Letter from the Director: National Library Week

Last week I had the privilege to sit down with City Council members Liz Keating and Greg Landsman, as well as Cincinnati Recreation Commission Director Daniel Betts and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Literacy Program Manager, Tiana Henry. We had a conversation about the many ways that the Library supports our community. You can watch the videos below. I appreciate the time these busy community leaders took to share their thoughts and to come together to celebrate National Library Week. 

Price Hill Branch Library to Reopen

We recorded this conversation in our newly renovated and expanded Price Hill Branch Library, which opens to the public on April 12, and is our first major project completed as part of our Building the Next Generation Library initiative. Over the past year and a half, I have closely watched the progress of this project, and I’m very excited for the Price Hill community to be able to enjoy this facility which has been built with their ideas and partnership. Attending the multiple community forums we held during the planning phase and hearing first hand from Price Hill residents about their hopes and dreams for an improved library was inspirational, and it’s a testament to the Price Hill community that they took the time to meet with us throughout 2019 to build a shared vision for how the library could support the community. I am also eternally grateful to the Price Hill Recreation Center, for providing us with a temporary home while our branch was closed. 

Facility Master Plan Update

National Library Week is a great time to pause and share an update about how we’re working to improve our facilities not only in Price Hill but for the entire community. It has been a little over a year since we shared our Facility Master Plan with the public, which provides a roadmap for how we’ll improve all 41 locations over the next 10 years. Despite the pandemic, I am pleased to share that we have made significant progress with the plan: 

  • In January work began on the renovation and expansion of the Walnut Hills Branch Library. We expect work to be complete in early 2022. Until that time, library service is being provided at a temporary location on 961 E. McMillan St. More information is on our Building the Next Generation Library site. 
  • Later this month we will begin work on a makeover for the Anderson Branch Library, as well as design work for the Madisonville Branch Library Accessibility Project. 
  • The Delhi Branch Library unveiled its brand-new drive thru window last week, and the Symmes Branch Library will open their new drive thru window later this month. 
  • The North Central Branch Library has recently had its entire heating and cooling system replaced. 
  • Next month work will begin on replacing the downtown Main Library’s elevators, which have reached the end of their lifespan. Later this summer, work will begin on replacing the skylight in the atrium, as that has also reached the end of its life.
  • In August, the Deer Park Branch Library will open in its new space in the Dillonvale Shopping Center. The 25,000 square foot space will be fully accessible, offer multiple meeting/study rooms, as well as a quiet reading space and large area for youth. More information is on our Building the Next Generation Library site. 

For a quick recap of facilities improvements we accomplished in 2020,watch this brief videoThese projects are made possible through the 1 mil levy that the residents of Hamilton County passed in 2018.  We are grateful for the support of the community and are working hard to put your tax dollars to work. A recent assessment has shown that for every dollar the library spends, the direct benefit to the community is $5.12.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, happy National Library Week, and go Reds!