The Lincoln County Public Library will be hosting an open meeting Tuesday evening to give the public a chance to provide input on how it can best continue meeting the needs of local citizens in the future.
As the Times-News previously reported, the system was selected last year to participate in a community-needs-assessment pilot project by the State Library of North Carolina, one of only eight libraries chosen as lead participants in the statewide initiative.
Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Science (IMLS), the project has the goal of assisting libraries in aligning their services and programs with the needs and wants of the community.
Input was sought from area residents through both a survey and a series of forums in the fall of 2012. This step of collecting and evaluating relevant data, along with a final written report summarizing the needs assessment, made up the first phase of the initiative.
Tuesday’s long-range planning meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Charles R. Jonas Library in downtown Lincolnton, will be part of the project’s second phase. It will involve reviewing the collected data, identifying strengths and weaknesses and developing the strategic plan. Further work will be geared toward establishing measurable goals and objectives that support the library’s mission and vision for the future.
The library will be required to submit annually the long-range plan in order to qualify for State Aid to Public Libraries and grants, with the assessment process designed to better enable it to focus on the community’s needs and values.
Lyn Hopper, the retired assistant state librarian for library development in Georgia, will be on hand for the meeting to give a presentation on “Reinventing the Public Library,” while also explaining the steps for the next few months to develop the strategic plan.
Serving as a consultant for the project, Hopper, who has 25 years of experience in public libraries, will help guide library staff and the community-needs-assessment steering committee through the planning process.
Following work sessions in June and July, a final strategic plan will be presented to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at its Aug. 19 meeting.
For more information, call (704) 732-0548.