Burlington Public Library

The Burlington Public Library is conducting a survey to help guide programming and gauge facility needs for the library.

BURLINGTON — The Burlington Public Library has put out a survey to collect information from the general public, particularly on library programming and the library’s current facility.

Burlington’s city budget allocated $15,000 to the library to draft a strategic plan. Library Director Joe Davies said a lot of the feedback officials are seeking is related to programming, particularly programming that can get new people in the door or turn irregular library users into regular library users.

“A big part of it for us is figuring out what brings people in, and what things people want, and would make people want to come more,” said Davies. “People tend to think of a library as just materials, but the trend in libraries has been more and more focused on public space and public programs.”

One demographic group library staff would particularly like to engage is teens and young adults.

“We’re interested in seeing what things they’d be interested in,” said Davies.

How to grow

With limited space, the survey can help library staff determine how to choose the programs or events that will affect the most people in the community.

“Generally speaking, we’ve had a sense for a while that we have some space-related needs,” said Davies. “Realistically, we can’t necessarily meet every single one of (the community’s) needs simultaneously, and so we need to prioritize.”

The survey results would also inform any future plans for modifying or expanding the library to address the building’s space issues.

“The sense is that we needed to know what we would be renovating toward or expanding toward,” said Davies. “Before we embark on expansion or remodeling, we need to make sure we’re targeting that effort toward the actual needs of the community.”

The last strategic plan was done in 2006 and acknowledged the facility lacked adequate space.

The survey can be completed online or in print through June 30. Print copies are available at the library service desk. To complete the survey online, go to: www.burlingtonlibrary.org/library-survey

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Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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