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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Who are these people?

“I stopped at the library the other day. It’s been awhile and there are all these new people working there. Who are they?” The Newton Falls Public Library does have some new faces and some familiar ones who have moved to other jobs in the library.

‘Miss’ Dawn (Nutter) has given up the joys of Youth Services and is now busy cataloging all the new materials as quickly as possible to ready them for our patrons to borrow. Taking her place is our new Youth Services Librarian, Chrissy Braun. ‘Miss’ Chrissy comes to us from Stow-Monroe Falls Public Library. Watch the library’s online calendar and the newspapers for the dates and times of the programs she is planning for our children and teens. She is also creating blogs, “44444 kids” and “44444 teens.”

When you come to the circulation desk, Jen Ashforth, Julie Sideropolis and Karen Moser are always available, along with Barb Gacura, to check out your selections. They work very hard making sure that the items you return are promptly put back on the shelves for others to choose. They will also assist you in answering questions, locating items, and placing holds.

For those individuals needing computer assistance we often call upon the services of our Systems Manager Sean Pierce. Among his many technical jobs, he keeps our computers and other equipment running efficiently, updates information on our website, and has been teaching Game Design Workshops for teens.

Upon initially calling the library, the pleasant voice usually answering the phone is our Administrative Assistant Deb Augusta. Deb will assist you if she can or direct your call to the individual you need to speak with.

When you need help finding answers our Reference Librarian Elizabeth Glasgow is available, both in the library under the large ASK ME sign and online at There you can ask questions either through “Need Help? Ask a Librarian” or her new blog “44444 ask me.”

If you are looking for Karen Armstrong, she is now upstairs in the George and Ruth Sharec Local History Room. Visit her and enjoy the interesting exhibits and items about people and events in Newton Falls and Newton Township. When Karen took over the Local History position, Lisa Connell moved into the technical service area where she processes the new materials for borrowing. Stop and look at the displays Lisa creates for our lobby display case. This month features books and information about Anne Frank and the Holocaust.

The library would not look as nice as it does without the efforts of our Facilities Manager Kevin Gazda and Ed Rasp. They work tirelessly to maintain the building and grounds as well as always preparing our meeting room for the myriad of programs occurring there.

Two individuals you may not see often, as their jobs require them to spend time in their offices making sure the library’s administrative and financial tasks are dealt with promptly and efficiently, are Director Kerry McCrone and Fiscal Officer Judy Freeman.

Next time you are in town, stop and visit the Newton Falls Public Library, 204 S. Canal St., Newton Falls. Our friendly staff will be happy to help answer your questions, assist you in finding the information you need, or make suggestions about what books or movies are enjoyable. If you need information and are unable to come to the library, we can assist you online at or by phone at 330-872-1282.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Olympic trials

“I was listening to a news story about the Olympic track trials, and they said someone hadn’t broken a world record because of a tail wind. How do they determine when a tail wind affects a runner and do they take into consideration head winds as well?” Questions such as this one help to make our days interesting at the Newton Falls Public Library.

Our first stop is always our library catalog. Winning Track and Field for Girls by Ed Housewright is filled with historical information about the sports and athletes, technical information including drills, workouts, and records through the early part of this decade. However, the answer to our question was not to be found. Spalding Book of Rules by Bingo Broido and The Book of Rules: a visual guide to laws of every commonly played sport and game were the next sources we examined. The Book of Rules addressed the first part of our patron’s question. “In races of 200 m or less, the wind speed should be recorded wherever possible. . .the wind should be measured for a 13-second period in hurdle events and for 10 seconds in others. . .An aiding wind of more than 2 m per second nullifies a record time” (p.180).

As neither book gave any information about head winds, we next took a look at USA Track & Field website. According to the site, many athletes have been breaking world records at the Olympic trials. On June 29, 2008 at the trials in Eugene, Oregon, with 4.1 meters per second wind behind him, Tyson Gay ran the fastest 100 m ever run, 9.68. Unfortunately, because of the aforementioned rule this will not be counted as a world record. “Article V – Records” of the 2008 USATF Competition Rules (p.155) includes the wind reading requirements for the 200 Meter Hurdles (Youth Athletics), the Long Jump, Triple Jump, and the Combined Events. It seems that while a strong tail wind is taken into consideration in these events, head winds are not. Presumably because if you break a record going into a strong head wind, you have truly earned the distinction.

Before this year’s summer Olympics begin, learn more with A Picture History of the Olympics by James Coote and 100 Greatest Moments in Olympic History by Bob Greenspan. Get in a winner’s mindset by participating in the last few weeks of Game On @ the Newton Falls Public Library. There are still prizes, including fantastic grand prizes of gift certificates, tickets and more, to be won by readers of all ages.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nicole Sproncken and Charles Ticknor Day

“What is so special about July 26? Why did the City of Newton Falls declare that day Nicole Sproncken and Charles Ticknor Day?” These are questions the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library is very happy to answer. They are actually part of a much larger story.

In September of 1994, Nicole, a native of Hulsberg, Netherlands, adopted the grave of a WWII soldier who was buried at the American Cemetery in Margraten. “The adoption certificate indicated that her adopted soldier was Charles Ticknor, S/Sgt, 325th GLI Inf. 82 ABN Div. 14, grave 9” [article by Stefan Gillissen in local newspaper from Nicole’s regional newspaper, 4/3/08]. With this adoption came the responsibility of caring for his grave, but Nicole went much further and began to research who Charles Ticknor was before his life ended on October 8, 1944. Her search through the Internet led her to Newton Falls, Charles’ late widow Helen, neighbor and VFW Post 3332 member Alex Kish, late Tribune Chronicle reporter Marty Douce, Weekly Villager reporter Julie Smeiles, and Linda Gordon (retired) of the Newton Falls Public Library’s Local History Room. Nicole and her husband, Leon, visited Newton Falls in 2005 stopping at the original Ticknor home, his brother Frank’s home, and the library’s Local History Room [article by Julie Smeiles, Weekly Villager, March 21, 2008, p. 7]. On July 26, 2007, Nicole took “a medallion used to mark the grave of an American soldier, an American flag and a box of dirt for Newton Falls . . . and sprinkled the earth from Newton Falls across his grave in Margraten Netherlands” [Proclamation of the City of Newton Falls, March 17, 2008]. Since 1994 she has adopted the graves of other American servicemen, encouraged her fellow country men to also do so, and has taken on the additional project of locating the graves of every member of the 325th interred at the Margaten Cemetery, and photographing them for the 325th Glider Infantry Association []

Nicole and her husband are unable to be in Newton Falls on July 26, but are planning to return to the community again in the fall. Residents of our community are invited to visit the Newton Falls Public Library’s George and Ruth Sharec Local History Room on that day, and look at the display of materials about Charles Ticknor and the bench donated in his memory by Nicole and Leon.

The Local History Room is also open Monday – Wednesday noon – 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. [it will be closed on the Friday before the first Saturday]. When you visit, take time to reminisce about late friends and former times by enjoying the displays, including the one about Air Force fighter and experimental test pilot Lt. Col. Ernest M. Relac (1928-1990) and the collection of over 200 letters and photos sent home by Arnold Hanson while he served in the Navy from 1942 - 1945.

In celebration of the summer reading program, ‘Game On @ the Library’, the Local History Room is also exhibiting a Newton Falls cheerleading outfit and the tiger mascot worn from the 1950s - 1970s. Also enjoy the baseball exhibit in the lobby display case which features Arnold Hanson with New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, and Ty Cobb. There is still time to participate and win great prizes by reading this summer.