Christian County Library District Strategic Plan

Approved 27 April 2007 Board Meeting

Introduction

The Christian County Library District Strategic Plan was compiled from local input; state and federal standards, reports and plans; and the library policy and other official library records. Especially important were two reports from Opinion Research Specialists, LLC – on a 2004 LSTA grant-funded mail citizen survey and on five independent community focus groups in 2005.

Mission

The Christian County Library serves Christian County residents’ informational, cultural, educational and recreational needs. Library-provided facilities, materials, personnel and services enable citizens to access the county’s preserved past; enjoy an enhanced life today; and explore opportunities to improve their future.

Values

Christian County Library operates under guiding principles. In policies, procedures and services, the library strives to be:

Accessible – Convenient facilities and schedules, virtual collections, improving information delivery. Christian County’s Information Portal. Offers services to all county citizens, including those who by schedule, location or economic, physical or other circumstances cannot conveniently use library buildings.

Accountable – Responsible use of resources. District-wide board representation. Follows Missouri’s “Sunshine Law”. Cost-effective trusted resource.

Locally Responsive – Guardian and provider of local information. Consider local needs in collections and services.

Safe & Legal – Observe governmental rules and principles. Maintain safe facilities.

Customer Focused – Knowledgeable, helpful, fair and polite staff; Welcoming community space. Balanced, diverse collection, programs and services.

Community Oriented – Close identity of library and staff with the educational, cultural and civic life of the county. Library resources made known through activities within and outside the library.

Goals

Collections – Christian County Library will select, organize and provide access to virtual and physical collections for formal education and informal self-education; profitable and pleasurable use of leisure time; and general enrichment of life. Christian County Library will maintain collections which transmit ideas or experiences; help customers better know the past, understand the present and prepare for the future; meet accepted standards of quality and value; represent a wide variety of viewpoints and styles; and adhere to the Freedom-to-Read Statement of the American Library Association. Christian County Library’s collection development will serve the variety of citizen ages, interests, abilities, and needs. Current and traditional technology and information delivery, cooperative efforts and will be considered in materials selections. Christian County Library’s Technology Plan will be considered a part of the Strategic Plan.

Facilities – Christian County Library will provide adequate, comfortable, convenient physical facilities where library materials and services may be safely and pleasantly used and enjoyed. Current local customer demands and expectations will be considered in planning any new or altered library facilities.

Staff – Christian County Library will attract, hire and train staff suitable for each job description. The library will provide staff with tools and resources required to do their best possible job. The annual budget will include the costs of providing and maintaining training for library employees and trustees necessary to prepare them for excellent and current public service. Library staff will guide customers to library collections and services, providing organization, information, reference service, and readers’ advisory.

Space Needs Analysis

Staff & Non-Public Spaces

Headquarters Only

Headquarters accommodate system-wide functions. Currently combined duties may continue for a time in the future. All functions must be accommodated, with adequate space for at least ten to fifteen years beyond opening day. Consideration must be given to logical office locations. Technical Services and Outreach Services, both needing access to incoming or outgoing materials, could be close together; Administration and Business Offices should be near each other; Children’s and Adult Services, though they might face different collections, should each have easy access to shares equipment and supplies for signage, publications, and programming equipment.

Administration Office – Spaces – Director’s office; Desk of receptionist, secretary, or director’s assistant; Board room; Storage room for official library records [Services – Coordination of all library operations; Board of Trustees meetings and plans; Policies and procedures; Plans; Hiring and managing personnel; Official reports; Keeper of all library records; Publicity and Public Relations; Final approval and coordination of all scheduling of meeting rooms, displays & exhibits and library participation in community events]

Business Office – Spaces – Bookkeeping office; Human resources office; Receiving [Services – All purchasing other than collection development; receiving, distributing and storing office and library supplies; Communicate and keep records of staff benefits, new staff packets, staff training schedules; Coordinate, along with administration, relationships with partner groups such as Friends of the Library, a library foundation, and Library Volunteers; storage of current financial records]

Technology Office – Space – Work and storage areas for computer and technology services [Functions – Computer and technology equipment maintenance, including servers, routers, hubs, networks, and computers; Loading and maintaining all software, including but not limited to subscription databases, production software such as MS Office, antivirus, patron timing software, etc; Staff contact for remote technology including REAL project (internet connection), COOL (library automation), kinetic (library website and email), filters, and websites; Produce and provide staff and public technology training; Coordinate library homepage maintenance; Assist public with access, printing or procedures problems; Download and provide administration statistics related to automation system, websites and technology use; Assist and advise Director in technology matters; Train branch staff in basic technology use; Conduct or coordinate training of public in technology use; Schedule and provide advanced or specialized branch technology maintenance; Arrange repairs beyond staff ability; Weed obsolete equipment, including maintaining some “spare parts” equipment and clearing library information from withdrawn equipment.]

Technical Services – Spaces – Desks, furniture and equipment for collection maintenance staff [Services – Receiving, preparing, maintaining all physical library collections, such as books, periodicals, audio and video materials; Cataloging and classification; Library catalog maintenance, including adding and removing items from library collection; library materials preparation, mending and preservation, including preparing for microfilming, digitizing or binding; Store newly arrived library materials for system until prepared and taken to public areas and library materials requiring maintenance or preservation; Store supplies necessary for preparation, mending and preservation of collection; Store weeded items until cleared from library records and ownership marks obscured or removed from item; May include bulk storage of withdrawn items until disposal]

Outreach Services Office – Spaces – Staff room, storage, furniture and equipment for materials courier services, near parking for outreach vehicles and, possibly separate out-reach collection [Services: Take library materials to customers outside the library building, including bookmobile, community pick-up site, library van, and branch delivery services within the county; inter-library loan services; and library out-going mail services]

Children’s and Youth Services Office – Spaces – Children’s and Youth Services offices for children’s collection development reference services, and program and displays production; Extensive storage for crafts supplies, programming equipment and supplies. Should be near children’s collection and story hour room/s. [Services – children’s collection development – ordering and weeding, reference services, and program and displays production; Preliminary scheduling and coordination of meeting rooms, displays & exhibits and library participation in community events for children. Branch children’s and youth services training and support]

Adult Services Office – Staff offices for adult collection development, reference services, and program and displays production; Branch adult services training and support [Services – Adult collection development, reference services, and program and displays production; Preliminary scheduling and coordination of meeting rooms, displays & exhibits and library participation in community events for adult]

Local History Office – Lockable room for storage of fragile, rare and unique local materials and desk (not necessarily in that room, but nearby) for staff [Services -Maintain local history website; Provide reference assistance and collection development for all local information, including historic and genealogical information – should be near the public collection of print and microfilm collections and readers, photocopiers, computers and research carrels/tables.

Maintenance Office – Desk for person performing or coordinating janitorial services; grounds, building and vehicle maintenance system wide; storage for maintenance equipment and supplies; and advising administration of current or future needs. May be at least partially in a detached building because of the dangers of gasoline and chemicals and need for direct access to grounds and landscaping.

Non-Headquarters Only

Branch Manager’s Office – Workstation and work room for individual in charge of reference services; staff supervision; contact from branch to headquarters, overseeing local implementation of library policies and procedures; suggests branch needs including collection development and equipment, supplies, furniture and staffing needs of that branch to headquarters. Storage of library materials arriving from or going to other library locations. May be adjacent to or combined with circulation desk, staff rooms, or near service areas.

All Facilities

Staff Rooms – Staff lockers and coatroom for staff without personal desk; kitchenette, break and lunch room; receiving room for deliveries from headquarters; storage for branch library operating supplies and janitorial supplies in all except headquarters; sorted storage for surplus materials, weeded materials, equipment and materials needing repairs, programming equipment and supplies, back issue periodicals, rare or fragile materials which should not be removed from collection; employee bulletin boards and legal notices; incoming mail sorting and department or individual mailboxes; servers, hubs or routers for branch internet and network access; storage for new equipment/furniture waiting for assembly or installation; trash and recycling containers; may include staff restrooms – adjacent to or near circulation desk or near separate staff entrance. [note – functions may be separate in large branches and combined in small branches]

Circulation Desk – Multi-level (for standing and wheelchair access) desk for patrons to check out and out library material; Room for circulation computer workstations; barcode scanners; receipt printers; telephone; storage of holds and inter-library loans notified and not yet notified; brief storage of materials in transit to other locations; book carts for sorting returned materials for re-shelving; Work area for staff to prepare and call holds, take care of periodicals; handle copying, printing and photocopying charges and materials.

Service Areas

Utility Areas – Electrical, Telephone, Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Hot water heaters, Plumbing; access to wiring, plumbing, if necessary elevators; safety

Janitorial Areas – Storage of bathroom supplies; cleaning equipment and supplies; replacement lighting needs; tools; chemicals; maintenance supplies and equipment for vehicles, grounds and building; trash collection; repair and maintenance materials such as paint, deicer, batteries, florescent tubes.

Space Needs Analysis

Common Areas

Common Areas Before Circulation and Stacks Areas

Meeting Room – or rooms capable of being divided into small rooms for groups of 6-25; and expanded into rooms capable of serving at least 100 to perhaps as many as 200. Adjoining storage of chairs and tables; and counter space with provision of sink, trash, some storage area and outlets for small appliances such as coffee pots; prepared for wireless internet; data projection; with nearby access to at least men’s and women’s handicapped accessible restrooms – added family access restroom for parent and child or adult requiring assistance preferred; drinking fountain and entrance that allows use when main library is closed.

Gift shop – Volunteer-run area to sell local publications; library-related supplies; reading, literacy and learning items, novelties and gifts; Friends of the Library materials such as bookbags, mugs, key chains, pens, tee-shirts, etc.; quality used books and other library materials.

Cafe/Snackbar – Contract business providing food and drink for library users and staff. Possibly sandwiches, salads, soups, fast foods and coffee, tea, sodas, water and juice; and desserts.

Drive-Through Access – Book Returns; Materials Pick-up; Any service or library material that can be conducted safely without customer leaving vehicle and without impeding other users.

Specialty Collection Area

Study Rooms – at least three to five small rooms within main library for use by 2 – 6 individuals – with table, chairs, plenty of windows for staff supervision against inappropriate use – may be part of or divided between lifelong learning center or youth services areas.

Computer Lab – Lockable room either wired for internet or wireless with computers, data projector; tables, screen and room for about a dozen to fifteen users. For staff and public training and possibly scheduling for skilled and trustworthy community presenters.

Lifelong Learning Centers – Concentration of specialty collections, such as college and career; business services; local history and genealogy; services to the elderly; services to organizations and non-profits; local interests

All Libraries

Entryway – Lockable from main library with drinking fountains, public restrooms, recognition of major library supporters, seating for people waiting for meetings or others to finish library business; distribution of library publications and approved handouts (such as park or fair programs, tax forms, and free newspapers) ; bulletin boards for public notices; directory of library; at least one meeting room.

Hallways

Restrooms & Drinking Fountains

Story-Hour Room – for children’s programming

Space Needs Analysis

Collection Areas

Collection Areas

Browsing, Current Periodical Patron Lounge – Comfortable seating with current newspapers and magazines; displays and exhibits in some libraries.

New and Popular Collection – New materials, best-sellers; and featured collections – may be combined with browsing, periodical, patron lounge in smaller libraries.

Adult Fiction – Paperbacks, general fiction shelves

Adult Non-Fiction and Seating

Reference Collection and Seating

Public Access Catalog Computers

Public Access Computers

Wireless seating and electrical outlets

Adult Multimedia Collections and Seating

Young Adult Collections and Seating

Children’s Collections

Easy Materials and Seating – Newborn to beginning readers

Juvenile Fiction – Books for elementary and middle school students

Juvenile Non-Fiction and Seating – Books for elementary and middle school students

Juvenile Multimedia Collection – Audio books; Other Audio Materials; Video Collection;

Young Adult Collections

Site Selection Requirements

Location – Must be near or visible from a main road or landmark; with easy and memorable directions. Access must safely accommodate constant heavy traffic with each.

Size and shape – Must accommodate initial building and parking space as well as room for at least 50% future expansion; Main locations must have room for a minimum or 100 parking spaces, or if study shows the need perhaps more with room for parking lot expansion.

Tests – Purchase contract must include clause requiring site to pass tests for toxic substances in soil; sinkholes, flood plain, compatibility of adjacent land use as well as the results of a study of the amount and cost of preparation of site for building, due to need to move earth or the deal with bedrock or similar conditions.

Price – Purchase price must not exceed going rate for similar properties in area; efforts will be made to investigate economical means of obtaining appropriate properties for development or renovation.

Timeline

Facilities – Within two years of passing and beginning to receive funding to permit improved facilities, Christian County Library will open modern, enlarged buildings in the two major population centers, Ozark and Nixa. Within ten years of passing and beginning to receive adequate funding, Christian County Library will have a library within fifteen miles of all residents except those in the sparsely populated southern and eastern part of the county which is largely national forest.