Libraries' Focus Groups Draw Fewer Than Hoped

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Smith Daily Herald Staff Writer

A push to bring the future of Naperville Public Libraries into sharper focus left leaders feeling a tad fuzzy this week.

Officials had hoped to attract as many as 325 residents to a pair of focus groups Wednesday designed to help the libraries prepare for the next century.

Instead, a total of 33 people attended an afternoon session at the downtown Nichols Library and an evening session at the Naper Boulevard facility.

"We had hoped for a few more people, but the public also can be heard in responses to our survey," libraries program coordinator Susan Greenwood said Thursday.

The whole concept of the sessions was to collect input from both regular patrons and those who never use the libraries to formulate questions for a survey to be mailed in June to 8,000 residents.

That survey, conducted in conjunction with the consulting firm of Papandrea & Associates, will serve as the starting point for the libraries' "Blueprint for Growth" strategic plan that will plot a path through the year 2000 and beyond.

Among the key issues is whether to build a third library in rapidly growing south Naperville or try instead to serve those residents through increased technology. …