Felton Thomas, Jr.
Director, Cleveland Public Library

A Critical Resource in a Changing Environment (continued)

In 2011, we strengthened existing community partnerships and identified new ones that allowed us to reach deeper into the community. Working with such well-respected organizations as the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), Sisters of Charity Health System, the Cleveland Food Bank and the City of Cleveland, we helped to make a real difference by providing access to more than 7,000 housing applications, providing 20,000 lunches over the summer, and motivating area students to read more than 40,000 books.

Also in 2011 we started making the structural and technological changes necessary for the Library to become a cultural destination. This process, which is detailed later in this report, involved hundreds of stakeholders, staff and community members. It is in direct response to the many positive things happening in and around Cleveland, including the new casino and Medical Mart which will also help to make Cleveland a destination point.

I feel so fortunate to be a part of this organization, and I want to personally thank the community for supporting us and continuing to believe in us. Such support provided us the strength and insight necessary to make some very difficult decisions. We are coming off a very successful year from a service, program and innovation standpoint, but I promise you that it is only the beginning. Next year you can expect more of the unexpected from your Library as we become bolder and seek new ways to do things better.

Felton Thomas Jr., Director