Moving Forward: Planning the Next 5 Years
The mission of the Van Meter Public Library is to provide materials and services that support and encourage lifelong learning and the love of literature. The library’s vision is a community of lifelong learners in Van Meter.
To facilitate this mission, the Library Board approved a revised, 2020-2025 Strategic Plan at the March meeting. To better understand the need for this revised plan, let me first take you back to 2019.
The original planning process began three years ago when Kathleen Nubel, then Library Director, and members of the library board met with the State Library’s Central District Consultant for a 3-hour planning session.
During that meeting, the group reviewed demographic information from the State Data Center, statistical data from the library’s past annual survey reports, and current trends in libraries. The board and director then scheduled several work sessions to draft details of a strategic plan in alignment with community needs.
Just weeks after passing this original strategic plan in 2020, the VMPL closed temporarily due to the pandemic. As the country experienced unprecedented situations, so too, did our library. In March 2021, Kathleen Nubel resigned and in April, I began as Director.
These unforeseeable events impacted the library’s ability to make progress on many areas of the plan. When the library reopened in May of 2021, time was taken to reassess the needs of our community. We held a public survey last June, along with a focus group in November.
Overwhelmingly, participants indicated that expanded programming and a new building are seen as the top priorities for the library’s future.
The new strategic plan emphasizes three focus areas: improved Organizational Health, expanded Programs and Resources, and increased Community Involvement.
Please take time to review the the full 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, now available online at the Van Meter Public Library website.
In the coming months I’ll be using this column to delve into each focus area. This five year plan is for you, our patrons, and we appreciate your dedication!
~ Nancy Studebaker-Barringer
Van Meter Public Library Director