Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Summertime is a time for staff vacations and the Library Board does not meet again until September, but library activities continue full speed ahead during this time period. Much positive momentum in a variety of areas was gained recently and we hope to keep that positive energy moving forward into the fall.
On the political front, the feared Tax Expenditure Limitation Amendment to the Ohio Constitution has been avoided and a less threatening TEL statue has been passed, which affects only the state budget, rather than local budgets. Nevertheless, the gubernatorial election in November is shaping up to be one that will have statewide and even national repercussions.
On the home front, the Shaker Heights Public Library Board of Trustees, as the result of a successful retreat, has determined to investigate a comprehensive planning effort. The first step toward that end was a meeting with planning experts Amy Morgenstern and Marty Pollack on June 14. The Board hopes to involve staff, as well as representative local residents, to put together a truly community-based strategic plan. It is hoped that some action will be taken to initiate the process when the Board meets again in regular session this September.
In the meantime, the Main Library is really starting to take on a great look with new paint and colors in most areas of the first floor public level. A long awaited piece of furniture for the Friends of the Shaker Library’s Neverending Booksale also adds a nice touch. New carpeting and baseboard molding are on order and should be installed in August. Once this work is completed, the main level will look like it has been totally renovated.
Both the Main Library and the Bertram Woods Branch have been very busy with the Summer Reading Program. With the theme, “We Dig Reading at the Shaker Library,” some of the children’s areas have been decorated as if they are in the caves or the underground. The Teen Center is also busy this summer with the Shaker Prevention Coalition’s SHARP (Student Health Advocates Reaching Peers) participants. I met with many of these students at a special meeting on June 26.
The next big event for the Friends of the Shaker Library will be their Annual Meeting on July 11 at the Bertram Woods Branch. As a nod toward our program theme for the year, “Healthy, Wealthy & Wise,” we have invited three different speakers, reflective of Benjamin Franklin’s interests, including the State Librarian, a local postmaster, and an inventor. The following evening, July 12, the Library will celebrate the publication of Silver Apples of the Moon: Art and Poetry.
One of the next projects for both of our locations will be the introduction of the Smart Access Manager or SAM system to help staff better control access by the public to computer workstations and printers. Because of ordering delays, due to the use of bond issue funds, we will probably not see SAM in place before the start of the upcoming school year. Likewise, it will probably be September before we can get the new automatic doors and vestibule heating for the Main Library.
On Flag Day, we raised a ceremonial flag on the 80-year old flagpole, which has graced the property northeast of the Main Library since the time that the Moreland School first opened in 1926. We hope to have this pole, which is badly rusted, replaced with a new one of the same size in time for a special dedication on Monday, September 11, 2006. We are also busily preparing for our annual Staff Professional Day, which is scheduled for September 15.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director