Thanks to Mike Schelle and Amy Banister both of the Marketing & Programming Department for Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. They gave us an engrossing and educational look around the Main Library. Lots of interesting facts, like the downtown library has 97 miles of shelves. They would stretch from downtown to Columbus set end to end.
The library sorts 37,000 items per week with a sorting system utilizing a computerized conveyor. Then trucks transport the books stopping at every branch twice a day on weekdays. When they say books are in circulation, they mean it.
The entire Hamilton county Library system circulated 18 million items in 2011!
Their Outreach Services collection, a library within a library, is bigger than any other Hamilton county branch library and serves special needs kids, senior centers, home bound people and correctional facilities. It also has teachers' collections that are loaned out. Last year they distributed 700,000 books making it the second largest library in the county.
The reason for the tour was to help draw attention to the Libraries Summer Reading Program, from the Library's release, "Summer Reading had about 40,000 participants last year. You can register online and track your reading, with prize levels for the number of hours or books read. There are prizes for all ages, kids through adults. It’s a great program for kids, obviously, because it encourages reading and imagination, but it’s also the perfect way for adults to fall back in love with reading and the Library (perhaps after drifting away after their teen years). A library card is free, registration is free, and the prizes are free (including free books, Gold Star, raffle entries for Reds and CSO tix, etc.)."
I was also excited to see the Fontayne-Porter Daguerreotypes that I had written about two years ago. They're on display which I never realized so next time you're in the library make your way to the Cincinnati room.
One other item of interest I got to see, this streetcar ticket was discovered in a book where it had hidden for 75 years. A poem was copied on the back of the ticket, then lost to that person forever.
So sign up for the Summer Reading Program today, start reading and start winning. And have fun.
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