Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Last Inside Story

The New Year is bringing new changes for the Library's blogs. We are discontinuing The Inside Story, Search Savvy and Business Briefs blogs as of December 31st, 2013. Never fear! While there may be fewer blogs, you will get MORE content as we launch In The Know. This new blog  features the best information resources, apps, trends and news-you-need-to-know from inside and outside the Library.

We are excited about this new blog and encourage you subscribe to the RSS feed to ensure that you don't miss a single post!

As always, we appreciate and welcome any feedback on the new blog!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trustee Wins Competition

It's funny how things work out. A couple of years ago, Library Board of Trustee Sarah B. Rickman had the opportunity to attend the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop luncheon and happened to meet one of the principals from Greyden Press. Like any good writer (and Sarah has written quite a number of books and newspaper columns in her lifetime), Sarah was interested in talking about how an author goes about getting published. She had had a few successes in the past, but no writer rests on their laurels.

Flash forward to this September and announcement from Greyden Press that Sarah's book Flight to Destiny had just won their 2013 Book Competition. We talked with Sarah about the process, her story is below, and it's a perfect how-to primer for writers:

"Flight to Destiny, my novel that just won the Grand Prize for fiction in the Greyden Press 2013 Book Competition, had been “in the drawer” for 12 years lacking its final chapters. It was written in 1999 while I researched and laid groundwork for what was to become my first published book, The Originals, The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II — a history, therefore nonfiction.

Flight to Destiny was, in fact, a loosely fictionalized version of The Originals, another book I'd written. 

When my mentor for the writing of The Originals, Nancy Batson Crews, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2000, I abandoned the novel and quickly went to work writing the nonfiction book, but not before I entered the first three chapters of Flight to Destiny in the 2000 Historical Fiction category of the Pikes Peak Writers Conference Paul Gillette writing competition. 

Flight to Destiny won first place! Since I had won the previous year (1999) for Flight From Fear, that made back-to-back wins for me. I was feeling pretty good about my writing. 

But Nancy and The Originals had become my priority — in fact my own destiny. 

Early in 2011, with four published books behind me — including the novel Flight From Fear — I pulled out “Destiny” and decided to finish the job. Three months later, with five additional chapters and an epilogue, “Destiny” was finished. That is the manuscript I entered in the Greyden competition.

I met David Braughler, Greyden’s sales rep, at the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. As a trustee of Washington-Centerville Library, and one of the founders of the library’s Erma Bombeck Writing Competition that later joined with the University of Dayton to establish the conference, I was invited to attend. I approached David for information on reprinting Flight From Fear, now out of print. During our negotiations, this past spring, he suggested that I enter the novel that I termed a “prequel” to “Fear” — Flight to Destiny — in the 2013 competition.

The rest is history."

Congratulations, Sarah! For more information about the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop or the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, visit our website.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Thought I Was a Music Lover

by Georgia Mergler
Community Relations Manager

I’ve always been a music lover, or so I thought. I listen to music when I work, clean house, exercise, and drive; but, apparently, my music library is quite dinky compared with the average listener’s. According to a recent study, the average music library has more than 7,000 songs. Now, depending on the size of your phone, iPod or other player, you may not have the ability to store all those on your device; but, nonetheless, 7,000 songs is a LOT to have on file!

So, now that I’m feeling woefully below average, I’m looking to beef up my ‘holdings,’ so to speak. Luckily for me, I work at Washington-Centerville Public Library and have access to lots of great resources for getting music including:
  • Freegal – This database of more than seven million songs from 10,000 different recording labels, allows library cardholders to download up to three songs each week and keep them forever. The service is compatible with all MP3 players. Did I mention that these downloads are free? Simply visit and click on eMusic.
  • CDs – Not that I am suggesting anyone would illegally copy music off a CD, but checking out CDs is a great way to ‘test drive’ new songs and artists before you commit to those precious downloads (free or paid for). Library CDs check out for three weeks and can be placed on hold. We have all the latest titles and artists in a variety of genres.
  • Holiday Music – Ready to get into the holiday spirit with some holiday music, but don’t want to pay for it? Holiday CDs are available for checkout and can add a festive ambiance to your next holiday gathering. These CDs check out for only a week so that more patrons can enjoy them during the holiday season.
So, if you need to pad your music library and don’t want to pay $1 or more per song to do so, visit and start downloading songs for free, or checkout some CDs to test drive music before you download. For more information on music available through our Library, visit our website or call 937-433-8091.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Library: It's Not Just Books

Photo by Lamott Jackson
One of our favorite writers and comedians is New Yorker Leighann Lord. She was our speaker at the Erma Bombeck Celebration in 2010 and will be back in Dayton giving a Stand-Up Bootcamp in April 2014 for the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop at University of Dayton. Here's what she had to say about the need for libraries in a recent post from her website The Urban Erma. We couldn't have said it better!

I casually mentioned that I was at The Library the other day and the person I was chatting with looked at me and said, “The library? Why?” They seemed genuinely surprised that I would voluntarily go. I could see they thought The Library was somewhere you went as a kid only because somebody made you. My conversation companion said, “Can’t you just download books now?” Of course I can, but The Library is not just books.


In many neighborhoods The Library is a community center. It’s where mothers bring their little ones for Story Hour. It’s where immigrants go for classes to learn English as a second language. It’s where people who are unemployed go for job training and to search the web for work. The Library gives senior citizens a close and accessible place to go and not be homebound. And yes, The Library is still where kids go after school to do their homework getting research help from The Librarian when they need it. It’s not just books.

Depending on resources, The Library is the hip, hot, happening spot. I’m dead serious. Have you been lately? The Library is a repository of knowledge and a curator of culture. It has workshops, readings, movies, and concerts – for kids and adults – FREE OF CHARGE. Say it with me: “The Library! It’s not just books!”

Well technically it’s not free either. We pay for it with our tax money. Which is why it’s infuriating when the community is threatened with Library budget cuts, staff layoffs, reduced hours, and branch closings. Politicians and Library advocates do this budget dance every year. How about next year we don’t and say we did? I’ll see your unsustainable sports stadium, that only a handful of people want, and raise you a fully-staffed, stocked, and extended-hours Library branch that everybody can use.

It’s easy to think that the Internet and fast access to information has replaced our need for a neighborhood Library. It hasn’t. Don’t assume everybody has a Kindle or an iPad with affordable cloud access. They don’t. But if you do The Library lets you download books, music, and movies 24-hours a day. It makes my unabridged audiobook addiction affordable. Sure, I can order them instantly from Audible or Amazon, but it’s hard to beat free.

So you don’t have to physically go to The Library to enjoy what it has to offer. But when you do you’re not stepping into some old and dusty book mausoleum, cut off from the outside world. The Library has wifi. Free. Wifi. Not. Just. Books.

As you can see, I’m biased. I was the little kid my Mom took to Story Hour. I was the teenager who hung out at The Library with my friends after school. Did I ever kiss a boy in the stacks? Absolutely! And if you haven’t I highly recommend it. Hell, I hope I get to do it again. (What’s better than literature and love?) I’ve gone to workshops, jewelry making classes, and most recently my Library’s Mac Monday classes helped get me up to speed on my MacBook Pro. I’ve even done stand-up comedy shows there. So yeah, that’s why I still go to The Library.

And someday, I might be the senior citizen who shuffles down to my local branch, sits in a comfy chair by the window and watches the little ones listen to The Children’s Librarian read them a story; because The Library is not just books but that’s where it starts. 

Leighann Lord

The Urban Erma, the longest running column on, was created and written by stand-up comedian Leighann Lord. Listen to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Watch the video edition on If you enjoy The Urban Erma please leave a comment, Like it on Facebook, follow on Twitter, And share it with your friends. (Share it with people who are not your friends and maybe they will be.) Get her free e-books of The Great Spanx Experiment and Sometimes I Wish Facebook Had a Hate Button.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We Honor our Veterans

Join us November 9th through the 11th as we honor our nation's heroes during Veteran's Week at the Library. Our special Exhibit is a joint collaboration with the Centerville-Washington Township Historical Society and will feature books, artifacts, military uniforms, and more. Children can make thank you cards to send to the troops in Afghanistan just in time for the holidays.

Per tradition, each Veteran's Day at the Veterans Memorial at Stubbs Park at 11:11 AM, the City of Centerville and VFW Post 9550 salute the men and women who have served in the armed services. For more information about this Veterans Day ceremony, please call (937) 433-7151.

After the ceremony, everyone is invited to an Open House from 11 AM until 9 PM at the Centerville Library where refreshments courtesy of Bill's Donuts and Centerville Kroger Marketplace will be provided.

Also, on Monday, November 11, from 1 to 2:30 PM, there will be a special presentation from Dayton's National Cemetery. You can learn whether you, a veteran or their dependents are eligible for burial benefits in one of our nation's 161 national cemeteries. Afterward, tour the exhibit as we pay tribute to the patriotic men and women who have shaped our country's rich heritage.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's Great to Have Friends

The Friends of Washington-Centerville Public Library recently hosted two events that raised funds for the Library. The first was their annual Fall Book Sale held last weekend. Books, DVDs, CD-Books and music were on display in the Centerville Community Room for the hundreds of shoppers who visited. The Friends raised $7,483! A big thank you goes out to Two Men and a Truck who donated their time and resources to move our materials, as well as volunteers from both the Friends group and the Octagon (Optimist) Club at Alter High School and students from Centerville High School who also lent a hand!

The second was a take-over at Archer's Restaurant which resulted in an additional $206 for the Friends group.

Book sales and restaurant take-overs are just a couple of the ways Friends of the Washington-Centerville Public Library raise funds that are, in turn, used to make grants to the Library. To date, the Friends have granted more than $30,000 to the Library to help purchase computers for children, eReaders, new book trucks, and more!

For more information about how you can get involved in this exciting group, visit

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Library Cardholders Can Borrow From Libraries Statewide

Thanks to a collaborative effort between more than 100 public and academic libraries, Washington-Centerville Public Library cardholders can now access millions of items from libraries across Ohio. The Library is now participating in SearchOhio and OhioLINK, two services that extend the use of some items in a library's collection to borrowers from other participating libraries and vice-versa. "Our patrons will get access to many more materials, but will still have priority when it comes to checking out items from our collection. Items on hold or that are part of our Express Collections cannot be lent to other libraries," says Kristi Hale, Woodbourne Library Manager.

The service offers local patrons access to more than 80 million items owned by other participating libraries across the state. "If a patron can't find something in our collection while searching the eCatalog, they request it and it will typically arrive within 3-4 business days," comments Ms. Hale.

All Washington-Centerville Public library cardholders who have an account in good standing can use the service, but library officials note that materials from different libraries have different fines/fees associated with them.

For complete details on SearchOhio and Ohiolink services, visit or call the Library at 937-433-8091.