by Christian Boyles and Michelle McKinney
Christian Boyles, Collection Services Manager, and Michelle McKinney, Reference and Web Services Librarian, took part in UC’s university-wide, service day, UC Serves on Friday, May 18, 2018.
Christian spent the day at the Kennedy Height Arts Center. The Arts Center is in the process of creating a landscaped area in honor of Tuskeegee Airman/Civil Rights activist/Kennedy Heights resident Lt. John Leahr who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94. The team of volunteers from UCBA and various offices on Main Campus planted shrubs and trees, mulched the gardens and cleared out some overgrown trees/weeds.
Christian had the honor of meeting Lt. Leahr (and several Negro League ballplayers) once during a Civil Rights program at the public library in Pleasant Ridge, so I was very excited to see this opportunity come up. He flew 132 combat missions protecting Allied bombers from the Luftwaffe. He was a man who risked his life fighting for freedom in Europe all while not being afforded the same rights and priviledges in his home country. I am so happy to have played some small part in bringing attention to a true American hero and helping to ensure his legacy will not be forgotten.
Michelle chose to help out at the Friends of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County‘ Used Book Store at the Warehouse in Hartwell. In preparation for the Friends’ huge June Book Sale, the team weeded and cleaned up flower beds outside the building in the morning. Following a delicious lunch from LaRosa’s Pizza, the team broke up into smaller groups to label bags, sort books and prepare bookmarks. Luckily, the team finished early enough to enjoy some discount shopping.