» Library survey: A chance to say something


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Library survey: A chance to say something

Written July 22nd, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The main library’s suggestion board on Monday.

All those notes pasted on a board at the Albany Public Library tell you what the writers think will make Albany “better.” What’s that about, I wondered.

The answer came from Amanda Bressler, the assistant library director. It’s an informal sampling of opinions the library is gathering this summer as the staff works on a new strategic plan. In answer to questions, people are invited to leave notes on boards set up at the main library, the Carnegie branch downtown, and at City Hall. They can leave answers on the library’s website as well.

The questions are about Albany in general, not the public library. The first one, a couple of weeks ago, asked what people valued about the town. The current question on Monday was about one thing that would make Albany better. Later on, the questions will be: What do you worry about? What would you like to achieve, and “what or where is the heart of Albany?”

Sounds like a therapist talking, doesn’t it?

Let the library’s Amanda Bressler explain: “Through this survey, we are looking at the broader concerns and desires of the community in order to figure out how our services fit into the big picture in Albany. We know that if we ask library users what they want, the answer will most likely be ‘More of what you are already doing!’ or ‘We love you! Don’t change a thing!’ By asking these questions of both library users and those in the community who might not use the library, we can better serve the entire community and increase the impact of what we offer.”

The survey will continue through Sept. 3. Whether the ideas expressed on the notes find any reflection in the library’s planning, I don’t know. But the people who left the notes — children as well as adults — have reason to feel pleased that somebody gave them a chance to say what they thought. (hh)

Just a few of the wishes expressed on the main library’s question board on Monday.


At City Hall, the library’s community survey also got a few answers last week.

4 responses to “Library survey: A chance to say something”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    The gang opposed to the library are a small, radical group. MS Bressier and the Librarians are wise to do this thoughtful outreach effort. The Library’s enemies are determined to hijack the process the Library is currently engaged in. By larding-up any on-line questionnaire with vitriol, the book-burners hope to Make America Even Dumber Again. One hopes the City-County complex has their facial recognition software functioning and they’re keeping an eye on the First Amendment. Send the Memocide Wannabe-types a message: The Library is good for the people.

  2. Rhea Graham says:

    Hasso, did you see mine? Look for the turquoise paper, it is stuck to it. Mine is the yellow one that says: “ACK&R Canna-it-ALL Healing Center”. <3 Praying for a funding source and location by 2.22.20 with a Grand Opening Date of 2/22/2022.

    You may remember that we opened Albany's Canna Kitchen & Research on 11/11/11, so it just seems appropriate to have an equally cool date for the Healing Center. Eleven and 22 are Master Numbers.

    If you're going to dream, dream big!

  3. centrist says:

    Closed questions invite the opinion of the inquisitor
    Fuzzy questions make for a complicated analysis, the inconvenient mess producing amazing answers.

  4. Sherry says:

    One thing Albany needs is a better bus system.


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