From the Director – March / April 2018

“Libraries Transform: Libraries Lead”

This year’s National Library Week (April 8-14) theme is especially apt as librarians have long been trailblazers when it comes to free and equal access and intellectual freedom. Library services and a librarian’s expertise can help lead people to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. This year’s Legislative Day on April 11 falls within National Library Week and affords us the perfect opportunity to show our legislators how Shaker Library leads its community through its transformative services and programs. Legislative Day is an opportunity to meet with our legislators in Columbus to advocate on behalf of Ohio’s public libraries! Shaker Library will certainly be there advocating for its community.

Shaker Library’s Community Engagement librarians, Maggie Killman and Gabriel Venditti, will lead a panel on Building Meaningful Relationships Through Community Engagement at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia on March 22. This is certainly exciting news for Shaker Library to be selected on a national level to share our expertise in helping to transform people’s lives.

Another way we engage with our community is through art, and this year we will celebrate our 19th Annual Barbara Luton Art Competition. The juried show of local art will open with a Reception and Awards Ceremony from 2-4 pm Sunday, March 25 at Main Library. Enjoy refreshments and meet the artists as we celebrate their talents and appreciate the art that graces our gallery wall.

April is Poetry Month and Jazz Month. We all need a little poetry in our lives and we invite you to celebrate at the Library with activities for all ages include readings, writing opportunities, and discussions. During the week of April 16, school-age children can read and write poems on a different theme each day and receive a prize for adding their original poems to a“PoeTree” in the children’s rooms. Teens can participate in a 5-Minute Poetry program from 4-5 pm Wednesday, April 18 in the Teen Center, and adults can share their creativity using our magnetic poetry boards. For Jazz month we will feature Moustache Yourself at 2 pm Sunday, April 8 when they present an afternoon of gypsy jazz!  Kamal Abdul-Alim and the Real Thing Band will perform at 2 pm Sunday, April 29. Make a note to join us.

Again this year, we have partnered with the City’s Tree Advisory Board on our Arbor Day Poster, Book Cover, and PoeTREE Contest for children and teens. Paper and supplies will be available at both libraries from April 2-9. Entries are due by April 13 and we will celebrate the winners at a special reception on Friday, April 27. Special kudos to City Council woman Nancy Moore who helps to orchestrate the contest and to Gali’s Florist and Garden Center for donating native species trees for the winners.

April is also Book Sale Month. Our Friends of the Library will present an amazing array of gently used books when they take over the Main Library second floor April 18-22. The sale is the culmination of many volunteer hours of sorting and culling to offer the community the best books, CDs, and DVDs at the best prices. Bring the family. There is certainly something for everyone and summer reading begins in June.

Amy L. Switzer
Director, Shaker Heights Public Library