POMONA - Each person had five circle-shaped stickers in their hand and a long list of Pomona Public Library services and potential service to choose from.

After careful thought, each sticker went to a service the library now provides, once provided or could provide in in the future and which the participants value.

The exercise Tuesday was a way Pomona residents and others assisted in helping create a vision for the library in the next two to five years.

At the conclusion of the exercise a number of stickers had gone to literacy services - both digital and non-digital - to research resources such as the library's special collections, the use of books in electronic form and services for youth.

With local and state government resources diminishing setting priorities and determining what services the public values is critical, State Librarian Stacey Aldrich said after the second of three community discussions taking place Tuesday.

The public's opinion is needed in order "to be thoughtful and strategic," she said.

Aldrich along with two members of the State Library and the executive director of the Southern California Library Cooperative are leading three days of conversations designed to collect community opinions and suggestions. The information they collect will be compiled and provided to members of the Pomona City Council and the public.

A group of 10 people gathered at the library for Tuesday's late afternoon meeting.

Residents spoke about the library services they use most often.

Long-time resident Leslie Hedges said for many years the library has been a source of best sellers.

"I use it to borrow new fiction," he said.

Anne Henderson said the library is a community center, a place where residents can hold meetings, but also a place for families.

"It's a place where families can come and be and do things together," she said.

Others said it's not just a place to use a computer but place where patrons, particularly young people, can learn about places outside of the city they can visit in the future. It's a place where students can learn about the college options available to them. It's a place to learn how to improve ones health, other said.

Residents offer their opinions and ideas today and Thursday. The schedule of meetings is available at the city's home page, ci.pomona.ca.us, and scroll down to "Building the Future of the Pomona Public Library" for information.


Reach Monica via email or call her at 909-483-9336.