About the Project

What is One City, One Library?


The One City, One Library initiative is a collaboration of the city, schools, public library and community of Worcester with the purpose of bringing public library services and resources to the families of and communities surrounding public schools.  This unprecedented partnership between the Worcester Public Library and the Worcester Public Schools seeks to not only give students and teachers access to current library materials and library services, such as literacy programming during the school year, but also provide the community access to neighborhood-based library services when school is not in session and in the summer months.  All of these branch libraries will avail access to new computers, including early literacy stations, iPads, e-readers, and other digital media, and connect to the public library’s world-wide, electronic inventory system of more than one million items in all mediums and for all reading level.  Ultimately, this initiative will enhance the school’s curriculum with supportive library offerings and serve as centers for family literacy activities.


The One City, One Library (OCOL) initiative has been gaining well deserved recognition for its collaborative efforts and the impact it has on the Worcester community. In November of 2014, the OCOL staff was awarded the Eleanor Riik All Star Service Award from the City of Worcester. Earlier this year OCOL was honored with the Bright Ideas designation from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. Recently, OCOL was also awarded the inaugural Ted Coghlin Community Citizen Award. Most recently the group received the 2015 Nonprofit Award for Excellence in Collaboration from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.



  • Strengthen student outcomes, in particular reading proficiency levels;
  • Empower students to become lifelong learners with the skills, resources, and tools to think, create, share and grow in school and beyond;
  • Build hubs that support teaching and learning and foster independent, motivated readers;
  • Encourage a child’s family members to participate in literacy activities by providing equitable access to staff, students, community organizations and parents/guardians; and
  • Open additional libraries in public elementary schools over the course of the next five years.

The One City, One Library project was included in the Worcester All-American City Application 2017.


One City, One Library Sponsors


The George F. And Sibyl H. Fuller Foundation

The George I. Alden Trust



The Stoddard Charitable Trust

The Hermann Foundation

The Ruth H. and Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation


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