Cleveland Public Library
Front entrance to the Cleveland Public Library's central location on Superior Avenue
|Director||Felton Thomas, Jr.|
The Cleveland Public Library was founded in 1869 and is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It operates the Main Library on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland, 27 branches throughout the city, a mobile library, a Public Administration Library in City Hall, and a the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
In 1915, the Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks won a competition to design a new library building. Construction of their classical Renaissance design, delayed by the First World War, began in 1923 under Linda Anne Eastman. Eastman (1867–1963) was the first woman to head a major U.S. city library system and a pioneer in the modern library system. She opened bookshelves to patrons, replacing the New York Public Library system in which a librarian fetched the books.
The Main Library consists of two buildings. The older wing, completed on May 6, 1925 and renovated between 1997 to 1999, has five stories, each as high as two stories in most buildings. The renovations included the restoration of a large mural painted by Ora Coltman in 1934 for the Federal Arts Project. The work was done by the Intermuseum Conservation Association. The second building, named after former U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes, was dedicated in 1997. The two buildings are connected by underground corridor below the Eastman Reading Garden, which was designed by landscape architecture firm OLIN, and includes sculptures by Maya Lin and Tom Otterness.
The Main Library's special collections include the Mears and Murdock baseball collections, the Cleveland Theater collection, the John G. White chess and checkers collection, a 130,000-volume children's collection, a 74,000-volume rare book collection, and collection of 1.3 million photographs.
In 2002, the Main Building had annual attendance of 804,692, annual circulation of 1,698,928 items, and a collection totaling 9,745,655 items. The Cleveland Public Library is a member of CLEVNET, a consortium of 43 public libraries throughout northern Ohio. In 1947, it became a depository library for the United Nations Library network, holding documents for the state of Ohio. There are only 400 UN depository libraries worldwide.
The Library's mission statement: "We are the 'People's University,' the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community."
The Library's vision statement: "Cleveland Public Library will be the driving force behind a powerful culture of learning that will inspire Clevelanders from all walks of life to continually learn, share and seek out new knowledge in ways that are beneficial to themselves, their community and the world."
In 2012, the Library released a strategic plan focusing on communities of learning and preparing for its 150th anniversary in 2019.
Main Library departments
Main Building (built 1925)
- 1st Floor: Popular Library magazines, newspapers, and music CD's change made in 10/2011. Circulation also available on this floor.
- 2nd Floor: Literature includes fiction, film, comics, and television
- 3rd Floor: Fine Arts includes art, architecture, and music. This floor also houses Special Collections which includes the John G. White Collection of Folklore, Orientalia, and Chess, "the largest and most comprehensive chess library in the world."
- 4th Floor: Youth Services and Foreign Literature
- 5th Floor is book storage
Basement Walkway to Louis Stokes Wing
Louis Stokes Wing (added 1997)
- Lower Level: Tech Central. The library's Auditorium is also on this level. In January 2013, Tech Central opened a MakerSpace which includes "a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, musical instruments and video equipment, including a green screen"
- 1st Floor: Audio Visual and Circulation
- 2nd Floor: Business, Economics, and Labor. The Computer Learning Connection where the public can take free computer classes is also on this floor.
- 3rd Floor: Science and Technology
- 4th Floor: Photograph Collection and Government Documents (a Federal depository library collection)
- 5th Floor: Social Sciences includes religion, politics, education, and sports
- 6th Floor: History and Geography also includes an extensive genealogy collection. The Map Collection is also on this floor. United Nations documents are deposited here too.
- Floors 7-9 are book storage
- 10th Floor: Library Administration
Cleveland Public Library has a public administration library located at Cleveland City Hall.
The Cleveland Public Library has 27 neighborhood branches located throughout the city in addition to the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled and the Library's Bookmobile:
- Addison Branch
- Brooklyn Branch
- Carnegie-West Branch - the biggest neighborhood branch at 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2)
- Collinwood Branch
- East 131st Street Branch
- Eastman Branch
- Fleet Branch
- Fulton Branch
- Garden Valley Branch
- Glenville Branch
- Harvard-Lee Branch
- Hough Branch
- Jefferson Branch
- Langston Hughes Branch
- Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled
- Lorain Branch
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch
- Memorial-Nottingham Branch
- Mobile Branch
- Mount Pleasant Branch
- Public Administration Library
- Rice Branch
- Rockport Branch
- South Branch
- South Brooklyn Branch
- Sterling Branch
- Union Branch
- Walz Branch
- West Park Branch
- Woodland Branch
- Cleveland Public Library Image Collections (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2009 from http://cplorg.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p4014coll13&CISOPTR=173&COSOBOX=1&REC3.
- Cleveland Public Library, Dominance of the City. Accessed 2007-07-25.
- Cleveland Public Library, Special Collections. Accessed 2008-06-23.
- "2013 Report to the Community". Cleveland Public Library. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Soder, Chuck (January 12, 2014). "Make space for the makers: Room at Cleveland Public Library built for creative types". Crain's Cleveland Business. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "Locations". Cleveland Public Library. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Cleveland Public Library (1889), Alphabetic catalogue of the English books in the circulating department of the Cleveland public library, Cleveland: Cleveland printing & publishing company, OCLC 1454982
- Cramer, C.H. (1972), Open Shelves, Open Minds: A History of the Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve University, ISBN 0-8295-0219-X
- Cleveland Public Library home page
- Images and architectural information
- The World's Greatest Chess Library