Main Library
Main Building
2nd Floor
325 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Manager: Donald Boozer

About the Department

With well over 500,000 volumes, the Literature Department’s collection presents a wide spectrum of the world’s classic and contemporary fiction, poetry, and plays. The collection features both popular and scholarly works in a variety of subjects including cinema, radio and television, drama and theatre, writing and journalism, humor and public speaking. The department’s holdings include a significant collection of research materials pertaining to local theater as well as Cleveland area authors in all genres. The department also houses a growing collection of graphic novels and comics-related materials.

The Collection

World Literature and Criticism

Literary history, biography, criticism, essays, and literary anthologies. Significant emphasis on African-American authors. Editions, translations, and analysis of the works of ancient Greek and Latin.


All genres and time periods, classic works for students and reading groups, and large print titles.


Works of individual poets, anthologies, and books on writing and understanding poetry.

Drama and Theater

Books on acting, directing, producing, puppetry, stage makeup, theatrical history, and theory and criticism. Files on local theater history, a significant collection of local theater playbills, and the Musicarnival Archives—primary source material from one of the first tent theaters in the United States


Film, filmmaking, film criticism and the motion picture industry.

Television and Radio

Individual television shows and old-time radio programs.

Writing and Publishing

Directories of publishers; how-to books on writing and editing, and much more for aspiring writers.

Comics and Graphic Novels

Graphic novels, manga, and anthologies of comics and books about the medium. An extensive selection with more than 7,000 volumes that spans many genres and time periods.

Grammar and Usage

Dictionaries, composition, vocabulary, etymology, and dialect study. Instructional texts for the languages of Western classical civilizations and constructed languages like Klingon and Esperanto.

Library and Information Science

Theory and practice of library and information science. Includes materials on the issue of censorship.

Journalism and Broadcasting

Biographies of journalists and publishers and the craft of journalism.

Public Speaking

Instruction and collections of speeches by famous orators.

Humor and Trivia

Joke books and collections of humorous essays, anecdotes for use in public speaking.

Printing, Typography and Desktop Publishing

The history of printing, typography, and calligraphy. Tutorials for software programs for desktop publishing and word processing.

Ohio Center for the Book

The Literature Department also hosts the Ohio Center for the Book @ Cleveland Public Library which is dedicated to promoting and celebrating books, reading, literacy, and libraries to Ohio’s citizens and the book community at large. The Ohio Center for the Book @ Cleveland Public Library also maintains a growing collection of fiction and non-fiction books written by Ohio authors. The Center also hosts (along with Cleveland Public Library) The Lineage and Legacy of Superman exhibit on the 2nd floor of the historic Main Library building downtown.

History of Ohio Center for the Book

Starting in 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress began to establish affiliate centers in the 50 states. Today, there is a State Center for the Book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands. These Center for the Book affiliates carry out the national Center’s mission in their local areas, sponsor programs that highlight their area’s literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries. In 1997, the Ohio Center for the Book was established at the State Library of Ohio to promote Ohio’s book culture and literary heritage. On November 14, 2003, the Ohio Center for the Book was inaugurated at the Cleveland Public Library by James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress.

Contact Us

Ohio Center for the Book @ Cleveland Public
Library 325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 623-2881
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