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Published: Wednesday, 1/11/2006

Perrysburg: Way Library to mark 125 years

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Way Public Library is kicking off its 125th anniversary year with a set of colorful Teddy bears.

The bears, dressed in T-shirts commemorating the library's founding in 1881, are being sold by the Friends of the Library for $10 each at the circulation desk.

The library is planning activities to highlight its history, probably during National Library Week in April and during the Harrison Rally Day in the fall.

Library director Nancy Kelley said the library wants the community to be proud of it, and to thank the residents for making it an important part of their lives.

"Many things aren't around after 125 years, and we're pretty proud of that, and the community should be proud of that," Ms. Kelley said.

While activities have not yet been planned, there won't be something on the schedule for every month.

Ms. Kelley said they want to make sure the library will be around in another 100 years.

If so, it could be as different then from what it is now as it is now from when it was founded.

In 1881, Harriet Hurlburd used interest from $15,000 that lawyer Willard Way had left to the village in 1875 to establish the 1,000-volume library in her Louisiana Avenue home.

By the end of 2004, the library contained 88,796 volumes and received 212 magazine subscriptions, Ms. Kelley said.

The library got its own building in 1892, and moved to its current facility in 1959. That building was expanded in 1983 and 2001.

This year, different coloreds Teddy bears will be for sale each season. Red and green bears were available last month. The next color of bear, baby blue, will be introduced at the Snow Ball, a family night at the library, on Jan. 27.

Pink bears will arrive for February, purple for spring, orange and yellow for the summer months, and brown in the fall.

Anna Bristol, president of the Friends of the Library, visited the Chelsea Teddy Bear Co. in Chelsea, Mich., this summer and thought selling the bears would be a good fund-raiser.

"They were so adorable and soft," she said.

She said she did not know how many bears had been sold so far.



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