Library seeks public input to help form long-range plan
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 6, 2005 -- Sulphur Springs Library is seeking public input regarding library services in order to complete its long-range plan, a requirement for continued state certification.

State accreditation is important in that it is generally required for funding, grants and participation in programs other than local resources.

�Practically everything we do is dependent on state certification,� said Director of Library Services Kitty St. Claire. �In looking at our ratings, the only thing we didn�t have was a long-range plan, which was not required until the last standards [were set].�

Texas Public Library  Standards requires certain steps be taken in order to properly complete the plan.

A seven-person committee composed of Sandy Tower, Barbara Law, Joe Pogue, Freddie Taylor, Yolanda Williams, Dr. Todd Conner and Sharon Burney was assigned the task of writing that plan. Using other libraries’ long-range plans as examples, the committee began about a month ago the arduous task of writing the plan. Two librarians and one board member from Marshall Public Library were also on hand to discuss the process and how they went about formulating their long-range plan.

�This committee takes it very seriously,� St. Claire said. �They have been working very hard on it. They have worked almost every week to finish the process, and have been working on it a little bit more over the last week.�

The committee printed up a seven-question survey identifying who the library patrons are, their reasons for visiting the library and frequency of those visits, and what other services they would like to see, whether it be longer or varied hours or more books. The survey also asks library visitors to rate hours of operations, selection of materials, Internet/database access, physical facilities, helpfulness of staff and programs/services on a scale of excellent to needs improvement or unknown. It also allows for additional comments or suggestions.

Anyone who visits the library but who has not filled out a survey is encouraged to do so through Oct. 14, to not only help complete the long-range plan but also to help library staff better serve the community. Surveys are available on a table just inside the front library entrance.

Another requirement in forming the long-range plan is a public forum. The Long Range Planning Committee will host two sessions on Oct. 13, one at 2 p.m. and another at 5:30 p.m. at the library, 611 North Davis St., to hear public thoughts and comments regarding current and future library services.

Community members are encouraged to attend this required forum and voice their opinions, whether good or bad, regarding the library and what direction they think the library should take in the future, according to St. Claire.

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