Library wants input from the public

The Grand Forks and District Public Library wants to hear from you about what you want and need from the library.

The Grand Forks and District Public Library wants to hear from you about what you want and need from the library. To that end they are putting out a survey, which is available online at fluidsurveys.com/s/gfpl as well as on paper at the library.

“We are closing in on the end of our of our previous strategic plan and so we need to create a new plan to help guide us through the next five years,” said library director Cari Lynn Postnikoff. “This survey will give us an idea of what the community’s expectations of the public library are. We need to get a handle on what the community actually wants and needs from us, or else what are we doing here?”

If the idea of helping out your local library isn’t enough incentive, they are also drawing for two $25 gift certificates from Jogas  Espresso Cafe and Thistle Pot Gifts.

Postnikoff said this type of survey is new to Grand Forks. While in Cranbrook, she conducted a similar survey and she said the staff, board and director there all found it to be very valuable information to help guide policy and practice.

Postnikoff, who started as library director in Grand Forks a few months ago, said the library in Grand Forks is one of the central hubs for the community offering much more than just books.

“Our library is always bustling,” she said. “Grand Forks and District Public Library is one of the busiest public libraries I have ever seen, and I’ve been to more than a few.

“People are coming into the library for all sorts of reasons. The public access computers are always very busy and our children’s area is usually pretty giggly.”

She says that the staff their answer more than 1,500 reference questions and check out 5,000-7,000 items every month.

Postnikoff said that despite the proliferation of the Internet, iPad style tablets and other ebook readers, books don’t appear to be going anywhere.

“People are definitely still reading books,” she said. “It’s actually been reported that sales of print books are gaining ground again so it looks like the ‘paper book or ebook?’ battle has been decided (although if you’re a diehard ereader, you can still get ebooks from us!).”

There are many new changes coming to the library in the coming months. One that is most exciting to staff is the new lighting.

“When the contractors came in with a light meter, we discovered that our current lighting is best suited for a ‘romantic dinner’ which is not exactly what you want in a reading area,” said Postnikoff.

The library will be closed on Nov. 10, 17 and 18 for the renovations. “Before we open again, we will also have a brand new biography section, as that is one of our most requested non-fiction genres.”