County Commissioners Call Library Plan Too Vague
CHAPEL HILL- Orange County Commissioners received the first draft of the Orange County Library’s three-year strategic plan on Tuesday, and although the project involved 800 contributors and took nearly a year to complete, some on the board said it’s not what the county needs to move forward.
“When are there going to be specific action items to implement these objectives?” asked Mark Dorosin. “This is a very lovely report and presentation, but it’s a very zoomed-out view.”
The study was paid for by a grant from the state.
It surveyed residents and library staffers about what services they value in the Orange County Library. Access to books, internet connectivity and youth activities ranked as top priorities. Respondents also said they want to see greater cooperation between the county library system and the Chapel Hill Public Library.
Orange County Library Director Lucinda Munger said she’s already collaborating with the new director of the Chapel Hill Public Library on how to better work together.
“We don’t know exactly what [that is] going to be, but that’s part of the 21st century library that we’ve all talked about and wondered about, a greater cooperation between libraries in a similar area,” said Munger. “Libraries, no matter what they are or how well-funded they are, can’t really stand alone anymore.”
The draft strategic plan did not address the Southern Branch Library currently being discussed by county commissioners and Carrboro Aldermen.
The aldermen recently added four possible sites to the county’s list of potential locations, and indicated that a site on Brewer Lane in the planned Butler mixed-use development is favored by town leaders.
When it comes to strategic planning, Board Chair Barry Jacobs said county leaders need more details from library staff.
“This is like the foundation,” said Jacobs. “But we have some decisions to make that are pretty specific and we’d like to do them in the next fiscal year.”
Munger told the board that the draft plan was only designed to set broad goals for the library system. She said she would return with a specific action plan for consideration in late September, along with an analysis of the potential branch locations.