"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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The Wheeling Big Band Society has spent years compiling a pictorial history book about the famed radio program. Now, the Wheeling National Heritage Area has partnered with the society to produce It’s Wheeling Steel: The Story of Wheeling’s ‘Coast toCoast’ Celebrated Radio Program. The book looks at how the program started, its role during WWII and the nation’s reaction to the show throughout its broadcast. Big Band Society members Lee Kelvington and Baird Kloss will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library on Tuesday, November 6 at noon to discuss the story of one of Wheeling’s greatest cultural treasures. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please call 304-232-0244 for more information.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Film Enthusiasts to Discuss Classic Films

The Wheeling FilmSociety, a new addition to the Ohio Valley arts scene, brings film enthusiasts together to watch and discuss some of America’s iconic films.

Presented through a partnership between Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Cinema, Wheeling Jesuit University’s Fine and Performing Arts Department and the Ohio County Public Library’s Lunch with Books Program, the Wheeling Film Society will present four classic films and host post-screening discussions on each. All programs are free and open to the public.

Those interested in learning more about the Wheeling Film Society can attend an introductory program at noon Tuesday, October 23 at the Ohio County Public Library.  Wheeling Film Society host 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, will present the screening/conversation format for the Society, give a sneak preview of the selections as well as provide a specific introduction to the first offering of the season, Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. 

Pictured are program partners John Whitehead, Wheeling Jesuit; Kate Crosbie, Oglebay Institute and Sean Duffy, Ohio County Public Library.

Whitehead, who spearheaded this project, says film is “one of the important democratic impulses that we still gather to share with each other.”

“For better or worse, movies also have an enormous influence on us -- they sometimes reflect who we are, but often also shape who we are,” he said. “My hope is that in talking about and thinking about iconic films from America's, and in future seasons, the world's past, we not only gain a deeper appreciation for cinematic achievement, but also learn some things about ourselves.”

The Society’s inaugural season comprises four films – the 1942 romantic World War II drama Casablanca, Woody Allen’s Play it Again Sam, Francis Ford Coppola’s blockbuster The Godfather and the baseball classic The Natural, starring Robert Redford and Glenn Close. All films will be shown on the big screen at Towngate Cinema at 7 p.m. on select Friday evenings, and discussions take place at the Ohio County Library at noon on the Tuesday following each screening.

The complete schedule is as follows:

The Wheeling Film Society (WFS) announces its inaugural season with a sneak preview of the four classic films to be screened during the year.  WFS Host 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, will present the screening/conversation format for WFS offerings as well as provide a specific introduction to the first offering of the season, to be screened later the same week: Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

7 p.m. October 26                                Screening: Casablanca, Towngate Cinema

Noon   October 30                              Conversation:Casablanca, Ohio County Library
One of the most heartbreakingly romantic films ever made, Casablanca is a miracle of the Hollywood Golden Age and its assembly-line production model – a B-movie of foreign intrigue that transcends the limitations of its genre.  Humphrey Bogart is Rick Blaine in the most iconic role of an iconic career, an American expatriate whose cool and detached intentions to remain uncommitted, both personally and patriotically, melt away in the heat of Ingrid Bergman’s vulnerable presence.  Filled with great character acting from America and particularly from European refugees fleeing Hitler, Casablanca is propaganda that became art.

7 p.m. November 30                           Screening,Play it Again Sam, Towngate Cinema

Noon December 4            Conversation:Play it Again Sam, Ohio County PublicLibrary
Woody Allen originally wrote his relationship-comedy fantasia on Humphrey Bogart’s persona in Casablanca and other films as a stage play, adapted here for the cinema exactly three decades after the Bogart-Bergman classic as the first of many screen-pairings of Allen and Diane Keaton.  Allen’s character, pushed around by his ex-wife and hapless in a series of blind dates, becomes so obsessed with trying to “be like Bogart” that he conjures a Bogie avatar by his side to advise him on his romantic moves and missteps.  Allen’s legendary love of cinema was first introduced on screen in this early film, which pointed the way to Annie Hall and Manhattan later in the 70s.

7 p.m. January 25            Screening:The Godfather, Towngate Cinema

Noon January 29            Conversation:The Godfather, Ohio County PublicLibrary
Debates about The Great American Movie usually vacillate between Coppola’s blockbuster (which won the “Big Three” Oscars for a filmmaker – Picture, Director, and Screenplay) and Orson Welles’ 1941 Citizen Kane.  Each is an epic panorama that both reflects and critiques the values of the American political and economic systems.  Each is ultimately a tragic masterpiece.  Coppola’s depiction of the promise and problems of post-WWII prosperity are brought to life by one of the great ensemble casts of Hollywood history, including Marlon Brando, who won Best Actor for the title role; James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino, all of whom were nominated for Best Supporting Actor; and Diane Keaton, scandalously neglected in the nominations.

7 p.m. April 19                                     Screening:  TheNatural, Towngate Cinema

Noon April 23                                      Conversation,The Natural, Ohio County PublicLibrary
In honor of the return of spring and a new baseball season, our final screening of 2012-2013 is the adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s modernist novel updating the Fisher King legend to the world of mid-century baseball.  Both novel and film are based in the 1949 scandal of a promising major league ballplayer whose career was altered when he was shot and wounded in his team hotel room by a mystery woman.  Levinson’s film was controversial upon its release: the novel’s downbeat ending received a spectacular Hollywood “makeover,” complete with Randy Newman’s greatest soundtrack score, climactic slow-motion fireworks, and Robert Redford getting the girl.
Whitehead said this lineup was chosen for the first season because organizers wanted to start off with much-beloved films that people will want to see on Towngate’s big screen, even though they may have seen them many times in the comfort of their own living rooms. He said he was also interested in diversity of genre.

“There's a romantic spy story, a romantic comedy, a crime epic, and a sports drama,” he said. “But more important, I wanted to choose films in this first season that dealt with iconic myths of our shared past: the war hero, the romantic loner, the rags-to-riches businessman, the natural athlete.  And for me, what's interesting about these films we're showing is that they don't present any of these icons without irony.  Part of what makes these films great is that they challenge us to think more deeply about our myths and heroes than we sometimes do.”

Oglebay Institute’s director of performing arts Kate Crosbie said, “This new venture adds another dimension to our already established performing arts schedule.  We are pleased to partner with Wheeling Jesuit and the Ohio County Library to present this new opportunity for film lovers to get together with others who share an interest in film, learn more about the art and history of cinema, view good films and engage in thought-provoking conversation.”

All screenings and conversations are free and open to the public. Guests may attend as many or as few events as their schedules permit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oct 16: Meet Edgar Allen Poe!

On Tuesday October 16 at noon, in anticipation of Halloween, George Bartley, who has worked at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, will portray "America's Shakespeare" at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library, courtesy of the History Alive! program of the West Virginia Humanities Council. Bartley has a degree in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance and has reenacted Poe in theaters, universities, high schools, libraries, and churches.
The presentation is free, open to the public, and made possible through the History Alive! program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
The presentation interweaves many of the tragic events of Poe's life with some of his greatest works. Special emphasis is given to Poe's connections to the area of the United States that became West Virginia.

While perhaps best known for his tales of terror and the macabre, Poe also wrote "The Raven"- the most famous poem ever written by an American and "Annabel Lee." Often referred to as "America's Shakespeare," Poe also wrote the first detective story and the first modern science fiction story.
Poe is one of the many available character presentations offered through the West Virginia Humanities Council's History Alive! program as a means of exploring history by interacting with noteworthy historical figures. These programs provide audiences with the opportunity to question those who have shaped our history. Historical characterization is the vehicle for this program. Humanities scholars have carefully researched the writings, speeches, and biographies of the characters they portray and whenever possible, use their original words.

The West Virginia Humanities Council is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing educational programs in the humanities for all West Virginians. For over thirty years, the Council has been providing educational programs in the humanities across the state. This program is available to interested nonprofit groups such as libraries, museums, and historical societies. For more information call The West Virginia Humanities Council at 304-346-8500 or visit the website: www.wv.humanities.org
Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please call 304-232-0244 for more information.


Friday, October 5, 2012

"It all began in Wheeling: Wheeling Steel Products that changed America."

Lunch With Books, October 9 at noon: "It all began in Wheeling: Wheeling Steel Products that changed America."Next Tuesday October 9 at noon, Wheeling Steel enthusiast and researcher Dr. Raymond Boothe will return to Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library to present "It all began in Wheeling: Wheeling Steel Products that changed America." Dr. Boothe will discuss the many innovations pioneered by Wheeling Steel that changed American life. Dr. Boothe invites anyone who attends to bring some kind of Wheeling Steel artifact if theyhave one. He promised to bring his artifacts and a large storyboard describing the construction of the BOF furnace at Mingo Junction. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please call 304-232-0244 for more information.

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..