Library plan revealed next Wednesday

Friday, March 24, 2017

By Scott Pearson

Staff Writer

Marshall County will get an opportunity to see what a 21st century library system for the county might look like on Wednesday.

Maureen Arndt with 720Design, a Dallas firm specializing in library design analysis, will present the strategic plan commissioned by the library on March 29 at 5 p.m.

Marshall County Memorial Library Director Jennifer Pearson said, “I think it’s important that we look at our growth, where we are and where we want to be.”

Pearson said that it was important for her and the board to use an outside consultant to provide a thorough and objective assessment of the system’s future needs.

“The board and I knew that it was time for us to make a bold move in terms of our strategic direction in the community,” she said.

The 64-page report details the potential facility needs of the system to serve the increasing county population, estimated to grow to roughly 50,000 people by 2025.

The recommendations of the study are based, in large part, on the feedback received from the 100 residents who attended eight different focus group meetings, interviews with county leaders, and 180 responses received from online surveys, as well as the current best practice guidelines nationally for public libraries.

Short-term, the plan will enable the library to better use their current space and long-term will present a picture of the library’s needs in Lewisburg and Chapel Hill to fill the role that residents have said they want.

“I want the facilities and services to better meet the needs of our growing community,” Pearson said.

No evaluation of the system had been done since the current Lewisburg branch was built in the mid-1970s.

The Marshall County Memorial Library Foundation funded the $30,000 study along with a $5,000 contribution from the County Commission.