Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Hot is the way to describe this summer. Not only was the weather quite warm, but also we noticed that the number of library materials checked out by the public rose significantly in June and July. “Hot” new materials the library is lending include Playaways, new audiobook devices the size of a deck of cards that fit into a pocket so you can listen to a book while you cut the grass or rest in a hammock under a shady tree.
Our summer reading program took youngsters out of the heat and into to the cool underground to learn about caves and caving while reinforcing the reading habit over the summer months. The number of children registered remained similar to last year; however, the number of books read reached record levels. It was good to see that 100 young adults at Woods Branch and more than 200 at the Main Library entered the Teen Summer Reading Contest, too, representing more than 25 schools including Shaker Schools.
The hot weather may have helped our summer statistics climb as many of our visitors came to the Library seeking a respite from the heat wave. Virtually all the seats in our buildings, including those in small meeting spaces and quiet study rooms, were filled to capacity during the times that the temperatures soared.
Hot off the press, the library released its new book, Silver Apples of the Moon: Art and Poetry, at Trinity Commons as part of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s imagination series. The books are for sale at the Circulation Desks at both libraries.
It was cool inside the Main Library with our new color schemes of blues and greens and purples in the Movies & Music area, which have complemented the more muted pastels in the Children’s area. The russet, terracotta, green mist, and gold throughout the remainder of the first floor have enlivened the walls with color for the first time since the Library moved into the old Moreland School in 1993. Good comments have been received from both the staff and public.
Currently, we are in the midst of negotiating a contract for Smart Access Manager (SAM) software with Comprise Technologies to manage our public computers and printers. In addition, we are taking bids on automatic doors for the Main Library and we expect work to begin by the end of September and conclude before the winter holidays.
In the meantime, the Library is considering a comprehensive, community-based strategic planning program this fall that will be completed next May or June. We want to serve the needs of our district in the best way possible with our eyes fixed on the future so that we keep pace with the demands of both changing populations and new technologies.
We continue to strive to provide the best service to our patrons, as epitomized by two letters we received recently. One person wrote, "I have always received good service and information when using the information desk. Also, courteous service at the check out." An out-of-town visitor wrote to say, "Thank you very much! I was lost and the librarians printed out directions for me to find my way! I really appreciate the help."
Luren E. Dickinson, Director