Classes for South-Western City Schools are back in session, and whether you are a high school or homeschool student looking for research assistance or the parent of a preschooler just beginning their educational journey, Southwest Public Libraries has the resources and programs to help.

Storytimes resume the second full week of September at both the Grove City and Westland Area libraries. These are wonderful opportunities for preschoolers, toddlers and babies to begin developing the literary and motor skills that will help them as they learn to read.

The libraries' youth-services staff have trained extensively to engage children's minds with games, songs, rhymes, stories and other activities that encourage word and sound recognition, problem solving and teamwork. Storytimes also offer the chance for children to begin socializing with others their age.

Grove City Library also will debut a program called Book Crafternoon throughout the fall. The Youth Services Department will have stationed-based activities related to both fiction and nonfiction children's books where children in prekindergarten through fourth grade can make arts and crafts inspired by those titles. Additionally, staffers will read one or two books during the sessions while the children work. No registration is required for Book Crafternoon, which will be held from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11 and 25 and Nov. 8.

For the older students, SPL offers free access to several online research databases and ebook catalogs. Visit to find databases for art, history, business, science, technology and more. EBSCOHost Research Databases provide full-text articles to thousands of periodicals from around the country, including newspapers and magazines. The library also has information for students of local history through

NoveList K-8 offers ebooks to check out, and patrons can search for titles by age bracket: teen, ages 9-12 and ages 8 and under. Tumble Book Library also provides access to ebooks for children.

Access to many of these online resources requires a library card. For those students who do not have a full-access library card, which requires a parent's signature and identification to obtain, there is the Children and Teen (CaT) Card.

The CaT Card is a limited-access, fine-free card children can sign up for on their own and use to check out up to five items at a time from the library's juvenile and teen book and audiobook sections. The CaT card also allows full access to the library's online resources and databases from any computer with internet access.

Mark Dubovec is communications manager for Southwest Public Libraries. Contact him at