Monday March 14 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at Meinders Community Library
A community forum is a place to ask questions and get answers from different perspectives. When they are moderated like the one being held on March 14 at Meinders Community Library, they have a neutral host who will help keep the question and answer session respectful and on track. The moderator is from Southwest Regional Development Commission.
The forum was organized by the Meinders Community Library Board which is comprised of both school and city representatives, while advertising for the forum was sponsored by Pipestone Area Friends of the Library. Panelists include representatives from the major stakeholders in the library (school, city, library board), as well as those with knowledge about library services such as the Plum Creek Library System and the current library director.
For those unable to attend the forum, it will be recorded by and played on the Pipestone Public Access Channel 3.
A quick history on what is happening and why a public forum was planned.
In 1975, the school and city entered an agreement that combined the school and public libraries. The purpose was to streamline redundant services and provide a better and more robust library experience for all while minimizing costs to taxpayers. The agreement was renewed in 1991 and again in 1993. It was also revisited when the new middle school and high school was built in its current location. At that time, the school board and the city council determined it was in the best interest of the overall community to continue the agreement.
On December 20, 2021, Pipestone Area Schools terminated the 1993 Public Library Agreement.
This agreement is set to expire on December 31, 2022. To date, negotiations on a new agreement have not yet started, though both the city and school have appointed members to negotiate on behalf of each organization.
While some aspects of the lead up to this forum have been reported in the newspaper, the termination of the partnership between the city and school has created more questions than answers.
This unbiased, 90 minute Community Forum is an opportunity for individuals to get factual answers to a host of complex and important questions regarding the future of library services for both school and public patrons. The panel aims to give a well-rounded look at the reasons behind the termination of the agreement and the impact this might have on library services for the school and public alike, as well as what steps are being taken to ensure continued, robust library experiences for all.
How does a public forum work?
Prior to the forum on Monday, March 14, individuals can submit questions to the library through mail, email, or in person. Questions received by March 7 will be compiled and distributed to all panelists so they can prepare responses. Questions received after March 7 will be brought to the forum and asked as time permits.
As possible, questions and concerns will be taken live from the audience during the forum itself, with each individual having up to three minutes to talk. The neutral moderator will keep things on track.
Panel Members are as follows:
- Pipestone Area Schools: Kevin Enerson
- Pipestone Mayor: Myron Koets
- Plum Creek Library System Board of Governors: Evan Schiller
- Meinders Community Library Board: Justin Schroyer
- Meinders Community Library Director: Jody Wacker
Please use the form below to email your questions by March 7.