Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Library Leaders Want Public Input on the Sullivan Center

Apologies for the lapse in posting on this blog. Looking at this month's meetings a month ago, it was listed that the annual meeting was being held on June 18 at Franchesco's. Checking back a couple weeks later and it was still listed as such. Then yesterday's Rockford Register Star ran a story about how library leaders want public input on the Sullivan Center. Apparently the meeting was changed from Franchesco's on the 18th to the 25th at the East Branch. I'm not sure when the switch was made and though it's great that they changed it to a more appropriate day and time, it was confusing to those who wanted to go but saw the previous (incorrect) information. If anyone has information about the meeting day/time switch, please email .

A few words on the article--it's wonderful that the library board is seeking public input on the Sullivan Center before proceeding. SOL sees it as a victory that the message of seeking public input before making major library-altering decisions has resonated with the board. The board's new consciousness about the necessity of asking what the public wants and needs is exactly why SOL now stands for Support Our Public Library. Hearing that Rock River's lease was also renewed is another victory, considering it was slated to close, but the outcry was loud enough to make board members reconsider the decision. In these instances, the board is listening to the voices of the community and SOL thanks them for doing so.

Now for a word on the Sullivan Center, Mr. Logli is quoted in the Rockford Register Star article as saying, “I understand there is some concern that program numbers are down. It seems whatever we can do to improve the setting for programs and the type and variety of programs would be just what we need to bring those numbers back up.” It is certainly true that the programming numbers have dropped significantly. The problem with programming is not where the programs are held or necessarily the type of programs being offered, but the unfortunate cease of printed programming advertisements. There are no more paper Explorers and no programming fliers available for patrons to take home--to inform them of upcoming programs and to act as reminders. For patrons who do not have computer access at home--a significant portion of the population--they cannot learn about programs unless they are at the library logged into the digital Explorer in the bottom corner of the library's website. Can you guess how low the computer class attendance is? The real reason for the drop in programming numbers needs to be brought to the attention of the library board. SOL will make sure to check in about July's meeting days and times and post them on this blog. We'll need a strong showing at the next meeting to thank the board for the work they are doing, but also to address these programming concerns.