Tales from the Castle

Tips for Aspiring Writers

Tuesday, 01 March 2022

Hello heroes! Alex here again with another blog post from deep within the castle walls of Wagnalls. I hope you’re having a great day. I just wanted to take a moment to highlight another two of the amazing programs we offer here at the Wagnalls Memorial Library: our writing club and our local author book club. Both clubs help the community become better writers and connect with authors in their area

NEW - Wagnalls Tabletop Game Club

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Hello heroes! I’m not sure if you’ve heard the news yet, but Wagnalls is starting a Teen Tabletop Roleplaying Game Club. We’ll be meeting once a month on a Saturday and learning all about roleplaying games from Dungeons & Dragons to Mutants & Masterminds and everything in between. I’m incredibly excited to be offering this service to the community! It is going to be a fun and educational time for everyone involved.

So, You Think Things are Bad Now?

Tuesday, 01 February 2022

Some days it is just too much for me to consume the daily bad news. It has become almost impossible to avoid the information coming at us from everywhere. Sure, I can put down my phone or avoid my computer, but what about waiting rooms, grocery store checkout lanes, and gas pumps? The non-stop barrage of data is exhausting. Not only that, but the content of this outpouring of information is exceedingly divisive.

A Community Hero

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

With Memorial Weekend fast approaching did you know The Wall that Heals (the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial) will be in Columbus this Friday, May 28th through 2:00 pm on Memorial Day?  I never would have known if the information wasn’t delivered directly to my library email. The message came from Michael Croan of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.   I only know Michael through a local resident and loyal patron of Wagnalls, Mr. Alan Wallace.  The email was to inquire if Al planned to visit the traveling memorial.  Al is a true community hero that served as a medic in Vietnam and then volunteered at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Maybe you have seen him or heard one of his stories when you stopped in to pick up books. 

New Program Manager

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

My name is Joy Habegger, and I’m the new Program Manager at Wagnalls.  I actually love Wagnalls so much, that I came back…I was here in a similar position 11 years ago!  My daughter Jenna is a junior at Madison Christian School in Groveport, and I typically remember years based on how old she was when I did something, ha!  Any other moms out there like that?  So…I know I was here last when Jenna was in Kindergarten!  Time sure does fly.  Speaking of time flying by, I’ve been married to my husband Jamie for 21 years.  We’ve lived in Canal Winchester since the Fall of 2002, and love living on this side of town. 

Stay Social with Wagnalls

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Reading - Love it or Hate it?

Tuesday, 04 January 2022

I do a lot of reading, mainly books but also newspapers, magazines, online postings. Reading to me is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I have 14 library books on my coffee table just waiting to be read.

The Mysterious Local Connection to Norman Rockwell's Santa

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Santa DOES exist according to local Canal Winchester resident, Craig Corcoran.  Or at least he did exist in the person of Edward Caddy, Craig’s great, great grandfather.  He is very likely the Santa in Norman Rockwell’s “Santa with Elves” published on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

Cookies from your Favorite Library Staff Members

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

By Sarah Mayzum, Program Manager

Last year at this time most of us were staying at home due to the pandemic. In October 202, we tried to have our annual Game of Soups competition virtually by requesting recipes from the community and creating a recipe book of soups. We received enough submissions to create a great book. We decided to do the same for Christmas cookie recipes! Unfortunately no community members responded but we got some great recipes from our staff!

Goodbye to Two Legends of Children's Literature

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Read to Me

Tuesday, 09 November 2021

Our Outreach librarian, Amy, recently shared that she sometimes both reads a book and listens to the audiobook of the same book. She doesn’t read along to the audio narrator, but she will read a few chapters and then listen to a few chapters. What a unique way to experience a book!

A Very Hungry Caterpillar

Tuesday, 02 November 2021

The Wagnalls Memorial Library's contribution to the 2021 Trail of Scarecrows was “The Very Hungry Bookworm”, inspired by the Eric Carle book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. We chose this scarecrow in honor of the beloved Eric Carle, who sadly passed away on May 23, 2021.

Let's Do the Time Warp Again!

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

The Wagnalls Community Theater will present the Rocky Horror Picture show with a shadow cast on Friday October 29 and Saturday October 30 at 8pm both nights.  Admission is $15 and includes a prop bag.

The Trees Speak

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

The peak season for fall color in Lithopolis is expected to be soon - either the week of October 17th or the week of October 24th. It seemed serendipitous that this week a dear patron shared with me a beautiful poem she wrote about the changing colors of autumn and what they mean to her.

Scavenger Hunts (and other fun things to do at home!)

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

As the weather turns cooler, there’s no need to fear being stuck inside. If you get tired of reading your library books, there are other indoor activities that are easy to do! One of them is creating your own scavenger hunt inside your house.

It's Soup Season!

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The first day of fall was last Wednesday and we had a few chilly days last week. For many, this means we are entering “soup season”.

Celebrity Book Clubs: Are They Worth All the Hype?

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Meet Jimmy, Jenna, Reese, and Oprah. Have you heard of them? They all belong to a club. The same club. A club within a club. They are all celebrities who have their own book clubs, and they are influencing what people read every month across America and beyond!

A Haunted Mansion and a Haunted Library

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers”… Anyone else get chills when they hear this phrase?  I am a huge fan of Disney World, my family visits at least once a year.  It truly feels like home to me.  And my favorite attraction?  The Haunted Mansion!  I love it enough that I decorated my bedroom in a haunted mansion theme.  

Local Hero Gives First-Hand Account of His Experience at the Pentagon on 9/11

Tuesday, 07 September 2021

As the 20th anniversary of 911 nears, we pay tribute to those that died and the courageous first responders and investigators that continued to work well beyond that fateful day. We pause to remember that day to learn from history, hoping and praying it will not be repeated. We’d like to share a first-hand account of a frequent patron of Wagnalls, Alan Wallace, who was a firefighter at the Pentagon on 9-11.

Library Card Sign-Up Month

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

September is National Library Card sign-up month. To tie in with National Library card sign-up month, today I am sharing some of my favorite books and a movie about libraries!

National Dog Month

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

National Dog Month caused one of our librarians, Brenda, to start thinking about the dogs in her life.  She does not personally own a dog, but most of her family members do.  She is constantly getting texts from them with cute pictures their dogs, which makes her feel close to them.  She also thoroughly enjoys her visits with her furry nieces, nephews and cousins!  This thought inspired her to create a dog-themed display in the library.

The Great Gatsby

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Hello, old sport!  This Saturday, August 21 at 7pm, join us as The Wagnalls Memorial becomes Jay Gatsby’s mansion.  He has invited his most talented and wealthy friends to a charity gala.  However not all is well at Jay’s house.  His fiancee has been found murdered and you must solve the mystery of who finished her off!  The Wagnalls Community Theater provides the suspects for this interactive murder mystery.  Interview the suspects and make a guess on who the real murderer is.  All who guess correctly will be entered to win a prize.

Staff Picks

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

If you ever eavesdrop on a conversation between staff members at Wagnalls, you are bound to find them talking about books they love!  This is a library after all!  But we want those conversations to take place with our beloved patrons as well.  That's why we created a "Staff Picks" display located close to the circulation desk.

Summer Reading Book Reviews - Week Six

Tuesday, 03 August 2021

This week we finish up our Summer Reading Book Reviews.  It has been so fun and enlightening.  Our patrons read such a variety of books, there has been something for everyone.  We are thankful that many patrons have shared their book reviews with us.

Summer Reading Book Reviews - Week Five

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Stop in the library to complete our last Summer Reading activity for this year and learn about Esperanto, a language near and dear to our founder Mabel's heart.  While you are in the library, considering checking out or reserving one of the books recommended by our patrons!

Summer Reading Book Reviews - Week Four

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

In addition to book reviews, Wagnalls has activities for teens and adults in the library and grounds each week during Summer Reading.

Summer Reading Book Reviews - Week Three

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Our patrons really came through with book reviews this week! It makes our librarian hearts happy to see so many people passionate about reading and sharing with others!

Summer Reading Book Reviews - Week Two

Tuesday, 06 July 2021

More book reviews from our patrons!

Summer Reading Book Reviews - Week One

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

One of the ways for teens and adults to earn a chance to win a prize in Wagnalls' Summer Reading Program is to provide a book review of a book you have recently read, with the option for that book review to be featured in our blog.  This week we are sharing reviews from Pam, Katherine and Denise.

Outdoor Fairy Gardens

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Our local gardeners, including the Fairfield County Master Gardeners and the Wagnalls Teen Garden Club, have made the Wagnalls gardens a magical place to explore.  Be sure to check out the many colorful flowers in bloom right now and all summer long!  Where the 1992 library addition now stands was once the house of Dr. Edward Roller, a beloved local doctor who maintained beautiful gardens and built all of the stone structures you see in our gardens with rocks he brought back from his travels.  We do our best to lovingly maintain his legacy.  

Library Fairy Gardens

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

In the midst of the pandemic last fall and winter, I wanted something bright and cheerful to occupy my mind, so I cobbled together some knickknacks I had at home and ended up with a little fairy library in a lantern.

10 Speed Bikes and Other Vehicles to Becoming a Life-Long Reader

Tuesday, 08 June 2021

This week’s blog comes to us from Amy Hesterman, our newest Wagnalls employee. Amy will be working on Library Outreach programs for Bloom Carroll Schools and the local community. She comes to us from a 11-year career as teacher-librarian at Madison Christian School. She writes about one of the original modes of library outreach - the Book Mobile.

Mabel and Houdini

Tuesday, 01 June 2021

Hi, this is my first blog for Tales from the Castle, so I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Carol Gaal but a lot of people know me as Mabel – yes, Mabel Wagnalls, the woman who built the Memorial to honor her parents, Adam and Anna Wagnalls! About ten years ago, I was asked to start giving tours of this amazing building. Since I didn’t know anything about the history of the Memorial I started digging into the family’s story – and well, one thing led to another and the next thing I knew I was giving tours of the building as Mabel. I’ve got to tell you, the more I learn about Mabel and her family the more I enamored I become with them!

Norman Rockwell

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Beloved American artist Norman Rockwell has strong connection with The Wagnalls Memorial. The Literary Digest started publishing in 1890 by Adam Wagnalls and Isaac Funk, “Funk & Wagnalls”. In the 1920s, their covers carried full-color reproductions of famous paintings. Norman Rockwell art graced the cover of The Literary Digest 48 times. The Wagnalls Memorial owns two of those covers, The Old Couple and Smiles in Belgium Once More.  These original paintings are on permanent display in the building.


Tuesday, 11 May 2021

I have a daughter in college. She goes to Florida State University (I am so jealous that she has no real winter!). Even with the distance between us, she will text or call me almost every day. Recently she texted me “I have an idea for your library”. I asked her what it was and she replied “BookTok!”.

Mary Ann Johnston Collection

Tuesday, 04 May 2021

Check out the Mary Ann Johnston Collection! One of our library’s unique collections focuses on herbs, yoga, alternative medicine, diet, holistic medicine, macrobiotics, and more thanks to the generous bequest of Mary Ann Johnston.

A New Book Club is Coming to Wagnalls!

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

About four years ago, I was asked to take over the Adult Book Club, because Carol Gaal wasn’t able to continue overseeing the group. I said sure, then I panicked. I’d never been in a book club. What did they do at those monthly meetings? How did they pick their books? What if they found my leadership unacceptable? What if, what if, what if..

Happy Birthday Mabel!

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

On April 20th, we celebrate the birthday of our founder, Mabel Wagnalls Jones. Even though she was born in Kansas City, to the village of Lithopolis, she will always be “Our Mabel.” Both of Mabel’s parents were born here, and Mabel grew up visiting Lithopolis and hearing her mother say she wanted to do something special for the little town that had never had anything done for it. The Wagnalls Memorial was born of this dream.

Hello and Welcome!

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Hello and welcome to the Wagnalls Memorial Library’s new blog Tales from the Castle. We hope this blog will help you get to know our staff, keep up to date on library events and be a place for you to visit for reading recommendations and more!