A look into the future

Library hosts a working session

by Jonathan Heppner
June 09, 2011 01:55 PM | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lisa Pollard speaks at the Library’s Wolrd Café.
Photo by Dion Ogust.
Lisa Pollard speaks at the Library’s Wolrd Café. Photo by Dion Ogust.
“What is your vision of Woodstock in 5 years if everything goes as well as possible?”

That’s the question that was asked to a crowd of more than 60 local citizens who gathered at the Community Center on Saturday, June 4 at the behest of the Woodstock Library.

Those in attendance that included local politicians at the town and county level, potential town board candidates, business owners, representatives from the police and fire department, residents both young and old, disabled and many others.

The Library was seeking both the betterment of itself as well the town and plans on using the information gathered from the event to help create a new 5-year plan, as explained library Board Of Trustees President Margo McLoone.

“Libraries are set up to serve all people, beyond people who use them,” said Merribeth Advocate, Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Mid Hudson Library System, who assisted the library in planning and running the event.

The event was formatted into a World Café, which is a type of gathering aimed at creating creative and varied discussion on a specific topic.

Those in attendance met in small groups of four or five to discuss the given question for 25 minutes, then rotated and discussed the question with a new group of individuals, thus providing different perspectives. At the end of the small group discussions, the floor was open for people to share their views and/or other ideas they found interesting from meeting with others.

After two hours, a handful of those in attendance presented their own views as well as others that were discussed among their groups

Some of the more common comments and topics concerned:

The future of the town’s youth — specifically, more community involvement by the town’s youth; mentorship for the youth; and the creation of more jobs for younger people within the community.

The opinion that the town functions better as, and should remain, a small town.

Better and more advanced communication of information regarding events within the town.

Have Woodstock become a leader and example among other towns in sustainable living, such as a better utilization of sustainable agriculture.

Better and more available public transportation within the town.

Advancements in technology within the town, with one example being the creation of a public Wi-Fi network.

As of now the library does not have any more events like Saturday’s World Café planned, however it does offer its weekly forum on Saturdays at 5p.m. on a variety of topics. A video of this past Saturday’s event will also be available on the library’s website,, in the near future.++

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