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215 W. Main St. | Van Wert, OH 45891
Phone: 419-238-2168 | Fax: 419-238-3180
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                                A Banner Year

          January is one of the busiest months at the Brumback Library. Patrons of all ages, many of whom took time off in December to enjoy the holidays, have resumed their library schedule once more. Back in school, students with new projects and assignments return to the Library in droves. Thus a buzz of activity begins anew. A myriad of materials will need to be selected, cataloged, processed, and shelved. Older, outdated, or worn titles need to be weeded from the collection in order to make room for new print and nonprint items. Story time sessions resume, while planning for the Summer Reading Program and other major projects has just begun.

          At the same time, however, January is a month of reflection. It is a time to take an inventory of the work that has been accomplished over the course of the past year. The challenges and triumphs which occurred in 2012 are indeed noteworthy. Having 28,214 registered patrons, the Library circulated 739,525 items. Traditional books, E-books, periodicals, music CDs, books on CD, DVDs, and videos as well as puppets and a wide array of other materials were utilized by Van Wert County residents in record numbers. 8,191 items were added to the collection, thereby bringing the system’s print and nonprint resources to a total of 228,556 items. Through the Library’s continued participation in the Ohio E-Book Project, more than 19,000 books, downloadable videos and audios are available, making the Library’s resources equal to 279,255 items.

          We are very pleased to report that 6,860 individuals collectively participated in the Brumback Library’s Young Adult, Adult, and Homebound Summer Reading programs in 2012. In the Children’s Department, 1,834 children participated in a wide range of Summer Reading activities in June and July. Entitled “Dream Big... READ!” infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school children enjoyed creative programs presented by Ellen Ford, Linda Bagley (a.k.a. the Cat in the Hat), Tammy, Alex, and Bryce Campbell, Sally Geething, Mary Minnig, Chris Roberts/WERT Radio, Belinda Miller, Tyler Nygren, Tom Phoolery, Teresa Schneiter (a.k.a. Lady Cassandra of Wynhaven), Stan, Marcia, and Tonya Weldy, Dr. Tom Wilkin and Friends, plus Larry Wirtz the Science Guy. In addition, the Library was pleased to offer programs by Bob Evans’ Biscuits and Gravy, the Fort Wayne Ballet, the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Johnny Appleseed Parks District, Neil Armstrong Space Museum, and the Van Wert Police Department’s K-9s. To the audiences’ great delight, the MadCap Puppet Theatre staged a special presentation of “Rumpelstiltskin” at the Marsh Foundation Auditorium, while “Madagascar 3” was viewed by over 1,000 children and their parents at the Van Wert Cinemas. In between this flutter of activities, Van Wert County’s young readers read a staggering total of 90,217 books in eight weeks. In recognition of this accomplishment, a carnival was held at the Family Life Center of Trinity Friends Church and enjoyed by one and all. The Board of Trustees, Director, and Staff are extremely grateful to our major supporters of 2012’s Summer Reading Program -- the Administration, Faculty, and Staff of Van Wert City Schools and Mr. Jerry Lewis and McDonald’s. We are also grateful to more than sixty area businesses and donors who likewise helped to underwrite the costs of this vital program.

          With a service schedule of 179.50 hours per week between our six locations, the Brumback Library has a responsibility to ensure accessibility to safe, clean, welcoming environments where Van Wert County residents may avail themselves to up-to-date materials and technology. To meet this goal, we continued to be pro-active in terms of building maintenance throughout the year. Plaster work and other repairs were completed at Main Library. The window frames and window sills in the original section of Main Library were repainted. The decaying wood trellis over the chiller was replaced with a more durable one, while the faux marble columns and overhead border in the Reading Room were repaired and “remarbled.” Several essential electrical projects were also completed.

          For the past ten years, the Brumback Library, like each of Ohio’s 251 public libraries, has continued to experience funding cuts from the State of Ohio’s Public Library Fund allocation. During this same time span, the costs of books, materials, utilities, and insurance have increased dramatically.

Circulation, usage, and programming attendance have increased too. The coming year will bring continued challenges. The size of the Library’s staff is much smaller. Five positions were vacated in 2012 due to retirements and resignations. Due to the aforementioned funding situation and the economy in general, we will not have the money to fill these positions. Despite these factors, we will continue to safeguard one of the County’s most valuable resources. Our commitment, mission, and goal remain the same. We will continue to sustain and nurture the legacy we affectionately call the Brumback Library.


       Brumback Library

Again Among Nation’s Best

          For the second straight year, Library Journal, a prestigious publication founded by Melvil Dewey, has recognized the Brumback Library as one of America’s Star Libraries. In 2012, the distinction was awarded to only 262 public libraries, and thirty-six of those libraries are located in Ohio.

          In comparison to libraries with similar budgets and funding levels, the Brumback Library was ranked 18th in the United States and 3rd in Ohio last year. For this honor, Van Wert County’s historic literary home earned a four star ranking compared to its three star ranking in 2011. In its $400,000-$999,999 expenditure range, the Brumback Library is one of four Ohio libraries to receive a star rating. The Harbor-Topky Memorial Library of Ashtabula Harbor also received a four star ranking, while both the Orrville Public Library and the Columbiana Public Library were given three star rankings. Brumback Library Director John Carr stated, “These rankings clearly demonstrate that the resources, services, and programming efforts that the Brumback Library provides are well utilized by Van Wert County residents of all ages. The rankings from Library Journal are actually similar to Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings Index, a resource that has consistently counted the Brumback Library in the top ten percent of public libraries across the country.”

          With a Main Library in Van Wert and five branch facilities located in Convoy, Middle Point, Ohio City, Willshire, and Wren, the Brumback Library offers a collection of print and nonprint resources which exceeds 220,000 items.  Marking its 111th anniversary this year, the Library remains a relevant resource and community treasure offering printed books, E-books, books on CD, wireless access, Internet workstations, and a wide array of materials for the populace.


                      The Children’s Corner

          Start your new year off with a good book! The Library has over 50,000 items in the Children’s Department, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Tales of fantasy, adventure, and discovery await one and all! As a matter of fact, new titles are added to the collection every week. Patrons of all ages are invited to browse through our picture books, juvenile fiction titles, non-fiction works, and periodicals. Parents and care-givers of preschoolers and children learning to read may want to check out early concept books or other easy nonfiction titles. These items have an ABC label on their spine and may be found on the two lower shelves in the new picture book area and interspersed throughout the nonfiction collection.

          Besides the many resources available, a number of programs are continually offered. Mother Goose Story Time for infants and toddlers is offered at 6:00 p.m. every Monday with a second session meeting at 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday. Family Story Time is held at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, while Preschool Story Time sessions are slated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Brumback Library story time sessions are also offered at Calvary Preschool, Headstart, First United Methodist Preschool, Thomas Edison, Van Wert Early Education Center, Vantage Preschool, and Wee Care Learning Center.

          On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, walk-in crafts will be offered at Main Library the week of February 4th, February 18th, March 4th and March 18th. Last, but not least, patrons are invited to stop by to see the adorable polar bears, penguins, snowmen, and snow globes created by the children from Wee Care Learning Center this month. Parents and children are encouraged to take note of the display case located beside the elevator in the basement too. Pat Rayman’s delightful penguins are on parade, so to speak, in January. Next month, stay tuned for the artistic talents of the students from Calvary Evangelical Preschool and Vicki Chavarria’s  wonderful Barbie doll collection.


                         A Fond Farewell

          After a twenty-seven year career at the Brumback Library, longtime staff member Kelly Rist was named Director of the Delphos Public Library. Looking back, Kelly Rist started her career as a page at the Brumback Library in 1985. In time, she became a Reference Librarian, a position Mrs. Rist held for several years until she became the Assistant Director in 1994. Throughout her tenure, Kelly played an integral role in many major projects here at the Library, especially over the course of the past twenty years.

          Library Director John Carr noted that Kelly worked closely with him -- from planning and carrying out the automation of the Library’s catalog and circulation systems to the installation of Internet workstations and beyond. Technologically speaking, the Brumback Library, like each of Ohio’s 251 public libraries, has witnessed countless changes in the way library services are delivered. From the former card catalog to E-books, libraries, and those who have worked within them, have been active participants in an information age which has truly changed the way library services are planned, delivered, and used by multitudes of patrons. Web pages, search engines, and the rise of virtual formats have literally transformed public libraries. Kelly and I have seen various processes reinvented, and information search capabilities expanded, as well as the rapid rise of nonprint formats that have been embraced by our patrons.

          In addition, the Brumback Library’s facilities have changed greatly. The historic Main Library was renovated, and, with the Reed Memorial Addition, doubled in physical space. Then, the branch libraries were expanded to include five full service branches, each with expanded print and nonprint collections, computers, and the like. Through all of these  moves and various adaptations, Kelly played a significant role.

          When Mrs. Rist began her career at  the Brumback Library, she was working on her undergraduate degree at Wright State University, later receiving a B.S. in Secondary Education.  At the urging of Mr. Carr, Kelly began her studies in Library Science in the late 1990s, and will soon receive her Master’s of Library Science from Kent State University. Whether helping patrons find a specific book, training eager E-book readers, or conducting a story time session for preschool children, Kelly’s training and advancement were thoroughly rooted here at the Brumback Library. We gratefully appreciate her many contributions and work. We also wish her well in the newest chapter of her career at the Delphos Public Library.

          Her letter of resignation has been included for your perusal  :


                    November 23, 2012

                 Dear Director John Carr

                   and Board of Trustees,

          The Brumback Library is a wonderful institution which for over the past 27 years, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of this great team. I have seen the library evolve and grow through the great leadership and hard work of the director. The library is a shining example of what hard work produces which ultimately are great benefits for the many residents of Van Wert County to use and enjoy.

          I have had a wonderful working relationship with the director and have learned many valuable lessons from him. I now have the opportunity to advance into the position of director at the Delphos Public Library. I appreciate the opportunities and support I have had here at the Brumback Lbrary.

          I will be leaving my position as the Assistant Director, effective December 21, 2012. I again wish to thank John for the support and opportunities that I have received over the years. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work for the Brumback Library.

                             Sincerely, Kelly S. Rist


                           Branch Libraries,

            Collections, and Funding

          When the Brumback Library was established in 1901, special emphasis was placed on service to all Van Wert County residents. This ultimately led to the formation of fifteen stations, whereby residents in small villages and outlying areas could visit a local store and select materials from a rotating reading collection of fifty to one hundred titles the Library had placed there.

          Since that time, the Library has continued to provide services in rural areas throughout the county. In 1975 and 1976, librarians staffed three distinct branch sites which offered permanent collections with set operating schedules. Convoy, the most active facility, was open eighteen hours per week, while Willshire and Wren had operating schedules of twelve and fifteen hours respectively. The buildings housing these structures, however, needed attention. Therefore, a Branch Library Improvement Plan, written and produced by John Carr and presented to the Board of Trustees in 1996, called for facilities which would not only house larger collections, but would also provide staff and patrons alike with up-to-date heating and cooling systems, plumbing, telephone lines, and effective lighting. Two new branch sites, Middle Point and Ohio City, were also formed. In 1994 and 1995, these libraries were established in shared facilities with local elementary schools. Although it was a good solution for both the Brumback Library and the schools at the time, it was later discovered that individual buildings were needed to provide the community at large with more readily accessible facilities. Adopted by the Board, the branch plan led to a fundraising campaign which garnered the necessary funds via grants, gifts, and bequests to either build and/or renovate the branches in Convoy, Wren, Middle Point, and Ohio City. Then, in 2007, the Village of Willshire received a grant to renovate its former Village Hall, thereby enabling the Brumback Library to relocate its Willshire Branch to much larger quarters. With this upgrade, all of the Library service sites were housed in new and/or updated facilities which are well utilized by patrons of all ages.

          Over the years, the Brumback Library’s collection has grown by leaps and bounds. In 1992, the Library had a print and nonprint collection totalling 72,426 items. This included books, videos, books-on-tape, and miscellaneous children’s items. By the close of 2012, our holdings exceeded 228,000 volumes. Access to more than 19,000 E-books, 10,720 DVDs/videos, 7,309 books on cassette and CDs, and a myriad of other items round out a collection that is ranked 39th in size among Ohio’s 251 public libraries. All of these resources are available at Main Library and the branches. If a branch does not own a specific title or items in a given subject area however, such materials may easily be obtained from Main Library since it is the branch librarian’s responsibility to obtain these items for their patrons. If we do not own the requested material, books and other resources may be obtained via interlibrary loan. In this case, the branch librarian must submit a request to Main Library personnel, who process ILLs in a timely fashion.

      Having struggled financially over the course of the past ten years, 2013 appears to be equally challenging in terms of finances.  State freezes and funding cuts have become the norm. Without the passage of the library levies in 2005 and 2010, the Brumback Library would not have been able to maintain its six facilities and the many services that our patrons have come to expect. The Board of Trustees, Director, Staff, and Volunteers work diligently to ensure that the First County Library in the United States remains a vital institution. We encourage residents to avail themselves to the resources, services, and programming efforts that we offer.


      Best Sellers Currently Available



                   Gone Girl by Flynn

Empire and Honor by Griffin & Butterworth

            The Racketeer by Grisham

            The Forgotten by Baldacci

     Threat Vector by Clancy with Greaney

    The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Mathis

                Cross Roads by Young

            Shadow Woman by Howard

       Notorious Nineteen by Evanovich

       The Casual Vacancy by Rowling

            The Black Box by Connelly

 Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by Patterson

          The Round House by Erdrich

       Two Graves by Preston & Child

               The Last Man by Flynn

        Winter of the World by Follett



     Killing Kennedy by O’Reilly & Dugard                       

Thomas Jefferson : the Art of Power  by Meacham

  The World Until Yesterday by Diamond

       No Easy Day by Owen with Maurer

      Killing Lincoln by O’Reilly & Dugard         

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Boo

                     America Again

       The Signal and the Noise by Silver

                     Wild by Strayed

             Unbroken by Hillenbrand

          The Power of Habit by Duhigg

    A Higher Call by Makos with Alexander

                      Quiet by Cain

  Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die  by Nelson

       How Children Succeed by Tough

          Far From the Tree by Solomon


           Notable Titles

        Angels at the Table by Macomber

  Between the Lines by Picoult & Van Leer

            The Bone Bed by Cornwell

              The Bridge by Kingsbury                                     

                Cold Days by Butcher     

        Flight Behavior by Kingsolver

        The Giving Quilt by Chiaverini

       NYPD Red by Patterson & Karp       

              The Panther by DeMille

   Poseidon’s Arrow by Cussler & Cussler

          The Secret Keeper by Morton

       The Sins of the Mother by Steel

               Sweet Tooth by McEwan

            The Time Keeper by Albom

     The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by

                    McCall Smith

           A Winter Dream by Evans

                      Bruce by Carlin

      Charles Dickens : A Life by Tomalin 

                   Custer by McMurtry

       The End of Your Life Book Club

                        by Schwalbe

   England’s Hideaways by Van Reesema

               The Generals by Ricks

       How to Roast a Lamb by Psilakis

             with Binns & Shapiro 

             The Patriarch by Nasaw

          Proof of Heaven by Alexander

          The Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Mayes & Mayes

     Tyndale : the Man Who Gave God 

              an English Voice by Teems

   The Untold History of the United States          

                by Stone & Kuznick



           New Children’s Books

              A is for Airplane by Riehle

    Barney and the Kitten by Madokoro   

      Bear Has a Story to Tell by Stead

          Becoming Holmes by Peacock 

    The Boston Tea Party by Freedman

      C is for Ciao by Grodin & Cuomo 

 D is for Drum by Shoulders & Shoulders

               Dino-Football by Wheeler

           Elmer and Super El by McKee

 Emily and Jackson Hiding Out by Naylor

              Finn at Clee Point by Knight

       The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit

                         by Thompson

          The Great Unexpected by Creech

           Guys Read the Sports Pages

                    Hedgehog by Leach

      Hunter Moran Saves the Universe by Giff

              I Love You, My Little One

                        by Ottolenghi

               Infinity and Me by Hosford

         Little Lamb, Have You Any Wool?

                             by Martins

           Lulu and the Duck in the Park

                            by McKay        

     One Year in Coal Harbor by Horvath

              Otter and Odder by Howe

       Pet Science by Gunter & Newcomb

          A Port Through Time by Millard

                Prairie Evers by Airgood

              The Quiet Place by Stewart

     Remember Little Big Horn by Walker

              Robots in Space by Parker

          The Secret Tree by Standiford

            Thomas Jefferson for Kids

                             by Miller

               Traitor’s Chase by Gibbs

           Twelve Kinds of Ice by Obed 

                     Unspoken by Cole

    The Vengekeep Prophecies by Farrey

    Voices from Colonial America Series

          Yankee Doodle America by Minor   




                                Check It Out!

          Print copies of the Brumback Library’s 2012 Annual Report will soon be available at  Main Library and the branch sites. For your convenience, a copy will also be posted on the Library’s website at either     




          The report features a myriad of statistics, from the total number of items checked out last year to a listing of the resources and services which we offer to all Van Wert County residents.


                         The Tax Man Cometh 

          It is that time of year again and the Brumback Library is prepared. Main Library and each of the branch sites are offering a wide array of federal and state tax forms. 1040EZ forms and 1099’s are available now, as we wait for other schedules and forms to arrive from the IRS. (If the forms you need are not available, please ask a librarian for assistance. We also have a book of reproducible forms at the Reference Desk.)


                               Holiday Closings   

          Main Library and all branch libraries will be closed on Monday, February 18th in observance of Presidents’ Day. All libraries will resume their regular operating schedule on February 19th.


                           Emergency Closings

          Patrons are reminded that if the Library is closed due to inclement weather, poor driving conditions, or any other emergency, an announcement will be made on WERT Radio 1220 AM and 99.7 FM.