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Written by Kelly Sheehy, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library

On any given day in the Atrium of the Downtown Main Library, there’s a lot going on. People making their way to various floors and departments of the Library; exhibits on display; moms with kids sitting at the cafe-style tables enjoying a snack; folks charging their devices; people enjoying a conversation beneath our new palm tree. This month, the Atrium also provides a hub for all things social services that are available to the greater Cincinnati community. 

Organizations represented through the month of September include: 

Each table is staffed on Friday afternoons from 12-2 p.m. These sessions are designed to provide opportunities for community members to connect with agencies, share information, build a relationship, and engage in intake or referral for various programs. 

The Library strives to be an equitable space that is committed to meeting people where they are. Having the presence of these organizations available as folks go about their daily routine allows for connections to be made with no added hassle. 

Each of our social service partners reflects the needs of the communities we serve on a daily basis. For example, the Hamilton County Public Health Cradle Cincinnati Mothers-to-Be services help combat the high infant mortality rate in Hamilton County as well as high numbers of maternal death that have reached epidemic levels in the U.S., especially among Black women. Neighborhood Allies helps families meet their basic needs, like transportation, accessing resources like getting I.D. or medical benefits, and managing responsibilities. 

The Library’s goal will always be to provide a safe and welcoming space to all who visit. "This is all about removing as many barriers for people as possible," said Civic Engagement Coordinator David Siders. "Navigating community services can be challenging–whether it may be transportation hurdles to and from community agencies, or even knowing what kinds of identification and verification are needed for particular services–the Library is a place to help better inform people, connect people, and hopefully to make life a bit easier for folks." 

Each month, the Atrium of the Downtown Main Library will provide a different approach to furthering this mission. We hope you’ll visit often to access these important resources and see what special events we’re bringing each month.