To the editor: Community responds to Whiting Library visioning efforts

On Sept. 7 and Oct. 5, 2021, residents of Chester and Andover gathered at the Chester Town Hall to talk about shared aspirations for the community and to envision the future of Whiting Library. Professional library consultant, Amy Howlett, facilitated these conversations with the assistance of Library Director Deirdre Doran.

The goal of the meetings was to discuss and choose key library service roles that will be incorporated into a new strategic plan for the library.

The participants highlighted three important areas for the library to focus on: creating a comfortable place, inspiring young readers, and celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion. The programs and services Whiting Library offers in the future will be designed to meet these community needs. “The library’s mission is to serve the learning and leisure needs of people of all ages in a welcoming environment,” said Doran. “We wanted these meetings to allow the community members to have a conversation about how the library can meet that mission.”

Everyone on the library staff and Board of Trustees is grateful to the participants who gave their input during this community engagement process. Thank you to everyone who responded to the library survey over the summer or participated in the community conversation series this fall. These two community outreach efforts were made possible by a grant called Libraries Transforming Communities awarded to Whiting Library by the American Library Association in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

If you still have suggestions or comments that you would like to be heard, please do send that to the library at We will be busy crafting and editing the new strategic plan for the remainder of the year. We will proudly share the strategic plan with the community once it is completed and approved. Stay tuned!

Deirdre Doran
Whiting Library

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