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Library Board Seeks Public Input on Potential Redesign

LONGMEADOW, MA – The Board of Trustees is seeking public input on plans to redesign and revitalize the Storrs Library.

To gather this feedback, the library and its trustees hosted a workshop on Nov. 16, and are planning two more sessions on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The sessions will be led by William Barry, from Heritage Planning & Design, a consultant who was hired by the trustees to help develop a plan for reconfiguring the interior of the library.

According to members of the Board of Trustees, Barry has helped libraries around the state create innovative knowledge centers for the 21st century with a focus on welcoming spaces that meet the needs of all library patrons. To ensure all voices are heard, the trustees are hoping parents, teens, seniors, and others from the community will attend one of the sessions on Dec. 7 to provide valuable input.

The library and its trustees are also collecting surveys from community members to solicit ideas and feedback. The link to the survey can be found on the library’s website, www.longmeadowlibrary.org, or at the library’s circulation desk.

During the workshops, Barry will give a presentation that showcases the library’s current programs and uses, along with its space restraints. Participants are asked to share their favorite features in the library, and recommend changes they believe would make the library experience more enjoyable.

“If you have a favorite activity at our library, or a ‘wish list’ for changes that could make things better, come to one of the workshops at Storrs next week and tell us about them,” said Mary Rogeness, president of the library Board of Trustees.

Patricia Welch, a member of the Board of Trustees, said they received valuable information and feedback from the first session, and they are looking forward to hearing from additional residents on Dec. 7. She noted that so far, those who have participated indicated that the staff at the library are a main reason people enjoy spending time there. Others expressed their desire to have the historical aspects of the library maintained.

“We are looking for people to help us decide how to make this a better place that represents how libraries today are really centers of learning,” said Welch.

The Storrs Library Board of Trustees works to support the library in carrying out its mission by ensuring Library Director Jean Maziarz has sufficient funds to maintain the library facilities and implement the programs and services that benefit the people of Longmeadow. The Board of Trustees also oversees the library’s other properties including the historical Storrs House, the “cottage,” and the baseball fields adjacent to the library.

– Article by Sarah Leete Tsitso