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Strategic Plan 2021-2026: Strategic Priorities

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

at a glance

 

Libraries are welcoming, accessible and inclusive for all

While is it is easy to say "libraries are for all," it can be hard to make that a reality. We are committed to doing the work to make our libraries truly a place for everyone.

 

Libraries encourage and engage readers of all ages, stages and interests

Reading is both an essential life skill and a source of lifelong comfort and joy. Regardless of reading ability, interest, or taste, we are committed to serving readers.

 

Libraries are essential partners in community well-being and civic life

Libraries change lives. We believe that we can play an even greater, more vital role in supporting the mind, body, and soul of the county and its residents.

 

Library staff are empowered, engaged and connected

Our staff are our most valued and valuable resource. In order to deliver on our mission and achieve our vision, we must invest in supporting and developing our team.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES AND ACTION STEPS

Welcoming, Accessible, Inclusive  • Encourage and Engage Readers  •  Essential Partners  •  Empower Staff
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Libraries are Welcoming, Accessible and Inclusive for All
 

FACILITIES/SPACES

• With local/county governments, complete ADA audits and implement recommendations
• Create clear, consistent exterior signage at all locations to promote visibility and branding
• Create clear, consistent interior signage at all locations to promote wayfinding and branding
• Invest in fixtures and furnishings to support library as a “third place” where users can gather for informal social interaction and conversation
• Invest in fixtures and furnishings to support library as a place for both individual work and collaborative co-work
• Assess and improve strength of WiFi and availability of power outlets at all locations
• Assess and improve meeting & study rooms, with a focus on accessibility and functionality

SERVICES/PROGRAMS

• Assess pandemic-era services, including curbside pickup and virtual programming, and continue services that increase access and equity
• Create a system-wide welcome program for new library card sign ups that may include free books and/or branded promotional items
• Create a system-wide “welcome back” program to encourage residents to re-engage with the library, in conjunction with launch of new brand identity

POLICIES/PROCEDURES

• Continue to pursue a more unified, sustainable approach to county-wide library service, staff, funding, and facilities
• Engage key stakeholders and consider cost/benefit of adopting a fine-free model
• Conduct a system-wide policy review in order to decrease barriers, increase access, and promote consistency, including conduct, food/drink, Internet, and borrowing
• Assess operational hours, with attention to need for evening and weekend hours

PEOPLE/PRESENCE

• Actively recruit and retain diverse staff
• Refresh logo and brand identity to align with mission, vision, and values. Establish and enforce clear, consistent brand standards to promote system-wide identity
• Develop a system-wide marketing work group to implement brand standards, marketing campaigns, and cohesive social media strategy
• Assess website usability, make associated improvements and align with brand standards
• Identify community festivals and events to participate in and leverage mobile library and staff for community engagement

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Libraries Encourage and Engage Readers
of All Ages, Stages and Interests
 

COLLECTIONS

• Assess diversity of collections in order to increase representation and inclusion, including needs for materials in languages other than English
• Review and revise collection policies and practices to focus on popular materials of high community interest
• Create system-wide merchandising guidelines to support discovery, including displays, shelving standards, and collections signage

SERVICES/PROGRAMS

• Enhance and extend outreach services, including the Mobile Library, to provide greater access to underserved populations and areas of the county, and those who have difficulty visiting a library
• Resume consistent Spanish-language/dual-language story times in areas where native Spanish speakers live
• Assess current slate of book club offerings, consider community needs and interests, experiment with new and different clubs
• Expand Summer Reading program to include all ages
• Assess and enhance Reader’s Advisory services, both passive and active, physical and digital
• Train all staff to offer assistance with ebook platforms and processes

POLICIES/PROCEDURES

• Implement system-wide weeding standards and regular weeding schedule
• Review procedures for purchasing, cataloging, processing, and circulating materials to create clear and consistent system-wide standards
• Create system-wide collections and cataloging working group

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Libraries are Essential Partners in
Community Well-Being and Civic Life

 

CIVIC CONNECTIONS

• Continue to develop the Randolph Room/History Museum as an essential way to connect the past, present, and future of the county and its residents
• Collaborate with key community organizations, especially those serving traditionally marginalized populations, to deliver targeted services and programs
• Deploy library staff to volunteer with civic organizations, serve on nonprofit boards, etc.
• Position libraries as community information hubs, with bulletin boards, resource fairs, etc.
• Establish “Community Conversations” forums on key community issues and challenges

COMMUNITY WELL-BEING

• Partner with local agencies to experiment with social workers embedded at libraries
• Provide Mental Health First Aid and other staff training to embrace trauma-informed service
• Identify partners to help activate outdoor spaces for gathering, programming, and play

COMMUNITY & CULTURAL PROGRAMS

• Maximize partnership with the Friends of the Library to offer programs aligned with mission and strategic priorities
• Assess diversity of programs to assure broad representation of perspectives and subjects
• Establish an outcomes-based framework for program creation and assessment, aligned with strategic priorities
• Partner with arts, culture, and tourism agencies to offer programs aligned with community interests and strategic priorities

INTERNET ACCESS & DIGITAL LITERACY

• Collaborate with local agencies to deliver effective digital literacy programming
• Collaborate with local agencies to deliver broadband Internet access to underserved areas

EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS

• Maximize partnerships with schools across the county to intentionally advance shared goals
• Expand Parents as Teachers program to reach more families and children
• Develop outcome-based programming to enrich learning for children and teens
• Deploy Mobile Library to engage caregivers, teachers, parents, and children, and raise awareness of library resources, services, and programs.
• Identify partners to provide regular “Life 101” programs and classes, including financial literacy, health literacy, job seeking, etc.

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Library Staff are Empowered, Engaged and Connected
 

TRAINING

• Conduct an annual system-wide staff training needs assessment
• Invest in ongoing training that aligns with staff needs and strategic priorities, especially customer experience, reader’s advisory, community engagement, and diversity
• Offer periodic, relevant, high interest workshops, such as displays, social media, etc.
• Establish annual opportunities for all employees to connect and learn together
• Invest in training to establish a shared approach to supervision, management, and leadership

SERVICE

• Create system-wide customer service standards aligned with the organizational value of service
• Adopt a system-wide “One Point of Service” model so that all staff can respond to the most common service requests
• Create a system for staff to work at different locations and/or in different departments
• Allow staff from across all divisions and locations to participate in mobile library and outreach functions

CAPACITY

• Incentivize staff to learn Spanish, ASL, and other languages that respond to community needs and strategic priorities
• Increase staff capacity for conceiving, developing, and managing projects and initiatives that advance strategic priorities
• Increase staff capacity for grant seeking, writing, and administration
• Assess organizational structure in order to align with strategic priorities, increase efficiency, and grow

COMMUNICATION

• Resume regular All Staff meetings, consider ways to maximize staff attendance and communicate information for those who cannot attend
• Resume regular Library Leadership meetings, with a focus on operationalizing mission, vision, and values and shepherding strategic priorities
• Create platform(s) for regular communication between Asheboro and branches
• Create platform(s) for regular communication and collaboration between subject matter experts across branches

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