Library Board President Encourages Public Opinion
Earlier this year, as you may recall, the St. Joseph County Public Library (both the Board and the Staff Leadership Team) decided to take a step back and, at least temporarily, suspend the plans for a renovation and reorganization of the Main Library. We did so in order to take a more strategic and, perhaps, aggressive look at ways that we can ensure that the Main Library will continue to be the resource for our community to learn, discover and experience. We also sought to be more comprehensive and robust in understanding the desires, opinions, suggestions and concerns of all of you, who are the very reason for which the Library exists. With support and encouragement from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, we engaged Kimberly Bolan and Associates, a firm that specializes in strategic and facilities planning for libraries. KBA has extensive and impressive experience in public, school and collegiate libraries of all sizes. We held a number of surveys, forums and focus groups that included residents and patrons of the Library, city, county, and community leaders and the Library staff and board. We anticipate, and expect, that this broad input will be reflected in the report and its recommendations.
On Tuesday, September 19, the SJCPL will host a Public Forum to present the final report and recommendations from KBA. I cannot emphasize enough how important your thoughts, opinions and reactions will be to the Library Board as we digest the findings and recommendations of the report. As of our August Board Meeting, we have not seen the report. The next opportunity for the Board to take any action or express our opinions on the report will not be until our regular meeting on September 25. This gives you yet another opportunity, even after the public forum, to express your thoughts to the Board and have your voice heard.
Please accept my personal invitation to be involved and participate in both of the sessions. If you can't be at both, please participate in at least one. Although I cannot promise that, ultimately, the Board will be in agreement with you, I can, and do, promise that we will thoughtfully and sincerely consider your input. I look forward to seeing you at the Public Forum on September 19 and at our next (and any, and all, future) regular Board Meetings. This is YOUR Library!
Augie Freda President, St. Joseph County Public Library Board
South Bend Tribune Viewpoint Article