Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Thank you to everyone who helped make our levy campaign the success it was. We are grateful for our great community support―from the grassroots level of our library customers to our Library Board of Trustees. 74% of the Shaker community voted FOR the levy. The new levy will mean a boost to our operating revenue at an estimated $700,000 per year beginning in 2009. Currently, we are managing with a tight budget that has been exacerbated by rising health-care costs. We are thankful that we can look to next year’s funding to ease the pain and we will continue to work hard to continue to earn the community’s vote of confidence.
I would particularly like to thank the honorary co-chairs of the Committee FOR Shaker Library Levy, Tom and Chris Stevens. We were fortunate to have the volunteer services of Karen LaJoe as Treasurer, and thoughtful campaign strategy from committee advisors Susan Gall, Kurt Miller, A. Christine Bretz, and Margaret Bradford.
Another Margaret who deserves special thanks is our own Margaret Simon, Public Relations Coordinator for Shaker Library. She has been able to keep an impressive array of library programs going, as part of our “Small World, Big Ideas” theme for 2008, while volunteering as a Shaker Heights citizen, after hours, to help guide the levy committee’s efforts.
This year’s Barbara Luton Art Competition looks to be a promising one. Volunteer juror, Daniel Levin, will select an interesting exhibit from among the 120 pieces of artwork submitted. The art gallery opening and awards ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30 at Main Library. If you miss the opening, the exhibit will be on display through May 9 when the artwork will be available for sale.
In March we will present two “Poetry Back in the Woods” programs at Woods Branch. March 12 we will screen the film, Famous in the Neighborhood, a documentary about the life of the late, great Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County, Daniel Thompson, created by San Francisco videographers, Gail and Eric Buchbinder. John Carroll University professors, George Bilgere and Steven Hayward will entertain the audience with their poetry on March 25. Our Meet-the-Author series continues March 26 with Thrity Umrigar, author of If Today Be Sweet, and Kristin Ohlson, author of Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil.
In addition to programs, recently released movies are shown at the Main Library and a variety of book discussions are offered at both locations. As usual, we have offerings for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children, plus an Anime Club for Teens, which features films and information about Japanese Culture.
The Library continues to work with community partners to find ways to productively engage youth. One bright spot is the potential for an “Out of School Time Program” planning grant through the Cleveland Foundation’s Youth Development Initiative (YDI). Through community-wide planning, we can organize a network of activities that could possibly be eligible for long-term operational support through the YDI.
None of the work the Library does would be possible without the dedicated support of our patrons and the financial backing of our generous taxpayers. We are humbled by the many endorsements received during the campaign. Jane Wood’s comments in her weekly email newsletter were especially powerful. “ I have decided to endorse the library levy. I don’t usually do this, but I am a huge fan of the library, which I think does an excellent job under difficult circumstances. It is perhaps the City’s most important asset.”
Thank you, again, to everyone who has helped us in the past and to those who will continue to work with us in the future!
Luren E. Dickinson, Director