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Library Leader Sees Public Cooperation In Library's Future

Paula Brehm Heeger gives the first ever State of the Library address at the Main Library.
Paula Brehm Heeger gives the first ever State of the Library address at the Main Library.

The new director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County says the upcoming facilities master plan will include a lot of public input. Paula Brehm-Heeger gave the first State of the Library speech Friday morning.

She says the plan to renovate and update library facilities will be based on service priorities and need. "We talked to the community quite a bit last year about our accessibility at several locations. Most notably we have three locations that are not handicap accessible at all: Price Hill, Walnut Hills and Madisonville," she says. "All are among our oldest buildings and are in need of attention."

Hamilton County voters approved a 1-mill levy in May 2018, which is expected to raise more than $19 million a year for the library system. A facilities master plan will be released later this month.

Brehm-Heeger says the Price Hill branch is closed because of structural problems. Library operations are running out of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission's Price Hill rec center in the meantime.

That's one partnership Brehm-Heeger highlighted.

And there's an idea to expand the partnership with the CRC and the YMCA.

CRC director Daniel Betts says the idea is sharing members. "One card, one access to the YMCA, to CRC and to the libraries with all our brand names on it, that we would look to provide to youth and families who are living in poverty."

Betts says a lot of the young people who are in CRC activities are also library patrons and in YMCA programs.

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