Library system works on strategic plan

What do people think their local library should look like in the future?

It seems that everything is going online these days.

That being the case, what do people think their local library should look like in the future?

Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System held an open house at Clearwater Library last Friday to gather public input for a long range strategic planning process to help answer that and other questions.

“We’ve had a very good response so far from all communities,’” said Marc Saunders, director of libraries.

“It’s very preliminary, but certain themes have been heard from all parts of the TNRD. People want to see more programs for seniors and children. People are very passionate that they want us to keep the physical books. And people who read e-books want more selection.”

The open house had four stations where people could answer simple questions along four main themes: the community and social role of the libraries; collections; programs and partnerships; and space and service delivery.

Under the community and social role of libraries, for example, people were asked, “What three things do you love about this region?”

The objective is to find out what people value in the community so the library can better reflect that community, Saunders explained.

At the collections station, participants were given 10 beads and asked to place them into seven different canisters labelled print books, e-books, magazines and newspapers, and so on, according to what priority the participants thought they should be given.

At station three, programs and partnerships, people were asked to imagine themselves to be in a scenario with certain needs (for example, a single Aboriginal parent with two children) and then say how the library system would best serve those needs.

At the space and service delivery, participants were asked to write down some ideas for the Clearwater Library and how it could expand its role.

“Even though we live in a small community we shold still be thinking big,” Saunders said.

The strategic planning process began last March.

There will be a chance to provide feedback on the draft strategic plan later this fall.

Anyone with an idea for the library but who can’t make it to a public event should send an email to questions@tnrd.ca. Those who don’t have online access, should write their idea down and give it to a TNRD Library staff member.