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Introduction

The following plan was developed during 2018 with the involvement of Library staff, the Board of Trustees, a volunteer Citizens’ Planning Committee and input received via a community-wide survey. The staff and Board of Wadsworth Public Library wish to thank all who responded to the public survey during the spring of 2018 and to the members of the Citizens’ Planning Committee for their important contributions to the process.

Framework for Action

The Library’s strategic plan for 2019 through 2021 is organized as a broad framework of goals and objectives targeting areas of improvement and development of its service to the community. The document will be approved and revisited annually by the Library’s Board of Trustees. In addition to this framework, each year, the Director will submit a detailed, operational plan outlining department-level activities designed to meet the goals and objectives in this plan.

A Note About Ongoing Facilities and Space Utilization Study

Late in 2018 the Board of Trustees contracted with architectural firm Williams and Associates to conduct a full audit of the current condition of the building, grounds, supporting structures and systems as well as overall public utilization patterns and needs. At the time of writing this document in March of 2019, the Board of Trustees has referred the findings of that study to its Building and Equipment Committee for further consideration in order to establish a long term plan for facilities maintenance and potential renovations which help the Library to better meet the priorities identified in this document and beyond. Please stay tuned to this page for future updates including opportunities to provide further input on any potential changes to the layout or configuration of the building.

Overview of Goals

The following goals are summarized here and repeated further below with objectives and corresponding evaluation criteria by which staff will measure success in each area.

  1. Collections and Programs: Enhance our collections and programs, and balance how these assets are used both within the library walls and out in the community.
  2. Spaces and Technologies: Evaluate and evolve our spaces and technologies to best support the uses of our community.
  3. Community Relations and Public Awareness: Enrich and strengthen communications with our community to ensure broad knowledge of the Library’s offerings while continuously gathering feedback on how we can better serve our patrons.
  4. Organizational Development: Engage in the ongoing development of staff and organizational methods while maximizing the long-term impact of financial resources under our stewardship.

Collections and Programs

GOAL 1: Enhance our collections and programs, and balance how these assets are used both within the library walls and out in the community.

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Staff will gain a deeper understanding of patron needs, interests and community trends, and the collection development policy will be updated accordingly
  2. Selectors, programmers and public relations staff will collaborate regularly to review current service outlay, understand usage patterns and emerging trends, and act on  opportunities for improvement of collections, programs and services
  3. Physical collections will be systematically weeded, relabeled (as needed) and reclassified (as needed) to improve the patron browsing experience
  4. Daytime programming and complementary collections for older adult will be updated in Coordination with Soprema Senior Center and other relevant community partners
  5. Library service will be extended to patrons from all walks of life out in the community with pop-up lending libraries
  6. “Library without Walls” field trips will be explored and, if feasible, implemented with appropriately themed topics

EVALUATION:

i.  Aggregate circulation will increase by 2%

ii. Seniors surveyed 6 months after implementation will report satisfaction with our expanded offerings in partnership with Soprema Senior Center

iii. Frequency, duration, circulation and public contact during pop-up library appearances will be recorded and reviewed for impact against comparable desk operations on-site 3 months after implementation

Spaces and Technologies

GOAL 2: Evaluate and evolve our spaces and technologies to best support the uses of our community.

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Streamline web-based interfaces for a seamless user experience
  2. Explore the feasibility of upgrading or changing the Library’s computer backbone, catalog and online public access catalog by Q4/2019
  3. Adopt both short and long range objectives for facilities improvements in accordance with the findings of the analysis by Williams Architects which includes consideration of the following points:
  • the role of the Library in the larger ecosystem of the downtown and community at large
  • accessible, inviting, enjoyable, welcoming and eye-catching
  • explore options for optimizing service desk location and design
  • explore centralization of collections by target age
  • stand-alone spaces in adequate supply with optimal layout/location for multiple types and age-appropriate uses
  • revitalize the local history area for connectivity to a new generation of DIY genealogists
  • explore offering an area where patrons can consume food and beverages
  • explore adding an art space for shows, exhibits and workshops
  • Provide charging and blue-tooth-ready tools for learning and collaboration
  • Offer dynamic, interactive directories and improve all signage
  • Offer technology-enhanced, age-appropriate self-service learning experiences for all
  • Explore adding digital sampling stations

EVALUATION:

i.  Website usage levels will increase by 10% following implementation of a streamlined user experience, measure and compare statistics on an on-going basis

ii. Conduct staff and public feedback surveys to gauge the effect of ILS upgrade, 80% will rate the experience as “substantially improved”

iii.Conduct staff and public feedback surveys to gauge levels of satisfaction with building changes

Community Relations and Public Awareness

GOAL 3: Enrich and strengthen communications with our community to ensure broad knowledge of the Library’s offerings while continuously gathering feedback on how we can better serve our patrons.

OBJECTIVES:

  1. The Director will develop a marketing framework, with the input of key staff, outlining an approach to promotions combining traditional curation activities with responsive, real-time feedback and input gathered via social media and other electronic media
  2. Staff will deploy a multi-platform social media presence that energizes new interest in the Library while educating staff on the evolving interests and needs of the community
  3. Staff will deploy targeted direct mail and local access cable and radio public service announcements to key segments of the community
  4. Staff will deploy tailored print and multi-media marketing campaign to ensure that readers in our community are aware of new and novel reads in areas of potential interest

EVALUATION:

i.  A social media engagement dashboard will be developed to track engagement levels across various metrics and engagement will increase 20%

ii. Program surveys will be deployed periodically across age groups and program tracts to gauge satisfaction and other measures

Organizational Development

GOAL 4: Engage in the ongoing development of staff and organizational methods while maximizing the long-term impact of financial resources under our stewardship.

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Staff training methods currently in development within the CYOS department will be modified and adopted staff-wide to improve employee competence with key skills
  2. Explore the addition of a dedicated marketing and public relations role to the Library’s team
  3. The Director will oversee an auditing of the employee performance evaluation system in 2019
  4. The Director and Fiscal Officer will develop an updated capital forecast using the results of the Williams Architects study to ensure the continuance of long term, prudent financial stewardship
  5. The Director will conduct a review of all positions, duties, responsibilities, staffing levels and organizational structure with employee input and develop recommendations for changes to the Board or Trustees

EVALUATION:

i. Conduct staff surveys to determine efficacy of new staff training program on a semi-annual basis following implementation

ii. Conduct 6 month evaluation of public relations staff member and utilize changes in social engagement, responsivity to traditional media and other measures of the effectiveness of Library promotional efforts