Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ottumwa Public Library Completes New Strategic Plan

The Board of Trustees of the Ottumwa Public Library has approved a Strategic Plan for the library that will cover goals and plans for the next three years. “We are excited to lay down a road map for the next few years here at the library,” said Library Director Sonja Ferrell.

The library prepared this strategic plan through the assistance and oversight of the State Library of Iowa and their District Consultant, Becky Heil. The Library Board of Trustees met with Heil in July, 2017 to learn of the process. She explained how the book and program of, “Strategic Planning for Results,” worked and the board approved moving forward with this plan.

From there the board and staff invited members of the community to participate as stakeholders in two meetings. The stakeholders represented people from different community organizations, religions, industries, cultures, races, ages, etc. and both users and non-users of the library.

In the fall of 2017 two stakeholder meetings took place with Heil leading the meetings. The focus was to determine community strengths and needs in Ottumwa, and where the library could provide services to meet those needs. The director of the library also presented an overview of the current library programs, materials, statistics, budget, and needs.

“These stakeholder meetings were so vital to the process,” Ferrell said. “We are always looking to most effectively serve Ottumwa and we received such useful feedback from the participants.”

Following these Stakeholder meetings the Board of Trustees met with Heil to take in the suggestions, add their own insight, and approve three broad goals. From that meeting, the staff took the three goals and organized objectives and a plan of implementation and evaluation of it.

At their April meeting, the Ottumwa Public Library Board of Trustees approved the final plan. It includes an updated mission and vision statement for the library and three service responses or goals. From those service responses there are 34 objectives which the library will work toward until December 2021.

“A large amount of our focus when specifying the objectives was to find other community groups to partner with, develop programs that don’t require more space, and expand services with an emphasis on looking to other funding opportunities like grants and partnerships,” Ferrell said.

The library’s updated vision statement is: The Ottumwa Public Library strives to provide opportunities, space, service, and resources for the members of the community to expand their knowledge, imagination and perspective on the world that is open to everyone.

“We are currently busy implementing parts of the plan, but have staggered our objectives over the next three years,” Ferrell said.

Ottumwa Public Library Strategic Plan 2018 - 2021