A lot has changed since the Pierce County Library System last polled the community about what it wants and needs out of its local library.
Since the library’s last community engagement process — in 2006 and 2008 — the recession happened and both communities around South Hill and Sumner have grown and changed.
“South Hill is growing and changing,” said executive director Georgia Lomax. “Sumner is growing and changing, but not in the same way. There’s a lot of families.”
Through a series of open houses and an online survey, the library system hopes to touch base with the community and develop a long-range plan for the next three to five years.
While the Pierce County Library System has 20 library systems across 1,800 square miles, Lomax and staff members are searching for what’s common and what’s unique at each of the library branches, and developing an overall strategic plan for the library system as a whole.
“We want to provide services that each community and library will need,” Lomax said. “We want to listen without our library lens on. We want to listen to what people who live here need and want. What we provide matters to our community — it’s a valued service.”
The library will take a look at what was seen eight and 10 years ago at the last community engagement process and take note of what officials are seeing now, she said.
“Our communities change and grow quickly,” Lomax said. “This is our way of keeping our ear to the ground, and provide the right services at the right time.”
Following open houses and the online survey, Pierce County Library officials will meet with key community leaders and begin analyzing data and developing strategies to try with the public. Then, officials will draft their plan in July, Lomax estimates, and have the plan in place by the end of the year.
“Even though we just launched this, I’m excited to have such great participation,” she said. “We appreciate people’s interest in the library. The communities are truly our partners.”
To take the the online survey, visit www.future.pcls.us. The Sumner Pierce County Library’s open house is 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday (March 9) at 1116 Fryar Avenue. The South Hill Pierce County Library’s open house is 1 to 3 p.m. March 19 at 15420 Meridian E.
Pierce County Library Open Houses
Sumner: 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday (March 9), 1116 Fryar Ave., 253-548-3306
South Hill: 1 to 3 p.m. March 19, 15420 Meridian E., 253-548-3303