The Upper Arlington Public Library will host a series of focus group discussions this month in which officials hope to garner public input to develop future programming and help shape a three-year strategic plan.

The Upper Arlington Public Library will host a series of focus group discussions this month in which officials hope to garner public input to develop future programming and help shape a three-year strategic plan.

Library officials are hopeful the public they serve will take an active role in the process. The first focus group will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in the Main Library's Meeting Room B.

A full list of focus group meetings, which are open to the community, is available at ualibrary.org/calendar-field-event-date/month. It's likely to be updated with additional meetings, library Director Chris Taylor said, but currently the dates include:

* Sept. 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Main Library.

* Sept. 24, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the UAPL's Lane Road Library.

* Sept. 26, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Main Library.

* Sept. 29, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Main Library.

"Libraries, especially community libraries -- we're valuable to communities if we offer the kinds of services communities want," Taylor said. "We're working with a consultant from the State Library of Ohio and there's a set of questions she'll be asking about people's use of the library, or non-use of the library."

Overall, Taylor said, library officials hope to gain information about the community's expectations regarding programs, materials, technology and facilities.

Taylor said the Upper Arlington Public Library doesn't have a large budget with which to do significant construction or renovation projects, but officials are interested in finding out if there are ways to improve local branches to make them better gathering places, or if there are specific amenities sought by the public.

"We're also going to follow up with a survey later," she said. "If someone is unable to participate in a focus group sometime, there will also be an opportunity to participate in the survey.

"The ultimate goal is to have our strategic plan in place in the beginning of next year."