Monterey County Free Libraries seeks feedback

Youth draw and play with blocks during the Jan. 19 community feedback session at Greenfield Library. A similar session was also held in King City. (Photo by Samantha Bengtson)

Public input to help determine priorities for strategic plan

SOUTH COUNTY — Monterey County Free Libraries, which has branches in all four South County cities, is seeking community input to help determine priorities and updates to its strategic plan.

“Our last strategic plan was done in April 2013, so we’re due to have another look,” said Chris Ricker, assistant library director. “It’s part of our objectives, so we stay focused on community needs and plan our resources to meet those needs.”

Community feedback sessions were held Jan. 19 at the Greenfield and King City library branches, during which input from patrons was accepted in both English and Spanish. There were also games available for children and families to enjoy as well as refreshments.

Monterey County Free Libraries is still seeking input from the community and is in the process of launching an online survey in English and Spanish, which is expected to go live beginning Feb. 4. The survey will be up for two to three weeks.

“I think that’s where we will get a good variety of input,” Ricker said. “We’re also going to ask patrons that are visiting the branches to participate in the online survey as well through our computers or we can have printouts for them.”

Library visitors can also participate in another activity involving heart cutouts, on which they write what they love most about the library. A second cutout allows them to draw a crack in the heart to symbolize what would break their heart if it disappeared from the library.

Patrons can also draw their “Dream Library,” an activity that was tested by staff at the San Lucas Library, which resulted in climate control feedback and cooler temperatures within the library. Visitors can also express their thoughts through words.

“We have hired a consultant to help us extract the data and help us formulate our three-year strategic plan,” Ricker said.

Monterey County Free Libraries branch locations include Aromas, Big Sur, Las Palmas/River Road, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Pajaro, Prunedale, San Ardo, San Lucas, Seaside and Soledad. Visit www.eMCFL.org for more information.

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