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Shaker Library Updates Brian Gleisser Named President of Library Board Brian Gleisser has been named president of Shaker Heights Library Board of Trustees for 2017. Michael Bertsch is vice president and Troy Meinhard is secretary. A Mercer resident, Gleisser is director of Head Start Operations at the Council for Economic Opportunities. He has more than 25 years’ experience managing nonprofit agencies and programs. He has a BA from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard, and a law degree from Cleveland State University. He served as a member of Shaker Heights City Council for 14 years (1999 through 2013), serving as the City’s vice mayor in 2004 and 2005. He has been on the Library Board since 2014. “It is an honor and privilege to serve as president of the Library Board of Trustees,” Gleisser says. “The Board recognizes the importance of the Library’s many programs and services for the Shaker Heights community. We look forward to improving our accessibility and services, both online and at our two buildings, as the Library moves into its 80th year of serving Shaker Heights. I am honored to be working with a Board and Library staff that is dedicated and committed to providing the level of high-quality services that Shaker’s residents have come to expect.” 26 SHAKERONLINE.COM | SPRING 2017 Local Cable Access Digitization Project Receives Generous Grant Thanks to a generous grant from Shaker residents Sara and Brian Sullivan of Second Story Productions, matched by the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, the Library will begin work on the digital conversion of over 100 U-Matic tapes containing dozens of locally produced “Shaker Life” programs and other local cable access programming from the 1970s through the 1990s. “Shaker Life” was produced by the City’s Department of Public Affairs and was conceived, written, and directed by Douglas Drake, a Shaker resident and former WKYC reporter, until his death in a car accident in 1983. His widow, Nola Drake, donated many of the tapes. The program’s episodes provide a window into the City’s past, spotlighting many of the institutions and activities in Shaker Heights, such as the Shaker Schools Plan of voluntary busing and a day in the life of the Shaker fire fighters. Brian and Sara Sullivan graduated from Shaker Heights High School and Hawken School, respectively, and live in town with their two children. Both are active in the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, and have served on the boards of the Center for Families and Children, the Cleveland Sight Center, and the Cleveland Play House. They co-founded Shaker-based Second Story Productions in 2005. The award-winning video production studio has produced several Shaker-focused projects, including the Centennial community sing-along, “Shaker Sings ‘Simple Gifts.’ ” The Library is also fortunate to partner with NOBA, the Northeast Ohio Broadcast Archives at John Carroll University, to complete this project. NOBA will convert the “Shaker Life” tapes from the almost obsolete U-Matic format to digital files. Shaker Library will then make the programs freely available online to the public. Library Engages with the Community While traditional library services remain a key part of what the Library offers, an important focus is to build successful, collaborative relationships with community organizations and individuals. The Library continues to support local institutions and businesses, and to raise awareness of its civic engagement and responsibility. Gabriel Venditti, the Library’s community engagement librarian, was hired to support important community goals and to collaborate with key stakeholders. He has been active in Moreland Neighbor Nights and has worked with The Dealership, among other initiatives. Maggie Killman recently transitioned from her role as a children’s librarian to community engagement librarian for youth services. Library Director Amy Switzer has been busy getting to know the community and listening to what folks have to say. The Library’s role is to support City and school priorities, as well as those of other organizations. She has been spending time meeting with people and listening, and is focused on working to expand the ways Shaker Library can serve the Shaker Heights community.


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