Help us plan for the library’s futurePublished 1:28pm Friday, June 1, 2012
The Fergus Falls Public Library checked out over 222,000 physical items last year, roughly two thousand more items than were circulated a year prior, yet ebook use is also on the rise.
Attendance at library programs has been rising steadily for the past five years; library computer use and visits also remain steady. On average, a new visitor enters the library each minute we’re open.
These facts lead the Library Renewal Task Force to wonder, what services will the public library of the future offer? And, how are public libraries preparing to meet current and future needs now? We thought you might be wondering too.
During the past few months in this column, you’ve read about the creation and launch of the Library Renewal Task Force and Project, I’ve updated you on the Task Force’s progress, and a couple of weeks ago I promised you’d see results from their work soon.
I am happy to say that “soon” has arrived.
I am excited to announce the Task Force’s kick-off community event, “Public Libraries and the Future: A Community Conversation” with members of the Minnesota Library Futures Initiative to be held on Thursday, June 21.
Two sessions of the event will be offered, the first from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the YMCA Community Room and the second from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Otter Tail Power Community Room. This discussion promises to be dynamic, interactive and thought-provoking.
I hope you’ll consider attending to help plan the future of your public library. Whether you’re a library user or not, we want to hear from you!
Just what is the Minnesota Library Futures Initiative, you might ask? The Initiative consists of a group of young librarians chosen by a Steering Committee of current library leaders and asked to “envision the library in 2025.”
When I am asked about my job as a librarian, I talk about how this is an exciting, revolutionary time for public libraries.
Current economic conditions and rapid technological change ensure that the public library of 2025 will not look like the public library of today.
But, then again, this is nothing new. Since the beginning, libraries have changed as customer needs evolve.
The way we meet our customers’ needs and the tools we use to achieve our purpose change, but our mission to connect people to information, promote lifelong learning, literacy and community involvement, remains the same.
During the community conversation on June 21, the Minnesota Library Futurists and members of the Library Task Force will do a little “trendcasting” and share how future technology and societal changes could shape library services.
One very important thing the Library Futurists learned as they envisioned the future is that what the public library of the future looks like depends on the community it serves.
So, we’d also like to take this opportunity to ask you about the Fergus Falls Public Library of the future. What services, resources and programs would you like to see? What do you wish the library offered that it doesn’t currently? How do you think you’ll use the library five, 10, 20 years from now? I look forward to hearing from you on June 21.
For more information on the Library Renewal Project, visit www.fergusfalls.lib.mn.us, call 218-739-9387 or stop by the library. We’re always happy to see you at the library!
Erin Smith is the director of the Fergus Falls Public Library.