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Community planning meetings

LIbrary SpotlightWilma PaddockGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Garfield County Public Library District has started the process of building or remodeling all six libraries in Garfield County. As a first step In each community, a meeting was held to explain the bond issue and the community involvement we were seeking. Community Planning Committee meetings took place to identify people to look at the long range plan for their community and see how a new or remodeled library would be a part of that plan. June Garcia of Dubberly Garcia Associates was the facilitator for each of these meetings. She walked committee members through a process of what their particular community needs/wants for the future. She then went through all eighteen service priorities written by the American Library Association (ALA) as the basis of all public libraries. The committee members were then asked to identify several priorities they wanted their library to achieve. At each of the Community Planning Committee meetings, people volunteered to sit on the District Planning Committee. These committee members chose service priorities for the basis of a new strategic plan for the entire library district. In libraries, service priorities are chosen from the ALA list that drive the budget, staff, training, the interior space allocation and finally the building itself.The Garfield County Public Library District is guided by five service priorities. The first is Stimulate Imagination: reading, viewing and listening for pleasure. Patrons are able to find new books and topics of many interests. The second priority is Understanding How to Find, Evaluate and Use Information, which means the library staff assists patrons in answering questions via books, other materials, and on-line resources. The third service priority is Satisfy Curiosity, lifelong learning, in which the library obtains the books, magazines and other materials patrons need to explore many topics of personal interest. The fourth service priority is Cultural Awareness, in which the library works to provide information on the heritage of the community and its residents. The fifth service priority now governing the libraries is Visit a Comfortable Place, physical and virtual spaces. All the libraries provide spaces for reading, spaces for Internet use and spaces for interaction between staff and patrons. Once the new service priorities have been approved by the Garfield County Library Board of Trustees, the interior spacing design within all the libraries will reflect service priorities chosen by the committee members, and the appropriate size of the library for each community will be determined. We want to thank the many people who volunteered their precious time to go through this process for the library district. With this valuable public input, we identified the service priorities and the Garfield County Public Libraries will reflect the needs of each of its communities.


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