Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board meeting highlights 11-17-2014

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

  • Mrs. Grace Brody’s estate makes major gift
  • Levy passage allows planning
  • Five Star Library
  • University Heights Library parking lot
  • DigiLit Grant presentation
  • Scorecard measures of success
  • HKIC in Erie, Pa. news
  • Website
  • October public service report highlights

All board members were present.

Mrs. Grace Brody’s estate makes major gift

The board accepted a $500,000 gift from the trust estate of Mrs. Grace Brody. Brody was a professor at Case Western Reserve University where, in 2007, she endowed a chair, the Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies. She was 98 at the time of her death in March 2013, and lived on Ormond Road. To recognize this gift, the Lee Road Library children’s room will be named in her honor.

Levy passage allows planning

Library Director Nancy Levin and Board President Jim Posch expressed gratitude that the library’s levy passed with 68 percent of the votes and thanked co-chairs Abby Botnick, board member, and Louisa Oliver, Friends president. The funds will be used to:

  • Open all of the branches on Sundays, with March as the target date. This entails hiring of both full-time and part-time librarians.
  • Maintain fiscal responsibility so as not to have another levy for “many, many years.”
  • Renovate and expand the University Heights branch to increase parking, add a rear entrance from the parking lot and add a first-floor restroom. If possible, there will be renovations to the children’s area and addition of another meeting room.
  • Continue improvements to the Coventry Village branch, especially to the new children’s area, and add outdoor lighting.

Five Star Library

Director Levin explained that circulation, number of visitors, program attendance and Internet use were some of the factors leading to the library being selected as a Library Journal 5-Star Library. Operating expenditures determine a specific library’s peer group.

University Heights Library parking lot

The board authorized purchase of the property at 2175 Fenwick Road, adjacent to the parking lot of the University Heights branch. Two of the main concerns of citizens surveyed about that branch were insufficient parking and lack of an entrance from the parking lot directly into the library. The purchase price is $141,000.

DigiLit Grant presentation

Librarians Sam Lapides and Pam Spangler presented an update on the DigiLit Grant, a $486,000 award from the Ohio State Board of Education to the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, in which the library is a community partner, along with John Carroll University, the University of Akron and others. The purpose is the development, implementation and testing of programs in digital literacy to develop language arts programs for the pre-K through fifth grades. The students have iPads for reading eBooks, and the library will be involved in a parent component so that parents can use the technology along with their children. Gearity Elementary School is the first site, with Boulevard Elementary School as the control. Within five years, the entire district will be involved.

Scorecard measures of success

Highlights of the Balanced Scorecard Measures of Success focused on outreach visits by Peggy Hull, youth services librarian, to Heights High; promotion of library programs by merchant members of the Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID); and the Matchmakers (material recommendations) issuing eight-word book review tweets.

HKIC in Erie, Pa. news

The library’s Heights Knowledge and Information Center (HKIC) was covered in the Erie Times News in [a story about] the Erie County Public Library’s planned “ideas” lab. Erie Library Director Mary Rennie refers to HKIC as an inspiration.


The new website went live in February 2014. Although making comparisons with the former website is difficult, an obvious success is the new blog format for librarian recommendations for reading and listening. Whereas the former blog site, linked to the home page, averaged 200 hits a month, the new site got as many 3,400 hits a month and has stabilized at about 2,200 hits. Other sites with increased hits are the library’s research/database page and the CLEVNET Bibliocommons catalog.

October public service report highlights:

  • Local history programs presented by the Cleveland Heights Historical Society and the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission were Rockefeller’s Forest Hill Neighborhood, Heights, Monticello and Roxboro: Past, Present and Future, and Integration of Cleveland Heights.
  • University Heights Library held a Senior Health and Wellness Day with 12 agencies and businesses participating, and with 40 residents in attendance.
  • The fall session of the Science and Nature Study Group, in partnership with the Harold T. Clark Library of the Natural History Museum, concluded with two programs: Phoenix from the Ashes: the Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, which included a museum tour; and a book discussion of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.
  • The No Brushes Allowed program prompted children to use their hands, found objects, string and more to make art projects. Their art was then displayed in the Lee Road Library’s gallery.
  • The Art Study Group toured the Cleveland Museum of Art for a lecture titled Celebrate the Book in Art. Calligraphy Made Easy was a hands-on class, and Words as Ritual was a lecture.
  • The Coventry Village Library and the Coventry Village SID partnered to present Spooky Stories for 15 children under the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch.
  • Youth services division staff resumed after-care outreach to both Noble and Oxford elementary schools. In addition, they reached out to each grade at Noble Elementary School during the day when the position of the Noble school librarian was eliminated
  • Star Wars Reads Day on Oct. 11 brought 20 participants to activities including face painting, coloring pages, book giveaways, and a Star Wars character hunt.

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 Mors, 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 8, Issue 1, Posted 12:48 PM, 12.09.2014