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Community Conversations provide vital feedback for library strategic plan

Cover image of Community Conversations ReportPeople say they want to be connected, safe, valued, respected, and accepted by others, with opportunities to be engaged and ever-learning together. But they are concerned that our community could be more inclusive, safe, and sustainable, with resources and opportunities more equitable and prevalent for all.

That’s a sample of the perspectives people shared during the library’s recent Community Conversations project, feedback that was gathered during group sessions and individual interviews earlier this year.

A report about the project is now available on the library website and is being distributed to people who participated, library and city leaders, and other stakeholders.

“The community feedback gathered during this project will be instrumental in the development of our strategic plan,” Rebecca Judd, Bellingham Public Library director, said. “We are honored and grateful that people shared their hopes, concerns, and ideas with us, and we are looking forward to these voices shaping our strategic directions.”

The library reached out this spring to learn about people’s aspirations for their community, as part of planning for the library’s future.

“The questions we asked were developed by the American Library Association to help libraries better understand the communities they serve,” Judd said. “Our goal was to gather public knowledge on a range of topics of interest to people who live and work in Bellingham. We promised to listen carefully and develop our plans for the future based on what we heard.”

The library updates its strategic plan every 3-5 years to reflect current community needs, express library and city goals and priorities, and set direction for the library. The strategic plan that results from this year’s work will reflect public feedback and library expertise, developed over the course of 2019. A final strategic plan is expected to be adopted by the Library Board of Trustees in January 2020.

For more information, please contact the Library Administration at 360-778-7220.

Community Conversations project page

2019-2023 Strategic Plan project page