The library is very excited to once again have a Sunday column in the Chillicothe Gazette. Every other week or so, various staff will share activities, thoughts, and other information. The new column started this past weekend and is printed here in it’s entirety.
Beyond Books: The library system has much to offer and invites you to stay awhile
by James Hill
(Originally published in the Chillicothe Gazette on March 17, 2019)
As the library director, I attend a lot of community meetings with a lot of different governmental, social, and service organizations and I can report that Ross County is doing great work. We have communities of caring people making a difference. But one thing always crosses my mind when I leave these meetings: more than anywhere else, the library bridges the good times and the bad. The library sees everyone and is for everyone at every time.
You come to the library because you want to, not because you have to (although a lack of reading material can feel dire!). Most of the places you visit in your daily rounds have one purpose: for food, for advice, for care, for learning. But the library is for many things. Someone might be perusing a newspaper, staying dry, or warming up. You can share a good book or movie, create a memory, have fun, participate in democracy, attend a meeting, try yoga, chat and listen, share and explore. The library is whatever you need it to be.
Years ago I was doing a radio interview and talking about all the great things at the library. Every time I mentioned another program or service or collection, the host was gob smacked. “No matter where a person is in their life, you really do have something for them,” she said. That’s still true. Wherever you are in life, from being a new parent to a recent retiree, from a gamer to a gardener, we have you covered. The library is still books…and so much more.
Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library has audio books, adult programs, and play groups. We partner with various organizations to offer a children’s clothing bank, produce giveaways, Tai Chi and sign language classes. We have free meeting rooms for community events. We provide free online classes and research databases. We have computers and printers, art displays and music programs. We host author visits and history talks. And that’s just a drop in the bucket.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the library, stop by. We have nine locations throughout the county and your first library card is free—just bring in proof of your current local address and photo identification. Did I mention that we don’t charge late fines? Of course, you still have to return your materials, but we understand if you’re a day or two late. Do you notice a theme here? The library doesn’t expect you to spend money when you visit. Just come in and browse. Stay awhile. Everyone is welcome.
I hope you feel ownership of your local public library and find it a comfortable, safe place to belong. The staff strive to keep it so. Let us know how we’re doing. And remember: wherever you are, the library is here for you.
James Hill is the Director at Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.