Monday, September 21, 2009

About That Poll...

Initially I was discouraged by the results of the poll in last week’s Mukwonago Chief, but a few things reassured me. First, it was only 125 votes, hardly representative of the Mukwonago community. Second, online polls are notoriously imprecise and, as noted in The Chief, unscientific. But here’s the most interesting fact about it—it is still open. Go to and you can still vote. As I write this entry, the vote had changed considerably—55% in favor and 45% opposed, with 215 total votes. So, a huge thank you to everyone that voted in favor of expansion.

We have a tremendous library, but it is too small and too old to best serve the community. We need study rooms for all our students, traditional and returning; we need another, a larger meeting room to meet the needs of our growing, inter-connected community; we really need a bigger, separate children's area so that kids can be kids (with apologies to Chuck E. Cheese) and have some fun while they read and learn at the library; and we need more shelves to hold our collection, so that we don't have to pull a book off the shelves every time we add a new one.

A Slightly Different Poll
The library surveyed 265 of our patrons two weeks ago, and 83% of them shop or run other errands as part of going to the library. This number is even higher for out of village patrons, with nearly 95% doing other things in the village when they visit the library-- shopping at the grocery store, visiting the pharmacy, eating lunch at one of the many restaurants and fast food joints in town, going to Ace Hardware or Home Depot, etc., etc. Which reassures me that the library is a strong component not only of the social and cultural life of Mukwonago, but also of its economic well-being.

If the library doesn't expand and the inevitable age and space constraints begin to take their toll on our ability to serve this community, we could easily start to lose our patrons to other libraries. And if they go to another library to meet their information, reading, viewing and other library needs, they'll go to some other community's grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, restaurants, bike shops, hardware stores... well, you get the idea.

No comments: