Thank you to everyone who participated in the telephone town hall event Monday night! It was a great opportunity to share information and answer questions as we move further into planning for library expansion. 2,193 residents connected to the call, with over 200 remaining on the line for the majority of the meeting.
Questions ranged from partnering with other government entities to possible locations for a secondary site to whether public libraries are necessary. (Answers: yes, we are exploring partnerships, no secondary location has been selected but the high volume of comments about north of town are duly noted, and USA Today has an article today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-07-28-library-evolution_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip about why libraries are necessary.)
The group was polled three times during the event. First, they responded 3-to-1 in favor of supporting two library referenda, one to build and one to operate expanded library facilities, based on preliminary information. Next, over two-thirds of participants would like to be contacted about future planning input events. Last, 30 participants are interested in volunteering for a citizens' referendum committee.
There were some technical difficulties in the beginning of the meeting that delayed the start. Caller ID displays showed "Hyattsville, MD 240-696-7345" instead of the intended "Plainfield Library" and a local number. Apologies to any who missed participating because of this error. The vendor has assured the library that it would not happen again if we choose to do another event like this one. The negative feedback regarding this format was far exceeded by the positive feedback. This format will be considered for future events.
The Library Board and staff are committed to a planning process that includes community input as we move through the steps in the planning process. Look for an input session on location of a secondary site once the Board of Trustees determines how to go about the site selection process.
The recording of the Telephone Town Hall Meeting will be available on the library website in the near future. I will place a link here when it is up.