Our recent author event, featuring Tommy Tomlinson, was a great success, with 96 people in attendance – perhaps a record for the Friends. We were excited to see many new faces in the crowd, indicating that we are expanding our reach. Many thanks to Programs Chair Linda Greenwell for bringing Mr. Tomlinson to Sherrills Ford, and a big thank you as well to the many Friends who volunteered to help with set up and to staff the membership and gift basket tables. (See Pages 2 & 3.)
Last month I mentioned our desire to take a fresh look at how the Friends can best
meet the anticipated needs of our growing community, to inform our use of funds.
There will be several steps to this process that will kick off shortly, and we welcome volunteers from our Friends group to help us in one or more areas that match your skills and interests. These steps include:
- Accessing/analyzing data that gives us a snapshot of the current population in the Sherrills Ford- Terrell area and that indicates varying levels of library usage within our geographic footprint.
- Working with library staff to create a rebranding message around the many services the library offers, and developing a joint “road show” that will take that message into the community
- Identifying potential partners who also serve our area whose interests overlap with our mission and tag-teaming with such organizations to extend our reach within the community
- Reaching out to the community to provide information and input on ways the library can better serve them, especially among segments of the community who haven’t been drawn to the library historically.
If you wish to devote a few hours of your time to any of these efforts during the next several months, please send me a note at email@example.com and/or join us at our November 19 business meeting, when we will be discussing this initiative in greater detail.
As it so happens, our efforts dovetail nicely with a strategic planning process that the Catawba County Libraries recently kicked off in order to identify ways to expand library services and create facilities that will anticipate – and respond to – community needs across the county. Community input is an important part of this process: Friends groups and the community-at-large are being encouraged to weigh in on perceived needs. Several of us attended a focus group meeting last week, where we made a compelling case for a larger community room at our branch. We will alert you to other opportunities to provide input, and we encourage you to voice your views during this critical phase of the county’s project.
December is just around the corner, and we suggest you mark your calendars now for several popular FOSFTL-sponsored annual holiday events that will be upon us before we know it. (See calendar Page 6)