Expo to connect residents to more than 40 resources
The Pickerington Public Library will seek to connect residents with everything from food aid and employment to mentorship and giving opportunities at its first community resource exhibit.
On June 9, the library will welcome representatives from more than 40 service organizations, government agencies, religious organizations and other non-profit organizations during the exhibit, which is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the main branch, 201 Opportunity Way.
It’s part of the library’s continued mission to connect people to services and information, an effort that has taken on renewed importance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said library director Tony Howard. .
“We know the pandemic has changed a lot of habits among library users and non-users,” Howard said. “Our annual goals this year have focused us on three areas: hold, regain and recover.
“This year, we are reviewing our business model to retain customers who continued to use the library during the pandemic. We are adjusting our business model to win back customers lost due to changing habits. Finally, we are looking for opportunities to help the community recover from the pandemic through partnerships and outreach activities. ”
The full list of expo attendees, as well as additional information about the event, is available at pickeringtonlibrary.libnet.info/event/5061593. The lineup includes Fairfield County Employment & Family Services, Fairfield County Employment Corps, Fairfield County Parks & Recreation, Meals on Wheels, Ohio Means Jobs, Pickerington Food Pantry and United Way of Fairfield County.
Andrea Spiers, director of community impact for the United Way of Fairfield County, said her organization was involved in educating residents about the programs and services it offers, including those that aim to help people file their taxes, to receive food aid and develop their literacy skills.
“We want to make sure people know that we serve all of Fairfield County,” Spiers said. “We have 24 agencies we work with, including Pickerington Food Pantry and Project WISE, a mentorship program with (Ridgeview STEM Junior High School) to help kids be guided and supported.
“We also want to let people know how they can work with us and give back to the community.”
Another agency that will be attending the expo is Lancaster Transit, which provides public transportation throughout Fairfield County, including Pickerington.
Carrie Woody, director of Lancaster Transit, said the pandemic and social distancing caused ridership to drop from 129,764 in 2019 to 89,357 in 2020.
But she said the numbers had started to rise in the past three months and she wanted to make sure the people of Pickerington know local and regional routes.
“Even though we are a town in the Lancaster county, we provide transportation for the entire county,” said Woody. “We have a fixed and detour route that runs Monday through Thursday in the townships of Pickerington and Violet, and we offer a door-to-door, advance call service where people can call us at least one day in advance to benefit from a shared ride. anywhere in Fairfield County. ”
Woody said she also hopes to publicize Lancaster Transit services which provide transportation to areas in and around Rickenbacker International Airport. These routes, she said, can be linked to buses that pass through the city of Columbus and up and down the US Highway 33 corridor.
Additionally, said Woody, Lancaster Transit will be recruiting drivers during the expo.
“We hope to attract at least one to two pilots,” she said. “If we manage to attract additional drivers, we would be able to expand our services.”
The exhibit is free to the public, will be held outside the main library branch, and will feature several local food trucks.
Library officials said they were particularly excited as this would be an opportunity for library patrons and other residents to meet face-to-face with representatives to learn more about employment and business opportunities, resources family, agency benefits and community volunteering.
“We are delighted to have so many agencies and organizations participating,” said Jennifer Hrusch, the library’s information and research manager. “It’s clear that people not only need services, but those services are (also) ready to get in touch with them in person.”
Howard called the expo a one-stop-shop event for community resources.
“The exhibition will feature many local organizations and agencies from cities, townships, regions and counties,” he said. “It’s not often that they converge in one place all together outside of Lancaster, the county seat.
“The organizations present at this event want to help the citizens of the Township of Violet and Pickerington. What could be better than bringing them all together in one place at the same time? This is an opportunity for people to discover not only the resources available to them. but also to find out more about available volunteering opportunities. “