The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) is asking Somerset County residents to share their experiences with the Library, as well as about their hopes and aspirations for their communities. 

“People like me who work in public libraries are lucky, because we get to see the impact the Library has on people’s lives everyday,” said Lynn Hoffman, director of operations. “We can make sure our impact goes even further when we align the things we do with the needs of the community. Gathering information about those needs is a critical step in planning effective programs and services.”

Participate in the Survey (English version)
Participate in the Survey (Spanish version)

SCLSNJ uses the Dynamic Planning Model from the Public Library Association which is comprised of four phases: assess, strategize, engage, and impact. The Dynamic Planning Model allows the Library to be flexible, try different approaches, and rapidly respond to changing conditions. 

In addition to the survey, SCLSNJ will also be collecting data from member communities, analyze statistics regarding library usage, and hold community conversations with customers and stakeholders.

“As part of the strategic planning process, Library staff will be holding community conversations throughout the county to talk to as many library users and non-library users as possible,” said Cathy DeBerry, branch manager and community conversations coordinator. “These conversations are an impactful way to get to know different parts of the community and learn from voices not usually heard.”

Continued DeBerry, “We want to engage as many different kinds of people as possible to ensure that our libraries are meeting the needs of our very diverse communities and its residents. With the information gathered from these conversations, SCLSNJ will be able to shape the future of library services.”

By focusing on community needs, rather than solely on the Library, SCLSNJ will be able to identify core services — the materials, services, and programs that will be provided to customers, 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.

Print copies of the survey will be available in both English and Spanish at all branch locations.

Learn more about the strategic planning process: To discover all SCLSNJ has to offer, visit or connect with SCLSNJ on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.