Read On! Strategic Plan Update

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash


Back in October, I mentioned in this column that the library is working on our strategic plan. Back then, I said the goal was to have the plan written by the end of November and to begin implementation at the first of the year. The year we just started. Oh, what a young, naive thing I was three months ago!

I made several mistakes in that assertion: 1) I grossly underestimated how much time strategic planning takes; 2) I did not anticipate getting lost in the weeds of the data for a few weeks; and 3) I did not take into account the amount of time spent in the paralysis that comes with the realization of just how big a project we are undertaking.

When it is finally completed, our strategic plan will have four main components: A mission statement that clearly, if broadly, states what we want to do as a library, a set of values that explains the things the library really cares about when carrying out its day-to-day operations, a set of strategic priorities that reflects the community’s interest in what aspects of library service we should concentrate most on, and goals within those strategic priorities that we wish to accomplish in the next three years. It’s a daunting task to write this document.

Figuring out our goals is where I got lost in the data. From demographic data to comparing where we are against libraries serving a similarly sized populations and taking into account where the State wants us to be, I have looked at a whole lot of numbers and charts. Of course, that’s also where I got paralyzed by the enormity of the project.

The library’s staff and the library’s board are filled with so many smart, wonderful people who make the library better every day. Together, things are progressing much more smoothly. I won’t predict when, but look for our strategic plan soon!