Commissioners would like more libraries in the Westland area


By Hannah Poling
Staff Writer

The Westland Area Commissioners discussed their desire for more libraries at the July meeting.

John Tetzloff, branch manager at the Columbus Metropolitan Library Hilltop Branch, attended the commission meeting to give updates on the library’s new programs available for their 150th anniversary.

According to Tetzloff, although the Westland area is largely not in the Columbus Metropolitan Library District, there are a few pockets of residents who use the Hilltop Branch, located on Hague Avenue. Hilltop and westside residents can also use the Westland Area Library, which is part of Southwest Public Libraries, located on West Broad Street.

Tetzloff said that Hilltop and Southwest Libraries have a relationship where they share library cards between the branches.

Commissioner Janet Cahill said that although there is no Columbus Metropolitan Library in Westland, the residents of Westland are taxed twice a year for it and she would like to have a Columbus Metropolitan Library in the Westland area if residents are paying taxes for one.

Tetzloff said he would make it known that the Westland commissioners would like a library in their area.

“I have taken a note to send back with me that it would be desirable to have one here. I am hoping to see more libraries out here. I think it’s a bit of a library desert,” Tetzloff said.

Tetzloff told the commissioners that the Hilltop Branch is evolving to provide a lot of add-on services. He said that the library has 13 regular programs and has added adult life skills programs where adults can get their GED, take English as a second language classes, get financial coaching, take career coaching computer classes, and speak to social workers about low-cost health care in addition to their regular children’s programs.

According to Tetzloff, these add-on services do not cost the library anything as they partner with other organizations to come to the library and provide the programs for free as a way to connect with people.

Tetzloff also said the library has a levy on the November ballot to focus on funding for the core service youth programs. He noted that the new levy would be a 1.5-mill levy. It would cost $53 per $100,000 value of a taxpayer’s home per year.

“We are trying to meet the needs of our particular community. We are trying to be more responsive and we try to do it with little to no cost to accommodate these types of services,” Tetzloff said.

In other news, Cahill said that at the community event Rise Up CBUS, commissioners were able to obtain 75 signatures on their petition that the Westland area needs a recreation center.

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