GALLIPOLIS — Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis had more than 1,200 visitors during its opening week hosting the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit presented by Premier Exhibitions.
“So far, this first week has been a great success,” said Bossard Memorial Library Director Debbie Saunders. “We opened to the public on Sept. 25. So through Oct. 2, with all the events we had, we’ve had 1,261 already just in our opening week.”
While the library always allows walk-ins for the exhibit, they ask the public to make reservations as they will be served first. So far, more than 6,000 reservations have been made for the exhibit in the library’s Riverside Room.
“School groups are reaching out to us,” Saunders said. “We’ve made bookings (with people) from Indiana, Virginia, many from (central Ohio). We have reservations from Cincinnati. Not only will people who come to visit the exhibit see this world-renowned exhibition, it’s also helping the Gallia County economy.”
Saunders said the exhibit, so far, has been the biggest project on which she has ever worked. Saunders has been heavily involved with bringing exhibits from organizations such as the Newport Aquarium to the library while also helping in bringing the Ohio Chautauqua to visit Gallia County in Gallipolis City Park.
Saunders makes certain to always give credit to board members and volunteers of the organizations with which she works, for without their help, many of the endeavors would not come to fruition, such as the Ohio Humanities committee or the library’s board and many others.
“(The reservation count) just continues to grow daily and exponentially,” Saunders said. “Educators have been able to bring their anatomy classes and be able to see (anatomy) in a way no textbook can show. We have had artists come in from the local university to sketch the bodies. That’s a whole different angle. It’s not only of interest to people in the medical field, but also the arts. I had one man say he was considering stopping smoking after he saw the diseased lung (exhibit).”
The exhibit has been popular enough to be featured in Columbus newspapers as of late. Saunders emphasized the importance of the exhibit as the library is the first in the world to host it. Previously, the exhibit had been shown at science discovery centers and museums.
“This really gives people the chance to see something they might not be able to see because of (distance) or money,” Saunders said.
The library director thanked the support of the community because the library is able to continue offering its programs through the support of local taxpayers.
For more information about library activities or to set up reservations for the Bodies Revealed exhibit, visit bossardlibrary.org.
Bodies Revealed features full-body human specimens and organs to share knowledge of how humans physically function every minute of their existence.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.