Most materials you find on the library's shelves can be checked out with a few exceptions: Reference materials (marked REF or JREF on the label), Local History materials (LH), the latest issue of a magazine (most branches have some back issues which circulate).
Anything which can be checked out checks out for two weeks. Read more about the library's collections.
The library does not charge fines for overdue items. If an item remains overdue on your account for more than 14 days, your account will be frozen ("restricted"), and you will not be able to check out or renew anything. Patrons with debarred accounts cannot sign up to use library computers. Debarred accounts are cleared as soon as all long-overdue items are returned.
When the item you want is checked out, you can place that item on hold. When the item is returned, it will be held for you and you will be notified.
Any of the items you check out can be renewed for another two weeks if you are not finished with them. This can be done in person, over the phone, or via the library's online catalog. Items can only be renewed twice before they must be returned. Items which are on hold for another patron cannot be renewed.
Through our interlibrary loan system, we can locate and borrow specific books from other Ohio libraries. The Athens County Public Libraries participate in the Ohio Libraries Share:MORE statewide resource sharing system in order to provide interlibrary loan service to our patrons. To use this service please contact any of our libraries and we'll help you locate the book you need.
If the book you want is located at another Athens County Library branch, you can request that it be sent to whichever branch is most convenient for you. The simplest way to do this is to place a hold on that item in our online Library Catalog. When you place the hold you can specify which branch you'd like the item to be sent to. If the item is available (not checked out or on hold for someone else), it will be sent to your branch, usually within three or four days.
If you're looking for an item which the library doesn't own, the first option to try is InterLibrary Loan. However, if the title you're looking for is new or in-demand, it may not be available through interlibrary loan. You also have the option of submitting a purchase suggestion.
The library accepts suggestions for book purchases. Please use our online purchase suggestion form. Purchase decisions are made using a number of criteria, including review journals and other online sources. For more information please see our Purchase Suggestion FAQ and our Collection Development Policy.
Services at Your Library Branches
Computers for Public Use
Each library branch has internet-capable computers available for use by library card holders whose accounts are in good standing. Most computers are installed with CD-ROM drives, USB ports, and Microsoft Office applications. Patrons should bring their library card to the circulation desk and ask to sign up for a computer. Computers can be reserved for up to an hour per day. Patrons may reserve a computer in advance on the same day as the appointment. See also: Computer use policy and Internet Access Policy.
The libraries in Nelsonville, Athens, The Plains, Glouster, Coolville, and Wells (Albany) each have a meeting room which can be used by non-profit civic and educational groups during regular hours. To reserve a meeting room, please contact one of the libraries listed above. More details about our meeting rooms. See also: Meeting room policy.
Our library system, in coordination with the Talking Books Service of the Library of Congress, provides services for Athens County residents who are visually and physically handicapped. Read more about Talking Books.
Know It Now
The State Library of Ohio, in cooperation with librarian volunteers all around the state, now offers a 24/7 virtual reference service. The online service, at KnowItNow.org, is part of a statewide initiative that assists residents of the State of Ohio with access to information on an as-needed basis, regardless of the time of day.