Featured Programs

Poetry in the Woods: 7 PM Wednesday, December 10 at Woods Branch

December’s poetry program is sure to warm your heart. Join us for an evening of whimsey and poetry before we break for the winter months.

rourkeDan Rourke has been a teacher, magazine editor, and bookseller. He prays he isn’t just a has been. He writes novels, short stories, poems for adults and children, and liner notes. Lately he’s been trying his pen and hand at writing country songs in the hopes that he’ll someday be a one-hit wonder. His favorite poet is Dizzy Dean, and his favorite Cleveland Indian from the 1970s is Angel Hermoso. His muse is boredom and his prime motivators are decaffeinated black coffee and this month’s rent check.


tonerJoe Toner is the only son of an albino Amish mother and a Tasmanian missionary father. Toner (nee Tonér) exploded onto the literary scene with his Bulitzer Prize collection of poems: The Love Song of J. Alfred Amblyopia. His poetry ranges from the inscrutable to the incoherent. He has never recovered from his delivery: the moment the doctor grabbed him he wailed: “In the womb I was safe and fed. But now I’m doomed for a life of meds.” The doctor, impressed with Toner’s use of slant rhyming, dropped the baby–leading to a jagged indentation and an inability to confidently spell “Cincinnati.” Toner has written 12 books, the last one being A Yo-Yo for Yul Brynner, in which the yo-yo symbolizes life’s vicissitudes and Yul Brynner symbolizes a bald Russian actor, oddly cast as an Egyptian pharaoh. When he is not writing poetry, Toner enjoys cooking baklava on the grill.


barry ZuckerBarry Zucker has been busy writing the wrongs of the world as a teacher, poet and environmentalist. He has taught in the English departments of Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community, and Capitol University and is currently the director of the Ohio Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides. For the past 17 years Barry has hosted the monthly “Poetry in the Woods” readings at the Shaker Library where he has created a supportive environment where poets can meet, read, and be heard. Barry’s poems have been included in The Cleveland Reader, Hearts Cargo: An Anthology of Cleveland Poetry, The Herlands Review, The Homeless Grapevine, Poem the Nukes, Split City and ArtCrimes.

Hour of Code: 4:15 pm Thursday, December 11 in the Main Library Training Lab

hour of code

Shaker Library joins with other libraries across the nation to offer an Hour of Code at Main Library. During Computer Science Education Week, join students (Grades 4 to Adult) all over the world for an Hour of Code—a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code with fun and easy tutorials. No experience is necessary!  Register in person, online, or by phone.

17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Writing Contest for Grades 3-8

mlkIn 1965, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man and was arrested. What followed was the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. These people changed our world. Write a poem or short essay telling us what characteristics a person needs to bring about change and what you can do in your lifetime to make positive changes.
Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each age category (Grades 3 & 4, Grades 5 & 6, and Grades 7 & 8) Winners will be announced at an Awards Reception at 4:30 PM Friday, January 16, 2015 at the Main Library. Entries are due by 5:30 PM Friday, December 19, 2014. Please download and complete the entry form and attach it to your submission.


Math Review for Adults: 10 am-Noon Saturdays, November 1, 8, and 15 at Main Library

Math TreeJoin master educator Mary Scribner for any or all of the math refresher classes.

November 1: Prime Numbers/ Factoring/ Divisibility: A Useful Refresher on Basic Math Skills

November 8: Ratio & Proportion: Math You Can Use Every Day!

November 15: Basic Algebra: A Great Review before Taking a Math Test or Returning to School

You must preregister separately for each class by clicking on the above underlined links or by calling 216-991-2010.

War Letters: 7 PM Tuesday, November 11 at Main Library

To commemorate Veterans Day, Chapter 39 Veterans for Peace sponsors a public reading of wartime letters and personal statements of veterans. The letters evoke the stark reality of U.S. wars dating from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan. It Chapter 39 Veterans for Peaceis a poignant program that observes and honors the experiences and sacrifices of veterans without glorifying war.

Reserve your place.




Poetry in the Woods: 7 pm Wednesday, November 12 at Woods Branch

Enjoy original poetry read by regional poets Mary Biddinger, Christine Howey, and Sarah Marcus.

biddingerMary Biddinger is a poet, editor, and Professor and Assistant Chair of the English Department at the University of Akron, where she is on the faculty of the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.


howeyChristine Howey has been a theater critic for 15 years and currently reviews plays for Cleveland Scene and her blog, Rave and Pan. She also has written numerous theater reviews and related articles for The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Free Times, and City Pages in Minneapolis, MN.


marcusSarah Marcus is the author of Backcountry (2013, Finishing Line Press) holds an MFA in poetry from George Mason University, and currently teaches and writes in Cleveland.

No reservations are required for this poetry performance.

Cleveland Goes Modern: An Evening with the Authors and Architect: 7 pm Thursday, November 13 at Main Library

Shaker Library and the Western Reserve Architectural Historians present  An Evening with Nina Freedlander Gibans, James D. Gibans, FAIA and Architect Jack Bialosky Sr. Based on the award-winning exhibition of the same name, Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home, 1930-1970 examines Modern movement houses in Cleveland in the context of American Modernism. Following the program, books will be available for sale and signing. Reserve your place.


Politics & Policy Salon – The Fall of the Wall: 6-8:30 pm Tuesday, November 18 at Main Library

iopListen to a Discussion with Tom Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News and Mary Sarotte, Visiting Professor of Government and History, Harvard University Center for European Studies.  Following the broasdcast, a graduate of Harvard’s Institute of Politics will moderate a discussion.

6:00 pm:  JFK Jr. Forum LIVE Broadcast; 6:45 pm: Moderated Discussion by a graduate of  Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Reserve your place.