The Trumbull Library System wants to hear from you — regular visitor or not — through a survey and community focus group.
The feedback process is part of a strategic plan being developed for the library that will provide a roadmap to the future — whether that means a new library, a new location or something else entirely.
The Library System board hired Library Development Solutions to help create a strategic plan — which was budgeted for last year. An online survey is a component of that, according to Library Director Susan Horton. So far, 1,125 people have taken the survey in about six weeks, which shows promise.
“There are some serious trends in the survey,” Horton said. “The overwhelming one is parking — that’s a biggies.”
The Quality Street location has been described as dated by many, Horton said and it is 40 years old.
There has been some positive feedback too.
“We’ve been getting high marks for our staff,” Horton said.
To take the survey, visit Trumbullct-library.org.
The survey is just one compenent.
A community-wide focus group discussion is slated for Thursday, July 16 in the Library’s Community Room. All are invited, including those who aren’t library users.
“It’s the community’s library, it belongs to the community,” Horton said. “They need to tell us what they want. The library is an essential component to every town.”
That role in the community has changed a bit with modern technology, Horton said. The library gets many requests for community meeting spaces and quiet areas — neither of which it has, Horton said. She said the library has become a major community gathering place and the set-up of the current library does not always meet that need.
“They want meeting places and program,” Horton said. “Libraries have really become the intellectual version of Starbucks.”
The consulting firm will eventually work with the board to develop actions items and a plan, based on results.
“The towns that have bit the bullet and have expanded are seeing incredible results from it,” Horton said, citing Westport and Ridgefield public libraries.
There has been some varied responses from the public.
“With all this talk in town about moving the library, some have suggested combining it with the senior center,” Horton said. Others have the strong opinion it should stay right where it is.”
The work to create the plan includes other focus groups, including one for parents in town, teens (middle and high school age) and community leaders. Those that are interested in getting involved in focus groups can contact Horton at 203-452-5129 or by email at email@example.com. There is no need to call ahead for the July 16 group, as it is open to the public. Refreshments will be served and there will be a drawing for an iPad Mini.
“I won’t be here forever but hopefully the library will,” she said. “The perception is that because of online capabilities and ebooks, that libraries are going away. Yet, library after library are proving that not true.”