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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Library survey will help determine wants, needs

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  • As part of a long-range planning process, the Pratt Public Library board of directors is asking for the community's input. A survey done in 2009, when Rochelle Westerhaus assumed the director's position, resulted in some significant changes.
    A new survey will help the board plan programming and allocate resources to serve the needs of its patrons.
    In 2009, survey-takers said they wanted upgraded Internet availability. As a result, new, more powerful computers were purchased and Wifi capability was added for patrons bringing in laptops.
    A lot of people use the service, Westerhaus commented. The current survey asks how they use the public access computers.
    More comfortable seating was requested, and that is an on-going process. Some chairs in storage in the library basement were recovered, and a recent gift will allow for the purchase of new chairs.
    How people use the library has changed, Westerhaus said. She doesn't see a lot of students coming in and spreading their research materials out on a table. Instead, people come to browse magazines and newspapers, and want a comfortable chair to sit in.
    Several changes have been or are being made based on nearly 600 responses to the 2009 survey.
    The current survey is available at www.prattpubliclibrary.org. Paper copies are being distributed at school open houses next week and at the Pratt High School Fall Sports Expo on Aug. 30. It is also printed on page 6 of today's Tribune. A more detailed survey is available at the library.
    Some new programs will be available in September. Downloadable audio books and e-books will be available, and can be accessed from the library website. A popular adult craft program will return once a month, with the first session set for Sept. 10.
    Tween Tuesday at Your Library begins Sept. 3. Fifth through eighth graders are invited every Tuesday from 3:45 to 5:45. The first session is a movie, "How to Eat Fried Worms." Other days will include crafts or special programs.
    On the first and third Thursday, kindergarten through fourth graders are invited from 4 to 4:45 for story time and crafts.
    The library is also hosting information sessions on the Affordable Care Act. About 20 people attended an overview on Aug. 22. The next session, on Sept. 16, covers access to the new Health Insurance Marketplace.
    On Sept. 26, a website demonstration will be held. All are invited; attendance at the first session is not a pre-requisite.
    Find the survey online, in Saturday's print edition or at the Pratt Public Library.

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