Notes -- August & September 2009

Award-winning suspense author Tess Gerritsen will headline WestFest, WPPL's biennial author festival. The bestselling author will visit WPPL on Friday, October 16 at 7 p.m. and speak about how she transitioned from being a physician to a writer. She will also sign books, which will be available for purchase from Barnes and Noble.

Gerritsen has won both the Nero Wolfe Award and the Rita Award. Her medical and romantic suspense novels have been top-5 bestsellers both in the Unites States and abroad. More than 20 million copies of her books have been sold. Her recent novels include The Keepsake, The Bone Garden, and The Mephisto Club. Raised in California, Gerritsen now resides in Maine.

Also appearing during WestFest are Cynda Williams Chima and Cynthia Lord. Chima will appear on Tuesday, October 13 at 7 p.m. and Lord will visit on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 p.m. Both will sign books, which will also be available from Barnes and Noble.

Cynda Williams Chima is the author of the bestselling teen fantasy series The Heir, The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir. The series has been the subject of rave reviews and award nominations and has appeared on several "best" lists across the country for teens and fantasy/science fiction. Her latest teen novel, The Demon King, will be released on the day of her visit. Cynda is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron, and makes the Cleveland area her home.

Cynthia Lord is the author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Award-winning Rules, a children's book which explores what it's like to have a sibling with autism. Rules also received the Schneider Family Book Award and the Buckeye Book Award as well as many others. Cynthia's second book, Hot Rod Hamster, is due out in 2010. A former elementary and middle school teacher, Lord resides in her native New England.

WestFest is being underwritten by the Friends of Porter Library.

Director's Notes: Ups and Downs
Porter Library was again ranked # 1 in Hennen's American Public Library Ratings for libraries our size. This ranking is a reflection of many things but mostly it says that you love and use your library. The astonishing number of visits and items checked out each year are a large part of what propels us to the top. The Hennen index has been released 9 times since 1999 and we have finished in the top three all but one time.

Yet even as Porter and many other Ohio libraries have been recognized nationally, funding is at its most critical point. The Governor's recent proposal to cut $227 million from Ohio libraries would have been in addition to seven years of declining state funding. While the Legislature restored a big portion of the proposed cut, libraries will struggle to meet increased demand for access to materials, the Internet, public meeting space, and programs. Many libraries without local support have already begun reducing hours, staff, and services.

Although Porter Public Library is funded primarily by a local levy we are projecting a $200,000 loss in state funding for 2009 and over $350,000 in 2010. Library administration and the Board of Trustees are currently working on how best to address this situation while maintaining the highest level of service.

As we work through the budget issues we are all facing, we are again grateful to the many people who volunteer their valuable time and for the generous donations we receive. We are also thankful for the outpouring of support and the incredible number of e-mails and phone calls regarding library funding to the Governor, Senators, and Representatives from concerned citizens all around the state. Thank you for speaking up and letting legislators know the important role that public libraries play in the future success of Ohio.

Andrew Mangels,

Student Study Resources @ WPPL
School's back in session this month, bringing with it homework, studying, and concerns about grades. Let your library help! Westlake Porter Public Library offers a variety of resources to help students excel in school. Here's what we have to offer:

Live Homework Help
WPPL will offer Live Homework Help, an online tutoring service from, through December 31. connects students to expert tutors in math, science, social studies, and English via the Internet.
This free service allows students to connect to a tutor either from Westlake Porter Public Library or from their home computers with a library card, between 6 and 11 p.m., seven days a week, and receive homework help from a live tutor. It's easy to use. Children and teens simply go to, click on the Live Homework Help link and then enter their grade level and the subject in which they need help. In just a few minutes, students are connected to a tutor in an Online Classroom for one-to-one help in math, science, social studies, and English.

Homework Now
HomeworkNow is a live online information service provided free to Ohioans by the State Library of Ohio and local public libraries. Professional librarians (including some of WPPL's own) are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your reference questions and assist you in finding information. Once logged on with your Ohio zip code, you and a librarian engage in a "chat" session in which you can watch and participate as the librarian navigates the Internet to find precise answers to your questions.

Research Databases
WPPL offers access to research databases covering a wide variety of subjects to assist students in their research for reports. Included are Ohio newspaper article and magazine indices, an electronic encyclopedia, and databases of articles covering diverse topics such as business, health & wellness, biographies, and science. Because WPPL subscribes directly to some databases and subscribes to others through the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), not all are accessed the same way. For more information please check at the library or visit

Books and DVDs
The library's extensive collection of reference and non-fiction books and DVDs provide students of all ages with the information they need for book reports and research papers, and for completing projects. Our classics collection and literary commentaries help students read and understand literature assignments, from Austen to Shakespeare.

Please don't hesitate to ask the librarians for help selecting the best resources for your needs.