Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 4-17-23

APRIL 17, 2023


  • Board actions
  • Security report
  • Director’s report
  • Specialty teams report
  • Public service report


Present were Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. Max Gerboc was not present. The meeting lasted 65 minutes.

Board actions

The board:

  • Authorized an agreement, not to exceed $939,544, with Independence Construction for the Noble Neighborhood Branch Library additions and renovations.
  • Authorized Millstone Management to perform most of the repairs at the University Heights Branch Library. Five other vendors will also participate in the repairs.
  • Approved the public sale at the Noble Neighborhood Branch Library for April 23, 1-4 p.m. for surplus items such as tables and chairs, bookcases, and display racks.
  • Authorized a lease with two new tenants at the Coventry Peace Building: Encore Employment Services and People’s Choice Payee Services.
  • Authorized an amendment to the Drug-Free Workplace Policy to include legalized medical marijuana use as prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner.
  • Authorized a one-time bonus of $2,000 to Ty Emerson who temporarily filled the vacant Continuing Education position (Jan. 9 - March 19) while he continued his responsibilities in the circulation department.
  • Authorized the creation of three new staff positions which include staff training and development coordinator, human resources coordinator (full-time), and administrative assistant.
  • Authorized funds to reconfigure space to accommodate the persons in the above listed new positions.

Security report

Security Services Manager Kevin Echols provided a review of incident reports. During the last quarter of 2022, there were 44 incidents, an increase of 16.5 percent over the first quarter of 2023. This increase (nine incidents) is directly attributable to a group of teenage boys. Action has been taken and the incidents are now down. Incident breakdowns follow the pattern of a five to one ratio between Lee Road Library and the other branches. Noble Neighborhood Branch Library has the second highest number of incidents. Sixteen incidents required outside intervention—14 from the police and two from emergency medical services (EMS). Most of the incidents occurred on weekdays, usually between 3-7 p.m.

Director’s report

The last day of service at the Noble Neighborhood Library was Saturday, April 15. The branch is expected to be closed approximately one year. Groundbreaking for the new addition will be May 16, at 5:30 p.m.

The board has reviewed the updated plans for PEACE park. These plans will be reviewed by the city’s architecture board. Library Giving Day raised nearly $7,000. “I survived the Big Slide” tee-shirts were introduced to assist with the fundraising. Fundraising is half-way to the goal of $1.2 million dollars. Tee-shirts can be ordered on Facebook or on the Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) webpage. The library continues to lobby city government for American Rescue Plan Funds. 

University Heights basement restoration has begun with drywall installation. Restoration should be completed by mid-June.

Plexiglass dividers will be removed in early May for all service points. The Centers for Disease Control has shown the best protection from COVID-19 is wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, not plexiglass barriers.

The social worker in-residence from the Centers for Families and Children will begin at the library Friday, May 5. A resource fair to be held Saturday, May 6, will launch the program.

Community Development Specialist Denise Oliver from Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) started April 12. Wednesdays at Lee Road, 10 a.m.-6 p.m, she will provide guidance, tools, resources, and support for one’s path toward wage-sustaining employment.

Library staff continue to monitor Ohio House Bill 1 and the Public Library Fund distributions, which have significant impact on the library’s financial resources.

Specialty teams report

Approximately one-third of the library staff are involved in a specialty team. The teams include arts and entertainment, community needs, diversity, health and wellness, lifelong learning, and workforce development. The teams review current status of activities in the library and determine priorities for the future.

Public service

AARP volunteers helped 220 people with their tax returns. 

Coventry Village Branch marked the start of Ohio Deaf History Month (March 18 – April 13) with a well-attended ASL (American Sign Language) story time.

Each Wednesday in March at the Noble branch, Katina Davis, youth services associate, hosted a "Job Spot", a program for teens who are new to the workforce. Teens were able to receive assistance with work permits, resume building, and job searches.

The next board meeting will be May 15, 6:30 p.m. at the Lee Road Library.

LWV Observer: Judith Beeler.

Information about the board, board meeting minutes and audio recordings of board meetings can be found at

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.15.2023