Library foundation honors three
Draupadi Pradhan, Suzanne De Gaetano and Rachel Wayne Nelson are this year’s Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries Honor Roll award recipients.
The awards—recognizing those who have made a sustained, outstanding contribution to the Heights community by promoting literacy or educating through literacy—are inspired by Heights Libraries’ mission of “Opening Doors, Opening Minds.” A Door Opener is someone who provides access to education, literature and opportunity through literacy. A Mind Opener stimulates the minds of community members through literature and thoughtful discussion, or connections with though-provoking ideas or individuals.
Pradhan, a Nepali refugee, works tirelessly to help the refugee community in Cleveland Heights. She has served as an interpreter, advocate and liaison, and has been instrumental in working with Noble Neighborhood Branch staff to offer services for refugees. She will receive a Door Opener award from the library foundation.
DeGaetano, owner of Mac’s Backs - Books on Coventry, has hosted a monthly poetry reading since 1984. It is one of the longest-running poetry series in the country. The store also hosts book clubs, writer’s workshops and community programs. DeGaetano has encouraged and supported new and established writers for decades, and has partnered with the Coventry Village Branch on numerous fundraisers. She will receive the Mind Opener award.
Nelson was the director of Heights Libraries from 1988 through 2008, and currently serves on the board of the Rainey Institute, which develops positive growth for Greater Cleveland’s youth through education and engagement in visual and performing arts. She was the director of the Cleveland Children’s Museum and an instrumental board member for Project Learn and the Global Issues Resource Center. Nelson remains an avid community volunteer and mentor well into her 90s. She will receive a Lifetime Achievement award.
The award recipients will officially be honored at a dinner banquet on Sunday, Nov. 11, 5 p.m., at the Dolan Center of John Carroll University. Tickets are available at https://ffhlhonordinner.eventbee.com.
Nancy Levin is the director of Heights Libraries.