Rockport Library to share Listening Tour results

Jan 12, 2014

Rockport — The Rockport Library Committee invites all residents and library patrons to hear the results of the recent Listening Tour at a community-wide meeting at the Rockport Opera House Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

“We had terrific participation at the five neighborhood meetings,” said Library Committee Chair Kathleen Meil, “and we’re really excited to share the ideas that emerged from those conversations.”

The Listening Tour provided an opportunity for residents to voice what they most like and dislike about the current library and to brainstorm what Rockport will want and need from its library in the future. Full transcripts of the sessions are available on the library’s website, rockport.lib.me.us.

“The raw data is very interesting,” said facilitator Jane Haskell, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Professor of Community Development who led the meetings. “It becomes even more useful, though, when it’s analyzed and distilled into usable information about what Rockport wants and needs from the library.”

Haskell invited other community facilitators to join her in reviewing session transcripts and identifying recurring themes, and she’ll share those commonly identified and agreed upon needs at the Jan. 21 meeting.

“It’s fascinating to see how some sentiments from citizens wove throughout all questions and all sessions," she said.

Community members will have the opportunity participate in this analysis and brainstorm possible next steps on Tuesday. The Library Committee anticipates forming a Steering Committee to prioritize and guide those next steps.

“All of the heavy lifting — consideration of the library’s location, size, and design — will come in those next steps,” said Meil. “It will involve working groups, committees and subcommittees, library experts, and — I hope — people from every part of Rockport. After all, whether you visit the Library every week or have never set foot inside, this is your town library. The exciting part of this process is that we get to work together to make it the best it can be.”

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