Cleveland Heights–University Heights Public Library Board meeting highlights 1-26-2015

JANUARY 26, 2015

  • Library board officers for 2015
  • 2014 revenue at $9.4 million
  • Report on staff turnover
  • Library coverage in the Plain Dealer
  • Social media coverage
  • Friends’ activities
  • Safety issues
  • December public service report

All board members were present.

Library board officers for 2015

Board officers for 2015 will be Rob Fischer, president; Rick Ortmeyer, vice president; and Ron Holland, secretary.

Human Resources Coordinator Laurie Marotta administered the oath of office to Director Nancy Levin, Fiscal Officer Jana Nassif, Assistant Fiscal Officer Julie Lehtinen, Board President Rob Fischer, and to the two new board members, Susan Beatty and Chris Mentrek. Salaries approved by the board are $103,295.40 for Levin, and $68,985.50 for Nassif.

2014 revenue at $9.4 million

The December financial report showed revenue of $9.4 million for the fiscal year 2014, compared to $8.9 million in fiscal year 2013. A large part of the increase was due to the $500,000 bequest from the Grace Brody Trust. Expenditures for fiscal year 2014 were $7.9 million, compared to $7.7 million in fiscal year 2013, with the difference due largely to salary and benefits increases.

Report on staff turnover

Staff turnover rate, which had been 23 percent in 2013, fell to 16 percent in 2014. Turnover is mostly affected by part-timers finding full-time positions, retirements, and resignations by pages who are students and usually leave to attend college. Board President Fischer said he was impressed by the number of applications the library receives for open positions.

Library coverage in the Plain Dealer

Because most of the library’s media coverage is local, the downsizing at the Plain Dealer has affected coverage of the library, although the Friday Magazine consistently lists the library’s movie offerings.

Social media coverage

Social media coverage has grown, and Facebook “likes” have increased 18 percent from 2013. Twitter followers have increased 21 percent from 2013, and two e-newsletters, TechKnowledge and We Recommend, are now available.

Friends’ activities

Louisa Oliver, Friends board president, noted the African-American Read-In coming on Sunday, Feb. 1. Participants will each have five minutes to read a poem or book selection by an African-American author. The group’s newsletter has just been published, with a full calendar of spring events. Membership is only $10 per year, and board members are invited to join. A major benefit is the opportunity to preview the major book sales of the year.

Safety issues

Director Levin stressed the importance of safety in the library. Staff members write up incident reports on matters such as medical problems, police calls, property damage, missing property and general disturbances. Comparing incidents with the number of people using the building, 368 incidents occurred, with 873,513 visitors to all buildings in 2014. Totals for 2013 were similar. This represents one incident for every 2,500 visitors. Most happen after 2 p.m., with the majority classified as “general disturbances”—usually noise or problems with the use of meeting rooms. Two additional guards were hired in September, enabling a second guard to be stationed at Noble Neighborhood Library. Kevin Echols, supervisor of the guards, has installed and maintains security cameras throughout all branches.

December public service report highlights

  • The adult programming theme for the winter quarter was introduced with Dobama’s presentation of “A Civil War Christmas,” and will continue focus on the Civil War. The first program was Ghosts of the Civil War: Shades of Blue and Gray, presented by Mark Dawidziak and Sara Showman of the Largely Literary Theater.
  • The Cleveland Institute of Music Concert Night drew 40 people.
  • Noble Neighborhood Library hosted a Winter Wonderland for parents and children, featuring stories and winter-themed activities, including decorating sugar cookies.
  • The training services department increased the number of individual tutorial sessions on Wednesday afternoons, 2–4:30 p.m., to accommodate those unable to attend on Saturday mornings.
  • At the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center, nine people participated in the first use of the mobile training lab in a session on Working with Digital Images, taught by trainer Jackie Mayse.
  • Nine staff members at the University Heights Library proctored tests for eight students in distance-education programs.
  • Pam Spangler, University Heights Library’s youth services librarian, worked with Gearity Professional Development School students as part of the DigiLit grant, in which the library is a partner with the school district. The specific workshop was titled Bring Your Own Device.

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 8, Issue 3, Posted 6:33 PM, 02.10.2015