Thursday, December 23, 2010

Online Reference Grows

You may have noticed that the list of online reference books on the left side of this page has more than doubled. These are digital versions of print reference books which can be accessed by anyone with a Library Card from any of the three Hancock County libraries. All of them are accessible from any of the computers within the library. These materials are published by Thompson-Gale and Oxford Press, two very well established reputable publishers. They are excellent sources for school assignments and for locating information for personal use.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Calendar Issues

Our Google calendar at the top of this page is having some issues today. All of our events have shifted and are not on their correct days. In some cases they have been shifted back one day, but toward the end of the month, the events like the Library's closing for the holidays have been shifted back several days. If you click on an event on the calendar, a pop up will appear to give more information. These pop ups do list the correct days and times for the events.

I am assuming that this is a problem with Google's software and that they will have it fixed soon. If the calendar does not say we are closed on the 24th and 25th, you will know that the calendar is still having problems and the events listed are on the wrong days. If you need more information, please call the library during our open hours.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tax Forms

The end of the year is fast approaching soon to be followed by tax season. The library has ordered tax forms for this year, however most of the forms won't arrive until after the middle of January. We start putting out the tax forms as we receive them after the first of January. Until then, you can look for information on the following web sites:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Signing

Local author Tracy Carbasho will be signing copies of her new book Nike Thursday evening beginning at 6 p.m. The book explores the development of the company and the influence the corporation has had on the world of sports. It includes interviews of coaches, atheletes, and business experts. The book is part of a series called Corporations that Changed the World from Greenwood Press. For more about the author and her book, see her web page.

Holiday Make and Take Workshop

The Master Gardeners are repeating their popular Holiday Make and Take Workshop next Saturday at the library. The Master Gardeners bring the material and their expertise to help the public make live holiday centerpieces. The cost is $20 if preregistered and $25 at the door. To register contact the Extension Service at 304-564-3805 or Pictures of last year's event are available on our blog archive.

Audio Book and E Reader Devices

The Christmas shopping season is in full gear and we just wanted to put out a reminder to those patrons who are considering purchasing devices to access our downloadable material on WV Deli. Not all devices are compatible. There is a link to a list of compatible and incompatible devices on the WV Deli website which can be reached from our home page. I have also linked the list from the title of this post. Not only are the compatible devices listed, but the list price of each is given as well as specifications, compatible formats, and links to the web pages of the device. Although not every device that is compatible is listed, it gives a good overview of what is available and the features of each device.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Signing

Carolyn Bradley recently presented a copy of her new book, Seeds of My Love, to the Mary H. Weir Public Library. The poetic prayers in her book address the need to find hope in difficult times. On Saturday, November 20, 2010 she will be signing copies of her book on the main floor of the library from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. She will also have copies of her book available for purchase at that time. The cost of the book is $12.99 (tax included).

Teen Read Week Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Teen Read Week drawing - Tia, Elaine, Briana, and Roger. We hope you all enjoy your prizes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Thursday, October 28, 2010


Repairing Library Books - No Tape PLEASE!

Books often come back to the library with some sort of damage. One of the most frequent offenders where this is concerned is the family dog. Many dogs have developed a love for literature. My dearly departed beagle favored paperback books. She never took them off of tables, but leave one on a bed or a chair and the room would soon be decorated with pages resembling fallen leaves. I knew she had this tendency, and it was my responsibility to keep the books out of her reach. There was no way to repair books she had "read."

Sometimes books just fall apart due to age or poor quality of workmanship. In the past, books were sewn together, now almost all of them are glued. Unfortunately, glue dries out and the pages start to come out.

We have several methods of repairing books with specialty tools and tapes or flexible glues. If the book is one that we know we cannot replace or we want to keep in the collection for a long period of time, we may use archival materials or send it to the bindery. The bindery does an excellent job of making a worn book look like new. Unfortunately, not all books can be rebound and there is a cost involved.

The library staff can tell the difference between a book that has damage due to wear and tear and one that has been damaged due to the carelessness of the borrower. We can usually even tell if it was the baby or the dog that chewed a book. Please, if you are returning a book that you know is damaged, don't let your embarrassment prevent you from letting the library staff know so that they can get the book repaired before it gets worse.

Most importantly, please don't attempt to repair a library book yourself! Normal household tape is meant for tasks like wrapping gifts. It won't last for a book's lifetime. It either stains, leaves a sticky residue or dries up and falls off. Sometimes it does all three. In any case, it can prevent us from performing a proper repair or sending the book to be rebound. Another home favorite, duct tape has a million uses, but book repair is not one of them! We know that those who try to repair library books mean well, but home book repairs often do more damage than good. So if a book is damaged, please bring in all the pieces and let us know so that we can take the proper steps to repair it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Your Vote is Important

Vote for the Hancock County Library Levy!

Some of you may not be aware that the Hancock County Libraries have a levy on the November 2, 2010 ballot. This is a renewal of the levy we are currently operating under. These funds are vital to the operation of the three libraries in Hancock County. The money that each library receives from the state is tied to the amount of local funding that is generated for the library. In other words, if our local funding is reduced, we will also lose state funding. Every vote is important because 60% of the voters must approve the levy for it to  take effect. So please, support your local libraries and vote for the levy.

Young and Need a Job?

The library received a fax yesterday announcing a Job Corps Orientation on Monday, October 25 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ohio County Public Library, 52 16th Street, Wheeling. Job Corps is a career technical training and education program sponsered by the government. It is open to students aged 16-24 who meet requirements of the program. There is an online brochure the explains the program. For further information, call Job Corps Admissions at 304-620-8146.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How Can We Create the Best Future for Our Area?

How can this region become a place where communities thrive in fifteen years? Do you have ideas? Join us at the library, Monday, October 25, 2010 for a Power of 32 Community Conversation. At each of these events the participants break up into groups and consider four questions:

· What does a thriving region look like?

· What challenges will we face and what strengths can we build on?

· What has to be done to make sure the area thrives and why?

· In 2015 what will we be most proud of in our region and what was key to making it happen?

If you have ideas or opinions about these questions, now is your time to be heard. Join with positive people from all over the region in working toward a brighter future for our area.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tutor Training

Do you want to change lives? Think about becoming a tutor in our literacy program. The Mary H. Weir Library has an active literacy program that not only provides reading instruction, but works with students preparing for GED testing, basic computer skills, and immigrants learning English. There is always a need for reliable, patient tutors. Tutors may work with individuals or small groups and may tutor in any of a variety of subjects.  A Volunteer Tutor Training will take place next week at the library. Training will be held Tuesday, October 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Thursday, October 21 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., and Saturday, October 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, or to register for training, call Pam at 304-797-8510.

Investment Fraud Program

The library will be hosting Seniors Against Investment Fraud a program of the WV State Auditor's Office on Thursday, October 21 at 12:30. Learn how to recognize scams and avoid investment fraud. The program will be held in the library's activity room on the lower level. Parking is available in back of the library, and those interested in attending may enter through the doors on the Walnut Street side of the building.

Basket Fundraiser

The Literary Department of the GFWC is holding it's annual basket fundraiser at the library. This year the basket themes include: Christmas, Toys, Tea, WVU, Pittsburgh Steelers, Romance, Chocolate, Italian, Garden and Kitchen. Each basket is stuffed full of interesting items that reflect the basket's theme. Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. Proceeds benefit the library. Winners will be drawn in early to mid December. If you happen to be lucky enough to win a basket, make sure to bring someone strong when you come to pick it up. Some of these baskets are heavy!

Teen Read Week

Next week, October 17th  to October 23rd is Teen Read Week. Teen Read Week is designed to encourage teens to read for fun. The Mary H. Weir Public Library appreciates teens who read! To show our appreciation, every teen (ages 13-19) who checks out a book during Teen Read Week will be given the opportunity to enter a drawing to win one of four prizes. The prizes include a Clock Radio, two 2G MP3 Players and a 4G Tony Hawk USB Skatedrive.

Fall 2010 Displays

If you haven't been in the library recently, you're missing some great displays by local groups. The Gallery behind the library is continuing to show Photographs of the Tri-State Region by the Upper Ohio Valley Camera Club. Inside we have an attractive and informative Constitution Day display from the DAR and several displays of artwork by local children. The Tri-State Christian Academy recently completed a unit on the Renaissance. They have brought in three castles created by students to share. The children from the Weirton Christian Center have decorated pumpkins with sequins, painted fall leaves and created a display of Johnny Appleseed pictures all of which create a cheerful fall atmosphere. You can see examples of their work on the slide show on the left side of  the blog, but it's always better to come in and see the real thing.

Speaking of art, the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Robert Haworth Memorial Art Exhibition this Saturday at the library from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year the exhibit will feature the work of Anthony Sellitti and local art students. The display will be in the library's activity room. Be sure to stop by and see how much talent there is in the Weirton area.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Local History Books Available

Fall is here, and the holiday shopping season will soon be with us. The library has a small collection of recently printed local history books available for purchase at our front desk that would make a special gift for anyone with ties to the Weirton area. The newest of the collection is Thomas Zielinsky's account of The Final Days of Weirton Steel.  We also have two titles from Acadia Publishing's Images of America Series. Hancock County and Rock Springs Park are filled with photographs of bygone days which will bring back many memories for area residents. From the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, we have A Pageant of Nations and Calendars for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Each month is illustrated with a historic scene. We also still have copies of The History of Weirton by David Javersak. This title was a project of the Historic Landmarks Commission. It is the most complete, well illustrated history of the city available.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Story Hour is Back!

Registration has begun for Fall Story Hour for ages 3 to 5. This year parents will be able to choose from one of three sessions. Sessions will be held Tuesday Afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tuesday Evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fall Story Hour will begin the last week of September and go to the 7th and 8th of December. Story Hour is not held the week of Thanksgiving. Registrations will be accepted until all three sessions are full. Parents may register their child at the Children's Desk or Circulation Desk of the library. Children who participated in Story Hour last year may be registered over the phone at 797-8510.

Fight for Libraries as You Do Freedom

Karin Slaughter is a popular author whose works are translated and sold internationally. Many libraries including our own carry her books. This article appeared in Friday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Read what she has to say about the importance of libraries in our country - Fight for Libraries as You Do Freedom.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Upper Ohio Valley Camera Club Exhibit

Beginning Tuesday, September 14, 2010 the library will be hosting a display of photographs by the Upper Ohio Valley Camera Club in The Gallery behind the library. This year these talented photographers are displaying pictures on the theme "Scenes of the Tri-State Region." Their photographs display natural and manmade wonders from Pittsburgh, PA to Wheeling, WV and Cass, WV to Cadiz, OH and many points in between. The camera club has exhibited photographs in The Gallery several times in the past, and their work is always impressive!

In addition to the outdoor exhibit, there will be a slide show, print exhibit and reception on September 14 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Several of the photographers will be in attendance and they have always been gracious about answering questions from the audience.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Teddy Bear Tea

Everyone enjoyed the magic show

On July 28, the GFWC Weirton Woman's Club Literary Department sponsored a Teddy Bear Tea  at the library for the children of the community. Approximately 80 children and 50 adults attended the event. Teddy Bear themed music played as the guests arrived, followed by a story and short film, each of which had a bear as the main character. The children and adults were delighted with the performance of Jim Tate, The Magic Man and his rabbit Puff. Each child received a balloon animal and teddy bear. Door prizes were given out as the guests enjoyed refreshments.

Jennifer reads Bear Snores On.
The Audience hides their eyes for a surprise.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Overdrive Workshop

For the past several months, we have been trying to make people aware of our new online branch which has been established with seven other library systems in the state. The online service, West Virginia Deli, contains over 6,500 downloadable items available for check out and is growing every day.

On Saturday, May 29, at 11:00 a.m. we will be conducting a workshop in the library's Activity Room to introduce patrons to the service and answer questions about how the service works. Come join us and find out how you can read books or listen to them from your computer and transfer them to other devices.

Summer Reading Adult Book Club

Don't let the kids have all the fun! Register for the Summer Reading Book Club. Registration begins June 1st. The first book will be Big Stone Gap by Andrea Trigiani. The books will be available June 15th, and the first book discussion will be held during the week of July 12th. Lose yourself in a good book. It's one of the most economical vacations deals you'll find anywhere!

If you are interested in a book club, but are unable to participate this summer or would prefer a different type of book, please let us know! You can call the library or e-mail the mhpwl address listed in the left hand column of this page.

Airplane Day

Come fly with us on June 5! We will be having a special program for children on airplanes and flight. We will be making and flying paper airplanes, watching a short film about flight, and having fun with other activities and a special guest from Wheeling Jesuit's Center for Educational Technologies. The fun starts at 10:00.

Ohio River Presentation

On June 8th the library's Activity Room will be the site of a presentation by Captain Rick Rhodes on The Ohio River in American History. He will discuss the history and industry of the six state region adjoining the Ohio River and navigation on the river. His presentation will be illustrated with photographs of the river and surrounding area.

Captain Rhodes is a graduate of WVU and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He has traveled in 48 states, Canada and Mexico, hiked the Appalachian Trail, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He has written histories and guidebooks of five different waterways including the Ohio River.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Make a Splash!

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes the library's Summer Reading Program. This year's theme is Make a Splash - Read! Programs will be on Tuesday afternoons at 1:30 for ages 3 to 6 and Thursday afternoons at 1:30 for ages 7 and up. Registration will begin June 1st with the programs beginning on June 15th. The closing program will be held August 6th. Join us for some Summer Fun!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Missing a Friend...

As many of you may already know, the library lost a dear friend and staff member recently with the passing of Sandy Reardon. Sandy had been employed at the library for 20 years and was in charge of the Children's Department for most of that time. Before joining the library staff, Sandy had been a teacher at St. Joseph the Worker School. She loved children and it showed in her programs for them. In addition to her Children's Department duties, Sandy was always willing to work with other library projects. Her quick mind and strong organizational skills made her a valuable employee. Her kindness and willingness to help made her a wonderful friend.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weirton Area Literacy Council Meeting

The Weirton Area Literacy Council will hold their monthly meeting at the library on Thursday, April 22 at 6:00 p.m. Since April is National Poetry Month, the council will be doing a salute to poetry. Plans are being made for some members of the council to attend the Literacy WV State Conference at Cedar Lakes on April 20 and May 1.

Myth Or Reality |

There are many misconceptions among the public about how libraries are funded. The following link is very informative about the reality of library funding.

Myth Or Reality

Another false impression that some people have is that we get books for free from publishers. We do get a discount on some titles, but not all and the discount is not much larger than what the general public gets on Amazon.

A timely reality is that library funding is tied to population. This is one more reason for people to respond to their census questionnaire. Libraries and other public agencies only get funded for the number of people that are listed in their service area according to the census. The library doesn't get money to serve people who are not counted in the census. This often means that libraries and other agencies are serving more people than they are getting funding for.

Libraries in different areas receive differing amounts of funding per person. In 2002 the average amount that libraries in the US received per person was $30.32. Our funding level is not anywhere near that.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Impact of Library Computer Use

Many newspapers across the country have reported this week on the release of a national study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation entitled Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries. Of course the Gates have a interest in the topic as their foundation has provided grant funding to put computers in libraries across the country including our own. The study, which was conducted by the University of Washington is available online. While I don't think too many will be interested in reading all 212 pages, I do think that it is well worth spending a few minutes to read the first eleven pages of Executive Summary. I doubt if any of this information is news to those of us who work in libraries, but others may find the statistics informative.

The report tells us that 45% of the people who visited a public library last year connected to the Internet in some way during their visit, and that it didn't matter that 3/4 of those people already had Internet access somewhere else. It tells us that library computers are vitally important to the poor and those displaced by natural disasters. The report shows us how public libraries are an extension of the nation's education system, and that librarians provide services that enhance the experience of those who use library computers.

The study also touches on the uses patrons find for library computers: social connections, education, employment, health and wellness, eGovernment, community and civic engagement, and personal finance. Details, statistics and specific examples were given for each category.

The title of this post is linked to the full report. If you have a few minutes, take a look at it. There is much more there than the few bits of data that appeared in print.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Census 2010

If you have not sent in your Census 2010 form, please do. Library funding depends on your response to the Census. Much of our funding is based on population, so if you are not counted in the Census, the library does not receive funding from your tax dollars. If only 75% of the people living in an area respond to the Census, the government funded agencies in the area would only get 75% of the funding they deserve. If you want those agencies to be there for you, it is vital that you respond to the Census.

If you need census forms, the library has them in English and five other languages. The Census Questionnaire Assistance Center will be at the library three days a week until April 19th. It is staffed by a Census employee who will be glad to answer your questions about filling out the form.

Training at the Library

It's not often that you see fire trucks parked outside the library, but on March 19th the library was surrounded by emergency vehicles. There was no emergency at the library, just training for the local safety forces. The training concerned safety issues in responding to calls that might involve a meth lab. The fire trucks were brought to the library to be available in case of emergency.

Other local organizations have also found the library to be a convenient location for staff training. This year, two different businesses have trained food handlers at the library. Both lacked either the space or equipment to train at their own facility.

With the sound system, T1 line, and data projector installed in our activity room and the adjacent computer training room, PowerPoint presentations or DVDs can be projected and online data can easily be accessed. It's just another way that libraries promote learning.

Update on Library Funding

It's been an up and down week for libraries in West Virginia. Although the State Legislators agreed to maintain library funding at the current level in the budget bill that they adopted, the Governor used line item veto to reduced library funding in the category Grants to Public Libraries by $417,444 and in the category Libraries – Special Projects by $55,200. There were 55 items in the budget that were adjusted by the Governor, so libraries were not the only agencies to face reductions. For the Mary H. Weir Public Library, this means a cut in state funding of approximately $6,110 when we were already facing a nearly $12,000 increase in costs from the state retirement board. The new fiscal year doesn’t start until July, and when it does, our library will have approximately $18,000 less to work with than we have now.

Copies of the Legislature's bill and the Governor's veto are available on the website of the West Virginia State Budget Office at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

It seems that everyone knows about Dr. Seuss, but how well do we really know him? Dr. Seuss was born in Massachusetts on March 2, 1904 and was a graduate of Dartmouth College. In addition to over 60 children's books, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote humor, advertising and political cartoons. He used several pen names including Theo. LeSieg. If you want to find out more about this interesting man with a vivid imagination, the library owns several books about him including: The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, And Nothing But The Seuss : A Visual Biography Of Theodor Seuss Geisel by Charles D. Cohen, Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography by Judith & Neil Morgan and Dr. Seuss by Ruth MacDonald.

Spring Story Hour

Spring Story Hour Starts today with sessions at 1:00 and 6:00 for children ages 3 to 5. If you have a child in this age group and have not already registered, it is not too late! Join us for stories, crafts, music, and movies!

Extension Programs at the Library

The WVU Extension Service in Hancock County will be offering two workshops at the library this month.

All About Bees will be presented on March 11 at 1:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The guest speaker will be Joe Kovaleski from Buena Vista Honey Farms. He will discuss the basics of beekeeping and what bees do for our gardens. This program is sponsored by the Hancock County 4H and the Tri-State Master Gardeners Association.

Raising Backyard Poultry will be presented on March 22 at 6:00 p.m. The guest speaker will be Jerry Ours who is a Poultry and Environmental Specialist with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. He will be discussing poultry breeds, housing, feeding, production and disease prevention.

For more information, contact the WVU Extension Service, Hancock County at 304-564-3805.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Imagination Library Coming to Hancock County

If you live in Hancock County and have a child under the age of five, mark your calendars for Thursday, February 25! That is the launch date for Imagination Library in Hancock County. Imagination Library is a wonderful program that Dolly Parton began to encourage the children in her home county in Tennesse to love books and read. The State of West Virginia is now making it available to the children in the Northern Panhandle. Every child that registers will receive a book in the mail each month to keep. These are quality, age approprate books selected around a theme. Each library in Hancock County will be kicking off the program with a launch event. Ours will be in our Activity Room on the lower level from 10:00 to 1:00 on the 25th. There will be stories, food, door prizes, and a special guest. Each child attending the launch and registering for the program will receive the first book on that day. Join us for a fun time! If you can't attend the event, you can still register for the Imagination Library at any of the libraries in Hancock County anytime after the 25th of February.

Census Questionnaire Assistance Center

The Census Bureau is going to provide help for anyone who has questions about filling our their Census forms. A Questionnaire Assistance Center will be set up in the library during March and April. Look for the dates in an upcoming post.

Census Jobs Still Available

The Census Bureau is still testing for potential employees for the 2010 Census. The next testing at our library will be February 3 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Call 866-861-2010 for further information or to register.

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