Dedication, access makes libraries rock

Libraries rock. If you visit the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library in the next few weeks, you will notice that phrase everywhere; it’s the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program. It also happens to be true. Libraries really do rock. They are amazing institutions that provide so many services, it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Below, I’ve describe a few hidden gems at TSPL that you might not be aware of. If anything piques your interest, be sure to stop in or give us a call.

First, TSPL allows you to harness the power of interlibrary loans. Libraries exist to get books and materials into readers’ hands. TSPL has over 100,000 items on our shelves, but the truth is, that’s not nearly enough. To provide our patrons with the widest possible access, we belong to a network of 96 Ohio library systems committed to sharing resources simply and efficiently. If the item you need isn’t available from one of those institutions, we can connect with literally thousands of other libraries to get it. Going outside our Ohio network takes longer, but our success rate is high.

TSPL also helps users overcome some of the barriers to access associated with visual difficulties and disabilities. We empower patrons by providing a collection of large print books. For tech-savvy patrons, the text in every one of our ebooks can also be enlarged to whatever size is comfortable. We also help connect eligible patrons to the National Library Service for the Blind, a governmental organization that provides free access to over 200,000 braille and talking books through the mail (returning them is postage free) or via instant download. Beyond books, we also have a low-vision magnifying machine and a low-vision computer, allowing you to read documents as well as surf the World Wide Web.

Speaking of the web, TSPL delivers an astounding amount of content online. Through our website, you can navigate to the Ohio Web Library, your gateway to thousands of full-text popular periodical and scholarly journal articles for research. You can also access the Ohio Digital Library, our downloadable collection that features over 100,000 popular titles by authors you know and love. We also offer access to years’ worth of select Ohio newspapers–searchable by keyword–through our Newspaper Archive subscription, a resource generously provided by the Seneca Searchers genealogy society. As a TSPL patron, you have home access to many other digital resources as well.

Finally, we provide access to dedicated people. We circulate materials, answer questions, take title requests, recommend books, and educate patrons on how to use our resources. We provide one-on-one training by appointment to help you understand the basics of your new tablet or smartphone. There’s a whole world of information available to you at TSPL, and our staff wants to ensure you can make the most of it. It’s just one more reason that libraries rock.