Saturday, April 19, 2008

The library building: what do I want?

As our facility study is progressing, I'm often asked what I want or hope for in planning for future library needs. I have yet to actually sit down with our consultants and share my own thoughts, but will do so this week. While we're generally regarding the contents of interviews as privileged rather than public, as Library Director. I should share my thoughts and aims in this process.

So, what I mostly want is to feel that we've taken the time to get a good sense of our community wants and needs, including future needs, and we're working to meet those. What I'd like to see out of this is a library that "encourages the heart", that helps us fulfill our mission and bring the power of a community of books and learning to our service community. We know that libraries change lives, and the facility should, er, facilitate that.

It should be a library that:

  • is welcoming for everyone in the community
  • entices and encourages learning and involvement
  • helps connect people to each other, to ideas and learning
  • provides a physical space that helps accomplish service goals
  • has varied shared spaces for meetings, classes, groups, technology, & media
  • is efficient to operate, using technology to minimize staff cost
  • is safe and secure -- and feels that way
  • is destination of choice for area residents and visitors
  • is realistically affordable for the taxpayers
How to do these things? More thoughts next time on features and options...

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