Interesting Facts About Public Library Of Cincinnati And Hamilton County

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH) is a public library system in the United States. In addition to its main library location in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, PLCH operates 41 regional and branch locations throughout Hamilton County.
As of 2012, the PLCH’s collection holds about nine and a half million volumes, making it the 13th-largest library in the U.S. In 2008, PLCH had an annual circulation of over fifteen million items.
The downtown location alone circulates over four million items annually, the most of any single library location in the country, and has an area of 542,527 square feet (50,402.4 m2).
Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings 2008 places PLCH tenth among libraries that serve populations of over 500,000. PLCH’s various locations had 5,661,940 visitors in 2008.
Here are some interesting facts about Public Library Of Cincinnati And Hamilton County:
1. PLCH holds one of the largest genealogical collections in the United States. Online postings include Cincinnati and Norwood, Ohio city directories, Sanborn maps, and yearbooks as well as books relating to local history.
2. In 2007, the library began implementing a reorganization plan, known as ML/21 (Main Library for the 21st Century), that will lead to the creation of a Technology Center, Teen Center, a Popular Library, and a Local History and Genealogy Department.
The plan also calls for the disbanding of subject departments in Art and Music, Literature and Languages, History and Genealogy, Rare Books and Special Collections, Science and Technology, Government and Business, Education and Religion, Fiction and Young Adults, and Films and Recordings.
The latter two departments will comprise the new Popular Library. The History and Genealogy Department will be merged with Rare Books and Special Collections to create the Local History and Genealogy department.
The other subject departments will comprise the Information and Reference department. Approximately 24 professional positions (those holding a Master of Library and Information Science) are slated for elimination through attrition and reassignment.
3. Special needs services provided by PLCH include “talking books” and Braille to the visually impaired, blind, and physically handicapped in 33 Ohio counties; its outreach services include books-by-mail, foreign language materials and bilingual programs, and passport application; its literacy services include GED classes and GED practice testing.
4. PLCH traces its roots to a subscription library that began in 1802. On March 14, 1853, it became the Cincinnati Public Library. Since its founding, the library has occupied several locations, including its current location at Eighth Street and Vine Street.
5. In 2005, a state budget plan that cut spending on libraries a further five percent was passed in the Ohio House of Representatives, after being proposed by Ohio governor Bob Taft. The budget prompted the library to distribute flyers and hold rallies in Downtown Cincinnati, calling on the state to repeal the proposed cuts.
The cuts resulted in a periodic hiring freeze, reductions in hours, branch and department closings, and the layoff of approximately forty librarians. Librarians responded by voting to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199 in 2006.
6. For many years, the library used the Computerized Information Network for Cincinnati and Hamilton County (CINCH) as a system-wide library catalog which connected each branch through computer terminals.
Users at home accessed the database via TELNET. In 2005, the system was replaced with an integrated library system (ILS) purchased from library automation vendor Sirsi, now SirsiDynix.

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