A series of community forums begins this week to look at how the Armidale region’s libraries can be enhanced as learning and social hubs for the 21st Century.
Council is holding the public workshops to help develop a 21st Century Libraries Strategy, as a blueprint for making the Guyra and Armidale libraries more vibrant hubs where people can learn, join in group activities or just meet friends.
The workshops will identify what people like about the libraries and their existing services – and brainstorm ways to improve and build upon the spaces and resources they provide.
They continue this Saturday (20 July) with a general sessions for all interested people, to be held in the Armidale library meeting room at 11am to 1pm. It will be followed by another general session at the Guyra Council Chambers on 30 July at 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
“This includes current library users and, just as importantly, residents who do not visit our libraries or use their services,” the Chair of Council’s Community Wellbeing Advisory Committee, Councillor Debra O’Brien, said.
“It’s essential we hear from people who rarely or never use the Armidale or Guyra libraries, to get a clear picture of what’s needed to make them relevant to more residents. We want to hear from as many people as possible, of all ages and backgrounds, to help identify ways to encourage a greater proportion of our community to utilise the libraries’ resources and spaces.”
To further encourage a diverse range of input, specific workshops will also be held for youth (Wednesday 31 July), members of the Aboriginal community (Tuesday 30 July) and residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (Thursday 15 August).
“The workshops are a dynamic way to get people talking about the libraries’ strengths, how they can be an even greater asset for their users and who we can make their services more relevant and appealing to a broader section of our community,” Cr O’Brien said.
Interested people are asked to register for one of the workshops by contacting staff at the Armidale library on 6770 3636 or the Guyra library on 6770 7123.
“The forums are just one of the ways community members can give their input for the strategy,” she said.
“A 21st Century Libraries Strategy online survey is an easy way to contribute and more than 500 people have already completed the survey.”