Messages from the Director

Update on Library Funding

We are very appreciative here at the Mercer County District Library for the support we receive from our patrons through state funding, local levy, and generous donations from the Friends of the Libraries. We would not be able to serve you at the current level without your support.
I want to share information with you about the present status of funding for Ohio’s public libraries. At the state level, we are fortunate to be funded through the Public Library Fund (PLF) which receives a percentage of the state’s tax revenues from the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF). Revenue sources for the GRF include the state personal income tax, sales and use tax, business taxes, etc.
The PLF is currently set at 1.7% of the GRF, but it will be automatically reduced to 1.66% on July 1, 2017. This will cut state funding for Ohio's public libraries.
 The Ohio Library Council (OLC) is working with Ohio’s public libraries to educate members of the Ohio General Assembly and those that will be elected in November on the status of our state funding. We know that Ohioans value their public libraries and that public libraries create opportunities and transform lives. We will be working with the OLC during the next several months to protect state funding for Ohio's public libraries. I will keep you posted with updates as we work through this process.
Thank you again for your support; it is truly a joy to serve the communities of Mercer County!

Find Your Legislator


In Memoriam

On December 16, Austin R. Schneider, long time Director, advocate and patriarch of the Mercer County District Library passed away.  Our hearts are heavy, some are broken, and I know we’re all struggling to make sense of it all.
However, we must focus on how he lived, not how he died.

I do not remember ever not knowing Mr. Schneider.  He started at the library the year I was born, and it was only a few years after that when my parents became the custodians there.  I used to love tagging along with them to the library in the  evenings, after the library had closed for the night (and not just because I wanted to escape the torment of my older siblings).  The library seemed enormous and almost magical to me, and I felt at home surrounded by the books.  Mr. Schneider was almost always there when my parents arrived just after 8:00 pm.  I would cower behind my mom, holding my ever present blanket, and just stare at him when they greeted him. He never said much to me, but he would always smile at me and he was always there.  

As I think back over my years with him, that's how I remember him.  Quietly in the background, always smiling, always there.  

He was arguably the most generous man I've ever known.  When you were hired at the library you immediately became his family and he would take responsibility for you.   He wanted nothing more than to make sure you had everything you needed. He’d often tell me: “We’re in the happiness business, Liz...don't forget to fluff their pillows.” 

He worked as many and whatever hours were necessary for his staff to be able to have the schedule they wanted.  He ALWAYS wanted what was best for you and your life. “Family first” he would say.  It wasn't until I was writing this that I realized what he really meant.  We were his family and therefore he would do anything and make any sacrifices necessary for us.

This quiet, caring man taught me so much over the years. He made me a better person, he saw things in others no one else did and I was no exception.  I never dreamed I'd one day be the Director, but I'm certain he knew it long before I did.  I could never hope to repay all he has done for me… for my family.  

He lead by example and lived his life with integrity and humility, quickly giving others credit for his accomplishments.  Recently I explained to him how I felt I could never make as big an impact on our communities as he did.  “You created, built, and expanded three branches.” I told him.  He just quietly smiled and said “Liz, I just did what the board wanted, I didn't do anything.”  Now of course I know that isn't true, but his humility is the lesson here. 

Mr. Schneider was imaginative, innovative and had a unique way of thinking.  I'd be remiss if I didn't admit Mr. Schneider had some “interesting” ideas over the years.  With just four words, “I had this idea,” I would immediately exhale and think “Oh boy, here we go.”  But regardless of whether the idea came to fruition successfully or not, I knew he had given it much thoughtful consideration.  

There is no one who knew Mr. Schneider who wouldn't agree that he was a truly special man who left a tremendous impact on everyone he encountered or those who were fortunate enough to call him a friend.  

He has said to me many times, ”Nobody lives forever Liz, it's just a fact”. Those words have really hit me hard this week. I’ve never imagined life without him, he IS and always will be the Mercer County District Library.  And I feel this fact is what will help me carry on, knowing I am a part of him by being a part of his libraries.  But beyond the library, he was part of my family.  My children loved him deeply as did Gary and I.  

He often told me he was on a “Mission from God” and it is my belief that God has seen Mr. Schneider's mission as….completed and successful.
- Elizabeth Muether, MLIS, Director

Library Events

Mercer County District Library
1/12 at 6 pm - Teen Advisory Board Meeting
1/17 at 7 pm - Good Reads!
1/21 at 10 am - Princess Tea Party
1/24 at 7 pm - Trivia Night
1/26 at 6:30 pm - PJ Story Time

Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10:30 am - Story Time
Zahn Marion Branch
1/3 at 7 pm - Book Discussion -- The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado
1/5 from 1 to 3 pm - Mercer Health - Free Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Screenings
1/10 at 6:30 pm - Family Night
1/17 at 6:30 pm - Adult Coloring Night

Thursdays 10:30 am - Story Time
Mendon Union Branch
1/10 at 4 pm - Book Discussion
2/14 at 4 pm - Book Discussion

Thursdays at 10 am - Story Time
St. Henry - Granville Branch
1/4 at 9:30 am - Book Discussion
1/5 at 6:30 pm - Lego Night
1/9 - Spring Story Time Registration Begins -- Leading up to Start at Week of 2/13

Mondays from 6:30 to 7 pm (starting 1/9) - Basketball Players and Books
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