Picture perfect
Before the new strategic plan presentation, Russell Library branch CEO France Séguin (right) presented the winner of the recent photo contest Katrina Lamont Stanley (left), with a framed copy of her winning photograph. Glover photo

RUSSELL – How can the Russell Library bring in more members of the public?

That was the question during the most recent public meeting Thurs., Nov. 14.

“Back in March and April, we started an online survey and opened it up to the entire community to try and find out what we residents were looking for in terms of our library services,” said Russell Library Board vice-chair and councillor Mike Tarnowski. “When I’m talking about the library, I’m not just talking about this location but also the Embrun location.”

The survey came back with just under 400 respondents, not only surveying those who regularly attend the library but trying to extend to those who aren’t using the library as much as the board would like.

“So, we got a pretty good geographic response in terms of our township, so we’re quite happy with that,” said Tarnowski. “Based on the information that we gathered, we analyzed all the results…trying to get an idea of what the residents were looking for.”

From there, the board took all the data collected and created a brand new strategic plan with new users in mind. This plan mission is simple: “To enrich, inform and provide a safe and secure place while fostering a love of reading and lifelong learning through diverse activities and programs.”

The new strategic plan has three pillars including community hub, quality resources and services and inclusivity, lifelong learning and well-being. In matters of the community hub, some of the major goals of the Russell Library are to provide a space where residents can participate in activities together, creating and maintaining rich connections with community partners and showcasing local talent, culture and heritage in various library activities.

For quality resources and services; the library wants to ensure that services reflect current community needs while offering programs and services that reflect current technology in both official languages, that are accessible to all users. And finally, for inclusivity, lifelong learning and well-being, the library wants to provide a comfortable environment that promotes development and group learning.

The board also provided a statement about the ongoing issue of the Embrun Branch Library’s relocation, “Discussions with all stakeholders continue to confirm that the current Embrun location at the Pavillon La Croisée de l’École élémentaire catholique d’Embrun is problematic for multiple reasons, including the obvious liability issues that arise from uncontrolled public access through a school. As indicated in both current township and library strategic plans, the Embrun Branch Library relocation is a priority for all of us. The investment in creating a joint township and library subcommittee to study relocation options, clearly demonstrates that we are aligned on this priority.”

After an extensive study of all the necessary information, the Public Library board is inviting Russell Township council to make a final decision.

For a full look at the new strategic plan, you can visit the Russell Library’s website at russellbiblio.com.