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Hartzell Named Library Interim Executive Director
The Cuyahoga County Public Library Board of Trustees has named Vickie Hartzell Interim Executive Director of the 28-branch library system. Library board members are conducting a national search to replace John A. Lonsak who retires as Executive Director at the end of January.

Hartzell has held the position of Branch/Regional Services Director since March 1996. She has been in charge of branch operations and public service departments in the Library's Administrative Office Building on Snow Road, in Parma.

She has served on the CAMLS Board, has been a member of the Steering Committee for the annual North Coast Neighbors Share a Book project, and was a Charter Member of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Citizens Advisory Committee.

CPL Director Featured on CNN
Andrew Venable Jr., director of the Cleveland Public Library, was recently featured in Pat Summerall's, Summerall’s Success Stories on CNN. The television interview, provided by Summerall Productions, will be available on Cleveland Public Library’s Web site for three months. Additionally, Cleveland Public Library is featured in Forbes Magazine on the "Summerall Success Stories" page in the January issue.

Four Libraries Collaborate for Ohio Bicentennial Project
The article from the Cleveland Press, Oct. 3, 1907, read, "This girl ought to play ball in bloomers..."

Inspired by tales of Alta Weiss, girl pitcher and baseball wonder, Ritter Public Library Assistant Director Kathleen Jozwiak and Bette Lou Higgins of Eden Valley Enterprises, both organizations located in Vermilion, began conversing about how to bring a local legend to the attention of a wider audience.

They discovered that Alta Weiss not only had played baseball with a men’s team in Vermilion, but also had practiced medicine in Norwalk, OH. She was also well known in Tuscarawas County, OH, having grown up and retired in the village of Ragersville. Further findings revealed that Alta was born and buried in Holmes County, OH. The idea occurred to them that perhaps libraries from each of these counties would be interested in collaborating to develop a special program for the Ohio Bicentennial in 2022. All of the libraries, though scattered throughout northeastern Ohio by as much as 125 miles, were intrigued and enthusiastic!

In January 2022 Jozwiak joined representatives from the Norwalk Public Library, the Tuscarawas County Public Library in New Philadelphia, and the Holmes County Public Library, and the Alta Weiss Ohio Bicentennial Project was born.

The committee hired Eden Valley Enterprises, who had done such projects in the past, to prepare and present a first-person character program in each county, that would be offered free to the public.

With financial committments from the Friends groups of both the Ritter Public Library and the Norwalk Public Library, and by including area Historical Societies and other interested organizations, the committee was able to raise enough funds to carry out the plan.

The two historical societies of Tuscarawas County volunteered to prepare a traveling exhibit which will be featured at each library during the week of its presentation. "You Can't Play Ball in a Skirt: Alta Weiss, an Ohio Hero" will be presented at the following locations and dates:

Sunday, March 9, 2022, 2 pm
Ritter Public Library
5680 Liberty Ave.
Vermilion, OH 44089
Saturday, March 22, 2022, 2 pm
Norwalk Public Library
46 W. Main St.
Norwalk, OH 44857

Thursday, April 3, 2022, 7 pm
Auditorium, Kent State Tuscarawas
330 University Dr. NW
New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Tuesday, April 29, 2022, 7 pm
Holmes County District Library
3102 Glen Dr.
Millersburg, OH 44654

The creative ideas of two persons, combined with the vision, resources and support of interested persons from several libraries and their Friends groups, historical societies, arts organizations, cities, and baseball fans from all over northeastern Ohio have brought together an exciting collaborative program for the Ohio Bicentennial in 2022.

For more information, contact project coordinator Kathleen Jozwiak at (440) 967-3798.

Westlake Goes Platinum!
For the first time in Westlake Porter Public Library's 118 year history, users have checked out one million items in a single year. The historic one millionth check out occurred on Sunday December 15, 2022, which is coincidentally the anniversary of the library's founding, at about 3:25 p.m. The patron and her young daughter who checked out the one millionth item received a gift basket filled with goodies, including a book-design throw, 10 100 Grand candy bars, a Borders gift certificate, a Portables gift certificate, five dollars' worth of free printing at the library, and a variety of goodies imprinted with the library's name.

Those who checked out after the patron having the one millionth item also received gifts from the library. The first 50 after them received mugs commemorating the library's status as one of the "Top 1O" in the nation serving communities of Westlake's size according Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. The next 250 were given leather bookmarks imprinted with a drawing of the new building. The 250 after that received notepads imprinted with library and literary quotes.

The library moved into its expanded and renovated quarters in July of 2022, but circulation was on the rise even before the move.

CPL Book Discussion Stretches Across the Atlantic
Visually impaired readers from the Cleveland Public Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and readers from Stokes on Trent, England, used KnowItNow24x7 technology to recently participated in an international electronic book chat. Participants discussed an audio recording of The Slender Thread by British romance writer, Iris Bromige.

Each group gathered around a personal computer and relayed their comments to the typist who forwarded them to the chat room. When the message appeared, a sighted reader read the comments aloud to members. Laughs were abundant, and all who participated felt that they now have reading friends across the ocean. Another discussion is planned for spring.