The Role of Your Public Library

Jan 27, 2017
Written by cmcguire
Here at the library, we review our organization’s resolutions-our strategic plan-every year to make sure we are on the right track. Every two years, we evaluate whether we should continue along the course we have set or pick a new one that better serves the community. Our current strategic plan expires at the end of 2017.  We are now seeking input on what roles our library should play in 2018 and 2019. 

Our mission “to improve the quality of life in our community by providing the means to read, explore and connect” is not changing. But with input we received two years ago from residents, we learned that our primary role should be to stimulate imagination. People want a popular library with materials that enhance leisure time. They want items when and where they want them, with help to make choices from among many options. To fulfill this need, we continuously expand our book, DVD and cd collections. We also offer a wide variety of free digital content to download. Our staff members have diverse backgrounds and interests, enabling them to recommend a wide variety of materials.
Area residents also helped us determine that our secondary role should be to connect to the online world. We provide high-speed digital access with no unnecessary restrictions or fees, ensuring that everyone can take advantage of the Internet. As I have mentioned previously, during the past year we upgraded our Wi-Fi network, added 12 laptops that can be checked out within the library, upgraded our patron computers and the projection equipment in our meeting rooms. We also added MiFi devices people can check out for a temporary Internet connection at home.
We will certainly continue to provide these things, but is there something else that we should focus on for the next two years? The following are examples of some general goals to consider:
  • Create young readers
  • Provide quick answers to a wide variety of questions
  • Help improve literacy skills
  • Help adults and teens identify and pursue jobs and careers
  • Provide information about health, wealth and other life issues
  • Help users explore topics of personal interest
  • Provide popular reading, listening and viewing materials
  • Help elementary and secondary students succeed in the classroom
  • Serve as a place for people to meet, interact and learn
  • Help businesses and non-profits develop
  • Promote understanding of various heritages in our community
  • Provide information about services of local government and organizations
The library is here to serve your needs. Please let us know what is important to you, your family, business or organization. Watch for our online survey. We will use your input to shape our role in this community.