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