Library directors guest on BTL

Sandusky Register Staff
Aug 29, 2014


How do you end a great career that was everything you hoped for when you started 37 1/2 years ago? 

With grace, if you're Sandusky Library director Julie Brooks.

"I was 23 (when she started). You can do the math. I'm 60."

Brooks, who will retire next month, served the library during a period that of remarkable growth in services, facilities, patronage and prestige.

And on Thursday during a special on the road "Between the Lines" at the Sandusky Library, Brooks reflected on her time here. 

"Sandusky looked like a beautiful place to settle down," Brooks said. "I really wanted to make a mark and stay in one place and continue to watch something develop."

And Brooks was still swinging for the fence on Thursday for libraries across the state.

Huron Library director Benjamin Reid and Michelle Francis, government relations director with the Ohio Library Council joined Brooksall agreed the state should restore funding to previous levels and hoped that would be incorporated in Ohio Gov. John Kasich's state budget later this year.

"Our funding today is the same as it was in 1996, withouth accounting for inflation," Francis said.

Reid took over at the Huron Library in January and said Brooks has been an excellent collaborator.

"It's been an exciting time," he said.

All three vowed to lobby Gov. Kasich and state legislators to restore library funding and would urge library patrons across the state to tell state officials to do right by the "best state library system" in the country. 

Also on Thursday: BTL host and Register (watch) managing editor gets all wet and cold accepting the ALS Challenge.
Watch for these guests in the weeks to come: George Spadaro, of Cedar Villa fame and pasta sauce (we are going to call him again to confirm) at noon on Sept. 4 and a special 9/11 edition from Washington Park with Sandusky police chief John Orzech and fire chief Dave Degnan at noon Sept. 11.

Watch the program in the player below or live at

(And leave more library puns in the comments below)



Congrats to Julie Brooks and thanks also, the Sandusky library is amazing.


Yes thank you to Julie Brooks for her many years of dedication to SPL. I would also add to that Erie County is very fortunate to have several other really great public libraries as well. Vermilion Ritter is dynamic in all it offers for a small town as Vermilion, who can forget the fantastic facility Huron has in its library. Truly one of the jewels of the city. Also Milan and their newly remodeled library is really great a super place.

While Sandusky PL is obviously the largest but we can also be very proud of the support the tax payers have given and continue to give to Riter, Huron PL and Milan PL. We are indeed very blessed to have all these great libraries and the people who staff them right here in Erie County. Withouit question the taxpayers in Erie County LOVE their libraries and show it time after time at the ballot box.

AJ Oliver

Public libraries are once area where Ohio really excels. We have a number of top-rated libraries, but now they are under pressure due to decreased support from the state government. I wish they had more money to acquire good old fashioned paper-type books. (Just finished reading the library's copy of Matt Tiabbi's "Divide". It changed my thinking about the US justice system. Highly recommended.) Thanks to the SPL for helping us to think better and be more informed.

AJ Oliver

But not even the library can do much about my typos. It should be "one area". Sorry !!


No problem on typos your words rang so true. Public libraries do so much at such a low cost for our citizens. State funding to libraries was to equalize the opportunities between low economic area and those with a high tax base. It does work but not when the State of Ohio reduces their funding of public libraries and their lies the problem. Some legislators just don't get it !!! Fortunately, Sen Gardner and State Rep Redfern are not in that group. They support public libraries. Its not a Republican or Democrat issue. We need other legislators to think like Redfern and Gardner and restore the funding that was cut to public libraries in 2008.