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Boonsboro woman's love of books has guided her llife

May 06, 2008|By JANET HEIM

BOONSBORO -- Janeen Solberg's love of books led her on a path - first as a high school English teacher, then as a Boonsboro Library board member and to a job with Turn the Page Bookstore in town.

To Solberg, going to the library and finding just the book you're looking for or finding an unexpected read is like finding treasure.

Solberg, 40, taught at Frederick High School when she and her husband of 14 years, Greg Solberg, moved to Boonsboro.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Millersville (Pa.) University, then completed her graduate work in Washington, D.C. Greg Solberg was the industrial arts teacher at the same high school and is principal of the Career and Technology Center in Frederick, Md.

When their son Otto, 12, was born, Janeen Solberg became a stay-at-home mom. Their daughter, Anna, was born two years later.

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Solberg previously was a paid tutor at San Mar Children's School. She also helped coach Battle of the Books teams for Boonsboro Elementary and Boonsboro Middle schools, which her children attend.

Solberg, who grew up in rural Cecil County, Md., said she loves living on Main Street in Boonsboro, where much is within walking distance. After her children were born, she became a regular at the Boonsboro Library, where she and her children would get books and attend story time.

At the suggestion of Chris Hawkins, the Boonsboro Library branch manager, she eventually joined the library board. At her second meeting, Solberg said, construction of a new library became the topic of discussion. The new library just celebrated its grand opening after a six-year project.

"I loved being part of that process," said Solberg, the current Boonsboro Library board president.

The amount of fundraising required, as well as rising construction costs, lengthened the project.

"Our board just kept working. We had so many fundraisers. It got to the point where our husbands would pay us not to have book sales," Solberg said with a laugh.

Through her involvement on the library board, Solberg met Bruce Wilder, owner of Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro and the husband of Nora Roberts. She suggested that the bookstore have story time and was offered a part-time job about five years ago.

In addition to story time, Solberg hosts a book club. Her pottery, which she creates in the summer kitchen behind her house as a hobby, is sold on consignment at the bookstore.

Solberg said she had written and published a parenting book through a small publisher and was thrilled to be invited to participate in a Nora Roberts' book signing.

Solberg also is a member of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force.

"When I attend meetings, I want to see action. I want to be doing something and not be the only on doing it," said Solberg, who said she admires the hard work and dedication of the other 11 task force members. "The people on the committee are making sure recycling happens where they are - church, schools, homes, ball fields."

Curbside recycling is the task force's ultimate goal, one that 86 percent of town residents surveyed support, Solberg said.

Solberg said she would like to start an Environmental Club at both schools, like the one started by a task force member in the high school.

She said her children have "experienced a lot and seen a lot of good come out of my volunteer work. They see they can make a difference."

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