Jeff Winkle is the Director of the Findlay Hancock County Public Library and has been putting books in people’s hands for 37 years. He lives in Van Buren with his wife, who works as the Elementary Librarian at Van Buren School. While he loves what he does at the library, family is his passion. He is enjoying living life with his wife, 2 daughters, son in law, and 1 ½ year old grandson.
He grew up in Van Buren, Ohio and went to college at BGSU and operated the “Open Book” bookstore, then Winkle’s Bookstore, both in Findlay for 20 years before working at Fostoria Public Library, and Tiffin Library. For a short while he worked at 5/3 bank, but his heart was at the library, so when the Director position opened in 2009, he was happy to apply for the position.
While “nothing stays the same, it’s always getting a little better or a little worse” as Jeff says, the Library is in an exciting mode of getting a little better all the time. The Early Literacy program is a huge priority, there’s been improvement in the computers, an added tutoring area, the Braille program has been started, and the e-book collection has approximately 70,000 books.
In his spare time, Jeff has served last year as President of Findlay Rotary, where he was honored to stand in front of those who he looked up to as a young businessman in Findlay, like Tom Donnell, Bill Ruse, and Alex Reinhart. He also is Past President of the Ohio Library Council, Past President and Current Treasurer of the Literacy Coalition of Hancock County, previously he served on the Van Buren School Board, the Hancock County ESC Board and the Hancock Leadership Alumni Board.
He regularly recalls the quote from Margaret Mead, that being to “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”