Heights Libraries welcomes two new board members

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library is pleased to announce the appointment of two new board members. Susan Beatty of Cleveland Heights will serve a seven-year term on the board, and Christopher Mentrek of University Heights will serve a five-year term. Both terms will begin January 2015.

A life-long Clevelander, Beatty moved to Cleveland Heights with her husband fifteen years ago. She worked for more than thirty years in education as a teacher, principal, and curriculum director in the Mayfield City School District. One of her duties as curriculum director was K-12 literacy, which required her to think critically about the roles of both literature and informational text in learning. This experience and other administrative responsibilities, including working closely with the school board, provided her with insight that she hopes to bring to the library board position.

“I value the contribution the library makes to our community as a center for learning and enrichment,” says Beatty. “The libraries are places where people come together, and where they can access all kinds of media for information and entertainment. It’s a place to grow, intellectually and socially.”

She hopes to facilitate the continual transformation of the libraries, and help balance traditions and changes to meet the needs of the community.

Christopher Mentrek has lived in University Heights for most of his life, and after attending local public schools, he went to the University of Chicago and Cleveland State University where he studied the physical sciences and education. He works for the Geauga Park District as a naturalist, and has been a library volunteer for several years helping with the Lee Road Children’s Garden, the monarch butterfly raising project, and large special events like the Sesame Street Block Party and Hobbit Quest.

“I hope to be an advocate for an institution that I’ve enjoyed since my childhood. I hope to help the library continue to meet the needs of the neighborhood, and to ensure that the staff have the resources needed to continue the library’s outstanding work,” says Mentrek.

Among the goals for his term on the board is a wish to ensure that the University Heights branch meets the needs of the high school students who will be attending Wiley when it becomes the new public high school.

Both new trustees were selected for the Heights Libraries board by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education at its December 2, 2014, meeting. Ohio law requires that the local school board be the taxing authority for a school district public library, so library trustees are therefore chosen by the school board. Mentrek’s term is five years, as opposed to the full seven years, because he is filling the position left by former board member Jeffrey Eummer, who stepped down this year after two years.