July 20, 2020

Library partners with local agencies to host two-day Virtual Social Services Fair on July 30-31

Event designed as a free one-stop virtual shop for customers in need

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is bringing together a variety of agencies during a free two-day virtual event to connect customers with the help they need.

The Virtual Social Services Fair event will take place for 36 hours on Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31. An online chat feature will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The online event is free and open to anyone in need. Click here to learn more.

Participants will be able to engage with professionals in a “one-stop” virtual location to find help on a variety of pressing issues, including food access, legal aid, rent stabilization funds, childcare, job help and more.

The virtual event is presented in partnership with OhioMeansJobs, Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, Human Service Chamber of Franklin County and United Way of Central Ohio.

Participating organizations as of today include:

  • United Way of Central Ohio
  • Franklin County Public Health
  • Columbus Works, Inc.
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services
  • Huckleberry House, Inc.
  • YMCA of Central Ohio
  • Community Development for All People

“People in our community are struggling right now,” said CML Chief Community Engagement Officer Donna Zuiderweg. “Through partnership programs like these, we can work to better connect our customers to the help they need, and do so in a way that is safe for everyone.”

All of CML’s 23 library locations offer Curbside Pickup – except its South High Branch, which remains under construction through the end of July. Visit columbuslibrary.org for more information.

CML has many channels for customers to connect with staff, including:

  • Live Chat: CML’s live chat feature is a convenient way to get help Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Phone Lines: CML has reopened its phone lines at 614-645-2275 so customers can reach staff members to get the help they need Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Reserve an Expert: Customers can schedule a one-on-one, virtual appointment with a librarian to get help with genealogy, local history, business information, searching for a job or downloading digital content. Customers can also book an online, one-on-one appointment with the Legal Advice Clinic for brief legal questions.

The safety of customers and staff is a priority for the library. Follow CML on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and check columbuslibrary.org for updates. Additional changes in operation will be shared as this rapidly evolving public health situation continues to unfold.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.