New Queen City Book Bank Offers Innovative Approach to Childhood Literacy and Book Access

The Queensgate-based advocacy group has a novel digital platform to help get 350,000 books per year into the hands of underserved children.

click to enlarge Rowan Miller, sophomore at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and the Queen City Book Bank CEO Michelle Otten Guenther unveil Rowan’s creative mural design at the book bank. - Photo: Provided by Queen City Book Bank
Photo: Provided by Queen City Book Bank
Rowan Miller, sophomore at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and the Queen City Book Bank CEO Michelle Otten Guenther unveil Rowan’s creative mural design at the book bank.

There's a new bank in Cincinnati but it doesn't deal in dollars, instead it deals in books.

The Queen City Book Bank (QCBB), a project of Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati, acts as a "community resource hub that will guarantee book access to the estimated 35,000 Greater Cincinnati K-6 students who lack consistent, if any, access to books and supportive literacy programming," per a release.

With a 20,000-square-foot headquarters in Queensgate, the goal is to provide 10 books per year to underserved children in the Greater Cincinnati area for a total of 350,000 books donated annually. QCBB members — educators, advocates and other partners — will be able to go online to see what books are in stock and select them based on "proficiency, theme, languages, backgrounds and interests," says QCBB. The organization says this digital portal is "the first model of its type in the country."

“We have been inspired by book banks across the country and are eager to provide an innovative approach through digitization that will enable us to curate book distribution for the recipient and ultimately enhance reading engagement,” said Amanda Kranias, Executive Director of Blue Manatee Literacy Project and COO of QCBB, in a release.

According to QCBB, a Cincinnati Public Schools survey discovered 90% of first and second graders had one or no books at home.

“Our region’s students need this type of sustained access to quality books to call their own, to share with their families and to anchor a lifelong value for reading. The Queen City Book Bank was conceived with students, teachers and program partners’ input and will improve the trajectory for students’ future achievement. This is a game-changer,” said Leslie Maloney, Senior Vice President and Education Program Manager of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, which helped fund the startup along with the Scripps Howard Foundation and WCPO.

QCBB takes monetary donations to purchase books, as well as physical book donations at the Queensgate building at 1200 Gest St. In addition to books, the hub will also provide tutoring, and plans to host author and reading events and even credit-based book fairs.

To become a QCBB member, visit queencitybookbank.org and fill out a registration form, sharing who you are and your current need for reading materials.

For more information, visit queencitybookbank.org.


Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


 

                                   

 

Scroll to read more Culture articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.