Letter from the Director: Moving forward into fall

Welcoming You to Our Outdoor Spaces 

The safety of you and our staff is our top priority. You are probably already aware that we have put many measures into place in our indoor spaces to minimize the risk of the virus spreading, like frequent cleaning, installing plexiglass, reorganizing space to keep people at least 6 feet apart, offering hours for vulnerable populations, and providing free masks and hand sanitizer. I also want to share with you that we’ve been working on improving our outdoor spaces so that you can have a safe, comfortable place outside of your branches to access WiFi, read, grab a book or movie, or participate in a program. 

Learn, Connect or Relax in our Outdoor Spaces 

We’re in the process of making improvements to outdoor spaces at about a third of our branches, including buying and installing new outdoor furniture. For example, we just poured a new concrete patio for our West End Branch and bought outdoor furniture and a large umbrella. Now, community members can use the space to read or get online by borrowing one of our laptops. A donation from the FC Cincinnati Foundation helped make this possible. Other funds for this effort are coming in part from the State of Ohio, which directed $18.3 million CARES Act funds to the state’s 251 public library systems to assist them in operating safely during the pandemic. 

Grab-and-Go 

Since the start of the pandemic, we added a drive-thru window to our Anderson Township Branch, and a walk-up window to our Mariemont Branch. We also are evaluating some of our other branches for the feasibility of adding a drive-thru window, keeping at the forefront of our minds the convenience and comfort of our users for these kinds of grab-and-go services. 

Attend an Event 

We know you enjoy participating in programs and events at your library and we’re getting creative with providing those while striving to keep you safe. Many of our locations are now offering things like StoryWalks, drive-in storytimes, coffee hours, and more in our outdoor spaces and parking lots. Visit our calendar to see what we have to offer you in your neighborhood. 

Take Charge of Your Health 

This fall several of our locations are offering free wellness checks. We’ve partnered with nursing students at Christ Hospital to bring this service to you in our outdoor spaces. We also are partnering with UC Health and the Health Collaborative to offer free COVID-19 testing at several of our branches in their outdoor spaces. Visit our calendar to see when these services may be coming to your neighborhood. 

Regardless of how you prefer to use your library, we’re a place for minds of all kinds. We’ll continue to evolve to meet your changing needs and provide experiences for you to explore and discover something new. 

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