Changes in the Community, Part One


As part of the library’s strategic planning process, we asked focus group participants to identify recent changes or trends in the community. Here are responses from the focus groups at North County Regional Library (7/16/08 in Huntersville) and Freedom Regional Library (7/19/08 in Charlotte):

  • More people are looking online for everything; because of this, libraries have more computers.
  • People want to stay close to and within their community, especially with gas prices being high. This encourages people to go the library for internet and computer resources.
  • This year, libraries have their biggest numbers of attendance for summer reading. More kids are coming in and completing the program.
  • Kids are becoming younger and younger who use the computers; parents are finding things online that interest their children.
  • Families are concerned with the safety of their children; parents feel the library is safe, will leave child unattended. At times, staff need to find parent of child. This needs to change.
  • How central the library is for the community has changed. Higher incomes go to online resources from home to get books, utilizing and Barnes and Noble online. How relevant the library is to some members of the community has changed. How to make the people more aware of the library and its services?
  • The county has become more diverse; this is certainly true in Mecklenburg County.
  • It has become harder to have affordable housing within the city, which is pushing people out that rely on library services. People can’t continuously be pushed out of the city and sustain businesses in the city.
  • Crime has now become more of a concern; this is a change for people. Crime yields an uneasy feeling about some parts of the community; some areas are not as safe as they used to be.
  • Growth is a dominant factor; how can the library continue to provide services and buildings in areas of growth in the community?
  • Between 3-5 years from now, our schools will be majority poor. This occurs in almost 15 states; sad that library positions were cut in our schools.
  • Community has become more open; ideas and authors we couldn’t discuss 5 years ago are more tolerated.
  • Noise created by library patrons upsets those who want the library to remain a quiet place. How do we address this issue?
  • In the West Boulevard Corridor, crime is down and more people are involved in the community.
  • There is more of an interest in libraries coming from children; it would be nice if this could occur citywide.
  • Children score better on school tests if they attend libraries more frequently.

What other changes do you see in the community? Let us know by leaving a comment.


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