March 03, 2012

Get out your visioning goggles!

Neill Public Library is about to embark on an exciting adventure and we would like you to join us.

Our sleeves are rolled up and we stand ready to hand out visioning goggles to community members. Visioning goggles? Yes, indeed. The time has come for the library to start Strategic Planning work.

What, you might ask, is strategic planning?  Simply put, it is an identified process used by groups united with a common purpose to turn the needs of the community into a shared vision, a vision that will serve as a guide to planning the future services of an organization.  Why, you might ask, is strategic planning critical for Neill Public Library?  Because the needs, interests, and priorities of our community are always changing.  Now more than ever, with advances in technology and downturns in the economy, patrons are accessing library services in ways different than before.  As public servants, it is critical we stay in touch with the needs of the people we serve.  Strategic planning will identify the library’s role in meeting our community’s needs and establish measures to ensure the services being provided are the ones that matter most to the people we serve – that means YOU, our valued community member.  Strategic planning is an exciting time of visioning, evaluating, and, of course, planning for the future.  Work is slated to begin next month and the initial phase of this project is expected to last approximately three months.

The first step in this process is to form a planning committee, with members selected by the library’s Board of Trustees.  This committee should be comprised of community stakeholders and selected members should reflect the demographics of the community and serve as representatives of the various constituency groups within the library’s Pullman service area.  Because the committee will focus on visioning for the community, members do not necessarily need to be familiar with the services provided by Neill Public Library.  The committee will meet twice over the course of a few weeks.  During the first meeting, members will be asked to define a vision for the community served by Neill Public Library and identify what needs to happen in the community to reach that vision.  This will include, but not be limited to, ways the library can contribute toward achieving that community vision.  During the second meeting, the committee will select the service priorities for the library (based on the community vision) and propose adoption by the Board of Trustees.  The planning committee is an integral component to the library’s strategic planning process.  Careful selection of committee members then will be a key element to the successful outcome of our joint planning efforts. 

We would like your help to build our planning committee.  Do you know someone who might want to serve on this committee?  Maybe you’d like to offer your own name for consideration?  We want to hear from you!  Suggestions can be emailed to me at, deposited into a box inside the library, or dropped into either of our outdoor book bins during the week of March 4 when the library will be closed for maintenance and in-house work.

Please be sure to include contact information for the person you are recommending and a brief explanation about why you feel (s)he would be a good addition to the committee.  The Board of Trustees is responsible for the final selection of committee members.  Once a list has been compiled, invitations will be mailed to prospective members.

On behalf of the Board and staff, I thank you for your help and support of our endeavors.  I look forward to working with you to create a new vision for the community and its library.
by Joanna Bailey,
Library Director
published March 3, 2012 in Moscow-Pullman Daily News

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