From the Director June/July 2018

Whatever you’re planning to read this summer, I encourage you to register for our Summer Reading programs designed for preschoolers through adults. Thanks to the Friends for its sustained support for summer reading and to OverDrive for again providing a financial incentive by donating $1 for every book an adult reports reading. This summer’s theme is Art Builds Community and we have planned some interesting complementary programs. Be sure to check them out and join us.

In response to the many requests we have received for free printing, library cardholders can print up to one dollar’s ($1) worth of pages per day at no charge. Use any CLEVNET library card, including the Three for Me and Three for Teens cards. Get your card and use it. Its true value is priceless.

Our Community Engagement librarians are working with the city, schools, and local community partners on ways to foster a healthy community and respond to challenging behavior. Collectively we are working to align our focus and train our staffs on Restorative Practices. The Shaker Schools use this approach to ensure youth are given adequate support to be successful in school. As one of the few free destinations for out-of-school youth, the Library seeks to provide a safe space for them to learn and explore their roles in the larger community through accountability and relationship building.

We are pleased to partner with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning to participate in an NEA Big Read program. Residents throughout Cuyahoga County will have the chance to participate in Cleveland’s NEA Big Read celebration of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Programming will take place during the month of February 2019 and the group will meet at the Library this June to begin planning. We are also working with ideastream on the promotion of The Great American Read.

As we move forward with plans for renovations, much of the work will be behind the scenes—creating updated budgets, seeking RFPs, etc. As always, we welcome community members’ comments and questions. Please share them here.

Summer is a time to relax, read, and reconnect. Since we are at the midpoint in the year, it is also time to reflect on our successes and challenges. Certainly, we consider our Friends of the Library a success.  Founded in 1980, this volunteer organization has supported the library though its membership drives, book sales, and fund-raising. The Beatles were right! We do indeed get by with a little help from our friends.

Friends have sponsored Book and Author Fairs, major author visits including Anthony Doerr and Celeste Ng, as well as hosting many local authors. Friends underwrites our Poetry in the Woods—the longest running poetry series in a library in Northeast Ohio—and provides the stipends and refreshments for all of the programs the library offers.  I encourage you to learn more about the Friends and to join them.  Our Friends strengthen the library and the community and we can never have too many friends.

Amy L. Switzer
Director, Shaker Heights Public Library