Work began on the Medway Public Library Strategic Plan in October 2009. A committee of three, comprised of the chairs of Franklin and Medway Library boards and the director of Franklin and Medway Libraries, guided the process. Medway board members, staff, and the community had opportunities to contribute to the plan.
The committee met weekly from October to March to research the feasibility of providing joint library services between the Town of Medway and the Town of Franklin, and to focus on the needs of the community of Medway.
Organizational and comparative data on both institutions was gathered and analyzed. A survey was administered in January and March to identify the needs of the community of Medway and to recommend the ways in which both institutions could collaborate to meet them.
The end result was a report that detailed the benefits of collaboration for both communities and a strategic plan for Medway Library.
Survey information was also used to select six service responses:
Connect to the online world-- Public Internet Access.
Create Young Readers-- Early Literacy.
Make Informed Decisions--Health, Wealth and other life choices.
Stimulate Imagination--Reading, Viewing and Listening for Pleasure.
Succeed in School--Homework Help, Resources needed for school.
Visit comfortable place--Physical and virtual spaces, welcoming physical environment.
From these service responses, goals and objectives were created.
This plan will guide the Library’s decision making through 2015. It provides the structure for organizational change, enhanced services, and innovation. It includes recommendations for augmenting our collection expanding our presence in the community reaching out to teens, seniors and the underserved, building partnerships, and making the library more accessible. We are committed to providing the best possible service to the community. By focusing on the needs identified by the community and examining our internal processes, we will ensure the best allocation of resources and the best delivery of services. The plan will be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.
We want to acknowledge and express our appreciation to all those who contributed to this process, especially the many residents of Medway.
Medway Public Library will be recognized in the community as an essential and reliable partner in the delivery of information resources, education, self-advancement, and recreation.
Medway Public Library is an indispensable part of the community, dedicated to providing residents of all ages with dynamic collections, innovative programs and wide-ranging and sustainable services.
Our patrons, their opinions, capabilities, needs and interests
A skilled, knowledgeable and courteous staff
Freedom of information
Equitable access to library resources and services
Creative solutions, integrity and innovation
Goals and Objectives
Goal 1: Library services will be accessible, courteous and responsive to the needs of the community.
Objective 1: Expand community access to library resources and services.
Increase hours open by September 2010.
Increase staffing levels with library substitutes.
Develop informational and instructional handouts, brochures and bookmarks.
Objective 2: Evaluate workflow, staffing levels and budget allocation to maximize customer satisfaction with resources and services.
Review library procedures and staffing patterns by December 2010.
Determine and recommend professional positions needed to administer the plan.
Objective 3: Develop, encourage and sustain expertise, skill, commitment and an innovative spirit in staff to offer the highest levels of customer service.
Set staff goals by December 2010.
Develop and implement best practices by December 2010.
Implement training for core library competencies by July 2011.
Maintain and update training programs targeted toward the basic skills needs of library staff.
Develop and implement an employee appreciation system.
Support professional education of staff seeking the MLS degree.
Support staff development with continuing training, including cross-training between departments, individualized training and higher education.
Conduct annual staff evaluations.
Implement customer service standards by December 2011.
Objective 4: Provide varied opportunities for community input on the quality of library services.
Design print and online suggestion forms for improving library services.
Conduct targeted surveys as needed.
Involve teens in material selection.
Include patron and staff feedback and patron requests in acquisition decisions.
Objective 5: Offer regular feedback opportunities for employees.
Investigate, implement and update preferred channels for staff communication and feedback.
Goal 2: The Library will meet the public’s needs for current and popular materials, information, education, culture and entertainment.
Objective 1: Provide a quality collection of materials in current and emerging formats that reflect borrowing trends, interests, changing habits and the use patterns of the community.
Update the collection development policy by January 2011.
Gather and study data on collection usage each quarter.
Increase acquisition plans from 2011 – 2015 for the following collections:
DVDs, books on CD, and music collection.
Children’s and teen collections.
Large Print Collection.
Reduce wait times for popular materials through downloadable audio books and new and emerging formats.
Promote interlibrary loan service.
Establish written guidelines for library employees for collection development and maintenance.
Investigate adding a gaming collection.
Explore funding for collection development.
Objective 2: Support education, the development of reading for pleasure, and language and comprehension skills in children and young adults. Provide an environment rich in stories, literature, reading and research.
Institute a library card registration program in schools, community groups and day care centers.
Investigate and implement services directed towards the home- schooled by July 2011.
Develop and strengthen partnerships with the Medway schools.
Discuss with the Superintendent ways the schools and Library might cooperate to serve students’ needs.
Attend meetings with parents and teachers to discuss ways to optimize student use of the library.
Review school curricula at all levels to provide relevant materials and resources for student projects and research.
Assist the school department in setting up software so that teachers can email assignments directly to the library.
Develop and implement a young adult web- site by December 2011.
Initiate teen services and programs, such as book clubs and a teen advisory board.
Explore incorporating volunteer- run programs.
Seek grants that are designed to encourage reading programs for children and support programs of interest for teens by July 2013.
Objective 3: Foster the adult propensity for self-development by providing timely, accurate and reliable information to assist in school, work, and decision making.
Create readers’ advisory services.
Update and maintain up-to-date business, career, and health information resources.
Provide support for continuing education and literacy through displays, classes and group activities.
Expand, enhance and promote access to the Internet, networked resources, databases and electronic resources.
Objective 4: Maintain functional and appealing library collections.
Develop a written weeding schedule by August 2010.
Train staff on the CREW weeding system by July 2011.
Develop and implement a sustainable collection maintenance and evaluation schedule by December 2011.
Goal 3: Residents of all ages will regard the Medway Library as a prominent place to meet and interact with others in the community.
Objective: Make the library facility available to educational, civic and cultural groups to foster and enhance a sense of community.
Review policies and procedures for use of the building and its community spaces by December 2010.
Promote the use of the library’s meeting space by town organizations.
Encourage library tours for school children and groups serving children.
Encourage volunteer- run programs, i.e. play groups to provide families with fun times and opportunities to socialize.
Goal 4: Residents will have access to a variety of innovative programs.
Objective: Expand current library programs and strengthen community outreach through targeted programming.
Increase adult and family programming by a minimum of two new programs annually involving areas from science to cultural traditions, customs and holidays.
Encourage local artists and performers and authors to participate in programs.
Design a comprehensive assessment process to meet the needs of the disabled, elderly, or those with special needs.
Goal 5: Library patrons will have access to high quality information technology.
Objective: Medway Public Library will employ new technologies to deliver and facilitate access to library resources and services.
Identify and evaluate future technology needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.
Acquire the hardware and software upgrades and replacements necessary to support public access to high-quality technology.
Integrate emerging technologies into library services.
Utilize web and social networking tools and emerging on-line resources.
Develop and implement technology competencies for staff by July 2011.
Investigate the feasibility of providing a public fax facility.
Goal 6: The Library will develop a comprehensive public relations campaign to increase visibility and raise the public’s awareness of the many services and opportunities available.
Objective 1: Develop, implement and update a complete marketing plan to inform, support, engage and excite the community.
Issue timely press releases of library activities, special events and programs.
Develop a display cycle to market new and featured materials in all municipal departments.
Maintain signage standard for providing concise, consistent, attractive signs throughout the library.
Investigate the feasibility of a library newsletter using Constant Contact or e-mail to distribute to town officials, media, schools and the general public.
Place promotional items in a variety of media.
Promote library services to schools and other community groups.
Promote coverage of library programs on local cable channel.
Incorporate testimonials and success stories in promotional and informational materials.
Institute an annual preschool fair for parents and children to preview local preschool options.
Initiate and publicize homebound services.
Increase the Library’s web presence within the community.
Objective 2: Investigate effective ways to provide library services to the underserved.
Solicit needs input through the schools, local home schooling networks, and business council.
Investigate ways to serve the male demographic.
Conduct a focus group with local male residents by July 2011.
Research practices of other libraries by July 2011.
Discuss with the Council on Aging ways to serve seniors.
Contact organizations and agencies who work with the disadvantaged.
Goal 7: Medway Public Library will be an inviting and safe part of the community.
Objective: Evaluate the facility, its systems, and procedures to increase safety and enhance efficiency.
Maintain a clean environment with welcoming and inviting entrances.
Maintain emergency readiness status of all staff through appropriate training. Work with fire/police to conduct workshops to help employees respond to workplace emergencies.
Review annually all policies and procedures related to patron behavior, order, safety, and security.
Encourage staff to use the floor plan as a guide, and visual aid and an orientation tool to all building systems (Elevator, sprinkler system, water, etc.).
Develop, implement and update emergency procedures.
Develop a disaster plan by 2015.
Goal 8: The library will explore creative ways to ensure fiscal sustainability of library services.
Objective 1: Use volunteers efficiently.
Expand volunteer database.
Develop and update recruitment and evaluation criteria for all volunteers.
Align recruiting, selection, and training.
Develop a separate job description for tax work- out volunteers.
Objective 2: Pursue non-municipal funding sources.
Support staff in seeking grant funding.
Seek grants for special projects, outreach, digitization and job search initiatives.
Recommend annual fund raising drive by the Trustees.
Continue to encourage donations and bequests to the Library’s Gift Fund.
Objective 3: Identify, initiate and foster collaborative ventures that maximize the use and distribution of library and community resources.
Identify partnerships, collaborative and cross-marketing opportunities.
Develop a list of agencies, businesses, charitable and civic groups who will be possible program collaborators.
Meet with at least 3 viable groups to promote opportunities for cooperation and partnerships.
Work with school teachers and school librarians to provide coordinated efforts in awareness, programming, and collection development.
Prepare Library information welcome packets for all new residents, available at the Town Clerk’s office by September 2010.
Conduct library card drives at school and community events.
Survey respondents acknowledged the Library’s value to the community and also noted specific areas for improvement.
Access to the library and to its resources proved a major source of concern. The vast majority of Medway residents 78.2% did not view the current, predominately afternoon hours of operation as convenient. They would like to have more morning and longer weekend hours.
Though the Library provides a twelve week story & craft program for young children 3-5 years of age, patrons cited the lack of programs and services to children, preteens, teens, and older residents as a weakness. Teens, seniors, and male patrons perceived themselves to be underserved. In addition, many students expressed a disconnection with the library because of the limited hours, dated collection, and lack of pertinent programming. Other identified services needs were for improved communication, better publicity, and expanded and up-to-date collections.
Partnerships and Collaboration
Budget challenges have impacted all town services in recent years. The reduction of the library budget affected purchasing of library materials, programming and staffing. However, there is huge support for partnering with schools, local groups, and local businesses and for collaborating with neighboring libraries for services beyond those offered through the Minuteman Library network. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents would like the library to show more imagination and to seek alternative sources of funding.