Ingram Blog

Library Spotlight: Cuyahoga County Public Library

We reached out to Jessica Breslin, Branch Manager, Cuyahoga County Public Library - Bay Village Branch to find out what makes their library program so unique and successful.

Q: Do you have a unique program or service that has been successful in your community?

The Bay Village Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library is located along the beautiful shore of Lake Erie and our community truly values spending time enjoying this unique setting. The Library started an off-site book discussion on the campus of BAYarts-a visual arts center located just across the way from Huntington Beach and it has been a wonderful partnership between community organizations. The monthly discussion is held on the front porch of an historic home turned art gallery. We love to see the lake and feel the breezes as enjoy great literature and great conversation. Our Children's staff venture out to the community pool for their Poolside story times twice a week and meet the community where they are at during those hot summer months!

Q: What do you wish your patrons knew that your library offers?

The Cuyahoga County Public Library started processing U.S. Passports in 2010 and our wonderful clerical staff were trained as Certified Passport Agents through the U.S. Department of State. Our branch is quite busy processing passports, but we are still spreading the word that this essential service is available at all of our branches. Staff will even process multiple passport for large families in our Children's Room to keep the little ones entertained and received a 100% rating during their last audit. They are both customer focused and detail oriented!

Q: Where do you see librarianship in 10 years?

I see librarians as the ultimate collaborators and liaisons to a variety of community stakeholders. I feel that as the library evolves and we offer continued critical services for our communities, it will be of even greater importance for us to support civic engagement and seek out new avenues to partner with social service organizations. For instance, we host the AARP tax preparation service for those with limited income to get their taxes prepared free of charge in many of our branches. As centers for lifelong learning, the collaborations will continue to include schools and experts in various fields that our customers are interested in gaining knowledge of. I also hope that we will still be the preferred source to fill literacy needs for residents of all ages: from our youngest customers in Baby & Me storytime having fun while parents gain crucial early literacy skill support, to homework help for our students, book discussions and reader's advisory. Sharing ideas and a passion for reading and learning!

Q: What’s your proudest moment as a librarian?

As a former Children's Librarian, I am lucky to have a lot of "warm and fuzzy" moments in my career! One that sticks with me when I was working in a different branch in a socioeconomically challenged area, was a young fourth grade gentlemen that was having great difficulty and acting out at school while going through a rough family living situation-in and out of shelters. His entire family was slow to warm up to library staff, due to their stressful circumstances, but we made sure he knew they were welcome in our Homework Center, at our Family Literacy Nights and just to be at the library to have fun and learn. Over time, a level of trust was built with this family and his mother shared with me with tears in her eyes how grateful she was for the library. It was the only place her son felt he could be "successful" and they really appreciated staff taking the time to help him. I will never forget them!

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever gotten in your book drop?

Funny you should ask...just today we got a ceramic statue of monkeys depicting the popular saying: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. A few years ago, we also had a ceramic bust of Beethoven show up in there. So weird! I attached a pictured of the pair of them!

Q: Please finish this sentence: A library is…

.. critical to community success.

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* Content repurposed from Primary Source, a monthly e-newsletter created for librarians like you.