Burbank library officials seek to adjust to users' changing needs

Burbank library officials seek to adjust to users' changing needs
Talks about modernizing the Burbank Central Library, which opened in 1963, have been going on for years, according to the city's library director. (Raul Roa / Burbank Leader)

Burbank's library system may soon get an overhaul, and its staff and members of the library's trustees think they have a plan to do it.

Elizabeth Goldman, the city's library director, spoke with City Council members during a study session on Tuesday about a strategic plan that was drafted after talking with about 700 residents and library users last year.

Goldman said that although the core mission of libraries is to provide a place for the public to gather information, the needs, expectations and role of the library has changed.

According to the library's community outreach survey, most people go to the library to check out books and DVDs. However, library users said in the survey that they would like to see more programs and services offered.

Additionally, Goldman said that people are interested in technology training and assistance, a quieter space and more types of seating for group or creative work.

After listening to library users and residents and reading the survey comments, Goldman's staff and the board of library trustees developed a vision to address the needs and concerns users have.

Some of the key points include developing the staff's ability to be adaptable and responsive to change, providing collections, programs and services that meet the community's needs, strengthening their connection with residents and modernizing the facilities.

One building that many people would like to see updated is the Central Library, which opened in 1963. Goldman said that talks about modernizing that facility have been going on for years, even as far back as 1989.

"This year, we'll be updating [that] set of options to match our new service model, demonstrating what level of service would be possible within either the existing building, the existing building with a small addition or in a new, potentially larger building on a different site," she said.


Anthony Clark Carpio, anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio