Thank you to everyone for all of the great ideas and feedback

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We've received so much great feedback on the blog. Thank you!

We've received so much great feedback on the blog. Thank you!

We here at the library have been so excited to see all of the great suggestions, comments and feedback posted on the blog recently. We’ve definitely been reading the contributions, making notes and having conversations of our own as we plan for the future. It’s so invigorating to hear directly from you, in your own words, exactly what you love about libraries and what you’d like to see improved.

Sometimes folks don’t agree on what they’d like their library to be (coffee seems to be an item that has generated a suprising amount of discussion on both ends of the spectrum), but the comments have always been very thoughtful. It’s clear that you have taken the time to carefully articulate your concerns and passions for the libraries in our community — and we’re so grateful!
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9 Responses to “Thank you to everyone for all of the great ideas and feedback”

  1. Matthew Says:

    I’m glad to hear you’ve been listening to our comments. I’ll try to refrain from leaving any negative comments about PLCMC, because I’m glad this forum exists.

    PLCMC is a good example of a library system that is run well, and I am glad that it exists… I know other counties have poorer libraries with no funding, no enthusiasm, and no care for their visitors thoughts. I also appreciate that you guys are moving ahead “with the times”, so to speak, and understand how to run a website. This blog looks better than PLCMC.org, thats for sure. Plcmc.org encourages zero participation, and it seems rarely updated. I’ve asked the people who work on the catalog to please allow for more customization to make it easier to work on my account, place holds, make it look exactly how I want. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. Simple is better for some things, but when it comes to others, such as my account holds/rentals/items out pages, I want to be able to make it as intricate as I can, so that I have all of that information freely available to me.

    I recently asked the people behind the PLCMC catalog (Whomever they are) if there was a way to see a list of all my recent rentals… or if that feature could ever be added to the website. They said, and I quote: “We are unable to keep a list of titles patrons have checked out. One of the reasons is the volume of circulation we have of our items would require a huge amount of memory”. I’ve seen other websites that do this, including the Gaston library, a library which obviously has less funding than CMC. This information would be immensely helpful. You could see if you’d rented a CD before, you could keep track of where you are in a book series, you could see how many books you’ve rented in a month’s time, etc. I understand it would require a lot of memory to host them on your site, but how but crank user’s rental history out into an RSS feed just like you do on plcmcforum.com? That way, it becomes Feedburner’s problem, and it’s no longer yours. Feedburner (Which you are using) can host hundreds of past items in an RSS feed for free. That way, I could embed it anywhere I wanted, and view it whenever I wanted. Technology makes this stuff easy, and it isn’t that hard to create an RSS feed, so long as you put a tiny bit of effort into it.

    I hope that this blog has more features in the future. I think it would be great to have a poll in the sidebar that actually meant something, such as, would you like a coffee shop in your local library – Yes, No or Maybe… if it isn’t intrusive? This would help you get a clear consensus of answers from readers who cannot attend meetings, but have a good idea of what can improve at their library, and what is already great.

    The pictured lady looks very happy to have our comments, so I’ll keep ’em coming just for you 🙂

  2. Craig Says:

    Maybe taking care of your staff first would be a good idea. I’m sad whenever I enter the downtown location and see staff shivering because they are right there in front of the doors and feel the cold air whenever people enter and leave.

  3. Sarah Poole Says:

    Thank you, Matthew and Craig, for the great feedback.

    Matthew, we definitely want to continue improving our online presence, and your suggestions and ideas are very helpful. We’ll use this feedback as we move forward.Thanks!

    Craig, I’m glad you mentioned something about the cold air at the front desk of Main Library. The recent cold snap has really brought this issue to light. I’ll check on possible solutions and will post a reply early next week.

  4. Sarah Poole Says:

    Craig, I have an update on the solution for the cold air at the front desk of Main Library. A “fix” for this issue has been in the works for awhile now, and contractors will be installing an air curtain with a built in heater tonight after the Library closes, so it should be up and running by the end of this week, provided there are no unforeseen problems. This should provide a remedy for the cold air entering the building through the front door.

    Thank you again for your feedback and for your kind concern for the employees at the library. Have a great week.

  5. Janet Zick Says:

    I have enjoyed and supported the Novello festival of reading over the years. At the Carolina Writers’ Night, there was a request in the program for author suggestions for upcoming festivals. Please consider the authors on my wish list.
    Jonathon Safron Foer (Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
    E.L. Doctorow
    Robert Caro
    Dinaw Mengestu (rising young author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears: A Novel)
    Ron Rash (Serena)
    Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation)
    Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven)
    Ward Just (Forgetfulness)
    Leif Enger (Peace Like a River)
    Edwidge Danticat (Dew Breaker)
    Reynolds Price
    Ron Suskind
    Ernest Gaines
    Bill McBride

    Please direct my suggestions to the proper person. Many thanks.

  6. Rebecca Deming Rumpf Says:

    First, I’d like to comment about Craig’s request for the library to maintain records of everyone’s past rentals. This raises privacy concerns for me, because if the library keeps records of everyone’s rental history, eventually we’re going to see subpoenas demanding that the library release those records to be used against library patrons in the courts. We’ve already got the Federal government eavesdropping on private citizens, which I never thought I’d see in this country, so in my mind the privacy of all citizens trumps the convenience of helping some patrons keep track of what they’ve already read. Craig, if you want a good digital resource for keeping track of what you’ve read, I suggest you sign up with http://www.goodreads.com. Not only can you keep track of what you’ve read there, you can maintain lists of books you’d like to read, read others’ reviews of books, and enter your own reviews as well. You can even choose to use the site to share what you’re reading with friends and others online, like a virtual discussion group. Best of all, Goodreads is an optional utility and users actively choose to participate and choose which books they want recorded there.

    But I came to this blog to make a different suggestion regarding the location of computers in the Children’s section of my local branch, the South Regional library on Rea Road. I am aware that children coming from homes without computers are at a significant disadvantage compared to computer-savvy peers, and I think it’s great that the library has computers for the kids to use. However, I would like to see those computers located in a more out-of-the-way area, perhaps a separate room or alcove, rather than smack in the center of the children’s section. My two sons are both strong readers, and they get more excited about a shopping trip at Barnes & Noble than they do about the toy store. But whenever I take them to the library, they are drawn like magnets to the computers and I have to tear them away to get them to look at the books. I can imagine that this is an even bigger problem for parents whose children are not as excited about reading to begin with as mine are. You turn off the TV and computer games at home and say “let’s go to the library to read a book,” and then as soon as you walk into the library you see all these computers with kids playing games on them right in the middle of the room, as though the computer games are what the library is really all about, and the books are just an afterthought. The Imaginon library downtown is just as bad; when we go there to see the children’s theatre productions and we have a little time before the show starts, it would be nice to sit down with the kids and read a book, but those stupid computer games RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIBRARY ruin everything. Why not just install giant plasma TVs on the walls of the library and show Cartoon Network all day long? Unless — oh yeah — our goal is to encourage a love of READING!

    Thanks for soliciting community feedback and for listening to our concerns.

  7. Rebecca Deming Rumpf Says:

    …OOPS!!! It was Matthew who wants the library to keep track of what we check out, Craig only suggested keeping the librarians warm. I, too, am in favor of warm librarians. So sorry for the mixup, Craig! 🙂

  8. Craig Says:

    Thanks, went there today and they were still cold. At least it don’t affect how nice they treat me.

  9. Sarah Poole Says:

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Janet, I have forwarded your Novello author suggestions to the event planning team. Thank you so much for taking the time to list these great authors. (On a personal note, I too am currently reading Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation and think she would be a very interesting author to see at Novello.)

    Rebecca, I appreciate your thoughtful post about privacy issues. For anyone who is interested in reading more about libraries and privacy issues, particularly the USA PATRIOT Act, the American Library Association has a dedicated page for this topic on their web site.

    We also appreciate your feedback about the location of children’s computers. Thank you for taking the time to post.

    ~Sarah

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