This information was provided by the Scranton Memorial Library:
Libraries across the country are seeing the need to define and redefine their roles within the communities they serve. The E.C. Scranton Memorial Library is among them. Now the library's Board of Directors has approved a new strategic plan, one that "lays a course for the future of the organization by identifying opportunities for improvement and expansion."
Library Executive Director Beth Crowley said, "We have to look at the library building itself. How can we best use the space we have? Until we maximize the space we have, it's hard to say if we need more."
Crowley is certain of one thing, however. The surveys, conversations, and focus groups have convinced her that library parking is a priority as well as a drive-up book drop."It's at the top of the list," she said. "I hear it everywhere."
Click here to access the complete text of the strategic plan. Scranton Library Strategic Plan
From the Strategic Plan:
"The Board of Trustees undertook a robust information gathering effort from June 2011 - December 2011. The information collected included interviews with local stakeholders, focus groups, a patron survey, interviews with other library leaders, and research on trends in library services."
"The major themes in the information collected were as follows:
- Libraries across the country are at a crossroads as they redefine their meaning to communities in an age where information is readily available via the internet.
- The community believes the Library is an important contributor to the community, but its role may be misunderstood or not clearly articulated.
- Many maintain a traditional view of its role in the community.
- There is a lack of knowledge about the resources already present at the Library.
- The current Library is in need of physical facelift including new paint, furnishings, and climate control.
- The Library must work with existing space in the short term, (5-10 years). Patrons would like better overall access to the library including improved parking and entry way, and accessible book drops.
- The staff of the Library is viewed as one of its greatest assets. The internal staff roles and the role of the Friends of the Library should be updated and clearly defined.
- The Library must increase its fundraising efforts including creating an overall development strategy.
- There are other space discussions taking place including the role of The Senior Center and The Academy School. The Library must be at the table and participate in these discussions.
- The Library should remain a private non-profit entity and not become a town department – it allows the Library to stay independent but share the responsibility with the town to fulfill its commitments to the community."