2010-2013 Strategic Plan
- From the Director
Given the current economic climate, libraries are being used more than ever. Residents of Pima County look to the library to provide a wide range of free services that contribute to the economic development of the community and provide individuals with educational and recreational opportunities to improve their lives. The Library is being challenged to do more with existing resources. The Library can't solve all the issues that face our community; however we are committed to being part of the solution in areas where the library has expertise and strengths that benefit the community in a time of need.
This Strategic Plan is our road map to the future. Pima County Public Library is a complex organization with 27 libraries serving diverse communities across Pima County. Despite variations across the system, the needs of our community overlap in many areas. The Strategic Plan has identified the programs and services that are most relevant to our community as a whole. By focusing resources as a system, we will expand the opportunities for each branch to offer a range of high quality services. Replicating best practices and sharing expertise allow us to build upon the strengths of our most important resource, the library staff. As we follow the Strategic Plan into the future, we will evaluate our successes and learn from our mistakes, so that we constantly adjust our course to meet the needs of the community.
Nancy Ledeboer, Library Director
Pima County Public Library (PCPL) began strategic planning in May 2008. This strategic planning process provides a roadmap that helps the library focus on achieving goals that respond to community needs. Planning is critical in times of shrinking budgets and staff shortages. It helps identify priorities and effectively reallocate finite resources. Planning is ultimately about change. A strategic planning process helps library advisory board members, the library director, and staff to reshape services and programs to fulfill the community's vision.
- The Planning Process
PCPL used the Public Library Association's (PLA) New Planning for Results process and modified it to fit our community and library system. The library chose this as a collaborative effort between the community, library advisory board and library staff. The strategic planning process was composed of the following four parts:
- The Library Advisory Board representing the community and library interests.
- PCPL's library management team, SPOT (Services & Programming Operations Team) provided administrative support.
- A larger library staff committee with representatives from all service levels, branches and levels of experience provided staff support and input.
- Pima County community members provided input through community forums in each library service area. The purpose of the community forums was to direct the vision, analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and identify the community needs.
The PLA process provided 18 service responses that were presented to the public, Library Advisory Board and staff committees. With input provided by these groups, the PLA service responses were narrowed down to 6. Recently completed community strategic plans and forum documents served as background information. Surveys from users and nonusers provided further knowledge of community needs and assets. The larger staff committee then used their skills and expertise to develop goals, objectives and activities to respond to the needs identified through the process.
- Planning Assumptions
- Excellence must be defined locally. It results when library services match user needs, interests, and priorities.
- Excellence is possible for both small and large libraries. It rests more on commitment and creativity than on unlimited resources.
- Excellence is a moving target. Even when achieved, excellence must be continually strived for to be maintained.
- Mission & Vision Statement
The Pima County Public Library enriches lives and builds community through opportunities to learn, know, interact, and grow.
Pima County Public Library is recognized and valued by all community members as:
- A significant resource and advocate for youth as they develop from birth to thoughtful inheritors of our community.
- A destination and place of discovery that provides abundant print materials, digital options and functions as a welcoming place for the exchange of ideas among all residents to satisfy their life-long curiosity.
- A community asset and an active partner in community building recognized for creating and motivating a skilled workforce, nurturing and celebrating our diverse cultural heritage, supporting the educational goals of youth and adults, and building towards100% literacy for the residents of Pima County.
- An organization that cultivates staff that are knowledgeable, passionate and positive about the central role libraries play in individual lives and community growth.
- A forward-thinking institution that recognizes, supports and provides technological breakthroughs advancing the convenient, effective use of information, knowledge and communication.
- An organization that incorporates and integrates the goals of sustainability into all aspects of its operations.
- A free democratic institution devoted to providing community members with the information needed to participate in our democratic community.
- Core Values
We offer free access and services.
All residents of Pima County have a right to free, equitable, and convenient access to library resources. Library buildings are a place of intellectual discovery, and are inviting, comfortable, and safe.
We support intellectual freedom.
The Library supports freedom of speech and the right of residents to receive uncensored information. The Library is a forum for information and ideas in the community.
We provide a foundation for life-long learning.
The Library is an essential source of knowledge for the community, providing educational resources for all ages and pursuits. Reading is vitally important and can open doors as well as expand horizons throughout our lives. The Library supports early reading readiness, formal and alternative education, and life-long learning.
We foster a climate of respect and trust.
Mutual respect and trust are honored both internally and externally. Customers and staff are valued, supported, and respected.
We are customer focused.
The Library strives for excellent customer service. It creates and makes available information, materials and programs that are anticipatory, convenient and responsive. As part of municipal government, Library resources are woven into public service policies and initiatives that strengthen government's ability to address community concerns.
We find strength in diversity.
The Library reflects, supports, and celebrates the diversity of the community in its services, collections and staff.
We form strong partnerships.
The Library's resources, involvement, and leadership in the community are extended through partnerships with community members, other City and County departments, businesses, institutions, organizations, and agencies.
We are focused on sustainability.
The library is a partner and supporter of the Sustainable Action Plan for Pima County Operations.
- Pima County Community Overview
- According to the US Census Bureau and the Arizona Department of Commerce, Pima County had a population of 843,746 reported in the 2000 census and estimate of 946,362 for 2006.
- It was estimated for 2006 that 7.0% if the individuals in Pima County were under age 5 and 24.1% were under age 18. 14.6% of individuals were estimated to be 65 and older.
- The median household income in 2004 was estimated to be $38,687 with 15.6% of individuals living below poverty level. 83.4% of individuals 25 or older are high school graduates and 26.7% of individuals 25 or older have a Bachelor's degree or higher.
- The population consists of individuals by race: 3.4% African American, 3.4% Native American, 2.7% Asian or Pacific Islander, 32.5% Hispanic or Latino and 88.8% White.
- Information from the 2010 census will be incorporated in this strategic plan as it becomes available.
The Community Forum participants were asked to think about their vision of the most perfect Pima County community in 10 years. The visions identified by the public were: affordable, excellent healthcare; providing a livable wage through economic development; outstanding education K-12 and college; safe housing; strong and safe neighborhoods; rich, vibrant arts and culture; a sustainable community utilizing water harvesting, wind energy and solar energy; clean water and air; great public transportation system; 100% literacy for the community; quality, affordable childcare and excellent recreation.
They were then asked to identify the strengths and weaknesses that currently exist in Pima County, as well as opportunities and threats that the future may bring. The following list represents some of the comments recorded as participants described the community. The list is not inclusive nor does it represent a consensus of those who participated.
Strengths identified through the community forums include: remarkable weather, Sonoran desert eco-system, diverse culture rich in history, University of Arizona and Pima Community College, regional planning in water, growth, and transportation, vibrant arts and music community, low cost of living, proximity to the Mexican border, growing senior population is an asset, excellent library system, and outstanding volunteers.
Weaknesses identified include: high crime and drug use, high poverty, lagging or low education with a high dropout rate, inadequate healthcare, lack of water, immigration issues, proximity to Mexican border, high homelessness, a service economy with lower wages, under employment, lack of sound public transportation, not a walk-able community, and high illiteracy rates.
Possible future opportunities include: solar and wind energy, excellent education system, growth, tourism, increase in voter participation, border relations, and a walk-able and bike-friendly community.
Possible future threats include: economic decline, crime, drug use, unplanned growth, increased costs of living, traffic, border issues, pollution, lack of water, public apathy and decrease in medical personnel.
Following the analysis of the community's existing strengths and weaknesses, as well as the potential opportunities and threats, the public discussed the needs of the community. They decided which of those needs could be addressed by the Pima County Public Library in order to build on our strengths, reduce the weaknesses, enable us to take advantage of the opportunities, and ward off the threats, thereby moving us toward the community described in the vision statements.
The most important needs identified were: conservation of our unique ecology, better education system, more diversified workforce, more safe places for youth, affordable and accessible arts and cultural programs, retaining medical personnel, better childcare, better public transportation, more civic participation, affordable housing, better health system, increase in cooperation between community agencies/organizations to provide more community information, and an increase in literacy-related programming in all areas from finance, technology and health to reading, writing and learning English. Based on the identified needs, the public voted on the PLA service responses that best suited these needs.
Surveys conducted by FMR Associates, Inc. of users and nonusers also were accomplished during this timeframe. The following recommendations and findings of the surveys are:
- Increase the variety or quantities of books, particularly bestsellers.
- Increase and promote DVD and CD collections, especially the latest DVD's.
- Look at ways to reduce noise levels in the branches.
- Promote the website and 24/7 access to catalog and online reserve/renewal along with the no cost nature of the library with a wide variety of materials to check-out by friendly/knowledgeable staff.
With input from the community forum and survey participants, Library Advisory Board, and SPOT, the library staff committee determined which needs the library was best suited to address and matched the needs with library service responses from the New Planning for Results model. Six service responses were selected as priorities for 2010-2013, and form the foundation for the PCPL's Strategic Directions.
- Service Responses
Be an Informed Community Member: Local, National and World Affairs
Community members will have the information they need to support and promote democracy, to fulfill their civic responsibilities at the local, state and national levels, to fully participate in community decision making, and to participate successfully in American life.
Create Young Readers: Early Literacy
Children from birth to age five will have programs and services designed to ensure that they will enter school ready to learn to read, write, and listen.
Literacy for Success in Everyday Life: Adult, Teen and Family Literacy
Adults and teens will have the support they need to improve their literacy skills in order to meet their personal goals and fulfill their responsibilities as parents, citizens, and workers.
Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning
Residents will have the resources they need to explore topics of personal interest and continue to learn throughout their lives.
Succeed in School: Homework Help
Students will have the resources they need to succeed in school.
Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and Virtual Spaces
Residents will have safe and welcoming physical spaces to meet and interact with others or to sit quietly and read and will have open and accessible virtual spaces to support networking.
- Goals, Objectives & Activities
Be an Informed Community Member
Goal: Residents will have the information and tools needed to participate successfully in our democratic community.
- By 2013, PCPL will build and sustain community partnerships with a minimum of five local organizations to promote civic awareness and active participation among Pima County residents.
- By 2013, PCPL, in collaboration with community partners, will offer programs and services at all 27 branches in the following areas: 1) civic awareness or 2) learning the English language.
- By 2013, PCPL will partner with a minimum of five community agencies to offer programs and materials on an on-going basis to meet the information needs of the ever-growing and increasingly diverse refugee and immigrant community in Pima County in six target libraries.
Create Young Readers
Goal: Parents, caregivers and service providers who work with children are ensured that children from birth to age five are better prepared to succeed in school.
- By 2013, attendance at Storytime, including parents and caregivers, will increase by 5% annually.
- By 2013, family participation in library programming will increase by 5% annually.
- By 2013, a minimum of 450 caregivers and service providers who work with children will receive early childhood information and training.
Literacy for Success in Everyday Life
Goal: Adults and teens will have the support they need to improve their overall literacy to realize their personal goals.
- By 2013, library circulation will increase by 5% annually.
- By 2013, 75% of libraries will offer computer literacy programs.
- By 2013, every library will collaborate with a minimum of one literacy or educational organization/agency serving adults and teens.
Goal: Residents will have the resources to explore topics of personal interest so they may continue to learn and satisfy their curiosity throughout their lives.
- By 2013, the completion of summer reading program participants will increase by 5% annually.
- By 2013, Ask a Librarian and Infoline will increase by 5% annually.
- Beginning 2011, attendance at adult and teen programs will increase by 5% over 2010.
- By 2013, utilization of electronic resources will increase by 5% annually.
Succeed in School
Goal: The diverse student population of Pima County will receive the resources and services they need to succeed.
- By 2013, 90% of homework help users surveyed will indicate that homework help and library materials met or exceeded their needs.
- By 2013, registration for new library cards will increase by 5% annually.
- By 2013 there will be a 5% increase annually in outreach programs about online and in-house library resources for students with emphasis on reaching students in educational transition.
- By 2013, number of students utilizing online and in-person homework help will increase by 5%.
Visit a Comfortable Place
Goal: Residents will enjoy diverse environments which offer flexible and inviting space that meet individual and community needs.
- By 2013, 90% of people surveyed who visit the library in person will say that their local library is welcoming and inviting.
- By 2013, 90% of people surveyed who visit the library's website will indicate that they had a positive experience.
- By 2013, PCPL will offer quiet space or time at 100% of libraries.
- By 2013, 90% of customers surveyed who use the Library's wireless services will say that the service met their needs.
- Resource Allocation
Pima County Public Library recognizes library staff as its greatest resource in providing excellent service. While the current economic climate necessitates careful consideration in filling or adding positions, Library Administration is cognizant of the effects of staffing levels on services. Professional training and development as well as support for continuing education will be supported within budget limitations. Library Administration will continue to monitor staffing levels and to implement staffing models such as the One Desk concept to maximize coverage.
Pima County Public Library recognizes physical and virtual collections as a priority in providing excellent service. Collections will continue to be purchased in a variety of formats with an emphasis in areas that support the six service response areas. Current collection models such as "floating collections" and "express reads" will continue to be monitored to maximize the effectiveness of the collection at all 27 library locations. It is recognized that some collections such as the Grants and Business Collections, as well as the Arizona and Steinheimer collections that are not directly connected to a service response are still vital to community and will continue to be supported.
Pima County Public Library recognizes the increased importance of physical and virtual spaces as community centers where individuals gather not only to receive excellent service, but to learn, interact and grow. Library Administration will continue to budget for needed repairs, maintenance and facility needs including providing support for staffing models. One Desk remodels will continue as the budget allows as well as annual assessment of facility needs. There are at least three recognized areas of Pima County that have been identified as underserved the communities of South West Tucson, Vail and Sahuarita will continue to be priorities as the Library System plans for future growth. Library Administration will continue to pursue funding for expansion in these areas of the County, including partnering with other agencies in providing services and programming.
- Acknowledgement of Committee Planning Members
Gina Macaluso and Amber Mathewson, Strategic Planning Co-Chairs, wish to thank the following members for their support and contributions to the strategic planning process. You are our most valuable asset and what makes our system great!
Pima County Public Library Advisory Board Members:
- Frank Antenori
- Marjorie Gerdes
- Obdϊlia González
- Carla Stoffle
- Miley Clark
- Annabelle Nuñez
- Patricia Peterson
- Tom Ward
Pima County Public Library SPOT (Services & Programs Operational Team) Members:
- Melody Ballard
- Gina Macaluso
- Steff Koeneman
- Kristi Bradford
- Kate DeMeester
- Beth Matthias-Loghry
- Rich DiRusso
- Jen Maney
- Matt Landon
SPOT Advisory Members:
- Nancy Ledeboer
- Pat Corella
- Bonny Bruce
- Jere Voigt
- Karen Thayer
Library Staff Strategic Planning Committee:
Be an Informed Community Member
- Robin Samitz Administration
- Matt Landon Miller-Golf Links Branch Library
- Sharla Darby Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Branch Library
- Michelle Garcia Santa Rosa Branch Library
- Nancy Lindeman Geasa-Marana Branch Library
- Mary Givins Martha Cooper Branch Library
- Elizabeth Soltero Youth Services
- Liz Danforth Eckstrom-Columbus Branch Library
- Elaine Valenzuela Valencia Branch Library
Create Young Readers
- Eva Ortiz Kirk-Bear Canyon Branch Library
- Bria Date Youth Services
- Kristi Bradford Nanini Branch Library
- Jennifer Whitt Woods Memorial Branch Library
- Saudra Alvarez Adult Detention Center
Literacy for Success in Everyday Life
- Richard Hoctor Readrunners Bookmobile Service
- Guadalupe Guerrero Mission Branch Library
- Yolanda Sainz Flowing Wells Branch Library
- Gary Langelo Joel D. Valdez Main Library
- John Munoz Juvenile Detention Center
- Shawn Flecken Virtual Library
- Jeanne Ferris Caviglia-Arivaca Branch Library
- Eleanor Bertrand Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library
- Aaron Valdivia El Pueblo Branch Library
- Sol Gomez Sam Lena-South Tucson Branch Library
- Karen Koevary Joel D. Valdez Main Library
- Beth Petrucci Miller-Golf Links Branch Library
Succeed in School
- Leanne Yoder Quincie Douglas Branch Library
- Tara Foxx-Lupo El Pueblo Branch Library
- Kendra Davey Dusenberry-River Branch Library
- Kate DeMeester Murphy-Wilmot Branch Library
- James Lee Murphy-Wilmot Branch Library
- Ben Matiella Himmel Branch Library
Visit a Comfortable Place
- Jen Maney Virtual Library
- Linda Lam Salazar-Ajo Branch Library
- Angela Harper El Rio Branch Library
- Helen Gutierrez Collection Development Office
- Bonny Bruce Administration
- Chris Dashiell Technical Services
- Beth Matthias-Loghry Adult Services
- Sandy Thomas Miller-Golf Links Branch Library
- Carly Hill Joel D. ValdezMain Library
A special thank you to Bonny Bruce for the expert training she provided on facilitation.
- Amber Mathewson
- Gina Macaluso
- Sol Gomez
- Matt Landon
- Sharla Darby
- Daphne Daly
- April Gering
- Mary McKinney
- Kate DeMeester
- Ella Gomez
- Dawn Gardner
- Maya Castillo
- Guadalupe Guerrero