A brief article which appeared in the Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018 edition of the Times Bulletin, page A-2, caught my attention. Entitled, “United Way Supports Convoy Preschool Lending Library,” the said article stated that $547 was allocated from the United Way’s New Initiative Funds that promote one-time money for a new project or program.” The article also stated that The Convoy Preschool Lending Library will be beneficial as “the local library hours have been cut and many parents cannot get to the library.”

As the President of the Brumback Library Board of Trustees, I can unequivocally attest to the fact that the Convoy Branch of the Brumback Library, which has an operating schedule of 35 hours per week, has had the same schedule since 2005. Librarian Cynthia Money will likewise confirm these facts.

Over the years, Ms. Money has worked diligently and most effectively with Ms. Tonalee King, Director of the Convoy Preschool, in hosting monthly preschool story time sessions for her students. After school activities as well as The Brumback Library’s annual Summer Reading Program which included 100 registered children in June and July at the Convoy Branch, further attest to the fact that the facility is indeed well used and well loved by the community’s children and their families. Finally, we are pleased to report that the 2017 circulation for the Convoy Branch exceeded 54,000 items.

The Brumback Library has provided schools and teachers throughout the county with classroom collections for over 116 years. If Ms. King is interested, we can help fill the “so-called gap” at the Convoy Preschool by simply making a teacher/school card available so that she can select several titles to supplement her classroom collection. The funds which Ms. King obtained via the United Way of Van Wert County may enhance her current book collection at the preschool, but the Brumback Library offers much, much more. With over 58,000 print and nonprint items in its children’s collection at Main Library, this nationally recognized landmark is located seven miles east of Convoy. (It should be noted that Main Library has an operating schedule of 54 hours per week. For our patrons’ convenience, there are also four other branch sites throughout the county. These facilities are located in Middle Point, Ohio City, Willshire, and Wren. All together, we have a combined service schedule of 181 hours per week staffed by eight full-time employees and one part-time employee who works on Saturdays. When many public libraries throughout the state of Ohio drastically cut their service hours due to major funding cuts and freezes beginning in 2002, our Library minimally cut hours so that Van Wert County residents would have access to a myriad of resources.)

It should be noted that the Brumback Library holds one of the largest rural public library collections in the state of Ohio with well over 290,000 items to encourage reading, learning, and literacy. With over 28,000 registered borrowers, countless activities and programs throughout the year, as well as a dedicated director, staff, and volunteers, the Library’s record speaks for itself. Governed by the Will of John Sanford Brumback, the Brumback Library serves all of Van Wert County with the exception of Delphos which has its own library.

Meeting the diverse needs of generations of Van Wert County residents, the Brumback Library’s 116-year mission remains the same - to meet the educational, research, and reading needs for the very young, school age, adult, and senior citizen, by serving as a lifelong center of learning for one and all. We encourage everyone to visit this county gem and avail themselves to our resources and services.

Sincerely,

The Brumback Library Board of Trustees

Joan Stripe, President

Sally Snyder, Vice President

Linda Bagley, Secretary

Beth Brumback

D. L. Brumback, IV

Michael Cross

Gary Taylor