REED CITY — Nearing the completion of his first month on the job, Tom Burnosky is taking to heart what he hears from area residents.

Community members had the opportunity to meet Burnosky, the new director of the Reed City Area District Library, during an introductory open house on Thursday evening at the library.

"We hope to see what residents interests and needs are, from books to technology," he said. "We also want to see what type of special programs they would like to see us have at the library."

Thursday's open house was a perfect example, Burnosky said, as the library hosted a straw bale gardening class presented by Carlleen Rose.

"With our new space we hope to energize the learning experience for those who come here, so in the long term, we can provide programs like the one tonight," he said.

Burnosky, who has family roots in the area in the form of a Centennial Farm dating back to 1863, said he's applying what he's learned during a career in publishing to better serve patrons of the library. On Thursday, the library director had posters with several programs listed on each. Patrons were encouraged to place stickers next to programs that interested them.

"It's great to see them taking part," he said. "It's all for them and how we can better serve them."

Burnosky said one major role the library already plays in the community is its high-speed internet capabilities.

"There aren't too many nights you drive by the library and not see two or three cars in the parking lot," he said. "We'd like to see those people come inside, but if that's what they want to have, they can have it."

High-speed internet is one way the library will continue meeting the technological needs of patrons, Burnosky said. He added he hopes the library can provide resources to students and teachers in Reed City.

"As we have, we're going to continue the best way we can," he said. "I understand high-speed internet and technology are a lifeline for people."

Burnosky said local libraries have been under a very critical eye by the federal government and believes it will continue in the months and years ahead.

"That will probably trickle down to the state, and we get a lot of funding from the state," he said. "The main thing is hoping we remain relevant enough to people to encourage them to come to the library by hosting programs patrons are interested and fulfilling their technological needs."