3. Columbus Metropolitan Library
Press Contact: Kim Snell
Web Site: www.columbuslibrary.org
|Left to right: CFO Dewitt Harrell, Cokie Roberts, Community Member Khamall Howard, Board Chair Roger Sugarman, and Susan Hildreth. Click image to access full-size version.
Columbus Library works hard to help its customers gain access to literacy, resources, jobs, and knowledge. Finding that many of its clients could not get to the library, staff in the Ready to Read Corps program took the library to them in neighborhood spots such as health clinics, coffee shops, and even laundromats. The library offers Homework Help Centers for high school students in all 21 of its locations, the last 10 of which were funded entirely by donations from the community. More than 500 volunteers, retired teachers and college and university students, share their time and provide expertise for this program. With unemployment in its service area hovering around 10 percent, the library has opened Job Help Centers serving some 44,000 people in 2010. The library augments the program by bringing in partners with expertise in employment, entrepreneurship, and business development and promotes it to the community and other libraries through Job Help Week at Your Library.
Community Member: Khamall Howard
As part of its commitment to helping people in its community acquire the skills necessary to find employment and to helping young people become successful members of the community, Columbus Metropolitan Library partners with Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation’s (COWIC) summer youth program. Using funds from COWIC, teens earn minimum wage and can work a total of 120 hours over a six-week period. Khamall Howard joined the program at the Parsons Branch in 2008 when he was a sophomore in high school. He performed so well that he was welcomed back in 2009 and 2010, now working at the Main Library in downtown Columbus. After being mentored by Anthony Gullett, one of the library’s circulation managers, Khamall took on a leadership role in the program in 2010. At the end of the program in 2010, Anthony was thrilled to hire Khamall as a library services aid while he was in his senior year of high school.
Next Winner: EdVenture Children’s Museum