Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers in Columbus, Ohio, one of the country’s oldest children’s specialty bookstores, announced Thursday that it has changed hands. Former owner Melia Wolf sold the 44-year-old bookstore to Bryan Loar, her general manager for the past five years, in December. Wolf intends to return to teaching.

Prior to his position as general manager and now owner of Cover to Cover, Loar worked as a manager at various chain bookstores, including Doubleday, Traveldays, and B. Dalton. He also served as head of the children’s department at Borders Books & Music on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii.

Before becoming a bookseller, Loar, who holds an M.L.I.S. from Kent State University in Ohio, was a librarian, and cofounded, with fellow librarian Andrea Dixon, the Columbus–based nonprofit organization Cbus Libraries, which champions libraries and librarians in central Ohio. The organization has donated more than 10,000 books to libraries in the region, and raises funds for scholarships for aspiring librarians from marginalized communities.

“I’m excited to continue Cover to Cover’s extraordinary legacy of serving children, the community and educators. We look forward to growing our regional and national reach with events like the Columbus Book Festival and the Ohioana Book Festival,” Loar said in a release. Sally Oddi, a teacher who founded Cover to Cover in 1980, remarked: "Columbus has incredible library systems that foster young readers, school systems that value children's literature, and parents and families who see family readalouds as an integral part of their lives. I am thrilled to hear that Bryan will continue to have Cover to Cover connecting them all together."

Wolf, an art teacher who bought Cover to Cover in 2017 and relocated in 2018 to an 1,100-sq.-ft., NDA-compliant space that contains 10,000 books in its inventory, added: “I am so happy that Cover to Cover will go forward and thrive with Bryan. There's no one more qualified, knowledgeable and passionate to assure Cover to Cover's continued success."