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Queen City Book Bank installs 200th Little Free Library

little free library with ribbon bow and balloons
Tana Weingartner
Queen City Book bank cut the ribbon on its 200th Little Free Library on Sept. 21, 2023.

The Queen City Book Bank is celebrating several milestones. The organization formerly known as Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati unveiled its 200th Little Free Library Thursday.

The book bank also placed its 200,000th book inside the newly installed library box in Price Hill's Olden View Park.

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"We're actually placing an order for 50 more Little Free Libraries because the need is still there," says Queen City Book Bank CEO Michelle Otten Guenther. "When we launched this program five years ago, we started with 50 and we thought maybe one day we'll get to 100. What we have learned from our community is that there is still a need out there and so we're going to continue to grow that program."

Guenther says the goal is to serve 35,000 local students in kindergarten through 6th grade.

woman puts book in little free library as another woman claps and a man holds open the library door
Tana Weingartner
Jennifer Hafner Spieser, Cincinnati Parks Foundation Executive Director, places the 200,000th book inside the 200th Little Free Library located in Olden View Park in Price Hill.

"This year, we're going to serve 2,500 kids and give out 25,000 books," she says. "It's just a fraction of what we want to ultimately serve, but we're going to get there."

Locations for the additional libraries aren't set yet. Popular spots, Guenther says, are places where children and families gather like parks, churches, schools, laundromats and in neighborhoods.

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The Queen City Book Bank also operates a tutoring program and a curated book distribution program that offers books to teachers to hand out to students for free to build their home libraries.

"Because if they get titles that resonate with them at their reading level with characters that they identify with, they are more likely to see themselves as readers; and the teachers really know them best," she says.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.