In May we’ll take another step forward in the planning process for our new library. We’re working with Vernon Research to develop a survey that will tell us what you need from us and what kind of experience you want the Marion Public Library to provide.
Our mission centers around four core areas:
- Access to popular culture (Fiction and Non-Fiction in all media).
- Access to useful Information specific to the needs, demands, and problems of Marion.
- Cognitive, cultural, and social development by augmenting literacy skills and encouraging reading as a means of personal growth and enrichment.
- Community Information Commons that provides a safe and welcoming place for people to gather, connect, interact, and share their knowledge and experience.
Our mission provides us with an enduring foundation for our strategic planning, but like the world around it, our community is changing and we need to know what’s happening and how to adjust our services to cope with change.
For example, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, almost 30% of Marion’s population is under 20 years of age. More families with young children are moving to Marion every day. We know that children and young adults need to be a focus of our services, but the world that children experience now is very different from the world of twenty years ago.
Technology has changed the very notion of what it means to be literate, and that’s a change to which libraries must adapt. At the same time, however, when it comes to reading for pleasure research shows that teens often prefer print to e-books. They use their devices for communicating but they still like to settle down with a book to read.
We need to know about what you’re thinking and what you need from us.
- How important are various services to you and your family, including content, programs, and events?
- What new services and facility amenities do we need?
- What kinds of services do we need to provide for children and young adults?
- Are there barriers to using the library that we can address and fix?
- What kind of design and environment best represents Marion?
A public library exists to serve its communities and residents – tell us what you want and need from the Marion Public Library. More digital content? Bigger meeting spaces? Creative programming for children or teens? Tools for entrepreneurs?
We want you to share your ideas and opinions in a community survey that will open to participation beginning in mid- to late-May. When the survey is ready we’ll post a link to it on the library’s website. You’ll also be able to participate by phone, and we’ll provide a phone number for that.
Vernon Research Group is conducting the study for the library. Your feedback will be confidential and your identity will be protected. This is an opportunity to think outside the boundaries of traditional library services – so think big and small and share your ideas on ways the library can enhance the lives of individuals, families and the community as a whole.