Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Shaker Library has once again been rated by Library Journal as one of America’s Star Libraries for 2010, ending our year with distinction. The latest “Library Journal Index of Public Library Service” ratings were published in the November 15 “New Stars” issue. Shaker Library earned the highest score of any library in Cuyahoga County, the second highest of any library our size or larger in Ohio, and the third highest score of all libraries our size or larger in the United States.
This year, Shaker Library was named one of the Top 10 libraries in the country for our size community by the Hennen American Public Library Rankings (HAPLR), placing us in the top 1% in the nation. We received a “Best of Show” award from the American Library Association for our 2008 Summer Reading Program material, and our Youth Services Manager, Susan Scheps, was awarded the Carolyn Grossman Award by the Heights Parent Center for her “extraordinary commitment to strengthening families and preparing young children for success in school and in life.”
In 2009, we held our fifth annual “Teen Volunteer Fair,” our tenth annual Barbara Luton Art Competition, and our twelfth year of “Poetry Back in the Woods,” northeast Ohio’s longest running library poetry series. Besides our tried-and-true programs, we also planned and executed a variety of job-hunting and academic-skills related programs, including the first “Road to College Fair.” We end our year helping others with our “Caps for Kids” service project now in its second year. Look for creative contributions from staff and Knit Night participants on display at both libraries until December 9 when they will be delivered to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to distribute to homeless children.
We could not do many of the things we do without the support of our Friends of the Shaker Library, which celebrates its 30th anniversary with record-breaking book sales, a $30,000 donation to the library, and a pledge of $10,000 for a new Children’s Services desk. Fittingly, this group has received the 2009 Friends of the Library award from the Ohio Library Council. Doug Evans, Ohio Library Council’s Executive Director, will bestow the honor at our Annual Friends Appreciation Luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, and everyone is invited.
In 2009, we continued our community collaborations to enhance our services. The “Shaker 101” series was an outgrowth of our cooperative work with the Shaker Historical Society. Our partnership with Shaker Arts Council yielded our first exhibit, Of Shaker By Shaker, which opened to an appreciative audience and will be on display through January 14.
Grant successes were significant this year and included funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for new computers for Bertram Woods Branch. We worked with the South Shaker Neighborhood Council to bring MyCom grants and activities to Shaker Heights. We helped complete a $30,000 planning project that resulted in $20,000 in summer programs, $85,000 for summer jobs for youth and $103,000 for 2009-10 school-year activities, which included $10,000 to fund our Homework Center at the Main Library.
Throughout 2009, we have worked to make our facilities more comfortable and inviting for our public that supports us so well. We added new lounge chairs at Main Library and renovation of the first floor public restrooms should be finished by the end of the year. We continue to work with our architect to enhance our facilities.
Thank you for helping to make 2009 an award-winning year. We will continue working to earn your support and to make you proud of your 5-star library. Happy Holidays.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director