Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

DECEMBER 19, 2016

  • Farewell and welcome
  • Employee benefits
  • Library revenues
  • Construction and renovation updates
  • Kudos
  • Food for fines
  • Heights libraries in the community
  • Library utilization

Board members Rick Ortmeyer (president), Ron Holland (vice president), Abby Botnick (secretary), Susan Beatty, Chris Mentrick and Jim Roosa were present. Board Member Suzann Moskowitz was absent.

Farewell and welcome

After 34 years of service to Heights Libraries, Myrtle Hammons retired from her position as a full-time circulation assistant. She was present, along with her family, to be recognized by the board for her dedication to the library and community. Board President Rick Ortmeyer was presented with a resolution of tribute for his leadership, community engagement, and service since 2012. Vice President Ron Holland will succeed Ortmeyer as president. Max Gerboc was appointed as a new board member. Gerboc, whose term will start in 2017, was in attendance, and welcomed, at the board meeting.

The board approved the appointments of Kara Whaley as marketing and volunteer coordinator, and Dan Krawczyk as the full-time circulation assistant, replacing Hammons.

Employee benefits

Life, disability and dental insurance for employees were renewed for 2017 at zero percent.

Library revenues

For the first time in several years, the library has been able to earn significant interest income—more than $100,000. With one month left in the fiscal year, revenues have exceeded projections and expenditures are under the budgeted amount. A new payroll system will be used in 2017.
The board reviewed and approved the financial report, which reflects a total cash balance of $14,387,978.55 in the operating, Bauer fund, and investment accounts.

The board approved a transfer of $712,500 from the general fund to the building and repair and technology funds in order to ensure that funds are available to make purchases at the beginning of fiscal year 2017.

Construction and renovation updates

Construction on the University Heights Library is continuing. A new sprinkler system will be added to ensure public safety and to maintain compliance with the building code. In addition to the that construction project, a renovation project will take place at the Noble Neighborhood Library. The board approved a resolution to replace the carpet and tile flooring with [new] carpet. This renovation will decrease noise and allow for smoother transport of materials on carts throughout the library.


Heights Libraries staff won the State Library of Ohio LSTA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) grant to create, in partnership with Lake Erie Ink, a new teen digital media lab and subsequent programming. The $15,000 project will provide the library with a Whisper soundproof recording booth, computers, software, and sound mixing and editing equipment.

Food for fines

Heights Libraries will have a food-for-fines drive Jan. 14–20. For every can donated, the customer will have one dollar in overdue fines forgiven. The donated food items are intended to support the Heights Emergency Food Center, located on Yellowstone Road.

Heights Libraries in the community

For the 18th year in a row, Heights Libraries hosted the Teen Poetry Slam. The event was a success, with 83 audience members in attendance.

Heights Libraries is a community partner with other organizations in bringing Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming, to Beachwood High School to speak on Jan. 19, 7–9 p.m.

Heights Libraries staff continued their partnerships with local organizations, visiting Park Synagogue and reading children’s stories to adults with special needs, and representing the library at a resource fair for The Centers for Families and Children.

Library utilization

The board approved a resolution to allow more nonprofit organizations free access to library meeting rooms, by expanding the list of acceptable documents of nonprofit status.

Library visits through October were 995,182 for all libraries. Through November, there were 1,369,746 items in circulation; meeting rooms were used 1,622 times by 30,991 attendees; and there were 5,348 library programs offered, with 63,517 attendees.

Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, 6:30 p.m., at the Lee Road Library.

LWV Observer: Khaliah Fisher-Grace.

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 10, Issue 2, Posted 6:22 PM, 01.17.2017