The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Cincinnati, OH

#10. Cincinnati

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Reading to dogs and reading outdoors are encouraged at The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Cincinnati, OH. Those are just some of the ways librarians here get children to engage with literacy programs.

The library’s Children’s Learning Center presents a comfortable and entertaining atmosphere for families. It features child-sized tables and chairs, a saltwater aquarium and multiple rooms for programs. Doors in the back of the space lead to a 9,200-square-foot children’s garden. It’s a great spot for warm weather events, picnic lunches and quiet reading. The CLC also offers computer learning stations that are loaded with educational software. The library hosts hundreds of programs including story times, art classes, theater, dance and fitness activities. Children are encouraged to practice reading aloud by reading to dogs who are trained to sit still. There’s also the TeenSpot, which is a bright and modern space with places for teens to hang out, do homework, access reading and research materials, play games, and use computers. Teens are invited to attend after-hours activity nights, as well as board game and video game tournaments.

Homework Central offers primary and secondary students the opportunity to receive free help on their homework, either in person, by phone, email or through an online chat.

Wow Factor: During 2011 the library offered 1,300 children’s programs, which were attended by more than 26,000 kids.

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