Strategic plans help guide organizations of nearly all types, from non-profits to for-profits, municipalities and even departments within a municipality. The Soldotna Library is putting together its own plan to establish goals over the next couple years.
The library’s new strategic plan has a number of focus areas designed to meet a variety of goals. Creating more young readers, celebrating diversity and helping the public make informed decisions are just a few areas library staff will focus on in the coming months.
City Librarian Rachel Nash told the city council this week that those focus areas and broader goals were developed with public input through the library’s board. But staff will be responsible for seeing it through.
“The other really great thing I like about the process we followed was that because all the staff was involved, every single one of them should be able to see themselves in this plan. We actually did an exercise where they had to create their own personal action step and that seems to be very powerful, so that they know every time they’re sitting at the desk, every time they help someone, they can link it back to helping to meet these bigger goals.”
And some of those goals, like early childhood literacy, are already being met. The library has a number of reading and story times for kids. Now, Nash says, there’s a bit more reasoning behind those programs.
“It’s not going to be all new programming. What it will do is meant that all of our programs will have that focus and that they’ll be working toward the same goal, so that we don’t have any question about why we’re doing something.”
The desired outcomes are very specific. Take the focus area of being an informed citizen as an example. By investing in programs for teens and adults that promote citizenship and highlight local, national and world affairs, those same teens and adults will have the information they need to be active citizens with a voice in local, community matters and beyond.
Another big part of the plan is creating lifelong learners. To that end, while kids get programs aimed at reading or teens learn how to vote, there are programs for adults and seniors, too, that are intended to help them make better health or finance choices. Nash says they specifically wanted to find ways to serve any age group.
“You notice that we do focus on a specific age group. One of the things in our research we found, (respondents) said ‘everyone needs to see themselves in this plan.’ Everyone should be able to pick up a copy and say they’re talking about me. So we did try to focus on specific groups.”