Long Range Plan

2020-2024 Long Range Plan

We are excited to introduce our four-year Long Range Plan. The Shelby County Public Library has a historic background that is supported by a visionary Board of Trustees and devoted staff. We will continue to move forward together with appreciation for the past and embracing the future to come.

You can read the details of the plan below, or click the button labeled “Download” to download and/or print the Long Range Plan. A limited number of copies of the Long Range Plan are available at the Circulation Desk.

Download the Long Range Plan

If you would like to download a PDF of the Long Range Plan, you can do so by clicking the button below labeled “Download.”

Long Range Plan

Our Long Range Plan is divided into nine sections—including the revised mission statement. Each numbered section contains a list of goals to be accomplished in the next four years. Click on the section header to find more information.

Mission Statement

The mission statement of an organization serves as its overall guiding force, identifying the goals and priorities of the staff and Board. While creating this Long Range Plan, the following mission statement was identified:

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.

Section One: Collection Development

Any library is only as valuable as its collections. The Shelby County Public Library has an already expansive collection, but there is room for improvement.

As part of this Long Range Plan, we will continue to establish and maintain a collection of books and materials, in a variety of formats, to meet the informational and recreational needs of the community.

A list of the general goals of the library regarding collection development is below.

  • Continue to explore cooperative contracts with vendors for new products, such as digital video, audio and language programs, computer programming, and others as determined as necessary by Library staff.
  • Continue to evaluate reference and informational needs and explore how this content is best provided to, and used by, patrons.
  • Evaluate and maintain the tracking of circulation and usage data.
  • Provide patrons with new and noteworthy materials in a timely manner.
  • Display items attractively in appropriate locations.
  • Connect patrons with materials that meet their specific needs.
  • Maintain an open-minded attitude to non-traditional collections.
  • Explore the need for bilingual materials and purchase such materials accordingly.

Section Two: Literacy Development

A major component of a library’s daily task is to promote literacy and the joy of reading.

It is vital to spread awareness of the Library as a central clearinghouse for everything related to reading and literacy and to encourage and support readers as they explore new reading opportunities.

Our goals to promote literacy and the joys of reading are listed below.

  • Enhance programming and services that promote reading.
  • Identify and participate in reading celebrations, such as Summer Reading and the Adult Winter Read.
  • Partner with community groups that support literacy, such as the annual
    Reading Reindeer program and Shelby County Public Schools.
  • Continue to offer early literacy programs in the Children’s Department through weekly story hour times for children from birth through preschool.

Section Three: Customer Service

We strive to deliver exceptional customer service. The library staff must be helpful, positive, informative, and always go above and beyond in their interactions with library patrons.

Developing and maintaining exceptional customer service skills requires the support of a strong program of staff development and training which includes ever-changing technology.

Our goals to improve and sustain exceptional customer service are below.

  • Continue to institute a program of ongoing customer service training.
  • Continue to develop staff skills to provide better service and better job
  • Ensure that all library staff are involved in staff development.
  • Continue to foster staff development through attendance at library association meetings, regional meetings, and other educational meetings.
  • Encourage staff to disseminate information and training to other staff members.
  • Provide in-house support and training for staff members seeking to understand and/or implement new technologies, through formal training from other staff members, outside consultants, or other means at our disposal.
  • Provide opportunities that allow staff to participate in continuing education at the post-secondary level.

Section Four: Technology

We will stay at the forefront of changing technologies in the delivery of materials, information, and patron access.

Rapid changes in technology continue to drive patron expectations.

The library will be aware of how such changes impact library services in the delivery of materials in different formats, in providing access to information and library materials, and in communicating with the residents of the community.

Our goals to continue to improve technology access are below.

  • Continue to support and promote electronic remote accessing of library resources.
  • Explore new ways of providing patrons with information about library services.
  • Explore new ways to assist library patrons in utilizing library services and technology.

Section Five: Accessibility

Our goal is to make Library services accessible to all members of the community.

We will identify target areas where not all residents are served equally, and determine methods provide services (i.e., the Bookmobile, collection development, etc.).

Physical disabilities, transportation issues, language, and/or literacy difficulties can all impose barriers to obtaining library services.

Our goals to mitigate some of those limiting factors are below.

  • Research technology, equipment, materials and programs to meet the needs of people with a broad range of disabilities.
  • Maintain and improve Bookmobile and home delivery services to the community.
  • Explore ways of exporting library programming by participating in community events.
  • Continue to offer off-site programming and services.
  • Explore alternative or additional hours of operation.

Section Six: Support the Needs of the Community

We will, as an organization, continue to be aware of and responsive to community needs. The Library must stay informed about changing needs and trends within our community.

Our goals to continue to support the needs of the community are below.

  • Maintain awareness of literacy needs, and provide space and support for literacy programs.
  • Track changes in demographics in order to provide access to materials that meet the needs of all members of the community.
  • Seek ways to strengthen the library’s connection to the community.
  • Continue to collaborate with all levels of Shelby County schools, public and private, from preschools to community colleges as well as homeschool families.
  • Communicate with community groups to collaborate on mutually beneficial initiatives.
  • Seek input from residents, both library users and non-users, on a regular basis.
  • Develop a program success model and pilot with Adult programs and roll out to all events.

Section Seven: Safe & Welcoming Environment

We will maintain an environment that is safe and welcoming for library patrons and staff through review of policies and renovation of the Adult Services and Youth Services areas.

Our goals to maintain an environment that is both safe and welcoming are below.

  • Continue to explore ways to make the library safe and secure for both staff and patrons.
  • Continue to work toward increasing the repair budget to provide sufficient funds to maintain the building and facilities, including service contracts for preventative maintenance.
  • Explore ways of rearranging areas of the library to better serve patrons and staff use in consultation with Board, staff and architect.
  • Develop strategies to make the library feel more welcoming.
  • Examine existing policies and identify areas for improvement.
  • Increase and improve signage—both indoors and outdoors—and other way-finding tools for patrons and visitors.

Section Eight: Community Awareness

We will increase community awareness of library services.

The Library will move beyond traditional methods of publicizing its services and programs and explore ways to use more effective marketing strategies.

Our goals to improve community awareness of the library are below.

  • Organize a Friends of the Library group.
  • Continue to revise the library’s website to provide easy access to library materials and services and to function as a marketing tool for the library.
  • Continue to explore ways to promote library services, materials and programs.
  • Continue to build and maintain relationships with local media to ensure coverage of library events and needs.
  • Improve community awareness of both the Bookmobile and the library’s home delivery service.
  • Promote specific segments of the collection, such as large print books, digital audiobooks, and access to foreign language materials, to ensure that borrowers with specific needs are aware of the library’s offerings.
  • Continue to increase the library’s social media presence.
  • Identify community partners to sponsor library publications, i.e., From the Stacks.

Approval and Timeline

This Long Range Plan is designed to be accomplished within four years and was approved by the Board of Trustees by unanimous consent on February 18, 2020. The plan will end in December 2024.

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