The leaves are gone, fall school sports have wrapped up and a quiet time has descended as we prepare to enjoy a favorite holiday gathering with friends and family and eating good food. It is a good time to pause, reflect and find gratitude where we can.
After four months of in-person interviews, an online survey and focus group meetings, we have been reflecting on all of the feedback gathered about our community and the library. We have learned that Moretowners love the rural character, central location, recreational land and the neighbors and community of our town. Some challenges for the community highlighted by participants included the broad geography, small economic base, communicating everything that is going on in town, and a lack of involvement in the community beyond the school and Town Meeting. The most shared goal across all groups was a desire for more opportunities for connection through events and a place to gather, followed by preserving our rural character, and maintaining and growing a thriving community that’s happy, healthy and economically satisfied.
When asked how the library could help our community reach these goals, participants noted that providing programming and events that bring together all ages and stages was important. Another common insight mentioned was the possibility of the library becoming a place to gather informally, and acting as an anchor in a larger flexible community space. Finally, a desire was expressed to have the library act as an information hub and share news and events happening in town through a variety of media. All of the data collected will continue to be reviewed and used to inform our future planning, look for the full results of our community engagement on our website soon . There will also be several upcoming opportunities to meet at the Town Hall and review possible designs for the space that meet the community’s needs before a plan and budget are presented for discussion at Town Meeting in March.
Several recent titles added to our collection also focus on reflection and gratitude. “The Good Neighbor: the Life and Work of Fred Rogers” by Maxwell King highlights the many contributions to television and society by this champion of compassion, kindness and equality. And just out last week, Michelle Obama’s autobiography “Becoming” shares the path of this unique First Lady as she strives to live authentically and in service of higher ideals.
Last but not least, we find gratitude in this season for all of the community’s support. Whether from direct patronage, participation in programming, donations or tax dollars, we are privileged to provide materials and services to meet the community’s needs. Hope to see you at the library soon!