The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) held a community consultation night at the Port Hardy Library June 25 as part of its strategic planning process.
The evening, hosted by Judy Moore, director of Library Services and Planning for VIRL, and Aileen Selbee, Community Support Technician, saw attendees give feedback on a wide range of factors related to library function and services.
Community members participated in an interactive feedback process that involved interviewing each other about how the library can best serve the community, small group discussion involving idea creation for initiatives to solve issues, and a large group discussion to present the results of the evening’s brainstorming.
Moore says VIRL is “really trying to drill deep” through these community consultations and “capture as much input into our planning process as possible.” VIRL includes 39 libraries throughout Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and the Central Coast, and the strategic planning taking place currently is for the 2016-2020 period.
Some concerns brought up were that the library currently does not have a sufficient meeting space. One participant suggested that a bigger meeting space could bring people into the library who may not otherwise use it. Other suggestions included increased hours and a website that is easier to navigate.
Some of the raised suggestions could be covered by an upcoming renovation.
“It will be fantastic,” says Selbee of the plans. She says that the renovations will take advantage of the building windows by changing the current shelving designs, allowing natural light to stream in and avoid being blocked. The walls will be painted, another bathroom added, and there will be new furniture for literature lovers to read upon.
The design also includes a new area for relaxing and reading magazines, a total of six computers, technology updates. A community-minded innovation of the design will be the ability to facilitate more events, with a big seating area and a big screen television.
The renovations were initially expected to begin in early July, but have now been pushed until around Labour Day. There are boards at the library with renovation plans that the public are welcome to come and look at. The library will remain open through the summer.