Moffat County Library asks for community’s help in effort to improve the library
The Moffat County Library is working on a new strategic plan that will outline its goals for the next few years, starting with asking the community how the library can improve.
Over the next few weeks, there will be flyers posted around town prompting residents to complete an anonymous online survey that will help the library staff and board understand what the community wants from the library.
Keisha Bickford, the library manager, said the survey will ask about the community’s needs, what residents expect from the library and why people who don’t come into the library don’t utilize its resources.
Based on the population of Moffat County, the library is hoping to collect responses from at least 1,000 residents. The survey will also go out to residents in Maybell and Dinosaur, which each have a library branch. Residents have until Feb. 12 to respond to the surveys.
Once the community’s feedback is collected, the library board and staff will use it to help develop the library’s strategic plan.
“We won’t know what our one to three year goals are until we get the surveys back,” Bickford said. “There have been things that we’ve talked about doing, but it would be a waste of staff and board time to work on an initiative that the community doesn’t want. So, hopefully, we’ll get enough feedback from the community.”
The flyers will be in both English and Spanish and will contain a QR code that residents can scan to access the survey. Residents can also find it online at bit.ly/MOFFATLIB2023.
“Hopefully, that will make it easier for people in the community to respond,” Bickford said, adding that the library would like to get responses from all age groups and demographics in the community.
Still, not every aspect of the library’s operations are in its control. For example, Bickford explained that library operating hours are set based on the available funding. After Moffat County voters denied a 2018 ballot measure for a tax levy for the library, the county is not obligated to provide funding for library operations. The library budget is set each year by the county commissioners, who last year increased the funding amount in order to expand Friday hours for the Craig branch.
While extending operating hours will not be a strategic goal for the library, there could be opportunities to expand its programs for youth, adults and community members based on the interest. Bickford said that the library has hired two staff members who can help lead new programs.
The strategic plan will be created in-house with the help of the library board and staff, and Bickford said they hope to have a draft of the plan with goals outlined by the summer.
The “Ride into Reading” program is still open, as the program for readers of all ages goes from Dec. 1 to March 1. Go to MoffatCounty.Colorado.gov/services/library or visit a Moffat County Library branch for more information.
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