Message to the Community from Luren E. Dickinson:
Our strategic planning efforts are nearing completion as the new school year begins. The Strategic Planning Committee of the Shaker Heights Public Library met on August 30 to put finishing touches on objectives and activities for the major goals that were approved by the Board of Trustees in June. At the September 10 Board meeting, the objectives will be approved and the staff will begin work on the various activities that have been chosen to reach the objectives and accomplish the goals.
This year’s summer reading program was quite popular and staff was busy from the beginning to the end of the program. A popular component was the challenge question of the day that featured audio clues. Over 1,000 children either read for five hours or made five visits to the library. The largest percentage read for 10 – 20 hours. Woodbury Elementary School had the highest number of students (113) who completed the program by reading for 5 or more hours. Onaway Elementary School had 102; Fernway had 98; Lomond had 93; Mercer had 83 and Boulevard had 70 students who completed the program.
Our September and October will be busy with returning students. New to the Main Library is a Homework Help Center funded by Friends of the Shaker Library and a grant from the Shaker Heights High School Class of 1973. The center will be staffed by Cheryl Darden, a Cleveland Public Schools educator, known to us as the volunteer who coordinates the judges for the Dr. Martin Luther King Student Writing Contest. Hours for the Homework Center are 4 – 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and the fall session runs from September 10 through November 7. We will seek grant funding from other sources to continue this service.
Now that the students are back to school, we, too, are in an educational mode with our programming. This September we begin our Abraham Salon series celebrating three great faiths – Christianity, Judaism and Islam - with an interesting lineup of speakers. The books to be discussed include Abraham by Bruce Feiler and The Faith Club by
In addition to our September 16 Constitution Read Aloud, we will also celebrate our freedom to read during Banned Books Week (September 29 – October 6) with a program the evening of October 11 that will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz and ACLU of Ohio’s Development Director Jason Jaffery. We have invited the students at Woodbury Elementary School and the public to help us build a huge flag that proclaims, Shaker Reads Freely, which will be unveiled that evening.
Youth Services continues its great array of program offerings for children and families. The popular American Girl Doll series resumes and therapeutic dogs return to the library to help children practice their reading skills. A new program this year is our Dangerous Book Club for 5th and 6th graders. It is based on the book, The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden, and is designed to appeal to boys. The capstone program will be a behind-the-scenes tour of the Main Library.
Teen Services is debuting Teen Center Bucks as a positive behavior motivator. For their good behavior, teens can earn “bucks” that are redeemable for gift cards and other merchandise funded by Friends of the Library. At the request of the Shaker Middle School, we will sponsor a Teen Anime Club at Woods Branch beginning this September.
Friends of the Library are on a mission to increase membership. They have created membership cards, which they are mailing to each member, and they have begun to solicit area businesses to offer perks to those who show their membership cards.
Other than the day-to-day problems that we all experience, the biggest “disaster” we have seen in recent weeks was a leak in the flat “Carlisle” portion of the roof. It is under warranty and we worked with the contractor to solve the problem.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director