Library relieves food insecurity during after school snack program When children burst into the Avondale Branch Library after school, the staff is prepared for their arrival. “The branch goes from being a traditional neighborhood Library to seeing a surge of children at about 2:30 p.m.,” says Ashley Barnhill, branch manager at Avondale. This trend can be seen system-wide. Students arrive at branches requesting more than books or help with homework—they’re hungry. According to the Children’s Hunger Alliance, 1 in 5 children in the state of Ohio don’t know where their next meal will come from.
Nam et eum quia et
In March of 2017, in an effort to combat this staggering statistic, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County partnered with the Children’s Hunger Alliance to bring after-school snack service to five branch locations: Avondale, College Hill, Pleasant Ridge, Price Hill, and Walnut Hills. Since the start of the program, 13 more branches have been added to the list. The service provides snacks such as milk and a granola bar; yogurt and veggies with dip; or fresh fruit and a cheese stick to kids ages 18 years and under who come on weekdays for Homework Help or another Library after-school program. “Reaching children who are ‘food insecure’ helps them focus better in and out of school and provides them with a sense that they won’t go without food until they return to school the next day,” says Katie Greifenkamp, regional manager at the Library. To see if your branch is involved in the snack program, just ask a staff member.
Autographed Amelia Earhart book found in Library stacks A book personally autographed by Amelia Earhart was found in the Main Library stacks in February, much by accident! The Fun of It: Random Records of My Own Flying and of Women in Aviation was written in 1932. The book was discovered by a Library staff member taking photos for the Library’s social media accounts. The book includes two tiny phonograph records, featuring a recording of a speech that Miss Earhart made over a transatlantic radio hookup the day after she landed in Ireland in May 1932. The book is now housed in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room in the Main Library and can be viewed by the public. Just ask the staff to see it.
There’s a small but mighty band of workers whose whole job is to get your holds to you—fast! Every weekday at 6 a.m., the shipping dock at the Main Library comes alive. Shipping and Receiving Manager Matthew Todd and his staff of seven drivers warm the engines on a ﬂeet of vehicles. In a few moments, they’ll begin the task of delivering hundreds of red bins to the Library’s 40 branch locations. Inside those bins are all the books, DVDs, magazines, and other items that Library cardholders put on hold, including hundreds of copies of new books. It’s a massive job. Last year, the Library circulated more than 19 million items, and the vast majority of those items were handled by Todd’s team. Each branch gets a delivery twice a day, Monday through Thursday, and once a day on Friday and Saturday. Todd takes pride in his team’s eﬃciency and his time with the Library. He started working for the Library in 1995 as a student shelver in the Mt. Healthy Branch Library. “I love being an integral part of the Library,” said Todd. “Overseeing this department gives me the contentment of knowing we make a difference each and every day when a customer picks up their hold.” But the job has gotten more and more diﬃcult as demand has increased. The Library purchased an automatic sorter in 2011 to help with distribution of items and it works so well that Todd’s team has a hard time keeping up. Library administrators realized the department needs a bigger loading dock area, with a higher clearance and more room to safely maneuver vehicles.
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“CURRENTLY, WE ARE NOT ABLE TO LOAD AND UNLOAD ALL OF OUR TRUCKS AT THE SAME TIME . EVERY DAY WE HAVE TO MANEUVER VEHICLES, TAKE TURNS, UNLOAD DELIVERIES ON THE STREET, AND USE A MAKESHIFT LOADING DOCK IF NEED BE . IT IMPACTS CUSTOMER SERVICE BY NOT BEING ABLE TO GET BACK ON THE ROAD WHEN WE WANT WHICH COULD DELAY THE DELIVERY OF BOOKS. THAT’S SOMETHING WE WANT TO AVOID,” SAID MATTHEW TODD, SHIPPING & RECEIVING The library has found a potential location for the distribution center in the West End and is working on securing the building. Once they do, Todd and his team will have multiple loading bays and plenty of space for vehicles to move about without putting the safety of workers at risk. Todd and his team are excited about the move, which is slated to happen sometime in the second half of 2018. “The new distribution center will speed up the process of getting materials through a production line and sorting machine,” said Todd. “We will be able to unload and load all of our trucks at the same time and get everyone back on the road promptly. It will help the Library by eliminating handling material multiple times before they are sent out. The focus will be making our deliveries more effectively. It will help get the customers holds out to them in a timely manner.” To learn more about the distribution center and all the Library’s plans for facilities, visit CincinnatiLibrary.org/Facilities.
Summer 2018 LibraryLinks