Cleveland Heights University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 10-19-2020

OCTOBER 19, 2020


  • Financial report
  • Job vacancies
  • Covid response
  • Dementia friendly library training 
  • Black Excellence mural
  • Activity packs
  • PEACE Campus Inc. lease


Present were President James Roosa, Vice President Dana Fluellen, Patti Carlyle, Gabe Crenshaw, Max Gerboc, Annette Iwamoto, and Vikas Turakhia.

Financial report

The board reviewed and accepted the September 2020 financial statement. Total cash balance across the operating accounts, Bauer Fund accounts, and investment accounts was $19,134,140.46. The financial director said the tax revenue received was higher than had been estimated. 

Job vacancies

There are currently 16 job vacancies and 412 weekly hours of frozen library page hours. To be fully prepared for expanded work hours, the current hiring freeze will need to be lifted, starting this month by filling four positions, two part-time technology assistant positions (computer lab), and two full time circulation assistant positions. The plan is to first post the jobs internally and then to the general public if they are not filled internally.

Covid response 

All libraries are now offering computer services by appointment and browsing. Curbside delivery is still offered. Outreach customers still receive materials by mail as well. Programming continues to be altered to provide remote online and outdoor options. Staffing is down 24 percent. As of Nov. 15, 2020, all active staff will be returned to 100 percent of their hours to assist with covering holiday vacations and anticipated absences. The plan is to restore former operating hours sometime in January, if health conditions allow it. Ionizers were added to the HVAC systems at the Lee Road and University Heights Branch in October to help kill airborne viruses. The library continues to serve as a location for the monthly food pantry in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and also offers lunches for students on Saturdays at Noble and Lee Road branches.

Dementia friendly library training 

Working with Benjamin Rose Institute, the library is offering training to the staff and the public to help make Cleveland Heights and University Heights Dementia Friendly Communities. At the completion of the one-hour session, participants are given a list of practical actions they can take to help someone in their community who is impacted by dementia. In addition, attendees learn tips for communicating and engaging with library patrons who are living with memory changes, creating dementia friendly physical spaces, taking library services to senior care communities, and hosting dementia education programs, support groups and Memory Cafes.

Black Excellence mural

The library director thanked the FRIENDS of the Heights Libraries for sponsoring the Black Excellence mural at the Coventry Library parking lot. Artists Wayne Pollard and Jimmy Hayden and board member Gabe Crenshaw, spread the words "Black Excellence" across the asphalt. Embedded in the words are images of Langston Hughes and Toni Morrison, Halle Berry, LeBron James, Jesse Owens and Rich Paul, scientist Garrett Morgan, and elected officials Carl Stokes, Louis Stokes, and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. The mural also includes the words "Tiger Nation" and the logos for the city of Cleveland Heights and Safer Heights.

Activity packs

Youth services staff collaborated to create activity packs for pre-K, school age, and teen customers. Packs included crafts, scavenger hunts, early literacy aids, puzzles, art projects, and more. These packs have been very popular, and library staff are increasing the number of future packs to meet the demand.

PEACE Campus Inc. lease

The board affirmed a new lease signed on Friday, Oct. 16, between Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library and Coventry PEACE, Inc., the nonprofit tenant of the former Coventry School building, which is owned by the library. Details of the new lease are included in the press release posted on the library website.

Library board meetings are streamed on YouTube on the Cleveland Heights University Heights Public Library Channel.

LWV Observer: Elizabeth M. Tracy. 

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