Omaha

Community shares its vision for library’s future – Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska 2021-10-08 16:31:40 –

Omaha, Nebraska (KMTV) —Despite opposition from local leaders, the community shares a vision of what the library system will look like as speculation continues about the future of the Omaha Public Library (OPL).

Over the next few weeks, OPL will host a public forum on the future of library services, but talk about the facility continues to be incorporated into the conversation.

The first session took place on Thursday night at Willa Cather Branch, asking some community members to do more to share the service with the library.

“There are a lot of things in the library that I don’t think are being used, so for some reason I want to make them clearer and more public,” said one speaker.

Others require services to be shared outside the walls of the library.

Corrections Bureau librarian Jane Skinner said the OPL could provide more meaningful services to imprisoned people, such as GED programs and English classes as a second language.

“These are people with a really high level of needs,” said Jane Skinner. “50% of the people enrolled in the Nebraska Correctional Bureau are below the 9th grade level. Therefore, looking at the types of services offered by OPL, we find nothing useful for this population.”

Others have asked OPL to consider modernizing its technology a bit more. One speaker said that adding wireless printing and eliminating fax charges could benefit many library users.

But the community doesn’t want the library system to be too technology-focused.

“The library is more than just a book, it’s always more important to me, and I need to be in this community all the time, not just pick up books,” said former state legislator Ala Howard. I am. “I was really worried only about previous conversations about bots and warehouses, or picking up and bringing in books.”

Some community members have expressed such concerns that have been reflected throughout the community in recent weeks.

Rumors of a privatized public library system I brought a lot of people on Thursday night.

One woman said the library felt left in the dark as the library was privatized on her corpse and city officials worked behind the scenes.

Mike Kennedy, chairman of the Omaha Public Library Commission, said the commission was against privatization and reiterated that this was not a plan.

When asked what role heritage services would play in the future of the library, Kennedy said he would work with donors to help fund the library.

“Their job is to find donors to connect with us, which I think is great,” Kennedy said. “You had to talk to donors. What do they want to see in the library or community? I think the vision is similar from both ends.”

Mayor Jean Stozart, who did not attend the Thursday night meeting, reiterated that the library would not be closed at a press conference earlier that day.

She said there was the truth that the downtown library scene would change. She is W. He pointed out an audit explaining that the Dale Clark branch is out of date.

“We still have a downtown library, but probably not where Dale Clark is now,” Stozart said.

The Thursday night speaker shared his concerns about the plan.

“Especially if there is a risk of closing old or small branches where people can walk or use public transport, how can those who need these services know them most? I’m worried, “said the speaker.

Stothert also said at a news conference that the current downtown library location is the main real estate that Generie Hee Mall is about to open.

“Many developers are already there to secure that place at the end of new development,” says Stothert. “It has nothing to do with what our charitable community wants to do.

Kennedy said he is discussing future plans for all facilities with Heritage Services and the mayor’s office, but nothing has been finalized yet.

“We talked about what we want. We want to make sure the librarian is a city employee,” says Kennedy. “We want to make sure it’s not privatized. We want to make sure that every branch has cutting-edge technology. And the great news is that Heritage has funded it. That’s what I want to offer. “

Kennedy added that moving the location of the Central Library from downtown to 72 has been planned for several years and will be approved by the community for more.

“If we get a new central library with their help, I think people will be very happy and surprised when they come up with the final decision,” he said.

Kennedy said he is likely to start a public meeting on the facility early next year.

Four more listening sessions are planned.

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Community shares its vision for library’s future Source link Community shares its vision for library’s future

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