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Scioto County Public Library and branches offer events for all ages

The Scioto County Public Library, previously known as the Portsmouth Public Library, is the main branch for the public libraries in Scioto County. Although the name changed in January of 2023, SCPL and its branches continue to provide various services to their patrons.

When asked about the name change, marketing manager for SCPL Katie Williams said the new name helps to encompass all branches as a whole, while also helping with confusion. Not only does the name represent the Portsmouth branch, but also the Wheelersburg, Lucasville, South Webster and New Boston branches, as well as the Bookmobile. 

Although physical books are a big part of every library, most offer a lot of other services as well. 

“With libraries,” Williams said, “they offer so many resources that there’s just a lot that people don’t realize we offer.”

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Hannah Kline

Libby is a free app that allows patrons to check out ebooks and audiobooks right from their device. All a person will need is their SCPL library card number to enter the app. 

Hannah Kline

Hoopla is another free app that follows the same concept, except it also has movies, comics, music and more. Patrons are given a set amount of checkouts each month. A library card number and an email address are used to set up an account. 

For in-person services, SCPL branches offer programs for all ages, all year long. One of Williams’ favorites is the summer reading program. Not only does it encourage kids to read during the summer months to win prizes, but it is also an event for adults to partake in. At the end of the event, a carnival is held with prizes and games as well as some fun offerings for adults. Last year’s event had a free coffee ticket to be redeemed for adults. This year will have an adventure theme. 

Dates and times for this year’s book fair at SCPL locations. (Hannah Kline)

A free book fair will be available for children 12 and under at all SCPL branch locations, including the Bookmobile. The event is happening during Money Smart Week, which began on Monday and will end April 25. Kids will be able to use fake money to practice their counting skills. Despite the fake money, kids will “purchase” real book fair items that will include books, school supplies and other prizes. 

Taylor Barlow, the adult services assistant, helps with teen programming, which is an everyday event for kids after school. Students are provided with free food and entertainment from 2:30 to 4 p.m. There are computers, VR headsets, a Nintendo Switch and other gaming devices for kids to play on. There are clubs, too, such as for manga and acting.

Barlow is also a part of the crafty artistry group which allows for adults to partake in monthly crafts. Activities are usually free but sometimes cost up to $5. Over the past few years, though, the cost has been kept free for patrons.

One of the bigger services that Williams wants more people to know about is their homebound program. The program allows for people who might have never visited the library itself to still have full access like other patrons. Nursing homes, for example, could benefit from their service. 

Even with all of the events, the library is the perfect place to wind down and enjoy free resources. Charles Waddell, a SCPL patron, started recently coming to the library because of its great location and printing abilities. 

“It’s quiet,” Waddell said. “And there’s nice people.”

For genealogy research, SCPL boasts a hefty collection of family history in their history department, located on the basement floor. Microfilm and digital copies of old Portsmouth newspapers are also available. 

The library building itself originally started construction in 1903 and was opened to the public by 1906. Andrew Carnegie was a capital contributor. Although more rooms have been added to the building since, the library still has its original stained glass. Since then, SCPL has obtained more than just books to lend out.

Even with several services listed, this only scratches the surface of what SCPL and the branches offer. From LeapPads for kids to seasonal crafts for adults, check your local library to see what services are offered. 

For other upcoming events for all ages, check out the SCPL Facebook page or their website.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Kline
Hannah Kline, Staff Writer
Hannah Kline was born in 2003 and grew up in the small town of Minford, which is about a 30-minute drive from Shawnee’s campus. Hannah appreciates being close to home and said that proximity was a big factor in her decision to attend Shawnee. As a child, she always wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up. Hannah is not a mermaid, but she is a sophomore history major at Shawnee State. Having ambitions to be a mermaid is not the only interesting fact about Hannah. She can also play the ukulele and has two cats, Carl and Nelson. Hannah is not a big sports fan, but she does enjoy watching the Columbus Crew soccer team (based in Ohio's capital city about 90 miles away). Having grown up in a small town, Hannah enjoys the fact that SSU is close to home and an easy campus to navigate without getting lost. She says the best advice that she has received thus far is to take classes that you enjoy to help figure out your passions if you are unsure about your major. Hannah's advice to other students is to get your work finished as soon as you can.

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