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The Community's Kitchen

By Laurel Best

When does 1 million plus 12 equal 2.4 million?  When you’re talking about your Huntsville Madison County Public Library System.  Over a million people visited our twelve locations in 2014 and they checked out 2.4 million items!  So, when people ask me if libraries are still relevant in this age of Google and e-books  I can tell you we’re busier than ever. 

And to make sure we remain relevant we’re always looking towards the future and preparing as the role of libraries changes.  We want to move from being the Community’s living room to being the kitchen – kitchens are active social places where you mix a rich set of ingredients (information, resources, talents) into an exciting new concoction that can be shared.  Instead of just consuming content we’ll all be involved in it’s creation.

Our Core Mission, to create a nation of informed and active citizens will never change.  The job of the library is to fulfill the needs of the community members, not simply to house materials. And that’s why each of our twelve locations is so distinctly different.  We don’t want cookie cutter libraries in Huntsville and Madison County.  As part of our strategic planning process we’re looking at exactly who lives in our service area based on census information.  That will give us a good start but even better would be to hear from you directly.

We need your help to build the best library for South Huntsville.  That means your financial support but it also means your open communication about your needs, your challenges and your dreams.  We will be holding community meetings in 2015 and we need to hear from you.

Bad libraries build collections – good libraries build services of which the collection is one – great libraries build communities! And you should expect a great library!