For my community profile, I researched the Floral Park Public Library. Here’s what I found:
1. Floral Park is extremely safe. It has been voted one of the safest places to live in all of New York State, with a less than 1% chance of property theft. The school system is good too. You can definitely get the sense that this is a privileged community.
2. By that logic, you’d imagine a pretty big, impressive library, right? Wrong! The Floral Park Public Library, while lovely on the outside in a beautiful brick building with a lawn in front, is actually pretty small. Furthermore, the teen space is just a tiny corner upstairs. It’s not a room at all.
3. Teens are given significantly less attention than children or adults at the library. They have fewer programs and less space. Since reading interest drops as kids grow older, this can only encourage that. More programs would definitely help bring teens into the library!
4. The library seems to be focused on assisting other demographics. An adult reading room at the library is currently under construction, a room that will specifically exclude teens. Why not use the space to give teens more room? Or how about just a “Reading Room”, as opposed to one designed for adults?
5. The fact that this is a privileged community has really made me think about the library’s role in Floral Park. I’ve often heard that libraries act as a shelter, especially in poorer communities. Floral Park citizens don’t really need a shelter, at least most of them don’t. The library is closer to taking on the very modern role of a community center.
That’s the summary of my community profile so far. Overall, the library caters to teens but doesn’t necessarily prioritize them. I think it’s important that libraries help people navigate the massive amount of information we find on the internet, and that libraries work to make people aware of the fact that a quick Google search can be filled with all sorts of incorrect information. That, perhaps, is what the Floral Park Public Library can focus on when considering its role in this privileged community.