Archive for Thursday, May 14, 2009

Library starts planning for future

May 14, 2009

Community members have started the process of shaping the Basehor Community Library’s future.

The Basehor Community Library Board of Directors selected 16 people to represent the community on a library strategic planning committee. The May 1 committee meeting was the first of two meetings organized to give the library feedback and ideas to serve its patrons.

Library director Carla Kaiser said the meeting was a success.

“Everyone had a lot of energy, and several people thanked us for putting it together,” Kaiser said.

Kaiser said the first part of the meeting was devoted to discussion about the community, and the second part focused on how the library could help its community.

Laura Carroll, adult services librarian and committee member, said several people cited economic development as a problem in the city.

“People generally go elsewhere to work and spend their money,” she said.

Committee members also discussed the city’s lack of public transportation and lack of medical service.

Another topic addressed at the meeting was possible benefits of a community center or arts program.

Afterward, Kaiser said the committee suggested ways the library could help solve these problems or could contribute to a better community.

“We obviously can’t build roads or anything, but maybe we can offer a place for people to gather,” she said. “Maybe we can be a community center.”

The committee presented 18 service responses for the library, and then narrowed this number down to nine.

“The number one action everyone wanted the library to take was encouraging the young reader,” Carroll said. “It was a clear choice to support young literacy and help prepare children for school.”

The library staff and board of directors will analyze the nine responses and bring their findings back to the strategic planning committee at its June 26 meeting. The committee will make advisory decisions about the library’s future path, and the library board will have the final word.

“It was clear (during the meeting) that something like this needed to happen,” Carroll said. “It was good to get people together, talking about our community, and figuring out ways to make it better.”

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