Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Our theme this year has been “Moving Forward” and, as we move through the month of August, we continue to make forward progress. One of the positive steps we will take is to complete the renovation of the unfinished portions of the Main Library second floor. We will solicit bids and hold a pre-bid meeting for prospective contractors on August 10, and on August 23, we will open the bids for the project.
The renovation will be funded through a joint school/library bond approved by voters in 2004. If all goes as planned, bids will be accepted in September, construction will begin in October, and the project will be completed in March. The biggest change will be in the creation of new Computer Center and Training Lab facilities with a combined capacity of 40 computer workstations. We will also add much needed staff office space and relocate the Friends of the Shaker Library book sale sorting area and the maintenance workroom to accommodate the expansion.
Another area we will revamp is Movies & Music, which will be relocated to a central space on the first floor. This change will allow us to eliminate the Movies & Music checkout desk and move forward to self-service checkout for all material. At the same time, we also hope to implement self-service holds shelves and an online payment system. In July, we took a step in that direction by adding the capacity to make a library donation through our website with PayPal!
The LSTA-funded community gardening project continues to bloom, and we have begun harvesting tomatoes in the Reading Garden at Bertram Woods Branch. We will have plenty of juicy, ripe fruit, along with onions and cilantro, for our “Salsa Saturday” at Woods Branch on August 21. Enjoy everything salsa – from food to music and dance when Tropical Cleveland helps us celebrate the harvest. Our dwarf pear orchard continues to show excellent growth and we may even have a few pears to pick in 2011.
Our community partners, First Unitarian Church and the Community Gardens of Shaker Heights also report success with the grant money we have shared with them. If you want to o learn more about the grant and other aspects of community gardening, one of our librarians, Christine Burroughs, created a dynamic pathfinder on gardening as part of her continuing education coursework through the University of Wisconsin.
While the Summer Reading Program has ended, we continue to tell “Stories with Splash” at Thornton Park pool at 2 p.m. Mondays, August 2 and 9. Children’s Services will also help children move forward with their annual Back-to-School Stories on a Shaker School bus at 10 a.m. August 11 and 12 at Main Library and Bertram Woods Branch, respectively. Thanks to MyCom funding, teens can enjoy a three-part Spoken Word Poetry Series that includes writing and performance prep workshops on August 3 and 4, and a spoken word performance with surprise guests on August 5. Professional poets and performers, Josiah Quarles and Eris Dyson, have orchestrated this teen spoken word event and they have even arranged for each participant to receive a specially designed event T-shirt!
Friends of the Shaker Library continues its ambitious membership campaign of raising $30,000 in its 30th anniversary year. The volunteer organization is one third of the way toward reaching its goal, and every membership contribution helps the Friends (and Shaker Library) continue to move forward.