‘Bank’ close to 10K book donations

Queen City Book Bank – the year-old new public face of the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati and Blue Manatee Book Project – opened its doors last week on Gest Street for another community-wide book giveaway and open house.

This was the third community book giveaway held at the book bank since it opened in fall 2021. More than 80 people attended and 2,722 used books were distributed.

The book bank is a regional childhood literacy organization focused on book resourcing, teacher support and related initiatives, with the objective to provide every disadvantaged K-6 student in Greater Cincinnati with 10 books per year, every year, to drive proficiency and interest in reading and overall academic success. The 36-year-old literacy network and the three-year-old Blue Manatee social enterprise – which leveraged the legacy of a three-decade-old now closed Oakley bookstore – came together during the pandemic to create the book bank.

Community leaders H.A. Musser, Allison Kropp, Michelle Otten Guenther, Erin Childs, Beth Benson and Barkha Patel at the Queen City Book Bank’s open house last week.

“Everyone has a part in helping to create a more literate, connected community,” said Michelle Otten Guenther, the book bank’s CEO. “That is the message we share through our work at the Queen City Book Bank. The building was full of energy and I am thankful we were able to provide books to so many people who are doing great work in our community. Listening to guests search for books that fit the interests and needs of the children in their lives is always fun and interesting.”

Local children’s book authors, Kristy High and Connie Dow, donated some of their own brand-new books and signed them for guests who visited.

A total of 9,284 gently used books were distributed in just the three days of community-book giveaways.

Since 2018, the organizations that are now the book bank have distributed over 130,000 books into the Greater Cincinnati community through partnerships, literacy programs and outreach.

Book giveaways will be offered quarterly at the book bank, with the next one scheduled for March 28, 2023.