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New Library Director Talks About Plans

Sonya Huser, the new director of the Archbold Community Library, outlined several ideas she plans to implement.

Speaking to the Library Board during its Wednesday, Dec. 13 meeting, she talked about subjects ranging from changing the organization system of the library to new audio players.

“When you inherited me, you inherited a lot of new and almost-new books,” she said

The library where she worked before was closed, and there were hundreds of books available. She brought some of them to Archbold.

They range from young adult books to childrens books– some for middle readers.

She told the board she met with Michelle Bagrowski, curriculum director for Archbold schools.

“I am excited about establishing a partnership,” she said, adding, “I want to start with kids, marketing to teachers.”

She suggested sets of young adult books could be checked out and students could have a book club to discuss the books.

Huser said Bagrowski suggested study guides for the teachers.

“You don’t want to give teachers books without something to go with them,” said Huser.

She said she and Bagrowski also talked about encouraging students to write and edit book reviews.

To get involved in a drawing or prize, a student would be required to complete a book review.

Another suggestion Huser said Bagrowski made was having the library host author visits that would be arranged by the school.

All the library would have to provide is the space.


Huser said she is striving for more balance in the adult section of the library. Motioning to the stacks of books, she said, “You can see at a glance we have so much more fiction than non-fiction. I want more of a balance.

“Nonfiction needs to be rejuvenated.”

She said she also wants to “jazz up our magazines,” explaining there are several popular titles such as Time and Sports Illustrated that aren’t on the racks.

Huser and Jennifer Harkey, library fiscal officer, toured the Evergreen Community Library in Metamora, where staff had moved from the traditional Dewey Decimal system for categorizing books to “Dewey Light.”

Dewey Light cuts down the number of categories for books.

For example, someone looking for a topic might find some books in the 300 section, some in the 700 section, and some in the 900s.

Huser is interested in changing Archbold to Dewey Light.

She also discussed the summer reading program, saying she wants to involve teens and adults.

One idea she proposed was “Rockin’ Books Bingo” to get people to read outside the field they normally choose.

Huser mentioned having children help choose books for the library as a way to help them feel involved in the library.

A bookplate could be added to new books that would say, “Chosen by (child’s name) for 2018.”

“Kids have an idea of what they want,” she said.


Huser showed board members a Playaway, a two-ounce box-like device that contains an audiobook electronically recorded inside of it.

They are designed so someone can’t transfer the books to another format (i.e., compact disc, computer memory, etc.), and they can’t be hacked. They have no resale value.

“If you take them to a pawn shop, they don’t know what to do with them,” she said.

Playaways can be plugged into a car stereo system or listened to through headphones.

This is easier, Huser said, than getting an audio book on compact disc, or CD, which may contain several discs.

Huser said she would market Playaway to people taking holiday road trips.

In response to a question from Jay Budde, a board member, Huser said each Playaway, which contains one book, costs $50 to $100.

She added she can order 22 of the audio players for $999, “and there are pretty good discounts on top of that.”

Gerald Short, a board member, asked if she had purchased any of the units.

“I have not ordered anything,” Huser said.


My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.–Hank Aaron


Savory seasonings stimulate the appetite.–Latin Proverb

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