Library survey to get a read on patrons’ needs

Wood County District Public Library shelves.

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Library patrons accustomed to checking out books will soon be asked to check in their feelings about the Wood County District Public Library.

How often do you visit the library? What is the library doing right? What is the library doing wrong? Do you read ebooks? Do you prefer old-fashioned paper books?

A library survey will soon be conducted to determine community expectations and needs. Shannon Orr, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, and her students will conduct the survey. Orr has done similar efforts for the city parks and recreation department, and the city schools.

The surveys will be mailed in September to a random sample of voters in the library district. The survey will also be online, with the results to be kept separate from the mailed returns. Staff, boards, volunteers, patrons and the public will be asked to complete the online survey if they do not end up as part of random sample.

At the same time, the library will be hosting focus groups to collect public opinions.

The data gathered from the surveys and focus groups will be used to devise a strategic plan.

“If we get this information, we should do something with it,” library board president Brian Paskvan stressed during a board meeting Monday.

Mary Boone and Morgan Gale present logo options.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board discussed a rebranding effort and updating the library’s logo. Options for the new logo were displayed, with the goal being a memorable image.

“So when you see this, you recognize it as the library,” Paskvan said.

Because of the long name of Wood County District Public Library, the board debated condensing the name to just Wood County Library. But the overall feeling of the board and staff present was to keep the longer name.

“Wood County District Public Library has currency in the community,” library public relations coordinator Mary Boone said.

“I love the word ‘public.’ That is an important part of who we are,” library assistant director Michele Raine added.

The board also reviewed its new vision and mission statements.

Paskvan explained that the vision of the library outlines what the facility strives to achieve. The mission explains how the library will reach those goals.

The vision of the library: “Deemed an essential asset by the community, Wood County District Public Library strives to engage everyone with learning opportunities and creative experiences.”

The mission: “Wood County District Public Library encourages lifelong learning and advances knowledge through literature, information and exploration.”

“This is our promise to the community of the way they are going to be treated,” Paskvan said of the library’s core values.

The core values include:

  • Accountability: We take responsibility for our resources, actions, services, materials and facilities.
  • Expertise: We deliver quality, user-focused library services and materials through a skilled staff.
  • Freedom: We are free and open to all. We support the free exchange of knowledge.
  • Innovation: We explore new ways of doing things and new things to do.
  • Passion: We love our communities and the role libraries can serve in them.
  • Respect: We treat everyone with dignity.
  • Teamwork. We celebrate our diverse experience. We build connections and trust with everyone.

The core services listed include:

  • We offer traditional and virtual library services to our entire legal service district.
  • We provide quality, in-demand, diverse materials to meet the needs of our diverse community.
  • We are the “doorway to learning” for babies, preschoolers and families to build early literacy skills.
  • We collect and share the history, genealogy and stories of our services district.
  • We link our patrons to our collections with learning, literary and cultural opportunities.
  • We provide welcoming community gathering spaces.
  • We offer entertainment in a variety of formats and through partnerships.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the library board voted unanimously to give library director Michael Penrod a 1 percent raise, making his new salary $84,171.

Paskvan pointed out that Penrod’s salary remains below the threshold of other library directors’ salaries across the state – but it is getting closer to being comparable.

“I think it’s very important that the position itself remains competitive with other positions in the area,” board member Nathan Eikost said.

Judge Matt Reger swears in new library board member John Fawcett.

In other business at the meeting:

  • Penrod reported that libraries survived the state budget process better than most entities. He voiced appreciation for support from State Sen. Randy Gardner and State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, both R-Bowling Green.
  • Raine reported she is doing a book review on WBGU 88.1 FM Morning Show on the last Friday of each month.
  • New library board member John Fawcett was sworn in by Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger.
  • Penrod reported on the library benefit to be held Thursday, at 5:30 p.m., at Schedel Gardens.
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