Every community has a unique story. Surveys, focus groups, and demographic information are not enough to discover what a community's true aspirations are. Without deeply listening and asking the right questions one cannot hear and understand what each community can tell us about itself. Below are examples of Public Knowledge written by Michigan libraries about the communities they serve and deeply listen to.
Bad Axe Area District Library
Community pride means making our city an attractive place where people want to stop and visit, even if they are passing through on their way to someplace else. It means having an appealing downtown area with coordinated, attractive storefronts and neighborhood streets with well-cared-for homes and lawns.Read More
Caro Area District Library
The Spark - What kind of community do you want to live in? When is the last time you were asked that? Over the past five months, Caro Area District Library has asked this of many local residents. We want to know their aspirations, what they see as challenges to those goals, how we as a community could take action to achieve these goals, and who they trust to accomplish these things.Read More
Putnam District Library
In the area of being a thriving community, there are many questions. What connections exist between local businesses, schools, and organizations that could strengthen the economy? How do socioeconomic differences prevent us from thriving? Is there a vision for the future? Do we know what makes people want to stay in this area? Are we open to change and growth? Would we support a larger company or be afraid to risk the small town atmosphere? What drives people to Nashville? What makes or would make them stop their car here?Read More
Ypsilanti District Library
People said they want a community that is safe and welcoming with a positive image, is economically thriving for the benefit of all, is inclusive, vibrant, and more integrated, values youth and offers a quality education and a broad range of opportunities, and places a focus on environmental stewardship.Read More
These libraries used a model of planning that combines the aspirations of the community with the strengths of the library to create outcomes that are achievable and impactful. They sought community input through engagement tools including facilitating community conversations and one-on-one interviews. This process helped them engage others, find partners, including schools and other community organizations, and develop strategies that strengthen the library’s relevance and significance in the community.
Branch District Library
The diversity of the communities in Branch County, and of the populations we serve, poses unique and exciting challenges for the library. We want to provide materials, programs, and services to meet the needs of our entire community. However, to be the heart of Branch County’s communities requires Branch District Library to remain relevant in an ever-changing world by continually evolving to meet the needs of their communities. This strategic plan is the result of reaching out to our community and asking how we can best accomplish that goal.Read More
Kalamazoo Public Library
To be good stewards, it is the library’s responsibility to continually reflect on itself and its community to ensure that our future vision remains relevant and accountable. A new process, a new look, a new assessment was needed at this time to ensure that our upcoming alignment of resources matches our vision, core values, and new priorities gleaned from a process that not only listened to our close constituents but also to our entire community.Read More