"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

This blog is being discontinued.

This blog is being discontinued.
Please visit: www.ohiocountylibrary.org/calendar

Thursday, June 30, 2011



Andrew Carnegie called the public library “The People’s University," believing it to be an essential institution of learning for people of all ages. Today, the Ohio County Public Library seeks to continue to assist local residents in the pursuit of knowledge and education by offering a third installment in a new series of programs entitled, “The People’s University.” The new series, "American Literature," will provide an opportunity for adults to learn or refresh their knowledge of the subject. The courses are free of charge and the presenters are experienced instructors of English and literature.

The third series will offer a glimpse at the seven major periods in American Literature, along with a sampling of the work some of the most important writers from each period.

Series 3 American Literature, Schedule

Classes meet on
Tuesday evenings @ 7:00 PM

Week 1 (July 19): Colonial Period 1607-1765
with instructor Dr. John W. Hattman, Emeritus Professor of English at West Liberty State University.

"God and His Sinners": The works of this period center on the relationship of (hu)man to God and the punishments for the inevitable human failure to obey God's rules. From the magnificent sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to the incredibly awful poem "Day of Doom" to the witch executions of Salem, we will explore examples of seventeenth century American literature.

Week 2 (July 26): Revolutionary Period 1765-1809 with Dr. John W. Hattman, Emeritus Professor of English at West Liberty State University.

"The Proper Study of Mankind": The Revolutionary period changes the focus from the human relationship with God to the relationship with his fellow (hu)man. Political theory and propaganda take center stage. King George III replaces the devil. We will consider the works of Jefferson, Paine, and Franklin among others.

Week 3 (August 2): Romantic Period 1809-1865 with Dr. Paul Orr, Emeritus Professor of English at Wheeling Jesuit University.

"The Essential Walt Whitman": The class will study the works of Walt Whitman, Students will learn why "Leaves of Grass." is such an important work by focusing on Whitman's Lincoln poems, including "Oh Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."

Week 4 (August 9): Realistic Period 1865-1900 with Dr. David J. Thomas, Professor of English at West Liberty State University.

"The Reality of War": This presentation will be a study of the American realistic writers' various views of war. The focus will be on Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps, Howells' short story "Editha," Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," and Crane's novella The Red Badge of Courage.

Week 5 (August 16): Naturalistic Period 1900-1930 with Dr. David J. Thomas, Professor of English, West Liberty State University.

"Men without Women": This presentation will focus upon the patriarchal attitude so very prevalent during the American naturalistic period. Featured will be some of Frost's poems, Hemingway's short stories and novels, and London's short stories and novels. Biographical anecdotes will be offered to connect the authors' lives to their more popular works.

Week 6 (August 23): Nationalist Period 1930-1960 with Mr. Lou Volpe, retired English and Literature teacher, Wheeling Central Catholic High School

"Seven Modern Poets: Of Time, My Body, and the Earth": The class will look at and listen to seven poets (James Wright, Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, and three to be named later) who have something to tell us about the value of time, our mortal bodies, and this earth we inhabit. The opening segment of the class will talk about the reader's need to suspend time, emphasize the imagination, and relax and wait for meaning -- in other words, "How one should read poetry."

Week 7 (August 30): Contemporary Period 1960-2011 with Mr. Lou Volpe, retired English and Literature teacher, Wheeling Central Catholic High School.

"Observers and Seekers: Walker Percy, Denise Levertov, and Wendell Berry": The class will discuss three authors who have acutely observed society and its direction (or misdirection!) and have sought clues or signs to the possible purpose of an individual's sojourn on this earth. All three have, in one way or another, arrived at a faith/love solution to the postmodern anxiety and meaninglessness of life and a direction for persons -- and in Berry's case, communities. The class will look at excerpts from Walker Percy's last novel The Thanatos Syndrome (1987), several of Denise Levertov's poems from different periods, and a short story and poems from Wendell Berry.

Week 8 (September 6): West Virginia Writers with Dr. Paul Orr, Emeritus Professor of English at Wheeling Jesuit University.

"West Virginia Writers": The class will consider the works of important West Virginia and Wheeling writers, especially Davis Grubb and Keith Maillard as well as the plays of Sean O'Leary.

To register for the American Literature series, please call 304-232-0244 or email lunchwithbooks@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July 5: Arthur Phillips

On Tuesday, July 5 at noon, Dr. Charles Wood will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio
County Public Library to present: "Arthur Phillips- reconstruction of a home and the life of a technology pioneering family along the Ohio River from 1807 to 1869." Dr. Wood is a scientist who investigates the Moon and the planets in our solar system. He has worked extensively with NASA and now directs the Center for Educational Technologies at WJU. Five years ago Chuck and his wife Vera bought a nearly abandoned house on North Main built in 1831 for the Arthur Phillips family. While rebuilding, Chuck became engrossed with the steam engine pioneer Phillips and events in the Ohio Valley in the 1800s. In this Lunch with Books talk Wood will preview a slightly fictionalized study he has written about Phillips and his now remodeled house, perhaps the oldest in Wheeling. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are provided. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 for more information.

Pictured: Chuck Wood and one of the boats Phillips's firm built at Wheeling in 1855.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fracking Facts Continues

Library's Gas Drilling Series Continues

The Ohio County Public Library's new "Fracking Facts" series about Marcellus Shale drilling issues in the Ohio Valley will continue on Thursday evening July 14 at 7:00 PM. Charleston based oil and gas and public interest attorney David McMahon, who authored the West Virginia Surface Owner’s Guide to Oil and Gas and co-founded the West Virginia Surface Owner’s Rights Organization (WV-SORO), will share his top ten tips for leasing natural gas rights and discuss the rights of those who have already signed a lease. He will then focus on the rights of surface-only owners.

WV-SORO’s mission is to protect landowners from abuses by oil and gas drillers by focusing on public policy and regulatory changes needed to expand surface owners’ rights and help West Virginians protect their land and water resources.

A Wheeling native who grew up in Dimmeydale and Woodsdale and graduated from Triadelphia High School, McMahon said that WV-SORO frequently receives calls from people with questions about what they can do to protect their land prior to drilling as well as numerous complaints about damage once the drilling begins. “We know people have lots of questions," McMahion said, "and WV-SORO is focused on educating landowners about their rights and pushing the public policy changes needed to make these rights easier to enforce and to ensure that landowners receive fair compensation for their losses and inconveniences."

“The money may be attractive," he continued, "but people need to think about what they or future generations may want to do with the land. Most mineral owners don’t know that there are usually bad provisions in leases that can and should be crossed out and that they can insist on lease add-ons or addendums that provide additional protections for their land before they sign.”

Both surface and mineral owners interested in learning more about their rights are encouraged to attend the July 14 program. WV-SORO also has a number of resources listed on its website at www.wvsoro.org. These include the WV Surface Owners’ Guide to Oil and Gas, which helps landowners assess their situation, outlines what rights they have and gives them step-by-step suggestions on what they should do before, during and after an oil or gas well is drilled on their property. The group also has a ‘leasing’ page at their website with information for those who are considering leasing their minerals.

Like all library programs, the "Fracking Facts" series is free and open to the public. Additional events in the series will be announced as they are scheduled. Call 304-232-0244 for more information or
email lunchwithbooks@yahoo.com or become a fan at facebook.com/lunchwithbooks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 28 at noon: Nuclear Disaster in Japan

Wayne M. Butler, Ph.D., chief physicist for the Schiffler Cancer Center at Wheeling Hospital will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library on Tuesday, June 28 at noon to present a program entitled, “The Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Disaster.” Dr. Butler will discuss the hows and whys of the disaster and address its long-term impacts and the concerns it raises for Japan and for the world. Working with Dr. Gregory Merrick at Wheeling Hospital, Dr. Butler has published over 200 peer-reviewed medical journal papers. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are provided. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 for more information.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Recommended Program

Lunch With Books fans:

Walter Rybeck, who is originally from Wheeling but now resides in Maryland, has written a book called Re-Solving the Economic Puzzle. He will be in town to discuss and sign copies of the book at the Schrader Environmental Education Center at Oglebay on Saturday July 23 at 2 pm. This looks like a fascinating read, and I thought I would pass this exciting news along to our patrons. Mr Rybeck's brother, the late Dr. S. Arthur Rybeck Jr. was a great friend of the library and appeared at Lunch With Books many times. For more information about the book and program, please see below. Best regards, Sean Duffy, Ohio County Public Library

The book
. Re-solving the Economic Puzzle offers proven remedies for some of the nation's critical problems such as . . .
  • creating jobs,
  • halting urban sprawl,
  • reviving fading central cities,
  • upgrading bridges, highways, schools and other infrastructure
  • financing state and local government services
  • stopping boom-and-bust cycles
One chapter on Oglebay's nature program recounts the beginning of the author's understanding of land issues as they relate to conservation, poverty and the enterprise system. Insights from Moses, economist Adam Smith, land taxer Henry George and the author's mentors (editor Walter Locke, a native West Virginian and Illinois Senator Paul H. Douglas, among others) are relied on for developing a strategy for helping America recover from the Great Recession. Stories about places that places that already successfully apply the author's suggested land policy changes lend credence to the book's reform agenda.
The author. Walter Rybeck, a native of Wheeling, attended Triadelphia High. His journalism studies at West Virginia University were interrupted by service in the Combat Engineers in World War II. He completed his college work in economics and political science at Antioch College in Ohio. He was a reporter on the Fairmont Times, where he helped start a symphony and little theater. After a year as foreign correspondent in Latin America, he was a reporter and state editor in Columbus, an editorial writer in Dayton, and Washington Bureau Chief for Cox Newspapers. He then became assistant director of the National Commission on Urban Problems, editorial director of the Urban Institute, and assistant to two congressmen, Henry S. Reuss of Milwaukee and William J. Coyne of Pittsburgh.
He was curator of the Oglebay Nature Museum that was housed in the barn that has long since burned down. He was active in the Brooks Bird Club and the folk dance group under the late Jane Farwell. He is the son of the late S.A. Rybeck, Sr., and Rosalind Rybeck (of Rybeck studios), and brother of the late Dr. S. Arthur Rybeck, Jr. His sister-in-law Sivia Rybeck lives in Woodsdale and his niece Blanche Rybeck lives near Dallas Pike.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 21 at noon: Appraising the Graduate

Wheeling Jesuit University professor and director of Fine Arts, John Whitehead, will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library on Tuesday June 21 at noon to discuss his new book, Appraising The Graduate: The Mike Nichols Classic and Its Impact on Hollywood. Whitehead, whose academic focus is on film and visual studies, contemporary literature, and creative writing, often uses The Graduate in class as a teaching tool and says he decided to write the book when he found that very little of significance had been written about the film. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are provided. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 for more information.


Well it looks as though we fell well short of our goal for the Matthew Algeo program. So we must congratulate Kansas City. Still, 79 people for a program on Grover Cleveland on a Tuesday afternoon is not all bad! Many thanks to those who attended and especially to those who donated to West Virginia Tornado Relief. -Sean

UP NEXT: On Tuesday, June 14 at noon at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library, WVU history professor Dr. Ken Fones-Wolf will present, “Traitors in Wheeling: Secessionism in an Appalachian Unionist City,” an overview of Wheeling’s prominent secessionists like William Goshorn and Daniel Steenrod, based on research Dr. Fones-Wolf presented in the Journal of Appalachian Studies in 2007. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are provided. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 for more information.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 7: Matthew Algeo--Tornado Relief and Prizes!


NPR journalist Matthew Algeo, who presented a most excellent program at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library on Harry Truman in 2009, will return to the library on June 7 at noon to discuss his new book, THE PRESIDENT IS A SICK MAN. The book is about a secret cancer operation performed on Grover Cleveland in 1893. It details an extraordinary but almost unknown and brazen political cover-up by a politician whose most memorable quote was “Tell the truth.” The facts were so well concealed that even today a full and fair account has never been published. Until now. Algeo will also discuss the so-called “1887 Banner Incident,” during which members of the Grand Army of the Republic, while celebrating a reunion in Wheeling, refused to walk beneath a banner reading “God Bless President Cleveland, Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.” The Civil War veterans were angry with Cleveland for vetoing soldier pensions and proposing a return of some captured Confederate flags. Matthew Algeo is the author of Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure, called one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Washington Post. As a journalist, his stories have appeared on All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are provided. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 for more information.

Update: The Halloween Queen has graciously donated one tour of Castle Halloween Museum for 4 people, a $32.00 value. Also, One copy of Tastes & Smells of Halloween $25.00 value!

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..