Cleveland Public Library 2014 Report to the Community
How do we preserve some of our region’s most valuable historical assets? With all the state budget cuts, how can our library continue to survive? Did you know the Library has a new card just for children?


Maintaining an equal balance between the past and the future…Cleveland Public Library is as committed to preserving the region’s rich legacy as it is on ensuring the long-term viability of the organization.

New Cleveland Digital Public Library

Our Library has another first — The Cleveland Digital Public Library (CDPL). Opened in February of 2015 on the third floor of the Main Library, CPL is one of four Ohio libraries to be awarded federal funds from the State Library of Ohio and the Ohio Public Information Network (OPLIN) to create a network of digitization hubs specializing in state-of-the-art technology to digitize and archive rare and culturally significant materials belonging to CPL, other libraries and museums.

Unique to Cleveland is the fact that residents and local organizations can bring in their historic photos and documents and digitize them, thereby organizing and preserving their resources.

Ensuring a Financial Future

The Friends of CPL, the nonprofit organization serving as the conduit between the Library and its philanthropic supporters, is re-inventing itself to become a true fundraising engine for the Library, thus multiplying the impact of the Library’s various initiatives.

New Executive Director Jason Jaffery is having a profound effect on the vision and direction of the Friends group. Not only has Jason initiated a more aggressive, strategic approach to fundraising, but he is positioning the group to serve as a strong advocate for the Library.

Ensuring the Next Generation

The Library remains committed to helping children discover a passion for learning. We have invested in professional development and training for our children’s librarians to help them inspire more children to read.

In September, the Library also kicked off a new children's library card. Known as “Three for Me”, the card is specifically designed for children under the age of 18, allowing them to borrow up to three books, regardless of fines or previous restrictions.

Grass Roots Efforts

Little Free Libraries started springing up across Cleveland in 2014. With the addition of the Jefferson Branch parking lot, Cleveland Public Library now supports four of these make-shift libraries and frequently provides a fresh supply of books to the weather-proof boxes located on private and public properties.

The "take-a-book, leave-a-book" philosophy has proven successful in getting more books into the hands of readers.

Capital Improvement Planning

Library leadership spent much of the year reaching out to the community and engaging consultants to help determine the best use of the Library's facilities as part of our long-term capital improvement plan. Our branches are aging and we're committed to ensuring that dollars are spent wisely, focusing on those locations with the most critical needs.

Many of our initial conversations focused on our South Branch, which now operates at a temporary location as we continue to evaluate our options for renovating or relocating. As our community continues to evolve, we are evaluating the role the Library should play in that new reality.