Grove City Library


In October 2016, Grove City Library opened the doors of a beautiful new building and welcomed the community into an open, vibrant environment designed to provide a functional, safe and flexible space to customers for years to come. The community responded enthusiastically to the opening of the new building — the library saw an uptick of over 1,500 new library cards registered in November 2016 over November 2015!


The library offers plenty of quiet space, in addition to gathering spaces


Grove City Library, a member of the Southwest Public Libraries, was founded in 1917 by the Women’s Civic Club of Grove City. Southwest Public Libraries is the second largest library system in Franklin county, serving more than 130,000 people over 127 square miles.


Assistant Director Bethanne Johnson

Assistant Director Bethanne Johnson manages the daily operations of the library and helped oversee the construction of the new building. She graciously provided our tour of the space and pointed out key design features, including modular furniture equipped with power outlets, new meeting spaces, study rooms and a dynamic youth service department. Johnson, who has been with the library for 32 years, helped to oversee the redesign and relocation of the library. She shared that she loves her job, the people she works with and the people she serves. She enjoys the community and the opportunity to share in the lives of her patrons.


Non-fiction selection, overlooking the youth services department

The library’s new design succeeds in keeping books as a key feature of the space.  Bookshelves are abundant, but do not interrupt the open feel of the library.

The versatile meeting room can seat up to 400 guests and is ideal for hosting summer reading programs, community events and special programming like the Military History program. The meeting room, as well as many of the study spaces feature state-of-the art technology, including smart boards and projector screens.

Harper’s Grove, the youth services department made possible by a generous gift from the family of the library’s first librarian, Irene Harper, is cleverly designed to reflect the library logo’s tree theme. The space incorporates work and play areas for children and parents of all ages. Learning centers are integrated into the collections to create a fun space for playing, discovery and literacy.


A look inside the library

The library partners with and provides space for a wide array of community organizations, including Scholastic Book presentations, the Summer Scribblers writing program, Grove City Writers Group, school programs and civic organizations.  The library’s new location in the Grove City Town Center puts it at the heart of many community events. The library participates in Arts in the Alley and the Town Center Christmas Parade and hosts a holiday event featuring Santa Claus and the Signs of Christmas chorus.

Cbus Libraries Co-Founder Andrea Dixon grew up with and worked for Grove City Library.  The library’s transformation of space, thoughtfulness of design and generosity of services are an amazing improvement and wonderful gift to the Grove City community.



Ad Libs Podcast: Cbus Libraries


Welcome to our inaugural podcast of Ad Libs.  Each quarter we will give voice to amazing library leaders found at all levels throughout Central Ohio and beyond.

Today, take a peek behind Cbus Libraries’ bookshelf to meet Co-Founders Andrea Dixon and Bryan Loar, and learn more about the history and future of this library-loving initiative.


Today’s episode was generously underwritten by independent publisher, Two Dollar Radio, whose books are Too Loud to Ignore. Learn more at


Looking Ahead in 2017

Thank you for a wonderful 2016!

In 2016, we explored the accomplishments of over a dozen amazing Central Ohio libraries.  We were honored to participate in the IFLA World Congress, Pecha Kucha at 934 Gallery, PlaceMakes Cherry Street, Urban Scrawl, and The Big Table events. We were inspired by the impact of libraries in their communities and look forward to new adventures in 2017.


This year we will continue to champion a wide variety of libraries.  We are eager to introduce new academic, government, private, public and school libraries. If there is a library you think we should feature, we would love to hear from you! You can share your suggestions in the comments, or contact us at team [at] cbuslibraries [dot] com.


We are tremendously excited to announce that January kicks off our podcast series, Ad Libs.  Our first will give you a behind-the-scenes look into Cbus Libraries while the others will connect to our monthly features.  Each podcast will provide an engaging, 10-minute conversation on leadership and the future of libraries.


With our mobile little library + Street Art, Jerrie Mock and John T. Ward libraries, we’ve created a strong foundation for our Libraries Everywhere program. We will continue to  champion the love of reading at unexpected places using inspiring, functional works of art.  We hope to see you this year at many Central Ohio festivals and events!


Slappy New Year! We invite you to name our mobile little library for bragging rights and the chance to win this signed Goosebumps book. A contestant will be chosen at random from the most popular entry. The winner will be announced Friday, February 3 at 7:30 a.m. EST.  Good luck & thank you!

We’re just hitting our stride and look forward to sharing more as other activities come to fruition.  2017, Let’s Rock This!


Andrea Dixon & Bryan Loar

Congregation Beth Tikvah Rabbi Gary A. Huber Library

Congregation Beth Tikvah is a synagogue in Worthington, Ohio devoted to the principles of modern Reform Judaism.  True to their word, we found them warm and welcoming, and the congregation demonstrated they are an “inclusive synagogue dedicated to educational, religious and social activities that build community and further the cause of Judaism.”


Beth Tikvah, meaning house of hope, constructed a beautiful library that holds promise and hope for multiple generations.  The Rabbi Gary A. Huber Library was completed in September 2016, dedicated in December, and is part of a larger strategic plan.  The library moved into its new space from the east side of the synagogue where a preschool will start in January 2017.  Children’s books will remain in the east while the adult books were evaluated and moved to the new library.

Rabbi Rick Kellner loves the people of Congregation Beth Tikvah.  He admires their dedication to building a strong community around hope, and he envisions the library as a multi-generational learning space.  He believes the library is a sacred space which continues the expression of religious freedom.  Library activities include Shabbat sermons, a sisterhood book club, classes taught by Rabbis Kellner and Huber, board meetings, education activities,  and webinars.  Potential future uses include small weddings and signing ketubahs, Jewish marriage contracts.

Susan Pomerantz,  a former Dublin Schools librarian, set up the library using the Dewey Decimal System (DDS).  In chatting with Pomerantz, we learned Jewish subjects in DDS are limited.  Pomerantz indicated, given time, they may switch to a more comprehensive Jewish classification system like Elazar or Weine.

At the front of the library, a wooden cabinet, called an ark, holds one of the synagogue’s Torahs.  The library’s ark was constructed in the early 1980’s and used in Congregation Beth Tikvah’s original sanctuary until a new sanctuary was complete in 2013.  The library’s Torah came to Congregation Beth Tikvah some 50 years ago and was originally part of a synagogue in Chicago.


It began a lifelong love affair in that temple library surrounded by the feel and ambiance of learning with Hebrew words. – Rabbi Gary A. Huber

The library was dedicated to Congregation Beth Tikvah’s Rabbi Emeritus Gary A. Huber.  Rabbi Huber joined the synagogue in 1983 and became Rabbi Emeritus in 2011.  Rabbi Huber holds a Doctor of Divinity  from Hebrew Union College, and he has served as chaplain at several of Columbus’ psychiatric hospitals.

At a young age, Rabbi Huber developed a reverence for language and libraries.  As a high school student during a six-week independent study at the United Hebrew Temple’s library in Saint Louis, Rabbi Huber studied Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers).  During this seminal experience, he learned how to read texts better as a close reader, teasing out the subtleties and nuances of words.  Rabbi Huber remarked, “In that library in a reform temple growing up there first sparked the idea I wanted to be a Rabbi.  That spark came, and it grew and nourished in that temple library and it never went away.” (Watch and Listen to Rabbi Emeritus Huber’s entire talk before his D’var Torah [sermon] starting at 1:15:06.)

Before opening the library, Rabbi Huber led the hanging ceremony of the Mezuzahan inscription with specific Torah passages, and Shehecheyanu (Blessing of Praise).  Listen to the congregation’s beautiful singing of Shehecheyanu.

We were delighted and impressed by Congregation Beth Tikvah’s embrace of their new library.  The Rabbi Gary A. Huber Library will remain a testament to lifelong learning and a beacon of hope for generations to come.

Special thanks to Rabbi Kellner, Rabbi Emeritus Huber, Executive Director Debbie Vinocur, Susan Pomerantz, Joanne Notowidigdo and the entire Beth Tikvah Congregation for your warm hospitality during your special day dedicating the Rabbi Gary A. Huber Library.

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Cbus Libraries Celebrates Local Luminaries


Bryan Loar, Co-Founder
Cbus Libraries
bryan [at]

Andrea Dixon, Co-Founder
Cbus Libraries
dixon [at]

Cbus Libraries Celebrates Local Luminaries
Two little free libraries in Whitehall honor Jerrie Mock and John T. Ward

COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 15, 2016—Cbus Libraries, a grassroots initiative to promote libraries, has created two community book exchanges that celebrate the Whitehall community and the joy of reading.

Former Whitehall resident, Jerrie Mock was the first woman to fly solo around the world and deserves greater recognition. Biographer Nancy Roe Pimm noted Ms. Mock is an “inspiration” and a testament that “even ordinary people can do extraordinary things.” Whitehall, the location of Central Ohio’s first airport, Norton Field, makes an excellent site to honor Ms. Mock.

Underground Railroad conductor, John T. Ward lived in the once rural area of Whitehall. A member of the Anti-Slavery Baptist Church and a pastor for forty years of Columbus’ oldest black Baptist Church, Second Baptist, Mr. Ward saved many lives while facing grave danger. Mr. Ward co-founded Columbus’ E.E. Ward Moving and Storage, the oldest minority-owned business in the United States.

Little free libraries are community-driven book exchanges and part of Little Free®’s worldwide network of more than 40,000 stewards. Cbus Libraries’ Mock and Ward libraries can be found at the entrances of Lamby Lane Park and Country Club Village neighborhood.

The Mock and Ward little free libraries came to fruition through a United Way of Central Ohio Neighborhood Partnership Grant and collaboration with Rebuilding Together of Central Ohio, Half Price Books, the City of Whitehall and generous private book donors.

About Cbus Libraries
Cbus Libraries’ mission is to bring to light the amazing libraries and professionals who enrich Central Ohio and beyond.  Co-founded by two librarians, Andrea Dixon and Bryan Loar, Cbus Libraries reaches more than 3,500 online followers worldwide and features a Central Ohio library every month.  The libraries honoring Jerrie Mock and John T. Ward are part of its “Libraries Everywhere” program. Learn more at

OCLC Library


OCLC Library’s ample and comfortable seating

The OCLC Library plays an important part in a global company that supports libraries worldwide.  Part archive, museum, research library and community space, the library illustrates OCLC’s heritage while actively collaborating in the development of new products and services.


OCLC Dublin, Ohio headquarters

OCLC serves 16,000+ members in more than 100 countries.  It is a nonprofit “library cooperative that provides shared technology services, original research and community programs for its membership and the library community at large.”  The OCLC Library, Archive & Museum serves OCLC staff worldwide with the largest number of staff located in Dublin – which is approximately 700 staff.


Stories give OCLC a rich heritage

As an archive and museum, the OCLC Library connects new hires to the deep legacy of the organization and helps them understand how to move forward.  Started in 1967, OCLC became widely known for creating a shared, computerized catalog for its member institutions.  Consequently, members benefited by reducing the time needed to create catalog records for duplicate titles across members’ libraries.  Over the years services have evolved; however, core themes of cooperation, innovation, engagement and advocacy remain the same.


The history of OCLC through core themes

As a research partner, the library collaborates with marketing, software developers and human resources.  The library fact checks, provides user insights on new software and assists in OCLC Research projects.  Over time, the library has created a knowledge base for the organization, and librarians are able to answer how the company and its services operated in previous years.  As a result, teams avoid potential pitfalls and focus on more probable successes.


Looking into OCLC Library’s conference room (Image courtesy of OCLC)

As a community space, the library is open and inviting.  After a year-long renovation that concluded in August 2016, the library is highly visible with comfortable seating often used for lunches and informal meetings.  Additionally, a large conference room is available which provides more privacy for staff to conduct meetings.  The library has also become alternative venue for small events.


Library Manager and Corporate Archivist Kem Lang

OCLC Library Manager and Corporate Archivist Kemberly “Kem” Lang believes in the value of special libraries.  For over 30 years she has worked within corporate libraries, and OCLC has given her the opportunity to further develop stories that ignite and inspire her colleagues.


OCLC’s beautiful light-filled atrium (Image courtesy of OCLC)

The OCLC Library operates as a dynamic, integral part of the organization while keeping OCLC’s heritage alive.

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Oberlin College Conservatory Library


This month’s feature on Oberlin College Libraries is a special traveling, two-part series.  This second installment focuses particularly on Oberlin’s Conservatory Library.  Please see our first part here.

The Conservatory Library at Oberlin College serves as a lively central hub for the college’s four music buildings.  Students meet, collaborate and even sing throughout the library.  In fact, while we toured the library, we heard a group of students working through and harmonizing on a music piece!

The library was created soon after Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s inauguration in 1865, making the conservatory the oldest continuously operating conservatory of music in the United States.  The current library building was constructed in 1963 and has undergone several enhancements. In 2000, the library’s collection was considerably expanded and a second story with high density shelving was added.  In 2010, the library obtained a vault for the library’s incredible special collections, and in 2015 the Conservatory Library Special Collections Reading Room was opened.


Conservatory Librarian Deborah Campana shares a moment in the library’s sunny atrium

Conservatory Librarian Deborah Campana noted the library is an essential partner to the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music . The library ranks among the largest academic music libraries with approximately 270,000 items, including 80,000 sound recordings, 127,000 musical scores and almost 63,000 books about music.  Specialized online databases and  computers equipped with composition software expand students’ discovery and technical expertise.  The library continues to actively collect in the area of women musicians as well as ethnic, folk, jazz and other genres.


Exhibit featuring the Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Collection

The Conservatory Library’s amazing special collections, managed by Jeremy Smith, contain rare materials from the 1500s through today. The collection comprises of a wide array of recordings, music manuscripts, autographs, photographs, engravings, paintings, posters, playbills and instruments.  Jeremy oversees the ongoing digitization of the collections and creates engaging exhibits throughout Oberlin College’s campus.

The Conservatory Library at Oberlin College is a vibrant, musical space and a gem within the college.