Heights Libraries Welcomes Newest Board Member, Honors Outgoing President

New board member Annette M. Iwamoto

At its December 17 meeting, the Board of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library announced the appointment of its newest board member, Annette M. Iwamoto. Her seven-year term will begin January 2019.

Iwamoto has lived in Cleveland Heights for 10 years and is the strategic initiatives manager at Providence House, a nonprofit crisis nursery in Cleveland dedicated to child abuse prevention and family preservation. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing programs and projects that support the vision of the organization.

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, she graduated with her Bachelor’s from Trinity College in Connecticut and later received her Masters of Science in Social Administration at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She moved to Cleveland Heights while serving with City Year, and says she fell in love with the area. “I’ve used the library since I first moved here, and I’ll bring to my board service the perspective of a customer who has used the library’s services during different stages of her life, including as a young adult with few resources and as a parent with a young child,” says Iwamoto. “I have a strong commitment to supporting and serving my community, and I’m looking forward to putting that commitment to use on behalf of the library.”

At the same meeting, the Library Board honored outgoing Board President Abby Botnick, whose seven-year term ends on December 31, 2018.

Outgoing Heights Libraries Board President Abby Botnick (l) and Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin (r)

Botnick served on the board from 2012-2018, and her tenure included serving as co-chair of the 2014 operating levy committee. That levy passed with 67 percent support from the community, and Botnick says she is proud to have been a part of that campaign: “We are incredibly privileged to be part of a community that absolutely sees the value in our public library and, I think, appreciates the current and future role of the library in a way that so many other communities do not yet…I feel thrilled to have been just one small part of this effort in helping to lead the levy committee.”

“[Serving on the board] has been a truly engaging experience where I have been able to see the fruits of our decisions and labors come to life through the amazing talents of our library staff and with the passionate support of the community,” says Botnick. “I could not have designed a better opportunity for community involvement.”

Botnick has been succeeded as board president by Chris Mentrick who joined the board in 2013 and most recently served as vice president and chair of the operations committee.