Celebrating the reopening of the first floor of the Mount Gilead Public Library are (left to right) are Library Director Melissa Kipp; library patrons Logan, Oliver and Zac Butterfield; and librarians Randi Spoon and Lisa King.

Alberta Stojkovic | AIM Media Midwest

The knitting group meets at the Mount Gilead Public Library every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. The group welcomes anyone to bring their knitting project and knit with them. Pictured (left to right) are Sandy Decker, Sally Sayers and Sharon Campbell.

Alberta Stojkovic | AIM Media Midwest

Children’s Librarian Jillian Lastoria in the newly decorated and painted story room with Tiny Tots group.

Alberta Stojkovic | AIM Media Midwest

After having the first floor of the Mount Gilead Public Library closed for the entire summer, both the library staff and patrons were happy to celebrate the opening of the lower entry and first floor on Sept. 5.

Library Director Melissa Kipp said they appreciated the support of the community in taking the extra steps to use the front entry on High Street throughout the summer months when the lower floor was closed off.

“The children’s story hours with Jillian were well attended,” Kipp said. “It showed the community’s support for the programs.”

The library’s lower floor closed Saturday, May 20, after the sewer system backed up. The overflow and water damage caused not only the replacement of pipes and the sewer system, but also all the carpeting on the first floor had to be replaced. Mold and mildew got into the walls, drywall was replaced and all the walls on the first floor have a fresh coat of paint.

Most of the furniture was saved as well as the first-floor circulation desk. Children’s librarian Jillian Lastoria said it’s fortunate no books or children’s materials were lost with the water damage.

“It’s good to have the library back to normal,” said Sally Sayers, who arrived for the opening with members of the monthly knitting group which meets at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday.

Several other adult groups are starting to meet in September. They include The Book Club every second Thursday at 6 p.m.; Beyond the Book Club meets the second Monday at 10:30 a.m.; and the Senior Book Club meets at 1 p.m. the third Thursday at Seniors on Center. The Cookbook Club meets on the first Saturday at noon and members bring a dish following the month’s theme.

Ongoing programs include the Adult Reading Challenge for those 18 years old and older. The challenge is to read 25 books in 2023 and receive a fleece jacket. Challenge logs to record books read are on the second floor. There is also a Teen 2023 Reading Challenge for youth between the ages of 13-18.

The library has access to Ancestry.com for patrons at no charge. Card holders can use the library’s computers to access the website or use their laptops, tablets, or phones to trace family ancestors. Another favorite activity is the adult and teen monthly craft. Library patrons can pick up a craft on the second floor. The library Facebook page or website will have in-house craft days listed.

Children will have weekly crafts available at story hour and the pickup desk. Tiny Tots (0-3 years) meet every Tuesday at 11 a.m., Storytime (3-5 years) is every Wednesday at 10:45 a.m., and Moovin’ and Groovin’ (0-3 years) for songs and dance is every Thursday at 11 a.m.

Tech support is available by making an appointment with Kyla or stopping in on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the library. Zumba Gold will be held on Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m., starting Sept. 19.

Library hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library is closed Sunday.

For more information, visit www.mt-gilead.lib.oh.us or call 419-947-5866.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.