Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Shaker Library is gearing up for a number of ambitious projects. At last month’s Board Meeting we provided a quarterly report on our progress toward accomplishing many of the objectives set forth in the Strategic Plan. Many of the activities that follow are related those planning efforts.
One of the most important community-wide efforts involving the Library is our April 30 grant application to the Cleveland Foundation for funding through its Youth Development Initiative program. Six grants will be awarded to “neighborhoods” in Cuyahoga County—four designated for the City of Cleveland, one for a neighborhood in a first ring suburb on the west side, and one for a neighborhood in a first ring suburb on the east side. Our “neighborhood” has been designated as “South Shaker” and will encompass Ludlow, Moreland, Lomond, and Sussex.
Shaker Prevention Coalition will serve as our Neighborhood Council for the grant, which is intended to fund a six-month planning project that could lead to operational grants shared with participating groups over a number of years. Our grant partners include the Shaker Heights City School District, the City of Shaker Heights, Shaker Heights Youth Center, Shaker Family Center, Bellefaire JCB, neighborhood associations and churches. Notification of grant winners is expected by May 30.
Another initiative has been our efforts to increase the Library’s Internet bandwidth. A year ago, we added a second T-1 line through our CLEVNET membership doubling our capacity and speed. Currently, we are working with CLEVNET, AT&T, and OPLIN (the Ohio Public Library Information Network, a state funded operation that provides free and/or greatly subsidized Internet services to public libraries), and, at minimal expense to the Library, we will soon replace our two T-1 lines with 10 Mbps (million bits or megabits per second) service. Since the speed of a single T-1 is defined as 1.544 Mbps, the new connection will be more than three times the current capacity.
A second technology project is the installation of print-and-time- management software for our public computers. We began testing the software last year, and in January installed the software on the computer workstations in Main Library’s Adult Services area. In June, we plan to complete the installation on all computer workstations. We will also install vending machines, which will issue print-payment cards.
We are in the midst of planning for the use of the unfinished section of the Main Library second floor and rethinking the way that we use our current space. We have considered a number of ideas for redesigning the space, among them: creating a library café in the Moreland Room at Main Library and relocating the Local History area to the second floor; enlarging the Computer Center with room for family computing, and dedicating an area in the library for homework help. These and other space-planning ideas will be considered for implementation. Finally, we will begin the renovation of the Main Library public restrooms this summer.
In May, we celebrate Older Americans Month with a series of programs designed with our seniors in mind. State Representative Armond Budish will be on hand at a special Meet-Your-Senior-Representative Reception May 12 at Bertram Woods. On May 22, African-American genealogist Deborah Abbott will talk about finding your roots, and on May 29, folks can enjoy the uplifting sounds of the Greater Cleveland Chorus, a registered chorus of the Sweet Adelines. The May 22 Poetry Back in the Woods program will feature readings by Nin Andrews and Sarah Willis, and our Meet-the-Author series at Woods Branch continues on May 28 when local author, cooking instructor, and chef, Bev Shaffer, speaks about her recipe for successful publishing.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director