Red Hook (NY) PL Supports Community-Based Placemaking

Here's one I missed for the Placemakers chapter. In Red Hook, NY, the library conducted a Libraries Transforming Communities engagement process. The timing of the one stoplight in town was a known issue and irritant but the engagement process identified it a top priority for the community. That it had been in need of fixing for years had further contributed to poor attitudes about the civic process there.

“To have someone ask them what they thought and listen to what they had to say— that was very powerful.The stoplight was a pretty popular response to these questions,” Kovalchik said. “People wanted safe, walkable space and also a vibrant, economically viable village.”

The library was able to lend its expertise to help the community and local officials coordinate calls and letter writing to state agencies to get the stoplight fixed. That's the library using its particular skills and status to strengthen community-based placemaking, to improve access to shaping the physical facts of the town.

This article was updated on May 1, 2021