Newsletter - December 2016

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Greetings to all,

I write to you on the very cusp of a happy day, when we reconnect to the “big world” of all the materials at all the other Search Ohio libraries. We’ve been so isolated in recent weeks, but SOON we can borrow those materials for you again! We have appreciated the patience of each and every one of you, because we know that there was some inconvenience during the computer migration for many library users. And I personally want to give a pat on the back to all the staff members at each branch who were flexible, good-natured about change, answered your questions and are STILL working on manually entering data that didn’t transfer.

None of this would have happened without incredible leadership from Karen Sykeny, a name you don’t know and a face you wouldn’t recognize. Karen has been our manager of Technical Services, the Collection Development Librarian, and now puts on another hat as ILS (“Integrated library system”—sorry for the jargon, but that’s the official name for a library’s computer system) Coordinator. That means that all the communication with the vendor (it seemed like 50 e-mails a day!), and the hours of training, and all the decisions about set-up, fell to Karen in months culminating in several 60-hour weeks. I could sleep nights because Karen wasn’t! The same is true of our incredible IT Manager, Randy Bleigh.  It’s hard to even convey how much work this has been for Karen and Randy and our Webmaster Chris Perry, with many loose ends still dangling. We even have to decide things like whose voice will go on the recording to tell you that your book is overdue! But the most essential ingredient in this successful migration has been *your* tolerance!

OK, that’s enough about computers. There is SO much more going on at your library. I was happy to stop in at our Askren Branch on Saturday for “Christmas in the Village” activities, and by the time I stopped in they had almost 300 children visit, two story times with Mrs. Santa, and most of the crafts were gone! Then I stopped at Main to visit with the authors at our first-ever local author fair. Most of the authors were very happy with the event, already talking about next year, and were pleased at the sales of their books. More than one mentioned that they had participated in other such events, and that they considered the staff at Massillon to be the best, most organized and supportive! All credit there to Children’s Services Manager Laura Klein and Adult Services Manager Jessica Watkins, my true “right arms.” And on November 19th we held the biggest to-do of the library year, the “Winter Wonderland” open house which traditionally follows the downtown Holiday Parade.” You will read this after those events are past, but here’s one NOT to miss:

More than thirty staff members and their families have signed up to SING for you on the porch of the library during Massillon’s “Candlelight Walk” that takes place from 5:30-7:30 on Sunday December 4th. Depending on the weather, we might not be out there every minute of two hours, as I will treat the singers with some supper inside. We haven’t participated for several years, and I’m so incredibly proud that the staff wants to show off our new pillars as they join in a community holiday classic. 


Remember last month that I have become obsessed with James Garfield after reading Candice Millard’s Destiny of the Republic? Well, I was thrilled to recently find that the library owns the 2016 PBS production “Murder of a President” based on the Millard book! That made a delightful evening of viewing and “hooked” my husband so that now we absolutely MUST go up and visit the Garfield home in Mentor.

But as promised, I’m reading some fiction. This weekend I read for fun Maria Semple’s Today will be Different. Eleanor knows she is a mess, but the day she sets small self-improvement goals for herself things goes awry with a myriad of family problems. I didn’t LOVE it, but Semple is an original voice who captures the chaos just under the surface for working moms. Her Where’d you go, Bernadette? is one I recommend.  

Something I liked MUCH more than expected is Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini, author of many historical novels and a series of quilting-themed novels, none of which I had read. I thought they were “fluff,” but am happy to find that I’m wrong. I’m doing two programs in the next few weeks about this book, and although I didn’t dread reading about the origin of “I heard the bells on Christmas Day,” I had no idea I would be pulled so completely into the extensively-researched world of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a tragedy in his family, and the Civil War’s impact on the poem. Great writing, so now I’ve just checked out Chiaverini’s novel about U.S. Grant’s wife Julia. I must be on an historical fiction roll.

Happy holidays, and grab a good book!

Director, Massillon Public Library


Tween Time: Kinetic Sand & Christmas Party
Thursday, December 1 --- 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
This series of programs for kids in grades 4-8 features different themes and activities designed especially for this age group. The December session will be a Christmas party and will include art made with kinetic sand. Registration recommended. For more information, contact the Children’s Department at 330-832-5037.

Junior Friends Meeting
Saturday, December 3 --- 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Membership is open to students in grades 7 through 12. 330-832-9831 ext. 321


The Children's Department invites you to attend the 30th annual Family Christmas program!

The program consists of 45 minutes of songs, stories, poems, and the family favorite: a 15-to-20 minute puppet show. All ages are invited to come and hear about Christmas with the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. You will have fun enjoying your favorite Christmas songs and rhymes led by the same librarians who help you every day! Join us for a heart-warming evening full of holiday spirit and laughter.

Admission is free but registration is required.

Call 330-832-5037 to register for one of the following performances: Monday, December 5 at 6:45 p.m. OR Tuesday, December 6 at 6:45 p.m.


Coloring for Grown-Ups
Pam S. Belloni Branch

Tuesday, December 6 --- 6:00 p.m.
Join us for an evening of relaxing, creative entertainment. No registration required. Contact the Belloni branch for more information. 330-737-9939

Historical Fiction Book Club
Tuesday, December 6 --- 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
“Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression” by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
Copies of the book are available at the Reference Desk. 330-832-9831 ext. 312

Tuesday, December 6 --- 6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Join us as we explore topics and techniques in meditation practices. Registration required. 330-832-9831, ext. 312

Filled Ornaments
A Massillon 2nd Saturday Event

Saturday, December 10 --- 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Adults and children are invited to drop in and make beautiful filled ornaments for the holidays. No registration is required for this free program to be held in the library’s auditorium. All supplies will be provided. Children ages 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact the Children’s Department at 330-832-5037.


Virtual Gingerbread House Contest

With their gumdrop roofs and candy cane fences, making gingerbread houses together creates family time during the holidays, where the merry is in the making!

The Barry Askren Branch Library will accept photo entries for its Virtual Gingerbread House Contest from Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 23.

You do not have to bring in your creation, just send a picture to, or bring a printed photo to the Barry Askren Library.

Houses must actually be made by you; no cheating please! There will be two different age groups and prizes: Kids age 12 and under, and ages 13 thru adult. Pictures will be posted both inside the library and on Facebook. Library patrons will have 2 weeks to vote for their favorite. Winners will be announced after Christmas.

For more information, contact the Askren branch at 330-879-2113.


Santa Visit
Tuesday, December 13 --- 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Santa Claus will be stopping by the Reading Room to meet boys and girls of all ages. Bring your Christmas wish list to share with Santa, and make sure to bring your own camera to capture the memory! This event, free and open to the public, is being sponsored by the Massillon Public Library and the Downtown Massillon Association. For more information, contact the library at 330-832-5037.

YA Christmas Ornaments
Wednesday, December 14 --- 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to make their own holiday ornaments from clay. Several styles will be available to choose from. No registration required. 330-832-9831 ext. 321


The library is accepting non-perishable food items and/or new school supplies in lieu of fines through December 15th. This fine forgiveness is for all overdue fines on your library record. Collection fees and charges for lost or damaged items are not covered through this drive.

The library asks each person to be guided by his/her conscience and size food donations somewhat in proportion to the fines owed. All food donations will be given to the Salvation Army in Massillon for distribution to its clients.


Food For Fines will be observed at the Main Library, the Barry Askren Memorial Branch in Navarre, the Pam S. Belloni Branch located at the Fairless Elementary School, and the Bookmobile.


Anime Night
Saturday, December 17 --- 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to watch Anime and enjoy snacks! 330-832-9831 ext. 321

Family Movie Night
Tuesday, December 20 --- 5:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Auditorium doors open at 5:15 p.m. Limited seating offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn! 330-832-5037

Tuesday, December 20 --- 6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Join us as we explore topics and techniques in meditation practices. Registration required. 330-832-9831, ext. 312

SARTA Travel Training
Thursday, December 22 --- 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
A valid picture ID is required to receive a bus pass at the end of the training session. Registration required. 855-887-2782

Red Cross Blood Drive
Wednesday, December 28 --- 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The community is invited to take part in this lifesaving event to help boost the blood supply and ensure blood products are on the shelves for patients in need. This blood drive comes at an important time when the Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for donors to give now to help address a significant blood shortage and ensure area patients receive the transfusions they need. For more information, contact the library at 330-832-9831, ext. 312.

Noon Year's Eve
Saturday, December 31 --- 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Children in 6th grade and under and their families are invited to a celebration counting down to the New Year without staying up late! Enjoy stories, crafts, music, and dancing, concluding with a balloon drop at noon! No registration required. 330-832-5037


The Art of Emily Vigil 

Emily Vigil earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Louisiana State University in 2003 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Marshall University in 2000. She currently works at the Massillon Museum as Studio M Coordinator, where she also teaches art classes in their Education department. She has painted a master copy inside the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, and added to her formal study with a course at the New York Studio School in New York City. Her paintings have been shown in Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Her art awards have included grants by the West Virginia Arts Council (2006) and ArtsinStark (2009 and 2015). 

Emily lives on the southern edge of Stark County with her husband and two young daughters. Follow Emily Vigil’s work in progress on Instagram at @intimateecologystudio and view her finished work at

A selection of Emily's work will be on display in the Computer Center until January 3, 2017.


Are you interested in displaying your 2-D art? We are seeking art for our Computer Center. Exhibits will usually be on display for one month. All art must be able to be hung on the wall. Space is limited, so no more than eight (8) small pieces can be accepted.

For more information, contact Jessica Shoemaker at 330-832-9831 ext. 311 or


Holiday Closing Dates

Saturday, December 24 – CLOSED
Monday, December 26 – CLOSED
Saturday, December 31 - closing at 1:00 p.m.
Monday, January 2 – CLOSED

Barry Askren Memorial Branch
Monday, December 26 – CLOSED
Monday, January 2 – CLOSED

Pam S. Belloni Branch
The Belloni branch will close on Friday, December 23 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 3.

There will be no bookmobile stops on Monday, December 26, or Monday, January 2.

For more information,contact the library at 330-832-9831.


Massillon Public Library

208 Lincoln Way East
                    Massillon, OH 44646                   



See the bookmobile schedule online:

330.832.9831 ext. 329

Barry Askren Memorial Branch

1200 Market Street NE
Navarre, OH 44662


Pam S. Belloni Branch

12000 Navarre Road SW
Navarre, OH 44662-9486