25 Feb Announcing our Four-Year Long Range Plan
The Shelby County Public Library (SCPL) is nearing its one-hundred-and-twentieth year of continued operation. SCPL opened in 1903 and has served the residents of Shelby County ever since.
The original library in Shelby County opened in 1899 above the firehouse at Fountain Square on 5th and Main Streets in Shelbyville, thanks to the Shelbyville Woman’s Club. With a few shelves and just 200 books, the ladies began searching for a way to expand the library’s resources. The Woman’s Club found what they needed in the Carnegie Grant: a $10,000 grant given to communities who demonstrated a need for a public library with the stipulation that the community had to provide the land and pledge financial support for services and maintenance. The City of Shelbyville was cooperative, and the grant was awarded in 1903, which is why the Shelby County Public Library is, and will always be, A Carnegie Library since 1903.
In the past year, the Shelby County Public Library maintained a collection of 60,000 items, hosted more than 350 events for people of all ages, and provided more than 20 public access computers, thousands of pages of local history and genealogical information all at no cost to the user or attendee, all while maintaining the distinction of being the only library in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to not raise its property tax rate over the amount set by the community it serves.
The need for a set long range plan became apparent when library staff began discussing renovation ideas for the historic building. We could not adequately complete a renovation without knowing what our goals were for the future.
As such, we began the process of developing our four-year Long Range Plan in January of 2019. We conducted a survey to gauge interest in various library services and the community’s thoughts about SCPL. Specifically, we were interested in ways we could make improvements. An idea to renovate the library resulted in a community survey with more than 200 participants and months of deliberation.
The aforementioned survey asked six questions, along with demographic information. The questions asked on the survey were as follows:
- Do you have a library card at the Shelby County Public Library?
- On average, how often do you visit the Library?
- On average, how would you rate the following services at the Shelby County Public Library? The following services were listed:
- Patron Relations
- The Library
- The Bookmobile
- Internet Access
- Inter-library Loan
- Hours of Operation
- Online Services
- How important are each of the following library services to you or your family? The following services were listed:
- The Library
- Borrowing materials (books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc.)
- Online Services
- Internet Access
- Community Meeting Spaces
- Reference (including research assistance from staff)
- Newspapers/Magazines/Other Periodicals
- Bookmobile/Homebound Services
- Study Rooms/Quiet Areas
- Assistance using computers/printers/copiers/etc.
- Generally, how do you hear about events/programs at the Shelby County Public Library?
- What do you find most valuable about the Shelby County Public Library? How could the library or its services be improved?
- Age of Respondent
- Gender of Respondent
We received more than 250 responses to our survey. We again extend our heartfelt gratitude to those who took the time to complete the survey. Using the responses to the survey, we began the first stages of developing our Long Range Plan. (Read the responses to our survey here.) A select team of staff (consisting of Pamela Federspiel, Executive Director; Shana Schack, Adult Services Librarian; Megan Langlois, Youth Services Librarian; and Mason Warren, Public Relations Coordinator) began developing the main topics of the Long Range Plan and fleshing out ideas after consulting the Long Range Plans of other similar libraries and the results of the community survey.
The Long Range Plan team presented an initial draft to SCPL staff in August of 2019, nearly eight months after receiving the survey results. Using the information and suggestions from the staff work session, the first draft of the Long Range Plan was presented to the Board of Trustees in November of 2019.
After making additional changes and edits as requested by the Board, the final version of the Long Range Plan was presented to the Board of Trustees on February 18, 2020. At that time, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt the Long Range Plan as the guiding document for the next four years of activity at the Shelby County Public Library.
Main Topics and Mission Statement
Our Long Range Plan is wide-reaching. There are eight main topics we will focus on in the coming years. They are:
- Collection Development
- Literacy Development
- Customer Service
- Needs of the Community
- Safe and Welcoming Environment
- Community Awareness
In addition to those eight topics, this new Long Range Plan also addresses the Library’s mission statement. While the Long Range team were crafting the plan, the need for a revised mission statement became more apparent.
The mission statement of an organization serves as its overall guiding force, identifying the goals and priorities of its staff and Board. The following mission statement was identified and now serves as overall summation of the goals of SCPL.
The Shelby County Public Library shall provide services, programs, and materials to enrich people’s lives while fostering a love of reading, providing access to information, and encouraging lifelong learning.
We are proud of the work put into our plan and encourage all residents of Shelby County to read through the plan to find out what their library is doing in the coming years. Our Board of Trustees is committed to seeing the Long Range Plan come to fruition and our devoted staff will work hard to continue to improve library services for all residents of Shelby County.
Written by Mason Warren.
Mason Warren is the Public Relations Coordinator at the Shelby County Public Library. He has worked at the Library since 2016. He is a graduate of Martha Layne Collins High School (2018) and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education at the University of Louisville. Mason serves on the Board of Directors at the Shelby County Community Theatre and the charity Break Through For a Buddy. In his spare time, Mason enjoys photography and spending time with his two dogs, Baxter and Molly.