Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
As our nation stands poised to deal with
a variety of issues, so, too is the Shaker Heights Public Library as we begin
to address our unfinished business. We are well positioned to make significant
progress on a number of fronts in 2009.
One exciting project the Library has been involved with since 2007 is the Cleveland Foundation's Youth Initiative. Our involvement yielded a 2008 community-wide planning grant to address the out-of-school-time needs of youth in our South Shaker neighborhoods. As part of the newly My Com (My Commitment, My Community) program, we are beginning to identify activities and resources to serve our youth, and we invite the entire Shaker Heights community to weigh in with their ideas at a Town Hall meeting from 7 - 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 4 at Shaker Heights High School. Once we outline a comprehensive plan, we anticipate operational funding to follow and to continue for a number of years, as we strive to provide a nurturing environment for all youth so they are prepared to enter school, prepared to handle the transitions from elementary to middle and high school, and prepared for further education or the workplace.
Shaker Heights' voters provided generous support for the Library by approving $1.5 million for a joint Library/School Bond Issue in 2004. Approximately $800,000 remains to be used for the Library's Renovation and Redesign Project. In January, the library and schools approved a Preconstruction & Joint Use Agreement and now we are working to finalize the architect's contract and to extend the lease agreement with the City for continued use of the "Moreland building" for 20 more years. We have finalized colors, materials, and other design features for public restroom renovations and new lounge seating at the Main Library and work should move forward in the coming weeks.
One year after implementing our Strategic Plan, we continue to adjust and fine-tune it, but we are unwavering in our commitment to making library users feel welcome, safe and comfortable. With three consecutive years of record circulation, our goal is to continue that streak. Our vision is to make Shaker Library "indispensable" to our community—even as we face a projected shortfall in state income and an estimated population decline.
Through generous support from Friends of the Shaker Library, we continue to plan programs of interest to the community. 2009 is the Year of Science and we will offer interesting programs pertaining to science throughout the year for you to explore, empower and engage. It is also the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln who founded the National Academy of Science, and Charles Darwin. On February 17, we will celebrate the scientific contributions of Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the automated traffic light when his granddaughter, Sandra Morgan, and our Library Children's Associate Mary Oluonye, author of Garrett Augustus Morgan: Businessman, Inventor, Good Citizen, will discuss his many inventions.
will emphasize technology at our Staff Professional Development Day in March,
as we know that we can do more with less through technology. Through our
membership in the CLEVNET consortium, we may soon be able to accept online
payment for overdue fines and fees, and we are investigating implementation of
our own PayPal account to enable us to accept donations to the library. We also
plan to automate our meeting room reservation system and could receive payment
for those services in the same way. Self-serve computers and self-checkout
equipment are other technological advances that can improve efficiency.
In 2009, we are poised to finish many of the projects we began in 2008, thanks in large measure to the generous backing we receive from you—our residents. Please know that we do not take your funding lightly. We will stretch every dollar we receive and we will continue to pursue other revenue streams, including a variety of grant possibilities. We are well positioned for economic stimulus funding directed toward schools and libraries, especially because we will have an architect under contract and a project underway when monies become available.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director