To ensure that customers have access
to 21st-century technology, the
Library created a Digital Services
Department in 2015, and promoted
Adult Services Librarian and Technology
Specialist Susie Brown as its manager.
Brown develops, coordinates, and directs
the Library’s digital services, supervises
Support Specialist Drew Perkins, and IT
oversees the Computer Center, technology
classes, and the Library’s social media and
“Susie was the perfect choice to
manage our digital presence,” says Library
Director Amy Switzer. “Not only is she
knowledgeable, but she is comfortable
20 FALL 2020 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
with uncertainty and can act with agility.
She and Drew Perkins are responsive to
both the staff and the public, and during
the pandemic, they have been critical to
our many successes, shepherding staff in
the use of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook,
The Library has become both a real
and virtual community hub where staff
deliver programs and engage visitors in
lifelong learning. Virtual programs include
how-to programs for adults and creative
storytimes for children broadcast on the
Library’s YouTube channel where people
can tune in anytime, and the Library’s
wi-fi is accessible from its parking lot, so
even when the Library is closed, people
can sit outside and connect.
There is no doubt that the way people
use the Library has changed. While the
public may borrow as many print items as
years ago, the demand for the circulation
of physical items will likely decline as new
electronic formats are introduced.
In 2020, as the Library continues to
adapt and grow to provide the most up-todate
services for the public, staff has not
lost sight of the importance of connecting
with its community. Says Switzer, “Serving
the people of Shaker is at the heart of the
library’s mission to provide an essential
place for learning and gathering. SL
Susie Brown, Digital Services Manager*
Susie Brown began work as an Adult Services Librarian at
Shaker Library in 2007, and after a few years added the role of
Technology Specialist to her responsibilities. In 2015, the Library
formed the Digital Services
Department and she became
its manager, responsible for
the oversight of everything
relating to technology.
Brown earned a BFA
in Art History from The
Ohio State University.
After graduation, she
worked for a group of local
weekly newspapers in
Columbus which led her
toward technology support.
Eventually, she accepted a job in IT for a large financial institution
in Cleveland. She went back to school and earned a Master of Arts
in Information Resources and Library Science from the University
She has worked at the Geauga County Public Librar y and
Avon Lake Public Librar y, and has ser ved on the American Library
Association’s Sophie Brody Committee, which selects outstanding
achievement in Jewish Literature. She has also ser ved on
the American Library Association’s prestigious Notable Books
An avid reader, Brown enjoys fiction, memoirs, and books with
wry humor such as those by Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde.
“If it has a good plot and/or well-developed characters, I will
probably read it,” says Brown. A few of her favorite books include
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Zone One
by Colin Whitehead, A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell, and
The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh. She reads both physical books
and ebooks, whichever is available first.
Brown attributes her family, especially her older brother,
with instilling an interest in books. He worked in a bookstore and
brought home all sorts of books that she would “borrow.”
While she had many influencers, Brown cites the general manager
at the newspaper chain she worked for, who once told her that she
could do anything she set her mind to. “He was a fantastic mentor
for me. We still keep in touch and every once in a while he’ll send
me a message that makes me feel like that 25-year-old kid who
did something right,” says Brown.
Brown’s other interests include dinners out with friends,
movies, Broadway shows, and live music.
Drew Perkins, IT Support Specialist*
Drew Perkins began work at the Library as IT Support
Specialist in 2016. “My family has a natural talent for and is
drawn to the IT profession, so you can say the apple doesn’t fall far
from the tree,” says Perkins,
who cites his father as a big
influence both in his work
ethic and his love for the
Perkins graduated from
the Erie Business Center
at the top of his class. As
a student, he served on
the Erie Business Center’s
advisory board, where he
provided input on classes and
requirements for students’
technology degrees. He interned at Elementum Solutions and
was hired there immediately after graduation. After working at
Elementum Solutions for four years, Perkins joined Shaker Library.
While he typically reads technical books, his all-time
favorites are Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbur y and The Lord of
the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. He recently finished Grain Brain
by David Perlmutter M.D. and Kristin Loberg, a New York Times
bestseller about the effects of gluten, sugar, and carbs on the
brain and body.
He prefers audiobooks, to kill time on his 45-minute commute
to work, and he enjoys fishing, boating, and camping with his wife,
a middle school science teacher.
*The Digital Services staff chose to depict themselves as avatars.
@ Shaker Library