The Putnam County Public Library Board held its first meeting of the year last week, during which it welcomed its new director Grier Carson.
Carson was the main focus of the meeting as he discussed his goals for the library and several changes that will be made along the way.
"I'd like to emphasize how excited I am to begin work on a new plan for the library's future, one that will focus on the transformation of both its function within the community and even its very identity," Carson said. "In the coming months, I hope to share this with the board, library staff and members of Putnam County an outline of this vision, including goals for each area of change within the library and some specific examples of new approaches to the library service that will ultimately contribute to PCPL's grant transformation from a strong local resource to a unique and utterly indispensable community asset."
Carson went on to add that as technology keeps changing, the library needs to follow suit as the vast majority of information and media consumption are now met through highly individualized internet-based experiences and communication.
"PCPL is primed to take this challenge head on in order to serve the Putnam County community at large in a meaningful way," Carson said. "A great transformation needs to occur by which the library's purpose and identity must evolve."
The library will need to provide unique experiences for all patrons both in house and online, provide access to exclusive and highly useful resources and technologies, engage the public with relevant and exciting services, programs and collections, and support and encourage media literacy in all of its evolving forms and to facilitate technologically self-reliance on the part of all patrons.
'In short, to bring the real world into the library," Carson added.
It was also noted by the new director that the library's identity must also undergo a transformation, to make PCPL the community hotspot, hangout and common space; to remain free, open, accessible and unbiased; unique like no other library around; and instructional and essential to the public.
"In the coming weeks, I will begin to propose a series of renovations, updates and modifications to PCPL's facilities and operations that will outline specific improvements needed to meet this challenge as well as a rough timeline for each stage of the project," Carson explained. "I look forward to a productive and enthusiastic discussion and eventual collaboration with members of the library, staff, board and Putnam County community at large."
Carson also informed the board during his first director's report that he has already hit the ground running as he has held multiple meetings with department managers and staff to explain his vision and prepare everyone for change.
"We're off to a good start," Carson said. "We need to bring the real world into this library."
The library will be holding a Director Reception on Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. to introduce the community to its new director. All are welcome to attend.
Along with many of Carson's proposed changes, he gave board members the go-ahead to move forward with the children's room renovation.
Board President Nancy Zennie will begin working on a timeline for the project, which will be presented during the March meeting.
In other business:
* The HVAC system will hopefully be installed next week, but is dependent on weather conditions.
* Jim Ensley presented the board with a $100 mini grant from the Putnam County Community Foundation for Imagination Library.