Somerset County Library System of New Jersey | Connect, Explore, Share, Discover

Strategic Plan

Home/About SCLSNJ/Strategic Plan
Strategic Plan 2018-04-20T10:47:49+00:00

Setting Strategic Priorities

Our new strategic plan will be made up of two areas: core services and strategic priorities.

  • Our core services will be the things that are the library’s “bread and butter. ” Examples include circulating popular materials, providing public computers and wifi, early literacy activities, etc.
  • Strategic priorities will be determined based on the feedback we get from the community.

We aren’t focused on feedback about the library!

Our community conversations will help us learn what people hope for and are concerned about for their communities, and how they want their communities to move forward. So instead of asking people what they want from the library, we’ll review feedback about what they want for their communities and look for ways that SCLSNJ can make an impact in the areas they care about.

So what does that actually look like?

If, for example, we hear a lot from our community conversations and other feedback about making sure that all children are meeting grade level reading targets, we might make Reading Competency a strategic priority. We might define some outcomes around improvement in kids’ level of comfort with reading, our plan actions could have to do with focusing our summer reading program activities on improving reading confidence, and we could measure kids’ attitudes toward reading at the beginning and the end of the summer to see whether or not we’ve having an impact.

By | April 18th, 2018|

Community Conversations

One of the most important ways we’ll be gathering information for our strategic planning is through a series of Community Conversations. We’ll be pulling together small groups of people to talk about what their hopes and aspirations are for their communities, and then we’ll look for the ways the Library can help make a difference in creating the kind of place in which our residents want to live.

To conduct our Community Conversations, we’ll be using a proven framework and discussion guide from The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation that they have developed as part of their work with public libraries and other public institutions and nonprofits over the last 25 years. Our conversations will have 10-15 participants each, and will be guided by staff facilitators using the discussion guide.

We’re planning a series of more than 25 conversations and we’ll be inviting a wide array of people to participate, from elected officials and other community stakeholders, to current patrons and friends, to non-patrons and members of underserved communities. We want to get a picture of the hopes and dreams for all of the communities we serve so that we can find the best ways for SCLSNJ to help everyone move forward.

If you’re interested in participating in a Community Conversation, please let us know.

Also, knowing that the format of Community Conversations means opportunities to participate will be somewhat limited, your input is still welcome via our community survey.

By | April 4th, 2018|

SCLSNJ Strategic Planning

The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey is working on a new strategic plan!

We’re using the Dynamic Planning Model from the Public Library Association. This process starts from the idea that our services should be based on the community’s needs. We’ll gather demographic and survey data about our communities, but we’ll also conduct a series of community conversations to help us understand people’s concerns and aspirations about the place in which they live. By focusing on community needs, rather than on the Library, we will be able to identify our core services — the materials, services and programs we will continue to provide to our patrons, no matter what — as well as the areas of strategic priority where the Library can help create the kind of community people want to be a part of.

PLA Dynamic PlanningThe model has four phases:

  • Assess (through July 2018) – gather community data, conduct community conversations, perform community needs assessment
  • Strategize (July-August 2018) – analyze data, identify core services and strategic priorities
  • Engage (September 2018) – develop goals and actions that meet service needs
  • Impact (October 2018-June 2020) – execute plan actions, establish outcomes and methods for assessment, evaluate success

This model is cyclical, so we will evaluate the progress of plan activities in June 2019 and again in December 2019 so that we can make any necessary adjustments.

By | April 4th, 2018|

We are using the Dynamic Planning Model, developed by the Public Library Association. It has four phases:

  • Assess (through July 2018) – gather community data, conduct community conversations, perform community needs assessment
  • Strategize (July-August 2018) – analyze data, identify core services and strategic priorities
  • Engage (September 2018) – develop goals and actions that meet service needs
  • Impact (October 2018-June 2019) – execute plan actions, establish outcomes and methods for assessment, evaluate success

More…

Get email updates

Connect with SCLSNJ through social networks: