The 10 Best Libraries in Ohio!

Ohio is home to some of the country’s most fascinating libraries. What’s more, many of these collections and resources are housed in stunning, historic buildings—some dating back to the 1800s. For community events and a place to relax with your favorite novel, check out the 10 best libraries in Ohio. 

1. The Mercantile Library, Cincinnati, OH

The Mercantile Library in the heart of Cincinnati was founded in 1835 by 45 merchants in the pursuit of self-education. Today, the library houses more than 80,000 volumes and hosts a number of dynamic lecturers and speakers on a wide array of subjects.

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2. Ohio State University Library, Columbus, OH

The Ohio State University Libraries offer a blend of physical and digital resources to the university and regional communities. The system includes 13 facilities on the university campus and six libraries at Ohio State campuses across the state. The Libraries’ collection includes more than six million volumes, plus a number of collections in other traditional formats.

3. State Library of Ohio, Columbus, OH

The State Library of Ohio serves the state government and all types of libraries. It provides a place where every Ohioan can access resources to become engaged citizens and excel at their jobs or passions and interests. The library manages a quality collection of resources and electronic materials.

4. Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH

Founded in 1869, the Cleveland Public Library is a large library in downtown Cleveland that features special collections such as the Mears and Murdock baseball collection, the John G. White chess and checkers collection, a 130,000-volume children’s collection, and a collection of 1.3 million photographs.

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5. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Toledo, OH

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library dates back to 1838 and was the first public library funded by tax dollars in the state of Ohio. The library now hosts 18 branches and is one of the oldest bookmobile services in the country.

6. National First Ladies Library, Canton, OH

The National First Ladies Library is located in a restored bank building and houses a number of special items that educate on the First Ladies of the United States, the roles they played, and their contributions throughout history. 

7. Akron-Summit County Public Library, Akron, OH

Visitors to the Akron-Summit County Public Library can access nearly two million items in its collection, visit one of its numerous branches, or its bookmobiles. The library also provides numerous community spaces, including a 425-seat auditorium.

8. Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Columbus, OH

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of cartoon and comic materials, including original artwork, magazines, journals, comic books, and newspaper comic strips. The library was established in 1977 and its unique collection attracts flocks of visitors to its free exhibition galleries.

9. Rocky River Public Library, Rocky River, OH

The Rocky River Public Library is home to a collection of books, newspapers, and photographs that cover the history and development of Rocky River from the early 19th century to now. The library is completely independently-run and promote access to information for all.

10. Hamilton Lane Library, Hamilton, OH

The Hamilton Lane Library, located in a beautiful 19th-century home, is one of the best libraries to visit in downtown Hamilton. Wonderful artifacts and a vast collection of books and materials and events make this a library a community favorite.

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