Future of Erie County libraries to be determined with public input

Mar 10, 2016

If you’d like to see some changes made to the local library system, now is your chance to have your voice heard.  The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System is holding a series of public input sessions starting tonight.

The first session will take place at the Merriweather Library on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.

Mary Jean Jakubowski, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Director
Credit Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski says constructive feedback is important for the System.

“We want to continue these conversations and grow them as we begin to plan for the future of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System, and each of the libraries and their uniqueness to our community,” said Jakubowski. “This year, we are really getting the word out for these focus groups. We want people to attend these. We want to hear what they have to say.”

While requested services continue to be implemented, these sessions are designed to shape the future of libraries in Buffalo.

“Today in our libraries we have laptops, we have Wi-Fi, we have a Launchpad and a makerspace here at our Downtown Central library,” said Jakubowski. “These are things that have been spoken to us by members of the public, members of the community. We want to see: What’s the next generation of library services? What are people looking for in those services?”

Jakubowski said she just wants to better serve library users.

“We really do want that input. We’re not yesterday’s library,” said Jakubowski. “We are here for the community, we are here to serve and provide the services that people are looking for, and we want to hear what people believe those services are in the future.”

Tonight’s session starts at 6:30 p.m.

Additional sessions will take place on Friday March 11 at the Hamburg Public Library on Buffalo Street at 11:00 a.m., and Tuesday March 15 at the Kenmore Library on Delaware Road at 7:00 p.m.

Surveys are also available at all 37 public libraries and online at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library website.

WBFO's Nick Lippa gathered content and produced video for this report.