizard, the Jinni’s modern-day seduction of a young socialite, and the pair’s increasingly intertwined lives in New York. The ending, which manages to be heart-pounding without ever feeling rushed, is satisfying and fits well with the novel as a whole.

As I reread The Golem and the Jinni, I am struck again at the beauty of the language. I remembered the story from my first reading, but somehow forgot that the way this story is told is nearly as lovely as the story itself. If you enjoy listening to audiobooks (or are looking for one to try), this is a fantastic find. The narrator completely embodies each character, while capturing the lyrical nature of the writing itself. This is a fabulous book, and I look forward to rereading it again in the future.

-Kathryn Green, Technology Manager.