"I am completely smitten with the Lunch with Books patrons...who welcomed me like a long-lost cousin. It takes two to have a successful reading: an enthusiastic presenter and an engaged audience, and boy did the stars align for us." -Marie Manilla, Still Life with Plums

"Lunch With Books is an outstanding program -- one of the best in the country." -NPR Journalist Matthew Algeo, The President is a Sick Man

"With a new book in hand, I’ve visited a lot of libraries lately, and I think the Ohio County Public Library is my all-time favorite. People are kind and welcoming, and deeply appreciate a visiting writer." -Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (National Book Award)

“I wanted the book launch to be at Lunch With Books because it is the best library book program in West Virginia and because Wheeling and the Wheeling area was centrally involved in so many of the firsts in West Virginia sports.” –Bob Barnett, Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia

Next: Fulton Memories

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oct. 6: From Potters to Pilots: A Season of Ohio Valley High School Football

Author Jim Holl has a strong interest in regional sports and the culture of small town life in the Midwest. He will discuss his new book, From Potters to Pilots: A Season of Ohio Valley High School Football.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wheeling Poetry Series Launch September 29, 2015 Event starts at 12:00 PM.

West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc HarshmanMarc Harshman and Lunch With Books Present: the LAUNCH OF the NEW WHEELING POETRY SERIES!

An exciting new poetry event is coming to the Lunch With Books program at the Ohio County Public Library.  The “Wheeling Poetry Series” will feature three annual readings by some of the finest poets from our Appalachian region and beyond. When he is available, Marc Harshman, the poet laureate of West Virginia, will serve as host.

The series came about as a result of an ongoing conversation with Harshman, who felt that there was a need for a dependable venue in which to present major American poets reading and talking about their work here in West Virginia and more specifically here in Wheeling. Harshman had long lamented the loss of the James Wright Festival which had been held for many years in Wright’s home town of Martins Ferry, Ohio.  “That annual event was a towering success, lauded by poets across the U.S., and I see no reason why such a success cannot be replicated here in Wheeling.  And some will remember that frequently some of the programming for the Wright festival was, in fact, held at various locations in Wheeling.”Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon

“I have a great faith in poetry to refocus in us what it means to be human, and with every passing
year I feel an ever greater need to be reminded about what it is that we hold in common as men and women who value beauty and the kind of meaning revealed in artistic expression.  I am not embarrassed to continue to quote as immensely relevant William Carlos Williams’ adage that ‘It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.’  In a political season that seems more sad and pathetic than ever before, perhaps the news that may be found in poetry will hold a brightness, a freshness more useful than the sound-bites from talking heads reporting on the doings of the millionaires and corporate figure heads dominating what currently passes for news here in America.”

The Wheeling Poetry Series opener will feature the current poet laureate of Kentucky, George Ella Lyon.

She is the author of four books of poetry, a novel, a memoir, and a short story collection as well as thirty-seven books for young readers. Her first book, Mountain (a poetry chapbook), came out in 1983.

Of her novel With a Hammer for My Heart (DK 1997, Univ. Press of Ky, 2007), a starred review in Booklist said, “Lyon gives readers a story rich in precise, gorgeous language that glows like a sword on the forge and cuts as deep. . . . Tragedies old and new weave a tiny Kentucky town into the center of the universe.” Hammer was chosen for Borders’ “Original Voices” series, adapted as a play, and optioned by filmmakers.

Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Naomi Shihab Nye wrote of Many-Storied House, Lyon’s most recent poetry collection, “We all live in this house. These stories belong to everyone. George Ella Lyon writes the most transporting, intuitive, inviting poems; their doors feel wide open. Her balancing touch is generous enough (it’s magical how she does this) to include us all. I love, love, love this book.”

Of Lyon’s memoir, Don’t You Remember? (MotesBooks, 2007) novelist Lee Smith said, “Enthralling . . . a mystery story of the highest order,” and Bobbie Ann Mason called it “an irresistible story, filled with suspense and wonder.”

Lyon’s honors include an Al Smith Fellowship, fellowships to the Hambidge Center for the Arts, numerous grants from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and a feature in the PBS series, The United States of Poetry.  Her books have been chosen for the Appalachian Book of the Year award, the Aesop Prize, ALA’s Schneider Family Book Award, the Jane Addams Honor Book, the Golden Kite Award, the New York Public Library’s Best Book for Teens list, and the Parents’ Choice Silver Medal. Voices from the March on Washington, co-written with J. Patrick Lewis, won the Cybils Award for Poetry in 2014.

In April 2015 Lyon was appointed as Kentucky’s Poet Laureate. She attended Centre College, the University of Arkansas, and Indiana University, where she studied with poet Ruth Stone. A native of Harlan County, Kentucky, Lyon is the daughter of Gladys and Robert Hoskins. She works as a freelance writer and teacher based in Lexington. With her husband, musician /writer Steve Lyon, she has raised two sons. More information, is available at www.georgeellalyon.com.

George Ella Lyon will read from her collection, Many-Storied HouseGeorge Ella Lyon’s appearance at the Wheeling Poetry Series at Lunch with Books will occur on Tuesday, September 29th, at noon in the Ohio County Public Library.  “I plan to read from my collection Many-Storied House,” she said, “It is all set in the house where I grew up, a house my grandfather built. I'll also share with the audience the writing exercise that started the book.”

It is also planned that Lyon will be visiting the campus of West Liberty University that same day, as well as conducting a poetry reading at The Blue Church at 7 p.m. that evening.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and complimentary snacks and beverages are served. For more details, visit www.ohiocountylibrary.org or call the Ohio County Public Library at 304-232-0244.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

NEXT: Sept. 22: What Is Bigfoot?

Fred Saluga will discuss the two theories about the elusive creature: The traditional and the “paranormal” Bigfoot. Saluga is a former law enforcement officer and instructs classes on UFOs and Cryptozoology at the Eastern Gateway Community College.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Charlie Chaplin's Iconic Film

Modern Times (Lunch With Books)

September 15, 2015

4th Annual 

Season: 2015-2016

Co-sponsored by:
Ohio County Public Library
Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Cinema
Wheeling Jesuit University’s Fine and Performing Arts Department

The Wheeling Film Society (WFS) announces its fourth annual season of screening-discussions of classic Hollywood films.  John Whitehead, professor of film studies at Wheeling Jesuit University and author of Appraising The Graduate: The Mike Nichols Classic and Its Impact in Hollywood (2011) and Mike Nichols and the Cinema of Transformation (2014) will serve as host for the screenings and conversations. 

Screening: Modern Times(Charlie Chaplin, 1936) - 87 mins.
The world’s most famous movie star for the first quarter-century of motion pictures and still one of the most familiar icons of cinema, Charlie Chaplin was so powerful a director-star that, nearly a decade into the sound era, he still had the power to deliver a film like Modern Times, a hybrid of the silent and sound eras, in which his character never speaks a word.  Set during the Depression that still raged in the country (and around the world), Chaplin’s classic comedy satirizes industrialization, as Chaplin’s Little Tramp literally becomes a human cog in the machine.  You’ll never forget the daredevil stunts Chaplin performs on roller-skates next to an abyss, nor will you forget the film debut of the Little Tramp’s love interest, Paulette Goddard, glowing as “the Gamin.”

Then at 7 pm: Exploring Local Flora and Fauna

The New People's University Will Explore Local Animals, Plants and Ecosystems

Send us an EMAIL to RSVP. Please type BIOLOGY in the comments section.

The latest series in the People's University program at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling will explore the science of Biology, with a focus on local and regional plant and animal life and ecosystems. Classes will meet on consecutive Tuesday evenings at 7 PM, from September 15 through November 3 in the library's auditorium. There will also be two Saturday field trips for those interested. There are no grades and patrons are welcome to attend all or only some programs.
The accomplished faculty includes naturalist and nature photographer Bill Beatty, nature educator Jan Runyan, West Liberty University biology professors, Dr. Joe Greathouse, Dr. Zachary Loughman, and Dr. Roger Seeber, and a naturalist from the Schrader Environmental Education Center at Oglebay Institute to be named soon.

Classes begin on Tuesday, September 15 at 7 PM with Eastern Screech Owls, taught by Beatty.
For 28 years Beatty studied this elusive bird for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the WV Non-game Wildlife Program.  The studies were done in 3 phases: 1) surveys, 2) trapping and 3) nesting/roosting box banding.  The highlights of these studies will be presented through photos of Bill's up-close-and-personal research.

Beatty has a B.S. degree in biology from West Liberty University. He is a consulting Naturalist and Outdoor Education Specialist. Bill founded Wild & Natural in 1990, specializing in nature/environmental programs, nature writing, and nature photography with over 2,000 published photos. He was an Interpretive Naturalist for Oglebay Institute from 1972-1990. He is an instructor for various nature-related events in the WV State Park System. Bill teaches holds a Federal Master Personal Bird Banding permit and for 28 years studied the breeding biology of the Eastern Screech-owl.  Bill and Jan Runyan, who is also a bander, band approx. 1000 birds at their home near Wellsburg, WV each year.

Also: The Bake Sale starts! (click image to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lunch With Books: Tim Luke Returns! September 08, 2015

Tim Luke returns, courtesy Oglebay Institute, to review the first 2 books in the Natchez trilogy by George Iles - Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree. This will lead to a discussion about the buying and selling of controversial artifacts (such as Confederate memorabilia, Nazi memorabilia, and wartime loot as in the movie Monuments Men) and how dealers and auction houses address these issues.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

September 01, 2015: Wheeling's Coney Island

Lunch With Books. Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Ever hear of Wheeling's Coney Island?

Once upon a time, there was an amusement park on the largest of the Sisters Islands just south of the Pike Island Dam. The island was called Coney Island by locals, and on its opening day, 6,000 people arrived by steamboat and pontoon bridge. There they enjoyed rides, a dance pavilion, a picnic area, a swimming beach with lights for night swimming, and even an ostrich farm.

The park was busy and popular and was the site of operas, circuses, and the Saengerfest. Unions often rented the park for a whole day. The park was damaged by floods in 1906 and $100,000 worth of renovations were done for the 1907 season.
What happened to the park? Find out from Kathleen Quinn at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library​ on Sept 1 at noon.
 1888 image, OCPL Archives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lunch With Books: Author Susan Spencer-Smith August 25, 2015

Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Weirton based writer Susan Spencer-Smith’s “inspirational, cozy” mysteries are set in fictional Biddlebourne, WV. Her cookbook features recipes of “southern comfort” foods of West Virginia and Ohio.

Top Ten Lunch With Books Programs

Program; Presenter; Attendance; Date

1. SAENGERFEST; Eintracht German Singing Society; 200; 07-17-10

2. A Lucky Child; Auschwitz Survivor Judge Thomas Buergenthal; 198; 03-04-11

3. Fashion Show; Civil War 150; 194; 11-20-11

4. Ruanaidh; Art Rooney, Jr. and Jim O'Brien; 168; 06-15-10

5. Follow the River; James Alexander Thom; 160; 06-05-08

6. Warwood Memories; 157; 12-18-12

7. The Quiet Man Pub Reading; 150; 08-30-12

8. Wheeling Then and Now; Sean Duffy; 146; 09-07-10

9. Bloch Brother Tobacco; Stuart Bloch; 131; 04-27-10

10. Reasons to Believe; Dr. Scott Hahn; 126; 08-21-07

Book Discussion Groups

The Ohio County Public Library facilitates book discussion groups for both young adults and adults. Currently, the OCPL offers two adult groups, which meet on the first Monday and third Thursday of each month.

In addition to its own growing collection, the OCPL has access to the book discussion collection of the West Virginia Library Commission.

To join or form a book discussion group, or for more information, please call 304-232-0244.

Meeting of the Minds Philosophy Group

The Meeting of the Minds Philosophic Inquiry Forum is facilitated by David Weimer. The group meets virtually every Tuesday at 6 PM. Call the library for meeting room locations.

For more information, visit www.firstknowthyself.org/m&mphilosophy.htm or contact group organizer, David Weimer, at 740 526-0985 or by email at dwwweimer@comcast.net..