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RUTH KEELER MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Long Range Plan 2010-2015

Background.

The Trustees recognized the need for a new strategic plan in 2006.

In November 2006, we invited Josh Cohen, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson

Library System, to give a presentation to the Board on how to conduct effective long

range planning. In April 2007, we hired a library consultant, Stephanie Sarnoff, to

conduct three focus groups, two with community residents and one with library staff.

The purpose was to gain insight into community attitudes about the role of the library;

to determine community satisfaction with the library’s services and programs; and

to identify community and staff expectations for the future.

In 2004, we mailed a comprehensive survey to Town residents, again seeking insight

into community attitudes towards their library.

The planning effort was deferred in fall, 2007, as we changed Directors, and resumed

the following fall with the appointment of a Committee to carry the planning exercise

forward.

Long Range Planning Committee

Tim Purdy (Chair)

Ed Burlingame

Therese Donahue

Andrea Good

Carolyn Reznick

Edris Scherer

Cathleen Sulli

Julie deVaulx


The Committee met regularly during 2009 and produced a Draft Plan in October.

Copies of the Daft Plan were given to the Trustees, staff, Friends of the Library, to

John White, who is coordinating the Town's Comprehensive Plan, and to Liz Reeve,

our Liaison with the Town Board. Useful comments and suggestions were recieved

and many were incorporated into the Plan, which was then presented to the Board of

Trustees for adoption.

 

The Plan was adopted by the Board on January 13, 2010.


Steps Remaining

  • Circulate the Draft Plan to trustees, staff, Friends of the Library and former                         trustees
  • Give Draft to John White, who is coordinating the Town’s Long Range Plan.
  • Give Draft to Liz Reeve, our Liaison with the Town Board.
  • Hold a meeting at the Library for interested community members to hear a presentation of the Draft Plan and to offer comments.
  • Incorporate useful ideas and suggestions into a final draft.
  • Present final draft to the Board for adoption.

Timeline

  • Revise and adopt Plan by year’s end.

LIBRARY MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission, as a life-long educational and cultural center for the North Salem

community, is to serve all generations of our residents with print and multimedia

resources, and with enriching programs. We seek to encourage an informed and

connected community by promoting the joy of learning, the love of books and reading,

Internet literacy, and by offering cultural, educational and civic events in a welcoming

environment. We uphold First Amendment rights through freedom of expression,

access to information and the open exchange of ideas while respecting the confidentiality

of all patrons.

BUILDING AND GROUNDS


GOAL:
Maintain an environment that is safe, welcoming, energy-efficient,
and conducive to the best use of the library’s materials and programs.


Step: Inspections
The Building & Grounds Committee will establish an
annual schedule for the inspection of the building and
grounds and will present, each year at the August board
meeting, an itemized proposal with cost-estimates for
repairs, new furniture and fixtures, and general maintenance
for the next fiscal year. A multi-year maintenance schedule
will also be created so that future needs may be properly
anticipated and planned. [2009]


Step: Energy-efficiency
B&G will continue to explore the cost-effectiveness
of solar panels and other energy saving technologies
and will make a recommendation to the Board in 2010.

B&G will also arrange for audits of the library’s energy
use and make recommendations for any desirable changes
when needed. [2010]


Step: Public and Staff Space
The Director, working with B&G, will seek the advice
of architects and/or other designers of library spaces
regarding the current configuration of the library’s spaces
and present feasible alternatives. The following should be considered:

· Noise reduction

· Signage

· Lighting

· Quiet working areas

· Dedicated teen space (“cracker barrel area”)

· Window shades

· Relocation of the town’s telephone equipment

housed in the boiler room. This must be in

cooperation with the Town of North Salem.

· Additional kitchen facilities


Step: Grounds
Research and develop ideas, plans and costs for a small
science playground where young children can explore the
scientific principles of motion, balance, sound, sight and
simple machines
. [2010]


Develop plans for making the terrace more functional
and appealing, including the purchase of outdoor furniture
and an awning. Continue to enhance the library’s
landscaping [B&G offer plans and recommendations to
the Board in 2010]


Step: Major Additions
There are several major projects that should be
explored in the future. Special fund-raising or capital
campaigns would be required, as was the case with

the Children's Wing.
-Addition of a small auditorium suitable for lectures, concerts, amateur theatricals, and meetings. The auditorium could be used by many Town organizations.
-Reconsideration of the placement of the parking area for enhacned parking space and beautification of Library's entrance.
-Addition of a wing to increase.

When these feasibility are undertaken, a more fundamental question should also be addressed: is the current site and building suitable for the long-term needs of the community? Should relocation be considered?

 

 

STAFF

Goal:
Maintain a service- and team-oriented staff trained to meet the needs of the community.

 

Step: Training
Provide a continuing training program so that each member of the staff has the up-todate knowledge and tools they need to offer informed assisstance to patrons in the use of the equipment and information services the new technologies offer.

The Director will make an annual report to the Board (during the summer and prior to the budgeting process for the following year) on the state of the Library's staffing, the training needs of the staff and the plans to meet them.

 

Step: Compensation
Periodically review our compensation and benefit plans in relation to those of other comparable libraries. We must ensure that we are able to attract and retain qualified staff and that we are compensating our staff fairly.

 

Step: Volunteers
Continue the active volunteer program at levels manageable for the regular staff, including soliciting those with special skills. Beyond their value in sharing the workload, our volunteers assist with outreach in the community, improving awareness of our services and programs.

 

Step: Career Developement
Ensure that our Director and senior staff are benig given oppurtunities for further professional training and encouraged to pursue them.

 

Step: Policies
In 2009, we completed and distributed an Employee's Manual to our staff. This Manual should be reviewed for any needed revisions or additions at least once ever two years by the Policy and Staff Committee.

 

Step: Performance Reviews
Ensure that we are continuing to a schedule performance reviews with staff members at least once-a-year and that they are carried out in a thoughtful and constructive manner.

 

Step: Feedback
At least once-a-year the Director should schedule a meeting of the staff with the President of the Board and other trustees to review informally the Library's operations, problems and opportunities. This meeting should offer Board members a special opportunity to seek out and listen to the views of the staff.


 

COLLECTION

 

GOAL:
Maintain a well-balanced and up-to-date collection of print and electronic materials that meets the needs of our patrons of all ages.

 

Step: Annual Evaluation
The Director and librarians will present annually to the Board an assessment of the Library's collection, evaluating its currency and identifying categories for developement in the coming year.

 

Step: Patron Opinion
Develop forms and website survey questions that will encourage patrons to offer specific and general comments on the collection, including recommendations for the purchase of specific books and materials.

 

Step: Special Exhibits
Display special exhibits of books and other materials.

 

Step: Local History
Strengthen our local history collection, collaborating in this effort with the Historical Society and Town Historian. Create a specific shelving area for the local history collection.

 

Step: Inform Patrons
Increase efforts to inform our patrons of the wise range of online informational resources and databases available to them through the Westchester Library System. Highlight this availability on our website and newsletter and offer instructional classes at the Library on web-based research.

 

Step: School Collaboration
Collaborate with the schools in providing books and materials that tie in with the curriculum.

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

GOAL:
Adopt up-to-date technologies that can assist the library in meeting the informational, educational and cultural needs of our patrons and staff.

 

Step: Keeping Abreast
Technology is changing the way libraries provide service and materials to their patrons and should be considered in all aspects of library operations. To stay abreast of technological innovations, we plan to creat a small-- one- or two- person-- Advisory Panel, hopefully drawing from espertise in our community, to assist the Director and the Board with advice on the latest applicable technologies and software. [Find advisor(s) and form panel in 2010]

 

Step: Remote access
Among the recent technological innovations affecting libraries is their new capability to bring services to patrons off site. Increasingly, patrons can access their libraries reomtely to obtain information, seek the assisstance of librarians on research projects and to order or reserve books. The Director and Advisory Panel should look for ways to extend these services.

 

Step: Maintenance
Create a maintenance and replacement schedule for all electronic equipment. The schedule should be reviewed and updated in August each year, prior to the budgeting process. [2010]

 

Step: Sensory-impaired
New technologies and special texts are being developed for the sensory-impaired. Explore this field furhter and, if we find technologies and/or special texts suitable for our patron base, provide one access point for impaired users by 2012.

 

Step: Computers
Provide additional computers. [Add 1 computer in 2010, another in 2012]

 

Step: Training
Expand and fund training for librarians and other staff in new and existing technologies so that they are better able to help patrons, including offering classes and special topic workshops on the rapidly evolving digital environment.


COMMUNITY OUTREACH

 

GOAL:
We envision outreach as a two-way process: listening and communicating. Our goal is to ectend and improve our ways of listening to the community's wishes, ideas and suggestions, as well as our ways of informing residents about the programs and services their library offers them. In surveys around the country, respondents frequently state that they are unaware of the extent of their library's services. The digital revolution is helping us and other libraries to address this issue. Outreach also serves our goal of building a closer sense of community among all segments and age groups of North Salem residents.

 

Step: Web Site and Newsletter
Utilize our new, interactive website that will tell residents of our programs and services and encourage them to communicate their needs and priorities to the Library. continue to encourage Town organizations to use our newsletter to advertise their events.

 

Step: Visiting Committee
Create a Visiting Committee designed to draw into our thinking and planning the work experience and creativity of some of our residients whoa re here in North Salem primarily on weekends, but who are interested in libraries, their roles in a community such as ours, and how these roles are changing. [Committee was formed in 2009]

 

Step: Children's Room
Create a Children's Room Support Group to advise and offer ideas on our collections and programs for children, as well as on library programs for parents and mechanisms to reach out to new parents. [Form group in 2010]

 

Step: Town Meeting
Hold an open meeting, "Your Library: Our Plans and Your Idas," once-a-year and invite the community to talk with us about the Library, its programs, services and needs. The challenge will be to find a way to reach beyond the "regulars" and attract a broader audence. [2010]

 

Step: Seniors
Expand services to seniors, home-bound residents or assisted living/nursing home residents. Discuss with the Town whether a plan could be made for the regular use of the Senior Van to provide transportation to the library and its programs. Arrange for retirement community shuttle buses to ass the Library as a stop. [2010]

 

Step: Cooperative Programs
Continue cooperative programs and events with other community organizations, inlcuding events which might be run by others and which serve our mission and benefit the Library.

 

Step: 75th Anniversary
Develop plans to celebrate the Library's Diamond Anniversary in 2011. The plans could include a cooperative event with the Historical Society to celebrate the Town's history.

 

Step: Weekend Hours
Expand weekend hours.

 

FUNDING

 

GOAL:
To ensure adequate financial resources to meet the needs of our community in the future, we have two goals:
-To bring our funding from the Town up to the average experiences by the other association libraries in Westchester.
-To maintain vigorous fund-raising initiatives to meet our share of our annual costs of operation.

 

Step: Town Funding
The challenging economic environment currently will make it difficult for the Town to readjust our funding level except in gradual increments over the next years. We should, nonetheless, begin discussions of this issue with the Town and attempt to agree on a feasible long term plan.

 

Step: Accountability
Maintain high standards of financial accountability and ensure that the Town Board is fully aware of the budgetary controls we have established. Work more closely with our liaison from the community's support for our services and programs.

 

Step: Annual Appeal
The Annual Appeal needs to be strenthened. A more concentrated personal approach needs to be made to those residents capable of making significant gifts to the Library; and we need to broaden the community participation, even if the incremental contributions are small.

 

Step: The Friends
Encourage the growth and developement of the Friends of the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library. [Strengthen ties between Board and Friends in 2010]

 

Step: Grants
The Director and the Finance Committee conduct annual review of all possible grant sources and make a report to the Board. [review begun in 2009]

 

Step: Gifts
Promite the making of gifts to the Library through wills and trusts. [Prepare leaflet in 2010]

 

Step: Endowement
As the recession abates, resume discussion of the creation of an endowment for the Library,

 

GOVERNANCE

 

GOAL:
To oversee, evaluate, review and monitor the Library's activities to ensure that they are consistent with our mission, plans and policies.

 

Step: Trustees
The Trustees have the duty to ensure that the Library has a stable, long-term funding model in place. The Treasurer and the other membors of the Finance Committee should review that model annually and report their conclusions to the Board.

The Trustees also have the duty to ensure that the Library is managing resources properly for the benefit of the community. The Treasurer should ensure that the monthly financial reports are presented in the form that will aid the Trustees in carrying out this duty. [Reports revised in 2009]

 

Step: Accounting
The Director and Treasurer shall order an audit of the Library's books and accounts not less than every 2 years, and each year our accountants shall perform a review of our financial statements.

 

Step: Strategic Plan
The Library's Long Range Plan should be reviewd annually and revised as appropriate. The Board review should determine whether the Library is taking the actions required to meet the Plan's goals and whether the annual expense budget is aligned with them. [Review Plan in fall, 2010]

 

Step: Polcies
All the Library's policies should, every two years, by reviewed, amended and expanded, as appropriate, and re-adopted. Specific policies may be revised and adopted at any time, as necessary. [All policies were reviewed and adopted in 2099. NJext review in 2011]

 

Step: Employee Manual
Our policies and practices with respect to our employees were reviewed in 2009 and incorporated in a new Employee's Manual. The Director and the Policy & Staff Committee shoudl review the Manual once every two years and recomment to the Board any desirable revisions or additions. [Next review: 2011]

 

Step: Board Effectiveness
Periodically, the Board should make an effort to evaluate its own effectiveness. Is it the right size? Does is have an effective working relationship with the Director and staff? Is its committee structure effective? Are its members enhancing the Library's public image? Does the Board reflect the mix of talents, experience and leadership that the Library needs? [Evaluation in 2010]

 

Step: Director
Conduct a thoughtful and comprehensive performance review annually with the Library Director.

 

 





 


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