Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
We are pleased to welcome two new members to the Shaker Heights Public Library Board of Trustees. Jeanne Shatten has been approved by the Board of Education to serve a seven-year term ending in 2013. She will replace Ed Parsons, who just completed a seven-year term. Also approved was Kurt Miller, who will fill the remaining two years in the term of past Board President Dave Bergholz. There are many challenges ahead for the Library and we are glad to have such qualified new members.
As winter ends and spring begins, the roof restoration project is nearing completion. One late addition to the work will be the slate over the main entrance, which was built when the old Moreland School building was converted to a library back in 1993. Unfortunately, we have had problems with seepage even with that new structure, and repairs were definitely needed. Going ahead with a complete roofing job on the entrance will not only allow us to resolve the various issues but will also replace the existing gray slate with the same green slate that has been installed on the Main Library roof. Pending good weather, it should all be completed by May 1.
Beginning the first of April, we will turn our attention to the inside of the Library because that is when our new fines and fees policy goes into effect. We hope that because we have tightened up the policy, we will have fewer problems with delinquencies. At the same time, by removing fines on children’s materials we are more “family friendly.” This may motivate more parents to allow their children to have library cards and not to worry whether the books they check out are returned exactly on time—as long as they do get returned eventually! While we are doubling the adult book fines from 5 cents a day to 10 cents a day, we feel the fine increase brings us in line with most other public libraries. In the end, we will probably see only a slight increase in fines collected.
Another area of concern has been theft of library materials. At its last meeting, the Library Board approved the purchase of a new Checkpoint security system, which will be especially helpful in protecting audiovisual materials. Funds from the bond issue approved by the voters in the fall of 2004 will be used to buy the hardware, and we hope to have it installed at both the Main Library and Bertram Woods Branch by the end of April. This system will allow us to put DVDs back on the display shelves in the Movies & Music area of the Main Library and to eliminate the need to file and retrieve the discs at the service desk. It should end up being a benefit to both the staff and our patrons.
The Library is also working with the Shaker Schools to improve the Main Library entrance doors. They were installed in 1993 and have not aged well. Even the power-assisted doors that provide access from the ramp entrance, which were a later add-on, don’t provide the best ease of use. We are in the process of consulting with a school-recommended architect to design the best means of replacing all of the current doors with power doors. We think that these improvements can also be paid from bond funds and we believe that they will be a tremendous benefit to the many children, teens, parents with babies, and senior citizens who come and go through that entrance daily.
E. Dickinson, Director