The Dublin branch will be the final Columbus library to get a homework help center next month.

The Dublin branch will be the final Columbus library to get a homework help center next month.

The Dublin Foundation gave the library a $5,000 grant in June to start work on the homework help center, which, branch director Michael Blackwell said, is set to open Jan. 2.

"We're getting volunteers from the community and hiring staff for that," he said last week.

The homework help center will offer free homework assistance to students and will be staffed by volunteers.

With state cuts in library funding, the $45,000 in funds needed for the homework help center was garnered through donations, Blackwell said.

"The homework help center was completely privately funded," he said, adding that donations came from the Dublin Foundation, Dublin AM Rotary, Dublin Kiwanis, Time Warner and others. "It's completely funded through donations."

When the homework help center opens at 75 N. High St., it will be the last one in Columbus.

The first help center was opened at the Linden branch in 2004, and such centers weren't originally planned for the library's suburban branches. But the homework help centers have expanded to the suburbs and 20 were open at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

"We felt that urban locations would probably have a greater need and didn't anticipate great usage in suburban libraries," library development director Donna Zuiderweg told the Villager in June. "The centers have been as strongly used in suburban libraries as urban locations. It's just kind of a timeline now on how we dole them out. It depends on fundraising and support we receive."

Dublin's homework help center will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays, Blackwell said.

"We have textbooks, Internet connection and we'll help on homework assignments," he said.

The homework help center is not considered tutoring, Blackwell stressed. Students can get help on particular homework assignments they're having trouble with, rather than returning day after day for assistance.

The center is opening right on time. After the initial donation, Zuiderweg said the center could open over winter break, depending on donations.

Blackwell said the grand opening of the homework help center should be held mid-January.