This past Saturday, (10/25/08) Newman Architects along with the Trustees and staff of JJML held the first in a series of workshops, all of which are designed to provide the architects and Library Trustees with information on how the community perceives its library, and how it would like that library to look and function in the future. The forum was designed by the architects to help them fulfill their charge from the Board of Trustees, which was “…to work with the library director, the board, the staff and the community to design a building program that will best serve the Sag Harbor community’s library needs.”
In this first workshop, the architects asked those present to break up into small groups and discuss several questions, including what they like about the current library, what they don’t like, and to imagine their ideal library of the future. After spending nearly an hour on these questions, the groups reassembled and presented their prioritized lists of likes, dislikes and suggestions. The architects will now compile this information and utilize it, and the output of workshops yet to come in helping them design building program for JJML.
In all there were 44 people in attendance, 18 or whom were Library Trustees or staff members. Library staffer Eric Cohen commented that he felt the general public was significantly under represented at this meeting. Library Director Catherine Creedon expressed the hope that future open forums would see a larger number of School District residents in attendance as word spread about the importance of these meetings to the Library’s future. Amplifying this point, Christiane Neuville, President of the Board of Trustees addressing the group at the beginning of the session stated that this Board of Trustees is actively seeking public input and will listen with open minds to the feedback they receive from the public.
In all nine Trustees, including newly elected Trustee, Craig Rhodes actively participated in the workshop. Several attendees gave the Trustees high marks for their participation and willingness to listen. Nine JJML staff members also lent their expertise to the discussions.
The next community forum will be held on Saturday, December 6th. The exact time and location will be announced in the near future. The second workshop will look more closely at the library’s options for expansion. All residents of the Sag Harbor School District are encouraged to attend and share their ideas and opinions. Those who cannot attend may share their thoughts on this blog by leaving a comment at the end of this post, or by contacting Library Director Catherine Creedon by phone at 631-725-0049, ext. 23 or by email: email@example.com.
Director Creedon summed up the feelings of all involved in the first workshop when she said, “In order to create a library that truly meets the needs of all segments of the Sag Harbor community, we need to hear from as many people as possible. It is my hope that everyone who values the library will avail themselves of at least one of these opportunities to be heard.”