William Fitch Smyth

Envelope with drawing of an alegator and stick figure people and the words Shelf Division

William Fitch Smyth was the evening attendant in the General Reference Division at Cleveland Public Library beginning January 22, 1904. Mr. Smyth was recruited to work at the library by none other than William H. Brett, Head Librarian. His starting salary was .50 cents per evening. Mr. Smyth worked part-time, including Sundays and holidays until March 22, 1940. His father…

The Cutting Edge of Library Technology

Library’s Telautograph machine

Enjoy a slideshow through time and watch the evolution of Cleveland Public Library’s cutting edge use of technology. From typewritten cataloging and “high-tech” electric erasers at the beginning of the 20th Century to the first computerized online Library Catalog in the 1980s. [slideshow_deploy id=’11603′]

Setting the Stage for Cleveland Public Library’s Next 150 Years

CPL 150 Logo

As Cleveland Public Library approaches its 150th anniversary, the majority of its branches are slated to be revitalized to best serve Cleveland communities well into the future. To that end, the Library is embarking on an ambitious, multiyear capital project to ensure its neighborhood branch libraries can continue to function as safe, inclusive, and sustainable environments.  The first phase of…

Peace, Love, and Video Games: eSports at Cleveland Public Library 

As a child growing up in Cleveland, Cella Borgia played video games to bond with her father. In the process, she discovered a love of gaming that persisted into adulthood. Gaming as an adult, however, was a different experience. Gone were the days of gathering with childhood friends to play in the same room—adult gamers, by comparison, were relatively isolated. That’s why Cella and her partner, Keven Barrera, decided to start…

The Art of Making Monsters

When Kaitlin Juarez moved back to Cleveland after a decade spent living in West Virginia and Rhode Island, she needed to find new facilities to make her line of handmade designer toys—and Cleveland Public Library fit the bill. Juarez’s “monsters” are whimsical fabric characters with playful identities and imagined histories. Juarez crafts the monsters from 100% wool, which she cuts…

Libraries as Refuge: Advocates 4 Peace and Change at Cleveland Public Library

When Mayele Ngemba left Africa to come to the United States in 2011, he was eighteen years old and determined to build a new life Cleveland. A mere five years later, he set out to use his newly acquired skills to assist other refugees in the area. “Coming in as a refugee is tough,” he says. “That’s why I decided…