Community Library Committee Report

I. Executive Summary

In May of 2005, the Community Library Committee (CLC) was convened for the first time. The group of 25 or so, all residents of the Sag Harbor Library District, had been invited by the John Jermain Memorial Library Board of Trustees to help determine what next steps might be taken to address the pressing needs of the library building and collections. The Board of Trustees was both broad and hopeful in issuing their charge to the new committee, which was to evaluate the existing facility needs of the John Jermain Memorial Library in light of its community based service program; investigate all reasonable expansion possibilities and recommend to the Board of Trustees an appropriate plan of action.” The specific steps and processes were left to the CLC to determine for
itself.

In the year that followed that initial meeting, the CLC met at least monthly, often more frequently, to take on the wide variety of subjects involved in addressing this charge, ever mindful of a process that needed to be public, deliberative and thorough. To facilitate gathering data, several Working Groups were established to research specific issues. Information was then shared with the entire CLC for discussion, feedback, more questions and further refinement. Comments and questions from the public were a vital part of shaping each step of the process. At various points in the development of specific statements, straw polls or inventories gave a sense of the CLC’s position “in the moment.” We held questions open longer than some were comfortable, and we retraced steps more often than many wished.

The final Vision and Recommendations (IV) is reflective of the collaborative and inclusive year we have spent together. It clearly reflects the treasured place that the John Jermain Memorial Library has in the life of the Sag Harbor community, and presents a hopeful and concrete vision for the future, a two-building, two-site library that will be able to serve the needs of all. Yet this statement, and the supporting reports and data, are but one step on the road to the fruition of this dream. On the anniversary of our first meeting, we gathered to speak of the next phase, the implementation of our recommendation. This report lays the groundwork, in both resources and process, for the work yet to be done.

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