Library

Library's eclipse-themed programs begin in March

On April 8, North America will experience a total solar eclipse, and Northeast Ohio will be one of the best viewing areas in the country. Heights Libraries is getting ready for the once-in-a-lifetime communitywide event with programs, information, and viewing opportunities.

Heights Libraries will distribute a limited number of eclipse kits at each branch beginning in mid-March. Each kit includes eclipse activities, reading suggestions, and two pairs of eclipse glasses. Customers must register to receive a kit, which will be available at each library branch on the following schedule:

• Coventry registration begins March 1; pick up March 15–22.
• Lee Road registration begins March 8, pick up March 22–29.
• Noble registration begins March 15; pick up March 29 through April 5.
• University Heights registration begins March 22; pick up April 5–12.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:05 AM, 02.24.2024

Library revises PEACE Park budget and timeline

At its Feb. 19, meeting, the Heights Libraries board of trustees approved an updated budget and timeline for the PEACE Park playground renovation.

The new budget is $3.2 million, up from an estimated $2.5 million. The new construction timeline has moved the park’s completion date to early December 2024, from the original estimate of summer 2024.

“Our board wants to ensure that the new PEACE Park fulfills our mission to provide safe, welcoming spaces with equal access to services for all of our residents,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:03 AM, 02.24.2024

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS/Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

JANUARY 19, 2024

  • Oath of office 
  • Sustainable Libraries Initiative
  • Financial report
  • Board actions
  • Director’s report
  • Public services report

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

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:57 AM, 02.29.2024

Library brings early literacy services to MetroHealth's WIC office

On a recent visit to the WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) office at the Severance MetroHealth Center, Youth Services Associate Danielle Maynard saw one of her regulars from the Noble Neighborhood branch library. “It was wonderful,” she said, describing “the sheer delight in the eyes of a young patron who couldn't contain their excitement when they spotted Coco, the Storytime bear, making a special appearance outside the library.”

Maynard, and Coco, were at the WIC office to provide early literacy outreach services to the parents and children in the waiting room. Those services include reading books, playing games, and distributing literacy resources (“Words to Grow On” kits) while parents wait with their children for WIC services.

WIC is a federal nutrition program designed to help low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children younger than 5.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:41 PM, 01.30.2024

Library offers grant-funded maker residencies

Heights Libraries is looking for two makers for its new maker-in-residence program. The program’s goal is to showcase local makers and engage the community in a creative space where they can learn from, and appreciate, creative experts, and participate in the creative process.

Makers can apply for one of two paid, two-month residency programs, one taking place in the summer (June 1 through July 30) and one in the fall (Sept. 1 through Oct. 31). Makers will receive a stipend of $1,000 per month, for a total of $2,000. The application deadline is March 1.

"A maker-in-residence program is an opportunity for local creatives and artists to showcase their talents while engaging with the community through collaborative works of art,” said Derrick Mason, Heights Libraries continuing education manager and manager of the library’s Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (HKIC).

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.30.2024

Library welcomes new board member

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System announces the appointment of its newest board member, Hallie Turnberrez, whose term began in January.

She will serve a seven-year term on the library board, replacing outgoing board president Max Gerboc, whose seven-year term ended in December.

Turnberrez is a staff attorney at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and a member of the University Heights Civil Service Commission. She graduated from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and has lived in University Heights for seven years. 

"I am passionate about community engagement—especially in relation to the few community spaces that are free for all people,” said Turnberrez. “Libraries are one of the few remaining guaranteed free spaces in society. This means libraries are now even more important to the health of the community."

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 12:13 PM, 01.15.2024

PEACE Park renovation begins with demolition

On Nov. 13, Regency Construction began the first phase of Heights Libraries’ Coventry PEACE Park renovation with the demolition of the original, 30-year-old playground. The demo took roughly two weeks, and included the removal of all playground equipment and associated plants.

“It was bittersweet,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “The playground was at the end of its life, and it held such wonderful memories for the community. But we are looking forward to the new playground, and the new life it will breathe into not only the library’s programming and activities, but the neighborhood as a whole.”

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 11:57 AM, 12.28.2023

What's going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch
1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.

Elder Abuse - The Legal Issues. The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will present on legal rights and remedies for survivors of elder abuse and their loved ones. A Q&A will follow. Registration required at heightslibrary.org.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 11:07 AM, 12.28.2023

Noble library expansion is on track

The renovation and expansion of Heights Libraries’ Noble Neighborhood branch is on time and on budget.

That’s according to Julie Criscone, the library’s owner’s representative for the Noble construction project. Criscone presented a progress report at the Nov. 6 Heights Libraries Board of Trustees committee meeting, highlighting the work completed as of early November, and the tasks ahead.

Work completed on the site includes excavation, the creation of retaining and foundation walls, waterproofing, underground plumbing, and steam piping. Work that took place in later November included the installation of exterior framing, tuckpointing of the existing brick on the original building, and the installation of cabling and power feeds.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 4:20 PM, 12.16.2023

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

NOV. 20, 2023

  • Noble Youth Services Outreach Programming
  • Board actions
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public services report

Board members pesent were Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, and Secretary Annette Iwamoto were not present. The meeting lasted one hour.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 1:58 PM, 12.29.2023

Library tutors offer after-school help and continuity

Nine-year-old Goshen Heard is a student at Fairfax Elementary School and an enthusiastic library user. His mom, Loretta Heard, said she and her son are at the library most weekdays—reading, attending programs, and checking out lots of books. That’s how they learned about the library’s afterschool tutoring program at the Lee Road branch.

“When Ms. Ericka told us about the tutoring program, it was a no-brainer for us,” said Loretta Heard. “We jumped right on it.”

Ms. Ericka is Ericka Hogan, known to the kids as just “E.” Hogan oversees the tutoring program at the library’s Lee Road Youth Services Department.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:17 PM, 11.29.2023

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch
1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

A Grandmother’s ABC Book: An Evening with Kathy Ewing. Ewing presents her latest book, A Grandmother’s ABC Book. Entertaining and inspiring. this is a book about looking ahead—to the excitement of grandchildren, to the promise of a joy-filled future, and to the thrill of sharing one’s life and stories with the next generation. A book signing will follow. Registration is required at heightslibrary.org.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 2:08 PM, 11.17.2023

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS/Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

OCTOBER 16, 2023

  • Career services presentation
  • Financial report
  • Board actions
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public services report

Present were President Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. Patti Carlyle was not present. The meeting lasted 60 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 9:54 AM, 11.28.2023

Library celebrates a decade of clean finances

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library received its 10th State of Ohio Auditor of State Award with Distinction for its 2022 financial audit. The award was presented at the Sept. 18 meeting of the Board of Library Trustees by Kathryn Semo, Northeast Regional Liaison for the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office.

The award is given to government entities that file an ACFR (Annual Comprehensive Financial Report) and other financial reports with the state of Ohio, and receive a clean audit report.

“The award is great news for us and for the taxpayers in our community,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “They can rest assured we have been spending money wisely and will continue to do so.”

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 11:26 AM, 10.30.2023

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees 9-18-2023

SEPT. 18, 2023

  • Presentations
  • Financial report
  • Board actions
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public relations report

Present were President Max Gerbec, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. The meeting lasted 65 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 1:52 PM, 10.19.2023

Heights Libraries seeks new board member

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library is accepting applications for an open board position, with applications due by noon on Friday, Nov. 17. The new board member will replace Max Gerboc, who is rolling off the board after serving his term.

“Our library is such an integral part of our community,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Serving on the library board is one of the best ways a citizen can serve the Heights community, by helping guide the vision of the public library. It’s a commitment—service is seven years—but the rewards are also big. It’s a chance to make a positive, long-lasting impact on one of the greatest public service agencies in the area. Public libraries offer necessary and free services to all, and being a part of that is incredibly rewarding."

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:17 AM, 09.29.2023

Library kicks off reading program for kids

On Aug. 5, more than 3,000 Northeast Ohio library fans, and library staff from the nine Cuyahoga County library systems, packed the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) to officially kick off the countywide Cuyahoga Reads reading challenge campaign.

Admission to GLSC was free that day, and representatives from every Cuyahoga County library system, including Heights Libraries, were on hand to explain the program, sign up young readers for the challenge, and distribute nearly 5,000 free books to families.

“We had a great time, and it was so fun and inspiring to see so many kids getting excited about reading, especially in the book giveaway line,” said Kaela Sweeney, Heights Libraries strategic projects manager, who coordinates the literacy program at Heights Libraries along with Youth Services Department staff.

Heights Libraries’ version of the campaign, called Heights Reads, will continue for more than a year, through December 2024.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:12 AM, 09.29.2023

Library presents Hispanic Heritage Month programs

Heights Libraries has received a $1,000 grant from local youth advocacy organization MyCom to support programming for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year. The objective is to promote diversity, cultural understanding, and inclusivity by hosting live performers that showcase Hispanic dance and music—the grant money covers the cost of the performers.

“We hope that these programs promote cultural enrichment, community engagement, empathy, and respect,” said Youth Services Associate Felicia Mohammed, who obtained the grant. “We also hope these programs help challenge stereotypes. We are committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, and want to provide the community with programs that do so.”

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 11:15 AM, 09.11.2023

Heights Libraries preps for urban mini-forest installation

Beginning this fall, Heights Libraries will partner with Heights Tree People to build a mini-forest behind the Coventry PEACE Building. The Heights Libraries Urban Mini-Forest project is supported, in part, by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public tree planting and maintenance grant from Cuyahoga Healthy Urban Tree Canopy.

The mini-forest will comprise the planting of 62 large canopy trees and 150 understory trees and plants, prioritizing native species to help expand Cleveland Heights’ tree canopy.

“The urban mini-forest is a unique library project that allows us to expand our services beyond the walls of the library buildings,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “We are excited to offer a space for environmental programming. This is an opportunity for us to model environmental stewardship at the PEACE Park.”

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:48 PM, 09.01.2023

Library shares newest PEACE park designs

At a public meeting on Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Heights Libraries Coventry Village Branch, landscape architect Andrew Sargeant shared the latest designs for the new Coventry PEACE Park. The event marks the sixth time the library has solicited feedback on park designs. 

Heights Libraries contracted with Sargeant in June 2021 to begin working on a design for a new park and playground that would better accommodate community members of all abilities and ages. The latest designs are the result of public feedback gathered at public events held since the summer of 2021.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 4:01 PM, 08.20.2023

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS/Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

AUGUST 7, 2034

  • Noble library building 
  • Board actions

Board members present were Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Tyler McTigue, and Vice President Vikas Turakhia. Max Gerbec, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz were not present. The meeting lasted 60 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 10:09 AM, 09.12.2023

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS/Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

JULY 17, 2023

  • Technology presentation
  • Noble library building 
  • Board actions
  • Director’s report
  • DEI plan 
  • 2022 strategic plan annual report
  • Public service report

Board members present were Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Melissa Soto-Schwartz, Tyler McTigue, and Vice President Vikas Turakhia. Max Gerbec was not present. The meeting lasted 90 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 10:06 AM, 09.12.2023

UH Library reopens flood-damaged areas

On July 6, Heights Libraries’ University Heights branch officially reopened its lower level, home to its Teen and Children’s departments, which had been closed since August 2022 due to damage caused by flooding. The flooding destroyed flooring, walls, and built-in furniture, rendering the space unusable.

The library hired construction company Millstone Management Group to perform the renovation work, after Neptune Plumbing installed new clean-out drains in the space to prevent future flooding.

“Several engineers were consulted and all agreed that there was nothing structurally wrong with our building, the storm sewers, or the water lines around our building,” said University Heights Branch Manager Sara Phillips.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:52 AM, 07.10.2023

CH Planning Commission approves PEACE Park plans

On May 10, the city of Cleveland Heights' Planning Commission approved the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System's revised conditional-use permit for renovations to Coventry PEACE Park. This allows Heights Libraries to move ahead with its construction time line for the public park, with the understanding that it will provide the commission with additional plans for lighting, the walking path, and new trees at a future date.

“This public park has been the heart of the Coventry Village neighborhood for at least 30 years, ever since the current playground was built by volunteers in 1993,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “We are so happy, and proud, to be ushering in a new era for the park that will expand its use and make it more accessible to all members of the community, no matter their ages or abilities.”

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 5:04 PM, 06.29.2023

PEACE Park fund receives $50K matching gift

The Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) has received a $50,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor to help fund the Coventry PEACE Park renovation.

“This anonymous gift will help us make the park as welcoming as possible for all community members,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “The gift comes at the perfect time as we prepare to break ground this fall.”  

Last month, the Cleveland Heights Planning Commission approved the PEACE Park renovation plans, and the library aims to remove the current playground this fall. Site grading will begin shortly after that to prepare for new playground equipment, storybook loop installation, and tree planting in spring 2024. The hope is to re-open the park in June 2024.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 4:22 PM, 06.29.2023

Library partnership will address child literacy

Heights Libraries has joined seven other Northeast Ohio libraries to help young people in Greater Cleveland who have fallen behind in their literacy skills due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership program, Cuyahoga Reads, will focus on helping children and their families form positive and consistent reading habits, foster a love for reading, and equip young people and families with the literacy skills necessary for future success.

The program is funded by the Ohio Department of Education’s Libraries Accelerating Learning grant, which is designed to help libraries create or expand literacy programs for Ohio’s Pre-K through 12th-grade students.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 4:01 PM, 06.29.2023

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 5-15-23

MAY 15, 2023

 

  • Board actions
  • Noble construction
  • PEACE Park
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public service report

 

Present were President Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. The meeting lasted 80 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:56 AM, 06.12.2023

Library expands summer reading program

This summer, with the help of a $29,900 grant from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Heights Libraries will expand its summer reading program. 

According to the ODE, its Libraries Accelerating Learning (LAL) grant is designed to “expand learning opportunities for students in prekindergarten–grade 12. Awardees will use the funding for programming that supports student learning, particularly in literacy, with the goal of accelerating learning for students who have been most impacted by the pandemic.”

Heights Libraries was among 32 Ohio libraries to receive funding from the LAL grant. Other recipients include Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Euclid Public Library.

Heights Libraries will use the grant to support and expand the summer reading and learning resource programs it offers to children 18 and younger through a nature-focused community literary initiative.

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 11:41 AM, 06.01.2023

Library partners with Ohio Means Jobs

In partnership with Ohio Means Jobs|Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, Heights Libraries is now offering free employment counseling for adults every Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Lee Road branch.

The services are provided on a drop-in basis by a Community Development Specialist (CDS) from Ohio Means Jobs. The CDS can provide guidance, tools, resources, and support to help job-seekers find wage-sustaining employment, whether they are unemployed, underemployed, or receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

“Over the past decade or so, the job search process has gotten significantly harder to navigate for some people,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Everything is online now, and not everyone is comfortable using the Internet. The job market has also changed drastically, and many people need additional training to qualify for newer jobs. The CDS can help people figure out what skills they have, and what new skills they may need, and help them find training.”

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.02.2023

Noble library services to continue during renovation

Heights Libraries’ Noble Neighborhood branch closed to the public on Sunday, April 16, for a year-long renovation and expansion.

However, residents of the Noble neighborhood still have access to library programs and services in multiple nearby locations.

Starting May 1, the BNH Building at 2940 Noble Road will provide limited services Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Customers will have access to public computers, a copier/fax machine, circulation and reference services, and a small collection of materials for checkout; and will be able to pick up holds. The site also features a small space where adult programs will be offered. The phone number for the Noble branch will remain the same for this new location: 216-291-5665.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:37 AM, 05.02.2023

Library offers two paid internships for teens

This summer, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System will once again provide two paid, six-week technology internships to local teens as part of its Teen Tech Ambassador Program.

Now in its seventh year, the internship provides two qualified high school students the opportunity to learn a variety of real-life job skills through hands-on experiential activities in the library’s Continuing Education Department. Each intern receives a $1,000 stipend.

Internship application packets (application, résumé, and a copy of the applicant's school transcript) will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 15, and can be found online at www.heightslibrary.org.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.02.2023

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 3-20-23

MARCH 20, 2023

 

  • Unpacking history programs
  • Board actions
  • Director’s report
  • DEI report
  • Public service report

 

Present were President Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. Ty McTigue was not present. The meeting lasted 90 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:01 PM, 04.04.2023

Student art show returns to library

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Creative Heights Art Show has returned to Heights Libraries Lee Road branch. The show will run through April 15.

The exhibition of student art features hundreds of pieces, created by students in kindergarten through grade 12, working in diverse media, including pencil and chalk drawings, photography, sculpture, pottery, painting, textiles, printmaking, and metals (jewelry).

“The skill and creativity these kids put into their work is incredible,” said Youth Services Manager Sam Lapides. “You can tell that the art teachers in the district really inspire their students.”

The library last hosted the show in 2019. The COVID epidemic prevented the show from taking place for the next three years, 2020–22.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 9:23 AM, 03.28.2023

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

FEBRUARY 20, 2023

Board members present were President Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. Patti Carlyle was not present. 

Strategic projects update

Kaela Sweeney, strategic projects manager, presented a strategic project update to the board. Coventry PEACE Park fundraising has raised $609,945 to date, toward the final goal of $1.2 million. Work with the Hodge Group has been a good collaboration, yielding more than 70 prospects and 32 secured gifts. Currently, there is $59,202 in funded grants and projects. Two grants have been submitted since 2023 began: one for an expanded partnership with Bike Cleveland, and another to support memory cafés.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:00 AM, 04.02.2023

Noble library preps for May renovation

Heights Libraries will soon be significantly expanding its Noble Neighborhood branch. The planned renovation will double the size of the heavily used building, allowing the library to expand and broaden the services it provides to residents of the Noble neighborhood and surrounding communities in the northeastern section of Cleveland Heights.

The branch will be closed beginning Sunday, April 16. The renovation is expected to last roughly a year (through May 2024), with a groundbreaking tentatively scheduled for May 2023.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 11:23 AM, 02.28.2023

FFHL raises funds for PEACE Park updates

In early January, around 30 PEACE Park founders and friends gathered to hear details about, and give feedback on, new park plans. Coventry PEACE Park is a beloved gathering place in Cleveland Heights, and Heights Libraries is committed to its revitalization. 

For the past 10 years, the Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) has raised funds to support Heights Libraries’ buildings and services. FFHL is now focused on raising funds to make Coventry PEACE Park a safe, fun, and accessible green space for people of all ages and abilities.  

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 10:14 AM, 02.28.2023

Coventry PEACE tenants sign new leases

Almost a year to the date after their former leasing arrangement with Heights Libraries expired in December 2021, the tenants of the former Coventry School building have signed new leases to stay in the building, effective Jan. 1, 2023. The library owns the building and the adjacent Coventry PEACE Park.

All of the tenants that were in the building at the end of 2021 will be staying for at least another 18 months, with an option to renew for an additional term: Lake Erie Ink, Reaching Heights, Artful, Grace Communion Church, Building Bridges, Coventry PEACE Inc., the Singers Club, the CH Teachers Union, and FutureHeights.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 10:30 AM, 02.28.2023

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 1-23-23

JANUARY 23, 2023

 

  • Swearing in
  • Financial report
  • Board resolutions
  • Planning & external relations committee
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public service report

 

Present were President Max Gerboc, Vice President Vikas Turakhia, Secretary Annette Iwamoto, Patti Carlyle, Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue and Melissa Soto-Schwartz. The meeting lasted 80 minutes.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 8:54 AM, 02.10.2023

Library earns solid rating for pandemic year 2020

Despite the challenges of COVID lockdowns throughout 2020, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System qualified for a three-star rating from the Index of Public Library Service’s publication Library Journal.

Heights Libraries was one of only three in Ohio to receive a star designation for 2020—in comparison, Ohio had 27 star libraries in Library Journal’s rankings for 2019.

Heights Libraries has earned the highest designation, five stars, in 11 out of the 15 years that Library Journal has published the ratings. (The library received a four-star rating in two of the years, and was not rated one year.)

Library Journal reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries, and has a nationwide circulation of 100,000.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:51 AM, 01.31.2023

Library welcomes new board member Soto-Schwartz

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is pleased to announce the appointment of its newest board member, Melissa M. Soto-Schwartz. Her term began in January.

Soto-Schwartz, a professor of history and women’s and gender studies at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), has lived in Cleveland Heights for 27 years.

Her seven-year term on the library board will end in 2029. Soto-Schwartz replaces outgoing board president Gabe Crenshaw, whose service ended in December 2022.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 11:19 AM, 01.17.2023

Meet Heights Libraries’ new resident robot

It's 2023, and some might be wondering, where are all the robots promised by our favorite sci-fi films and novels? While artificial intelligence (AI) exists, it often runs behind the scenes. It is rare to see the social robots we once imagined would be integrated into our everyday lives.

In December, Heights Libraries welcomed its first social robot to the library family. Misty, as she is called, is equipped with a unique set of physical and social skills, designed, according to producer Misty Robotics, for the purpose of “opening access to social robots and taking down today’s barriers.”

“Machine learning and robots are going to continue to be integrated into society,” said Technology Trainer Nia Turner. “As a social robot, Misty is a great ambassador to help people get acquainted with these ideas in a way that doesn’t feel intimidating.”

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 10:45 AM, 01.02.2023

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Monday, Jan. 30, 3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.

Escape the Room. You were having an ordinary day at the library until you got sucked into a magical book . . . literally! Can your team solve the book's puzzles and escape in 30 minutes or less? For ages 12–18. Registration is required, and begins Jan. 3.

Lee Road Branch

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 10:20 AM, 12.29.2022

Library offers virtual-reality job training

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awarded by the State Library of Ohio, Heights Libraries will offer skilled-trades job training with Interplay Learning virtual-reality software and SkillMill’s training platform.  

"As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities." 

The Interplay Learning pilot program will begin in January. Interplay Learning’s 3D simulations and immersive training modules include expert-led video courses, and learning paths to help customers advance their technical skills.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 10:19 AM, 12.29.2022

'Friends' donates $100,000 to PEACE Park redesign

Friends of the Heights Libraries (FOHL) celebrated its 60th anniversary by presenting Heights Libraries’ Director Nancy Levin with a check for $100,000 on Oct. 23, at its 60th annual meeting.

The donation will be used to help redesign and redevelop Coventry PEACE Park and its playground (part of Coventry PEACE Campus, owned by Heights Libraries).Details about the plan can be found on the Heights Libraries website, heightslibrary.org.

Ketti Finneran, FOHL board president, said, “I am proud that our mighty group of volunteers has successfully raised significant funds through our used-book sales and members’ contributions. The libraries in Cleveland Heights and University Heights act as gathering places for the community. Helping to fund the refurbishment of the Coventry PEACE Park at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard represents a huge opportunity to add to, and improve upon, a huge community asset.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:03 PM, 11.30.2022

Crenshaw served library during tumultuous time

Heights Libraries Board President Gabe Crenshaw will complete her term on the library board at the end of December. Crenshaw served a three-year term, replacing outgoing board member Suzann Moskovitz, who left after serving four years of a seven-year term.

Crenshaw’s three years on the board have been marked by considerable changes and challenges for the four-building library system, ranging from COVID-19 shutdowns to preparation for a major renovation of the Noble Neighborhood branch.

“Gabe has been with us through a very challenging and exciting period of time,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “And during this past year serving as board president, she guided the board with confidence and grace.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:17 AM, 12.05.2022

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Thursday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Let's Head to Coventry! A Journey Back in Time with David Budin. Local writer/journalist David Budin will speak on the unique and colorful history of the Coventry Road business district. He'll detail the history of some of the businesses and people who have made Coventry a dynamic cultural hub.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:13 AM, 12.05.2022

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch
1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Monday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Have you ever wanted to contribute to the world’s largest free source of information? We will help you create a Wikipedia account and show you how to make edits. No experience is necessary. Soon you will be adding your research skills to this amazing resource. For ages 6 to 18.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:26 AM, 11.01.2022

Library chooses CMAR for Noble branch renovation

After a competitive RFP (request for proposal) process, Heights Libraries has hired the Independence Construction-DeGeronimo Companies as the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the Noble Neighborhood branch renovation project. The decision was announced at the library’s Oct. 17 board of trustees meeting.

The Independence-based company has extensive experience with both for-profit and nonprofit projects. They include Pinecrest in Orange Village, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s new distribution center in Cleveland, and several libraries—most recently the new Bay Village Library.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:34 PM, 10.31.2022

Library security guard de-escalates toy gun incident

On the afternoon of Oct. 6, at Heights Libraries' Lee Road branch, a young teen "under eviction" from the library tried to enter the building with what appeared to be a handgun protruding from the waistband of his pants. It was later determined to be a toy “splatter gun.”

The security guard in the lobby, Roosevelt James, was alerted to the teen’s presence by several children as they entered the building. James took swift action to secure the safety of customers in the building by immediately calling 911, then calmly confronting the teen and preventing him from entering the building.

Cleveland Heights police arrived quickly and took the teen into custody. According to police, the weapon was not a handgun, but a realistic-looking toy gun—an Orbeez, or water pellet gun.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 11:31 AM, 10.10.2022

Libraries host Oct. 16 'homecoming' celebrations

Fall is the season for homecoming celebrations. High schools, colleges and universities invite alumni to reunite with old classmates, visit campuses, and see how their schools—and classmates—have changed. Former students stroll through their old dorms and student centers, then visit the new stadium or the new computer science building. It’s a comforting combination of old and new.

Heights Libraries will have its own homecoming celebration on Sunday, Oct. 16, 1:30–4 p.m., at every branch. Community members are invited to visit their neighborhood library to meet new staff, reconnect with existing staff, and learn about what’s new since they last visited.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 10:05 AM, 10.01.2022

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Saturday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m.

Cleveland Heights Eco Fair. Join Heights Libraries, the Cleveland Heights Green Team, and FutureHeights for the second annual Eco Fair. Learn more about sustainable living from local organizations, and participate in fun activities for all ages in Coventry PEACE Park.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 11:18 AM, 10.01.2022

Flooding at UH Library causes damage, service changes

Beginning Aug. 27, the lower level of the University Heights branch of the Heights Libraries experienced flooding that lasted, off and on, for roughly two weeks. The lower level is home to the branch’s children and teen areas, including the collections for both age groups.

While flooring, walls, and built-in furniture were severely damaged, none of the collection was damaged, thanks to the work of the University Heights staff.

“Our staff was truly heroic," said Sara Phillips, University Heights branch manager. “They worked nonstop over the course of eight hours to move about 14,000 items up to the first floor. I don’t know how we did it—I guess it’s because we had to.”

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 9:01 AM, 09.27.2022