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Local

@ Your Library: 'Speak Up!' about the future of the Batavia Public Library

The Batavia Public Library will conduct four community engagement sessions to find out what the community wants and expects of the library in the future.
The Batavia Public Library will conduct four community engagement sessions to find out what the community wants and expects of the library in the future.

Happy 2018, Batavia! May you enjoy good health and good fortune during the coming year.

On behalf of the Board of Library Trustees of the Batavia Public Library, I invite you to become an active participant in planning the future of your library.

Over the course of the next few months, the library will conduct four community engagement sessions called “Speak Up! Engage. Envision. Energize.” The purpose of each session is to learn – directly from library district residents – what the community wants and expects from their library in the years to come. Information gleaned from these sessions will help shape the library board’s strategic plan.

Several library employees, including Director George H. Scheetz, trustee Jo Ann Smith and several library district residents have been preparing for the sessions under the guidance of project leaders from Unicom Arc, a research and public engagement company based in St. Louis, Mo.

The format for each session is simple. A few introductory remarks on a library-related topic followed by small group discussions. We hope that one small group includes you, along with other library district residents. The others may be your neighbors or someone from another part of town you’ve never met. You may agree with others in your group, you may not. The purpose of the small group discussions is to encourage everyone to express their opinions and to learn what others are thinking!

The first community engagement session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., Feb. 1, in the Batavia High School cafeteria. Scheetz will offer an overview of the library today and then the small groups will engage in an exercise, prompting the evening’s discussion. Before the end of the session, each group will be given the opportunity to share highlights of their discussion.

The second community engagement session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., March 1, at the high school. The topic of that session will be the library of the future. Subsequent sessions on April 12 and May 10 will address topics that come up at the first two community engagement sessions.

The library board is hoping for a large turnout. The board is also hoping people attend the first session and return for three more discussions.

What do you want from your library? Speak up! The library board wants to hear from you.

Michele Martzel is the promotional services manager for the Batavia Public Library. The “@ Your Library” column runs the fourth Thursday of each month. Feedback can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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