Omaha Public Library to launch public survey

The survey, which launches next week, is focused on what the community wants.
The Omaha Public Library system is asking the public what it takes to hopefully get non-library users in the door.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 4:18 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Omaha Public Library wants to know what you want.

It is starting a new survey on February 15th, asking for public input on what changes people would like to see at local libraries.

Omaha’s Swanson Library has something for everyone whether it is computers, playgrounds, or books. It’s Hugo Cardona and his mom’s happy place.

“It’s not a don’t-touch place like a lot of stores or other places,” said Carrie Cardona, Hugo’s mother. “He can look and touch it at anything here and I think it’s great for his imagination and just the words.”

However, Rachel Steiner, Omaha Public Library’s assistant director, says many people have turned away from libraries, especially at the start of the pandemic. Steiner hopes to change that with the 2023 Library Facilities Plan and getting the community engaged.

“Libraries are for communities. They’re all about communities, and so to really do right by the community we need their input,” Steiner said.

OPL will launch the survey both online and at its branches around town. Steiner says it’s not just for people who use the library.

“With this survey in particular, we’re really trying to reach people who are non-library users or maybe past library users,” she said.

The goal is to make changes that are specific to the different personalities and needs of each branch. Steiner says to do that, library staff will meet people where they’re at.

“We might find booths at places they might go to community groups that are already meeting,” she said.

Steiner hopes the effort will lure people back to books and their local library. A timeline for implementing changes will be determined by what the public wants and how much the changes will cost.