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Denton Public Library seeks input for new strategic plan

Denton Public Library seeks input for new strategic plan

Denton Public Library seeks input for new strategic plan
September 22
15:00 2022

Denton residents have until Sept. 30 to fill out the Denton Public Library’s new community input survey, where locals have a chance to influence the library district’s upcoming five-year strategic plan.  

One community input meeting took place on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the North Branch Library, and two more meetings will be throughout the month for residents to take part in.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Emily Fowler Central Library, and the last one will take place Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at the South Branch Library. 

“So, this community input survey — it’s available at all three of our locations as well as online to the public,” said assistant branch manager Kasey Fanucchi. “This is what will influence our strategic plan, values, mission and vision of the system for the next five years.” 

The first community input meeting only saw one individual show up, Denton resident Melanie Morgan. 

“I went to some of the city of Denton Parks and Rec planning sessions, and one of the things that they would suggest as a possibility was to, in the future, have a library attached to the rec center,” said Morgan, a lifelong library user. “Then somebody could drop their kids off for activities and go over to the library, or drop their kids off at the library and go and do their activities.” 

The community input survey includes six questions about new or expanded services residents would like to see, residents’ values in a public library and how residents would describe their vision for the libraries. Other questions ask residents to rate their agreement with certain statements and rank services and resources from highest to lowest priority. 

The meetings themselves are done in the style of a SOAR analysis, where Denton residents come together to talk about the library’s existing strengths, the opportunities that the library should pursue to please its stakeholders, the library’s aspirations and the best way to report the results of these things to stakeholders. 

This is the second time the Denton Public Library has used this public input method, with the first being in 2018. The library’s strategic plans used to consist of an entire pamphlet, but recently the library has worked to get them down to a single page. 

Some difficulties were encountered on the library’s first try — the most prominent of which was COVID-19. 

“In 2020, I think we had on our action items to expand our outreach, [but] all in-person activities were halted thanks to COVID,” said Jennifer Bekker, a Denton resident and the director of libraries. “But there were a few that we couldn’t do at that time that we rolled over into the next year if we were able to do that.” 

So far, roughly 208 people have taken the community input survey, Bekker said. This number is very close to the total amount of people that took it in 2018, which was 212 people. At this rate, this year’s community input survey could surpass the last one in terms of participation. 

The community input survey can be taken in person at any of the libraries or online at surveymonkey.com/r/QQ6CXWC.  

Featured Image: A map of North Texas hangs in the entrance of the Emily Fowler Central Library on Sept. 14, 2022. Photo by Mark Regalado

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Kevin Keigher

Kevin Keigher

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