The Library Commemorates 152 Years of Service with a New Direction for the Future

2021 is a year of new beginnings for many and it’s no different for Cleveland Public Library. On February 17, the Library will celebrate its Founder’s Day with a renewed plan to provide spaces and places for Clevelanders in the pursuit of self-advancement and self-improvement.

“Cleveland Public Library recognizes our city is changing and we want to be a catalyst for that change,” remarks Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library. “Our strategic focus goes beyond inspiring discovery and nurturing a life-long love of reading and learning. We are actively working to build an equitable society.”

Thomas will unveil the Library’s strategic plan and refreshed vision to create a city where opportunity is available to all at The City Club’s virtual forum on Wednesday, February 17 at 11:30 a.m. He will be joined by Jeffery K. Patterson, Chief Executive Officer and Safety Director of Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, and Danielle Sydnor, president of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP, to discuss the historical and racial inequities in Cleveland and how their respective institutions are working to usher in a new era of justice.

“We’re excited to share our new direction with the community,” adds Thomas. To learn more about The City Club Forum, visit

Also, on the Library’s Founders Day, all Library locations will be closed to the public until 2 p.m. to allow for staff development. Patrons are encouraged to use our digital collection to find their next great read, movie, or audiobook. Visit to learn about our Homebound Service and Words on Wheels programs.


Cleveland Public Library’s Writers & Readers series is back. On Saturday, February 27 at 12 p.m., join us for a frank conversation between The New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb and political commentator Heather McGhee about Understanding Policing in the 21st Century.

The Writers & Readers series engages authors, academics, and public figures in discussions surrounding the books and stories that have shaped their lives. Due to the pandemic, Writers & Readers can be viewed live via Zoom at noon. Registration is required. Interested participants can visit for more information.

For the first time, a virtual workshop will accompany each Writers & Readers event to give participants a platform to seek a greater understanding and find common ground to issues facing our city. The first workshop on Understanding Policing in the 21st Century will be held on Wednesday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m. with civil rights attorneys Terry Gilbert and Gordon Friedman, the founding partners of Friedman, Gilbert, and Gerhardstein which specializes in civil rights and criminal defense. Founder and Lead Attorney James Levin of LegalWorks will moderate the conversation. Interested participants can register at


In partnership with WOIO 19 News and its “The Next 400” initiative, Cleveland Public Library will host a Facebook Live discussion about vaccines and the African American experience on Thursday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. The panelists are Dr. Charles Modlin of the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. R.A. Vernon, the founder and senior pastor of The Word Church. 19 News Anchor Chris Tanaka will serve as the moderator.