Stallo Library's Summer Reading Program a Big Success

Bob Blindauer
Staff Writer

“Your little Minster Library is huge,” summed up Auglaize county Library Director Beth Steiner  at a meeting with the Minster Service Club.

The library’s capabilities, as she related them to her audience, have seemingly grown exponentially. That’s largely due to the Auglaize system’s ability to partner with other libraries and organizations to “keep libraries relevant.”

Steiner noted that during the recent summer reading program in Minster alone, “There were 455 children who signed up. The numbers are phenomenal. Of those 330 accomplished their reading goals. That’s 72 percent who met their reading goals. It is the highest of our entire county by far. ... We also had 262 adults in the reading program.”

She also offered her praise for Stallo’s director Becky Prenger who is always coming up with creative ways to engage  library users. “We don’t actually tell everything that she does.”

Steiner spoke about the new software the system employs to help keep the collections relevant at each branch as well. Through the software a patron can access the catalog at home and even see  the book covers. “People are so visual,” she notes. She then made a comparison to Amazon in that the libraries’ books were still free and you don’t have to keep a collection at your house.

She then went on to explain the trend in libraries is not just to provide books and then gave details about their e-book application “Libby” which is shared with the state of Ohio.  She enumerated that there were 220,000 e-books in the collection compared to 130,000 regular  books available through the Auglaize Library system. She also noted there were 48,000 audiobooks available.

Further, the system has capability to borrow from all libraries in the state, via request through website access. Titles can be shifted around based on popularity of and item at a given location. With the ability to do that via the software takes away the guessing game as to what should be on the shelf and what should not.

Steiner also talked about other items the libraries are handling, including a kitchen collection, which can be used, for example, when someone wants to make cookies and needs a pattern to form them.

Moving to the recreational as well as the educational, also available are games and puzzles  which can be loaned out when a family may want to try out a new game before purchasing it.

She says that mobile hotspots, which are available at all six of the libraries’ locations have become very popular. They allow for internet access from the library. They had been donated by Arby’s, which also provided yard signs for the library’s prize patrol for the reading program.

The next event Prenger is working on is a fashion show, slated for Sept. 21 with help of local boutiques who will supply outfits and their own models.