Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 12-18-23

DECEMBER 18, 2023

  • Fund for the Future of Heights Library
  • Board actions
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public services report
  • Outgoing board member

Board members present were Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, President Max Gerboc, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Tyler McTigue, Melissa Soto-Schwartz, and Vice President Vikas Turakhia. The meeting lasted one hour.

Fund for the Future of Heights Library

Jackie Nachman, president of the Fund for the Future of Heights Library reported that the Grog Shop fundraiser brought in $11,143.78. She presented a $150,000 donation to the PEACE Park. Total donations to the park from the Fund to date total $262,000.00.

Board actions

The board: 

  • Authorized funds for property, liability, and cyber insurance.
  • Approved a “fund to fund cash advance return” from the Washington Blvd fund to the general fund.
  • Authorized a request for a real estate property tax advance.
  • Approved the 2023 permanent appropriation.
  • Approved the 2024 permanent appropriation in the amount of $16,587,796.22.
  • Approved a furniture purchase for Lee Road Branch youth services.
  • Approved a new sign for the Noble Neighborhood Branch.
  • Approved a change order for the structural design required for the Noble Neighborhood Branch construction.

Personnel report

The board approved a settlement claim and the 2024 staff salary table. A 2024 staffing plan is being developed to prepare for reopening the Noble branch and filling other positions.

Director’s report

Board Member Annette Iwamoto was named one of Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 under 40 honorees in November.

The collections department has encumbered nearly all of their budget. Use of multi-vendor purchase orders this year led to greater efficiency, cutting the number of purchase orders in half.

More trees will be added to the PEACE Park with the help of Holden Arboretum. The library received a $5,000 grant from Dominion Energy for a pollinator garden at the PEACE Park.

Furniture and shelving have been selected for the Noble Neighborhood Branch. Work is happening on the roof and the raised floor.

Hallie Turnberrez of University Heights will join the library board of trustees in January.

The communications team recorded and posted video of the PEACE Park demolition. This was most popular Instagram ever posted, to date, with over 7,000 plays.

Strategic project staff collaborated with Dobama to install an interactive "Little Women" display in the Lee Road Branch Art Gallery.

The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) posted the December 2023 Public Library Fund(PLF) distribution of $44,150,436, bringing the calendar year (CY) 2023 total to $510,185,923, which is $16.6 million more (+3.37 percent) than ODT’s estimate and $7.8 million more (+ 1.55 percent) than the CY 2022 total distribution. So far, state fiscal year 2024 tax collections are about $245 million above estimates (+ 2.1 percent).

On Dec. 7, the initiated statute legalizing adult use marijuana, State Issue 2, became effective. Legislation is currently being debated at the statehouse that would make several changes to the new law. For employers (including public libraries), the new law protects the employers' ability to manage their workplaces and employees like the employer protections in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Law.

Ohio House Bill (HB) 257 is proposed legislation to provide certain public boards, including library boards, with the opportunity to have virtual meetings. HB 257 was recently voted out of the Ohio House and awaits action in the Ohio Senate. Currently, trustees of library boards are required to have their meetings in-person.

Public service report

Coventry Branch youth services staff members, Louise Lybrook and Steve Eigsti, have been providing weekly outreach visits to the Roxboro Elementary School aftercare program. In addition to reading to the children, Ms. Lybrook and Mr. Eigsti have engaged the kindergarten and first graders with fun crafts, learning conversation, and literacy activities such as story building, letter puzzles, and building towers. 

Youth Services Associates Catherine Bransky and Kate Atherton, along with Circulation Assistant D.J .Witherspoon, represented the University Heights Branch at Gearity Elementary School’s math and literacy night on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The theme was “Reaching for the Stars.” Staff member Kamaria Kabir designed a celestial-themed activity box for the event.

2023 circulation is on track to exceed last year’s circulation. 

Outgoing board member

The board recognized the contributions and accomplishments of outgoing board member Max Gerboc.

LWV Observer: Elizabeth Tracy.

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

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 1:35 PM, 01.30.2024