DELPHOS — The Delphos Public Library has been embracing this year’s National Library Week theme for quite some time: “Libraries Lead.”

“We lead through collaboration,” Director Kelly Rist said. “We partnered with the Allen County Health Department last year for the community garden and we got such a good response from the community. They couldn’t believe it when they saw the free fresh produce at the library.”

On Tuesday, author, adventurer and long-distance hiker Andy “Captain Blue” Niekamp from Dayton, Ohio. Niekamp will present “Thru-Hiking the Buckeye Trail: Things That Will Change the Way You See Ohio.” He will also have books to sign and sell.

The Buckeye Trail is the longest circular trail in the U.S. Unlike a wilderness long-distance trail, the Buckeye Trail traverses the urban, suburban, rural, industrial, and forested parts of Ohio. It is a trail with abundant natural beauty, history, and experiences that only walking Ohio can bring.

On this journey, Niekamp is a long-distance hiker in a non-hiker world. His presentation is a personal, honest, and transparent account of the highs and lows of solo thru-hiking the Buckeye Trail.

In his 88-day adventure, Niekamp battles the cold, rain, snow, heat, and humidity of springtime in Ohio. He endures the physical test of walking for miles every day in a variety of environments and on a variety of treadways. He discovers his home state past and present and the genuine kindness of strangers. It’s a story that inspires and entertains.

Later this month, the Delphos Area Art Guild and the library will host the 6th annual High School and Middle School Exhibition.

“Artwork will start going up in the library towards the middle of this coming week and the reception will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on April 20,” Rist explained. “We get artwork from high schools all around the area and a lot of teachers are making this a must for their students.”

The Easter Bunny visits the library each year through a partnership with Community Health Professionals. This year’s third annual event drew triple the attendance of the first in 2016. Santa also makes his way to the library.

“What we are doing seems to be working and I’m willing to try anything once,” Rist said. “If it works, great, if it doesn’t, oh well, we’ll try something else. You just never know what is going to catch on.”

Library workers are also getting out into the community. The children’s tent at Canal Days is run by the library and DAAG and CHP helps with the Big Wheel Races at the celebration. They can also be found flipping pancakes at the St. Peter Lutheran Church Children’s Breakfast during the summer and watering plants along main street. The library is also a popular stop during the Kiwanis Club of Delphos Hometown Christmas.

“We also have our ‘Pay it Forward’ campaign that lets patrons use non-perishable food items to pay fines the first Friday of each month and all during December,” Rist said. “We are trying to help our community be the best it can be.”