In the poorest county in Ohio, it is often challenging to find the time and transportation to make it to the library.

For that reason, the Athens County Public Libraries is reinstating its book delivery system. 

“(The) Athens community is very difficult to get around in if you don’t have transportation,” Athens County Public Libraries Director Nicholas Tepe said. “Bringing library services to people is important.”

In addition to books, library members can request deliveries of anything else offered onsite at the library, including DVDs, video games, blood pressure equipment and more.

The library maintains a collection of around 320,000 items and subscribes to about 130 magazines and newspapers.

Tepe said the library has a long history of offering delivery services but has been forced to cut the program when it could not afford to keep it running.

The library is offering the delivery program for the first time after eight years of insufficient funds. It had to do away with the system in 2009 when the state budget was cut, Outreach Services Manager Laura O’Neil said.

The operating levy voted on in 2014 is a large part of what makes this program possible. It gives the library a more stable revenue stream, O’Neil said. 

Tepe said it is a priority to keep the program up and running.

“There’s been a great deal of interest,” Tepe said. “We’re getting people lined up every day.”

Even though the program is only a few weeks old, it already has 10 regular subscribers.

O’Neil is in charge of the new home delivery program. She said they are considering purchasing a vehicle, “like a bookmobile.”

The program can be used by all Athens County residents. O’Neil said she can make a library card for anyone who does not have one already.


Correction: A previous version of the photo caption incorrectly identified the Athens branch of the Athens Public Library. The photo caption has been updated to reflect the most accurate information. 

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