By Susie Owens
Posted On: Apr 18, 2021
With its playful statue of Peter Pan standing on the top of the fountain at The Columbus Metropolitan Library, Ohio libraries are making it easier than ever for you to nurture your own inquisitions and sense of adventure. Ohio boasts 251 Public Library systems, each with 481 Branch locations (for perspective, there are 88 counties in Ohio, and 44% of the land is farmland).
In the same way that a "great book comes alive," libraries themselves give the same vitality. While researching free summer library programs in Ohio, I found unique programs and dedicated staff, customizing their programs to meet the individual needs of the people who live around the library.
Everything from free resume writing workshops, origami crane demonstrations, quilting classes, graphic novel workshops, turtle and snake visits, geanology workshops and 'Lovers of Classics' groups. But the gold standard that I found in every library program I researched was storytelling.
For many libraries in Ohio, part of the treasure is the building itself. You'll find on the first floor of the Cleveland Main Library, this beautiful iridescent Terrestrial Glass Globe, designed with a map Leonardo da Vinci.
The Tri-Lakes Library, part of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, has book bins that are actually kayaks and sailboats. Nearby, the Poland Library is a "green building" featuring Classic Greek revival architecture with fluted columns, floors of hardwood beams from old New England barns, and busts of several historic and mythological figures. The roof looks like slate, but is made from recycled rubber.
At the Miami University Library, you'll find the new Makerspace. This area on features new and exciting equipment to use like 3D printers, 360 cameras, virtual reality headsets. Plus a few classics like sewing machines.
The historic Hamilton Library was built in 1866 and is the oldest public library west of the Alleghenies - around 150 years old. The building has lasted through floods, fires and has been part of two separate renovations.
Every library, of course, has its rumors. And to feed your sense of adventure, you might want to investigate the Steubenville Public Library, where some believe that the first librarian from the early 1900s walks around the attic. Or check out Denison University in Granville, where you may find a shadowy woman waking up napping male students.
Whatever adventure you're looking for, an Ohio library is the perfect place to find it.
NOTE: Check directly with places before you go to learn about their health guidelines, safety updates and any required reservations.
*Hero image courtesy of Columbus Metropolitan Library Media Resources.