Last date to take the survey was July 19, 2015: thanks to those of you who participated!
When you plan for a new library facility you need to look beyond your current needs and try to envision what the community will be like in 20 years. We started down that road last year when we developed an assessment of the features needed in a new Marion library, one designed to serve a city of 60,000 in 2035.
In addition to thinking about how Marion is changing and will continue to change into the future, we had to think about how libraries are changing. Some things don’t change. We know that people use libraries to get something to read. And we know that reading books in print is still popular. Young adults communicate on devices, but we find that when they read they still prefer a book. And there is no electronic substitute for a picture book when reading to a child.
But there things that people need from libraries today that are not what they needed 20 years ago; and probably not what they’ll need 20 years from now. And there are many exciting options. Libraries might become community gathering places, where groups large and small can meet and share information and technology resources. They might become learning centers for children that offer interactive, literacy developing experiences. Or they might become urban destinations that drive economic development.
What does Marion’s library need to become? What does it need to do? These are the key questions. A library is not a building that “is;” it’s a building that “does,” and it can do a great number of things.
A public library exists to serve its community and residents, and we invite you to tell us what you want and need from the Marion Public Library. More digital content? Bigger meeting spaces? Creative programming for children or teens? Tools for entrepreneurs?
Share your ideas and opinions in a community survey that is now available here. You can also participate by phone; call 800-397-8650 x8917 Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Vernon Research Group is conducting the study for the library. Your feedback will be confidential and your identity will be protected. This is an opportunity to think outside the boundaries of traditional library services – so think big and small and share your ideas on the ways the library can enhance the lives of individuals, families, and the community as a whole.