The Licking County Library is an amazing resource that ensures its mission of “providing fun and educational experiences” by creating unique services, nurturing communities around the love of literature and partnering with community organizations.
Unique services differentiates the Licking County Library from other library systems. The library’s guitar lending program successfully launched in December 2014. One of only a few guitar and ukelele lending programs in the country, Licking County Library started the collection with six guitars and has created buzz around new ways the library serves the community.
In addition to their guitars, the Licking County Library also started a seed lending program. Radish seeds, lettuces, flowers and more can be “borrowed” and grown by patrons. Growers are asked to harvest seeds at the end of the season and bring them back to the library. The library partners with the community and seed growers in a way that demonstrates the collective nature of libraries.
In the Company of Heroes is another example of the fantastic programs Licking County Library has created. Through a compilation of photographs, video or audio records, copies of service records, letters and diaries of veterans from the Revolution through the present day, the program gathers and preserves important local history.
Licking County Library system supports 14 book groups–including LGBTQ, teens and its most popular group, the “Booked to Death Mystery Club.” The groups typically meet monthly and focus on one book per month. The “Read to Red Carpet” group reads books adapted into movies, watches the movies and discusses both. A past book/movie combo included “Gone Girl,” and May’s meeting is on Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild.”
Partnering with Newark’s children’s science museum The Works, Earthworks Recording Studio, Project Main Street and many others, the Licking County Library is participating in this year’s first Newark FAMFEST. Patrons have the opportunity to create a massive mural made by painting, coloring or collaging large puzzle pieces. The mural will be displayed along with other art throughout the Licking’s main branch May 1-2.
Director Babette Wofter has been with the Licking County Library for 10 years and believes that libraries, librarians and library staff are empowered to make a difference. Babette encourages community participation at all levels–creating connections to the library and demonstrating value where community leaders may not have realized the impact the library could have.
While on the borders of what is considered Central Ohio, the Licking County Library System with its main library and five branches is a fantastic resource that all Central Ohioans should visit. So much is happening there it’s hard to fit into this post. It’s really quite astounding. They are hosting a local author fair and automotive cruise-in, and they even have a Roku lending program so that patrons can stream online movies at home. Licking County Library system is a stunning example of innovation and community involvement.