The Rye Free Reading Room has begun the process for a strategic plan for 2013-18.
By Robin Jovanovich
The Rye Free Reading Room has begun the process for a strategic plan for 2013-18. To that end, their board has scheduled three public forums in the coming weeks. “We’re looking for input from the community as we begin planning the library’s future,” said Kitty Little, Director.
Community forums will be held at the library on September 12 from 7-8:30 p.m., September 25 from 12:30-2 p.m., and October 13 from 10-12:30 p.m. A questionnaire will also be circulated.
Recognizing the place the library is in the community, the board is interested in hearing what residents and businesses use it for and what additional services they’d like to see in the near future. Little said, “Rye is a family-oriented town, and we want to hear from families on how the library can help them as a parent, a student, a grandparent. We want to help them get their kids past Wikipedia, and help everyone get more out of the Internet.”
The use of the 20,000 square-foot building has changed dramatically in the last century. Visits “exploded” after the opening of the Tech Center a few years ago, and the Teen Center a few months ago. Tech training on tablets is coming. Meanwhile, dozens of residents still go to the library just to read newspapers and magazines in comfortable chairs near a fireplace. The permanent collection of hardcover books, however, could be decreased because the Rye library has the resources of a countywide system.
At a press conference at the library on Wednesday morning, Little said that when the planning work is completed, it would reshape use of the facility and design service priorities, programs, and resources.
“Change and growing complexity are constant factors in the lives of everyone in the community, and we want to stay ahead of the curve so the Rye Free Reading Room remains at the center of community life,” offered Little.
The library board expects to complete the strategizing process by early next year.