Calcasieu library system hosts first public input meeting

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

SULPHUR — The Calcasieu Parish Public Library hosted its first in a series of meetings Thursday at the Sulphur Regional Library.

The public meeting was held to discuss plans for improving services and to get input on which areas of the libraries in the

system needed attention, and what the system can do to improve each person’s visit to the libraries in the parish.

Gabriel Morley, library director, said the goal of the meetings is to establish a plan for 2014-2018 that will not only make

the library a better place for the people who use it, but also appeal to people who don’t use the libraries.

He said in 2012, 754,260 people visited libraries across the parish, with 233,921 using computers, 32,627 using Wi-Fi, 80,122

borrowing books and DVDs, and 121,842 attending programs.

Morley presented five goals the library

has for the upcoming four-year plan, which include creating a welcoming

place, stimulating

curiosity and imagination, fostering loyalty and user experience,

marketing the libraries to the public, and increasing its

online presence.

Morley said some of the goals that fall

under the five are adding wireless printing, allowing patrons to use

debit or credit

cards at the libraries, having the libraries use social media more

effectively, and advertising at non-traditional locations

where people who don’t typically use the library gather.

“We have to stop just asking the same

people over and over what they want to see in the library,” he said. “We

also need to

ask the people that aren’t using the library why they aren’t using

it and what they would like to see. We need to market to

all different types of people.”

Morley also discussed the possibility of building a digital branch and how technology is changing how the library functions

and fulfill’s its purposes.

“Our goal is to please everyone,” he said. “We’ve talked about building an entirely digital branch for people that want to

use the library’s services but can’t or don’t want to go to the library. We need to cater to everyone.”

Morley said the Calcasieu Parish Library will be taking input from the public until May 2 when it will present a rough draft

of its plan to the board.

Other scheduled meetings will be held:

• Feb. 15 — 3:30 p.m., Central Library, 301 W. Claude St.

• Feb. 18 — 10 a.m., Fontenot Memorial Library, 1402 Center St.; 7 p.m., Hayes Library, 7709 Perier St.

• Feb. 19 — 10 a.m., DeQuincy Library, 102 W. Harrison St.

• Feb. 20 — 10 a.m., Westlake Library, 937 Mulberry St.; 4:30 p.m. Carnegie Memorial Library, 411 Pujo St.

• Feb. 22 — 10:30 a.m., Iowa Library, 107 E. First St.

• Feb. 25 — 6 p.m., Epps Memorial Library, 1320 N. Simmons St.

• Feb. 26 — 6:30 p.m. Moss Bluff Library, 261 Parish Road

• Feb 27 — 11 a.m., Starks Library, 113 S. La. 109