More than 600 librarians are expected to come to the convention, and some of them have indicated they intend to bring their families and stay through the weekend, said Doug Evans, executive director of the OLC.
“This is the first time since 1901 that the Ohio Library Council has had their meeting in Sandusky,” said Julie Brooks, director of Sandusky Library.
The OLC typically holds its conventions in big cities, but Kalahari’s new big convention facilities made it an ideal host for the OLC gathering, Evans said.
Kalahari offered a good price, and Evans said he’s familiar with the fine quality of the food at Kalahari and its other services.
While they are here, the librarians are booked to tour the Milan Public Library and Huron Public Library on Wednesday night.
On Thursday night, they’ll attend a reception at Sandusky Library. The library will have its Follett House Museum open, and it’s arranged for the nearby Merry-Go-Round Museum to be open that night at a discounted rate. Shuttle buses will run from Kalahari to the library and to Schade-Mylander Plaza, making it easy for the visiting librarians to party at the library or dine out downtown.
A grant from Lake Erie Shores & Islands is paying for the buses, said Lori Esposito, a spokeswoman for Sandusky Library.
“They’re very interested in seeing how the other libraries operate, what their facilities are like, sample their programming,” Evans said. “The Sandusky Library put together a great event for Thursday night.”
Brooks, who has attended most of the OLC’s annual gatherings, explained that traditionally, the largest library at the convention’s location hosts the all-conference event.
Thursday will be the first time a medium-sized library has served as the host for an event.
“We’re excited about that,” she said.
The library is trying to show off how it fits into the city and offers easy access to local attractions, she said.
The library is offering a 10 percent discount at its gift shop Thursday night and hired a steel drum duo to entertain during its “Key West Sandusky” reception.
During the day, the librarians will study how to better serve their patrons while staying within their budgets.
Announced convention topics include “Serving Boomers and Beyond: The 50 Shades of Greying” and “Programming Collaboration: Finding Partnerships in Your Community.”