Branch libraries expand hours

BRIDGEPORT – Branches of the Belmont County District Library will soon have longer hours restored, thanks to the levy passed in the last election. The main branch in Martins Ferry already expanded hours on Feb. 1 to Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Bridgeport library suffered the most severe cuts in hours, due to its proximity to the main branch. However, as of March 1, hours will be as follows: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children’s programming will begin soon; for more information call 740-635-2563. The Bridgeport branch was originally opened in 1939, and it was moved to its current location at 661 Main Street in November of 2000. The Maroon family donated land, while funds from Mr. Bingel, the Bridgeport Rotary Club, the Martins Ferry Public Library, and a LSCA Title II Grant from the state allowed for the new building.

Mike Crecion, Bridgeport branch manager, invites all members of the community to visit the friendly staff at the library.

“We’re open to suggestions to more ways to improve our services,” he said.

Yvonne Myers, District Library Director, said she is glad to see the libraries expanding hours, and credits the levy passing for the ability to do so.

Myers and other staff members want to make sure everyone is aware that all library services are free. They have often been asked about subscribing or paying a membership fee to rent movies, but movies are in fact free to rent along with books, CDs, audiobooks, etc. as long as they are returned undamaged and on time. Book drops are always available to make returns even when the libraries are closed.

All the libraries also offer computers and free wireless Internet. At the library website,, e-books can be downloaded, catalogs can be browsed, and items can be renewed. Library cards are free to Ohio residents with any form of ID and an address. Out-of-state patrons can get a card for an annual fee of $5.

March 1 will see the other four branches expand hours in addition to Bridgeport.

Shadyside’s hours will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shadyside offers reading groups and children’s programming, including baby time. Call 740-676-0506 to learn more.

Flushing (Victoria Read Public Library) will be open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Victoria Read also offers children’s programming, and more information can be found by calling 740-968-3891.

Bethesda, the oldest branch library, is located at the former American Legion thanks to the community and volunteers who helped to convert the building. The hours will be Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bethesda is host to children’s programming and a reading group. Call 740-484-4532 to learn more.

Powhatan Point, the last branch to be created, will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, and 11-3 on Saturday. The Powhatan branch also offers children’s programming. Call 740-795-4624 to learn more.

All of the District Library branches are working to plan a Summer Program for the months of June and July. The theme will be “Fizz Boom Read.”

Warner may be reached at HYPERLINK “mailto:“”>