GENEVA – Geneva Public Library District board members Thursday got their first look at library director Matt Teske’s Vision for the 21st Century.
Teske said the board instructed him to put together his idea of what the library should look like and what kinds of services it should be offering to meet all patrons’ needs.
In his outlined vision, Teske advocated for a more open entryway, more meeting space and an improved teen area.
He said the entryway needs improvement because it’s a high-traffic area that contains the circulation department, and patrons have to decide immediately whether they want to go upstairs or downstairs.
“It can get very crowded. It’s not a very welcoming environment for people,” he said.
He said the teen area also is lacking when it comes to space. In his presentation, Teske said library staff members have a good relationship with teens who are interested in helping design a space just for them.
He said he’d like to see enough space for a teen book collection, interactive stations and a separate gaming area where they wouldn’t disturb other patrons.
Teske said the library also is lacking in meeting space.
“That’s a big one,” he said. “We have one meeting room that’s used by the library for board meetings, the Friends of the Library, book sales and it’s available to the public.”
The presentation also highlighted the need for more space for the Friends of the Library group to use. Teske said the group does a lot of organizing, sorting and moving to prepare for book sales.
The group raises about $15,000 a year to help fund occasional equipment purchases for the library and helps to fund the winter reading prizes for youth and adult services. He said the group now has to compete for space in the library’s only meeting room.
Teske said the library may conduct a survey to help steer the process.
He said the plan will help identify services they should be providing, and board members will have to determine whether it’s possible to accomplish those goals in the current library space or find a new building.
“This is kind of a kickoff to see what our process wants to be,” he said. “There’s no real timeline in place. We just started thinking about this more deliberately.”
In other business, board members voted to hold a public hearing on the library’s proposed tax levy increase, which Teske said would total $4,600,031.
The public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the library, 127 James St., Geneva.