Cleveland Heights University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 10-21-2019

OCTOBER 21, 2019


  • SPARK (Supporting Partnership to Assure Ready Kids)
  • Incident reports
  • Financial report
  • Policy amendments
  • Library cleaning services
  • Coventry waterproofing project
  • Racial equity training
  • The 1619 Project
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank mobile pantry
  • Ohio Library Council Convention
  • Strategic plan community survey
  • Youth Services new programs
  • Circulation report


Present were President Chris Mentrek, Vice President James Roosa, Dana Fluellen, Annette Iwamoto, Susan Moskowitz and Vikas Turakhia. Max Gerboc was absent.

SPARK (Supporting Partnership to Assure Ready Kids)

Chrissy Zoldak, a Parent Partner from Family Connections, gave a progress report to the board on SPARK, a program for preschool children to build academic and social emotional skills for school readiness.

Incident report

Kevin Echols, library security manager, gave an update to the board on incidents report tracking. The library is on pace to match the previous two years for the number of incidents. There have been 174 incidents as of September 30, 2019. Current visitor numbers are 554,059 as of Sept. 30; this puts the rate of incident at 0.0406 percent of incidents per visitors.

Financial report

The board reviewed and accepted the September financial statement. Total cash balance across the operating accounts, Bauer Fund accounts, and investment accounts at the end of September was $17,156,976.55.

Policy amendments

The board approved two changes to the Service and Administrative Policies of the library board of trustees. In section E, Civic Responsibilities, the following sentence was added: “Political materials may be distributed to the public outside of the library, but not inside of any building”. In Appendix G. Meeting Room Guidelines, the following sentence was added: “Any violation of the Library Code of Conduct or Meeting Room Guidelines can be cause for suspension of meeting room privileges.”

Library cleaning services

The board approved the advertisement of bids for cleaning services of all the library facilities at a cost not to exceed $130,000.

Coventry waterproofing project

For the waterproofing project at the Coventry Village branch library, the board accepted the bid of F. Buddie Contracting, Ltd. which had a lowest base bid of $296,100 and the lowest alternate bid of $47,630 for a total contract of $343,730, which is under the estimated cost of $385,000. The library had received four bids for the project.

Racial equity training 

All staff participated in racial equity training in October, and the board of library trustees will have training in December.

The 1619 Project 

On Monday, Sept. 30, the Adult Services Dept. hosted more than 90 people for a discussion on slavery in America prompted by the “The 1619 Project” published in The New York Times Magazine. The event was such a success that follow up discussions will be held November 2019 and January 2020. Staff members John Piche, adult services, and Peyton Meeks, circulation, facilitated the program.

Greater Cleveland Food Bank mobile pantry

The mobile pantry served 66 families during the last outdoor event at the Coventry Branch in September. It will continue on the fourth Monday of the month at the Lee Road branch starting in October.

Ohio Library Council (OLC) Convention 

Seven employees attended the 2019 OLC Convention in Cincinnati, September 25-27. Manager Ty Emerson presented a program at OLC titled “Fine Free is Overdue” where he shared the library’s journey through the process of eliminating fines and the tangible results of that change.

Strategic plan community survey

An online survey was conducted to gather information regarding challenges the community faces to help the library meet community needs. In addition, library staff administered surveys in person at programs and community events, attended community meetings to take notes, and spoke with patrons and neighbors. Data has been collated and will be presented to the board. This information will be used to influence the direction of the strategic plan for 2020-2021.

Youth Services new programs

Youth Services launched several new programs in September. Librarian Charlotte Blasier started a new monthly STEM based program called STEMondays and a monthly Saturday drop-in Lego program. Associate Kareemah Hairston brought back the Teen Advisory Board. Associate Chris Fries introduced Prehistoric Madness, a competition where the community votes for their favorite prehistoric animals. In September, Youth Services staff visited five preschools, daycares and schools to read stories to 210 children. Sarah Rosenberger, youth services librarian, and associate Colin Marshall visited Heights High and signed up 39 teens for library cards.

Circulation report

Electronic media streaming currently makes up about 10 percent of materials circulated. Three of the four library branches increased circulation from a year ago. Visitors to the library remained about the same, except for the Noble branch which showed an increase from a year ago.

Next meeting will be held at the University Heights Branch Library on Monday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m. 

LWV Observer: Elizabeth M. Tracy. 

Read More on Library
Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:25 AM, 11.18.2019