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  • 06 Feb 2015 11:55 AM | Anonymous

     Each year the Friends make a contribution to the Library in the amount of 4.5% of the year end total of the Endowment Fund.  This year an endowment fund distribution check of $8,761.00 was presented to Library Director, Randy Matlow by Friends Board President, Jan Dick and Friends Board Treasurer, Brian Ravencraft.  The Board of Directors are proud to continue making a difference in our library.

  • 10 Jan 2015 10:27 AM | Anonymous

    Ring in the New Year with our exciting new member benefits! The Friends are now able to offer several new benefits to new and renewing members on an annual basis.  Each year members will be able to redeem the following at the Main Library and/or Raymond branch:

    one free K cup drink from the library cafe (Main branch only)

    one free book from the Friends book sale cart

    one free fax (maximum 10 pages)

    one-time credit up to $5 applicable towards overdue library materials

    Renew or Join Now and Be Among Friends!

  • 10 Jan 2015 8:28 AM | Anonymous

    The Friends annual winter Scholastic Book Fair was held December 8-14. All proceeds from the sale benefit the library through the Scholastic Dollars program.  The book fair sales this year earned the library over $1,700 in Scholastic Dollars which are used to purchase new library materials through Scholastic.  Special thanks to Friends board president Jan Dick for coordinating the event and all the volunteers and library staff who helped. 

  • 15 Sep 2014 8:51 AM | Anonymous

    This years Annual Member Luncheon was held at Lucasey's Italian Bistro on September 14.

     President Dave Irish reviewed our accomplishments from the past year and gave updates on our current projects.  A vote was held to elect board members renewing 3 year terms: Calvin Wood, Mardy Hanlon-Stolte, Melissa Hackett, Brian Ravencraft, Jan Dick, Kay Olson and Julie Klein. 

    Long time board member Linda Davisson was honored for her years of service to the Friends of the Library.  Her service on committees, dedication to the Friends mission and willingness to always lend a helping hand were shared with the group.

    Members enjoyed their meal while being entertained by the Union County Historical Players.  Their reenactment of Civil War era local citizens stories was interesting and enjoyable. 

    A lawn spreader and fertilizer donated by The Scotts Company were given as door prizes.   

  • 07 May 2014 3:11 PM | Anonymous
    Ohio author, James Renner, spoke at the final event in the 9th Annual Author Series.  A true crime writer from Akron, OH; Renner has published three non-fiction books and has begun to write fiction over the last few years.  Despite being fictional works his latest novels still possess elements of true life.
  • 01 May 2014 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    Writer explores the presence of the paranormal 

     By Mardy Hanlon-Stolte

     Ohio Writer John Kachuba shared his ghosthunting experiences with audience members at the Friends of the Marysville Public Library Author Series last evening at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium.

     Kachuba teaches Creative Writing at Ohio University and Antioch University Midwest.  He also serves on the Gotham Writers Workshop faculty and is a speaker on the paranormal at conferences, libraries and universities.

     Kachuba began the program by presenting three responses to the question:  What is a ghost?  He explained the impact of quantum physics and quantum mechanics on understanding the paranormal.

     “Some of the discoveries in these areas are unbelievable,” Kachuba said. 

     According to Kachuba, a ghost could also be an entity created in a person’s mind or an entity from the “dark side.”

     “A true paranormal investigator will keep all (three) in mind.” he said.

     Kachuba showcased two of his books, “Ghosthunting Ohio” (2004) and “Ghosthunting Ohio: On the Road Again” (2011).  These publications are selections from the America’s Haunted Road Series and feature information about haunted locales, pertinent ghost stories and a paranormal travel guide for those who are interested in ghosthunting excursions of their own.

     Research for his ghosthunting books involved historical documentation, traveling to sites, personal interviews of witnesses and hunting along side paranormal investigators.  Usually on ghosthunts, Kachuba packs a recorder and a camera.

     “I don’t carry much,” he said. “I’m basically a writer.”

     Kachuba highlighted several haunted sites in the Buckeye state and explained the significance, background and popular culture of the historical periods. A few are as follows: Collingwood Art Center in Toledo, Thurber House in Columbus, and the Cincinnati Observatory.

     Concluding this year’s Author Series will be James Renner on Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium.  Tickets can be purchased at the door.

  • 24 Mar 2014 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    Versatile writer hones her craft through love of fiction and history

    By Mardy Hanlon-Stolte

    “If you want to be a writer, you have to check your ego at the door,” Mary Ellis said last evening at the Friends of the Marysville Public Library Author Series at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium.

    The writer’s program marked the second of four author visits in the series, which is in its ninth year.

    Ellis shared her perspective on the challenges of “getting published in a rapid pace world.”  While in her forties, she began her writing career.

    “I was a school teacher before I was a writer,” Ellis said.

    She pursued traditional publishing that requires a writer to have an agent whose job is to “work for you.” 

    “They have a vested interest in you, the writer,” she said.

    At that time, self-publishing didn’t exist.  According to Ellis, there are advantages and disadvantages to self-publishing.

    “It’s not an easier way.  You still have to learn your craft,” she said.

    Ellis explained how the first step in writing is to conceptualize an idea by developing a story through populating characters and events.

    “Drama is what drives writing,” she said.  “A story of my life would put you to sleep.  You want drama.”

    Fifteen years ago, Ellis tackled writing an historical romance. 

    “I’ve always been a great reader,” she said. “I’ve always loved fiction…and  history.”

    The novel takes place during the Civil War. Research required Ellis to visit battle sites, such as Gettysburg and Antietam.

    “This was, by the way, before Google,” she said.

    Unfortunately for Ellis, core readership in historical fiction was low at that time and she received multiple rejections from publishers.

    “Rejection hurts,” she said.

    Taking the advice from publishing sources, Ellis began writing Amish romances that was a popular genre.  Living in Medina, she traveled to Ohio’s Amish counties – Wayne and Holmes in the northeastern part of the state – and Lancaster, PA.

    “I started spending my weekends there,” Ellis said.

    While conducting her research, she befriended members of the Amish community and gained their confidence.  Ellis consulted them about her depiction of cultural aspects featured in her writing.  She focused on authenticity and accuracy of the Amish lifestyle.

    Ellis has written 12 novels that are set in the Amish community, including “The Plain Man,” her final Amish romance.

    “I’m very proud of my work,” she said.

    In time, Ellis learned readership in Amish fiction was dropping.  Because agents always “have a finger on interest of readers,” she took her agent’s recommendations to heart and decided to “try something else.”

    “If you’re lucky enough to get an agent, whatever advice he or she gives you…take it,” Ellis said.

    And she did exactly that by revisiting her Civil War fiction piece  that she wrote15 years earlier.  “The Quaker and the Rebel,” the first in her Civil War Heroines series, was released earlier this year and is the first of a new three book series.

    Revising the novel was far more daunting than Ellis had anticipated.  She admitted thinking, “It will be an easy job once I sign my contract for a three book series.”

    “Not so,” Ellis said.  “I really liked the story, so I labored through it and repaired it.”

    Currently, Ellis is writing her second Civil War novel that involves a love triangle.  She assured the audience “not to get worried…it’s still PG rated.”

     “Stories do take on a life of their own,” Ellis said.

    Author John Kachuba will be the next featured writer of the Author Series on April 29 at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, 233 W. 6th St.  Tickets can be purchased that evening.

    (Article originally published in Marysville Journal Tribune March 22, 2014 and reprinted here with permission from the author)




  • 22 Feb 2014 7:55 PM | Anonymous

    Spirit of imagination fuels author’s passion for speculative writing

    By Mardy Hanlon-Stolte

    "I loved writing in high school. I loved writing in college," said writer Matt Betts at last evening’s 9th annual Author Series.

    Hosted by the Friends of the Marysville Public Library, the first program of the 2014 series took place last evening at Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium.

    Growing up in Lima and attending college in Toledo, Betts gravitated to popular culture. He would enjoy writing speculative poetry about the paranormal.

    "There is such a thing as speculative poetry," he said. "It’s horror, science fiction and fantasy."

    Betts’ poem, "Godzilla’s Better Half" or "The Night Godzilla Dumped His Chick" (the title he prefers), was nominated for a Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. Although Betts didn’t win the award, he is proud his speculative poetry was recognized by the prestigious organization.

    Betts explained to the audience how watching Godzilla topple tall buildings featured in old horror films and seeing his 6-month-old son knock down building block towers served as similar creative images for his writing of the poem.

    Betts then pursued writing a short story because he "wasn’t brave enough to write a novel at first." He submitted his work to magazines and anthologies for publication only to face multiple rejections that did include valuable advice.

    "I took the recommendations of editors to heart," Betts said.

    Many of them liked his short story but were critical of "how he ended his work at a place where they wanted more (content)." The concept of expanding the length of his short story of 8,000 words to a novel of 85,000 seemed daunting to him.

    "I had no idea what I was doing," Betts said.

    He decided to write "Odd Man Out," a steampunk novel about Union and Confederate soldiers maintaining a truce in California during the Civil War. Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction that includes science fiction, fantasy or horror themes and takes place during historical times when steam power was greatly used.

    "When I was writing this, I was aware of the ‘zombie problem’ in America," Betts said. "I wanted zombies to be an element of the book and not the focus."

    Betts cast his characters – good guys and bad guys – and expanded their roles as well as the major conflict.

    His writing involved researching the Civil War battles.

    "I loved the research for this book," Betts said. "I love history. There was quite a bit of activity in the West (during the war)."

    Betts shared how he would write during his work day lunch hours and at night. He would also "write in his head" during his time commuting to and from his job.

    "I had to eke out any time I could," Betts added.

    He spent a year and a half writing the first version followed by eight different edits of the book.

    "There were a lot of changes," Betts said.

    He engaged the interest and input of writers groups as well as beta readers whom he selected to read the novel.

    "I sent the book to a lot of people to make it better," Betts said.

    In August 2013, "Odd Man Out" was published by Dog Star Books, an all science fiction division of Raw Dog Screaming Press. He has signed a three-year contract that will include sequels to his novel.

    Betts already has an idea for two sequels. "Just ask my mom…I’ve always had an imagination," he said.

    The Author Series continues Tuesday, March 18 when writer Lillian Duncan visits Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, 233 W. 6th St. in Marysville, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased that evening.

    (Article originally published in Marysville Journal Tribune, February 21, 2014.  Reprinted here with permission from the author.)

  • 12 Feb 2014 5:03 PM | Anonymous

    The Friends make an annual contribution to the Library in the amount of 4.5% of the year end total of the Endowment Fund.  This year an endowment fund distribution check of $7,638.00 was presented to Library Director, Randy Matlow by Friends Board President, Dave Irish and Friends Board Treasurer, Brian Ravencraft.  The Board of Directors are proud to be able make a lasting contribution to our library.

  • 20 Dec 2013 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    The annual Friends Scholastic Book Fair was held December 7-14, 2013 offering many book and gift selections for the holiday season.  All proceeds from the book fair benefit the library.  This years book fair sales earned the library $622.41 in Scholastic dollars allowing the library to purchase materials through Scholastic.  Many thanks to board member Kathy Dietsch for her organizing efforts and the volunteers from the Friends Board and library who helped with another successful book fair!


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