In just a few days, we say goodbye to 2019 and usher in a new year, a new decade.

As we reflect and look ahead, we want to thank each of you for your support of Southwest Public Libraries, as 2019 was an exciting year for SPL.

We opened our new Youth Services expansion at Westland Area Library; we presented yet another successful Summer Reading Club; we hosted the nationally traveling exhibit "Thinking Money for Kids"; and not least, we officially went fine-free.

Looking ahead, 2020 will be another important year for SPL as we seek the renewal of a 10-year, 1-mill levy on the March 17 ballot. This is a straight renewal with no tax increase. We look forward to continuing to serve the community.

The new year is a perfect time to plan for the future, and Grove City and Westland are scheduling numerous special programs to assist patrons with topics ranging from financial literacy and health to addiction help, senior living, home buying and more.

Does your near future involve retirement and Social Security? If so, join financial adviser Matt Castle from Centric Financial Group at 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Grove City Library for an informational program on how to optimize Social Security benefits. Attendees will learn about the retirement landscape and the basics and benefits of Social Security. Castle will also present a session focusing on finances, health and retirement at 7 p.m. Jan. 21. This program will cover topics such as Medicare and Social Security basics, overall healthcare costs and possible healthcare surprises. At Westland, staff from the Maryhaven group will present a session at 7 p.m. Jan. 8 offering help and hope for those struggling with gambling addiction. Maryhaven's staff will discuss various steps that can be taken to help yourself or a loved one.

Teens can envision their best year yet by getting creative and designing their own Vision Boards -- collections of words, images and quotations that inspire. Register for this Westland program, set for 11 a.m. Jan. 11, by calling 614-878-1301, ext. 232.

On Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m., seniors or the children of seniors are invited to join Cindy Paige from Oasis Senior Advisors for an educational presentation on senior-living options and resources. Paige will discuss financing senior living, care options, memory care and more at this Grove City program. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions.

If your upcoming plans involve a new house, join us at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 or Feb. 17 for a first-time homebuyers program held at Grove City. Mortgage consultants from the American Eagle Mortgage Co. LLC and real-estate agents from the Antry Team will present a session about the home-buying process, loan programs and the role of credit scores.

From all of us at Southwest Public Libraries, Happy New Year!

Mark Shaw is the director of Southwest Public Libraries.