With fewer state dollars and lower property values in 2012, the Akron-Summit County Public Library is operating with a smaller budget in 2012.
"The last few years have been challenging," David Jennings said, library director.
Still, Jennings says the library system continues to offer the majority of the same services and programming since 2008.
Two years ago, the Akron-Summit County Public Library joined a resource sharing consortium of 19 libraries across the state called Search Ohio. Library patrons may use this service to access books, CDs and DVDs throughout the Search Ohio network.
In 2011, the library became a member of Ohio Link, which incorporates all university and college state library databases services. Akron-Summit users now have the ability to utilize the materials from Search Ohio and Ohio Link.
Akron has two million items in its collection, but with these two resources, it's more like 60 million items.
"We think it's a pretty significant outcome for the public dollars that are being spent in terms of collaborative, cooperative, approach to use of our resources," Jennings said.
Jennings said the library is continuing its focus on technology and training. In 2011, close to 6,000 people attended computer training courses across all branches. The hands-on courses range from basic computer skills, to posting items on ebay.com and searching the Internet.
Jennings says providing the computer courses are a contribution to workforce development at a time when more people are looking for jobs.
"I think it has a ripple effect," he said. "As people develop more skills, they become more able to do different jobs. Most typically with libraries, as economic situation declines, use of public library or demand goes up."
In an effort to keep up with e-books, Jennings said the library offers close to 5,000 books for download. Members may access the digital copies for 14 days. In 2011, Jennings said they saw 30,000 downloads and he expects that number to go up.
Currently the library communicates with members online and via social media websites. Cell phone text message reminders for books available, will be the next initiative to reach out to the community digitally. Jennings says this service could be ready to roll out in the coming months.
A milestone birthday is celebrated with frozen family fun!
In chilly fashion, the City of Cuyahoga Falls begins its 200th birthday celebration this year downtown at Falls River Square.
Frozen River Festival Details:
Click here for details on upcoming events for the celebration this year.
Families are invited to mark the city's bicentennial at the Frozen River Festival by admiring ice carvings, or maybe a sip of vino from Sarah's Vineyard.
Ice skating is free and skate rentals are offer for $3. Free hot chocolate, coffee and snacks will be provided.
On both Saturday and Sunday the Kent State University figure skating program will perform a 20 minute show on the ice rink.
The Thirsty Dog Brewery crafted its own Bicentennial Beer for the city named Olde Ale. Adults ages 21 or older may stop by for samples.
“There is so much momentum behind this event. The Bicentennial Committee has been meeting and planning these events since spring of 2011," Mayor Don Robart said in a press release. “We will celebrate a Bicentennial Event each month culminating in August for a gigantic 10-day festival of epic proportion”.
The Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium director and the city's mayor both say they followed state law when they denied a gay married couple a family membership.
"She just told us that our marriage wasn't real," Shane May said, when describing what happened while questioning an employee on his family membership inquiry. The story was first reported by the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press.
The couple, Coty and Shane May, were married in Washington D.C. on October 28. Shane May says he and his spouse were "shocked" by the employee's response.
Falls Mayor Don Robart joined the 1590 WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show Tuesday and pointed to state law when it comes to creating and enforcing its membership policy.
"It clearly specifies that we don't recognize same sex marriages," he said.
Natatorium Denies Gay Married Couple Membership, Couple Starts Petition by WAKR Lindsay McCoy
Robart says making an exception would open to the door to possible abuses of its membership policy.
"People are living together, they have kids, like LeBron James, but they're not married," Robart said.
"They want the family rate and quite frankly, we've tried to standardize, we've tried to be consistent and we try to offer, as we said, every possible combination that we can."
Meanwhile, Shane May says he tried calling the mayor regarding the matter, but was turned away by a female secretary.
"She said that we were able to talk to the mayor, asked what the issue was about that we were calling for, we told her and she then proceeded to tell us that 'unfortunatley he wasn't able to answer questions like those at this time'," May said.
May says he started a petition that is now circulating on Facebook via Change.org.
Akron police detectives are investigating a weekend shooting on McGowan Street.
A 36-year old man told police he was shot after a verbal fight with another man in the 400 block of McGown St.
The victim was taken to Akron General Medical Center to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect is describe by police as a black male, 5'9'', with a thin build, who was wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans.
Canton Police arrest three people accused to breaking into a vacant home not once, but twice.
Officers tell the Canton Repository that the three were after the home's appliances and scrap metal. The house is located in the 500 block of 15th Street NE.
A 21-year-old, 27-year-old and 50-year-old were booked into the Stark County Jail Friday.
Each face two counts of breaking and entering charges. The youngest suspect was arrested on an unrelated drug possession warrant.
On the web: CantonRep.com
North Canton police say a man was after he side-swiped an officer's cruiser early Saturday morning.
The North Canton officer walked away without any injuries after his police cruiser was struck on its passenger side by a 1998 Lincoln Navigator.
Police arrested Kevin C. Kreiter, 59, of Pompano Beach, FL, on charges of grand theft, reckless operation and fleeing the scene. Kreiter is expected to face additional charges following an investigation.
A police press release indicates Kreiter was driving without headlights, when he crested the hill in the 5900 block of Market Avenue and was traveling north bound in the south bound lane. The officer was forced to swerve to avoid a head-on collision.
Police say Kreiter drove away following the collision, as he continued to travel north bound, forcing several other vehicles off the road. Lake Township officers finally caught up with him near the intersection of Kent Avenue NE and Smith Kramer Street.
Authorities say Kreiter had been involved in another collision prior to the incident involving the North Canton officer's car.
People who want to boat or canoe on Summit County waterways could have an extensive guide, starting this year.
Area parks officials are working on the Regional Water Trail Master Plan, which would link water resources like canals, rivers and lakes for recreational use.
"Recreational canoeing and kayaking," David Whited with Metro Parks, Serving Summit County tells AkronNewsNow.com, "so people can leave their house and say go downtown for a ballgame, go to down to downtown Barberton for a Mum Festival, those kind of things, go out to eat dinner."
Whited says they're hoping to put out a map linking all the canals, rivers and waterways, and other water resources, by next year...when the master plan is completed.
"Get a map that people can hand out and distribute so it'll encourage that kind of recreational use of the lakes, the river and the canal", Whited says.
The chilly temperatures have arrived!
Howling winds and light snow accumulation prompted the Akron city plows to hit the streets early Friday morning.
Joe Toth with Akron Snow and Ice Control tells AkronNewsnow.com, that the roads could be slick in some spots and reminds motorists to take their time.
"The primaries are lightly coated with snow and we have 49 truck out there on the primary routes this morning," he said.
He said the trucks will continue to spread salt.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, which is in effect until 3 p.m. Two to four inches of snow could accumulate Friday morning. Forecasters say it's possible snow showers could bring an additional inch or two Friday night.
Click here to see the weekend forecast.
A park visitor dies after falling into the Cuyahoga River.
The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports 21-year-old Scott Bickel of North Royalton was found near the State Route 82 bridge in Sagamore Hills around 11 p.m.
A portion of the area surrounding the Rt. 82 dam was closed early this morning as Cuyahoga Valley National Park rangers investigated the incident.
The Cleveland Metro Parks, Sagamore Hills Police Department and the Northfield Center Fire Department are among the agencies that assisted in the investigation.
Follow AkronNewsNow.com as more information becomes available.
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