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Get a GED at a Cuyahoga County Library

[carballo / Shutterstock]

Libraries aren’t just for checking out books any more.  Under a new partnership between Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Public Libraries and the Cuyahoga County library system, residents can get support services and earn a General Education Diploma at their local library. 

County Executive Armond Budish says the program will help people on the path toward a career.

“They can go at night or weekend when the library’s open.  They could access training for a GED.  And with a GED that will open up all kinds of great opportunities for our residents.”

In an interview with the WVIZ/PBS show “ideas,” Budish says residents can also save a trip downtown to the county office to access services.  As part of a community navigator program, librarians have been trained to help residents sign up for services including Medicaid and food assistance.

The Cuyahoga County library’s Sari Feldman says the program may be new, but it’s the same role librarians have always played in the community.

“Librarians want to be problem-solvers.  So that problem used to be solved by handing people the right book or the right piece of information.  Problems are more complex.  And we need to step up.” 

The county plans to expand the services to other library systems throughout the county, possibly by the end of the year.

Annie Wu is the deputy editor of digital content for Ideastream Public Media.