With continued monitoring of pandemic developments, careful planning, and many implemented changes, SPL will reopen buildings with limited access and modified services on October 5, 2020. Though library service will still be very different than when SPL doors were last open, we are excited for this next step. Library services and access remain contingent upon current pandemic developments at all times. Please help us keep everyone safe and adhere to our new guidelines when visiting the library.

No-contact holds pickup by appointment will end after Saturday, October 3, replaced by self-service pickup anytime during open hours. You will no longer need to call to schedule a time to pick up holds.

SPL will offer limited access and modified services as described below while the county health alert level remains Orange. SPL intends to expand services and access once the alert is downgraded to yellow but will move back to a no-contact service model should the county return to Red. We thank you for your continued support and understanding as we continue to work to keep our community safe.

Limited Reopening Services

In-person services available beginning October 5 (Alert Level Orange)

  • Self-service holds pickup (replaces pickup by appointment; you will no longer need to call to schedule a time to pick up holds)
  • Limited browsing
  • Limited computer use by appointment
  • Print, Copy, Scan, Fax
  • Returns

Hours of Service

  • MON, TUE, FRI, & SAT: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • WED & THU: 12:00 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • SUN: Closed

Masks or face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required while in the building for all visitors above age 2. The library will provide a mask if you do not have one.

Service Details

Self-Service Holds Pickup: Beginning October 5, you will be able to come in and pick up holds yourself anytime during open hours from the regular holds shelves. This replaces no-contact holds pickup by appointment.

Limited browsing: Patrons will be able to browse a limited, curated collection of materials as well as new books. Stacks (aisles) remain closed for browsing at this time. Staff will be available to assist with finding and retrieving titles from shelves.

Computers: Computers are available by appointment only and sessions are limited to one, 1-hour session per patron per day. Please call Grove City ext. 503 or Westland ext. 603 to schedule. Computer stations will be sanitized between users.

Print, Copy, Scan, Fax: Patrons will have access to copy, scan, and fax. Remote printing (sending items to print via your laptop or mobile device) will continue to be offered. Please be aware library computer access is by appointment only.

Returns: Returns will continue to be accepted during open hours.  Please use the marked bins or outdoor bookdrops. Bookdrops are closed outside of service hours to prevent overflow.

Grab & Go: We will continue to offer Book Bundles as well as Storytime Kits for checkout. Grab a surprise book bundle during open hours or fill out a form to have a bundle put together just for you. Storytime Kits can be reserved online or through Youth Services.

Programming: Programming will continue to be offered virtually or as take-home kits until gatherings are safe again.

*Patrons who are at high risk and unable to come into the library may contact the library for assistance.*

What to Expect

We’re excited to see you. To help us keep the library safe for everyone, when visiting we ask you to:

  • Wear a mask appropriately (covering your mouth and nose) when in the building
  • Keep visits short to help us maintain low occupancy while allowing all an opportunity to visit
  • Maintain appropriate social distance and follow signage and directional markings
  • Refrain from moving furniture and equipment

For the continued safety of patrons and staff, seating is limited and the following remain unavailable:

  • Meeting rooms, study rooms, quiet reading room
  • Notary service
  • Youth Services toys and interactive manipulatives

Checkout
We highly encourage self-checkout and bringing your card so that you can just scan the barcode without needing to touch the screen for manual entry. We have temporarily disabled the PIN requirement to help minimize contact. Hand sanitizer as well as access to soap and water will be readily available, and staff will be cleaning and sanitizing high-contact areas regularly.

Materials Quarantine
Returns will continue to be quarantined for at least 96 hours before being checked in, removed from a patron’s account, and made available to other patrons. SPL is fine-free, so patrons will not accrue overdue fines. This quarantine practice is in accordance with results from the REALM study conducted by Battelle which studied the longevity of the COVID-19 virus on common library materials.

FAQs

Access: When will access expand?
Safety remains our priority. SPL plans to expand service and access once the county’s health alert level drops to Yellow; a return to full “normal” services cannot be predicted and will be implemented cautiously according to pandemic developments.

Holds: Why are my holds taking so long?
We are working to get items to you as quickly as possible. Hold times may be increased due to transport and quarantine procedures. All items going out for holds will be quarantined for 96 hours before being made available for pickup. This four-day quarantine is in accordance with the REALM study conducted by Battelle which studied the longevity of the COVID-19 virus on common library materials.

Hours: Why are hours limited?
Our hours are temporarily adjusted in order to be able to provide service safely within staffing, budget, and safety constraints.

We’ve re-worked our staffing so that should a staff member test positive for COVID-19, we can avoid quarantining the entire staff and disrupting service to patrons. We also require more time to thoroughly clean and disinfect each day to keep everyone safe.

Sunday hours are currently cut due to cuts in Public Library Funding (PLF) from the state. The PLF provides the majority of SPL funding, and SPL has cut all staff hours by 10% and enacted a hiring freeze to help make up some of this deficit. Sunday hours will be restored once funding is restored.

Meeting Rooms/Study Rooms: Why are the meeting and study rooms closed?
Meeting rooms and study rooms are closed in order to support social distancing and reduce possible virus transmission. Additionally, meeting rooms are unavailable as they are being used long-term to quarantine returned items for at least 96 hours before they are made available to patrons. Study rooms are unavailable at this time as we are unable to fully disinfect each room after each use.

Programming: When will you have in-person programming again?
We will continue to offer all programming virtually or as take-home kits until gatherings are safe again.

Returns: When and where can I return my items?
Returns are accepted in the marked bins or in outdoor bookdrops during open hours. Bookdrops are closed outside of these hours in order to make sure items do not overflow the return bins.

Returns: I returned my books. Why are they still on my account?
For safety, returned materials will be quarantined for at least 96 hours before being checked in and removed from your account. SPL is fine free, so you will not accrue overdue fines. See ‘Materials Quarantine’ for more info.

Safety measures: What safety measures is the library taking to protect patrons’ health?

The safety and health of our patrons and staff remain our priority. SPL has implemented many measures including changing layouts and service practices to support social distancing and minimize contact, increasing sanitizing and disinfecting of high-contact areas, and following materials quarantine practices as recommended by results from the REALM study conducted by Battelle. Staff have been trained in proper sanitizing and disinfecting methods and are required to wear masks or face shields when working.

Seating: Where’s all the tables and seating?
To keep the library safe for everyone and support social distancing, we’ve temporarily limited or rearranged seating. Please do not move any equipment or furniture.

VotingBanner websitearticle

Your vote matters. Make your voice heard this election day. 

 

Below we’ve highlighted essential voting information as well as a few sources to help you become a better-informed voter. For comprehensive voting and election info visit your county's Board of Election website or the voteohio.gov website from the Ohio Secretary of State. 

 

 


Quick Links


Important Dates Election 2020

October 5: New voter registrations and registration updates are due by 9 p.m.

October 6: Early in-person voting begins and is available through 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2

October 31: Applications for absentee ballots must be received by Board of Elections by noon

November 2: Completed absentee ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by Monday Nov. 2 and received within 10 days of Nov. 3

November 3: Election Day. Polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Completed absentee ballots can be dropped off at BOEs until 7:30 p.m.


Ways to Vote

You can vote safely and securely one of three ways: 

  • absentee by mail
  • early in-person voting
  • at the polls on election day 

Your Board of Elections and Ohio’s Secretary of State are working hard to ensure a safe and secure election. To help you vote safely and to protect the health of voters and poll workers, all Franklin County polling locations including the Early Vote Center will have personal protection equipment available including masks, gloves, plastic barriers, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, disposable styluses, and more. Read more at the Franklin County BOE website. 


Board of Elections (BOE) Contact Info

Franklin County BOE Mailing Address
(Voter registrations, absentee ballot request and completed absentee ballots can be mailed here.)

Franklin County Board of Elections
P.O. Box 182111
Columbus, OH 43218-2111

Franklin County BOE Address (Early Voting Center and  24/7 secure dropbox located here)
(Voter registrations, absentee ballot requests and completed absentee ballots can be dropped off in the dropbox 24/7 by appropriate deadlines.)

Franklin County Board of Elections
1700 Morse Rd
Columbus, Ohio 43229

Franklin County Board of Elections

  • Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday)
  • Telephone: (614) 525-3100
  • Absentee Department Telephone: (614) 525-3470
  • Fax: (614) 525-3489
  • E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Website: vote.franklincountyohio.gov

Directory of all county boards of elections. Click here


What’s Available at the Library

  • Voter registration and information update forms
  • Absentee ballot request forms (see “Absentee Voting” for more info)

Voter Registration

New voter registrations and registration updates are due by 9 p.m., October 5. Voter registration or information updates are available at the library. Have you moved or has your name changed? Don’t forget to update your registration!

Check your registration here 

Options to register or update:

  • Online: Register or update online here.
  • Mail in: Pick up a form at the library or print your own here. Fill out and mail to your county board of elections (See BOE contact info above)
  • Drop off: Pick up a form at the library or print your own here. Fill out and drop off at your county Board of Elections. Franklin County BOE dropbox available 24/7. (See BOE contact info above)

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting is a three step process:

  1. Request an application (pick up an application at the library, print your own from Franklin County BOE page or Ohio Secretary of State page, or call your county BOE)
  2. Fill out and turn in application (by mailing or dropping off at your county Board of Elections)
  3. Receive ballot by mail, mark selections, fill out ID envelope and return ballot by deadline.

Deadline for requesting an absentee ballot:

  • October 31 by noon. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by your Board of Elections by noon, October 31. Note: the applications must have physically reached your county BOE by noon as the BOE mails out ballots for the last time at noon. This is to ensure ballots can be completed and returned in time to be counted. 

Deadline for returning a completed absentee ballot:

  • Postmark by Monday Nov. 2, 2020 and received within 10 days of Nov. 3, 2020
  • Drop off at your Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020. 
    • Ballots can be dropped off in the secure dropbox of your county Board of Elections.

Track your ballot here.


Early In-Person Voting

Early in-person voting is available October 6-November 2. 

View the early voting schedule for Franklin County Board of Elections here

Franklin County Early Voting Center
1700 Morse Road
Columbus, OH 43229

Other county early voting centers

Voting schedule 


Election Day Voting, November 3

  • Polls are open for in-person voting 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Bring a valid form of ID such as an unexpired photo ID, military ID, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck. Find more info on ID requirements here. 
  • Find your polling location here.

Informed Voter Resources

We encourage all voters to educate themselves on candidates and issues and to carefully evaluate sources of information.

Vote411.org: A "one-stop-shop" for election related information from the League of Women Voters Education Fund. Provides nonpartisan information with both general and state-specific information including many of the topics above as well as factual data on candidates and a preview of what is on your ballot.

Newsbank: Access local, regional, and national news including the Columbus Dispatch. Full-text news resource containing comprehensive coverage of current issues and events from the four major leading newspapers in Ohio & more.

Politifact: PolitiFact is a nonprofit, fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others on its Truth-O-Meter.

FactCheck: FactCheck is a nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.

Allsides: AllSides is a news website that presents multiple sources side by side in order to provide the full scope of news reporting. AllSides uses a patented bias rating system to classify news sources as left, center, or right leaning.

 

Have you filled out your census response? Do it today! Your response matters.

Census results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets and helps determine how more than $675 billion dollars in federal funding is distributed to states and communities for the next 10 years. 

Your response and accurate census data can shape many different aspects of your community from schools, hospitals, health clinics, fire departments and emergency services to roads, highways and, yes, libraries! One analysis finds “that more than $1 billion in federal funding for libraries will be allocated to states based on the 2020 Census.” Want to know what other programs and services census data impacts? Read more here or find a full list of programs here.  

It’s easier than ever to respond whether online, by phone, or by mail. Responses only take a few moments and are required by September 30, 2020.
Respond online today.


Facts about the Census

  • It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

  • Everyone living in the United States and its five territories is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.

  • Your info is private. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. Every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics.

  • Everyone counts. Babies, grandparents, roommates, non-citizens, everyone. The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the country. Learn more about who should be counted and how here.

  • Your info cannot be shared with law enforcement or used against you. Your answers are used only to create statistics. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to protect your personal information and keep it strictly confidential. That’s every answer, to every question. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

Find more answers to Census FAQs and Rumors here. 


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Accessing digital audiobooks is about to get even easier!

SPL will be moving our digital audiobooks from RBdigital to the Libby/Overdrive apps as part of our OverDrive collection on September 16, 2020. After September 16, you will continue to be able to enjoy all the same great audiobooks you loved in the RBdigital app but now browse and borrow through Libby or Overdrive.

What does this mean for you?

  • If you have already been enjoying the Libby or Overdrive app, there will be no change, other than you may notice even more great titles available for you to borrow.

  • If you currently have an audio book checked out in the RBdigital app, it will be available in the app through the remainder of the lending period, so you can finish your title without disruption or risk of losing your place in the book. Current checkouts will not transfer to Libby/Overdrive.

  • Checkout history and wishlists will not transfer to Libby/Overdrive; however, you can export your Transaction History from the RBdigital websites by accessing My Account > Profiles and use the information to recreate lists in Libby using Tags.

Libby: Easy Set Up, Easy Use

SPL is proud to offer a wide selection of digital titles for you to access anytime, anywhere through Libby, the one-tap reading app.* All you need to get started is your library card number and PIN (personal identification number). Download the app from your app store and follow the steps on screen to get connected to our library in just minutes. If you need assistance, visit the Libby Help site or give us a call.

*Libby and OverDrive are two different apps made by Overdrive. Both offer the same library content. Which app you choose is user preference; we encourage patrons to try Libby if they are seeking the simplest user experience.

Want more eBooks? Access all of our eBook and eAudiobook resources here.

 

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Sign up for the Friends of Southwest Public Libraries “Pathway to Literacy” Virtual 5K and support the Friends and your library!

Register and walk, jog, bike, skate, or run for a great cause. Complete the 5K all at once or at your own pace over multiple days from the 12th to the 24th. 
To register visit https://tinyurl.com/SWPL5K


About the Friends
The Friends conduct fundraising, volunteer work, public awareness efforts, and literacy programs in the community on behalf of the library. They also support special library events like the annual Summer Reading Challenge.

About the Event

Virtual 5K Dates: October 12-24, 2020. Register with or without the option of a commemorative T-shirt.

Registration Deadlines

  • With commemorative T-shirt: now through August 31
  • Without T-shirt: now through September 30

Registration Fees

  • With commemorative T-shirt: $40
  • Without T-shirt: $30

All registrants will receive a small commemorative item.

Hashtag: Share your 5K photos with the hashtag #PathwayToLiteracy

 

FOL 5K flyer

Library Hours

Sun: Closed
Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat      10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed-Thur 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

 

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Grove City Library

3959 Broadway
Grove City, OH 43123
(614)-875-6716

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Westland Area Library

4740 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43228
(614)-878-1301

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