In 1915, Cleveland Heights resident John Barden was elected to the board of education of what was then the Village of Cleveland Heights. Part of Barden’s election platform was a promise to start a public library for the village. In 1916, Barden headed a committee that selected the first members of the future public library board, which was established that same year.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

One hundred years later, we are celebrating the Heights Libraries Centennial in ways both big and small. From a special tribute from the one and only Mary Doria Russell and a time capsule burial, to street banners and limited edition library cards, there will be many ways to celebrate all year long. Here are just a few:

Heights Libraries Centennial Kick-Off Event: May 1, 2 p.m. at Coventry

The historic Coventry Village branch was the setting for our 2016 Centennial Celebration Kick-Off. Local author Mary Doria Russell honored the Library with a special talk, we buried a time capsule, and enjoyed birthday cake, live music, and children’s activities.

Watch videos of the event, including Mary Doria Russell’s talk.

See what’s in the time capsule!

Special Centennial-Related Programs

What was happening in 1916 in the world of art, literature, film? What about our own community? Special programs explored the year 1916, and the past century, including our local history.

Heights Libraries Interactive Timeline

Take a stroll through Heights Libraries history with this interactive timeline. Click on a year or event, or scroll backward and forward, to learn how and where we started out, where we’ve been, and what we’ve accomplished (so far!).

Heights Libraries Online Archive at the Ohio Memory Project Website

Heights Libraries local history librarian, Amia Wheatley, and other staff have been working for months scanning, uploading, and tagging photos, newspaper articles, meeting minutes and more stretching back to 1916, including the first minutes of the library’s board meetings.

Centennial Poster Art Contest and Exhibition for Kids and Teens

To celebrate its centennial, Heights Libraries hosted a poster art competition for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. All submissions will be on display in the Lee Road Art Gallery during all or part of the month of May 2016. A winner from each age category was, K-4th grade, 5-8th grade, and 9-12th grade, received a gift certificate to Blick Art Materials for $50, $150, and $250 respectively. Poster competition winners were announced at the Centennial Celebration on May 1 at the Coventry Village branch, and copies of the winning posters will be printed and displayed year round in the library, and included in the Centennial Celebration time capsule. See the artwork!

Limited Edition Heights Libraries Centennial Library Card

Show your Heights Libraries pride, and help us celebrate 100 years of service, by switching to our new, limited edition Centennial card. While supplies last.