LIMA — You work hard for your money.
The staff at the Lima Public Library at 650 W. Market St. wants to help you save some of that hard-earned money in today’s more expensive world. The library will extend its opening hours from September 6, giving the public more time to browse and borrow, instead of buying, materials such as books, magazines, CDs and DVDs.
The new hours for the Lima Library will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
When you check your documents, look at your due date slip. The library tells you how much money you saved by borrowing instead of buying. The count is updated with each article you view.
Turning the page on COVID restrictions
The Lima Public Library and its branches closed on March 20, 2020 due to COVID-19. Governor Mike DeWine had declared a state of emergency and a shutdown followed.
Gary Fraser, executive director of the Lima Public Library, said that as an organization the library is still following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that the library is closed until June 22, 2020.
“Weeks before we opened for limited hours, we only had curbside service,” Fraser said.
From that reopening until September 6 this year, when the library extended its opening hours, the library operated at limited hours. Although resuming extended library hours had been considered earlier, Fraser said concern for staff, the public and the threat of multiple variants of the virus kept the library on restricted hours.
“It seems that this summer we started to see more people coming back to the library. It may be because people are accepting COVID as part of life. But with more traffic and more demand, it’s time to extend the library’s opening hours.
The main Lima branch will see a 30% increase in hours of operation, while branch libraries will see a 57% increase.
“We want the library to be used by the public,” Fraser said.
Many reasons to visit the library
You don’t have to be a bibliophile or book lover to enjoy visiting the Lima Public Library.
Many library patrons will appreciate having the library open for extra hours, as this will give them more time to browse the extensive collection of books and magazines or to sit and read. But the library offers more than books.
Kenny Smith of Columbus Grove has noticed an increase in visits to the Lima Public Library over the past year.
“I visit at least twice a week. I combine my visits to the library with other things I have to do in town. I usually watch all the newspapers. Sometimes I’m on computers. I have one at home, but there seems to be less distraction here,” Smith said.
Some people stop by the library to check out the latest music and movie offerings. Others come because they can study better in the comfortable, quiet atmosphere of the library.
“I meet people here,” said Olivia DePalma, from Lima. “Extended hours are great for me because some of them don’t leave work until 4 or 5.
“I also used to come here all the time in college. It was a great place to study, especially the Quiet Zone,” DePalma said.
Undiscovered treasures are waiting to be discovered
Among the underutilized resources offered by the library, Fraser said, meeting rooms top the list. Use of a meeting room is free, he said, but the room must be reserved.
Other treasures that can be discovered and enjoyed include board games, selfie sticks, a telescope and a sewing machine.
Funding for the library comes from the state, Fraser said, and the library has continued to see its collection of books and materials grow.
“We don’t collect local levies or taxes that go to the library, but receiving money from the state means we haven’t been able to buy new materials despite the rising costs of everything. . We try to expand our collection every year,” he said.
The biggest challenge in getting new and current books and other items to the public has been a delay in the supply chain.
“Documents take longer to get here and sometimes we don’t get as many copies of things,” Fraser said.
Plan for the future
In the near future, Fraser said a planned change includes increasing in-person programs for youth and adults.
“During COVID, programming has been significantly reduced,” Fraser said. “There were no in-person activities. But now, with more hours, staff will be doing more programs that people can attend in person.
The Lima Public Library maintains a calendar of events on its website at www.limalibrary.com. Pet lovers might want to mark their calendars for September 9, so you don’t miss the Woof & Meow adoption event. Visit the library as it hosts its third pet adoption event at 3 p.m. in the Memorial Book Room.
The library is also planning a project that it hopes will bring a public access elevator to the building.
“The feedback we get from programs and events is about the need for an elevator,” Fraser said.
From its growing collection of materials to its many services and programs, the Lima Public Library is now offering more hours to take advantage of those money-saving opportunities while learning and having fun. Check it out.
New library hours
Main branch (Lima): 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Elida: 10am-7pm Monday to Thursday; 10am-2pm Friday and Saturday.
Cairo: 10am-7pm Monday to Thursday; 10am-2pm Friday and Saturday.
Lafayette: noon-7 p.m. Tuesday; 10am-5pm Wednesday and Thursday; 10am-2pm Friday.
Spencerville: 10am-7pm Monday-Thursday; 10am-2pm Friday and Saturday.
Visit the library’s website for a calendar of events: www.limalibrary.com.