Your Toledo Lucas County Public Library is proud to be a 2023 National Medal Winning Library!
The National Medal for Museum and Library Service stands as the highest recognition bestowed upon institutions that make noteworthy and outstanding contributions to their communities. Since 1994, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has honored exceptional libraries and museums of varying types and sizes, recognizing their profound influence on the communities they serve.
As just one of four libraries selected in the country, the Library was recognized for:
Being a go-to community connector: This means offering more than 3,000 free classes and programs to kids, adults, and seniors. This can be storytimes, one-to-one tutoring, job application assistance, help to start or grow a small business, learning a new digital skill, or a chance to hear directly from a favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) author. In addition, with hundreds of school and community partnerships, the Library facilitates life-changing services. Free health screenings by Mercy Community Nurses, legal assistance from the Ohio Justice Bus, and daily meals for kids from Connecting Kids to Meals are just a few ways the library serves as a trusted, accessible community anchor.
Bringing the Library to the community: The Ready to Read librarians at Toledo Lucas County Public Library serve as a traveling parent and caregiver support unit, logging hundreds of miles per week as they travel throughout the community to metroparks, the zoo, YMCAs, malls, and laundromats. They even ride along, talk with families, and give literacy tips on public buses. Zoom appointments also are an option for busy families. More than 1,100 families are trained annually and receive age-appropriate early literacy materials to take home for continued exploration.
Bringing the community to the library: partnerships: TLCPL welcomes almost 3 million customer visits annually and has some of the most conveniently located buildings in the community. This provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect customers directly with essential community service providers in sustainable, equitable, and transformative ways. The partnerships include health services from Mercy Health Community Nurses, Shots 4 Tots n Teens immunization program, Connecting Kids to Meals, Ohio Justice Bus, intensive in-person tutoring with TutorSmart, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and Owens Community College and PENTA Career Center providing in-person GED, HSE, and ESOL courses at 14 library locations.
Building an inclusive community: TLCPL builds on the partnership model above to identify and implement programming and services for people of all abilities. The Library implemented a Language Access Policy and Plan in 2022, including annual training for all staff. People who are homebound are served by home delivery, which serves almost 800 households. The establishment of a second location for SAME (So All May Eat) Café at TLCPL’s Main Library in downtown Toledo. SAME Café Denver opened in 2006, making it the longest running nonprofit restaurant in the country. The Café offers an innovative, participation-based model providing every guest with access to healthy food by contributing what they can through time, money, or produce.
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