By Melissa Heintz
Public Affairs Specialist, IMLS
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is one of the oldest, largest, and busiest public libraries in America. With a mission focusing on the needs of the community, early literacy, and lifelong learning, the library believes that you can come to the library during any stage of your life and learn something new. Whether it’s simply checking out books on your own, or being in a group setting for one of the library’s programs and services, the possibilities are endless!
For Amina Tuki, helping her daughter with her homework was a challenge. Growing up in her native country of Ethiopia, she had no formal education at all. She couldn’t even read in her own language, let alone help her daughter with her homework in English. Concerned about her daughter’s performance in school, Amina brought her to Homework Central at the library where library staff and volunteers helped her get up to speed. Amina’s daughter was able to raise her GPA and is now an A student! Amina started regularly going to the Adult Learning Center. For two hours every week, someone would sit with her and teach her how to read, write, and speak in English. She can now read books to her family. Not all learning takes place in a structured classroom setting, and the library can be a good place to start.
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was one of 10 winners of the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums that are serving their communities in exceptional ways. Do you know of a museum or library that has made a difference? Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 National Medal. Nomination forms must be mailed and postmarked by October 15, 2013.