Library Board of Trustees, April 15, 2019

May 7th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

The meeting was called to order at 6:38 p.m. Present: Board members Bertsch, Cicarella, Gleisser, Katz, Meinhard, and Rashid. First order of business was to administer the oath of office to new trustee Dr. Timeka Rashid, who is selected to serve a seven-year term.

A presentation entitled “Minding the Gap” addressed the library’s efforts to prevent and heal the achievement gap. Even by the beginning of kindergarten it is found that children of color and children in economically disadvantaged families are strikingly less school-ready. The library has several approaches to encourage early literacy including nine story times/week, play and learn stations and outreach librarians who visit every licensed daycare and nursery school facility each month with a special book collection. The library also collaborates closely with schools and teachers to support literacy, provides access to digital resources, and has programs to prevent “summer slide” diminishment of academic skills. An event will begin the summer reading program on June 6.

The main action of the board was selection of an architect for the library renovation project. The RFQ received nine responses; three firms were selected for the short list and were interviewed by several board members and library Director Amy Switzer. The board voted to initiate contract negotiations with Bialosky Cleveland. If acceptable terms are reached, the board will hold a special meeting to approve the appointment and contract.

Ms. Switzer highlighted a new collaboration with the Cleveland Food Bank, offering social services assistance one Tuesday each month. Also noted was the Friends of the Library book sale, April 24-26. She also made a presentation and invited participation in a vision session exercise of Forward Together, the facilities planning initiative of city, schools, and library.

Other business included financial reports (income up slightly, expenditures slightly lower than budget), personnel action report, and acceptance and appropriation of gifts. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm. Next regular meeting: May 20.

Kathleen Hickman, League observer

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