“I am very pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees appointed Jamie Mason as director,” said Rocky River Public Library Board President Audra Bednarski. We have great confidence in Jamie's leadership skills, his vision for the Library, and his concern for our staff,” she said.
Mason has been the library’s Director since July, when Nick Cronin resigned as library director. Prior to this, Mason served as the library’s deputy director, since January 2009. Mason has 11 years’ experience in libraries, including Avon Lake Public Library, where he was responsible for the network and computers.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead Rocky River Public Library into the future,” said Mason. “I have adored the Library and its staff since coming here in 2009. There are many exciting things ahead for this community and the library. It’s a great place to work!” said Mason.
Mason earned his MLIS from Kent State University. He serves on the board of the Ohio Public Library Information Network and was president in 2012. Mason has also served on numerous committees with the Ohio Library Council. He is married to Erin, a teacher at Murray Ridge School in Lorain County, and has three children.
For the fourth consecutive year, Rocky River Public Library has been ranked as one of the top libraries in the nationin Library Journal’s 2014 “Index of Public Library Service.” The rating identifies 258 Star libraries, based on data from more than 7,500 public libraries nationwide. The LJ Index and its Star Library ratings provide a national perspective on the relative status of all rated public libraries.
“We are honored to be chosen again as a Star Library,” said Director Jamie Mason. “It shows the dedication of our staff to provide quality services and programs to our patrons. Thank you to everyone that uses our library. The award really goes to all of you!”
The rankings are based on expenditures that relate to circulation, library visits, public Internet computer use and program attendance. Star libraries were recognized in 39 states, with Ohio claiming the second highest number of libraries with this distinction. Library Journal is a highly respected professional publication and the oldest one covering the field of library service.
Jodi Penwell has been appointed by the Rocky River Board of Education to a 7-year term on the Rocky River Public Library board of trustees. She takes over the position vacated by William Henson, who retired from the board after 14 years of service. In addition, John Hosek was also sworn in at the library’s August 27th board meeting to fill the unexpired term of Betsy Lanzen. Hosek’s term ends in June 2018.
Penwell is a Senior Vice President at KeyBank and manager for Non-Profit Services. She is a graduate of Cleveland State University with a B.A. in Psychology and is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.
As a graduate of Leadership Lorain County, she brings a vast knowledge of surrounding communities and their resources to share with the board. Before moving to Rocky River in 2013, she served on the Lorain Public Library System’s board of trustees for 12 years. She was also a founding member of the Foundation of the Lorain Public Library System.
“I believe that a strong library is a cornerstone of a solid community and as a community, we must provide governance to facilitate a lifelong learning philosophy and enhance the quality of life for the city,” she said. “I believe my prior library board experience will add value to achieve this greater good.”
New trustee John Hosek serves on the city of Rocky River’s Planning Commission, shares his time as a mentor for College Now, volunteers for RESULTS, a nonprofit that works to end poverty, and functions as the chair of St. Christopher Church’s Social Concerns Committee. He has lived in Rocky River with his wife, Sharon, for 23 years.
He was the Director of Transportation Programs for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, until his retirement in 2011. Hosek holds a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in managerial and business economics. He was the recipient of Cleveland State University’s Leadership Academy Alumni Award for Outstanding Administrative Leadership.
“I wanted to be on the board because I am a firm believer in lifelong education and the mission of modern public libraries to provide not only education, but also recreation and culture,” said Hosek. “My wife, Sharon and I have visited the library often over the years to take out books, DVDs, music and movies. Libraries have served us well, and I wanted to provide some small service back.”
Stuff the Bus with Books is part of United Way’s Day of Action
Rocky River Public Library, The Cleveland Indians, RTA, Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland Public Library, Euclid Public Library, Heights Libraries, Lakewood Public Library, Shaker Heights Public Library and Westlake Porter Public Library are partnering with United Way of Greater Cleveland to collect children’s and young adult books to distribute free to children in our community. It’s crucial to get books in the hands of children during the summer months to encourage reading and eliminate summer learning loss.
Help United Way, as part of its Worldwide Day of Action, fill an RTA bus with gently used children’s and young adult books. Drop your donated books at Progressive Field’s Rally Alley from 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. Then enjoy the game as the Indians take on the Detroit Tigers.
Local libraries are also drop-off locations for new or gently used books for “Stuff the Bus with Books” through June 20. Please drop your book donations in the red wagon in Rocky River Public Library’s lobby, during regular hours. The libraries will then distribute the books to kids free all summer long, as summer reading incentives. Your book donation will help children learn to love reading, as well as introduce them to the vast resources available at their local libraries.
For additional information, contact United Way’s Amanda Smith at 216-436-2123 or asmith@unitedWaycleveland.org or call Rocky River Public Library at
See what all the hoopla is about! Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter Barb Galbincea talks about free movies for instant streaming or download, audiobooks and music titles, as well as patron access to millions of titles through SearchOhio.
- Rocky River library offers free movies, audiobooks, music for download, streaming
April 21, 2014 | Barb Galbincea | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Check out our online travel resources, such as CultureGrams, Mango languages and Natural Geographic Magazine, and read what West Life News discovered about them.
- Library patrons can travel the world through computer websites
March 30, 2014 | Written by Sue Botoos | West Life News
New Cowan director wants to share her love of regional art
Feb. 13, 2014 | Sue Botoos | West Life News
Our new Cowan Pottery Museum curator/historian shares her enthusiasm and knowledge of regional art with “West Life” reporter Sue Botos.
Lauren Hansgen has been appointed the new curator of the Cowan Pottery Museum/Historian at Rocky River Public Library. She is responsible for the activities of the museum and assists with the Library’s archives and historical activities. Lauren was previously employed as the executive director of ARTneo (formerly the Cleveland Artists Foundation). Welcome and congratulations, Lauren! See West Shore Sun’s story and photo gallery below.
- Rocky River Library showcases Cowan pottery
Feb 6, 2014 | Barb Galbincea | Sun News
Celebrity chef and bestselling author Rachael Ray wowed a crowd of 400-plus fans as she spoke about her personal and professional life, her cooking philosophy, the charities she supports, and her latest book, “Week in a Day.” Thanks to our partner, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, for helping the Library make Rachael Ray’s appearance such a great event. Read what West Life had to say about Ray’s visit to Rocky River.
Click to view larger image.
Rocky River Public Library marks 85 years (slideshow)
Plain Dealer | By Barb Galbincea | November 9, 2013
And just a reminder: Rocky River Public Library celebrates its 85th Anniversary on Sunday, November 24 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. The public is cordially invited to this free event to commemorate this milestone, with light refreshments and giveaway items available. The event includes the presentation of a proclamation by Mayor Pamela E. Bobst and the unveiling of a plaque to honor the late Rocky River Public Library Director George Scherma, under whose leadership the Library’s Cowan Pottery Museum was established. The Library will also celebrate the 35th anniversary of its Cowan Pottery Museum and the close of the Cowan Pottery Museum Pottery Centennial.
(ROCKY RIVER, OH) For the third consecutive year, Rocky River Public Library has been ranked as one of the top libraries in the nationin Library Journal’s 2013 “Index of Public Library Service.” The rating identifies 263 Star libraries, based on 2011 data from more than 7,500 public libraries nationwide.
The index highlights a substantial number of U.S. public libraries whose levels of service distinguish them among their peers. The LJ Index and its Star Library ratings provide a national perspective on the relative status of all rated public libraries.
The rankings are based on expenditures that relate to circulation, library visits, public Internet computer use and program attendance per capita. Star libraries were recognized in 39 states, with Ohio claiming the second highest number of libraries with this distinction. Library Journal is a highly respected professional publication and the oldest one covering the field of library service.
Cowan Pottery Centennial in the News
- Cowan Pottery Centennial Open House Draws Hundreds in Rocky River
Sun News | By Barb Galbincea | August 9, 2013
- Open House to Mark 100-Year Anniversary of Cowan Pottery
West Life | By Sue Botos | August 3, 2013
Cowan Pottery Sale Clarification
A sale of Cowan Pottery will be held on Sunday, August 4, in conjunction with the “Cowan Pottery Centennial Open House” at 19621 Lake Road from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The sale will be on a limited number of pieces with distinctive glazes. The River Days Event Guide published by West Life incorrectly stated that that the sale was on Sunday, July 14 during the Antiques Appraisal Fair from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Don Umerley Civic Center.
Rocky River Public Library Rolls Out IndieFlix Movie Streaming Service
West Life | by Sue Botos | May 3, 2013
Check out our IndieFlix movie streaming service and read what West Life has to say about this new FREE online service.
Rocky River Public Library Debuts IndieFlix Service
Sun News | by Joe Noga, | April 20, 2013
Read what Sun News has to say about IndieFlix, our new online movie service that gives Rocky River Public Library card holders access to thousands of award-winning independent films, shorts and documentaries from around the world!
Rocky River Public Library's Food for Fines program received more than 4,000 items to stock food pantry
Sun News | Ed Carroll | April 12, 2013
Jen Golya, co-chair of the Rocky River Assistance Program (RRAP), said that the Library’s Food for Fines program has brought in over 4,000 items to stock its food pantry. RRAP is managed by the members of the Rocky River Women’s Club. Recently, the K-Kids Club of Kensington School helped pack and sort the Library’s donations at the food pantry. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Library has sponsored the “Food for Fines” drive.
- K Kids Care (4/17/13) -- West Life
Rocky River Public Library Celebrates National Library Week, head of children's department excited about new features for all ages
Sun News / West Shore Sun | By Ed Carroll | April 15, 2013
As Rocky River Public Library celebrates National Library Week, Lucy Carney, the children's services manager for the library, is excited for the new features RRPL offers for readers of all ages Full story »
RRPL Mobile App Video
Rocky River Public Library has a free mobile app that puts the Library at your fingertips! Check out this Cox Communications’ video that explains how to access and use this new and exciting feature that gives you one-touch mobile access to the Library, anytime, anywhere. Thanks to Cox45!
'Food for Fines' benefits the Rocky River Assistance Program
The Plain Dealer | By Linda Chojnacki | March 09, 2013,
Are you a patron of the Rocky River Public Library? Do you have overdue items? Full story »
Help the Rocky River Assistance Program when “Food for Fines” kicksoff on March 1.
For every item you donate from the following list, your fines will be reduced by $1.00, up to a maximum of $30.00. Please donate items in the Library’s Circulation Department, March 1 through March 31.
Food items needed:
- Canned soup, tuna, fruit, vegetables and canned spaghetti sauce
- Cereal (including oatmeal)
- Peanut Butter
- Rice, pasta, mac and cheese, pancake mix
- Non-perishable side dishes
Items that are expired, damaged, or in glass jars WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Thank you for your generosity toward hunger relief in our community!
Audra Bednarski has been elected to serve a one-year term as the president of the Rocky River Public Library board of trustees.
Bednarski, a resident of Rocky River since 1994, works with River Snow Management, LLC in Rocky River. She has served as a trustee on the library board since 2009. She is active in the Beach Cliff Garden Club and at Rocky River United Methodist Church. Her husband, Kevin, is a captain for the Rocky River Fire Department. They have three daughters.
"What a privilege it is to serve as a trustee for Rocky River Public Library! From our outstanding collection to our incredible programs, our library is a community asset we must never take for granted,” said Bednarski. “I'm so grateful to our superior staff for providing us with nationally recognized services. When you see me out and about in Rocky River, whether at library programs, including our 85th anniversary celebration or Cowan Pottery Museum's 35th anniversary, at high school or middle school events, at community functions or at church, I invite you to share your thoughts regarding Rocky River Public Library with me. Remember, this is our library," she said.Audra Bednarski succeeds Catherine Manzo, who served two years as president of the board of trustees. Other officers elected at the January board of trustees meeting included William Henson, vice president and Patrick Burke, secretary.
Rocky River Public Library - Board of Trustees
Read what West Life had to say about a visit to RRPL from urban fantasy writer Kevin Hearne, a New York Times bestselling author.
Success is just a fantasy for best-selling author http://westlife.northcoastnow.com/success-is-just-a-fantasy-for-bestselling-author/
West Life | by Sue Botos | January 16, 2013
“AARP Free Tax-Aide Help” is available at Rocky River Public Library from February 1 through April 16, by appointment only. Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Taxpayers can make an appointment beginning January 7 by calling the Library at (440) 333-7610 or by stopping at the greeter’s desk in the Library’s lobby. Tax-Aide will prepare federal and state of Ohio tax returns free of charge and will also e-file returns for taxpayers who participate in the program. IRS-certified volunteers are ready to help income taxpayers of all ages. You do not need to be a member of AARP to receive this service. You must bring a photo ID and Social Security card when you come for your appointment.
Rocky River Public Library - Tax Assistance
Librarians Reach Out to Homebound Rocky River ResidentsWest Life spotlighted our Outreach Service, which provides free delivery and pick up of library materials for Rocky River residents who are homebound. Help us spread the word to friends and family who could benefit from this important service!
Librarians reach out to homebound Rocky River residents
- Westlife | Written by Sue Botos | Saturday, December 8, 2012
Rocky River Public Library Named One of America’s Top Libraries
For the second consecutive year, Rocky River Public Library has been ranked as one of the top libraries in the nation in Library
Journal’s 2012 “Index of Public Library Service.” The rating identifies 262 Star libraries, based on 2010 data from more than 7,500 public libraries nationwide.
The index highlights a substantial number of U.S. public libraries whose levels of service distinguish them among their peers. The rankings are based on expenditures that relate to circulation, library visits, public Internet computer use and program attendance per capita. Star libraries were recognized in 39 states, with Ohio claiming the second highest number of libraries with this distinction. Library Journal is a highly respected professional publication and the oldest one covering the field of library service.
Our Cowan Pottery Museum celebrates the legacy of one of the nation’s leading potteries during the 1920s, and the Cleveland area’s only major pottery. Read what The Plain Dealer’s Julie Washington had to say about our 1,300 piece collection.
Rocky River Library houses important Cowan Pottery collection:
- The Plain Dealer | Julie Washington, Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Rocky River Public Library Outreach Service Delights those in Need
See what West Shore Sun had to say about our Outreach Service, which provides free delivery and pick up of books and other library materials for Rocky River residents who are homebound.
Rocky River Public Library Outreach Service Delights those in need
- Sun News | Eric Sandy, Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Rocky River Publibrary - Outreach Services
New Member Appointed to Rocky River Public Library Board
We extend a warm welcome to our newest member of the Library Board of Trustees, Patrick Burke, who has been appointed by the Rocky River Board of Education to a 7-year term. He is the general manager of two manufacturing plants for TECT Power, a manufacturer of jet engine parts. Patrick has a Bachelor of Science in metallurgical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an Executive MBA from Baldwin Wallace University.
He has lived in Rocky River since he was 13 years old, and is a graduate of Rocky River High School. He served as a Board member for Rocky River’s Community Challenge and the Forging Industry Association, as well as an advisor to the Board of the Rocky River Soccer Association.
He started the women’s soccer program at Rocky River High School and coached at the school for 15 years. His wife, Mary, and four children also graduated from Rocky River High School.
“I am an avid reader and utilize the Library for books in the traditional form, along with Kindle downloads and audiobooks,” he said. “I believe the Library is a very important part of all communities - now more than ever. The various means of accessing information in our digital age present many challenges for a library, and I look forward to helping our library navigate through these challenges as they continue to provide an excellent resource for Rocky River residents.”
We also express our sincere gratitude to Diane Murphy for the time, energy and expertise she contributed to the Library Board. She retired from the board in July, after completing her 7-year term. Diane used her expertise in accounting and finance to guide the Library in her capacities as a member and chair of the Board’s Finance and Personnel Committee, the Community Relations Committee and the Library Records Commission. Best wishes, Diane!
Board of Truestees
Meet award-winning author Michael Koryta, one of today’s pre-eminent thriller writers, on Tuesday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Rocky River Public Library’s auditorium as he launches his newest novel, The Prophet, which is set in the Cleveland area. Koryta will read from The Prophet, his ninth novel, and talk about his work. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Koryta is probably best known for his Lincoln Perry Series, including Tonight I Said Goodbye (Winner of the Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel Award and Great Lakes Book Award, Best Mystery), Sorrow’s Anthem, A Welcome Grave and The Silent Hours. His other novels include Envy The Night (Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Best Mystery/Thriller), So Cold the River, The Cypress House and The Ridge. Additionally, three of these books have been named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. No registration is necessary.
Read what West Shore Sun reporter Eric Sandy had to say about author Michael Koryta:
AUTHOR MICHAEL KORYTA TO VISIT ROCKY RIVER PUBLIC LIBRARY IN SUPPORT OF NEW NOVEL - Sun News | Eic Sandy, Published: Monday, August 2, 2012
FREE TICKETS TO THE CLEVELAND NATIONAL AIR SHOW
Enter to win 4 tickets to the 2012 Cleveland National Air Show on September 1,2, and 3 by filling out a form in the Library’s Grand Reading Room. You can enter to win until 4:00 PM on Saturday, July 28. This year’s Air Show will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels and is presented by Drug Mart.
Cleveland National Air Show
COX CABLE 45: 2012 ROCKY RIVER PUBLIC LIBRARY BOOK FESTIVAL
Rocky River Public Library recently held its triennial Book Festival featuring 50 Ohio authors. Check out Cox Communications’ video to catch the fun and flavor of this great event for book lovers of all ages. Thanks to Cox 45!
Rocky River Public Library
Our Computer Training Center recently marked its fifth year in its beautiful state-of-the-art environment for educating the public. Read what "West Life" reporter Sue Botos had to say about this community resource.
LIBRARY COMPUTER CENTER CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS OF HANDS-ON LEARNING - West Life News | Sue Botos, published June 2, 2012
Adult Computer Training
NEW COWAN POTTERY TOUR HELPS VISITORS LEARN MORE / WEST SHORE SUN
See how the Library is offering a new kind of tour of the Cowan Pottery Museum. Use your smartphone or tablet computer for a self-guided tour in the Library.Rocky River Public Library offers new tech-savvy tour of Cowan Pottery Museum - West Shore Sun | Eic Sandy, Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
Cowan Pottery Museum
WESTLIFE REPORTS ON THE COWAN POTTERY VIRTUAL TOUR
Check out West Life’s article on a video tour of our Cowan Pottery Museum that you can take on your smartphone or tablet computer next time you are in the Library. Go to http://westlife.northcoastnow.com/high-tech-cowan-pottery-museum-tour-brings-history-to-life/
HIGH TECH COWAN POTTERY MUSEUM TOUR BRINGS HISTORY TO LIFE | WestLife News - Sue Botos
March 11, 2012
Cowan Pottery Museum
ROCKY RIVER PUBLIC LIBRARY ACCEPTS FOOD FOR FINES THROUGH MARCH 31
Donated Canned Goods Reduce Fines and Help the Rocky River Assistance Program
(Rocky River, Ohio) – For every canned food item patrons donate at Rocky River Public Library, their fines will be reduced by $1.00, up to a maximum of $30.00. The Library’s “Food for Fines” program is in effect March 1 through March 31. This is the third consecutive year that the Library has sponsored a “Food for Fines” drive.
Donated canned goods for the Rocky River Assistance Program are being collected by the library’s staff in the Circulation Department. Only canned food items will be accepted, preferably fruits, beef stew, chili and vegetables. Food supplies are low in the Assistance Program’s food distribution center, so donations are very much appreciated. Expired and damaged items will not be accepted.
The “Food for Fines” program applies only to fines and fees owed to Rocky River Public Library. It will apply to accounts already turned over to a collection agency. The library is unable to repair or change a credit report. This program does not apply to checks returned for insufficient funds and does not apply to payment of any fines that were made prior to March 1.
Rocky River Public Library
Get an extra treat at Earth Fare’s Family Dinner Night when you show your Rocky River Public Library card.
Kids can eat a free dinner every Thursday, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., with a $5 adult meal purchase. Families can feed up to six kids, absolutely free. Different treat every week, when you show your RRPL card, while supplies last.
Check out a video tour of Rocky River Public Library’s Cowan Pottery Museum produced by Cox Communications. Cowan Pottery Museum Curator Carol Jacobs takes you on a comprehensive 40-minute tour, split up into four 10-minute segments. You can also take a self-guided video tour in the Library by scanning QR codes on the display cases in the Museum, with your smartphone or tablet computer.
Cowan Pottery Video Tour
The Cowan Pottery Studio manufactured notable American art pottery from 1913-1917 in Lakewood, Ohio and from 1920-1931 in Rocky River, Ohio at 19633 Lake Road. R. Guy Cowan was an innovative ceramic artist who helped to elevate Cowan Pottery from a craft to a fine art. Cowan Pottery was known throughout the country for its modern shapes, distinctive glazes, and quality design. The Studio produced useful items for everyday living as well as unique art works. By the late 1920s, the Studio produced 175,000 items annually. Unfortunately the business did not survive the Great Depression.
The “Cowan Pottery Centennial" will be celebrated from 2012 through 2013. Many varied events will come under the umbrella of the Centennial that will be held at Rocky River Public Library and elsewhere. Click here to see a schedule of events.
Rocky River Public Library has the largest public collection of Cowan Pottery in the world. It can be viewed during regular Library hours. Contact Curator Carol Jacobs at (440) 895-3763 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions or would like to arrange for an in-depth personal tour. Tours are free and can accommodate up to 20 individuals.
Cowan Pottery Museum
Patrons learned about “eReaders,” and their basic functions, similarities and differences, at a recent “eReader Clinic.” Library staff answered questions about Nooks, Kindles, Sony eReaders, iPads and other devices and showed patrons how to access free eBooks from http://www.rrpl.org/digital/index.htm
If you have any questions about accessing the Library’s digital library, please call us at 440-333-7610. You can also bring in your device and our reference staff will be glad to assist you, as time and technical knowledge permits.
Rocky River Public Library wants to make sure that every child is ready to read before they start school. The Library has launched an early literacy education initiative called Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) for parents and caregivers of children, birth to five years old. Click here to check out the programs, tips and literature available for developing early literacy skills and view one of our “Two’s and Three’s” programs.
At our recent eReader Clinic, over 100 patrons learned how to download free eBooks from the Library’s collection. Read what "West Life" reporter Sue Botos had to say about the hands-on learning instruction that patrons enjoyed. Whether you have a Nook, Kindle, Sony eReader, iPad or other device, check out our printable instructions and other tips on the Digital Library page.
Kindles and other e-readers ignite Rocky River readers’ interest in downloads, written by Sue Botos
December 30, 2011, Westlife