The Newcomerstown Public Library Administration and the Library's Board of Trustees would like to inform the community and the patrons of the Library that we have been working diligently to provide a safe place for all users.

In doing so, the Library Director, Cody Addy has been in contact with many individuals and organizations in regards to how the library can become more secure. After speaking with Robert Stephenson from the County Prosecutor's Office, Joel Bender form Whitaker Myers, Travis Thompson from the Ohio Plan, Michelle Francis, Director of Government and Legal Services from the Ohio Library Council, Jeff Staggs, Superintendent of Newcomerstown Schools, and Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland, the Library Board of Trustees, and Library Director have decided that it is in the best interest of all library staff, and the patrons to provide the security measure of Concealed Carry.

As stated by the director, the Library offers a soft target because of its location, lack of security, and its primary users women, children, and senior citizens. A target, such as a library, with these characteristics have become selections for active shooters. With Senate Bill 199 allowing governing bodies of political subdivisions (including governmental public library boards of trustees) to pass a statute, ordinance, or policy that permits CCW holders to carry a concealed handgun into their buildings, we are pursuing this security measure. In doing so, the decision to provide Board Approved, OPOTA Trained, Ready Minded, Licensed Concealed Carry Staff and others who qualify by the Newcomerstown Public Library's Safety Plan Conceal Carry Requirements and the Possession of Weapons Policy (Currently unapproved Safety Plan and Possession of Weapons Policy documents will be posted at the Library as well as the Website and Facebook page) is the decision to come (with Board Approval).

Knowing that the patrons and the community are the reasons that libraries operate, the Director and Board of Trustees are asking for comments considering this matter.

Please feel free to comment by visiting the Newcomerstown Public Library and leaving a note in the suggestion box, by visiting the website to e-mail your comment to the director, or by visiting our Facebook page to send us a message.

All comments will be compiled and reviewed at the next scheduled Library Board of Trustees Meeting.