June 4, 2020

Bexley Public Library offers diverse resources and volunteering opportunities to students

The Bexley Public Library may not be on campus, but it does offer a number of resources you can’t find anywhere else.

Presentations from expert speakers, visits from authors and entrepreneurs, and even concerts are just a few of the events that the library hosts throughout the year. Not only that, the library also offers several different volunteer opportunities for students.

“Lifelong learning is a big focus of ours,” said Ken Flower, the library’s director of advancement and community relations.

Events range from author visits and book signings to expert lectures on social and political topics. These lectures are part of a series of events hosted by the library known as The Current. Previous presentations have covered the intricacies of U.S. immigration and Net Neutrality.

“We’re all aware of the news and what’s happening,” Flower said. “[But] sometimes it’s hard to sift through, just, the huge amounts of information that’s being put out there, and especially to know what’s reliable.” According to Flower, The Current is an attempt to give people a chance to be better informed about important social issues in the political climate.

The library also hosts several concerts throughout the year, sometimes in conjunction with Capital. “There’s almost one every month,” Flower said. One of these events is “Live at the Library,” where the library hosts local music groups from around Columbus. Two to three times a semester, a recurring “Capital Jazz” event is also hosted by the library, where student ensembles from the Conservatory of Music perform a jazz concert.

The library also offers several volunteering opportunities to students and members of the community. Volunteering can be done on a one-time basis, or on a recurring schedule.

According to Flower, recurring volunteers often help the library by finding and pulling books from the shelves, either to be reserved or to be sent to other libraries throughout the state, and they help with other inventory and circulation work. Volunteers can also help in the library’s homework zone, assisting local middle school and high school students with their homework.

“I liked volunteering there,” senior psychology major Jacob McComis said. McComis volunteered at the library while he was in high school, as part of his required service hours. “The homework help center was fun …” McComis said about his experiences. “It was fun teaching [the kids] how to do things, and you get a wide variety, it’s not just like a specific subject.”

The library also hosts a biannual book sale put on by the Friends of the Bexley Public Library, a separate community organization with the goal of supporting the library. According to Flower, some of the books available at the sale are donated from the library after being weeded out of the library’s stock, but most of the sale’s inventory comes from community donations.

According to Flower, the book sale offers significantly reduced prices compared to a bookstore, with paperbacks being sold for $1 and hardcover books being sold for $2. The book sale also offers CDs, DVDs, children’s books, and more.

All proceeds from the sale go back into the library, helping to fund their summer reading program, staff training, and also add some non-traditional items to the library’s collection. “You can check out a guitar here,” Flower said. “You can check out a ukulele, you can check out a telescope, you can check out a mobile hotspot … and we’re looking at some additional, some new things.”

Flower wanted to emphasize that even though students have Blackmore Library on campus, the Bexley Public Library also has a lot to offer. “Even if they can’t come to programs, we definitely encourage [students] to get a library card here … we love having Capital students here,” Flower said.

Students interested in volunteering at the library can apply online at bexleylibrary.org under the “About Us” section, or can walk in and ask for an application at the front desk. Those interested in helping out with the upcoming book sale can email the Friends of the Bexley Public Library at admin@friendsbexlib.org. The book sale will be open from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11.

Leave a Reply