A MESSAGE FROM OUR
Tracy R. STROBEL
On behalf of the entire Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) family, I want to thank county residents for their support during an incredibly difficult year. Our gratitude is truly heartfelt. Two-thousand-twenty brought unprecedented hardships, but our community still came together to support Issue 70, CCPL’s first ballot issue in 12 years. The passage of Issue 70 means we can look forward to providing you with the exceptional service you deserve and expect from our top-rated public library system.
Our 2020 annual report is a time capsule of sorts, documenting a very challenging year in CCPL’s history – and the most challenging year many of us have ever experienced. Our ability to innovate and adapt to the needs of our communities was tested. When we closed our doors last spring as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 it was a necessary, but painful, decision. In the months that followed our staff members worked behind the scenes to reinvent our service delivery and create a thoughtful, responsible plan for a phased reopening. By June we were offering curbside and drive-through service. By July we were able to re-open our branches at limited capacity. Our road to reopening was a challenging journey at times, but I am proud of how our organization responded and kept its focus on exceptional library service.
This report looks back on the positives from a year most of us might like to forget. It is all here, from the good work we accomplished to help raise blood donations during a time of critical need, to the investments we made to help more county residents connect to the internet, to the community dialogue we facilitated on social justice, to the many innovative ways we adapted our programs and services to meet our community’s needs.
None of us ever want to experience another year like 2020, but there were many moments we can look back on now with pride. I have no doubt that we are a stronger, more resilient organization today because of the adversity we experienced. We proved to ourselves and to our community that “as your needs change, we change,” is more than just a slogan. It is a promise that we deliver on.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR
William J. Leonard
It is with deep appreciation that I reflect on the Library’s work this past year and the community’s unwavering support. As a global pandemic turned all that we know upside down, we saw leaders emerge whose efforts kept communities moving ahead. I am proud to count Cuyahoga County Public Library as one of those leading organizations in our community, maintaining critical library service through one of the most profoundly challenging periods in our lifetime.
Passing a levy in November 2020 reinforced just how much residents value their public library. As a Board member and CCPL cardholder, I am grateful for the many ways that Library staff demonstrated integrity and honor in unpredictable circumstances. Whether they were opening library branches for blood drives during the stay-at-home order, coordinating food distribution events or creating storytime videos for children, Library staff found ways to keep our community connected.
Time gives us the advantage of hindsight, and, in the years to come, our efforts in 2020 will be regarded with clearer eyes and a better sense of the impact. What seems certain to me at this moment in time is that the Library showed up when the community needed it, and the CCPL team did everything in their power to help in ways both big and small.
Navigating the Pandemnic
On March 13, 2020, Cuyahoga County Public Library closed its branches, MetroHealth Service Point, and administrative offices as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, our doors are now open and many of our services have been reinstated, but it was quite a journey to get from the start of the pandemic to where we are today.