Cleveland Hired as Ralls County Library’s New Director

January 15, 2020

Brian Cleveland, the new Ralls County Library Director, began work January 2. He comes from St. Charles county and St. Louis Community College at Forest Park where he worked at the research desk and taught classes in library research.
Working in a library is second nature to Cleveland. “I’ve always worked in libraries. My mom was a librarian, her mother as well. I like doing research, I like finding things out.” His expertise is working with adult outreach programs and adult non-fiction.
Cleveland noted the library’s excellent relationship with the schools and daycares with the popular children’s programs and said, “I’d like to enhance and strengthen these relationships with the community, to see how we can reach groups not yet in the circle of the library.”
One idea Cleveland has for enhancing the young adults’ library experience is to expand ways to stream audio books. Another idea is to establish book clubs for both young adults and older adults. “Not so much to have me talk about the book, but to allow them an opportunity to get together and discuss the book among themselves. I’d be a facilitator.”
Many adults use the library’s computers for job searches and to find information about online classes. Cleveland would like to start adult classes with an introduction to computer research. “People are at different levels of computer skill.” He also hopes to bring in guest speakers on a variety of topics.
As far as expanding the library’s physical collection, Cleveland notes that space is an issue. “I’d like to see the library join MOBIUS, a consortium of Missouri public libraries that shares research materials. The library already provides e-books through the Libraries to Go program. I think we could strengthen that program by adding MOBIUS.”
Cleveland is a graduate of the University of Kansas-Lawrence and received advanced degrees in library studies at the University of Illinois-Champaign. He and his wife and two children currently live in St. Charles county. He fills the position left when Kay Amos retired in September 2019. Jo Anne Diffenderfer has served as Interim Director since Amos’ retirement. Leanne Hibbard serves as Children’s Librarian.