Library hosts “Community Conversations” to help shape future vision

March 14, 2019 3:08 pm
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What do you care about? Libraries can help.

The Bellingham Public Library is reaching out this spring to learn about people’s aspirations for their community, as part of planning for the library’s future.

People participating in a group discussion

The library is hosting a series of Community Conversations, intending to gather public knowledge on a range of topics of interest to community members. With this information, library leaders will determine where the library can help in the future and form its strategic directions accordingly.

The Community Conversations will take several different forms: some will be public meetings, some will be scheduled around specific themes or with specific groups, and some will be individual interviews with people at events and gatherings. Dates and times for Community Conversations can be found on the library online calendar and are listed below.

Several sessions include Spanish language interpretation. Schedule information in Spanish: Informacion en español (pdf)

“We believe we will get the most impactful and useful information by simply talking to people in our community,” Bellingham Public Library Director Rebecca Judd explained. She said each conversation is a chance for us to better understand people’s aspirations for their community, the concerns they have, and what they believe might make a difference in strengthening it.

“We’ll take what we learn from these conversations and use it to help make our work more effective,” she said.

People participating in a group discussion

Judd said Community Conversations will be held April through June. The results will be used in the library’s strategic plan update, scheduled to be considered by the Library Board of Trustees during Fall 2019 and approved by the end of the year.

“The questions we are asking were developed by the American Library Association to help libraries better understand the communities they serve,” Judd said. “We can’t promise these conversations will lead to specific new programs, policies, or services, but we do promise to listen carefully and develop our plans for the future based on this input.”

For more information about Community Conversations and the library’s strategic planning process, contact Janice Keller, Communications and Community Relations Manager, 360-778-7206 or jkeller@cob.org

Community Conversation Schedule*

Join us for a 90-minute conversation. No registration required.  Schedule information in Spanish: Informacion en español (pdf)

Tuesday, April 2, 10:15 a.m.-Noon, Central Library Lecture Room

Thursday, April 25, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Bloedel Donovan Park Beach Pavilion. Neighborhood-Focus Community Conversation, with Spanish language interpretation provided.

Saturday, April 27, 1:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m., Central Library Lecture Room

Tuesday, April 30, 6:00 p.m.-7:45 p.m., Central Library Lecture Room

Thursday, May 2, 3:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m., Fairhaven Library Fireplace Room

Thursday May 2, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Fairhaven Library Fireplace Room. Neighborhood-Focus Community Conversation, with Spanish-language interpretation provided.

Tuesday, May 7, 10:15 a.m.-Noon, Fairhaven Library Fireplace Room

Wednesday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Birchwood Elementary School Library. Neighborhood-Focus Community Conversation, with Spanish-language interpretation provided.

Thursday, May 16, 10:15 a.m.-Noon, Central Library Lecture Room

*Community Conversations are still being scheduled. For an up-to-date view, visit the library online calendar and enter “Community Conversation” in the Keyword search box.