Question: What does it mean to have a library that’s the hub of the community?

Answers from the group:
What is our useful social mission, and how do our core values reflect that?  Can sometimes be uncomfortable being the hub of the community.  What are we doing to form those relationships?

As rural librarians, we’re never off the clock.  We’re in the community, volunteering, and we know many of the members of the community.  We know the areas of interest of our people and our collections reflect those areas.  We’re the bulletin board for our community.  Make sure policies reflect what we do in our libraries.

Library as physical place – it’s easy to be the hub if you’re in the middle of town.  How to address if you’re not?  Work with the buses for free rides, signs on the sidewalks (like footprints) leading you to the library.  Making the hub relevant – Spanish Language Outreach.  Connecting with the churches for them to provide resources to Spanish-speakers, too.

Volunteers and librarians are in the hub, with strong spokes going out into the community.  Change the perspective of the people as they often don’t know what the library is about.

When you see a public library that’s the hub, you can almost see it vibrating out, like a hub.  Meeting rooms can be a great way to bring people into the library, especially in a rural community.  Needs to be thoughtful approach to adding programs.

Library is a behind-the-scenes hub.  Library was rated in one state as the most important resource, even among non-library users.  The library should be a comfortable place – ban the hard, sharp, and brown.

The more the library makes itself useful to community organizations, the more they make themselves useful to the library.  We need to work together as a whole with everyone.

Hub=dispatch; an information referral source.  We need to treat everyone with the same service attitude.

Equal access and broadband – more and more applications are online.  It’s a new role for the library, working with state and local government to coordinate services.


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