Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
November’s Food for Fines proved to be a popular promotion. Held the week before Thanksgiving, one nonperishable food item was accepted for each overdue item, and more than 50 boxes of food weighing over one ton were collected. Volunteers from the local Veterans of the Vietnam War helped our Maintenance staff load it into their van to be delivered to the Emergency Assistance Center, which serves this region and strives to deliver the food to the regions that collected it. The library got its materials back and the Food Bank received much needed inventory worth between $1,500 and $3,000.
The Second Annual Local Author & Book Fair was held Sunday, November 19, and featured over fifty authors. In addition to increased participation by more local authors, the afternoon also included four different panel discussions with the authors on topics ranging from learning how to get published, writing local stories, the discipline of writing and writing for the children’s book market. All were well attended, as was the fair as a whole. Proceeds from book sales were slightly above those of last year. We were quite pleased with the results considering that it was a dreary, bad weather day. Both the Author Fair and Food for Fines were covered with photos in the Thanksgiving edition of the Sun Press.
There has been progress on the entrance improvements at the Main Library during the month. The initial delay was caused by the late arrival of the automatic doors. Once received, they went in quickly but a series of adjustments were required to get a proper fit. It should also be noted that future adjustments will probably be necessary to ensure that the opening and closing sensors are aimed correctly when the entrance is opened. We decided that the ramp doors facing east will be operational from the inside by a push panel rather than by a sensor in order to avoid two sets of doors opening simultaneously from inside the vestibule. The completion of the project has been held up by late delivery of the new heating equipment. Despite the various setbacks, we expect to re-open the entrance by mid-December.
I was fortunate to be able to attend a special press conference hosted by the Ohio Library Council at the State Capitol building in Columbus on November 29 for the announcement of a study completed by the public libraries in the four counties that make up southwestern Ohio. Completed by the firm of Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter, the report ascertained that those nine libraries return approximately $4 of direct economic benefit for every $1 spent.
Sometimes we undervalue the services that public libraries supply, but this study demonstrates the impact that libraries make: they are good for business, the economy, education, government, and for society in general; and they improve the quality of life for all of us! I am in the process of sharing these results with my colleagues throughout Cuyahoga County and am looking at ways that we might measure our own “return on investment,” which I am confident is as good—if not better—than those across the state.
E. Dickinson, Director