From the Director

From the Director November 2017

Shaker Library Facility and Funding Update

Shaker Library belongs to the residents of Shaker Heights. It was conceived and built through the efforts of generations of Shaker residents. Shaker Library is one of Shaker Heights’ most valuable civic assets and the Shaker Library Board is charged with protecting it and ensuring it provides benefits and services to current and future generations of Shaker residents.

As its Director, one of my most important jobs is to regularly update our community about the health of their Library.

I’m happy to report that Shaker Library is one of the best library systems in America. We are fiscally sound and in 2016, Shaker Library was ranked in the the top 2% of libraries its size nationally. Four out of five residents use Shaker Library annually, and more than half use it at least once a month. In 2016, Shaker Library users borrowed nearly one million items and visited our Library nearly half a million times.

Shaker Library is serving Shaker well and we are working hard to ensure it can continue to do so.

In 2014, Shaker Library completed a comprehensive building assessment that concluded that its facilities need $5.1 million in repairs and maintenance. These needs may not seem obvious at first, but they have significantly affected library services. Problems with the Main Library’s HVAC system regularly make the library either too hot or too cold for visitors. At times, the Main Library has been forced to close because of its HVAC challenges. Leaks in the roof threaten to damage the library’s collection, and last year a problem with a sewer line created a stench in the library’s lowest level.

Throughout 2015 and 2016, we worked to find the right answer to our facilities challenges. We held a series of public meetings, gathered feedback from residents, worked with architects and engineers, and conducted an extensive study of seven possible solutions. The options we studied varied dramatically and included drastically curtailing library operations, consolidating library services into a single, new facility, and investigating whether Shaker Library should become part of the Cuyahoga County Public Library system – a process that Ohio law calls “inclusion.”

We learned a lot during this process. Initially, the Library Board and staff preferred the idea of building a single, new library to replace the existing Main Library and Bertram Woods Branch. Shaker residents, however, thought differently, preferring that we upgrade and continue operating our two current locations. We listened and shifted our thinking.

In December 2016, the Library Board unanimously decided to repair and renovate both library facilities, which will create important opportunities and benefits for Shaker residents, including:

  • Improved meeting and community gathering spaces.
  • Greater convenience and accessibility throughout the Library.
  • Adaptable rooms that can be reconfigured to meet group learning and collaboration needs.
  • Up-to-date technology and trained staff to help residents use it.
  • Tools to ensure that all residents can connect with the digital world.

Throughout 2017, we have worked on refining our plans and finding ways to minimize our costs, while ensuring Shaker residents receive the Library services they want and deserve.

Throughout its 80-year history, Shaker Library’s goal has been to maximize Shaker’s return on investment and deliver the best-possible library services at the lowest possible cost. As thoughtful stewards of taxpayer dollars, we have worked hard to minimize what Shaker Library asks of taxpayers. Shaker Library receives a tiny portion of Shaker Heights property tax revenue. Shaker Library’s 4.0 voted mills is just 2% of Shaker’s total property tax millage and is below the average tax millage of the nine public libraries in Cuyahoga County that have property tax levies.

Since 2008, the revenue Shaker Library receives from the State of Ohio has decreased by 19% and revenue from local property taxes has declined by 18%. As a result, Shaker Library’s revenue is now the lowest it has been in 10 years. Instead of asking voters for more money to make up for these decreases, Shaker Library cut costs, including reducing its staff by 16%.

 We can’t upgrade our facilities, however, just by cutting costs. So, in the coming weeks the Shaker Library Board will vote on placing a small millage increase on the May 2018 ballot.

The small increase our Board will vote to approve will be the first millage increase for Shaker Library in over 20 years. The last time the Library asked for an increase in millage was in 1997.

The cost of this increase to Shaker Heights property owners would be $67 per $100,000 of home value—a little more than 18¢ per day. Two-thirds of the funds this levy would generate would be allocated to repairing and upgrading the Library’s facilities. The remaining one-third of the funds would pay for library operating expenses, including adding year-round Sunday hours.

In the coming weeks, Shaker Library will make presentations to Shaker Heights City Council and the Shaker Heights Board of Education to discuss its intentions for the future. We will keep you updated regularly on our progress and look forward to talking with you more about the benefits of an upgraded, independent Shaker Library.

Amy L. Switzer
Director, Shaker Heights Public Library

From the Director – August 2017

Where did the summer go? The season passes so quickly and sightings of yellow school buses crisscrossing the town are now a regular part of our mornings. In the Children’s Rooms, our Summer Reading material has been put away and we are busy planning story times, music programs, STEAM programs, and a Drop-in Roald Dahl Day because according to Dahl, “A little magic can take you a long way.” Be sure to browse our Fall Program flyers for children and teens to see what excites you and your family.

Our Adult Summer Reading Challenge was another successful program where readers “earned” a generous $500 donation to the Library from OverDrive. Library staff created a survey for book club members or want-to-be book club members and has planned a Reading Group Rendezvous for Book Lovers the evening of September 13. Joining us that evening will be Lorraine Nelson of CWRU Continuing Education, Harriett Logan of Loganberry Books and we will have material from Appletree Books and Mac’s Backs. Participants can enjoy refreshments, meet other book club members, and learn what the library offers as well as many other enriching opportunities in our community. Bring your book-loving friends and join us.

We were busy taking the library to the community this summer and will continue to do so in the fall. Look for us in Chelton Park, at The Dealership, at Shaker Football Games, and at Shaker Heights PTO CommUnity Market Nights. We will co-sponsor a Forum on the Ohio School Board on September 25 at the Main Library and a Meet-the-Candidates Night on September 28 at the Shaker Middle School with the League of Women Voters Shaker Heights Chapter.

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month and again this year we join with other libraries in the county to help ensure that every child under 18 years of age has a library card. The initiative, A Card for Every Kid Library Challenge, occurs during National Library Card Sign-up Month (September 1 – 30) and is a cooperative effort to raise awareness of the importance of owning a library card and to better understand the factors that keep some children and teens from getting one. Children in grades K-12 can sign up for a library card or have their fines forgiven on their existing cards throughout the month of September.

We have also debuted our new Three for Teens card for ages 13-18. Because there is no parent/guardian signature requirement, teens can sign up at the Circulation desk and borrow up to three books and gain access to emedia right away. This card follows the same principles as our Three for Me card for children ages 12 and under. We want to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the library.  Do you teach? We now offer Educator cards with expanded access to our resources and materials. Cards are issued free of charge to educators who provide proof of employment at a school or licensed preschool or daycare facility. Stop in today to get yours. Get ready for success in school and be sure to have the most important school supply – a Shaker Library card.

What’s new? Overdrive has a new app called Libby, which you can use to discover and instantly enjoy thousands of ebooks and audiobooks from the library for offline reading, or stream them to save space. If you prefer reading on your Kindle, Libby can send your library books to it. All your loans and holds are consolidated on a single shelf and you can sample any book with a tap — nothing to download or delete. All you need is a library card.

Our new Spaces reservation system has made it easier and quicker to reserve one of our meeting rooms. Whether you need a meeting room for six or 100, we have the spaces and we have made it easier for you to reserve them.

While you can’t reclaim the expansive hours of a summer past, you can still find time to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate by visiting the Library. Find a comfy chair and a book or magazine that appeals and take some time for yourself. Our doors and shelves are open for your reading, listening, and watching pleasure.

From the Director – July 2017

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.

From the Director – June 2017

Summer Reading is now in full swing. As of June 12, there were 142 preschoolers, 549 school-age children, and 72 teens registered for summer reading, and 81 adults have reported reading 79 books. This auspicious beginning is likely related to our Youth Services staff visits to the Shaker elementary schools to promote the programs, along with the excellent staff and Board participation in the City’s Memorial Day Parade. The Book Cart Brigade was again on a roll and we heard many “We love the Library” comments. Thank you to all who helped to make our presence known.

Our Sounds of Summer Kickoff event on June 5 at Main Library was a successful collaboration with the Shaker Schools Family Engagement Team and the City Recreation department. Library staff pitched in to make it a fun family evening that celebrated the end of the school year and the beginning of summer reading.

Our children’s reading program this summer is Reading Sounds Good: Tune In. Our graphics and activities focus on the theme of music and so we apply that theme to reading. Musicians get better with practice and children become better readers with practice. It doesn’t matter what they read, as long as they are engaged and read every day. We want them to fine tune their reading so they will be ready for school in the fall. Don’t let their instruments get rusty! We encourage all parents and caregivers to bring their children to the library. Let us help them chose a book they will love this summer―and they will be better readers for it when school begins this fall!

This summer our staff has extended its outreach. They will provide a rotating collection for the Shaker Schools Summer Exploration Learning and Fun camps (SELF) and will make weekly visits to share stories and encourage reading.

Thanks to the Friends of the Shaker Library for its sustained support for summer reading. This year, they applied for and received a grant from Aldi’s, which will be used to purchase snacks for our Snacks and Stories for Summer Afternoons.

At the end of May, Sisters in Crime Northeast Ohio presented the Library with a $1,000 check. Since the organization’s mission is “to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers,” we will use the money to purchase books by women crime writers.

News on State Library Funding continues to be disappointing. The graph at left is a visual representation of the Ohio Public Library Fund. Public libraries are receiving $119 million LESS in state funding than what they received in 2001–a 24% reduction in funding over the last 15 years with no adjustment for inflation. Recently, The Ohio House passed its version of the state budget lowering the Public Library Fund (PLF) for the next two fiscal years to 1. 66%. The Senate’s version of the bill is anticipated to reset the PLF at 1.68% (down from the current 1.7%) of the State’s General Revenue Fund. (GRF).

Ohio’s public libraries have the highest use per capita in the nation and continue to be a sound investment. Every $1 spent by Ohio’s public libraries yields a $5 return on investment. We know that Ohioans value their public libraries and we have urged the Senate to maintain the Public Library Fund.

On a happier note, please be sure to check our website calendar and choose from the many exciting summer reading activities we have planned for you. Connect. Read. Learn. Grow.

From the Director: May 2017

80th Birthday Card to Shaker Library We celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Library on April 22 at Main Library with our wonderful Shaker community. We thank everyone who celebrated with us and who shared their library memories and birthday wishes. Comments included:

“Here’s to another 80 years.”

“An anchor of the community’s intellectual health.”

“You have blessed many lives with the gift of knowledge.”

“This really is the best library ever. We feel so lucky to be part of this wonderful community.”

We read every birthday wish and we do, indeed, plan to continue thriving for another 80 years and beyond.


Monday, May 22, we will welcome new Library Board member Doreen Katz, a  Boulevard resident, who will serve a seven-year term. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and worked as a forensic engineer, investigating building failures and managing building repair projects throughout Northeast Ohio. We are pleased to welcome her to the Board.

Shaker has a wealth of generous and talented community members who share their special knowledge with us. Recently, Master Gardner Lynn-Ann Gries shared her expertise on Creative Gardening in Containers, Dr. Atossa Alavi gave us an Introduction to Intellectual Property and on May 22 Adam Giannelli, Shaker Heights High School Class of 1996, author of Tremulous Hinge, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, will return to his home library  to perform his poetry at Woods Branch.

In April we partnered with the City’s Tree Advisory Board on another successful Poster and PoeTREE contest for children. Gali’s Florist and Garden Center donated dogwood trees for the winners and, these proud winners’ faces say it all. May found us partnering with the Shaker Heights High School and Middle Schools’ Art Departments to present Art Exposed VIII: The Inner Workings of An Art Department. We are proud to promote our students’ amazing artistic talents and are most grateful to the teachers for providing the community with a look into the schools’ art programs. The exhibit will be on display through May 23 so be sure to visit.

With its community partners, the library works to help combat summer learning loss by offering free summer reading programs for all ages. Our Friends of the Library underwrites the summer reading program by providing prizes as reading incentives for children and teens. Community merchants, Dewey’s Gathering House at Shaker Square, Lucy’s Sweet Surrender, Simply Delicious Pies, J. Pistone Market and Gathering Place and Yours Truly at Shaker Square sweeten summer reading with gift certificates for adult readers. Sign up at Back by popular demand, the library’s Book Cart Brigade will once again participate in the City’s Memorial Day Parade on May 29.

The Sounds of Summer will echo throughout the Main Library from 6-8 pm Monday, June 5. Plan to join us for this family event celebrating music, books, and reading presented in partnership with the Shaker Heights Schools and the City of Shaker Heights Recreation Department. There will be many fun activities for children and adults. The Friends will hold a Pop-Up Book Sale and visitors can learn how to download books on mobile devices at our Tech-Try-It Station from our partners from OverDrive.

Please visit us often. Shaker Library is a unique and valuable community resource. It is a lifeline to the world and all the information in it.

From the Director: April 2017

This April we celebrate a library milestone—the 80th anniversary of the first Library Board meeting. For 80 years we have been led by an extraordinary group of talented and generous  Shaker Heights residents who represent you, and work to ensure that your independent Shaker Library meets the unique needs of our community.

At our March meeting, we bid farewell to our board member, Chad Anderson, who served us well for nine years. Under his leadership, we completed a second-floor renovation at Main Library, received several significant grants, studied facilities’ needs and proposed ways to meet those needs along with recommending several options. In addition to these accomplishments, Chad represented the Library at community meetings and forums to tell the library’s story and to advocate for us. We are extremely grateful for his dedicated service to the library and the community.

We will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of Shaker Library on Saturday, April 22 and we invite you to join us at Main Library from 2-4 PM for cake and punch. Make us a birthday card, share your memories, and plan to join us in celebration of your independent Shaker Library!

One of the library’s most important roles in the community is to help build knowledge and to support learning for all ages. As Shaker’s community library you will find us in the library building recommending 1,000 great books to share with your child before kindergarten, helping your teen with her homework, and providing you with accurate information. You will also find us in the community at meetings and events providing the knowledge you need where you need it. Our librarians are engaged in the community attending school and community events and attending meetings. Even our littlest community members are not too young for a visit from our Early Literacy Specialist, Wendy Simon who brings books, stories, and her special brand of magic to every licensed preschool and day care in our community.

Friends of the Shaker Library will hold its Spring Book Sale, April 19-23. Be sure to browse and buy from among the many offerings. This year, Friends will give two free books to teachers who present their school IDs. At the end of the Book Sale, Friends welcomes nonprofit groups to take books for their organizations.

The Library is proud to partner with The Dealership, the City, and Cleveland Ingenuity for the first ever Shaker Makers event on Saturday, April 22, from 10 am-5 pm at The Dealership, 3558 Lee Rd. It’s a show-and-tell-and-touch-and-taste for innovators and creators to discover and explore—all in one place. There’s something for all ages and abilities – and it’s free! I hope to see you there.

The Library continues to serve the community by offering not only resources but also a variety of programs designed to appeal to our community. Poetry presentations, book discussions, along with business and health and wellness programs are just a few of the offerings in the month of April. Be sure to view our April calendar to see what interests you.

And finally, since April is National Poetry Month I’d like to share a favorite poem by Rita Dove:

The First Book

Open it.
Go ahead, it won’t bite.
Well…maybe a little.
More a nip, like. A tingle.
It’s pleasurable, really.
You see, it keeps on opening.
You may fall in.
Sure, it’s hard to get started;
remember learning to use
knife and fork? Dig in:
you’ll never reach bottom.
It’s not like it’s the end of the world –
just the world as you think
you know it.

– Rita Dove

Amy Switzer, Director

From the Director: February 2017

The past few months have been filled with meetings and opportunities to get to know our community’s leaders. These meetings have helped me to learn more about our community’s organizations and to further appreciate their important work. Fostering good relationships is critical to community success, and working together collectively, we can accomplish a great deal for our community.

During my meetings with stakeholders from outside of the Library, I’ve been asked for my thoughts about Shaker Library. I always begin with our mission statement, which is “to build community and to enrich lives by bringing together people, information, and ideas.” Our focus as an independent, community-based Library is to support our schools, our city, and our local community organizations by providing resources that will help them meet with success. In addition to supporting the schools, offering rich programs for the community, and providing community engagement and outreach, we also serve to collect and preserve our own unique cultural heritage.

I am still learning, but I am resolute in my belief that Shaker Library is―and should be―an active, engaged participant in the community. In addition to providing a rich collection of resources, we must look outside ourselves to make a difference in our community.

Shaker Library must continuously renew its facilities, programming, and funding, and we must become more proficient in how we tell our stories of success. To best serve the community, the Library will sometimes be the partner; the Library will sometimes be the leader, but certainly the Library will always be engaged with its Shaker Heights community.

Amy Switzer, Director

From the Director: January 2017

On December 14, the Library Board accepted the amended facility options study and recommendation to renovate upgrade both facilities as its final document. Appendix M, “Community Feedback on Shaker Library’s Facility Options Study” and a summary of community comments in the executive summary of the document were added to the original draft document. The facility study information can be found online. The Board agreed that the facility study showed a thorough, thoughtful analysis of the library’s options. Additionally, the Board felt that we owe it to the community to fully explore OPTION 3: UPGRADE, and to give the community the opportunity to voice its support.

 The Board takes its responsibility to act as Shaker residents’ fiduciary seriously. I appreciate the thoughtful and careful approach board members took to the facility study and to listening to community feedback about their recommendation. The next step is to determine the final budget and to propose funding means and tax level for community review. Preliminary financial projections were prepared as part of the study and the next thing we need to do is to develop the final budget for the project. The earliest we would be on the ballot is November 2017. That is not only because of the work we need to do, but also because we have great respect for the schools’ process and want voters to have the opportunity to address each issue separately.

When we began studying the best way to address our facility needs we believed that one new facility to replace two aging facilities was a good choice for Shaker Heights, and we hired Triad Research Group to conduct a representative poll of registered voters in our school district. Although we didn’t know millage associated with options when we conducted the poll, we did know it was more expensive to keep both buildings than to have just one new facility designed as a library. Even if it meant saving one million dollars.

  • 29% supported building a new Main Library and closing Bertram Woods Branch
  • 74% thought Main Library should be preserved as an historic building
  • 72% supported updating and renovating both buildings
  • 64% said keeping Bertram Woods Branch open was more important than building a new Main Library

In response to the suggestion that we seek inclusion with Cuyahoga County Public Library, the board noted that seeking inclusion eliminates the opportunity to explore other options and that it’s important to give voters a voice before irrevocably giving away an asset Shaker residents have spent the last 80 years building and supporting.

The Board agreed that partnerships and close collaboration among the Library, the Schools, and the City is important. The need for partnerships and a shared vision for Shaker Heights were common themes in community discussions, including our recent meetings with City Council and the School Board, as well as the League of Women Voters Forum.

Amy Switzer, Director

From the Director: December 2016

The year 2016 has been a year of transition for the Library. Our leadership changed with my appointment as Director and the Library Board changed with the reappointment of Michael Bertsch and the appointment of Tom Cicarella as trustees. Under the leadership of Library Board President Chad Anderson, the Board spent most of the year studying library facilities’ options and determined that the best option for the community would be to update both facilities to make them more modern and flexible. The process has been a public one and the Board held three Facility Options Feedback sessions to engage community members in a conversation about the Draft Facility Study and the Board’s decision. At its December 14 meeting, Library Trustees will vote on accepting the “draft” as a plan and will move forward to implement it.

If you missed the Facility Feedback sessions, the Library will share its facility recommendation at the League of Women Voters’ forum on Building Shaker’s Future along with presentations from the City and the Shaker Schools on Thursday evening, December 8 at the Community Building. Please join in the discussion.

Two new services we have recently implemented are our Coffee & Conversation from 10:30-11:30 AM the first and third Thursdays of the month. We invited community members to enjoy a cup of coffee and linger awhile with neighbors and discuss a topic of their choice. The Dealership on Lee Road debuted on December 1 and we were proud to unveil our Shaker Library/The Dealership Collection for use within The Dealership.

Shaker Library attracted a variety of users in 2016, and we continue to work to be an attractive, relevant, and up-to-date library in our services and collection. While our activities and services are based on the notion of the library as a social and cultural center, we also strive to be a relevant digital information and learning center. In an age of being able to google anything, anytime, anywhere on smart phones, the library plays a critical role in providing technology for those who don’t have access. Our public library offers a true public service for all. If you want to calculate the actual value of the library, I encourage you to test our Library Value Calculator to see how your Shaker Library not only enriches your life, but also saves you money. Try it out!

We strive to create a pleasant learning environment—one that invites you to come and spend time in the Library, and to create a place to interact socially as well as educationally. Thank you to all our library customers for their continued support in 2016. We look forward to serving you in 2017 and for many more years into the future. We extend a Happy New Year to all and remind you that we are here for your many happy returns!

Amy Switzer, Director

From the Director: November 2016

November has been a busy month at the Library as we settle into new routines and new leadership. Maureen Brodar was hired as Deputy Director for the Library and has transitioned from Interim Main Library Manager into her new role. The School Board appointed Thomas Cicarella to fill the unexpired term of Peter Anagnostos, and he will be sworn in at the November 14 board meeting.

Our Facility Options Feedback sessions are scheduled for 11 am Saturday, November 12 at Woods Branch, 2 pm Sunday, November 13 and 7 pm Thursday, November 17 at Main Library. We will offer a brief presentation followed by a Q&A Session moderated by Library Board President Chad Anderson. Our intention is to hear what our residents have to say. Please join us and share your thoughts about the future of the library.

I want to share information with you about the present status of funding for Ohio’s public libraries. At the state level, we are fortunate to be funded through the Public Library Fund (PLF) which receives a percentage of the state’s tax revenues from the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF). Revenue sources for the GRF include the state personal income tax, sales and use tax, business taxes, etc.

The Public Library Fund is currently set at 1.7% of Ohio’s General Revenue Fund, but will be automatically reduced to 1.66% on July 1, 2017, cutting state funding for all Ohio public libraries.

The Ohio Library Council (OLC) is working with Ohio’s public libraries to educate members of the Ohio General Assembly and those that will be elected in November on the status of our state funding. We know that Ohioans value their public libraries and that public libraries create opportunities and transform lives. We will be working with the OLC during the next several months to protect state funding for Ohio’s public libraries. I will keep you posted with updates as we work through this process.

Friends of the Shaker Library continues to support our programs and services and to help fill in the financial gaps. Their Fall Book Sale kept the library buzzing and their profits hold steady, proving that people still do read books in print. We were fortunate to have Discover Books pick up the remaining books and the Friends now has a good working relationship with them.

We received news from Sisters in Crime, an organization that promotes mystery and crime writers that we were the October Lottery winner in their We Love Libraries promotion, and will receive $1,000. Thanks to the efforts of librarian Pam Tidwell who suggested we enter.

Our Youth Services Department was red, white, and blue with a fantasy-filled mock election for November 8, 2016. Children were invited to vote for The Unicorn or The Dragon and to weigh in on referendums on homework, longer lunch periods, and whether or not the Tooth Fairy should leave candy instead of money.

They even had an authentic polling station on loan from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The current art exhibit, From Intaglio to Collage: A World Journey, features the work of local artists, Jane Petschek and Boni Suzanne Gelfand. Be sure to see the artwork, which will be on display through December 16.

Our annual Veterans Day commemoration, Letters from the Front, is held the evening of November 11 and features the reading of letters from soldiers throughout our country’s many wars. Veterans for Peace Chapter 39 makes this event special and solemn with cello music to begin the program and the sounding at Taps at the end.

Amy Switzer, Director