Library approves 2021-2026 Strategic Plan
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
Reflecting on input from its various stakeholders, The Sioux Lookout Public Library Board approved its 2021-2026 Strategic Plan at their March 23 meeting.
The Library’s CEO/Chief Librarian Mike Laverty said that this plan gives them goals to aim for, and to help better focus their time. He said, “It’s an effective storytelling tool, in that, it tells the story of the Library, and it tells the story of where we are hoping to go. And then, as you go along, it tells you how we got there and what challenges we faced.”
Laverty said that with the library’s previous plan having expired in 2012, development of a new strategic plan was top priority for Library Board members, and was one of their biggest achievements in the past few years. He explained that a strategic plan serves as a model for the public library service to get feedback from its various users and stakeholders.
A Library news release shared that the library’s voluntary Board members have worked extensively over the years to gather information and develop a suitable plan, by analyzing library operations, through community surveys, feedback from library staff, and assistance from Ontario Library Service North. The Library’s priorities for 2021-26 Strategic Plan can be split into four major categories of Hospitality and User Experience, Outreach and Community Engagement, Collections and Technology, and Staffing and Human Resources.
Laverty said that this document hopes to build upon a collaborative effort from all community users. “It’s not like, here’s what we are going to do, and we’ll tell you about it later. It’s, here’s what we’d like to do, and we are going to get there a lot faster if we have some help.” He added, “There are even some goals there that we might never reach. But, they are just to give people a sense of where we would like to go.”
The library invites as many community members as possible to view their plan, and help build better services. “In this phase, we’ll just be focused on getting the plan out there, getting it into people’s hands, printing off hard copies, letting people download it from the website, and then, maybe this summer or this fall, we could look at doing a community survey and to see if people have read it, and if they can provide some feedback on it,” said Laverty.
The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan can be accessed through the library’s website, at http://slpl.on.ca/strategicplan. Hard copies of the plan are also available upon request, which can be made by contacting the library at 737-3660, or emailing them at [email protected].
Laverty said that the library recognizes and has factored in the continuing effects of COVID-19 as part of their latest strategic plan. He said that their current focus is exclusively on doing curbside pickups, with hopes to reopen their doors to the public this summer or fall. He said, “We are preparing for it either way. If there is further lockdown, we can continue to serve the public through curbside pickup and reaching people through digital means, and if we are open, then we can try and slowly move back to normal.”
Laverty said, “It’s always nice to strive for something better, and keep doing what we do well, while trying to reinvent ourselves and hopefully trying to find better and more efficient ways of doing things that reaches more people.” He added, “We will actively post updates on our Facebook page and on our website, send emails to our patrons and continually provide updates and we could give reports to the community and let them know what goals are being worked on and which ones are coming up next.”