Best Of 2022

Best Expanded Services

The Cincinnati Public Library doesn’t stop expanding its services. Last year, the library’s 41 branches — including the fabulous new Deer Park branch in the Dillonvale shopping center — ramped up their menus as the community struggled with lockdowns, illness and isolation. In addition to outsize numbers for annual in-person visits (2.4 million) and digital downloads (4.6 million), select branches distributed over 530,000 snacks and meals throughout the county. Librarians visited with 54,160 students and community members, and roughly 3,000 digital programs attracted 91,347 participants. Information on voter registration, tax assistance and passport applications is always available. Queer Gabby — an interactive feature on the website, where youth and teens can submit comments and questions anonymously and library staff can respond to them publicly, much like a “Dear Abby”-style advice column — offers access to resources for the LGBTQIA+ community. Want to check out a telescope? Need a 3-D printer or laser cutter? Look no further than the public library. And up until a few months ago (they ran through their entire allocation), free at-home COVID-19 tests were available at drive-thru locations.