Whether accessing library resources and services inside physical buildings or online, options increased during 2019 in some exciting ways. Outreach Services debuted our pop-up library and coordinated the first successful year of the Amesville Locker Library service. Our Cataloguing team grew ACPL’s “Library of Things,” including board games, personal wifi hotspots, Launchpad learning tablets, kobos, and kids’ bikes. Our Book-a-Bike collection also donned branded fender skirts funded by Creating Healthy Communities, and a new monthly Adult Programming Calendar made it easier to see what’s happening for ages 18+ around the county.
We also introduced the Winter Library Club, where hundreds of participants tracked Jan/Feb reading and library program attendance on paper entries for the chance to win grand prize baskets themed by age group at each location. In addition, 2019 brought library users the option of accessing their checkout history, and a new eLibrary card gave anyone living in the state of Ohio or neighboring counties in West Virginia instant access to our extensive online offerings.
2019 was a memorable year for staff and building transitions, as well. ACPL warmly welcomed Assistant Director
Lindsay Place after Amy King’s retirement, Amy Drayer was named manager at our Athens location, and Abie Salyer started as the manager of our main branch in Nelsonville. Monthly all-staff meetings (a new experience for us!) enabled staff members from seven locations to touch base face-to-face and learn together as one library family. We also took on the challenge of updating our phone and broadband service over several months so that both would be more dependable, affordable, and up-to-date across the county long term. Major “refresh” work was completed at our locations in The Plains, Glouster, and Nelsonville, including things like new carpet, furniture, and space renovations. All locations celebrated the installation of new outdoor signs, and in Nelsonville, a mural by artist Barry O’Keefe behind the Library Stage depicting the magical journey we take through reading was funded by Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, the Historic Downtown Nelsonville Association, Nelsonville Mainstreet, LLC, the Baird Brothers Co Foundation, the Athens County Foundation, and ACPL.
Thank You Note from Our Director
I would like to express the deepest gratitude to the voters of Athens County for their support in the general election last fall. I and many volunteers spent a lot of time out in the community speaking with groups and individuals, and the support for libraries throughout all of the communities in the county is truly inspirational.
With the passage of the levy you can expect the work we’ve undertaken over the last five years to continue: with improved facilities, restoration of services that were cut after the financial crisis in 2009, new materials replacing outdated materials on our shelves, and the smiling faces of our staff who are here to help you find whatever information you need to make your life and the community as a whole better. We will also be speaking with members of our communities again as soon as it is safe, health-wise, to do so, to work on a new strategic plan.
There is no better investment of tax dollars than the services the library provides to all of our residents and all of our communities, and we are looking forward to continuing to demonstrate that over the next five years. Thank you again for your continued support.
~Nick Tepe, Athens County Public Libraries Director
New library card registrations: 2,913
New items added to our collection: 23,552
Total items circulated: 707,928
Digital downloads: 147,113
Book-a-Bike checkouts: 7,267
Public Computer Sessions: 51,658
* During “reference count week” we had 597 reference questions. Multiplied by 52 weeks in the year = 31,044.
The Plains 52,783
Wells (Albany) 21,838
C. Nicholas Tepe Director
Board of Directors
Kevin Dotson, President
Bernita Crawford, Vice President
Deborah J. Sheskey, Secretary
In 2019, we worked with the following community partners to make these highlights possible:
- Ohio University Libraries: ACPL staff presented at the annual conference for academic and public libraries; co-sponsored the first #WeAreAppalachia conference; co-sponsored a free viewing of the film The Public + community talk-back; took part in Camp Alden outreach.
- Passion Works Studio: Hosted the “Readabilities Storytime” series at our Chauncey location featuring Passion Works Studio artists.
- Athens HOPE (Halting Opioid Abuse through Prevention and Education): A “HOPE Talk” focusing on personal stories of success, treatment and recovery was hosted at our Nelsonville location, and a virtual reality/equity simulation experience event aimed at care providers took place at the Athens library.
- Athens County CASA/GAL: Trauma-informed care workshops for any interested library staff were held at our Athens branch.
- Rural Action: A Clean Energy Expo at our Athens location brought interactive workshops and a solar-powered lunch to attendees, and weekly outdoor activities for kids and teens took place at the Glouster library.