National Library Week Off to Wild Start in Wheeling | News, Sports, Jobs

photo by: Photo by Eric Ayres

Courtney Snyder of the Oglebay Good Zoo introduces Irving the opossum to children at the Ohio County Public Library on Monday afternoon in Wheeling. The program was the first of many on tap 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 hosted some backyard critters from Oglebay’s Good Zoo to the Children’s Department at the library.

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

“The turnout is wonderful,” said Amy Kastigar, library director. “We’re so happy to have so many kids here on a Monday.”

Scores of children and their parents came to the library week’s kickoff event, where Courtney Snyder from Oglebay Good Zoo brought a few creatures from the zoo for a wild and educational meet-and-greet. Snyder introduced everyone to some animals that were common to the Ohio Valley and could be found in a typical backyard: a turtle, an opossum, a barn owl and a skunk.

The shy skunk named Penelope made most of the children on hand scoot back an inch when she first made her appearance, but her spray glands had already been removed by her previous owner, who kept her as a pet.

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

“We have several things going on there in the kid’s department this week,” Kastigar said, noting that Library Lego Club meets today, a Puzzle Palooza takes place Wednesday and a Friday Fund Day with board games and more caps off the week.

There are plenty of programs for adults, as well.

The popular weekly Lunch With Books program 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. “The reference staff is going to be available to anyone who wants to come in with a device and learn how to use ebooks, e-audio books, streaming media and things like that online.”

On Thursday afternoon, the library is partnering with Wheeling Health Right to do a colorectal cancer informational meeting, and the Oglebay Institute Players will present “The Reluctant Dragon” in the library’s auditorium on Thursday night. On Friday, Master Gardener Ralph Duncan will be at the library for a workshop on gardening basics – complete with complimentary plans and seedlings.

There is truly something for people of all ages, all week long.

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

To check out the schedule of events and for additional details about the Ohio County Public Library’s programs this week and beyond, visit the website at, keep up to date on the library’s official social media pages or call 304-232- 0244.

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