When Shaker Library opened its doors more than 80 years ago, we were a quaint little library. Today, we are a vibrant community institution and economic driver. Last year, more than 8,500 came through our doors every week and many more visited us virtually through our website. 3,600 people used our study rooms and 1,300 groups reserved our meeting rooms. We answered more than 64,000 reference questions and enlightened, entertained, and educated more than 21,000 adults and children at a variety of programs and classes. In addition, we provided more than half a million hours of internet access on our free computers.
Most importantly, long after we have provided a safe, comfortable place to meet, taught a new computer skill, or sparked our visitors’ imaginations, it is when our visitors share their newfound knowledge that the influence of the library ripples out to our entire community.
Our Children’s Summer Reading Program with its prizes of necklaces, beads, and brag tags has been very popular with parents and children alike. Parents like the pattern making and counting aspect of the chain and bead system, and children like the instant gratification and incentives the beads provide as they read to add beads to their chains. More important than the reading incentives, however, is the encouragement our Children’s Services staff offer children on their summer reading adventures. Our immediate goal is to help prevent learning loss during the summer months so children will start school ready to learn. Certainly our long-term goal is to help them develop a lifetime love of reading―and appreciation for their library.
Children’s staff has been busy planning Teddy Bear Tea parties, Stuffed Animal Sleepovers, and Mini Drive-in Movie programs for little ones and Free ACT Prep Classes for Teens. We want to stimulate young minds and to help teens overcome testing hurdles.
Thanks to Friends of the Shaker Library for underwriting the purchase of Rosemary Wells’ Max’s ABCs. Literacy Outreach Specialist Wendy Simon will present the books to 18 young graduates of the CNS Get Ready! Program. We hope the gift book will help to inspire our young readers to get ready to read.
Our summer series of programs for adults has been popular with an appearance from Thrity Umrigar, author of Everybody’s Son and When I Carried You in My Belly. Authors, professional organizers, sisters, and alumnae of Shaker Heights High School Katie (Class of 1988) and Kelly (Class of 1991) McMenamin visited Woods Branch to prove it’s never too late to get organized and to promote their book, Organize Your Way. Job seekers might find summertime to be the perfect time to schedule a visit to the Career Transition Center at the Main Library or to sign up for a class on Keys to Finding the Hidden Jobs, How to Network Effectively, or How to Write a Resume.
The League of Women Voters and the Library continue to collaborate on offering provocative discussions on notable community issues. Join us at 7 pm Tuesday, July 25 for a public policy forum on Shaker Square: Its Past, Present, and Future moderated by Steven Litt. At 7 pm Tuesday, August 22 join us for The Ohio Board of Education AKA the State School Board with panelists Meryl Johnson Member, Board of Education; Peggy Lehner, Ohio Senator (R-6) Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Education, and Mary Rose Oakar Former Member, Board of Education.
Whether you want to spend a morning coloring, an evening knitting or discussing books, or sharing coffee and conversation with neighbors, we encourage you take advantage of the many opportunities available at your Shaker Library.