Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Our new Strategic Plan, the first major revision in four and a half years, goes before the Library Board this month for final approval. In 2007, we employed a nationally known consultant who helped us create a traditional plan. For our new strategic planning we are using a Balanced Scorecard approach and have involved more employees, without a consultant, as we strive to map the Library’s future and grow into the “Virtual Age” during what has turned out to be a “Great Recession.”
The “new” vision is much the same as we imagined previously because we want to continue to be “indispensable” to our residents. We envision Shaker Heights Public Library as “an indispensable part of our community, known for a wide range of resources; innovative, customer-driven services; with vibrant and welcoming spaces, and a knowledgeable and passionate staff.”
The values that will infuse this vision are: literacy and lifelong learning; intellectual freedom and equal access; customer service excellence; integrity and accountability; innovation; diversity and inclusiveness; outstanding employees; and responsiveness to the Shaker Heights community. And our mission is more succinct than before: “Shaker Heights Public Library builds community and enriches lives by bringing together people, information, and ideas.”
Following Board approval, there will be much more to the plan itself as we concentrate on key areas of need, and establish a variety of action steps to accomplish our objectives. Watch for more information on our website later this month as we continue our mission of “bringing together people, information, and ideas.”
The month of March finds us saying farewell and extending thanks to Donna Whyte whose term on the Library Board ends on March 31. Under her leadership, Shaker Library hired its seventh director; passed a successful operating levy; expanded its Internet bandwidth threefold; set a record circulation in 2008; completed the renovation of the Main Library second floor, and received more than five significant grants for the library. During her tenure, Shaker Library was designated a “Five-Star” library for four consecutive years: 2009, 2010, 2011 2012 by Library Journal Index, and as a “Top 10” Library by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings in 2010 and 2011. Donna served as secretary, vice president and president of the Library Board. We certainly thank her for her five-star service to the library and wish her well.
Looking for something fun to do on 3.14 (March 14)? Consider participating in our “Pi Slam: A Poetry and Short Story Competition” to celebrate that unique mathematical measure! Sign up to perform an original story or poem within a 3 minute 14 second time limit with Pi or pie as a key element of the story. Our winner will be crowned the Pi Laureate of Shaker and will take home a gift certificate for two pies. Everyone will enjoy an after-pi performance of, what else? Pie! Stories and poems must be submitted for approval by March 7 to: librarian @shakerlibrary.org. This is an all-ages event.
Looking for a job or a new job? Our Career Transition Center programs can improve your chances. Monday Morning Jumpstart is held every Monday from 10 a.m. to noon at Main Library March workshops are held from 10 a.m. to noon Thursdays on specific topics including, “Results-Oriented Resumes” on March 1, “Improving Interview Skills” on March 15, and “Networking Effectively” on March 29.
Bertram Woods Branch offers some interesting programs for children this March. School-age children can sign up for a 15-minute time slot to “Read to King,” a trained therapy dog, who will visit Woods from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, March 26. Children in grades 1- 5 can Meet American Girl Doll Samantha from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 31 and learn what life was like back in 1904.
Teens have two opportunities to read down their library fines and learn first-hand that “Reading Pays Off for Teens.” The first opportunity is 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 12 at Bertram Woods Branch, and the second is at Main Library from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 19. Opportunities for teens include “A Teen Center Artists Reception” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, in the Teen Center when our teen center artists display their art, and the “8th Annual Teen Volunteer Fair” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21at the Main Library. This is a chance for students 12-18 to connect with representatives of area organizations seeking responsible teen volunteers.
Our 13th Annual Barbara Luton Art Competition is another March highlight with the Gallery-opening reception set for Sunday, March 25. I hope you will take the opportunity to enjoy the work juried into this year’s show.
Last, but certainly not least, watch for your invitation to the Library’s 75th Anniversary Party. Shaker resident Susan Cristal designed a “jewel” of an invitation to our diamond anniversary and Friends of the Library co-chairs, Susan Gall and Christine Bretz, and their committee are planning a dazzling event for Friday evening, April 20. Watch for your invitation and save the date!
Luren E. Dickinson, Director