You have spoken and we are listening!

Our strategic plan process is officially finished and now begins the process of adjusting our goals to address the needs of Alamance County.  Our strategic plan process was undertaken by citizens in our community, elected officials, and library staff but ultimately organized by our consultant, Dr. Chow.  Through focus groups, community meetings, and one-on-one interviews we were able to learn that what is important to our community are the same ideals that we, as a library system, hold important.

I have to admit that I was a little worried about the process and what we would hear from the public when we asked for your input. I knew what I thought we are doing well, and in what direction I wanted to see the libraries go, but I wasn’t sure if the public saw the same things.  Addressing literacy and education, access to technology, quality materials and a knowledgeable, competent staff, and creating a space that is welcoming for all were each identified as our top goals. These are wonderful goals to strive for.

We’ve set lofty, but achievable goals for our library system. Action steps have been developed to help move us towards reaching our goals. Education, literacy and school-readiness are hot topics these days, and Alamance County Public Libraries will have an active role in moving the needle forward on these. Over the next 5 years, we hope you are going to see many new innovative programs and services take place. Staff in charge of designing and implementing programs will undergo vigorous training so that they are better prepared to bring quality programs that will help address literacy issues in our county.

We are also looking at ways to bring technology and access to the internet out into the community. There are many rural areas in our county and small communities that are not near a physical library branch so over the course of the next five years Alamance County Public Libraries is looking at a variety of ways to remedy this and make library services more widely available. We’ve taken steps towards providing bookmobile services, but that is a long term project that will take a couple of years to complete. Look for opportunities starting this coming fall to help us raise money to purchase a bookmobile! A bookmobile is just one solution. We are brainstorming all kinds of ways to ensure that access to library programs and services is available and convenient for the citizens of Alamance County.

Feel free to take a look at our strategic plan. A link to the plan can be found just under the big banner on our web site (www.alamancelibraries.org). I’d love to hear your thoughts!

MJ Times-News PhotoMJ Wilkerson

I am reading Wildwood by Colin Meloy and listening to the soundtrack of the Broadway play “Camelot”.