Ohio Library Loans Fishing Gear

Checking out a fishing pole and tackle box is as easy as
checking out a book at the Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library in West
Jefferson, west of Columbus.

For the third spring, the library is promoting fishing as a family
activity by offering a program that allows both kids and adults to
“check out” a fishing pole and small, equipped tackle box for two

The program was the brain child of Aimee Fleshman, the library’s
coordinator of adult services. Aimee’s husband, James, is president
of the Hilltop Sportsman’s Club in nearby Orient. The club supplied
the library’s 10 poles and tackle boxes. There are no “fines” for
normal wear and tear on the equipment.

It was all part of a plan to increase library use by “thinking
outside the box,” Fleshman said.

With both Big and Little Darby Creeks flowing within a mile of the
library’s doors and Prairie Oaks and Battelle-Darby Creek
Metroparks just a few minutes’ drive away, the West Jefferson area
offers plenty of good fishing holes. A library project that
promoted healthy outdoor activities as an alternative to reading
seemed a neighborhood “natural,” Fleshman noted.

While any library patron can use the program, Fleshman prefers that
an adult check out a pole for a child.

Fishing pole “check out” has grown each year and is especially
popular with local daycare and latchkey programs.

“We’re a fishing family,” Fleshman said. “I think fishing is a good
family activity.”

Categories: Ohio – Jane Beathard

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