Trustee Rocky Saxbe oversaw many changes at the Bexley Public Library in the last few years. He attended his last board meeting in June, after having been on the board since 1993.

Trustee Rocky Saxbe oversaw many changes at the Bexley Public Library in the last few years. He attended his last board meeting in June, after having been on the board since 1993.

One change was the appointment of a new library director, Rachel Rubin, who came from the Old Worthington Library. She replaced interim director Susan Studebaker on Feb. 1.

"I think that Rachel Rubin is a breath of fresh air at the Bexley library," Saxbe said. "As a former board member and patron I'm very excited about the changes that she and the board are implementing. I think that we made a commitment to the people of Bexley to listen to them and make improvements to our services in return for support of the levy."

In November, voters approved the first Bexley Public Library levy. The five-year, 1.5-mill operating levy, approved with 77 percent of the vote, is expected to generate $689,000 a year. The levy, which replaces reduced state funding, costs homeowners about $45 a year for every $100,000 in assessed property value.

"The financial circumstances that the state is in resulted in substantial cuts to library funding across the state," Saxbe said. "We were no exception. The board fortunately recognized the impact of those cuts and decided to present the situation to the voters."

The levy was a responsible and moderate request, Saxbe said, and will mean a lot as the library faces additional cuts in state support. Because of it, the library will be able to sustain itself through additional state cuts, he said.

Saxbe said he enjoyed his service on the board, praising both retired director Robert Stafford and Rubin.

"We had a great director with us for 29 years," he said. "Rachel is going to be able to carry forward the great work he and his staff (did). It is an exciting time for the Bexley Public Library."

Serving on the board opened Saxbe's eyes to the rapid changes in technology and information management and the need to provide access to the public.

"We are seeing changes in not only our hard-cover acquisition and distribution, but in the development of electronic information that the public is becoming more accustomed to," he said. "Being on the cutting edge was a tremendous personal experience for me."

The biggest challenge for the library, he said, will be keeping up-to-date and responsive to the voters and library patrons. "It is a constantly changing environment that the board staff and director need to be sensitive to," Saxbe said. "I will look forward to being an active user of the library."

Denise Matthews was appointed as Saxbe's replacement. Matthews and her husband Alvin moved to Bexley 19 years ago. They were married in 1991 and moved to Columbus from Dayton.

"We found ourselves both living in Columbus and didn't know what part of town to go to," Matthews said. "We found this little town called Bexley."

After their first daughter was born, they decided to stay in Bexley because they loved the community and schools, Matthews said.

As a magistrate for Franklin County Municipal Court, her opportunity for volunteer work is limited. Matthews said when she was approached about serving on the library board, she was honored.

"Whenever I find something that allows me to work I'm always very happy about that," she said. "I knew it was something I could do."

Matthews said she loves books. She called the opportunity "too good to pass up."