Welcome to your ACPL

About us

Now in our 88th year of serving Athens County, we love what we do and we love where we get to do it.

Above all, our countywide system aims to be:

Information hubs: We want our libraries to be the first places you think of to get trusted information and to share your curiosity, expertise, stories, and passions with others.

Community centers: We aim to connect, engage, entertain, and encourage. Everyone’s welcome. Through community partnerships, meeting spaces, and thousands of free library programs a year, lifelong learning has never been more vital or more fun.

Our Story

How does a thriving rural library system begin? By 1934, the WPA work relief program had established 20 “library stations” in homes around Athens county. These were small collections with untrained staff, and soon a demand for better service led Nelsonville civic leaders to collaborate with the State Library. Our current system began in 1935, with trustees appointed by the Nelsonville school board and most books donated by local citizens or borrowed from the State Traveling Library.

Today, ACPL serves communities in SE Ohio with library buildings in Nelsonville (main branch); Athens; Glouster; Chauncey; The Plains; Coolville; and Albany; and electronic Locker Libraries in Stewart, Shade, Amesville, and New Marshfield, where patrons can also pick up their library items. In 2021, we also reinstated our Bookmobile outreach.

Many in our region without access to broadband depend on our free WiFi access, including at our Community WiFi Hotspots in Amesville, New Marshfield, Shade, and Stewart.

ACPL started one of the first library bike-share programs in the nation, one of the first summer feeding programs for area children and teens, and was among the first in Ohio to stop charging late fees. We were also the first public library system in the U.S. to implement a complete library automation system using only open source software (ours is called Koha). We strive to keep this dedication to innovation and increasing access alive and well in all that we do.

Board of Trustees

Board meetings are generally held at the Nelsonville library on the third Wednesday of every month and are open to the public, with time set aside for public input.

*Board meeting dates, times and locations are subject to change, so if you plan to attend, we recommend calling 740-753-2118 ahead of time.