September 18, 2019

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services employees raise more than $6,600 for library to buy books for kids

COLUMBUS—Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) employees have raised $6,653.84 for the Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation. The money will be used to purchase books that will be given to participants of the library’s Reading Buddies program. These books will be specially earmarked for distribution at branches serving the Columbus City Schools district.

Reading Buddies pairs central Ohio K-3 students with CML staff members, CML VolunTeens and vetted community volunteers for one-on-one reading practice. The program, which began system-wide in 2014, consists of 15-minute sessions at all CML library locations, focusing heavily on vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.

“Our agency funds programs that support early childhood development,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “I’m grateful that we can help children learn to read and play a small role in their future success in school.”

The approximately 2,200 ODJFS employees were given several opportunities during the month of June to pay $2 per day to “dress down” at work. Since 2014, ODJFS has raised more than $32,600 in support of Reading Buddies.

“We are grateful to our friends at ODJFS,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “With this gift, Director Hall and her team are getting books into the hands of children who need them most in our community.”

ODJFS is responsible for supervising the state’s public assistance, workforce development, unemployment insurance, child and adult protective services, adoption, child care and child support programs. For more information, visit

In the photo above, from left: CML Director of Development Rachel Heine, CML Development Associate Lauren Bell, CML Public Services Director Kathy Shahbodaghi, ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall, CML Chief Customer Experience Officer Alison Circle and CML Young Minds Program Leader Cassi Barok.

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, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge 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 and career 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. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.