A new Strategic Plan that charts the future course for growth and services at T.B. Scott Free Library was unanimously adopted by the Library's Board of Trustees at its meeting in January. Staff are already using the plan to think creatively about services and outreach to the Merrill community.
Last fall, members of the public attended focus groups to help plan for evolving library patron needs and to prioritize limited resources. In addition to focus groups, surveys were available online, in the library and in local newspapers, offering the public an opportunity to make their needs known.

While access to resources through technology is an important part of the Strategic Plan, the library will continue to strongly support books. Staff heard this loud and clear from many of its patrons. Much of the discussion and feedback focused on how the library can and should maintain traditional services, while serving ever more technology users.

Results of the focus groups and community feedback were integral to developing the strategic/long range plan that will guide T.B. Scott Free Library’s services from now through 2018.

The library’s Vision Statement and Mission Statement were reviewed, revised, and updated:

Vision Statement: To cultivate a library environment so vital that everyone desires to be an active library user.
Mission Statement: Serving the Merrill area through traditional and innovative services, T.B. Scott Free Library connects people to their community and the world, promotes literacy and civic engagement, encourages and supports life-long learning, ensures free and open access to ideas and provides opportunities for recreation.

To fulfill that vision and mission, six goals emerged from the planning process:
• Provide library services responsive to community interests and needs.
• Promote, support, and serve as a center for the practice and development of civic discourse, helping to develop responsible citizens by infusing a sense of the importance of democracy.
• Provide an accessible, attractive and up-to-date facility that encourages use.
• Develop and execute programming, serving a broad range of ages and interests, which attracts people to the library, including audiences not currently being reached.
• Provide optimal access to information from print, online, and broadcast media.
• Effectively manage library resources.

The Strategic Plan includes specific objectives and activities to realize these goals. Over the next five years, T.B. Scott Free Library’s board and staff will use the plan to ensure that it continues to provide a valuable service to Merrill and the surrounding community.

To learn more, pick up a copy of the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan at the library, or view it on the library’s website at http://www.tbscottlibrary.org/node/39.