Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board meeting highlights 3-18-13

MARCH 18, 2013

  • Community survey available on website
  • Public libraries confront e-book pricing
  • Friends’ activities
  • Security equipment upgrade
  • 2013 budget planning
  • Public Service Report highlights for February
  • 2012 Annual Public Services Report

Board Member Abby Botnick was absent.

Community survey available on website

Sheryl Banks, marketing and community relations manager, worked with Baldwin Wallace University on finalizing, promoting and launching the community survey. Those not on the random phone-survey list can fill out the survey form on the library’s website.

Public libraries confront e-book pricing

The nine public libraries in the county have signed an op-ed piece submitted to the Plain Dealer concerning the fact that six of the largest trade publishers refuse to sell e-books to public libraries. When e-books are available, the pricing can be as much as five times higher than the pricing for print copies of the same titles. For example, Justin Cronin’s bestseller The Twelve is priced at $9.99 as an Amazon e-book, $15.51 in print, and $84 as an e-book for libraries.

Friends’ activities

A partnership with Heights Arts will allow Friends of The Library to sell thousands of prints from the Vixeboxse Gallery and share the proceeds equally with Heights Arts. The prints will be available at the May 3–5 book sale.

The March First Friday sale brought in $600. The April First Friday Sale will feature two bags of fiction for $4. On May 18 there will be a fundraiser at The Wine Spot.

Security equipment upgrade

Kevin Echols, library security chief, talked about upgrading security equipment. The current system is underpowered and will not deliver the results that are needed when tapes are reviewed following theft reports. The new equipment would be phased in while still using the current equipment. The board approved a contract with Power Alarm Security Systems of Cleveland for $22,000.

2013 budget planning

Molly Pandelli, fiscal officer, addressed the budget planning for the 2013 General Fund. While the library’s certified Public Library Fund (PLF) amount is 2.5 percent higher for 2013, property taxes are certified to be approximately 5 percent lower than in 2012. The collection budget is increased and will include more e-books and downloadable material. Periodicals and business books for the Heights Knowledge and Information Center (HKIC) will be included. A contingency budget will remain at $150,000 for unexpected expenditures.

Public Service Report highlights for February

  • Coventry Librarian Pat Gray served as a judge at the Roxboro Middle School Spelling Bee, which went 19 rounds.
  • Noble Librarian Constance Dickerson was on the jury to select the 2013 Mary V. Gaver scholarship recipient. The American Library Association awards this scholarship to a library school student specializing in youth services.
  • Youth Services Librarian Sarah Biscuso and Youth Services Associate Shamekia Chandler collaborated with the Heights High GRADS class to present early literacy concepts to seven teen mothers. The librarians gave them a bibliography of books and taught them read-aloud techniques.

2012 Annual Public Services Report

Among the highlights presented were:

  • Library programming for the year attracted 66,342 people to attend 5,904 programs.
  • The six second-floor private study rooms in the Lee Road Library were made available by registration instead of “first come, first served” and there has been more frequent usage by a wider range of people.
  • The Training Department completed 12 successful Connect Ohio Series, and 75 customers completed the training. The contract has been renewed through July 2013.
  • February’s live-action Candyland program attracted almost 200 people.
  • Another 200 people attended the Oct. 14 program Harvey Pekar: A Literary, Library Life.
  • In his first year as special projects coordinator, Sam Lapides facilitated the installation of three Little Free Libraries in the community, presided over the annual crossword competition, organized the STEPS program with Youth Services, led the third year of the summer lunch program, partnered with the Cleveland Clinic to offer free health screenings, wrote numerous grant applications and published an article in Public Libraries about the summer lunch program.

LWV Observer: Anne S. McFarland.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse, and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 6:58 PM, 04.17.2013