By Anne M. Debraggio,
Kirkland Town Library
From the American Library Association, the Kirkland Town Library received a Libraries Transforming Communities Grant to conduct community conversations.
Funding from the grant provided training for staff on conducting sessions; equipment to hold the meetings off-site; supplies for the meetings and promotion and publicity of the events.
Held thru mid-September, these conversations brought residents together to talk about what type of community they want, why that’s important and what would need to happen to create that kind of change. Hosted by library supporters, the conversations were held on front lawns in various locations around town.
Among the characteristics of the “ideal” community mentioned in the conversations included walkability; safety, especially for children and teens; connections between residents; multiple ways to receive information on news and events; forward looking while recognizing its roots; diverse, inclusive and sustainable.
Suggestions for possible changes included greater use of and developing more green spaces; investing in public transportation; expanding ways to get information to all residents and work to attract...