Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Harry Potter was the literary buzz of the summer and added to the excitement of our summer programs at the Shaker Heights Public Library. Films based upon the first four books in the series were shown on successive days leading up to the July 21 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Under strict orders from the publishers not to release the books early, and having received our shipment only a few days in advance, our Technical Services and Public Services staff members worked feverishly to get all of the books cataloged and processed so they would be ready to fill the reserves placed by our library cardholders and to be checked out by the public that Saturday morning.
When the library doors opened up at 9 a.m. July 21 all the holds were filled and the remaining books were gone by 10 a.m.! There was also surprising demand for the audiobook version of Deathly Hallows with all 27 copies checked out on opening day with just a few holds left to be filled.
We often hear people say that “everything is on the Internet” but the tremendous popularity of the Harry Potter series has refuted this rapidly aging canard. Books are still valued commodities, especially, among the young. Reading is still an important and necessary skill and millions of children and adults have discovered—and rediscovered—the joys and wonder in reading the books of J.K. Rowling.
Of course, there is much more than the Harry Potter books that is not on the Internet. There are thousands of other titles that can educate us, entertain us, and stir our imaginations in ways that no computerized information can. That's why summer reading programs, like our “Reading—Sounds Good!” continue to be so popular at libraries across the country.
Friends of Shaker Library spotlighted a new book by a local author at their Annual Meeting on July 10 at Bertram Woods Branch. A Shaker resident and Case Western University professor, Dr. Stephen Post spoke about his latest book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, to a standing-room-only crowd. A prolific author, Post is also editor-in-chief of the prestigious reference work, The Encyclopedia of Bioethics.
Friends also elected new board members at their Annual Meeting. Thank you to outgoing Friends president, Nikki Evans, and welcome to newly elected president, Martha Sivertson. Mrs. Sivertson is a 15-year resident of Shaker Heights. She is manager of Volunteer Services at the Maltz Museum and is an active member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Shaker Heights Public Library.
The summer reading program has ended, but we continue to offer a variety of programs before school begins. Children's Services planned a series of "Stories, Songs, Riddles & Rhymes" programs for Children entering Grades 2 & 3 during the first week in August, and “Back-to-School Stories on a Big Yellow School Bus” will be held August 13 at Main and August 16 and at Woods Branch. Adult program offerings include “Basics of Digital Photography with Rich Santich” on August 14 at the Main Library and “What If I Could Make a Nutritious Meal without Turning on the Stove” with John Pistone of J. Pistone Market on August 16 at Bertram Woods Branch.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director