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Friends of the Michael Schwartz Library

Upcoming & Recent Events

Author, Pauline Chen

Join The Friends of the Cleveland State University Michael Schwartz Library for their Annual Local Author Series featuring Pauline A. Chen.

Pauline A. Chen will discuss the writing of her novel, The Red Chamber, which is based on the epic Dream of the Red Chamber--one of the most famous love stories in Chinese Literature. It recasts a timeless tale for Western audiences to discover.

The Red Chamber book cover

New this year is the Friends of the Library Essay Contest for CSU Honors College Students (both Honors and Scholars Program) in partnership with the CSU Retired Faculty and Professional Staff Association and the Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Honors College. Honors College Students can submit an essay based on The Red Chamber for a chance to win $300. Ms. Chen will award the prize during the event.

Book signing opportunity. Date: April 13, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: RT 416a (near Confucius Institute Program Center)

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

The event is free and open to all faculty, staff, students and the general public but please register here.

Refreshments will be served.

Fashions on display at the Flapper Style exhibit

Register today for the Friends of the Library Fourth Annual Spring Break Bus Excursion March 18, 2016!
Destination: Kent State University Fashion Museum

Join the Friends of the Library for a bus excursion from Cleveland to the Kent State University Fashion Museum, located in Kent, Ohio on Friday, March 18, 2016, during CSU's spring break. The Museum contains important collections of fashion and decorative arts and its eight galleries feature changing exhibitions of work by many of the world's great artists and designers. There will be a 1 1/2 hour guided tour by a museum docent and time to shop at the museum store that features art, jewelry, books and other fashion related items. Afterwards the group will go to lunch at a local restaurant.

Fee: $30 (does NOT include cost of lunch)

Boarding Information:

  • Location: Lakefront Lines, 13315 Brookpark Road, Brook Park, Ohio (secure, free parking)
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am., but guests can board the bus beginning at 8:45 am.
  • Return Time: The bus will return to the same location before 5:00 p.m.

REGISTER today! Seating is limited.

Open to the general public.

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

The Everything Store book cover

Book Discussion: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Wednesday March 23, 2016
3 PM
Rhodes Tower 503's visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. It is the definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read. Selected as a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, Forbes, the Economist and more. —

Discussion Leader:Richard Fox, ideastream.

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

Free and open to the general public - refreshments served.

History of God book cover

Book Discussion: History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
Wednesday February 17, 2016
Rhodes Tower 503

Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, the author performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic.— Random House

Discussion Leader: Dr Stephen C. Taysom, Assoc. Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies(Comparative Religion).

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

Free and open to the general public - refreshments served.

The Whiskey Rebels book cover

Book Discussion: The Whiskey Rebels: A Novel by David Liss
Wednesday November 18, 2015
Rhodes Tower 503

About the Book: America, 1787. Ethan Saunders, once among General Washington's most valued spies, is living in disgrace after an accusation of treason cost him his reputation. But an opportunity for redemption comes calling when Saunders's old enemy, Alexander Hamilton, draws him into a struggle with bitter rival Thomas Jefferson over the creation of the Bank of the United States. — Random House

Discussion Leader: Jane Dugan, Administrative Secretary, English Department.

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

Free and open to the general public - refreshments served.

Book cover for Hidden America

Book Discussion: Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Wednesday October 14, 2015
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: RT 503

Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, An Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work, written by Jeanne Marie Laskas who tells the stories about the people from all over our country who make our lives run every day. This book discussion is in collaboration with the CSU Common Reading Experience.

Discussion Leaders: Ann Marie Smeraldi, Head of Library Teaching & Learning Services, Michael Schwartz Library and Barbara Walker, Lecturer, English Department.

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

Free and open to the general public - refreshments served.

Start reading now for future Friends' book discussions! See a list of selections.


Meet Author Claire Gebben in April 2015

Author Claire Gebben presents
The Last of the Blacksmiths
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Rhodes Tower, Room 503
Refreshments, Book Signing

The Friends of the Library Annual Local Authors Book Talk Series features Claire Gebben, who will visit CSU on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm in the Library, RT 503 to present her novel The Last of the Blacksmiths, the moving story of Michael Harm, a nineteenth century blacksmith from the Bavarian Rhinelands who dares to follow his dreams of freedom and prosperity and travels from Germany to Cleveland, Ohio, to pursue an artisan way of life. It is a tale of the disruption and dispersal of an immigrant family, the twilight of the artisan crafts, and the efforts of each generation to shape its destiny. A consummate storyteller, Claire Gebben demonstrates a brilliant ability to imagine and recreate the past with historical vigor and beauty.

She will tell the story behind the story, the discovery of the letters, the "journey" of family history research, and will conclude with tips to help others working on their stories.

William Barrow, Head, Special Collections at Michael Schwartz Library, will also discuss how Cleveland and Special Collections can support family history research, as it did with our featured author.

Presentation followed by a question-and-answer session and and a book signing. Last of the Blacksmiths will be for sale by the CSU Bookstore at the event. Light refreshments will be served.
Call 216-875-9734 or email to register for this free event.


Book Discussion: The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Rhodes Tower, Room 503

One of the most revered novelists of our time -- a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life -- Louise Erdrich, returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
Discussion Leader: Richard Fox, Ideastream.

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

Free and open to the general public - refreshments served.


Book Discussion: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Rhodes Tower, Room 503

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived.
Discussion Leader: Greg Sadlek, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, CSU.

Questions? Call 216-875-9734 or email

Free and open to the general public - refreshments served.