WAL paintingWestland Area Library celebrates 50 years!

On September 10, 1972, the Westland Area Library opened in its current location under the name Prairie Branch.

Now, after several expansions and a couple of name changes later, your Westland Area Library is still here to serve the community with books, computers, document services, entertaining and educational programs for all ages, and so much more.

Please join us for a 70’s-themed event celebrating this momentous occasion with activities and fun for everyone, groovy music, tasty treats, and a chance to win some far-out prizes. Let the good times roll!

Westland 50th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, September 10, 2-4 p.m.

  • Groovy fun
  • Live music
  • Tasty treats
  • Tie dye
  • Macramé
  • Games
  • Swag
  • Prizes

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Library History Highlights

SPL Library System Origins

Southwest Public Libraries, which presently includes Grove City Library and Westland Area Library, first began in Grove City, Ohio as a private club. Over the decades, the library would change names several times, move and expand numerous times, and open and close new satellite branches in response to community needs.

Grove City Public Library remained the primary, full-service library until the satellite Prairie Branch was expanded, remodeled, and reopened in 1991 as the present day, full-service Westland Area Library. Prairie Branch first opened in Westland Area Library's current location in Lincoln Village Plaza in 1972 as a small branch of 6000 square feet to serve Prairie Township.

Today, Southwest Public Libraries is the second largest library system in Franklin county, serving the South-Western City School district.


1891—Origins as Private Club
SPL originated as a private club in Grove City in 1891. Public-spirited citizens pooled their private libraries in Harsh's Drug Store, located on Broadway, Grove City just north of Kingston Avenue. Membership was $2.00 a year.

1917—Free Public Reading Room opens
In 1917 The Women’s Civic Club of Grove City provided funds to establish a public reading room that was free and open to the public in the Director’s Room of First National Bank at the southeast corner of Broadway and Columbus Streets. The bank donated the space and utilities.

1923—Incorporates as a school library eligible for tax revenue
By 1923 the public reading room has transitoned into a library and has moved to a small independent building at the southeast corner of Park and Civic Place, Grove City. In 1923 it incorporates as a school district library eligible for tax revenue.

1956—Library service expands to match newly formed school district
The library’s service area expands to match the newly formed South-Western City Schools which entails Jackson, Pleasant, Prairie, and Franklin Townships, 129 square miles with a population of approximately 56,000.

Westland Area Library Highlights

Sep 10, 1972—Prairie Branch opens
Prairie Branch opens in Lincoln Village plaza to serve Prairie Township and encompasses 6000 square feet.

Prairie Branch is expanded and remodeled.

Library moved to automate many library operations. Within 18 months, card catalogs were replaced with a computerized online catalog, and circulation and collections functions were automated.

Library trustees decide to concentrate service in the district's two large population centers—Grove City and Prairie Township.

1991—Expanded and reopened as Westland Area Library
Prairie Branch is expanded and remodeled again and reopens as the Westland Area Library, encompassing 21,000 square feet.

1993—First connection to internet
SPL establishes the library's first connection to the Internet via OHIONET. Public computers and Wi-Fi are now one of the library’s most popular services.

2012—Community Education Room
Addition of Community Education Room to meet the community’s need for educational meeting space.

2019—Youth Services Expansion
Westland’s Youth Services area is expanded and remodeled to include new programming space, sensory play areas, and a new teen space. The library currently encompasses over 27,000 square feet.


Construction of Prairie Branch May 1972 at current location of Westland Area Library





Westland Area Library, named Prairie Branch at the time, ca. 1972



Interior Prairie Branch ca. 1972

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Ribbon cutting Youth Services expansion March, 23, 2019

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Library Hours

Sun 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Mon-Thu      9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Fri 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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Grove City Library

3959 Broadway
Grove City, OH 43123

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Westland Area Library

4740 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43228

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