Unique Northern Ohio Libraries

Here are some interesting Libraries in Northern Ohio.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler.

In my opinion, the best place to be during an Ohio winter is indoors with a good book, within arm’s reach of hot chocolate. However, by February, even I’m tired of hibernating. Snow or no snow, I need to get out! Often, I kill two birds with one stone by visiting the Wood County District Public Library, spending hours reading by the fireplace, chatting with friends, and going online. I love it there!

However, there are many other libraries in Ohio worth a visit, some tucked away in places you might not think to look, including public gardens, museums, professional organizations, and universities. Specialty libraries usually welcome visitors and allow collection use during visiting hours. Some also allow borrowing, although a membership or borrower’s card may be required first. One warning: be sure to call about policies, visiting hours, admission fees, and material availability before you visit; the current economic crisis is forcing a lot of changes.

One of my favorites is the Warren H. Corning Library, a breath of spring located at Kirtland’s Holden Arboretum. Planning future gardens here is a perfect antidote to snow! Only members can check books out, but the public is welcome whenever the library’s open. (The rare book room isn’t open to the public, but the curator might let you take a peek.)

Look for the free landscape bulletins, too, which offer helpful gardening information. (These are also available online, at www.holdenarb.org.

Need some fresh air? The arboretum has great hiking and cross-country ski trails –borrow a field guide and see how many animal tracks you can identify!

If there’s a child in the house, a trip to the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is a nice diversion.  The main branch has a really fun children’s section that can keep kids busy for hours, complete with characters from favorite stories and a huge children’s magazine section. They also have a nice eatery and gift shop.

Then there’s the Sanger Branch Library in Sylvania, home of a reading room filled with larger-than-life scenes from author/illustrator Denise Fleming’s picture books. (Interesting trivia: Fleming got her first library card as a child at the original Sanger.) A peek-a-boo brick wall, a tree twinkling with fireflies, a fish pond – kids can spend hours here finding favorite book scenes.

Take heart. Winter won’t last forever. Spring is on its way. When it finally arrives, a trip to the Bainbridge Library herb garden (brainchild of gardening enthusiast Kathy Catani) will banish the rest of your winter wearies.

“My daughter worked at the library [in 1988-1989],” says Kathy, “and whenever I’d … pick her up, I’d look at that piece of ground and think what a perfect place it would be for a garden. I finally put an article in the paper asking if anybody would be interested in helping me start an herb garden there, and I got a great response.”

These eager responders eventually formed the Chagrin Valley Herb Society, which is still involved in caring for the garden, as well as holding meetings and programs in the library.

The garden, divided into smaller gardens (such as a culinary garden, a potpourri garden, a butterfly garden, and a medicinal garden), includes two wheelchair-accessible fragrance gardens in raised beds labeled in Braille. Personal tours can be arranged through the library.

Many Ohio public libraries offer more than just reading material to their patrons. Here’s just a sample of unusual items that are available with a library card.

  • Cake pans of various shapes and sizes [Reed Memorial Library – Ravenna; J.R. Clarke Public Library – Covington; Hubbard Public Library]
  • Toys, puppets, puzzles, and games [too many to list]
  • Original art and art prints  [Norwalk Public Library; Wayne County Public Library – Wooster]
  • Woodworking and crafts patterns and blueprints [Lorain Public Library]
  • Polaroid cameras [Milton-Union Public Library – West Milton]
  • Microscope [Wornstaff Public Library – Ashley]
  • Video games [Morley Library – Painesville; Hubbard Public Library]
  • 10’ x 10’ gazebo with netting; live animal traps; sewing machine; telescopes [Canal Fulton Public Library]

There are too many great Ohio libraries to list them all; below are a few more you can investigate on your own, plus the contact information for all the places mentioned in the main article above. Happy hunting!

Check These Out:

  • Avon Lake Public Library
    32649 Electric Blvd.
    Avon Lake OH 44012
    Phone: 440-933-8128
    Website: [library] http://www.alpl.org
    [DiscoveryWorks]
    Website: Click here
    Email: refdesk@avonlake.lib.oh.us
    Hours [DiscoveryWorks]: M-Th 10:30 am – 12:30 pm; 2:30 pm – 5 pm & Fri 10:30 am – 12:30 pm; 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Home of DiscoveryWorks, a hands-on arts and science learning center for children
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden
    11030 East Boulevard
    Cleveland, Ohio  44106
    Phone: 216-707-2812
    Website: http://www.cbgarden.org
    Email:  [garden] info@cbgarden.org
    [librarian] gesmonde@cbgarden.org
    Hours: After Labor Day until Memorial Day Tue-Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun Noon – 5:00 pm, Closed Mondays. Hershey Children’s Garden closes for winter November 1; all other gardens remain open throughout winter. Extensive horticultural library [the Eleanor Squire Library]
  • Hudson Library and Historical Society
    96 Library St.
    Hudson OH 44236
    Phone: 330-653-6658
    Website: www.hudsonlibrary.org/
    Email: tjojtk@gmail.com [Gwen Mayer, archivist]
    Hours: M-Th 9 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat 9 am -5 pm; Sun Noon -5 pm.
    Extensive collection of abolitionist John Brown material, including all books written about him or Underground Railroad/Anti-Slavery activities in Ohio.
  • North Canton Public Library
    Home of The Little Art Gallery
    185 North Main Street
    North Canton, Ohio  44720
    Phone: 330-499-4712
    Website: [library] www.ncantonlibrary.org
    Email: gallery@northcantonlibrary.org
    Hours: M-Th 9 am to 9 pm; Fri  9 pm to 6 pm; Sat 9 pm to 5 pm; Sun 1 pm to 5 pm, Labor Day through Memorial Day.
    Features artists from Stark County and surrounding NE Ohio in monthly shows; they sometimes include art by local children.
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Archives and Information Center
    2121 George Halas Drive NW|
    Canton OH 44708
    Phone: 330-456-8207
    Website: www.profootballhof.com
    Email: tourism@profootballhof.com
    Hours: M-Fri 9 am – 5 pm [call first; AIC open only by appointment]
    Everything you want to know about pro football; huge collection of Spaulding guides, clippings, scrapbooks, media guides, etc.
  • Rocky River Public Library
    1600 Hampton Rd.
    Rocky River OH 44116
    Phone: 440-333-7610 [museum ext. 3763]
    Website [library]: http://www.rrpl.org
    Website [museum]:  Click here, www.cowanpottery.org
    Email [museum curator]:  c.jacobs@rrpl.org
    Hours: M-Th 1 pm -9 pm; Fri & Sat 9 am -6 pm; Sun 1 pm -5 pm
    Home of Cowan Pottery Museum, world’s largest publicly owned collection of Cowan pottery (over 1200 pieces, including “Jazz Bowl”, by Viktor Schreckengost); also in-depth collection of ceramics and porcelain reference materials. Contact museum’s curator to schedule tour.

Libraries Mentioned in Article:

  • The Bainbridge Library
    17222 Snyder Road
    Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
    Phone: 440-543-5611
    Website: Click here
    Email: bainbrid@oplin.org
    Hours: [library] Fall/Winter M-Th 9 am- 9 pm; Fri-Sat. 9 am – 5 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5 pm [garden] Dawn to dusk.
  • Holden Arboretum
    9500 Sperry Road
    Kirtland, Ohio 44094
    Phone: 440-946-4400 (Warren H. Corning Library: ext. 225; Rare Book Room: ext. 139)
    Website: www.holdenarb.org
    E-mail: holden@holdenarb.org
    Hours: T-Sat 10am – 5pm; Closed Mondays
    Rare Book Room use by appointment only. ID guides available from library or Corning Visitor Center information desk.
  • Toledo-Lucas County Public Library – Main
    325 Michigan St.
    Toledo, OH 43566
    Phone: 419-259-5207
    Website: www.toledolibrary.org
    Email: Dorcel.Dowdell@toledolibrary.org [main library manager]
    Hours: M-Th 9 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat 9 am – 5:30 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Toledo-Lucas County Public Library – Sanger Branch
    3030 West Central Ave.
    Toledo, OH 43606
    Phone: 419-259-5370
    Website: Click here
    Email: Erin.Connolly [branch manager]
    Hours: M-Th 9 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat 9 am – 5:30 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Wood County District Public Library
    251 N. Main St.
    Bowling Green OH 43402
    Phone: 419-352-5104
    Website: http://wcdpl.lib.oh.us/
    Email: woodref@oplin.org
    Hours: M-W 10 am – 8:30 pm; Th-Fri 10 am – 6 pm; Sat 10 am – 5 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5 pm

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Betty Winslow