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Library Group Hosts Riverbank Forum
Forum pix
A consulting group from Sacramento and the Bay Area leads a focus group discussion to learn what the public wants the Stanislaus County Library system to make available. They also asked about things the library does that might improve its services to the public. Ric McGinnis/The News

Staff from the Stanislaus County Library hosted a public forum at the Riverbank Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 12. It was the first of a series of six meetings this month in cities around the county where branch libraries are located.

The library management and staff expect the community forums to provide an opportunity for all residents to share ideas about what they like about their library, how the library is supporting communities, and what they would like to see done better, according to Diane McDonnell, Library Director.

McDonnell and members of her staff, including Riverbank Librarian Vicky Holt, were assisted by a group of consultants from a company based in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

After a background presentation, attendees broke into focus groups and discussed specific ideas on how to improve.

Previously, as an initial part of the strategic planning program, the group has talked with local government and community leaders in each town.

McDonnell said the new strategic plan will be guided by the community input and shaped by staff experience and expertise. Also, it will be based on a thorough understanding of Stanislaus County demographics and interests.

“The final document will serve as a flexible management tool, representing the vision and values of county communities now and into the future,” McDonnell said.

Included in this project was an online and paper survey, in both English and Spanish, which resulted in more than 600 responses from throughout the county. Over 135 library staff members participated in their own survey.

Meetings were scheduled to be held this past Saturday in Patterson and yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 18) in Turlock. Next up are town hall meetings in Ceres tonight, in Waterford next Wednesday and at the Salida Library on Thursday, Oct. 27.