CLEVELAND — As more businesses start to open across northeast Ohio, the Cleveland Public Library is also planning its comeback. The library is launching a number of its popular programs and services - virtually.
Staff members have been working on ways to deliver these services online since the main building and its 27 branches closed in March. Many people see each branch as the center of the communities they’re in, and now that they’re closed, they felt they needed to fill the gap left behind.
Starting in June, the library will launch the first wave of online programs, which are for both children and adults.
They will be offered by phone or online using videoconferencing technology including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Flipgrid.
“It's one thing to correspond with people via email, but to see another human face, a friendly face on the other end is going to help you either pursue your dreams or address a legal matter, or maybe develop a skill for a new job. That's what the library is willing to do and able to do with these new virtual programs,” Aaron Mason, director of community engagement for the Cleveland Public Library, said.
The virtual programs being offered include:
- Reach Success: Free career and education coaching to help you develop a personalized journey to productive and enjoyable employment.
- Legal Aid at the Library: The Legal Aid Society offers free virtual advice and referral clinics for civil legal matters including family, housing, employment, benefits, and immigration issues.
- Health & Trauma Recovery: MetroHealth staff offer a virtual safe space for Library patrons to get support and resources to get them through a crisis, including new access to virtual workshops focusing on topics including grief counseling, immigration issues, employment services, peer mentorship, and assistance with food, housing, and transportation.
- Take Charge of Your Health: NEOMED offers live virtual health education classes and telehealth appointments. Class topics include but are not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic disease management, cancer, heart health and mental health.
ARTS & EDUCATION
- Get Loud! Speak Out! Summer Lit League 2020: The Library’s summer reading program is back with virtual story times, activities and virtual town halls for kids and families.
- Express Yourself: The Art Therapy Studio hosts online art classes for kids ages 7 and up, fostering healthy self-expression and coping mechanisms to help deal with daily stressors.
- SAT and ACT Online Boot Camps: College Now Greater Cleveland offers free, online courses for CMSD students, focusing on entrance exam preparation, study skills, test-taking strategies, and hands-on practice.
- Neighborhood Voices: Literary Cleveland launches a virtual writing program and free online workshops to encourage Clevelanders from every area of the city to pen stories, essays, and poems about their neighborhood.
- Kindergarten Club: A free program to prepare your child for kindergarten and build support for their first year of school. Through fun activities like reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing together, families will gain valuable skills to help their child succeed in school through kindergarten and beyond.
- Free Online Tutoring: available in all subjects for students entering grades K - 12 this fall.
The library board is expected to meet next week and discuss plans about reopening branch buildings.