El Cerrito Library’s Town Hall Notes

El Cerrito Library’s Town Hall on September 11 had a great turnout with 60 residents participating! The thoughts the participants shared with the city and Contra Costa County Library will be part of the CCCL’s new strategic plan for library services in the next three years. Thanks to everyone who showed up!

See complete notes from the Town Hall Meeting (PDF). In summary, three questions were asked and the top responses are listed below (the complete notes contain all responses provided by the participants). Note: there were six group discussions and each top response represented a common feedback from each group.

Exercise #1: Your library wants to be responsive to issues and concerns in our community. What do you think is the biggest community priority that the library should take an active role in addressing/supporting?

Top Responses:

  • Community engagement, e.g., schools, news, shared interest
  • Literacy and education
  • Promotion of personal development for all community members with emphasis on literacy and civic engagement
  • Fostering all types of literacy and learning, at all levels, usable by all
  • Larger library that supports a diverse community through its space and information resources
  • Highly accessible center for community interaction

Exercise #2: What one thing could the library do better?

Top Responses:

  • More hours/days/staff
  • More open hours
  • More staff support to encourage 21st century technology, longer hours, and continuity of service
  • Library could increase its hours, technology, and resources with space
  • The library should be a beautiful, exciting, accessible community center
  • Open hours

Exercise #3: What is the single most important contribution the library makes to our community today?

Top Responses:

  • A meeting place and access to books, DVDs, CDs and information in physical library and online FREE TO USER.
  • Free access to all types of information
  • Access to the wider world in a safe, comfortable space
  • Free access to information/ a variety of materials with specialized content
  • Free access to useful information through books and computers
  • Freedom of access to materials and programs for all ages

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