Bay library bids farewell to children's librarian, manager

Bay Village Branch manager Mark McKinstry and children’s librarian Susan Ballard retired from the library this month.

The Bay Village Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library will soon be absent a librarian. Susan Ballard will be retiring after more than 30 years as a librarian. Hired initially as the teen librarian in 2001, Susan became head of the children’s department in 2005. A longtime advocate for children and literature, Susan has worked in several libraries in Northeast Ohio during her long career. 

She is known in Bay Village for participating in various public events as a representative of the library. Bay Days found “Ms. B” encouraging children to make a craft at the library’s booth or sign up for the Summer Reading Program. She championed the adoption of an animal at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center each summer by implementing a program for the children to read numerous hours to reach an established goal.  

Some parents came to the library exclaiming that their child was reading more “to help support the fox (or the groundhog or the boa or the owl).” Each year the goal was reached and the Friends of the Bay Village Branch gladly endorsed this endeavor. 

Bringing stories to life for the little ones in the community was Susan’s favorite part of her job. She dressed up as Mother Goose and even as a zombie at Halloween to spark a child’s interest in reading, also sharing stories in the kindergarten classes at all of the elementary schools in Bay Village. She will be missed by both parents and children who come to find something to read at the library. 

Stop in the library before Dec. 30 to say goodbye to her and wish her a happy retirement!  

Mark McKinstry, manager of the Bay Village Branch Library, retired earlier this month after 34 years as a librarian. Mark’s career began in Kentucky before he became a manager at the Olmsted Falls branch of the Cuyahoga County system, transferring to the Brooklyn branch for 11 years before coming to Bay Village. 

Under his leadership the Bay branch started an annual ice cream social and participated in Cahoon in June. Mark’s extensive knowledge of music and movies led to many discussions with customers and often resulted in him being sought out for his expertise in those areas. His presence in the library will be missed by staff and customers, but he still may be spotted checking out items periodically. Feel free to wish him well should you see him!

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:38 AM, 12.10.2013