The Gift of a Community Hero on Giving Tuesday

Written by Staci Dennison, the Thomas W. Jones Executive Director of The Library Foundation, Downtown Main Library

Clara is a curious 9-year-old who can often visits the Miami Township Branch Library. For a school assignment she was asked to write about her community hero. She was given some ideas, but Clara knew exactly who to write about.

Clara’s Community Hero: Her Favorite Librarian

“My community leader, Kathy, is a librarian at the [Miami Township] Library branch,” Clara wrote in her essay, “I think she is so nice and so sweet. Kathy always has a big smile on her face and says, ‘Hi, Clara’ when I come into the Library.”

“Many times, Kathy sees me looking for a certain book or movie. Kathy always encourages me to try the different contests and programs at our library. Our library has lots of contests like I Spy, riddles, crafts, chalk drawings, story time, Legos, and even the penguins came to visit from the Cincinnati Zoo. Sometimes, Kathy comes to our school with her puppets and read stories.”

“I love to go to our Library and I especially love our librarian Kathy.”

“A Place to Be at Peace”

Clara’s grandmother, Becky, brings her to the Library often and is thankful for the attention and resources at CHPL for children like Clara.

“This library is amazing,” Becky says, “Especially during the pandemic, we always visit the library every week. But during the pandemic they found a way to be available to their community. In all the chaos of the pandemic they were a place that we could come and kind of let go of the chaos and just be at peace with a book.”

Ms. Kathy provides Clara with opportunities to make new discoveries and grow in a safe and welcoming place right in her neighborhood. Having staff who make Clara feel important, valued, connected, and supported means the world to her.

A Library for Everyone

Throughout the pandemic (and before), CHPL staff like Ms. Kathy provided stability and attention children across Hamilton County rely on. A gift to the Library Foundation continues to provide lifelines that so many relied on over the past year through services including:

  • Continued our commitment to the community by safely restarting services as soon as Ohio’s stay at home order was lifted.
  • Exceeded safety protocols on operating during the pandemic, including HVAC updates and HEPA filtering options.
  • Recorded more than 1 million uses of library computers and free Wi-Fi to look up information find a job, file documents, or just take a break.
  • Loaned 9.6 million books, opens a new window and other physical items, opens a new window,
  • Loaned 4 million digital books, music, movies, and magazines on Overdrive, Hoopla, TumbleBooks and other services, opens a new window, and continued doing so during our closure.
  • Held 6,000 programs, both live online and safely in person (many outside), attended by almost 123,000 people.
  • Served 229,000 free meals and snacks, opens a new window to kids through a federally funded program and donations to The Library Foundation.
  • Engaged 28,000 kids, teens, and families with the Library’s summer learning program.
  • Distributed more than 23,000 COVID test kits, opens a new window and held multiple vaccination and testing clinics.

The Library Foundation is dedicated to ensuring a great library system by raising, managing, and allocating funds to expand and enhance the Library's programs. This Giving Tuesday, please consider a monetary gift, opens a new window to The Library Foundation, opens a new window and continue supporting community heroes like Ms. Kathy who help children, teens, and adults explore and connect.

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