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Ohio Life

Inside the Lines

The Westerville Public Library stocks up on coloring books for adults. 

For a printable version of this page from our March 2017 issue, click here. Then, grab your markers and finish coloring it in. Share a photo of your creation via Instagram and tag us @ohiomagazine by 3/31. We will select a winner at random to receive a copy of Katie Barron’s The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book

Growing up, we were taught never to make any marks in the books we borrowed, but the Westerville Public Library is breaking that long-standing rule with its collection of three-dozen coloring book titles for adults.

“The concept was just so popular outside of the library,” says Belinda Mortensen, head of collections development. “I was wondering how we could make it possible for those who may not want to purchase a coloring book.”

Coloring books created for adults engage the amateur artist in us all and provide a nostalgic way to unwind. According to Nielsen Bookscan, an estimated 12 million coloring books for adults were sold in 2015, up from just 1 million in 2014.

Mortensen says the Westerville Public Library started with only 10 titles — three copies of each — and used them as a trial run. Feedback was positive, and today the library carries 36 adult coloring book titles. When all the pages in a book are colored, it’s replaced with a new one.

To date, the library’s most popular coloring book is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Other favorites include Game of Thrones, Harry Potter Magical Creatures, Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book and The Official Outlander Coloring Book. The library’s collection also includes Katie Barron’s The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book and The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book Part II

Once a month, the library hosts an adult coloring club, where members of the community gather to have a good time and color. The library provides the pencils, crayons and books.

“Our mission,” says Mortensen, “is to provide books for educational purposes, as well as entertainment.”

For more information, visit westervillelibrary.org.

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