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Change is welcome at the Killingworth Library, which is striving to meet the needs of the community. A community survey was distributed in November 2019 asking Killingworth Library users to give their opinions about library services. More than 260 people responded with thoughtful, constructive suggestions. The survey was done as part of a wide-ranging strategic planning process begun last April by the Killingworth Library Association Board of Directors. This stage of the process followed in-depth discussions with staff, volunteers, and board members using a technique to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Further community input obtained through key informant interviews and focus groups will lead to the development of a strategic plan to guide in the growth and development of the library.Immediate Concerns Tackled
One message came across loud and clear: The Killingworth Library needed to adjust its hours to better serve the needs of the community. As of Jan. 3, this issue was tackled. The library is now open until at least 6 p.m. every weekday and continues to have its extended evening hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It also opens one hour earlier on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Patrons also mentioned that they would like the library to offer more daytime programming. The library has jumped right in with a series of periodic Sunday afternoon programs beginning on Feb. 2. Details on this afternoon series on the fight for women’s right to vote during this centennial celebration year are on the library website www.killingworthlibrary.org.
Many patrons noted that more programming is needed to draw in tweens and teens. In addition to the ongoing Readers and Eaters series, the library is launching a tween Anime film series. Anime is a popular style of Japanese comic book and cartoon animation. The series started Feb. 7 with pizza and beverages provided. Also new is a Dungeons and Dragons program on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 4 to 6 p.m., as well as an introduction to the new board game, Wingspan, which has a multigenerational appeal.
Survey respondents also suggested improvements to access to print and electronic downloadable materials. These improvements were already in the works and the library has modified its website to clarify patron access to browse collections. Its new memberships to Bibliomation has improved the access and timeliness to interlibrary loan immensely for print materials. The library also now has Libby/Overdrive, Bookflix, and Hoopla for electronic material access. One immediate challenge is to get the word out, so patrons know how to use these new resources. Fortunately, in addition to library staff, young tech experts from the Haddam-Killingworth Leos club (junior Lions Club affiliated members) are stepping up to help with Tech Time sessions.
The library board also noted that patrons find the library to be a little too noisy. While acknowledging and celebrating that it is a friendly community gathering spot and has never been a “shush” library, this issue can be annoying. The library is trying to be more sensitive to this issue as well as looking into noise-baffling options and possibly longer-term solutions.
The 2020 guide to the Madison Chamber of Commerce has arrived!