Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Column: Library Board and Masters Need to Rebuild Citizen Trust, John Lovaas, Reston Connection, June 11, 2014

. . . last fall the Supervisors awoke and put the Beta plan on hold, and directed the Library Board to plan a future direction for our libraries based on needs of and input from stakeholders. As part of this process, a public meeting was convened on June 3 by the Library Board’s Committee on Communication and Evaluation. It drew an overflow crowd of stakeholders. It did not go well.
The focus of the Library Administration was how to construct and carry out a broad survey of the community. One official mused about the merits of hiring a consultant to design and execute the survey, or having a joint effort of consultant and Library Administration staff, or just having the staff do it since funds are scarce. There was no mention of including users, stakeholders in survey design or execution. Nor was there a clear concept of what data was needed.
One could sense seething in the audience. When stakeholders finally were given the opportunity to speak, the message was clear. To rebuild the trust lost by the Beta experience, stakeholders wanted to be at the table from now on through survey design, implementation, data analysis and interpretation. . . .
Click here for the rest of this important commentary on our public libraries.

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