delgazette.com

James Wade DiGuilio

April 29, 2011

With the number of articles checked out in 2010 topping 1,062,000, the Delaware County District Library is a very busy place. About 7000 people walk through the doors of the Delaware Branch every week, to check out articles, use the computers, read, study, relax, and otherwise take advantage of the services offered. As happy as we are to be such a vital asset to the Delaware community, being so busy comes with its own set of problems, specifically parking challenges.

As a downtown business, the Library is fortunate to have its own dedicated parking lot; most other businesses rely on street parking and public parking lots. However, finding a spot to park in our lot can sometime be a real challenge, especially during the times when the Library is offering story times or other programs. The Board of Trustees has investigated several different options to expand the parking situation, but no good, cost effective solution has emerged. Certainly, the opening of the Orange Branch next month will bring some relief to the parking problems at the Delaware Branch. Undoubtedly, dozens of people who use the downtown branch will find the Orange Branch more convenient, and there are about 100 parking spaces in that facility’s lot.

I receive several comments about the lack of parking at the Delaware Branch every week, and I apologize for your inconvenience. People frequently come and go at the Library, with parking spaces opening up quite often, and remember that there is quite a bit of on-street parting surrounding the Library, too.

I certainly hope that the occasional challenge in finding a parking spot will not deter you from visiting the Library. Your patience will almost always be rewarded with a parking spot becoming available.

Why do worms come onto driveways and sidewalks when it rains?

According to Tunneling Earthworms, worms do not surface to avoid drowning. In fact, they come to the surface during rains so they can move overland. The temporarily wet conditions give worms a chance to move safely to new places. Since worms breathe through their skin, the skin must stay wet in order for the oxygen to pass through it. After rain and during high humidity are safe times for worms to move around without dehydrating. It is true that, without oxygen, worms will suffocate, but earthworms can survive for several weeks under water, providing there is sufficient oxygen in the water to support them.

Why do movies use fake 555 numbers?

To curb these nuisance calls to real numbers from curious viewers, movies and shows have been using the fake 555 numbers since as far back as the 1950s. It is difficult to determine exactly how 555 became the preferred fake prefix for phone numbers. In the book Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day, author Jamie Buchan speculates that the repeated digit may have made the combination memorable, which helped it gain traction. Buchan adds that no major place names in the United States began with a combination of the letters J, K, and L (the letters assigned to the 5 key on a phone).

Has any baseball player ever hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field?

Wrigley Field’s 89-foot scoreboard was built in 1937 under the direction of club treasurer and future White Sox owner Bill Veeck, whose father was team president until he died in 1933. Most of the original Wrigley Field scoreboard, which still stands today, is manually operated, but the batter’s number, balls, strikes, and outs are displayed electronically in the center portion of the board. As noted in The Story of the Chicago Cubs, the original control panel is still in use. While no baseball player has managed to hit the scoreboard, golfer Sam Snead cleared it with a drive from home plate in 1951. According to newspaper accounts, Snead hit the scoreboard with a 4-iron before clearing it with a 2-iron.

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions directly to Mary Jane at mjsantos@delawarelibrary.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!