Approximately 30 interested community members attended the first community engagement meeting for Valley Library on Monday, March 12. Architects Tim McIlwain and Jerry Hagen asked residents to share how they use the library now, and what ways they believe the library could better serve the community.
Those at the meeting said they primarily use Valley Library for the materials – books, DVDs, newspapers and other periodicals – but would like to see more spaces for meetings, quiet working and reading space, technology, and programming for community members of all ages. The library’s location in a mall at the center of Lakeland is seen as an asset, but attendees said they felt the size and organization of the space were not meeting the community’s needs for community gathering spaces of various sizes.
At the next project meeting in April, staff with HCM Architects will share the results from all community engagement efforts (meetings, print and online surveys) to outline what the community priorities are, and use visuals to help get impressions of what patrons feel a future Valley Library could look like. Mcllwain encouraged those in attendance to invite friends and other community members “go out and educated (them) about why this is an important project, and share what some of their ideas are.”
The next community engagement meeting is planned for Tuesday, April 10 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the Afton-Lakeland Elementary School Media Center. Please RSVP to the event on Facebook for updates.