Strategic Plan 2017-2022
Five Year Plan
2017 to 2022
Vision: We envision the Russell County Public Library as the heart of our community, a hub for information, education, and resources serving all citizens of Russell County.
Mission: Russell County Public Library cultivates a community of lifelong learners through reading, digital connectivity, access to information resources, and programming.
Early Childhood Literacy • Digital Learning • Summer Reading Program • Lifelong Learning
1. Drive Early Childhood Literacy in our communities
a. Weekly preschool story time including activity, movement, stories, and craft (utilizing multiple sensory avenues)
b. Parents and caregivers will report weekly reading with children
c. Demonstrate Family Literacy quarterly at community events
d. Support literacy for at-home caregivers with non-returnable literacy bags
2. Offer computer technology & opportunities for digital learning
a. Create, maintain, and update a digital learning section on the library’s website
b. Offer one-on-one digital learning sessions to patrons by appointment
c. Train or hire staff to increase library’s ability to meet patron technology needs
d. Offer more in-house digital learning options for minors
3. Provide enrichment activities for youth to prevent educational losses during the summer (Summer Reading Program)
a. Teens and children will read weekly June through August
b. Provide a celebration with activities and prizes to conclude the Summer Reading Program prior to the beginning of the school year
c. Increase the children and teen registrations by minimum 10% per year over the course of the life of the Strategic Plan.
4. Deliver opportunities to learn skills and gain knowledge at any age
a. Provide a 10 week Life Skills Series for Youth and New Adults
b. Celebrate local culture and family history with an annual program series
1. Develop and implement a technology strategic plan for the maintenance, replacement, and improvement of the library’s technology.
a. Determine present and future technology needs.
b. Create and implement a technology deployment cycle that replaces all technology over a five year cycle.
c. Obtain funding for technology acquisitions and improvements.
d. Determine a five year budget for technology plan implementation.
2. Seek additional funding sources through grants
a. Identify and prioritize library’s needs
b. Identify potential grant projects
c. Identify sources of available grants
d. Develop project timelines, budgets, and outcomes
e. Complete and submit grant proposals
3. Create and deploy a marketing plan to increase awareness of library programs and services which includes marketing to Russell County administration
a. Form a committee of volunteers to develop a marketing strategy for the library
b. Determine a budget and timeline for plan
c. Work with local media designers to create design formats
4. Create a more comfortable and creative physical environment in the main library
a. Inventory existing assets and organize necessary supplies/equipment
b. Discard all unnecessary assets and projects.
c. Organize staff and volunteers to perform a thorough housecleaning of the main library
d. Acquire shelving and other storage solutions for remaining supplies, displays, etc.
e. Paint walls, clean carpets, etc. as determined to be necessary.
f. Organize staff and volunteers to refresh outside areas as needed including adding any foliage or hardscapes as necessary.
5. Design and implement an annual assessment plan to determine how best to serve the Russell County citizenry.
a. Research and identify a usable suite of assessment instruments for public libraries.
b. Adapt assessment instruments to best fit with the County’s demographics.
c. Determine an assessment cycle and implement it.
d. Ascertain which broad areas to assess each year. (Suggestion: two to three areas per year on a three year cycle)
e. Design marketing for the assessment project.
f. Design and create the mechanisms for the assessment, (e.g. website survey, print copies, phone surveys, etc.)
g. Launch the assessments and open the tools to collect the data.
h. Analyze and report on the results of the surveys.
i. Utilize the results to improve library services, operations, and administration.
Russell County Public Library serves a population of less than 29,000 citizens through its two branch locations: the main, full service library located in Lebanon, and a smaller branch in Honaker which is currently open less than 40 hours per week. The County is rebuilding its manufacturing base, but now has several technology service-based employers such as call centers, software service providers, and high security data storage and archiving contractors (AT&T, CGI, and Northrop Grumman.) While agriculture remains a strong force in the local economy, coal mining has largely disappeared due to changes in energy management, environmental legislation, and the development of cleaner energy sources such as natural gas.
The library branches provide the services and programming typical of public libraries today. Nearly 25% of county residents possess library cards. Library services are dominated by the availability of technology as many county residents do not possess—or cannot afford—Internet access or computers; therefore they come into the library to utilize the free WiFi access and the library’s workstations. Access to printer/copiers is a vital service offered by the library. Many people depend on the library staff to assist them in finding and navigating websites in addition to print materials. The library staff provides valuable guidance with job hunting and completing online applications. Programs include story times for preschoolers, after-school programs such as STEAM and First LEGO League robotics for older children, book groups for adults, as well as craft and gardening programs for all ages, which are available year round. Seasonal programs include summer and winter reading programs. In total, programs at the library include over 3000 participants annually.
Russell County Public Library’s collections include traditional print and multimedia materials for all ages partnered with digital resources which include downloadable e-books, e-audiobooks, magazines, and music. Together, the two libraries circulate some 40,000 items annually.
In the last five years, the annual budget for the library has been dramatically reduced, which has resulted in the loss of staff and the inability to maintain or improve the library’s technology assets. Funding has been never more than adequate, so the additional budget shortfalls have required the library administration to make difficult decisions in the face of the continuing needs of the Russell County community already reeling from the economic downturn.