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Input sought for Athenaeum’s strategic plan

Daniel Paquette, director of the Westfield Athenaeum

WESTFIELD-The Westfield Athenaeum has had its roots downtown for close to 200 years, and city residents have an opportunity to share their thoughts and creative ideas about the institution by taking the Westfield Athenaeum Planning Survey before June 29.

“We wanted to be able to tap into everything that was happening downtown over the weekend and have it run through the beginning of our Summer Reading Program,” said Daniel Paquette, Athenaeum director. “We thought that this would give us a good opportunity to reach people that don’t use the library or only use it occasionally.”

Paquette noted the survey results will assist the planning committee in developing a new strategic plan that will guide its priorities, services, and programs for the next five years.

“It is important to the Athenaeum to be responsive and adapting to the changing needs and interests of the community,” said Paquette. “So, every five or so years we reassess the services that we are providing as well as look at what opportunities have presented themselves that we can incorporate into our plan.”

The survey, which takes five to 10 minutes to complete, can be done online through the Westfield Athenaeum Facebook link, at its website,, or by picking up a paper copy at the Athenaeum.

Paquette noted the survey also coincides with the Athenaeum’s Rise to Knowledge campaign.

“The survey will play a big role in how we continue to improve the Westfield Athenaeum,” said Paquette. “The results will play a large role in the changes that we are continuing to make to the physical building. We will use the comments and needs to determine what improvements should get priority.”

After June 29, the planning committee will review all of the survey responses and turn the results into a five-year plan that will be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. Committee members will include Athenaeum staff, board members, members of the Friends of the Athenaeum group, and community members.

Paquette noted that the survey results and planning document will be shared with the public. 

“For just a few minutes of your time, you can have a direct impact on the future of the Athenaeum,” said Paquette. “We want to have a wide variety of opinions from the community so that we can ensure we are providing services and opportunities to meet the needs.”

While the survey is anonymous, area residents may opt to enter an email address for a chance to win one of four raffle prizes – each valued at $25.

“We might not be able to provide everything that everyone wants, but this process will help us ensure that we are doing as much as we can for the most possible,” said Paquette.

For persons having questions about the survey, Paquette can be reached at (413) 568-7833 or via email to [email protected]

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