Cleveland Heights University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 12-16-2019

DECEMBER 16, 2019


  • Financial report
  • Strategic plan FY 2020-2022
  • Consultation services
  • The 1619 project
  • Circulation milestone
  • New electronic newsletter


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

Financial report

The board reviewed and accepted the November financial statement. Total cash balance across the operating accounts, Bauer Fund accounts, and investment accounts at the end of September was $16,084,034.59. In separate resolutions, the board approved the 2020 permanent appropriation; property, liability and cyber insurance; authorization to request tax advances; staff dental insurance renewal; and staff long-term disability renewal insurance.

Strategic plan FY 2020-2022

Strategic focus areas approved by the board are:

  • Foster diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Seek opportunities to promote an environment of safety and security for the community 
  • Be proactive in facilitating communication, and be a bridge builder for community concerns 
  • Be a bedrock for community workforce development.

Consultation services

The board approved two consulting contracts. One is with JMC Consultants (not to exceed $15,000) for budget development and proposal writing for building renovations as well as construction of a new playground at the PEACE Park. The second is with Compass Consulting (not to exceed $30,600), a local minority owned business, to assist with a diversity audit to assess the Heights Libraries organization in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The 1619 project

On Sept. 30, the Adult Services Department 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. Seventy-eight people attended a follow-up discussion held Nov. 18. A third discussion will be held Jan. 27, 2020.

Circulation milestone

The Heights Libraries will exceed two million item circulations sometime during the month of December. This threshold has never been crossed before. Some of these circulations are the result of automatic renewals for customers who keep their materials beyond the borrowing period as part of the fine-free policy. About nine percent of circulation is the result of digital material borrowing, which is steadily growing. Participating in the Clevnet consortium allows library users to borrow from the 12-county area, and for others in that area to borrow from the Heights Libraries.

New electronic newsletter

The communications team began work on a new electronic newsletter aimed at caregivers of children up to six years old, called Heights Little Learners, with input from the Youth Services Department, to be distributed in December or January. They also plan to create one just for adults.

Next meeting will be held at the Lee Road Branch Library on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

LWV Observer: Elizabeth M. Tracy. 

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 3:47 PM, 01.31.2020