The Lethbridge Public Library will be looking to the public to try and help build an ambitious long-term planning strategy, that will look at potential service and infrastructure needs to the midpoint of the century.
Now entering the public consultation phase, the Library Facilities Master Plan Project will identify the library services and spaces required to meet Lethbridge’s population growth and community needs by 2050.
Lethbridge Public Library CEO Terra Plato says it’s vital to get feedback from current and potential library patrons to get a better idea of what members of the public would like to see when it comes to programming, services, and overall infrastructure.
“Because facility planning is often done over many years, we need to ensure we have a solid plan in place so when there are opportunities to invest in capital, we have a solid plan in place that is really based on Lethbridge’s needs,” she adds.
Plato says looking at other mid-sized and larger municipalities are giving staff and officials a pretty good idea as to what is likely to be a success locally, they’re hoping to get a little more in-depth opinion from library users during a trio of public consultation sessions.
“We are seeing some trends happening in public libraries, that are really making the library more of a community hub… and that doesn’t mean we don’t continue with resources like books and programs, as those are still the core reason most people come to the library,” she says.
“We are seeing public libraries that are opening things like co-working spaces, community kitchens and creative maker spaces, so where the library is really bringing people together and inspiring production of content, versus us providing content that is already made.”
The first public consultation session took place July 30th, with the second set for the Festival Square Farmer’s Market on August 3rd and the third taking place at the main branch of the Lethbridge Public Library on September 17th. Plato says the master plan should be ready to present to the public in early 2023.