TOLEDO, Ohio — People are now more likely to go to the library then head to the movies, a recent Gallup poll found.
As the director of all the Toledo Lucas County Public Library branches, Jason Kucsma knows just how much activity is happening at local libraries.
"People think about the library as a transactional place where you can check out books. But really, we've been talking about how books are just the beginning. People can come to the library and take a yoga class, or we have book clubs that are meeting at local bars and restaurants," Kucsma said.
Guests at the main branch can take a stroll through the art gallery and the library app allows readers to check out books at the push of a button.
"It's almost a challenge for me to communicate all the different things we have for people from cradle to grave and that's really unique and special about the public library," Kucsma said.
Lucas County libraries had nearly three million visits in 2019. They also unveiled the remodeled main branch as well as the brand new Mott Branch.
The children's section has interactive exhibits similar to an escape room, with iconic children's book characters like the BFG and Nancy Drew who has her own room.
The room celebrates the Toledo author who penned the Nancy Drew series with memorabilia and classic copies of the celebrity sleuths books.
"It's paid for through taxpayer dollars and one of the things we like to talk about is that is the return on investment that the community gets from the library and we're returning more than $4 of services for every dollar that's spent here," Kucsma said.
So, Kucsma said, you're paying for a place designed for everyone.
"It's a place where a family can come, the parents can apply for a job, look for books while kids can find something to do too," he said.