Upper Arlington Public Library officials hope to get ideas for enhancing or expanding services through a survey and meeting designed to gather public feedback.

The library has attempted to keep up with circulation trends and expectations from patrons by developing a "strategic plan" about every four or five years. Its latest community survey was released April 5 at bit.ly/UAPLibrary, as well as through social media and email lists to patrons who have signed up to receive regular library updates. The online survey will remain open through Monday, April 15.

The last survey, done in 2015, helped library board members and staff shape services and programming for 2016-18.

The latest survey comes on the heels of focus-group discussions that Columbus-based strategic planning consultant firm Benefactor Group has had with various segments of the community.

"All of these are just asking the public what they think," library director Chris Taylor said. "I think our past survey gave a lot of examples of things we could do and asked people to weigh in on various things.

"This time, it's a little more open-ended. Instead of trying to put ideas out there in advance, we want it to be more open to hear anything people want to express," she said. "It is more about services that the library would provide."

Taylor said the ultimate goal is "to find out what they think the library should be doing for the community."

Following some general questions about the Upper Arlington community, the survey asks what people believe the library's priorities should be for the next few years and what "nontraditional services" the library should offer.

It also seeks information on how often people use the UAPL's various branches and which they most often use.

"I hope lots and lots of people take the survey because we really want to hear the broadest sets of ideas," Taylor said. "My dream is there is something new and exciting and different that would be appropriate for our library that we would be the first ones to do.

"If we could do something really innovative -- but doing it because it meets the needs of our community instead of because everybody else is doing that."

The community survey will be followed by a 10 a.m. "world-cafe-style" event at Tremont Elementary School on May 11, where members of the public will have another opportunity to provide feedback about desired library services and programs.

"After that, the consultants will look through everything, identify themes and present those results to the library steering committee and then to the board," Taylor said.

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