Thursday, Aug 16, 2018
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Op-Ed Columns

Library remains dedicated to learning

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Clyde Scoles has led the Toledo Lucas County Public Library system since 1985.

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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The Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s journey in information leadership and world-class customer service has required a transformation over the past several years.

We have updated our collection to include increasingly digital content and converted our spaces by renovating, remodeling and building new facilities to meet community needs and lifelong learning. We recognize that while the trends are for online resources, brick and mortar libraries are about learning and social interactions for the opportunity to expand our thinking, advance our skills, and discover our passions without limitation or bias.

With an increased focus on diversity and inclusion, our staff emphasis is equity of service, and to think and act collaboratively about the role of our library in local community life.

In a changing world, the team at Toledo Lucas County Public Library must think about access and service in new ways very different from 10 years ago. As an institutional “leveler of privilege,” curiosity is the fuel that propels daily explorations into topics of interest.

Children harvest the vegetables from their learning garden at Mott Branch; a Mom scours Pinterest for new recipes at Toledo Heights Branch; a grandfather scans photos of his grandchildren at Birmingham Branch; teens edit software in the video maker studio at King Road Branch; and aspiring poets and authors get tips from experts or express themselves and their talent at Sanger Branch Library. Customers come to the library to find a job, begin a business, search rare books, build new skills, access the Internet, consider a college or career, search for that next great read, or help children learn to read.

These explorations happen every hour we are open, which happens to be every day of the week. Such experiences define our library system as a center for community learning in Lucas County.

Customers initiate many of their own personal explorations in the library completing online classes using public computers, getting help with their mobile devices, or downloading a myriad of information resources. While customers are continuing to access content, they are also now creating content using recording studios at West Toledo or King Road Branches. In this era of information overload, the library’s commitment to information literacy is more relevant than ever before. The library remains committed to strengthening the economic vitality of our region and improving the quality of life for families across the county.

The library remains true to its values, while impacting and transforming the lives of all people — children, students, researchers, job-seekers, retirees, and more, by supporting learning and individual opportunity.

We transform communities by providing information and resources that advance societal progress. We transform by educating and facilitating. We transform by inspiring.

As one of the most democratic and free of America’s trusted institutions, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library continues to explore opportunities that advance our comprehensive mission of reading, lifelong learning, and civic engagement to keep our system at the forefront of community learning.

Clyde Scoles is the director of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library.

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