SYCAMORE – Sarah Tobias hopes the Sycamore library’s strategic planning results in a sustainable, useful library for many years to come.
The library staff and board has been working on its strategic plan since March. Tuesday, the group met to discuss their draft, which includes the library’s proposed vision and goals.
Tobias, library executive director, said it was time for the library to come up with a strategic plan, as plans tend to last three to five years, and the last plan spanned 2008 through 2011. She said the library needed to get through its remodeling projects in 2012 before devoting efforts to a strategic plan.
“We’re really figuring out our vision, mission and how we plan to achieve our goals,” Tobias said.
The library has been working with facilitator Stacy Reynolds from Anchor Advisors to work through the process of creating a strategic plan draft. She was hired with a grant from the Roberts Family Foundation of Sycamore.
The library’s drafted goals include continuing to meet the needs and goals of the community, the library being used as a vital community pillar, having staff members who are passionate and excel in their roles, staff and board leading the library in fulfilling its vision, and the mayor, city council and city manager are partners to the library in ensuring it remains vital in the community.
Meeting attendees discussed the culture of the library and discussed tactics to ensure their goals are on track with their needs. Tobias said it’s important to think about how physical internal spaces in the library need to change to meet the community needs. She said quiet spaces within the library, like a study area, are something that’s been missing, but programs and events are of interest.
“Your culture is everything in terms of service,” Reynolds said. “A library is so much more than books. The purpose for a library is so much more than just getting a book.”
Jesse Butz, head of adult and info services, said the library has been on the forefront of many programs and events in the past, and it’s something the library should continue.
“Many people have no idea about the array of things we have here,” he said. “If they miss a year, it’s a completely different library when they come in.”
The group mentioned the absence of a Friends of the Library group, which has not existed for a few years. Staff members said it’s important to have fans of the library spreading the word about the library. The draft also considers evaluating becoming a district library one day.