National Library Week gets off to a wild start in Wheeling | News, Sports, Jobs

picture by: Photo by Eric Ayres

Courtney Snyder of the Oglebay Good Zoo introduces Irving the opossum to children at the Ohio County Public Library Monday afternoon in Wheeling. The program was the first of a long list this week as part of National Library Week.

WHEELING — National Library Week got off to a wild start on Monday when the Ohio County Public Library welcomed backyard creatures from the good Oglebay Zoo to the library’s children’s department.

Monday afternoon’s “Zoo to You” session was the first of many programs offered this week at the Ohio County Public Library. In addition to the regular weekly programs, the library offers a range of special events like this to coincide with National Library Week which is taking place across the country this week.

“The turnout is great,” said Amy Kastigar, library director. “We are so happy to have so many children here on a Monday.”

Dozens of children and their parents came to the Library Week kick-off event, where Courtney Snyder of Oglebay Good Zoo brought in some zoo creatures for a wild and educational encounter. Snyder introduced everyone to some animals common to the Ohio Valley that could be found in a typical yard: a turtle, a possum, a barn owl, and a skunk.

The shy skunk named Penelope set most kids off by an inch when she first appeared, but her spray glands had already been removed by her previous owner, who kept her as a pet.

Like other programs scheduled during National Library Week, the Zoo Good Animals Tour was not only fun, but also educational, as Snyder shared a wealth of interesting facts about each creature during the hands-on experience.

“We have several things happening in the kids department this week,” Kastigar said, noting that the Library Lego Club is meeting today, a Puzzle Palooza is taking place on Wednesday, and a Friday Fund Day with board games and more caps of the week.

There are also many programs for adults.

The popular weekly program Lunch With Books today features “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Wheeling. On Wednesday, another hands-on education program will take place – this time for adults.

“Wednesday is Connect with Your Library Day,” Kastigar explained. “Reference staff will be available for anyone who wants to come in with a device and learn how to use e-books, e-audio books, streaming media and things like that online.”

On Thursday afternoon, the library is partnering with Wheeling Health Right to host a colorectal cancer information meeting, and players from the Oglebay Institute will perform “The Reluctant Dragon” in the library’s auditorium on Thursday evening. On Friday, master gardener Ralph Duncan will be at the library for a gardening basics workshop – complete with free plans and seedlings.

There really is something for all ages, all week long.

“The theme for National Library Week is Connect to Your Library, and it’s a chance for us to really show the community all the different ways the library serves them,” Kastigar said. “We have a lot of different programs going on for a lot of different interests. We kind of feel like after COVID and everything is starting to clear up, this is a chance for us to reintroduce ourselves to the community. And we just want everyone to come see that there’s so much more to the library than just checking out books.

To view the calendar of events and for more details on Ohio County Public Library programs this week and beyond, visit the website at, stay up to date on official library social media pages or call 304-232-0244.

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