Our Library Has a Unique Story To Tell
A good story offers a special message for the reader. Words of Wisdom or a Secret

Lorain Public Library System provides everyone with free, educational, informational and entertainment resources through responsive quality service to support lifelong learning throughout Lorain County.

From the Director’s Desk

I am finally starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Recovery and restoration are in the air. We have been through a series of financial challenges, yet we stayed the course. We passed a levy in Columbia Township, and with the assistance of Lorain County and Columbia Township who made land improvements, we were able to completely restore our Columbia Branch Library. Our library system is not a “one size fits all” library system. We keep this in mind as we serve a diverse population of over 135,275 people.

We spent quality time listening and talking to people in our service areas in preparation for our 2016-2018 strategic plan of service. I am happy to report that we finished an ambitious strategic planning process with the help and guidance of the State Library of Ohio. We are always looking for ways to be more efficient with the funds that we have. We completed two energy efficiency projects at our Avon and North Ridgeville branches where we converted lights in our parking lots to LED. I am most proud of how our library is transforming carefully to include digital content so that you can read, listen and watch by downloading or streaming library materials anytime, anywhere with 24-hour access to your public library.

I want our library system to remain flexible as we embrace new ways of providing you with good service. We are blessed to have dedicated staff and management who are constantly coming up with new ideas in delivering service and planning programs that meet your needs. We are community anchors that stay ready to partner with others who want to participate in a bright and beautiful future for the areas that we serve. Great communities have great libraries. I am proud to say that I am excited about the future of our library system where we honor our past and look forward to a bright future!

All the best,
Joanne Eldridge Signature

Joanne Eldridge Joanne EldridgeDirector, Lorain Public Library System


Message from the Assistant Director

I have the great pleasure of working with the five Friends of the Library groups across the system and advocating for the library branches in the local communities. 2015 afforded many opportunities to meet with individuals, groups and community leaders to listen to ideas, garner support, and gain insight into needs and desires for library service. These open dialogues were invaluable for future planning. Your input broadened our knowledge as to how to better serve our patrons and incorporate ideas into services and programming. As well, discussions allowed us to review many of the resources already available at your library. Throughout the year, I also oversaw building improvements that will keep your libraries inviting and up to date for years of enjoyment!

Toni Whitney Toni WhitneyAssistant Director/Supervisor of Branches
The story takes the reader on a journey. To Places as Familiar as Their Backyard

“Although we are working behind the scenes in the technical services department, customer service is still our top priority. We focus every day on getting new and reserved materials to our customers as quickly as possible. In addition, we strive to make all library materials easy to find in the online catalog and on the shelf.”

Cheryl Paganelli Cheryl PaganelliTechnical Services Librarian Supervisor


  • State funding partially restored to 1.7 percent of Ohio’s General Revenue Fund
  • The Foundation of the Lorain Public Library System, Inc. started an appeal to raise funding for the Summer Library Program
  • Provided excellent service and maintained collections with a smaller budget


  • Upgraded fiber-optic lines in all buildings from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps, which will cost almost 25 percent less to operate
  • Received approval for $46,000 in E-rate Program funding
  • HVAC control system for Main Library, Columbia, North Ridgeville and South Lorain branches on network computer
  • E-newsletter sign-up added to website

Community Awareness

  • Folders with early literacy information and Browser® card applications were compiled for University Hospitals to be distributed at their pediatric and family medicine offices in our service district
  • Local media providing a good amount of positive coverage
  • Effort made to take more and more pictures in our libraries

Summer Reading Program Kickoff

  • June 6, 2015
  • Lakeview Park in Lorain
  • A blast, despite the chilly weather
  • Families transformed into superheroes and met Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Black Widow

You could almost imagine that kids were ready to fly as they wore capes they made that were fluttering in the wind

2015 Location Notables

Main Library

351 W. Sixth Street
Lorain, Ohio 44052 | 1-800-322-READ | 440-244-1192

“Lorain’s library is a destination for lifelong learning and personal enrichment for all ages. Come in and be dazzled by the possibilities … or visit our website and discover the digital treasures available to those with a library card.”

Valerie Smith Valerie Smith Public Services Coordinator

Programming & Services

  • Monthly lunchtime local history programs were a big success attracting 30 to 50 people to each program
  • Patrons responded in large numbers to programs based on kids media entertainment choices, so it’s no surprise that Frozen Fun and Minecrafters were the biggest family programs of the summer
  • Day cares and camps made surprise visits in the summer, including at the Construct-a-Saurus program where they comprised the majority of the 100 participants
  • Served over 6,500 families, children and teens through our youth service programs in 2015
  • Saw a large increase in Axis 360 and BookFlix use after Megan Anderson and Erika Bobka visited over 400 students to teach them how to use the library’s eMedia resources


  • AV equipment and wiring installed in Toni Morrison Room
  • New visual presenter equipment, which is a document camera that displays your material on screen

Remodeling & Improvements

  • A glass mosaic mural was installed in the Toni Morrison Room, constructed by over 100 patrons over 10 hours in May
  • Tall shelving removed from the reference area so patrons have more seating to work alone on laptops or collaboratively in small groups


  • More active in the Lorain City Schools having programs at Garfield Elementary, Larkmoor Elementary, Toni Morrison Elementary, Washington Elementary, General Johnnie Wilson Middle and Lorain High
  • Welcomed busloads of children from Lorain Preparatory Academy and Horizon child care
  • Took everyone from Lorain Community Elementary on a library tour and discussed Summer Reading
  • Partnered with the United Way of Greater Lorain County to have the Lorain County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition offer free tax filing services in our computer training lab
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio used our computer training lab for volunteer training


  • Adults volunteered for 814 hours
  • Teens volunteered for 411 hours
  • Friends of the Lorain Public Library, Inc. donated $5,000 to the levy campaign, $1,000 to The Foundation of the Lorain Public Library System, Inc. and awarded three scholarships to library employees

Main Library Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

Avon Branch

37485 Harvest Drive
Avon, OH 44011 | 440-934-4743

“I want everyone in Avon to know that the Avon Branch Library is here for them. And don't forget how far the library extends beyond the building walls. Take advantage of our eLibrary, we'll show you how. Access materials from over 40 CLEVNET libraries, we'll show you how. Come and see what we have for you – you will be amazed!”

Donna Kelly Donna Kelly Avon Branch Librarian Supervisor


  • For the second year in a row, we had awesome contributions made to our programming from Avon High School students - the football team participated in Football Reading Buddies, the Tech Club presented a coding class and the Robotics Club presented a robotics demonstration for families
  • Staff trained and completed planning for new 2016 programs for families with young children with special needs


  • Public Wi-Fi upgraded


  • Added a new read and play cottage and developmental toys in the children’s area
  • Restroom renovation
  • Installed new energy efficient lighting fixtures in the parking lot
  • Parking lot repaved


  • Adults volunteered for 285 hours
  • Teens volunteered for 440 hours

Thanks to all of the young people who make our teen volunteer program the success that it is!

Avon Branch Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

Columbia Branch

13824 W. River Road North
Columbia Station, OH 44028 | 440-236-8751

“It’s been an exciting year for the Columbia Branch. I am continually amazed by what a wonderful community this is and look forward to all of the things that we will accomplish together in 2016.”

Susan Spivey Susan Spivey Columbia Branch Librarian Supervisor

Staffing & Hours

  • New staff members Monique Sherban and Diane Dalton began in the spring, both bringing innovative ideas for programming and new ways to make our branch more beautiful and inviting
  • In November, extended hours on Monday mornings to provide two extra service hours per week


  • Thanks to the help from Lorain County and great efforts made by Columbia Township, our flooding issues were resolved in the spring and the branch was renovated in September. Work included:
    • The addition of a swale and other land improvements to prevent future flooding issues.
    • Post-flood building renovation including new carpet, paint and tile in the restroom.
  • All of soft seating upholstered and a new chair added to the children’s area


  • Adults volunteered for 69 hours
  • Teens volunteered for 20 hours
  • Thanks to the support from the community, our operating levy passed in May
  • The Friends of the Columbia Library, Inc. secured a very generous grant from the Columbia Community Foundation to add a new early learning computer, increase the number of computers available to the public and help support other technology upgrades

Columbia Branch Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

Domonkas Branch

4125 E. Lake Road
Sheffield Lake, OH 44054 | 440-949-7410

“It is always inspiring and a bit surprising to look back over the year and realize what we’ve accomplished. We have been busy providing individual technology support, presenting programs for all age groups, and selecting popular and varied books, audiobooks, movies, music and magazines for our library users. We hope to continue serving the Sheffield Lake community well in the year ahead.”

Pam Coghlan Pam Coghlan Domonkas Branch Librarian Supervisor

Programming & Events

  • For the Sheffield Bicentennial, hosted three programs and were spotlighted by WEOL
  • Two new programs initiated – cookbook discussion group and Lakeview Pen writing group
  • Presented four how-to programs
  • Other fun events were Pi Day with a pie tasting contest, old-fashioned grandparents day, monster mash mini golf, breakfast with Santa and Noon Year’s Eve programs
  • Won an award at the Community Days parade


  • One new assistant hired


  • New patron computer
  • New scanner/fax machine
  • New phone system


  • All patron furniture reupholstered thanks to a generous donation
  • New chair in children’s area thanks to a generous donation
  • Created new storage room for staff and Friends


  • Adults volunteered 297 hours
  • Teens volunteered 74 hours
  • The Friends of the Domonkas Public Library of the Lorain Public Library System held three book sales
  • Thank you to the community members who participated in our strategic planning focus group for Sheffield Lake

Domonkas Branch Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

North Ridgeville Branch

35700 Bainbridge Road
North Ridgeville, OH 44039 | 440-327-8326

“North Ridgeville Branch Library continues to offer a wide variety of programs for all ages, including story times, computer and media classes, book discussion groups, teen crafts, family programs, Sunday programs and science fun. In 2015, we relocated some materials and added meeting space to better meet the current needs of the North Ridgeville community.”

Karen Sigsworth Karen Sigsworth North Ridgeville Branch Librarian Supervisor

Programming & Hours

  • On Oct. 7, began opening at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays instead of at noon
  • Another successful Sunday program series from January through March, sponsored by The Friends of the North Ridgeville Branch Library, Inc.
  • Hosted the North Ridgeville City Schools art exhibit in May
  • In November, provided tours for all first graders in the North Ridgeville City Schools


  • Public service computers in the computer lab received hardware upgrades, as well as software upgrades of Microsoft Windows 10 and Office Professional Plus 2016
  • Touch-screen technology, to be used for presentations, installed in the newly created meeting room
  • DSL service upgraded, including public Wi-Fi


  • New state-of-the-art meeting room added for adult library programs so that other meeting areas can be used by more civic groups
  • Several book collections relocated to create room for the new meeting room and to make the best use of library floor space
  • All fabric seating reupholstered after 12 years of use
  • Installed new energy efficient lighting fixtures in the parking lot


  • Adults volunteered for 1,002 hours
  • Teens volunteered for 164 hours
  • Partnered with The Friends of the North Ridgeville Branch Library, Inc. who provided a booth at the Corn Festival in August

North Ridgeville Branch Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

South Lorain Branch

2121 Homewood Drive
Lorain, OH 44055 | 440-277-5672

“Thank you for allowing us to be part of your life for yet another year. We wouldn’t be the community center we are today if it weren’t for your support.”

Cheryl Grizzell Cheryl Grizzell South Lorain Branch Librarian Supervisor


  • During 2015, offered largest variety of exercise programs ever, including tai chi, yoga and Zumba®
  • Family Fun Time attendance increased fivefold
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day events drew close to 200 people throughout the day
  • Halloween Spooktacular, which is an annual community favorite, drew a crowd of over 150 people

Remodeling & Upgrades

  • Adult quiet reading room converted into a small meeting room, and patrons constantly tell us how much they appreciate having a room with such a lovely view in which to hold their meetings
  • Continue to seek ways to improve children’s department, and during 2015 focused on bringing picture book and easy reader collection up to the high level of quality our community deserves
  • New furniture items added to the children’s area, including some playthings and a child-friendly computer table


  • First complete calendar year during which we offered Sunday hours
  • Sunday traffic has increased, and patrons are delighted that they are able to utilize our facilities and services on Sundays

South Lorain Branch Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.


1-800-322-READ | 440-244-1192

“I spent a lot of my time in 2015 working on projects that broaden the reach for children’s services provided by the Lorain Public Library. I want to find the parents that have never thought of the library as a destination and welcome them to a place that can be their family’s second home. The new book truck is going to help us get back out into the community, and we are excited to see where it will take us in 2016!”

Elaine Betting Elaine Betting Youth Services and Outreach Librarian Supervisor


  • Bookmobile broken down at the start of 2015, so staff:
    • Began making a few lobby stops using the library’s delivery vans when possible.
    • Added quite a few book drops at preschools to continue providing materials for kids.
    • Transitioned some patrons to Books by Mail service because of qualifying disabilities and lack of transportation.

New Book Truck

  • In the fall, new book truck ready to go, with new carts and custom design work on the exterior – plus staff members were ready to get back on the road
  • In December, tested a few locations for new lobby stops


  • Even with the Bookmobile out of commission, the outreach department still managed to see 14,147 people through lobby stops, community events and parades
  • Added outreach programs at Jump at the Sun Early Learning Child Care Center and The Salvation Army

Summer Reading Program

  • 319 participants, including local day cares, camps and other organizations
  • Over 97 percent of outreach participants finished the entire program and earned the maximum of five prize books to take home for their personal library

Books by Mail

  • Over 700 bags of materials were mailed to patrons

Outreach Statistics

Open Hours
Library cardholders
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Programs offered
Program attendance

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

Good Stories Are Ones That Live in the Reader's Imagination or Memory

Board of Trustees

Homer Virden Homer Virden President
Edwin A. Kovach Edwin A. Kovach Vice President
Susan Hatch Susan Hatch Secretary
Philip Dore Philip Dore Member
Mallory Holmes Mallory Holmes Member
Elaine Novak Elaine Novak Member
Garalynn Tomas Garalynn Tomas Member

Our board would like to recognize the following organizations for their contributions in support of our mission:

  • Community Foundation of Lorain County
  • The Foundation of the Lorain Public Library System, Inc.
  • Friends of the Library groups
  • The Stocker Foundation
  • Emerson Network Power, Energy Systems, NA

We would also like to thank those in the community who gave generously to the Lorain Public Library System. The support of our patrons made 2015 a truly special year.

The story can always turn into an adventure. Where Anything Is Possible

2015 eLibrary Statistics

eBooks, Digital Audiobooks and Video Storybooks
(Axis 360, BookFlix, hoopla, OverDrive)
Downloaded Music Tracks and Music Videos
(Freegal Music)
Digital Magazines
(OverDrive, Zinio)
Digital Movies and Television
Streaming Music Albums
Online Education Course Enrollments
(Gale Courses)
Online Education Courses Completed
(Gale Courses)

2015 System Statistics

Open Hours
Library visits
Library cardholders
Materials owned
Materials loaned
(not including eMedia)
New materials added
General questions answered
Reference questions answered
Computer bookings
Meeting room bookings
Programs offered
Program attendance
Website visits
Facebook likes
Twitter followers
Full-time employees
Part-time employees

*Starting in 2015, this total now excludes those who did not renew their card.

2015 Top Checkouts

Adult Fiction

  • Hope to Die by James Patterson
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  • The Escape by David Baldacci
  • Private India: City on Fire by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi
  • Burn by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Adult Nonfiction

  • Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

DVDs & Blu-rays

  • 22 Jump Street
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Interview
  • Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • Hercules

Axis 360 eBooks

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The Death Cure by James Dashner
  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  • Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


  • In the Lonely Hour | Sam Smith
  • A Goofy Movie
  • Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 54
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • OK! Magazine
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Star (Magazine)
  • Eyes on You by Kate White
The story can be true to life, right down to the details. It’s a Story That Turns Into Inspiration
Revenue Source (Dollar Amount)% of Total
Public Library Fund ($3,978,662)46%
Levies ($3,908,831)44%
State Rollbacks & Transfers ($650,537)7%
Other ($309,484)3%
Total Revenues ($8,847,514)100%

Expenditures (Dollar Amount)% of Total
Materials ($994,943)11%
Personnel ($5,042,208)61%
Capital ($544,430)7%
Contracts ($1,574,009)19%
Supplies ($138,127)2%
Other ($13,193)<1%
Expenditures Total ($8,306,910)100%
A good story always has a hero. And Maybe It’s You!

Be a part of our never-ending adventure! Thriving communities have flourishing libraries. Help your system thrive by donating to the Lorain Public Library System.

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