For the most part, the community seems to be content with Batavia Public Library. Oh, yes, there are occasional complaints in the suggestion box about this and that and occasional phone calls to the library director. We often receive compliments and expressions of gratitude after residents attend an entertaining program, an informative computer class or learn how to download audiobooks to their smartphones. Despite a shrinking budget, the library continues to purchase new materials, offer an increasing number of services and maintain an attractive list of programs for adults and children.
So why would the library bother to conduct a series of meetings with residents looking for input?
We want to hear from more people. We want to hear from frequent users and infrequent users, busy people and people who enjoy a more relaxed pace. What do people expect and/or want from their library? We’re planning the future. The newest technology is always right around the corner. Should we invest in 3D printers or more downloadable materials? The building is 16 years old – when should we replace the carpeting or roof? Are we serving everyone in the community? We know the library is busy, with more than 750 visitors daily and 189 items checked out per hour. Our meeting rooms are popular, as are the monthly Sundays on Stage programs. We know our librarians are helpful and pleasant. Can we improve? Of course!
The library’s mission (in a nutshell) is to provide materials and resources to library district residents of all ages; to provide a safe and comfortable place to gather; and to foster the love of learning.
The library’s next “Speak Up!” community engagement session is from 7 to 8 p.m. March 1 in the Batavia High School cafeteria. The session includes a presentation, “Focus on the Future: Trends in Libraries,” followed by small group discussions. Lynn M. Elam, a professional librarian, Batavia resident and former Batavia Public Library trustee, will talk about the future of libraries in terms of programs and services, collections, space use, technology and more.
Join us and bring a neighbor. Your input is important to the library and the community. RSVP (optional) at bit.ly/speakup-rsvp.
Additional community engagement sessions will be held April 12 and May 10, also at the high school. Questions? Write to Engage@BataviaPublicLibrary.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.