A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Libraries Branching Out

by on December 7, 2015

Public libraries have become community centers with a lot of services to offer. Whether big or small, they help customers satisfy everyday needs and interests. This article describes some services of the Cuyahoga (Ohio) County Public Library that are beyond the usual library operations.

Passport Processing and Photo Services
Every Cuyahoga County Public Library branch  is an official Passport Acceptance Facility for the U.S. Department of State. The library offers passport processing and photo services every day of the week from opening until one hour before opening, and no appointment is necessary. The passport application process usually takes from 20-60 minutes per applicant. Routine application processing takes 4-6 weeks. The library can also provide expedited service for an additional fee, which reduces the processing time to as little as 2-4 weeks. All details about how to apply for a passport are available on the library web site, at the circulation desk, and by calling a CCPL branch. The service is very popular, and there are many people coming to the library to apply for a passport. They come to the library because it is convenient to come to the local branch instead of driving downtown where most of the official facilities are. Library staff is very helpful, and all passport forms are available.

Recording Studios
Two of the Cuyahoga County Library branches feature recording studios. Warrensville Heights Branch has an audio recording studio while the Garfield Heights Branch has an audio and a video recording studio. Customers can make their own videos or cut their own CDs. Both are free and open to the public. The Garfield Heights branch features more opportunities to use their recording studios through their Broadcasting Club and Video Production Camp. The Broadcasting Club helps students take advantage of the new audio and video recording studios. Kids ages 8-12 learn broadcasting basics and share ideas for group projects and activities. Video Production Camp allows students to produce their own digital video program. Children ages 11-18 learn all the phases of the video production process. Attendees form production teams and storyboard, script, shoot, and direct a video while using professional video, lighting, and audio equipment.

Cuyahoga Works: Cuyahoga County Public Library Job & Career Services
The Job & Career Services at Cuyahoga County Public Library is a nationally recognized Adult Career Planning Resource Center. Cuyahoga County Public Library has been serving the community with job and career services assistance since 1976. Cuyahoga Works: Job & Career Services offers extensive job and career services to the customers. Services include individual appointments, workshops, and a Job Seekers Series dedicated to the education and training of current job search skills and techniques. Library Career Counselors offer free job search advice. Cuyahoga Works: Jobs & Career Services are located in Maple Heights Branch and Fairview Park Branch. One-on-one counseling sessions with  a certified career counselor are available at no charge in the Library Career Centers at the Maple Heights, Fairview Park, Solon Branch, and the North Royalton Branch libraries. Also, Cuyahoga Works offers free classes and workshops at branches throughout the Cuyahoga County Public Library system and one-on-one counseling sessions with certified career counselors.

These are just a few examples of the library services that provide help in new ways to extend typical library services to the communities. What unique service is your library providing?

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