Archived Story

What do you value a question from task force [UPDATED]

Published 10:27am Thursday, November 8, 2012 Updated 12:29pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

“What do you value in your community?” This is the first question members of the Library Renewal Task Force ask community members during their small group interview sessions.

During the past four months, the Library Task Force has hosted seven focus groups with a variety of community groups including seniors, teens, and families with young children and has interviewed 53 participants.

If you combine these 53 participants with those who attended the Public Library and the Future community conversations this past June, approximately 100 individuals have provided input thus far.

The above question is followed-up by more library-focused questions like, “What library services do you value?”

By gathering input on what community members’ value about Fergus Falls, in general, in addition to what they value about the library specifically, the Library Renewal Task Force hopes to identify needs and roles that the library may be able to help fill that it is not currently focusing on.

The Library Task Force plans to offer additional focus groups throughout the remainder of the year. Watch for announcements in this column, on the library’s website ( and through other media outlets. Interested in participating in a focus group session? Contact me at 218-739-9387 or

The Friends of the Fergus Falls Public Library have also generously donated funds for door prizes.

As a result of their gift, focus groups participants are able to enter a drawing for $25 in Fergus Bucks, given out at the end of each focus group session.

A community survey of library services, resources and facilities is also tentatively set to be released in early 2013.

Community input, input from staff, and relevant research will be used to create an assessment of library needs.

Once the Library Needs Assessment is drafted, it will be presented to the Library Board and City Council along with the Library Task Force’s recommendation on next steps for the Library Renewal Project.

Thanks for reading and, as always, I look forward to seeing you at the library.


Erin Smith is the director of the Fergus Falls Public Library.

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