CCPL to hold community forums Sept. 28 and 29


           Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) is holding community forums on Wednesday, September 28 at the CCPL and on Thursday, September 29 at Creekside Middle School, both from 7 to 9 p.m. This is a new phase in the recent project that the CCPL started to change the way it is perceived in the community. Students who attend these community meetings are eligible to get volunteering hours.

Shea Jendrusina, a senior and member of the CCPL’s Teen Library Council, said via email, “Students who go to the meetings will be able to give input that will be used in the construction of the library’s plan for the future: by attending, students will be able to make their needs known to the library, so that the library can work to meet them.”

There are many ways that students can get involved in this project besides going to the community forums. They can take a survey about one’s involvement in the library and what the library can do in the future to improve. There is a short, 60 second version, and a long 15-20 minute version. If students take the survey at the library’s internet stations, they can receive a coupon for a free Orange Leaf frozen yogurt.

But according to Hope Baugh, Young Adult Services Manager, the volunteer points and coupons are not the greater benefit that students can receive by participating.

Baugh said, “ Teens that get more involved in the library are contributing to something that truly matters. It’s not just busy work, and it feels good to help something, to be part of something big.”

According to Jendrusina, the library is currently in the planning phase of its innovation project, with a focus on gaining input from community members. The conclusion of this project won’t come anytime soon, Jendrusina said.

However, Jendrusina hopes the library will adapt to the changing needs of its patrons and that it will be able to stay relevant and useful to the community in an increasingly digital age.

Nearly 4,000 people have done the surveys, although people from ages 1-24 were underrepresented. According to Baugh, community members are interested in helping develop the library because the way libraries provide easy access to books and resources and community engagement.

“I think people are becoming more and more involved because the library is trying to keep offering things that people care about –  things like eBooks, and text reminders and having lots of spaces in the library, quiet spaces and more active spaces, noisier spaces and so I think there are a lot of factors contributing to (community involvement),” Baugh said.