Libraries have the power to transform communities
We have a great library in Menasha. Our library serves as a repository of knowledge, a gathering place, and a teaching institution to name just a few of its many functions. I spent the day on Monday with Margret Sullivan a library designer who works with the most innovative librarians in the country to re-envision and transform public libraries to embrace concepts including: entrepreneurship, arts, health, education, and job skills.
We learned about things that drive kids and parents to the library, but more importantly how being part of that library experience gives our residents opportunities in life. One library had a culinary kitchen that taught both healthy home cooking skills and entrepreneurial opportunities for people who might want to open a restaurant. Another library had a woodworking shop for people who wanted to create or people who wanted to learn how to use the tools. Several libraries had recording studios. Some had artists and entrepreneurs in residence sharing their knowledge and experiences with others getting into their fields.
Our takeaway was that libraries play an important role in jumpstarting the entrepreneurial economy in communities as well as providing that spark for people to gain additional education at a college or technical college.
Our next step it to take the strategic goals that our library board set forth in its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan and develop programs and design concepts to create spaces and places for our community of library users to flourish and at the same time attract new users. We plan to transform our library with exciting new options like those we saw in the Richland Libraries over the coming years making sure that we stay at the forefront for our residents.
A strong library helps students and entrepreneurs move FORWARD in Menasha