Library Use is Increasing

             2012 was a very busy year for the Meigs County District Public Library.  Even with budget cuts still in effect, library usage has increased.  Some of the increase is due to the library’s membership in the Ohio Valley Library Consortium (OVLC), which allows for sharing materials with 6 other libraries in the region.  Meigs County is what is known as a “net lender” in the program.  Overall, we lend more items to other libraries in the consortium than the number of items our patrons borrow from consortium libraries.  That’s not to say our patrons don’t borrow a lot though. 
              Here are a few numbers from our recent annual state report.  The Meigs County Library currently has 22,142 registered borrowers, 16,406 of whom are adults and 5,736 of whom are children.  Of those registered, 7,907 have used their library card in the last 3 years.  Library staff circulated 169,913 items in 2012.  This number was made up of 133,368 adult items and 38,545 children’s items.  E-books hit an all-time high at MCDPL with 4,129 circulations in 2012.  We provided 12,122 items to be borrowed by other libraries around the state including 150 libraries in the MORE (Moving Ohio’s Resources Everywhere) Consortium, and the 6 libraries in our more local OVLC consortium.  From those same libraries, we borrowed 7,309 items for use by our patrons in Meigs County. 

Microfilm Available in Digital Format

              For those who have been wondering what happened to the library’s microfilm, wonder no more.  The microfilm was sent away to a company in Indiana to be digitized for easier use.  We now have all of the newspapers that were previously available on microfilm available on computer files that are searchable by key word.  The process, called OCR (optical character recognition), took about three months to complete, but it will make for much faster searching of old records for our genealogists and others interested in finding articles in old local newspapers.  The files are grouped in the same way the microfilm rolls were grouped, which means there are approximately three months of newspapers in a file.  The user can type in a name, or any key word, and the program will take you to the first instance of that word in the file.  If that isn’t the reference you were looking for, just click and the program takes you to the next instance of that word and so on through the entire file.

Remembering the Silver Bridge Disaster of 1967

The collapse of the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River from Kanauga, Ohio to Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia on Dec. 15, 1967 is a part of the fabric of our area.  Anyone living in the region that is old enough to remember the collapse has a story to tell.  They all remember where they were when they first heard the terrible news.  Like the death of President Kennedy or the Attack on Sept. 11th for the current generation, the collapse of the Silver Bridge is burned into their minds and has affected their lives moving forward.  For those of us who grew up in the aftermath of the collapse, I speak from experience when I say that I remember many stories of the collapse and grew up hearing them told again and again. 

Even now, if you mention the bridge collapse in a group of people, someone has a connection of some sort to a person who either lost their life on the Silver Bridge or escaped the disaster by some twist of fate or divine providence.  The Point Pleasant River Museum serves as an archive of the rich history of the Silver Bridge fall and Stephan G. Bullard, Bridget J. Gromek, Martha Fout and Ruth Fout have authored a book, The Silver Bridge Disaster of 1967  full of photographs, history, and personal accounts which tell the story of the tragedy in vivid detail.