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Early Childhood Literacy: Our Continuing Focus

Nov 192015

For more than 200 years, a focus for America's public libraries has been early childhood literacy and lifelong learning.

It seems almost too simple to be true, but by regularly reading with children during their preschool years, you are giving them a headstart toward a successful education. With this in mind, your library, with funding from the Westerville Library Foundation, has joined hands with the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, an international program.


From left: Sondra Kowaluk, Westerville Library Foundation (WLF) president; Lynda Huey, WLF member; Don W. Barlow, Library executive director; Becky Rhubottom, WLF secretary; Ron Barrett, WLF treasurer; Deanna McDaniel, Library board president; and Paul Longenecker, WLF vice-president.

We will help you read with your child by mailing an age-appropriate book directly to your home under your child's name. A book will be sent each month from the Imagination Library organization to registered children under the age of five who reside in the library district (same boundaries as the Westerville City School district).

Each month, your child will look forward to an new and exciting book arriving in the mailbox, until he or she reaches the age of five. Each book is a free gift for your child to keep.

Registration begins at a special kick-off event at the library on January 9. Books will begin to arrive eight to ten weeks following registration.

Join us by getting on board the Imagination Library train.

5-Star Rating

Nov 032015

I am very please to announce that the Westerville Public Library has again received a 5-Star Rating from the Library Journal. More than 7,600 libraries across the country were evaluated, but only 261 received a starred rating. Only 85 libraries received a five-star rating!

Congratulations Westerville!

Donation by library and art supporters gives sculpture a permanent home

Aug 262015

Former member of the Westerville Library Foundation and the Westerville Parks Foundation, Eric Busch, along with his wife Susan, has presented the Westerville Library Foundation with funding to purchase the sculpture Cochlea Bench. The popular sculpture has been located on the library's lawn as a part of the "Public Art in Westerville Spaces" sculpture program - a yearly lease program initiated in 2011 by the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, Westerville Parks Foundation and the Arts Council of Westerville - that has placed a variety of sculptures at sites throughout our community.

Meet the Authors Series - A Great Success

Aug 172015

There is nothing quite like the experience of meeting the author of a great book. Or, hearing an author read in his or her own voice the story he has chosen to tell. Over the past few years the library has partnered with the Westerville Library Foundation to present an ongoing program of talks by bestselling authors.

I want to thank everyone who has helped make the library’s Meet the Authors series such a great success. Unbelievably, it’s been four years since a visit from famed documentarian Ken Burns laid the groundwork in 2011.

In 2014, Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher thrillers, and Diana Gabaldon, writer of the hugely popular Outlander book and TV series, took our author series to a new level. In response to enthusiastic Outlander fans, we moved that presentation to Westerville Central’s gymnasium where she charmed over 1,500 attendees.

This February, we welcomed Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket followed by A Desperate Fortune writer Suzanne Kearsley. Newly relocated to the Columbus area, Piper Kerman, author of the book and Netflix series Orange is the New Black joined us in June, as well as a July 1st stop by Daniel Silva, who shared his new release The English Spy. Audiences for nearly all of these programs have been capacity crowds, averaging 700 attendees.

We now anxiously await the upcoming visit of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn - another opportunity for our community to experience meeting a stellar author.


Better and even more parking

Apr 302015

If you have visited the library lately, you’ve probably noticed the construction in our parking lot. The existing parking lot, now nearly 20 years old, is getting a facelift. New drainage is being added and repairs are being made on the brick and asphalt surfaces in the lot and roadway.

This project is scheduled for completion by June 1st. Meanwhile, we deeply appreciate your patience during the disruption. Even greater news is that the library and the City of Westerville are partnering on a project that will provide an additional 60 to 65 parking spaces in the area located between the library’s current parking lot and the bike trail near the railroad depot. We expect construction to begin in August and are excited to be able to offer this long-awaited additional parking.

We look forward to re-opening our lot and are grateful for the opportunity to work with the City in creating much-needed parking space. The additional parking, along with the upgrades to the library’s HVAC system this summer, will make access to our library services more convenient and comfortable.

Great Pride and Big Plans for 2015!

Mar 122015

In 2014, our library was once again ranked as one of America’s finest libraries, receiving the coveted Five-Star rating. I would like to take a few moments to highlight some of our achievements that helped us earn Library Journal’s highest rating.

For the first time, Best Employers in Ohio and SHRM named our library as one of best places to work in the state, ranking 16th among small to medium size companies.

The library again circulated over 2.1 million items as the fourth busiest public library facility in Ohio, and our customers attended the library's 2,140 programs in record numbers. Programs were highlighted by two successful author events: visits by author of the Jack Reacher novels Lee Child and Diana Gabaldon, author of the hugely popular Outlander series.

The author series is hitting new heights in 2015. In February, Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, was a huge hit with all ages. We're looking forward to visits from A Desperate Fortune novelist Susanna Kearsley, Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman and NY Times bestselling author Daniel Silva. Finally, excitement will be high when Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn visits in November.

This year additional parking is on the horizon. In partnership with the city of Westerville, plans are underway to add between 45 and 60 parking spaces. We also will repave the parking lot and the roadway. The library’s 1955 HVAC system will be replaced as well, making the library much more energy efficient.

I thank you for another wonderful year at the Westerville Public Library and for a very promising 2015. Your continued support is deeply appreciated.

Don W. Barlow

Executive Director




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Library Journal 5-Star Library'
Best Employers in Ohio 2014
Library Journal 5-Star Library
Best Employers in Ohio 2014