CLEVELAND, OH – Today, a panel of leading Ohioans will highlight how libraries address community workforce needs. The program, titled “Libraries Educate Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow’s Careers,” features keynote remarks from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11).

“Libraries are a fundamental part of our communities,” says Congresswoman Fudge. “They are not only information hubs, but also places of refuge for our teens, serve as shelter for our homeless and connect employers with the unemployed.  We must continue to support these institutions that do so much to advance our communities.”

To be held at the corporate headquarters of Rakuten OverDrive, Inc. in Cleveland, the program is sponsored by the Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio Library Council, Rakuten OverDrive, and the American Library Association.

“Every day Americans are routinely visiting their local branches and working with library staff and library-provided tools to improve their job skills, scan the job market, and access educational programs,” says Sari Feldman, Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Libraries. “Libraries are established centers for learning and advancement and this national infrastructure is already in place and is ready to accommodate new programs. We hope this panel discussion will lead to more opportunities for community leaders and elected officials to leverage libraries in the ongoing effort to ready workers for the growing and changing job market.”

“Libraries play a unique role in addressing community needs, and our role in workforce development continues to expand,” says Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director of Cleveland Public Library. “We not only provide continuous learning opportunities for job seekers, but we also offer resources that benefit the whole person and lead to self-sufficiency. Today’s program offers more insight into the work we’re doing with our partners in this space and how that work benefits the entire community.”

The full program for “Libraries Educate Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow’s Careers” includes:

  • Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (keynote)
  • Russ Mitchell, WKYC-TV Anchor and Managing Editor (moderator)
  • Steve Potash, President, CEO and Founder, Rakuten OverDrive, Inc.
  • Ryan Burgess, Director, Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation
  • Shontel Brown, County Council Representative (District 9), Cuyahoga County Council
  • Jeff Patterson, CEO, Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Denise Reading, CEO, GetWorkerFit
  • Mick Munoz, Tri-C Veterans Initiative & Library Patron
  • Loida Garcia-Febo, President, American Library Association

Rakuten OverDrive, Inc., is located at One OverDrive Way, Cleveland, Ohio. The program begins at 3:30 p.m.  Eastern Time. This event will broadcast live on Facebook and on Twitter via the hashtag #LibrariesTransform.

This event is the first in an upcoming series of local panel discussions and events organized by the American Library Association and hosted in partnership with libraries and library businesses across the country.


About Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Library is The People’s University, the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community. Founded in 1869, CPL serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers.

From a collection of 10.5 million items, CPL lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across northeast Ohio. CPL is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state. For more information, visit

About Cuyahoga County Public Library

At Cuyahoga County Public Library we are committed to our mission of being at the center of community life by creating an environment where reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement thrive and our vision to be the most convenient library system in the country.

About Ohio Library Council

The Ohio Library Council is the professional association that represents the interests of Ohio’s 251 public libraries, their staffs, trustees, and Friends groups. OLC is the source of information on issues impacting Ohio’s public libraries.

About Rakuten OverDrive

OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. We are dedicated to “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 40,000 libraries and schools in 70 countries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit