Granville Public Library


This month, Granville Public Library celebrates its 9th annual train show, a month-long event featuring 8 elaborate, holiday-themed miniature train sets. It’s an exciting and fun event organized by model train buffs, and the show is just one of the many fantastic programs helping to make Granville Public Library a wondrous community asset.


Anita Carroll, Director

Library Director Anita Carroll has been with the library for three years and shared she is still amazed by positive support and engagement of library patrons. “I love this community!” she explained. It’s clear that the feeling is mutual; Over 90% of Granville citizens are library card holders. The Friends of the Library, a small but mighty group, has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help support technology initiatives. Events are well attended, and support for the library continues to grow.


The teen area features books, computers and plenty of space to hang out

The library offers a wide variety of programming for audiences of all ages. The library creates summer reading programs for both youth and adults.  A robust teen group meets for First Fridays, an after hours events at the library that has included an 80s themed prom “who-done-it” party, an ugly Christmas sweater party and offsite movie nights.

The community collaborates with the library on a variety of well-received programs. Each year, during Turn Your Screen Off Week, events take place around the town to help people find different means of entertainment, communication and community. The library provides 40% of the programming for the event. Saturday Sprouts storytimes are held at the local farmers market, and the library is working with Kendal Senior Living Communities to provide outreach and materials to their residents.

The library has exciting plans for 2018. In March, they will join the Central Library Consortium (CLC). Granville Public library will be able to provide access to exciting new services and collections.  Further, the library will improve delivery time on held materials, allow patrons to renew their materials online and receive text alerts and accept other CLC library members’ cards.

All of these amazing initiatives and more are met with enthusiasm and passion from Anita and her staff. Granville is a beautiful and vibrant community, and Granville Public Library is the jewel in its crown.

Explore I Spy.. Rudolph’s Reindeer Tracks train exhibit in pictures below:

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Check out the library:

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Columbus Metropolitan Library Whitehall


The Columbus Metropolitan Library Whitehall Branch inspires, shares and connects with an entire community.


Opening in April 2015, Whitehall was the second of 10 library locations to be renovated or rebuilt as part of the system’s Vision 2020 plan. Recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the library gives greater access to customers while providing flexible and adaptable spaces. Particularly striking is the transparency throughout the library paired with its beacon-like quality at night–emphasizing the library as a change agent.


The library is nearly triple the size of the old Whitehall branch–providing more community and collaborative spaces than ever before.  Five meeting rooms with retractable walls and ceiling mounted projectors host nonprofits, after school programs, partnerships with COSI, and more. Four study rooms can be reserved for smaller groups. The library’s Learning Lab supports job help workshops among many other programs. Teens can create music, videos, digital art and photographs with special computers and software through the branch’s YouMedia program. Readers can enjoy the solitude and ambiance of a quiet room with comfortable seating and a modern fireplace.  And then there’s the Carol Snowden Children’s Room…


Late children’s librarian, Carol Snowden, ensured an exemplary space for children and early literacy learning. The area is anchored by curved shelving with built-in seating that creates an open space for story times. Regularly refreshed book bins make finding great books easy while book bundles make it a cinch to quickly pick up themed lit. Encouraging exploration and play, touch-based technology with educational games is woven throughout the space.  And special touches, like the height wall display that includes measurements in several languages, create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.


How cool is this!? Whitehall is the only branch with its own dedicated recording studio. Located next to the teen space, it’s the perfect spot to create music, a podcast, or your next big audio production. [Ed. note: we couldn’t wait to turn on the “On-Air” sign!]



I am focused on people of all ages – Kacy Cox

Kacy Cox has been with CML for 18 years and moved into the role of Whitehall Branch Manager in 2017.  She loves that Columbus Metropolitan Library connects with the community on so many levels, including job assistance, homework help centers and helping parents enhance their teaching skills. She’s excited for the branch’s resume workshop in January, and she looks forward to expanding partnerships with teachers and the Latino community.

Ornithology-Juan Fontanive-2012

“Ornithology” by Juan Fontanive

Art can be found throughout the library. One of Kacy’s favorite pieces is “Ornithology” by Juan Fontanive. Every hour, pictures of hummingbirds from 19th century illustrated encyclopedias come to life.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library Whitehall Branch is a stunning example of how CML fosters a thriving community where wisdom prevails. There’s so much more that we couldn’t fit into this feature. We highly recommend visiting and can’t wait to go back.


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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.



Upper Arlington Public Library

UAPL Exterior

The Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL) Main Branch

The Upper Arlington Public Library‘s main library is a spacious building with a stunning, light filled atrium.  The Library Journal places the system at its highest ranking of five stars, a designation Director Chris Taylor credits to the libraries’ staff.  With an average employee tenure of nine years, the team of 116 employees and over 120 volunteers champions the library’s mission to explore, gather and grow.

Listen Columbus

Listen Columbus is a project of UAPL promoting Central Ohio bands & musicians

UAPL offers groundbreaking services.  Listen Columbus, launching this October, will be an amazing resource to explore local musicians, stream their music and even download.  Keep up to date on all the music being added via Listen Columbus’ Twitter.  UAPL is also the first library in Central Ohio to offer passport services.  The service offers greater convenience by being open nights and weekends, and the comfortable library environment can’t be beat!  In the six short weeks since introducing, UAPL has already helped 110 people looking to possibly do service work abroad or enjoy an exotic vacation.


Upper Arlington Author Series brings a variety of notable authors to Central Ohio

UAPL collaborates with a number of community-based organizations.  The Upper Arlington Author Series is a partnership between the Upper Arlington Community Foundation, Upper Arlington Rotary, Friends of the Upper Arlington Public Library and UAPL.  Bill Clegg, longlisted for the National Book Award, will be speaking on October 2nd.  Past notable authors include National Book Award winner, Anthony Doerr, and Caldecott Medal recipient, Paul Zelinsky (brought in partnership with Upper Arlington Schools; see our post on Windermere’s Media Center).  Beyond the world-class authors UAPL helps to attract, the library also fosters aspiring authors.  Through a collaboration with the Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Division and the Upper Arlington Recreation Department, UAPL is hosting an all-day writers’ conference this October 15th.  One last collaborative highlight includes The Stand Project.  The initiative is “focused on the prevention of substance abuse and committed to standing by students and families in finding help.”  With financial support from the Upper Arlington Rotary Club, UAPL has created circulating book club kits with discussion questions featuring topics on substance abuse, mental health and more.

Childrens Area Signage

UAPL children’s area is transforming to enhance services

To better serve the community, UAPL is expanding its children’s storytime area into a flexible space.  By doing so, UAPL can cost effectively provide more programing and services without new construction.  UAPL is excited to unveil its multipurpose space the first week in September.

Kate Porter1

UAPL Assistant Director Kate Porter

Kate Porter has been with Upper Arlington Library’s system since 1998.  As assistant director, she oversees public services at all three of the system’s libraries.  Kate grew a love for libraries when she was a history graduate student at the University of Delaware.  A few years later, she acquired her Master of Library and Information Science degree.  Kate loves being involved in various projects and looks forward to helping UAPL celebrate its upcoming 50th year.

Mo Willems High School Art

Mo Willems’ Pigeon and other children’s literary icons created by Upper Arlington High School students

Upper Arlington Public Library’s main branch is an incredible space with a dedicated team bringing unique programs and services to the Central Ohio community.  We highly recommend visiting soon!


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Pickerington Public Library


Adult Services Manager Donna Matturri shows some of her favorite reads

Pickerington Public Library kicks off it’s summer reading program this month and on June 11 will host the third annual Teen Book Fest, an opportunity for readers to meet award-winning authors, like Gene Luen Yang, participate in workshops and enjoy a day of  reading celebration.  These events follow on the heels of the library’s Big Comic Show in May and are just a few of examples of the exciting services the library offers to create valuable experiences and opportunities for their customers.


The Big Comic Show featured over twenty Ohio artists

Librarian and Adult Services Manager Donna Matturri shared some of the amazing programs and services provided by the library. The library caters to a broad audience by providing a variety of services and programs geared toward all ages.

Adult services offerings include Reader’s Advisory and Staff Picks. Customers are invited to email library staff directly and are provided with personalized reading lists, based on personal preference. The library offers an array of programs for interest groups, ranging from book clubs to crafts, financial advice and lunch and learn programs.


Youth Services librarians Carol and April representing for the Big Comic Show

The Homework Help Center is not only a space for students to study and receive tutoring, the staff also offers afternoon ACT and SAT preparation programs and partners with Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical School to provide job prep and computer literacy classes.

The library features a dynamic youth services department, complete with its own mascot, Violet the Cow, designed by local artist Will Roland, who attends community events as a library ambassador. The enthusiastic group of children’s services librarians are attuned to their audience and provide programming to capture attention, including programs centered around Minecraft, Angry Birds, Lego and an annual Princess and Superhero costume party. Another popular program is Dog Tales, which, in partnership with the county animal shelter, pairs dogs with children who can practice reading aloud to a furry audience.


A farm themed entrance to the children’s department

The passion and creativity of the library’s staff create a vibrant and welcoming environment. Staff cares about the community they serve. They pay attention and react to the interests of their customers and are rewarded with an engaged and supportive audience. Donna shared that she loves her job, thanks to a great staff who make the work easy and happy customers who make it wonderful.

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Columbus Metropolitan Library Ready to Read Corps


Graduates of the Ready to Read program, Anna and Kev, enjoy listening to their dad read aloud.

Columbus Metropolitan Library‘s Ready to Read Corps, part of the library’s young minds strategic focus to encourage learning and growth, prepares some of Columbus’ most at risk youth for success in kindergarten.

By engaging not just children but entire communities, the Ready to Read Corps encourages families when they are faced with an array of challenges and affirms they are not alone.  The impact is astounding and transformative.

We are honored to bring you their story during National Library Week.  Every day at noon, we will add a new facet to this feature.  Be sure to check back in.

In the meantime, please enjoy this wonderful video illustrating how Ready to Read helps create a foundation for a successful life.





Ready to Read Corps. members Ryan Agnew and Stephanie Burley

Ryan Agnew and Stephanie Burley are two of the amazing members of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Ready to Read Corps. Stephanie and Ryan serve children and families in the community through outreach to help ensure kindergarten readiness through literacy.  They manage the bookmobile, provide home visits and develop lessons and best practices for storytime and programming.

Stephanie, a doctor of English literature and former Peace Corp volunteer, has been with CML since 2008 as a customer service representative, youth service specialist and most recently, Ready to Read specialist.  She enjoys the fast-paced, challenging, and fun nature of the work.

Ryan, an accomplished artist, has taught at Ohio State and Ohio Dominican Universities and joined Columbus Metropolitan Library in 2008.  He became a Ready to Read Corps member in 2013 and is passionate about his role in supporting disadvantaged families with babies, toddlers and preschoolers to be their children’s “first teachers” of foundational literacy skills.


Rosie Ready to Read

Meet Rosie, Columbus Metropolitan Library Read to Read’s Bookmobile

We adore CML’s colorful and inviting Ready to Read bookmobile, lovingly named Rosie.  Visiting roughly 200 homes a month and serving 500-800 families a year, Rosie, Ryan Agnew, Stephanie Burley and the Ready to Read team are changing lives.

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CML’s Ryan Agnew discussing some good choices based on a patron’s needs.

The Ready to Read Corps also visits job and family services welcome centers, food pantries, WIC offices and pediatric centers where at risk families spend significant time.  For many citizens, if no transportation to the library exists, they can’t go.  Rosie bridges that gap while Ryan, Stephanie and other specialists provide encouragement, expertise and a customized collection to each visit.


Aboard Rosie, the Ready to Read Corp’s bookmobile, grown up and kids alike are invited to sign up for a library card.  The library provides two options for kids and teens under the age of 17, they can obtain a standard library card, which requires a parent or guardian’s signature, or they can sign up for a kid card.

The kid card was created to remove all barriers that might prevent children from accessing the library’s collections.  The card, which does not require a parent’s signature to sign up for, allows holders to check out up to five books at a time. Kids cards are not subject to fines or to being blocked due to overdue items.  The library card also provides access any of CML’s 21 Homework Help Centers, library computers and research tools available through

The kid’s library card fosters a sense of responsibility,  pride and ownership in children by allowing them to manage their library items. This summer, all children who enroll in the summer reading program will be asked to sign up for their own library cards.



CML’s Bookmobile, Rosie, and hand-selected titles for the Franklin County Opportunity Center.

CML’s Ready to Read Corps partners with several other organizations to extend and strengthen the library’s impact.  Partners include Columbus Public Health, Center for Healthy Families and the Mt. Carmel Wellness & Community Center.

CML also started a pilot program with Learning Circle Education Services.  The pilot evaluates library programs and patrons’ school performance, creating evidence-based metrics and ensuring continuous improvement.

Ready to Read has a measurable impact.  Through a formal evaluation in partnership with The Ohio State University, CML found the program positively transforms parents’ attitudes about learning for themselves and their children.

Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Ready to Read Corps fulfills a very special purpose in our community, providing skills and opportunities not just for children, but for their parents as well. Through partnership, creativity and outreach, the dedicated and passionate team is able to help families achieve literacy and kindergarten readiness.


This mental model is used to demonstrate to families and organizations how the Ready for Kindergarten program prepares children for success.

We are thankful to the team at CML for sharing the important work of the Ready to Read Corps and for allowing us to highlight their accomplishments this National Library Week.  The Ready to Read Corps is a stunning example of the how libraries help transform young lives.

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Grandview Heights Public Library


Grandview Heights Public Library has been recognized as one of the best public libraries in the country by Library Journal, and based the amazing work they do for their community, it is easy to understand why. Director Ryan McDonnell and his staff are innovative and service oriented, collaborative and future thinking.


Director Ryan McDonnell

The library serves 27,000 cardholders from Grandview Heights and the greater Columbus area. Canaan Faulkner, public relations manager and adult programs/web content coordinator, describes the community as having a small town feel with metro-minded individuals.

McDonnell encourages his staff to think big and share their ideas.  The commitment to innovation has led the way for exciting programs and offerings. In June of 2015, the library created and launched their pop up library.  The first of its kind, it is an electric-powered mobile library which visits local festivals, markets and events.  The cart features materials relevant to the event and offers visitors the option to check out books, pay fines, sign up for library cards and enjoy free Wi-Fi.


The guitar lending program is a hit in the community – waitlists allow borrowers to sign up to borrow instruments

Last summer, the library began it’s wildly successful guitar lending program. Library customers can borrow guitars and learning materials.  Local music store Musicology offers free classes and the Guitar House Workshop partners to provide maintenance to the instruments.


The library hosts the annual Grandview Heights Lazy Daze festival and displays posters from each year of the event

Collaboration is key to the library’s success. The library works with the city to provide free Wi-Fi at local parks, sports fields and the swimming pool. They partner with schools to support the school district’s 1:1 Computing Initiative, and a strong feeling of community support exists throughout the library. Local businesses are featured in display cases, local art hangs on the walls and partnerships with community businesses allow for special programs like the Library Foundation’s annual Chocolate Walk fundraiser.


The reading room in the library’s original wing

The commitment demonstrated by Grandview Heights Public Library to serving its customers in new and exciting ways, both inside the building and beyond, is a stunning example of how public libraries can continue to act as fixtures in the communities they serve.



Display in honor of Martin Luther King Day


Local touches, a display highlighting Ohio


A bright storybook mural in the kid’s space


The library’s media collection is diverse and includes playaway audio selections


The library’s vinyl collection


The library has a large teen area


A study space in the teen area


A sample of the youth services offerings


Local history collection


The Winter Reading Challenge is one feature of Youth Services


Fun sculptures outside of the library



Local art featured in the rotating gallery of the library’s reference section