Snow Library Circulating Survey, Will Hold Forums on 'Aspirations'

By: Ed Maroney

Topics: Snow Library

w Library Director Tavi Prugno stood in the balcony of the Marion Craine Gallery, which will host public forums March 14 and 21 about the library's present and potential.


ORLEANS What do you like about Snow Library? What would make you like it more?

Two public forums about the “strengths and weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, and specific aspirations that community members might have for their library” will be held March 14 at 7 p.m. and March 21 at 2 p.m. They'll be hosted by consultant Mary Braney at the library.

But you don't have to wait to share your thoughts; you can pick up a survey questionnaire at the library or go to

The survey invites responses from residents of Orleans, other Cape towns, other communities in Massachusetts, and summer residents.

“With the survey and needs assessment, I think we want to hear from everyone,” said Library Director Tavi Prugno. “At this stage, it can only help us to hear these diverse views.” He said the staff enjoys hearing from visitors who compare and contrast their own libraries to Snow. “We want to get as broad an outlook as possible,” he said.

In fact, the survey assumes that patrons may use more than one library. Questions about in-person and online services have separate check-offs for Snow and other libraries. A quick scan of the list reveals a multitude of offerings.

Survey takers can rank desired improvements ranging from additional parking to “social gathering place (bistro table and chairs) and will be asked to rate services and atmosphere.

Prugno expects a call for more programming and meeting space. He's particularly interested in how many people want a quiet space to read.

“I'm certainly sympathetic to the fact that our reading room is not sectioned off from either the children's area or the circulation desk,” he said. “It hasn't been a serious concern, but it has been brought up.”

Braney, the library consultant who will lead the forums, bases them on the SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results) system.

“Frequently, they want more books,” she said of participants. “They want the library open more hours, more meeting space, a friendly gathering space for the town. They want to make the library better.”

Braney, who's been involved with library work since her teen years, chaired a library addition and renovation project in her hometown of Spencer. She's been a school librarian and worked in public and academic libraries and the Massachusetts state library.

Snow Library has a “perfect location” in the center of town, according to Braney, who noted its “hugely active adult program and children's program. As we tried to set up a schedule for the forums, we had to work around a very robust programming schedule.”