Vineyard Haven Public Library hosts community forums

Vineyard Haven Public Library. — File photo by Susan Safford

Two community forums at the Vineyard Haven Public Library (VHPL) on March 7 and 28 will offer Tisbury residents an opportunity to discuss the library’s strengths and weaknesses, suggest areas for improvement, and brainstorm ideas to meet future needs. Both sessions start at 6 pm.

The forums are an important piece in developing the library’s long-range plan for fiscal years 2013-2018.

Public libraries in Massachusetts are required to submit a long-range strategic plan every five years in order to remain eligible for state and federal grants, according to a press release from VHPL director Amy Ryan.

To start the planning process, a VHPL committee conducted a survey about current services among library patrons over the summer and fall of 2011.

The upcoming community forums are expected to provide additional feedback the committee needs to complete its work. The planning committee also invited representatives from local government and community organizations to attend.

“Our hope is to have broad participation representing different demographics and views, even including people who may not be regular library users,” Ms. Ryan said.

The final plan will include a mission statement, an assessment of user needs, multi-year goals and objectives, and an action plan to achieve them. It is due to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in October.

Barbara Andrews, an adviser from the Massachusetts Library System, will facilitate the discussion at the forums. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 508-696-4211.