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San Juan Island Library unveils 2012-2017 Long Range Strategic Plan

San Juan Island Library's 2012-2017 Long Range Strategic Plan, a blueprint for guiding the Library’s direction and operation over the next five years, is complete.  The Plan, eight months in development, is the product of hundreds of hours of discussion involving members of the San Juan Island community, the Library staff, and the Board of Trustees. It will be available in brochure form at the Library’s checkout desk and on the Library's website beginning Wednesday, November 9, 2011.

While much of the plan addresses Library infrastructure and daily operations, some of the other highlights include recommendations for expansion of the Library’s downloadable materials, online information and learning resources; increasing the community's awareness of Library services through public relations and social networking;  exploring options for making the Library a more welcoming place and future facility needs; and increasing outreach efforts to community organizations and underserved populations.

The process of creating the Long Range Strategic Plan began with the authorization of the effort by the Board of Trustees in December 2010. During the winter and spring of this year, an extensive effort at assessing the community’s views regarding the Library's current functioning and perceived future needs resulted in the development of a survey that ultimately was completed by 345 individuals.

This information was presented to a community planning committee over the course of three half-day meetings at monthly intervals, in which representatives from the island's varied interest groups constructed their vision of the future of the Library.

The results of these discussions were presented to the Library staff, which worked to further refine the ideas into specific Library functions and services. Additionally, the working groups developed an updated mission statement and a proclamation of the Library’s core values.

The Board of Trustees approved the final Plan in their August meeting.

Glenna Hall, Board President, summarized her view of the Plan, saying, “This is the most substantive long-range plan I've ever had the opportunity to work with.  The long-range plan is truly a community plan for the Library.  Ideas were drawn from every segment of the community and from the Library staff, making this a truly participatory document."

For Marjorie Harrison, San Juan Island Library Director, who was newly arrived at the Library just before the start of the planning process, it was an intense and immediate education in the staff and community's hopes for the Library’s future.

She said, "I know much more about the Library and our community than ever before. I got to work with terrific people who love libraries. It doesn't get any better." She views it as a "very energizing and positive experience. Committee folk, staff, and Library Trustees were so enthusiastic about libraries and our community. It made planning for the future a fun thing to do."

Marjorie believes that the Plan is not simply a dry exercise, but that it will be extremely useful to her and to the staff as they envision and implement future policies, procedures and services, noting that, "I refer to the plan on a daily basis now."

A brochure available at the Library includes the Mission Statement, the Core Values, and a summary version of the lengthy Long Range Strategic Plan.

The entire document, also featuring an extensive introduction with the Library's history, a description of the planning process, and a summary of the community’s characteristics, in addition to the detailed results of the community survey, is available online at the Library’s website.

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