The Columbus Metropolitan Library system once again is helping students with something they might find unpleasant, but can't avoid: homework.
Homework Help Centers, located at each of the library's 21 locations, are open three hours a day after school and are available for anyone in grades K-12.
Registration isn't necessary and textbooks, school supplies, computers and free printing paper are provided.
For specific hours at each branch, check the library's web site, columbuslibrary.org.
Kim Snell, spokeswoman for the library system, said students can get the help they need from trained volunteers in an academic environment with few distractions.
"Kids are getting a lot more homework than they used to and a lot of houses are either single-parent or both parents work," she said.
"They're not home or really busy and sometimes they don't have the time to dedicate to helping their kids with homework."
The first homework center opened in 2004 at the Linden branch and the library system has been adding more locations through the years.
This is the second year the centers have been available at all branches and the main library downtown.
Snell said tens of thousands of students take advantage of the help, which is provided through the school year.
The busiest branch in the system is the Karl Road branch in Northland, which averaged 75 students per day and nearly broke the 10,000 user-visit mark last school year, branch manager Tony Howard said.
Howard also manages the Northern Lights branch, which saw about 65 students per day last year.
"I think a lot of it is the relationships that are built between the Homework Help Center staff and the students," Howard said. "In my experience, we're all about building relationships.
"I think we are just scratching the surface of what the community needs and the more we can help, within our means, the better off the community is."
Ken Schloemer, the help center coordinator for the Whetstone branch, said he's impressed with the volunteers, among whom are high school and college students, retirees and others who bring a diversity of knowledge to the library.
"It's wonderful to have our volunteers with such a variety of backgrounds," Schloemer said.
Volunteer Marc Gold works with Jocelyn Peraza in the Homework Help Center at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library on Wednesday, Sept. 5.