Strategic Plan 2015-2020: Q & A

Q:   How does the Strategic Plan influence Library services?

A:   The Library’s Strategic Plan describes the library system our community aspires to create. It clarifies the vision, mission, and priorities which will guide the work that the Library does and the services we deliver in the coming years.

Q:   Does the Strategic Plan reflect community priorities?

A:   Yes! Public libraries are important community centers that benefit children, families, seniors, the disabled, and all our residents – which is why we created a community-driven process to develop the Library’s strategic plan. Over 2,000 Sonoma County residents participated through public meetings, focus groups, and surveys. The Library has focused our priorities and planning for the future based on feedback we’ve received.

Q:   How will libraries meet resident needs?

A:  The Library’s top priority is meeting the needs of all our residents and providing outstanding, personalized service in a welcoming space. We encourage access to new ideas and up-to-date information – providing books, computer access, classes, and services to local residents, which is particularly important for those who wouldn’t be able to afford access otherwise. By ensuring that we continue to have qualified librarians and well-maintained, safe, clean library facilities, residents will benefit from this valuable resource for years to come.

Q:   How does the plan support the Library’s educational mission?

A:   Our libraries are critical to supporting public education, particularly as local school libraries have been closed or severely limited to only a few hours per week. About 30,000 children participate in the Sonoma County Library’s services and programs each year, and a key goal of our strategic plan includes supporting education by linking library classes and events to the K-12 school curriculum and creating opportunities for cooperative services with local school districts.

The Library also is committed to supporting lifelong learning for all residents, connecting them to information, experiences, and experts that provide opportunities to explore their interests and learn new skills.

Q:   Is technology a priority?

A:   Yes! As community centers of the 21st century, libraries play a critical role in providing access to technology and information. We are committed to embracing technologies and innovative approaches to services that improve our libraries, our communities, and our environment.

Q:  How does the plan address fiscal sustainability and responsibility?

A:   In order for our libraries to thrive, we must be on financially sustainable footing. Because of the recession, library funding was cut, but costs have continued to increase. We will continue our commitment to follow sound financial practices, improve our work processes for greater efficiency, and grow community-based fundraising to support ongoing viability – with a goal of addressing the need to restore lost hours and services and prevent further cuts.