Contact: Josh Cohen, Exec. Director
Mid-Hudson Library System
New Report Details Trends Across the Valley
(Poughkeepsie, NY) – Citizens across the Hudson Valley are taking action, according to a new report titled, Across the Valley. Across the Valley outlines trends and implications identified from 34 focus groups and 37 phone interviews within the Mid-Hudson region. Focus groups were conducted by the Mid-Hudson Library System in the following service sectors: arts and culture, business, community services, economic development and planning, education, environment, healthcare, government, media, professional, and real estate. Phone interviews were conducted by the SUNY New Paltz School of Business’s Business Institute in five industry sectors: banking, education, healthcare, manufacturing, and utilities. Report findings are outlined in four areas: Our Changing Communities, Our Changing Region, The Way People Work, and The Way People Live.
According to Jesse Feiler, past president of the Mid-Hudson Library System who initiated the project, "Some of the results, such as demographic changes, are scarcely surprising: we know the population is aging. Other findings, however, such as the tremendous demands being placed on town governments in areas such as land use, pose challenges to libraries. As we proceed into the second phase of the project, we'll need to ask ourselves how we can best serve our populations in this changing world. For example, perhaps we'll need to re-think what we call 'reference.' When so many people have access to the Internet and its vast worldwide information resources, perhaps our local libraries will need to focus on local reference--everything from history to zoning to navigating the ever-increasing social services the changing population requires."
The Mid-Hudson Library System, an organization that supports public libraries in Columbia, Greene, Dutchess, Putnam, and Ulster counties, completed this study of changes and trends across the Mid-Hudson Valley. The report, Across the Valley, is part of the long-range planning project, 2022: The Shape of Library Services, which has been considering how the role of public libraries will change over the next 20 years. 2022 is supported by the Mid-Hudson Library System and Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Josh Cohen, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System, believes that the report “reflects the growing interdependency on all facets of our communities and highlights the potential role of the library as a place where community conversations can happen.”
Across the Valley represents Phase I of the 2022 project. Phase II will involve working with area library directors and trustees to develop strategies for improving library services in response to the changes identified within the report and will be completed this fall. The full report is available online at http://www.midhudson.org/admin/Across_Valley.pdf.