Christmas Comes Early to Bluffton Public Library

The Friends of the Library are donating $1,000.00 to the Bluffton Public Library to purchase new books. This will kick off the library's $Bucks for $Books campaign to offset the reduction in state funding to the library budget this coming year. The library hopes to raise $5,000.00 by the end of 2010. That is the approximate amount the budget for new books was cut. This early Christmas present from the Friends will jump start this fundraising drive. 

The Friends were able to make this donation from funds raised through used book sales, bake sales, the Spring Tea, and the community garage sale.

Some of the books to be purchased will be publications of the Allen County Genealogy Society. The library staff wants to add to their sources of records for local cemeteries, births, and marriages. They also want to update the non-fiction sections and enhance the large print and fiction choices.

Any patron to the library can participate in the $Bucks for $Books campaign simply by purchasing an ornament to be hung on the library's Christmas tree. As little as one dollar per patron will add up to a sizeable amount if the whole community helps.

The Bluffton Public Library is in need of any financial donation for books. The Friends would like to challenge community members and other organizations to help meet the goal of $5,000.00 for the $Bucks for $Books campaign. They would like to thank everyone who is willing to support the local library.

Fire chief announces retirement

Bluffton fire chief, Dan Bowden, announced his resignation at the November 23rd town council meeting. Bowden will step down January 1, 2010.

Mayor Rodabaugh read Bowden's letter of resignation to the town council for approval and praised Bowden for twenty great years of service as fire chief.

John Kinn will replace Bowden as fire chief. He will be sworn in at the last town council meeting of 2009.

Kickoff to 2009 Blaze of Lights Nov. 20

The Blaze of Lights celebrations will begin this weekend with the auction, art contest, and gingerbread house contest being held Friday, November 20th at The Centre.

Auction items may be delivered to the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center until noon on Friday.
All donations are appreciated. Ideas for what to donate are listed:
- Gift baskets including items from your business or items of your choice
- Gift certificates from your business
- Gift certificates from Ohio tourist attractions
- Hand-crafted items made by your employees or organization members
- Saving bonds
- Thanksgiving or Christmas-related decorations
- Any Bluffton-made product, sweatshirts, jackets, athletic wear, mugs
- Holiday collectible items
The doors for the auction will open at 5 p.m. There is no admission charge and no presale tickets are required. There will be musical entertainment by the Lima Trinity United Methodist Church bell choir at 5:30 p.m. and the auction will begin at 6 p.m.
Auction-type food will be available (barbeque beef sandwiches, shredded chicken sandwiches, soft drinks, potato chips and cookies). Food will be sold as the auction proceeds.
In addition, the popular art contest, started last year, will feature works by Bluffton Middle School art students. Students will enter one work based on the Blaze theme “Home for Christmas.” Entries will be judged during the auction. Winners will be announced at the auction conclusion. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners. All artists who enter works will receive ribbons.
The gingerbread house contest will also be held Friday evening. All community members are invited to enter the contest. An entry of $5 per gingerbread house is being asked. This fee will be waved if the entrant agrees to allow the gingerbread house to auctioned. Gingerbread entries may be taken to the chamber from Wednesday until Friday evening.
All of these events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Library to go digital

In cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, 12 public libraries across nine northwest Ohio counties, including the Bluffton Public Library, are partnering to implement a regional document digitization project.

The purpose of the project is to make an array of important and deteriorating local history resources more available to state residents and a worldwide audience of researchers through the Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio Memory Project.
Materials to be scanned include books, photographs, postcards, newsletters, pamphlets, atlases, slides, flyers and yearbooks. Subject matter may potentially include community histories, area businesses, community celebrations and festivals, local personalities, school records, family genealogies, and area homes. Participating libraries will determine their own priorities for scanning based on condition and use of their materials.
“This grant will enable the Bluffton Public Library to preserve many items of local historical/genealogical significance, and make those items more easily-accessible via the Internet," said library staff member Justin Crawfis.
Once the equipment for the project is installed in November and training is completed, participating libraries will begin submitting their files to OHS. The images subsequently will be made available to the public through the web sites of the OHS and the libraries involved in the project.
Funding for this grant is being provided by the State Library of Ohio, Columbus, through the Library Services and Technology Act; the Northwest Regional Library System (NORWELD), Bowling Green; and the 12 participating libraries.
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