Library was a launch pad for popular staff members
Two Lee Road Library staff members are known not only for their hard work and dedication, but also for their creative energy and humor.
This summer, youth services librarian Henry Drak and marketing assistant Anna Register are moving on to other cities to start new chapters in their lives. Drak is relocating to Pittsburgh and Register to Los Angeles.
“Both Anna and Henry have reputations for being a little nutty--in a very good way,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “That’s part of why we’ll miss them both so much. They have the ability to find the fun and humor in just about every situation. So people loved to work with them.”
Drak earned his reputation for his ability to get kids excited about reading through his creative children’s programs.
“Henry’s enthusiasm for reading and creating is infectious, and as a result, he was sort of like the Pied Piper of Lee Road, always surrounded by kids,” said Brian Hare, youth services manager. “The best part was that his fun activities had quite a serious purpose—literacy. But all the kids knew was that they were having a blast.”
Drak studied biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. During his last semester, he came to know staff at Heights Libraries. “I found out that their jobs used every curious and creative muscle in their bodies,” said Drak. “And, they got to spend the day helping people.” He headed to library school soon after and has never looked back.
Register came to the library after graduating from Baldwin Wallace University with a marketing degree. When she wasn’t keeping the libraries’ many meeting rooms organized and helping spread the word about the libraries, she was volunteering for programs such as the Hobbit Quest.
“Anna is a very talented singer and actress, and she put those skills to great use when she played the character of Gollum in the Hobbit program this past winter,” said Kim DeNero-Ackroyd, deputy director. “She did her own makeup and was able to perfectly mimic Gollum’s voice. She really added magic to the program.”
Register has been in local productions of "Dreamgirls" and "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at Cain Park, and "Hairspray" and "Legally Blonde" at the Beck Center for the Performing Arts. Her love of performing is what is pulling her to California.
“I don't have any grandiose expectations,” said Register. “I'm just hoping to explore a different part of the country while connecting with people through my work. Also, becoming a surfer girl would be nice.”
As for Drak, he looks forward to returning to his original home, Pittsburgh. Silly to the end, Drak quipped, “Moving back to Pittsburgh means I won’t have to give up constantly eating pierogies.”
Sheryl Banks is the marketing and community relations manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.