Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 10-20-14

OCTOBER 20, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Library audit wins praise
  • New photocopier contract
  • Coventry Village Library lighting plan
  • Staff development day awards
  • New circulation services manager
  • Retirement resolutions
  • Friends of Heights Library events
  • Foundation for the Heights Library
  • September public service report highlights

Board Member Abby Botnick was absent.

Public comments

Meeting room concerns: University Heights resident Sheila Hubman wanted to know whether the improvements to the University Heights Library would cause loss of meeting room space. Director Nancy Levin assured her that they would not. She also asked about the $30 per hour charge for meeting room use. Hubman belongs to a group of residents that is not a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, but is focused on public affairs. She questions having to pay the room fee for their meetings. Both Director Levin and Board President James Posch responded. Often, without a room charge, no one shows up, creating a situation where another group could have used the room. Also, although Hubman’s group has left the room as it was when the group arrived, some groups do not, so there is need for cleaning.

Library audit wins praise

Financial Officer Jana L. Nassif announced that she and Deputy Financial Officer Julie Lehtinen were presented the Auditor of State’s Award of Distinction on the basis of the library’s 2013 audit. Only 5 percent of Ohio government offices receive this award, which the library also received for its 2012 audit.

New photocopier contract

The board approved a contract with Blue Technologies, a locally owned company, for the copying and printing services made available to customers and staff. Nassif explained in detail the criteria by which this vendor was chosen, and it is expected that problems that existed in this area before will not recur.

Coventry Village Library lighting plan

Director Levin explained changes in the Coventry Village Library lighting resulting from a plan devised in cooperation with the city. The goal is to improve the outdoor lighting for security and for the presence of the building in the community. Outdoor lighting will include LED pole-mounted lights that will prevent light spillover and spread. Attention will be given to renovation of the historical sconces on the building.

Staff development day awards

The day opened with a poem by Ben Gulyas, librarian and former Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate. Gold Star winners were staffers Karen Sheck and Courtney Bourdeau (Lee Road Library adult services); Josh Garcia (University Heights Library security); Dana Hermelin (Noble Neighborhood Library youth services); Matt Hoffman (Lee Road Library information technology); Maggie Killman (Coventry Village Library adult services); Shenee King (University Heights Library youth services); Julie Lehtinen (Lee Road Library administration); Ellen Paulini (Lee Road Library adult services); and Gloria Woods (Lee Road Library circulation). Special awards were: Detlef Fabian Award – Matt Hoffman (Lee Road Library information technology); Gertrude Kleiner Award – Sam Lapides (Lee Road Library administration); and Pat Carterette Award – Carole Wallencheck and L.P. Coldangelo (Lee Road Library adult services).

New circulation services manager

The board approved the appointment of Leslie Malnar as circulation services manager. She brings 25 years of library experience, including eight and a half years as head of circulation at Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library.

Retirement resolutions

A resolution honored Christine Sheppa on her retirement after 25 years with the library in different positions, including outreach specialist and adult services associate.

A second resolution honored Mary Murphy on her retirement after 23 years with this library, during which her positions included technical services supervisor and circulation services manager. She has also been active in the staff association, serving as president for three years, 1997–99.

Friends of the Heights Library events

The Fall Mega Book Sale in November begins with a preview night for members on Nov. 6 and continues through Nov. 9. The group will hold a theater outing Dec. 6 with Dobama’s presentation of “A Civil War Christmas,” followed by a reception in the library’s art gallery.

Election of officers took place at the group’s annual meeting. Louisa Oliver will continue as president; Linda Lopez is vice president; Nancy Corey and Jan Jones will be co-secretaries; Margaret Poutasse will be treasurer; and Susan Ford will train to become treasurer. New board members are Ketti Finneran, Susan Ford, Vivian Pospisil and Barbara Walker.

Foundation for the Heights Library

The Foundation for the Heights Library currently has assets of $23,918, which earns 10 percent with the Cleveland Foundation. Board President Jim Posch asked Financial Officer Jana Nassif the rhetorical question as to what percent interest the library is paid on the millions that, by state law, it has to invest in specific funds.

September public service report highlights:

  • Coventry Village Library utilized the new mobile lab, with trainer Jackie Mayse beginning a six-part computer basics class with full enrollment.
  • The September Cedar-Coventry author series featured Steven Swiniarski, whose pen name is S. Andrew Swann. He writes science fiction, fantasy and mystery, all of which feature time portals, dwarves and dragons. Several of his novels are set in Cleveland.
  • For Noble Neighborhood Library’s harvest celebration, Dana Hermelin made several quarts of salsa with tomatoes from Noble’s garden, which attendees could sample and take home.
  • As part of the communitywide On the Same Page program, Noble Neighborhood Library featured an interactive conversation board for comments about the Chief Wahoo character—beloved mascot or racist stereotype?
  • At the University Heights Library, the first of the three-part Itty-Bitty Ballet Series, led by Youth Services Associate Shenee King, hosted 53 participants, with many of the smaller ones wearing tutus and spangles.
  • Around 240 people attended the Sesame Street Block Party at the Lee Road Library, where Cookie Monster won the election for mayor over Oscar the Grouch by a large margin. Local businesses, firefighters, office holders and volunteers were involved with the event.

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 of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 12:53 PM, 11.11.2014