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Citizens and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library officials met at the Mint Hill branch library for a community forum Thursday, February 7, to discuss the future of the library.

The meeting was the last in a series of community forums at various library branches, all with the same goal of gathering community input on the library’s three-year strategic plan.

Topics discussed ranged from uses of meeting rooms, available materials, and operating hours, among many other topics.

Members of the community split into two focus groups to discuss which areas the library should work on in their 2013-2016 strategic plan.

Mike Wozniak, lead librarian at the Beatties Ford branch library and David Sniffin, manager of the second floor at the main branch led each focus group, while Seth Ervin, children’s manager at Imaginon, took notes for the meeting.

The focus groups started by addressing questions and issues that were determined by an online survey prior to the meeting, and answering with what they as community library users would like to see change about those topics.

Discussion centered around the “high priority goals” of the library’s strategic plan: access, technology resources, services, and training, library as place, educational services, marketing and communications, and staff investment.

The focus groups advocated for community engagement programs and classes, including potential classes for e-readers and technology, resources for younger students and adult learners alike.

The new hours of operation were also discussed, with the focus groups saying they would like to see alternating schedules for library branches that are in the same area to be open while the other is closed, so that access to a library is always available.

Discussion was also guided by a set of questions designed specifically for the forum, including which programs are important to the community, whether the library is more or less relevant today than in 2000, and the primary opportunities for improvement.

Input from all the community forums will be considered and integrated into the final draft of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2013-2016 strategic plan.