'Big Book: Voices of Our Future' features essays from 23 Central Ohio students.

Big voices deserve a big book—and that’s just what the Columbus Foundation and Columbus Metropolitan Library created for the foundation’s 75th anniversary.

The organizations joined forces to publish a volume that honors the foundation’s original mission of creating a tomorrow that’s better than today. “Big Book: Voices of Our Future” is a collection of 23 essays—one from each CML branch—featuring the thoughts and hopes of Columbus teens. The idea grew from a concept developed by CML chief customer experience officer Alison Circle. Miles Balfour, a student at the Columbus College of Art & Design, illustrated the volume.

“[The foundation] was founded on the premise of hope,” says Amy Vick, director of marketing and communications for the Columbus Foundation. “So these stories that are included in the book are a kind of terrific testament … and really illustrate the dreams that [the kids] have for their future and our community’s future.”

Submissions were sought from students, who wrote about a goal for their future, a dream they have for themselves or a struggle they have overcome. A panel of judges from CML and the foundation selected 23 of the essays to be featured in the book. “Together those voices form an amazing harmony,” Vick says. “We are just proud to be part of something that recognizes the foundation’s past, but also [looks] forward, allowing these terrific voices to be heard.”

The “Big Book” can be checked out at any CML branch, or purchased at Main Library or online at friendsofcml.com for $10. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library.

Editor’s note: After a shorter version of this story was published in “Parent Pulse” in our Spring issue, all Columbus Metropolitan Library branches were closed amid the coronavirus outbreak. So look for the book when the library reopens.

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