Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Filming of Storytimes for Television

In 1983, Shaker Life (the local television program on Channel 19) videotaped a series of preschool storytimes featuring librarian Kathleen Englehart reading stories to an audience of preschoolers. This was a ‘big production,’ as written permissions had to be obtained from the publisher of each book in order to use it in the taping, and from a parent of each young participant. Sets were designed by someone from the Shaker Life program, and then constructed by the library Maintenance Department with cut paper artwork created by Susan Scheps from the rough drawings. There were three huge sets: a seal, a lion, and a castle tower. Each of the programs was shown several times during the same week, and videotapes were made available for viewing in the library and, when the library had a video collection, for circulation. TV storytimes were a big hit in the Shaker Community. It was like participating in a storytime from your own living room!
Susan Scheps, Children's Services Supervisor

The Children’s Room Addition

Clearly the most important aspect of the Children’s Room addition in the early 1990's was the basement. Where the doors to the garden on the Adult side of Woods Branch are now located, there was a large window in what used to be the Children’s area. From the first day of construction, youngsters visiting the library would immediately run over to plaster hands and faces against that window in order to observe the large steam shovel and the smaller ‘Cat’ machines digging the basement and foundation for the new addition. After the addition was complete, they watched the construction of the garden and its surrounding fence.

I’m not sure who enjoyed the process more – the children watching the big machines at work or the Children’s Department staff watching the children watching the construction.
Susan Scheps, Children's Services Supervisor

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bertram Woods Branch Is a Treasured Library

When the property of Byron Junior High was a cornfield, we used to
drive from our house in University Heights to buy the best sweet corn,
which was sold out of the garage attached to the farmhouse. Then we
moved to Shaker (Belvoir Oval) and I went to school on that same
property. As a young teen who read almost non-stop, I was thrilled to
have a library I could walk to; some days I rode my bike and carried
home a stack of books in the basket. I loved the Bertram Woods Library,
and I spent many hours there looking for books, reading, just enjoying
the building. In the winter we skated on the pond next to the library

Now, all these years later, I take my grandchildren to the Bertram Woods
Library, and it is as welcoming as it was when I first started going
there. Really, Bertram Woods Library is a treasure of Shaker Heights.

Happy Anniversary

Gail Bass Arnoff

Friday, June 11, 2010

25th Anniversary Press

Jane Wood, founding editor of Shaker Magazine (now Shaker Life magazine), wrote to remind us of a story the magazine produced for the 25th anniversary of the Bertram Woods Branch. The story appeared in the July 1985 issue and was written by Eleanor McIlhenny, who noted that in 1984, Bertram Woods Branch circulated "over a quarter of a million books, making it the busiest Branch Library in the County."

The picture in the story, Alice in Wonderland by New York muralists Andrew Karoly and Louis Szanto, was a gift from Society National Bank (now Key Bank). When the branch was refurbished, the painting was moved to the Movies & Music area of Main Library where visitors continue to appreciate it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lucille Winston Honors Her Parents' Memories

Lucille Winston wanted to honor the memory of her parents as well as to celebrate their shared love for reading, nature and children. She chose do so by donating funds for the commission of an art glass creation by Al Brickel of Newe Daisterre Glass in Cleveland Heights. The piece was unveiled in April 1996.

According to the artist, "There is more to this tree than meets the eye. It's magical and everyone who looks at it sees something different."

The lovely memorial to Anne and Harry Fraiberg reflects their daughter's love every day of the week when the sun shines though the art glass in the children's room.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Life Review

By Anonymous Bertram Woods Library Patron

I am grateful for librarians,
my ever ready partners, primed for the search.
From Trash to Trollope,
my secrets are safe with them.
I've released my lone grudge
toward the clerk at Return
who announced to me
and the hoard behind
that a book in my possession
on sexually transmitted diseases
was long overdue.

I am grateful for libraries,
constant objects in the span of years.
Memories of tots at Wednesday Story Hour,
our only outing of the day;
of their smiles reflecting in shiny glass cases
that held their special collections
on display in the Children's Room;
of watching them read
at low tables.

I miss the sounds of checkout,
Sh/click sh/click
Sticky tags applied to books;
varnished card catalogue drawers
that moved on gliders
with Rolls Royce precision.

Now, I call the governor's office
To register my sole small voice
for necessary funds.
I troll the aisles
for monthly choices for
my Short Book Club,
no book over 200 pages.
My Golden Buckeye card
gives me special privileges
on late returns.
Now on Wednesdays
I see other tots
here for Baby Yoga
their mothers,
grateful for librarians.

February 2008

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Library Brochure, 1961

This 1961 promotional brochure produced by Rhode Island-based cloth book binding company Arkwright-Interlaken shows the new Bertram Woods branch and profiles librarian Virginia Robinson.

Halloween, 1994

Children's Librarians Susan Scheps and Virginia Schoelch present Halloween stories to a packed house, October, 1994.

A Wild Irish Afternoon, 1991

Mary P. Lysobey (left) and Mary Dowling Daley presented travel tips and folklore at a popular program on Ireland on March 14, 1991.

Meet the Author in Bertram Woods Reading Garden, 1994

Library Board of Trustees President Glen Krassen welcomes the audience to the Bertram Woods Library Reading Garden, who have come to hear local author Gini Hartzmark read from her new book, Final Option.

Pictured: Bertram Woods Branch Manager Sara Schiller (standing, left), Glen Krassen (standing, center), author Gini Hartzmark (seated, center), and Library Director Fran Buckley (seated, right).

Julius the Hamster

Hillcrest Concert Band, August 1994

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Woods Branch Community Room Was Named for David Dietz

The community room at Woods Branch, popular with groups since 1978, was named in honor of David Dietz, Cleveland Press reporter and founding member of the Shaker Heights Public Library. He was president of the Board from 1943 until 1976, when he retired.

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 (the same year Shaker Library was founded), Dietz was the first American journalist to be given the title "Science Editor." His accurate, easy-to-read stories about science and medicine were his trademark. Dietz often remarked that the library was special to him, and he gave hours of time in its service. Dedicated to scholarship, books, and reading, he was the author of many books and articles, including several for the Encyclopedia Britannica, and he encouraged staff to set high standards for the Library's collection.

Best Before Bedtime Stories at the Branch

November 1986: Librarian Susan Scheps tells before bedtime stories to (from left) Scott Fuller (7), Amy Fuller (4), Anahid Thompson (4), and Kaitlin Tonelli (3), who all came in their PJs for the library's Pajama Story Time at Woods Branch.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

J. Everett Prewitt visits Bertram Woods Library, 2005

Shaker Heights author J. Everett Prewitt came to the Bertram Woods Library on June 29, 2005, to discuss his new book Snake Walkers, the story about a young black man who is changed by a variety of life’s situations. The event was held in the Bertram Woods Reading Garden.

Prewitt is a Glenville High School graduate who attended Ohio University and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. A real estate appraiser and consultant, Everett has worked for fair housing in Cleveland and served as the first black president of the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors. Committed to improving the urban environment, he has encouraged local realtors to become involved with their communities. Snake Walkers is Prewitt’s first book.

Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney visits Bertram Woods Library, 1993

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fond Memories of Summer Reading

I attended Shaker schools from K-12 and moved back after college. A lot has changed since the time I was in the summer reading program. Back then you had to write a short report on each book you read (I’d love to see that reinstituted.) and you moved your piece across the board based on how many books you read. I eagerly read the books and wrote the reports so I could reach the end of the board.

This past year I cleaned out some boxes and found a few years worth of the reports and even the little plastic numbered piece with the sticky glue/gum on the back that held my piece up. Clearly these items were great memories for me or else I wouldn’t have held onto them for so long. I took the reports, booklet and my marker piece to Bertram Woods and gave it to the librarians in the children’s section for them to share.

The summer reading program was a crucial part of my summer and I’ve made sure to follow this tradition with my daughter, Alyssa.

Thanks - Karen L. Jackson