February 1, 2016

Columbus Metropolitan Library accepts White House ConnectED Library Challenge

COLUMBUS—The White House, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and the American Library Association (ALA), is calling on libraries across the country to ensure that America’s children have access to the resources they need to succeed in the 21st century.

The ConnectED Library Challenge encourages libraries to:

  • Forge collaboration with community partners to ensure that every child has a library card
  • Provide students with access to digital resources, such as eBooks
  • Provide wireless Internet access in library facilities
  • Ensure student learning and engagement with programming that develops students’ language, reading and critical thinking abilities

According to the White House fact sheet on the initiative, “President Obama recognizes the critical role that libraries play as trusted community anchors that support learning and connectivity at all times and many different paces.”

Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has been working closely with Columbus City Schools, which has also accepted the ConnectED challenge, to ensure that students have the resources they need to succeed. Examples include:

  • The introduction of a special Kids Card that allows children under 18 to check out five age-appropriate items without needing a parent signature or accruing late fines
  • The implementation of school delivery service of library materials to connect kids with great books right in their classrooms
  • The launch of Reading Buddies, which provides K-3 students with one-on-one reading practice focusing heavily on vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.

“Competing in today’s marketplace requires a level of technological access and expertise that a lot of Young Minds in our communities are not being given,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “We accept the ConnectED Library Challenge because we believe strongly that all children should have a fair shot at success.”

President Obama launched the White House ConnectED Library Challenge in April 2015, calling on city government, school leaders and library directors to work together to foster partnerships that ensure that every child enrolled in school can receive a library card. There are currently 60 communities participating in the Challenge. The program’s national partners include the Urban Libraries Council, Institute of Museum and Library Services and American Library Association.

Click here for more information on the ConnectED Library Challenge.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. For more information, visit www.imls.gov.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.