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The Evanston Public Library Board’s Strategic Planning Committee invites community members to participate in two upcoming focus groups. The focus groups will be held on Thursday, May 5 at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue, 2 -4: p.m. and at the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Avenue, 6-8 p.m.

Community members will have the opportunity to share ideas about current library services and enhancements and to imagine services that will help move the library forward in meeting the future needs of our community. Space is limited, so please RSVP to eplfocusgroups@epl.org or 847/448-8650 with name, address, phone number and location of choice by the end of business on Monday, May 2.

The community focus group is another part of a broader strategic planning process that includes seeking input from community leaders and library staff in focus groups and interview settings. In addition, community members can participate in a brief online survey to help chart the course for library services in the future. The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete. Paper copies of the survey are also available at the Levy Senior Center, Robert Crown Center, Fleetwood-Jourdain and Chandler Newberger Centers. The survey is available through April 29.

The Strategic Planning Committee is comprised of Library Trustees, staff and community representatives and is coordinated by Miriam Pollack of Miriam Pollack + Associates. This team will gather together all of the information drawn from the diverse voices of Evanston and develop a plan that will set out specific goals and action steps for enhancing and extending library services in the next three to five years.

“Information gleaned from this process will provide a framework for library staff to develop and deliver relevant and responsive services in an ever-changing environment,” said Susan Newman, committee chair and vice-president of the Board.

The Committee anticipates completing the project by late summer 2011. As work continues over the next several months, updates on progress will be shared with the community and available on the Evanston Public Library web site.