EXPAND VIDEO Thomas D. Corrigan, president, board of trustees for Cleveland Public Library, reflects on the Library's contributions to the community over the past year.

Doing More With Less

Twenty years ago I wrote a similar introduction to the Report to the Community of 1990. I observed then the continuing effort required by our Board to balance the financial books while caring for and sharing all the other valuable books and items, numbering six million plus, that establish the wonderful collection and contents of the Cleveland Public Library. And yet, when I look back at everything that was accomplished in 2010, it's hard to remember that it was a year filled with financial challenges. The reality is that our budget was decreased from $71 million to $56 million over a 12-month period as a result of both state budget reductions and the impact of the local foreclosure crisis on levy dollars. I have been on the Board for 25 years and can honestly say that these past two years have been the toughest, economically, of any I have seen.

Fortunately, the Library emerged from this difficult year in an even stronger position. We are thankful for the cooperation we received from our management team, our employees, and their unions, which allowed us to make the necessary changes without adversely affecting our patrons. While we did realign hours at all of our branches, we were actually able to increase our circulation on a per-hour basis. We also saw record attendance at many of our programs and increased usage of our technologies, including our computers and electronic databases. | More »