Assuming that nothing will happen between this writing and its publishing, the government shutdown has now been in effect for 28 days. Individuals are working without pay, services are not operating, and the country is wondering how long it all might last.
The federal government has deposited Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits into recipients’ accounts this week to cover grocery expenses through February, but should the shutdown extend beyond it, individuals would face a greater problem.
A public issue like this leaves public libraries wondering where we can help. As “the community’s living room,” it is our mission to make sure that we are providing our neighbors with connections to vital resources. Of course, libraries have a warm place to sit and relax on a cold, snowy day. However, we also have staff members who can help individuals find a hot meal when necessities like nutritional assistance programs may not be operational.
Thankfully in Delaware County, there are many places who offer help in times of need. A great place to begin is at the library, where you can dial 2-1-1 on our public phone to be connected with HelpLine. HelpLine is a free, multi-county resource directory, where individuals are pointed toward one of 4,000 community and government services in the areas of human services, health, education and more. A real person answers the phone and begins the process of finding answers.
This time of year, the temperatures drop to record levels and the snow begins to really accumulate. This weekend alone, we’re facing lows below zero. Adult men can find overnight shelter at A Place of Warmth, located at Zion United Church of Christ on West Central Avenue when frigid temperatures are predicted. You’ll see signs all around town, including in front of the library, to advertise when the center is activated. Women and children are served by Family Promise of Delaware County, Heart of Ohio Shelter and Turning Point.
Hot meals are regularly provided in the Andrews House dining room, located on West Winter Street in downtown Delaware. The Common Ground Free Store Ministry serves a meal during their open hours, as well.
Regardless of what need you may find yourself or someone you love facing, consider beginning your search for help at the library, where we will first offer a smile and a greeting of “How can we help you, today?”
Since this weekend will be perfect for reading, cozy up with one of these recent releases in the fiction section.
• “A Ladder to the Sky” by John Boyne. If you are looking for a fast-paced story with an insider’s view of the publishing world, you’ll love “A Ladder to the Sky.” It stars ruthless, manipulative Maurice Swift, who furthers his own literary career at the considerable expense of others.
• “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Hardworking, practical Korede, and her beautiful sister Ayoola, seem to have made a habit of killing her boyfriends. Korede is the one who ends up having to dispose of the bodies and keep her sister out of jail. But when the handsome doctor who Korede has fallen in love with notices Ayoola and asks for her number, Korede faces a dilemma.
• “Family Trust” by Kathy Wang. The prospective heirs of terminally ill patriarch Stanley Huang wonder how much he’s really worth, while considering their own failures and successes as second-generation Taiwanese Americans. Poking fun at Silicon Valley culture, while also exploring family relationships, aging and class privilege, fans of Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney’s “The Nest” will find much to appreciate.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!