Strategic Planning Initiative Update
This past spring, 50 members of the community developed a strategic plan for NWPL and defined three primary goals: to provide access to technology, to enhance the library as a place to engage in the exchange of ideas and learning, and to strengthen the library’s financial foundation.
We anticipate creating more open and flexible spaces and becoming the local destination for patrons to accomplish a wide variety of tasks:
- Meet and collaborate with friends and colleagues
- Connect with family, friends, teachers and others via video conferencing
- Conduct business with their home offices via video conferencing and meeting software
- Document personal, local governmental and institutional history through the digitization of photos, documents, videos, film
- Create new products, services and creative arts using digital tools, resources, and technology
- Discover the past and the present through digitally accessing online libraries and resources
- Share primary historic and current documents and materials with the world
- Learn how to use technology for personal, educational, and public use
We have identified 4 major areas of focus to enable us to achieve our strategic goals. Those areas and the teams responsible for planning are:
- Space Utilization and Facilities Team. To create more open and flexible interiors, as well as facilities and landscape maintenance, to enable the library to meet the changing needs of our community and patrons. Our Team Leader for that group is Chris Miller. Members of this team include Michael Ricci and consultants: George Helmer, Jill Helmer, Bev Humpstone, Trustees: Anne Marinello, Andy Caffrey and Gennie Lawrence.
- Technology and Infrastructure Team. To position the library as a technology leader within the community. This group’s charge is to research and recommend technological innovations, equipment, infrastructure, software and professional development for our staff to adopt state of the art technology, ready to meet the changing needs of our patrons and the community. Our Team Leader for this group is Travis Hellstrom. Members of this team include: Dave Sullivan, Michael Ricci, Peter Rousmaniere, Jacques Hugon, and Trustee: Gary Horsman.
- Internal and External Communications Team. To ensure that the library is able to effectively communicate implementation of strategic initiatives to all stakeholders, including Trustees, Corporators, staff, volunteers, patrons and our community. Our Team Leader for this group is Wendy Spector. Members of this team include: Elizabeth Craib, Michael Ricci, and Trustee: Courtney Lowe.
- To cultivate key individual donors as well as developing an effective public fund raising effort to enable us to implement these strategic initiatives as well as to build the library reserve fund essential for long term financial stability. This effort will complement the library’s ongoing work of funding our operating budget. It is led by Trustee Development Co-Chairs, Ann Sadowsky and Chris Lloyd. The Executive Director, Michael Ricci and Strategic Team advisor Jon Spector are members of this teams.
How would the NWPL look to the visitor of tomorrow? They would find these updated and innovative features:
Updated front foyer: As patrons enter the building, they will see new shelving and benches in our welcoming foyer.
Information Commons/ Circulation & Information Desk This reconfigured circulation desk is where people will go to get help from knowledgeable staff, take advantage of reader advisory services and borrow books.
Open and Flexible Seating Areas Patrons will find comfortable seating in which to enjoy our beautiful historic setting using their own laptops, mobile devices, or one of ours as they discover library resources or explore online sources.
The Innovation Lab
This space will provide our growing community of entrepreneurs a place to gather, work and exchange ideas. In addition, a “new wave” of young families moving to our area will appreciate having a common place to work and connect to geographically distant corporate offices and clients.
This is also where we plan to engage patrons and advance their digital literacy. We will teach them how to scan their own documents (photos and primary documents, such as their deed to their home.) and use the latest technology for artistic or personal expression. Patrons have already sought tutorials to learn how to add photos and videos to their memoirs and package them as gifts for family members. Painters and artists will be able to scan images to create portfolios of their works of art. Authors abound in Woodstock who want to know how to find a literary agent or how to self-publish. We will provide them guidance.
Finally, this Innovation Lab will enable the library to scan and digitize our unique sources of historic information and make them communally available by uploading them to the Digital Public Library of America. (http://dp.la/) In addition local public offices and nonprofits may have an interest in digitizing their resources and special collections for preservation and to enable local and remote patrons to access their information sources online.
Small Conference Rooms will provide quiet space where patrons can study undisturbed or meet privately for professional or personal reasons. Rooms equipped with videoconferencing equipment and software will enable such activities as:
- Author readings and online book club discussions
- Distance learning or event participation
- Family reunion connection
- Consultation with medical specialist
- Telecommuting meetings with home office or client
- Job or college interviews
Enhanced program spaces and programming: Our historic architecture and interior and exterior spaces will be upgraded to better reflect the needs of our programs, presenters, patrons, staff and community. For example the mezzanine, which is the site of art opening receptions, plays and private weddings, will become more inviting with its new carpeting. The upgrades will also better support effective and innovative programming. The Children’s Library will be brighter and cleaner with new floor treatment.
The library staff and volunteers will continue to provide the community with free one-to-one tutorials on all aspects of the use of technology and information, a highly popular service in multiple sites of the library. Coordinating with local experts and with WES (Woodstock Elementary School) on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and the arts, we will also provide after school programs, including coding, robotics, etc. We anticipate the new library services and reconfigured library space will become highly popular and broadly valued by the community as a destination for all forms of creative learning
The Strategic Plan resulted in an Inspirational Dream “To be the valued community hotspot, enriched by amazing resources, enabling adventures in lifelong learning, championing knowledge and wisdom. “ While we continue to learn from the experience of other libraries and consult with national experts on ways to make ours a world-class library, the implementation of the Strategic Plan will be carried forward by the new Executive Director who will assume the position in January 2016.