The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Main Branch

Just blocks from the heart of downtown is a large building housing some of the greatest works of art of mankind. No, not the Art museum, most of these works of can actually be held by the public, it’s the The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The Main branch is split between two buildings with a walk way over 9th Street connecting them. Outside is a bustling city. Inside is a calm relaxing place to study, read, get information, and create.

The south building houses the more traditional and quite sections of the library. In it is the popular library, a place to easily find fiction, films, and audio recordings. This is great way to be in and out with a new title. For more in depth studies the upper floors contain the non-fiction books. On the Third floor is the genealogy and local history rooms. This building is also where most of the computers for Internet access are located. By the front doors are main checkout and the Library Friends Shop.

The shop is small but well stocked. Used books and media no longer needed by the Library are sold at this location. Besides books the shop has plenty of other merchandise too. Think of this as any other book store, but with a heavy Library and Cincinnati theme. This is probably one of the best hidden stores in the entire city.

The more noisy departments are housed in the North building. This allows for some activity to happen in these sections without disturbing the patrons looking for a more quite setting. In this building are the children’s section with a children’s garden, the teen space, homework station, and the MakerSpace. The MakerSpace is one of the best free makers spaces in the state. The space houses more than the 3d printers most libraries offer. As their website states “3D printers, audio and visual equipment, laser cutters and engravers, sewing machines, cameras and other hardware and software tools that they can use for free to create pretty much anything they can imagine.” The traditional audio visual stations can be used to make almost anything need in modern digital society. The printers, cutters, and sewing machines can be used to create almost anything else. Want to work on something but have no knowledge on how to start? The very well informed and super helpful staff will be glad to assist. Note that materials may cost extra for some of the MakerSpace equipment, but it is way less than buying the equipment oneself.

To connect the two buildings is a walk way. Along the walk way and throughout the two buildings are art work and galleries. These displays change regularly and enhance the overall fell of the space. The Main branch of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is more than just a place to get a book to read. It is a welcoming, innovative space to relax, enjoy, and create. Always worth a visit when in the area.


The Book Loft

631 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43206

32 rooms of books. Wow sounds like a lot. Barnes and Noble it is not however. This is more of your local “We care about our Community as much as our books” style bookseller.

The Book Loft is nestled in Historic German Village section of Columbus, just blocks from Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. The store feels like it fits perfectly from the outside. Nothing looks out of place or showy. It looks like a small little book store. Once inside however everything changes.

The rooms are organized by category with what seems like an almost perfect flow from one category to another. Walking to a certain section to look up a subject or author can draw interest in so many different things that one may have trouble finding what they originally were looking for. This is a great way to find some lost gems, or spark interest in a new topic.

The rooms themselves are rather small. not much bigger than the average small bedroom. But they hold a wealth of books. Books seem to be hidden in every place possible. Even with the amazing amounts, nothing is too hard to find. The categorizing of the place must have been completed by a genius. Rooms literally flow and merge into one another, yet are still separate with a separate theme and even sometime separate music to help set the mood.

In the end one will get lost in a world of ideas and books at the Book Loft. Go in expecting to find one thing and leaving with another is not at all unheard of, and actually the norm.

Quick Tip: A ton of coupons can be found on the website.

The Washington Centerville Library


Quick Review: A good place to find a   movie, book, CD , or video game. Always has great service and something to borrow.

We all believe that a library is a great institute of learning, a place to come and be educated. While this is true, most of us just use them to borrow books, Cd’s, and movies. As a good restaurant will have the necessary fresh ingredients to make the meal you ordered, a good library must have material to borrow. The Washington Centerville Public Library (Wcpl) exceeds this requirement and then some.

Every time I go I find new DVDs or books available to check out with out a problem. One reason for this is the libraries willingness to keep the rental length of popular material short. Popular videos and DVDs are only allowed to be checked out for a week, unlike some place whose shelf bemoans the agony of their 21 day rental periods. Sure I will admit that 7 days is nowhere near enough time for a season of TV, but with such a short turn over period I know I will be able to get the show again and finish it. It is rare that something I want is checked out and nothing else is there to fulfill my needs.

Besides the availability of material the library has many other things going for it. The staff, friendly and knowledgeable. The facility, clean and easy to use. The extra programs, diverse and enjoyable. Overall the WCPL deserves the #1 rating it has received over the last few years.