Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Summer is almost here and, as usual, Library staff has been busy planning programs to help children keep up their reading habit through the summer months. The theme for this summer’s reading program is “Bee A World-Class Reader,” and Children’s Services staff has been visiting the schools performing their summer reading skit and encouraging the children through rhyme and song to be sure to visit the library this summer. The Friends of the Library’s signature kickoff event is the “Ice Cream Social Tailgate Party” at Bertram Woods Branch from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, June 13. In addition to ice cream, donated by our good neighbor Heinen’s Fine Foods, there will be popcorn, lemonade, crafts, games, and a Friends mini-book sale.
The summer reading program is geared for children in preschool through eighth grade, and we encourage adults, too, to check out our books. In addition to our regular schedule of fun events for children of all ages, Children’s Services added a series of programs on signing, entitled Butterfly Hands with Shaker resident and American Sign Language teacher, Nancy Barnett. These classes are for babies and their caregivers as well as for young children ages three to six. Teen are encouraged to “Know the Score . . . Read!” and join the teen summer reading program where they can read and earn chances to “score” a free gift card.
Summer programs for adults include our regular “Poetry Back in the Woods” program at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 19 at Woods Branch when the featured poets will be a group of women that has been meeting and reading together since 2000. Our Senior Series ends with a reception featuring State Representative Armond Budish, at 6 p.m. Monday, June 23 at Woods Branch. Representative Budish is an advocate for seniors and will speak about his latest book, Why Wills Won’t Work (If You Want to Protect Your Assets): Safeguard Your Estate for the Ones You Really Love. Finally, well-known local sportswriter and author, Terry Pluto, will speak at Woods Branch as part of our “Meet-the-Author” series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 25.
All programs are funded through the generosity of Friends of the Shaker Library. This enterprising group organizes semi-annual book sales and sells merchandise to help support library programs. Another source of revenue for the Friends is through membership, which ranges from $15 - $100, and membership remittance forms are available at the library service desks. We believe that we can never have too many Friends. Are you one?
Shaker Library recently sent out a Request for Proposal from design professionals to help us renovate unfinished areas of the Main Library second with bond issue funds approved by the voters in November 2004. Of the original $1.5 million bond funds, just under a million remains following the Main Library roof restoration, entrance improvement, and other projects. We anticipate that renovations will provide space for improved public service through expanded meeting and program room space, better access to computers and training, additional storage areas for library operations, and perhaps even a library café! A few of the firms submitting proposals will be invited to make presentations and a selection will be made within the next sixty days.
The Library Board of Trustees will review a final draft of consultant Jeanne Goodrich’s Staffing Study & Organizational Assessment of the Shaker Heights Public Library for approval and action. Preliminary recommendations call for: strengthening behavioral expectations for library users (especially teens); improving accountability, communication and consistency of policy implementation among staff; streamlining library programming and reducing the number of service desks; adding staff for security and technology; implementing self-service checkout and holds shelving; and putting into place a “roving” reference service with librarians less tied to a desk and more available to help library customers find what they seek.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director