Library Board of Trustees, Sept. 16, 2019

October 4th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Present: Board members Gleisser, Bertsch, Meinhard, Rashid, Katz, Cicarella; Director Amy Switzer; other library staff.

The meeting began at 6:36 p.m. with approval of minutes of the August meeting, followed by the fiscal officer’s report. The state public library fund (PLF) revenues were up slightly from 2018; revenue overall was above budgeted amount and expenditures were on target. The Cleveland Foundation Shaker Heights Library fund stands above $150,000, with $29,000 available for distribution. The Board has no plans at present for fund expenditures. It approved the financial statement.

Ms. Switzer described the school kick-off event that gathered 67 participants from many sectors of the community (public and private schools, youth center, churches, others) to establish lines of communication and prepare for resumption of classes. She reported on the summer reading program and noted the appearance scheduled for Oct. 15 of author Susan Orlean. Also mentioned was the upcoming U.S. census. Census officials have been contacting local libraries to help in publicizing the many part-time positions that will be available and also in outreach avenues for hard-to-reach segments of the population. More information is available online at

A schematic diagram of the library renovation project was distributed. Architects will present a conceptual design at the November board meeting. The board approved the expenditure of $20,825 for planning to include the Bertram Woods branch, which would be Phase 2 of the project. There was considerable discussion about a range of renovation project matters, including how to deal with collaborative conversations with city and school personnel.

At the request of the director, the board approved a letter of remonstration to MacMillan publishers, who propose to institute a new policy that restricts release of eBooks to one per library. The board also directed Ms. Switzer to write a strongly worded response objecting to such a policy. Libraries and library organizations throughout the country are reacting similarly.

Gifts were accepted and allocated; personnel action reported.

The board authorized its president, Brian Gleisser, to enter into a contract extension for Ms. Switzer to 2023, and the meeting went into executive session at 8 p.m.

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