Matheson Memorial Library Strategic Plan, 2016-2019


In February, 2016, the idea of writing a strategic plan for the Matheson Memorial Library was introduced. The Library Board voted not to hire an outside consultant to help with the process. The library director met with the Elkhorn Area School District (EASD) administrator to view the school district’s strategic plan and the process they used. It was decided to utilize the process described in Strategic Planning for Results published by the Public Library Association. The library director met with the management staff and shared a timeline for the process, enlisted their support, and distributed service responses for discussion.

In March, Library Director, Lisa Selje, was appointed Planning Coordinator, a community planning committee was discussed and Jason Tadlock and Mariann Hunter were appointed as committee liaisons from the Library Board. Two dates were set for the community meetings and Chad Robinson, Adult Services Librarian, was chosen as facilitator for these meetings. Also in March, two staff orientation meetings were held and attended by all library staff to discuss the process and their role in it. Both the staff and Library Board gave input on who should serve on the Community Planning Committee. Invitations were sent out.

In April, 2016, the Library Board was updated on the progress made, the Planning Coordinator and meeting facilitator met to plan the community meetings and the first meeting was held on April 21st. On April 29th, the staff held their staff development day and reviewed the service responses that they had selected as well as those selected by the Community Planning Committee.

In May, 2016, the second Community Planning Committee meeting was held and service responses were narrowed down from eighteen to eight. In June, the library management team gave their input to narrow it down further and the Library Board voted to select the following service responses as the focus for writing our goals and objectives:

  1. Create young readers : early literacy
  2. Satisfy curiosity : lifelong learning
  3. Visit a comfortable place : physical and virtual spaces
  4. Stimulate imagination : reading, viewing and listening for pleasure
  5. Connect to the online world : public internet access
  6. Understand how to find, evaluate, and use information : information fluency

These six areas of priority were adopted for the library’s four year focus. In July and August, 2016, we reviewed and revised our mission and vision statements. For the first time, we wrote down our core values and beliefs for the library. The Planning Coordinator wrote goals and objectives with input from staff in all library departments. These goals and objectives were reviewed by the Library Board in September and approved and published in October, 2016. The strategic plan will be reviewed semi-annually by library management staff in April and October and by the Library Board annually in November. A new strategic plan will be written in 2020.

Mission, Vision, Core Values and Beliefs

The Mission of the Matheson Memorial Library is to connect our community with library resources and services that enrich, enlighten, and entertain.

Vision Statement

Matheson Memorial Library will provide excellent customer service and quality materials, resources, programs, and experiences. We will provide free access to these in a comfortable and welcoming environment. We will promote partnerships in the community, encourage lifelong learning and evolve to meet the needs of the community.

Core Values

We believe:

  • That an accessible and free library is fundamental to a free society
  • In literacy and lifelong learning
  • In intellectual freedom and the personal privacy of all our users in accordance with the law

We value:

  • Excellent service

We offer quality service to all users. Staff is friendly, helpful, and strives to enhance user experience with each interaction

  • Respect

We practice courtesy and civility in our actions and attitudes; we value, support, and respect all patrons and staff

  • Teamwork

We celebrate unique talents and work cooperatively towards the library’s goals with trust and enthusiasm

  • Open Access

We value free and open access to all collections and services in a nonjudgmental manner to all individuals and protect the privacy of all users

  • Innovation, imagination and creativity

We value continuous learning and innovation; we encourage creativity, imagination and the life of the mind

  • Responsiveness to community needs

We strive to offer materials, programs, and experiences that meet the needs of our community

  • Good Stewardship

We are responsible stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to us and are accountable for proper use of public funds

  • Diversity

We value the background and culture of our residents and recognize that a diverse community fosters growth and tolerance

Core Services

  1. User Experience

The library offers friendly and helpful service while exploring new, efficient models of serving our patrons to provide an excellent user experience that exceeds expectations.

Goal 1: Maintain a knowledgeable, creative, and committed staff.

Objective: Supervisory staff will develop to their full potential by investing in professional development and training. They will be encouraged to develop their supervisory and coaching abilities.

Objective: Professional staff will collaborate to provide a diverse range of programs in the library, outreach to the community, and shared collection development tasks.

Objective: Support staff will be encouraged to use their strengths to create displays, increase efficiency, and streamline operations.

Goal 2: Analyze user experience to gauge satisfaction and look for improvements.

Objective: Verbal and written patron feedback will be analyzed for improvements that can be made.

Objective: Staff will be trained to ask users if they found what they are looking for and if they are satisfied with their experience at the library.

Objective: Improve reader’s advisory service by providing genre bookmarks, Staff Picks, booktalks on the web, and displays to assist users in locating materials of interest.

  1. Collections and Literacy

The library provides books, audiovisual materials, and other content in popular formats including digital content. As formats and devices continue to rapidly change we are challenged to provide content that will satisfy all residents of our community.

Goal 1: Provide resources to support literacy.

Objective: Update our children’s literacy center, flannelboards, and toy bags to include a literacy focused worksheet.

Objective: Reach out to the Walworth County Literacy Council to see how the library can support adult literacy.

Objective: Work with local resources to provide information on tutoring and literacy for children, adults, and English Language Learners (ELL).

Goal 2: Provide books and other content in preferred formats and reduce wait time on new materials.

Objective: Analyze Hold Ratio Report for bestsellers so patrons are not waiting more than three months for popular items.

Objective: Explore pricing on streaming videos and music.

Objective: Expand our collection of non-traditional items.

Goal 3: Promote collections to the community through outreach, partnerships, and community events.

Objective: Provide library collections to senior centers, daycares, etc.

Goal 4: Weed collections to discard dated and unused items.

Objective: Maintain an annual weeding schedule to cover all collections in the library.

  1. Community Spaces

The library provides a safe, welcoming, and comfortable space where individuals, families or groups can gather to relax & play, learn & study, collaborate & network.

Goal 1: Provide comfortable spaces for children, teens, adults and seniors.

Objective: Provide appropriate seating throughout the library.

Objective: Improve signage to address frequently asked questions.

Objective: Improve lighting by book return, new book shelf, print release station, and upper computer lab.

Goal 2: Create flexible spaces that can be changed to integrate new uses and technologies.

Objective: Develop a priority list for capital and non-capital projects, such as a new meeting room, new carpeting, a maker space, a café, and new furniture.

Objective: Design and price a space for a new meeting room and other items on the priority list and build the cost into future budgets.

Goal 3: Provide a space for local artists and makers to showcase their work.

Objective: Display artwork of area artists including the paintings of Jan Castle Reed.

Objective: Use our display cases to highlight collections and creations of local residents.

Objective: Display rotating exhibits from museums and organizations.

Objective: Collaborate with the newly formed Elkhorn Arts Foundation for programs and displays to promote the arts.

Goal 4: Improve the library grounds and outdoor space to make it useable.

Objective: Work with city planners to provide additional parking near the library and the immediate downtown area. Improve the traffic flow through the library parking lot. Implement a plan to pay for parking lot improvements.

Objective: Update landscaping around the library building. Enlist Master Gardeners to maintain garden beds so ongoing maintenance is assured.

Objective: Develop an outdoor space to include a children’s garden with educational activities and spaces. Work with the Friends group to fundraise for garden and landscape improvements (2016-2018).

Goal 5: Refurnish the basement to include a useable storage area.

Objective: Address the flooding issue so the basement will remain dry.

Objective: Discard old items that are stored in the basement and organize an improved storage system.

       4.Computers, Internet, and Technology

The library provides computer labs, high speed Wifi, printing and scanning capability, and access to new technologies.

Goal 1: Provide an adequate number of desktop computers throughout the library to meet standards so patrons do not have to wait for access.

Objective: Computers will have sufficient bandwidth to manage Internet traffic.

Objective: Youth will have computers designated for them in the youth area. Laptops and tablets will be available to check out in the library.

Objective: Provide printing (including wireless printing) capabilities, scanning and faxing.

Objective: Computer access will be available to adults without library cards.

Objective: Front-line staff will be able to assist users with basic hardware and software troubleshooting.

Goal 2: Provide high quality wireless service to users.

Objective: High speed wireless is available throughout the building.

Objective: Investigate circulating mobile hotspots.

Goal 3: Provide one-on-one, or group, support and instruction to patrons to meet their technology needs.

Objective: Offer classes on new technologies and trends as they happen.

  1. Programs and Events

The library offers programs for all ages and special events throughout the year. We provide literacy programs, cultural and educational experiences covering a wide range of topics.

Goal 1: Provide our community with dynamic youth services.

Objective: Assist families and childcare providers in preparing children to read with programs like 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.

Objective: Offer library programs for every age group from babies to teens with content that will promote creativity and the skills needed for that educational level.

Objective: Provide parents with literacy activities to take home and complete with their child.

Objective: Provide a Summer Reading Program with activities and reading incentives for reluctant readers and eager readers to help them maintain or improve their reading abilities.

Goal 2: Provide the adults in our community with a wide range of programs that educate and entertain.

Objective: Expand programming efforts to include several target audiences: Adults in their Twenties & Thirties, professional and business people, technology learners.

  1. Outreach and Community Partnerships

Library staff partners closely with the school district and makes connections with civic organizations, businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, city and county officials, and UW-Extension to provide services that meet the needs of area residents.

Goal 1: Provide outreach to schools and youth in the community.

Objective: Sustain a regular schedule of visits to 4K classrooms and provide a custom story time. Leave books until the next visit.

Objective: Visit the Elkhorn Youth Center on a regular schedule to introduce teens to library resources.

Objective: Work with EASD to provide library services and materials to Options kids and homeschoolers.

Goal 2: Pursue an outreach campaign to service and civic organizations, community groups, and underserved populations.

Objective: Provide outreach to targeted service organizations to publicize library databases and services.

Objective: Provide a library presence at community events and promote library resources.

Objective: Identify underserved populations through demographic analysis and create targeted efforts to reach out to those audiences.

Objective: Improve and expand homebound delivery service.